Catching Up With Pendleton Ward
Back in 2003, one of the first webcomics reviewed by ComixTalk was a cute little absurdist riff called Bueno The Bear. Bueno the Bear was a strange, but sweet-natured aburdist bit of humor; alas it's creator Pendleton Ward took the archives down from the web. Curious as to what Ward is up to now, I got a chance to interview him via email.
ComixTalk reviewed Bueno the Bear back in 2003. On checking out your website recently, I saw a cool little animation with the bear but no comics! Are they still around somewhere, waiting to be restored to their proper glory on the intertubes? Are you still creating new comics?
I took down those old comics because they were terrible. I've always been just a dabbler in making comics. I guess I'm an animator. I want to fill my website with short flash cartoons. The plan was to work at work and then come home and work on my website, but then I got sidetracked with livin. I want to commit to making my website a really entertaining place on the internet, but it might have to wait until I can make it my full time job. I guess I shouldn't be in an interview about making comics.
Can you give us the basics on you circa 2008? Name, age, employee badge number... that sort of thing.
My name is Pendleton Ward. I'm 25 and I work at Cartoon Network as a storyboard artist and writer on a show called The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. I also made a few shorts for Frederator/Nickelodeon. One is called Adventure Time. Another is called The Bravest Warriors, which I sang the theme song for.
You mentioned right now that you're working on a new animated show called The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. Can you tell me what it's about and what your role on the show is?
Flapjack's about a little guy (named Flapjack) that appreciates danger and doom and living to tell the tale. He's got a surly old sailor (Knuckles) for a best buddy and he lives in a sassy whale (Bubbie) who loves him very much. I think the show looks ravishing, the backgrounds are beautiful. It's also going to be really funny. It airs June 6th I think. You can see what it lookes like here.
The episodes have been getting more and more crazy as we chug along. Flapjack has an awesome team of writers.. I'm an idiot.. but the other guys are pretty tootin. Thurop Van Orman created the show. He is also pretty tootin... literally! Those are the sorts of terrible jokes that you will find on Flapjack. No I mean.. there'll be.. MUCH FUNNIER JOKES ON THE SHOW, EVERYONE SHOULD WATCH IT.
One of the things that's making this show awesome are the little character moments. There are a lot of bad ways to write a cartoon about an angry old guy, a happy little guy and a sassy lady whale. we don't buy into that bad stuff.. The writers on Flapjack (T.W.O.F.) say "hey bad writing, take a hike. Tootaloo for you." So yeah, T.W.O.F. are pretty tootin if I may say so myself.. and I allready have.. ... ugh.. don't let this interview with me effect your take on the show. It's going to be really great.
What other creative endeavors have you been engaged in since putting Bueno the Bear online? Are you mainly focused on animation projects or have you done other work?
Yeh, it's hard to answer this cause I guess I have secret cool things happening. But as a relative green-horn in the animation industry, I hear a lot of sad stories about secret projects falling apart higledy pigledy. So when I fail and all my secret funny things have fallen.. I'll get to work on my website making short funny flash cartoons.
I want to try competing against home star runner. that's my plan.. ehh hehheh. Also I animated these a while ago with friends using Flash... little intro things for a satellite channel that doesn't exist anymore: Small Buttons and Sneezy.
There are a lot of people to credit on that. Brian Covalt produced and animated a little, I directed and animated and designed, Adam Muto did a large bulk of all the animation and Julian Narino did the backgrounds for "sneezy", Nick Jeong did the effects and compositing, additional animation by Armen Mirzaian and Jesus Chambrot, music by Casey James Basichis. But all the animation was done in Flash. I love Flash for this kind of stuff.
I just try and do as much animation and drawing and making music on the side as I can, but I spend most of my time working at the cartoon studio.