Joe Murray is Moving In New Directions And So Should You


Joe Murray (erstwhile creator of Rocko’s Modern Life and Camp Lazlo) has announced that his fledgling online TV network, KaboingTV, will make its grand premiere on March 11th. In case you didn’t know, KaboingTV is Joe’s attempt at creating an online TV station devoted solely to cartoons and also passing more moolah back to the creators.

Why is all of this important? Joe, for all his track record in producing hit TV shows, is moving in an entirely new direction. Heck, in one sense he is being a true pioneer. Some people have tried to do what he’s done (and been successful too) but none have done so with the specific aim of mutual benefit and comradeship.

Joe is not resting on his laurels and has actively searched out new ideas and potential sources of income when he hasn’t been making cartoons. There are tons of people out there who would never in their right mind take on what Joe has. It’s just not in their nature, and that’s fine. We can’t be an entire nation of Warren Buffetts (although I sure could use the kind of money he has).

I’m not saying that you need to go out and repeat what Joe’s done (for starters he’s already beaten you to it), just that actively toying around with new ideas, any new idea, will reap rewards. Maybe not initially, but down the road. It’s kind of like me and the MBA. I’m not going to see the payout immediately, but I do expect to see a difference maybe 10+ years down the road, when I am in a better position to use the knowledge I’ve learned.

On the flip side, you don’t even have to come up with a new idea at all, just engage in something you don’t normally engage in! For animators, this could mean attending a life drawing class, learning a new computer program, exploring the fun (or serious) side of your creativity. You have no excuses for not doing so, and in the end, there are great benefits to be had.

Cartoon Brew 3.0 is Here!

Folks in love with animation have numerous places to congregate on the web. However, none seems to rally the people like Cartoon Brew. It’s hard to believe that it’s been around for over six years now and my how it has changed.

The site started off as mostly a news/opinion blog co-authored by Jerry Beck and Amid Amidi. Why they decided on calling it a "Brew" I do not know, however it is fair to say that both gentlemen bring some really contrasting posts and commentary that is always welcome.

Over the years, the site has undergone periodical redesigns and updates that have helped keep things looking fresh. However, it is with this latest version that the Brewmasters as they are affectionately called, have upped the ante.

Their latest efforts have hit the right spot alright. The site has garnered a community of sorts over the years with a pool of regular commentors (yours truly included) but besides the daily posts and the odd competition, there wasn’t really anything about to serve the sites community bar a serious discussion in the comments.

All that has changed however! With the latest update, the site now boasts many more features designed to pull Cartoon Brew even close to the center of the animation universe on the web. There is now a series of rolling industry headlines, a series of top posts, and of course, the obligatory latest tweets. These are taken from the Brew’s animators directory that encompasses a wide range of folks from the community. We are promised that the list will change as appropriate. Is there a possibilty that I might get on there one day? Perhaps, a man can dream can’t he? Anyway, the list is a fantastic place to see the various happenings and goings on from folks in the industry.

In addition to these changes, the commenting system has been upgraded to allow threaded commenting and ratings too! The threaded commenting adds greatly to the idea of the site as a community. No longer will I seem to be replying blindly to other posts; I can now engage in discussion!

Two other items of note include the repositioned CBTV (currently in the midst of a so-far fascinating student film festival) and the surprise addition of CB Live! Of course, the Brewmasters have always been forthcoming in publicising events that they either organize or are attending, but this section is specifically for events organized and branded as Cartoon Brew-related. This is perhaps the biggest indication so far that the site does indeed have a real, living community of fans outside the web. I am very much looking forward to seeing what kind of events are in the pipeline, especially any on the East Coast.

Much lauded, Cartoon Brew continues to garner the type of following that only such hard work and dedication from its Brewmasters can bring. Version 3.0 will certainly continue the site’s growth as a center for news, commentary and informed discussion on all things animation that remains unparalleled on the net.