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Creating Animated Cartoons with Character: A Guide to Developing and Producing Your Own Series for TV, the Web, and Short Film Paperback – Bargain Price, August 24, 2010
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About the Author
JOE MURRAY is an author, illustrator, animator, and filmmaker most widely known for his two hit animated shows, Rocko’s Modern Life and Camp Lazlo, both Emmy winners and with global fan bases in the millions of viewers. He has written and illustrated three children’s books, including Who Asked the Moon to Dinner? His production studio in Southern California has been in business for over 25 years. Visit Joe online at www.joemurraystudio.com.
Top customer reviews
With most of Murray's animated creations being some of my favorite cartoons, I thought it would be worth it to buy this book and read what he had to say on a field of art that I've debated on jumping into. Joe Murray does a great job with providing awesome info and advice for any newbie looking to get into the world of animation or for any experts too that are looking for the answers to whatever questions they've longed for the answers to. Along with Joe's knowledge, this book also has some advice from a number of other well-known animators such as Craig McCracken and Steven Hillenburg.
This book is a worthwhile read for up and coming animators of varying skill, fans of Murray, or just hobbyists that just want to learn more about their favorite way to tell stories. I quite recommend it.
With a clear, comprehensive style, visual record, and insightful Q&As with other big-name animation experts, Murray pretty much answers every possible question one may have along the lines of developing a cartoon from the ground up. Pitching, design, character, scheduling, working with networks - everything is explained in as much detail as possible. There are some moments early on where the details are skipped, like how he moved on from local comic-newspaper artist to a full-fledged studio, but the details are about the network cartoon business, not so much his life before then.
I would say that the only issue I have is that there's a heavy use of metaphors, and while I understand it has such a writing trope to help the younger or the unfamiliar understand the business better, Murray is clear and concise enough with his initial explanations of events that it makes such analogies moot.
If you are curious about the business, eager to pitch your own cartoon, or looking to work in animation in any format, I would highly recommend this. Very down-to-earth and approachable, informative without being condescending, and - well, let's be frank: it's the entire approach by the guy who created one of the best animated shows in mid-90s. That alone makes it a must read.
First, this book is an amazing snapshot of the industry, and all the mechanics running deep below the surface-- Things not evident to the staff, even.
This book is also a precise and lucid step-by-step guide to one of the most harrowing situations in entertainment. Having struck gold twice, Murray has a sober understanding of what happens, what never happens, and how you need to understand and re-tool yourself as things inevitably change. I'm going into this process now, and it's making all the difference that having the lights on would make if I was in a strange building, with dogs chasing me.
It's also a passionate treatise on retaining your artistic passion, and your courage-- Which is really really hard in this industry. He gives advice on how to avoid being crushed by the network juggernauts, or where to go if you'd rather have nothing to do with them.
This book does the astounding trick of granting the reader years of experience, like some sort of magic wand. Joe Murray has the understanding and clear writing ability to make it all seem relatively simple.
A bit on the content: Mr. Murray starts with a brief Bio that includes some great illustrations from earlier in his career, followed by a very brief animation history lesson. This is a great way to start the book, since you can't know where you're going if you don't know where you've been. He commences to plow forward by picking his brain about his own process in creating characters and stories, following them from initial kernel of an idea in your head to getting them on paper to creating personalities to pitching your idea, preparing a mini-bible for the pilot, producing the pilot, taking it to series, maintaining your sanity when this is your life day in and day out for years, etc. He does a fantastic job of illustrating the realities of the business while still infusing plenty of his creativity. His thorough commentary provides a step-by-step insight into what to expect (and prepare yourself for) in the creation of a television animation series. The icing on the cake? Mr. Murray also includes several interviews with other series creators and talents, picking their brains about their own process and insights on the industry.
I cannot recommend this book enough for both creatives and fans of cartoons! :^)