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What time is it? It’s ADVENTURE TIME! Or really – it’s time for Cartoon Network to get a Summer Refresh! Earlier this month, I was contacted about this particular campaign and was super excited to see Cartoon Network’s latest makeover. If you’re an avid Cartoon Network fan, you’ve most likely already seen this, but just in case you haven’t (or you’re just tuning in now), I’ll explain it to you.

The Summer Refresh Project

“Courtesy of its in-house creative agency Creative Group, Cartoon Network received a summer makeover, with a new set of brightly colored images and a video seamlessly blending the work of top animators around the globe. As part of the 2013 “Summer Refresh,” the new graphics feature popular Cartoon Network characters, such as the Annoying Orange and Finn and Jake from Adventure Time. Inspired by their cool new look, Creative Group took the daring step of stitching together a 60-second video comprising the work of six different animators and animation companies from around the world.”

The video is pretty kick-ass. Check it out here or watch below:

An Exquisite Corpse of Animators!

As mentioned, six different animation studios were approached to submit 10 second pieces for this video. The only rules they were given were to stick to the color scheme, include characters from certain Cartoon Network shows (Adventure Time, Regular Show, MAD, Ben 10, Gumball, Looney Tunes, and Annoying Orange), and not show any nudity. What you see before you is an amazing and seamless work of moving art.

The animation studios that took part in the Summer Refresh project were Impactist (Portand, OR), Awesome Incorporated (Atlanta, GA), CRCR (France), Alex Grigg (UK), Eamonn O’Neill (UK), and Rubberhouse (Australia), with music created by Impactist.

Leslie Kleine, senior producer of the Creative Group in charge of this makeover, said of the project, “We referred to this as our science experiment, mainly because we weren’t totally convinced that it would work, [Creative Group and Adult Swim Creative Director] Jacob Escobedo had this vision of several animators of varying styles creating unique pieces that could then be stitched together into one interstitial. In the end, we reached out to animation teams from Australia, France, Portland Oregon, Atlanta Georgia, and two from the UK, and they were all enthusiastic, even though they wouldn’t know what the others were doing. … This project was an incredible lesson in risk, but also one of the most rewarding that I’ve ever worked on. What we got exceeded our expectations.”

Leslie Kleine is a Senior Producer for Cartoon Network’s Creative Group with Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta, GA and has been with the company for 13 years. Prior to working at Cartoon Network, she spent a year stage managing at Playhouse on the Square in Memphis, TN. Leslie holds two degrees from the University of Alabama in Telecommunications & Film and Theatre.

I had a chance to interview Leslie a little more on Cartoon Network’s new look and the process of the whole thing. It’s a really cool inside look into how the design and branding process works for projects like these for big networks. So without further introduction, on with the interview!

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Interview with Cartoon Network’s Leslie Kleine

01. Where did the original idea for the Summer Refresh project come from? Tell us a little about it and how the idea to use other animators came about.

The idea came from our VP of Design, Jacob Escobedo. He had been admiring a number of animators and was looking for an opportunity to work with them in a way that would allow them to maintain their own animation styles. He proposed the Equisite Corpse concept & we all agreed that we had to try it.

02. Considering that there were only three simple rules for the animators, were you worried about the outcome? What were the biggest risks of the project and how did you get around them?

Worry never crept in. We had no idea if the pieces would stitch together but we thought we’d at least end up with some really great :10 bumps! Regarding challenges, we knew it was critical that we have clear communication & collaboration but we were working in multiple time zones so we utilized Basecamp to post updates and share progress. It was a wonderful resource for us. The final posts were one big love fest with everyone gushing over each other’s work.

03. What did the process look like? Being that there were so many people involved, what was the timeline like?

The first stage was music. Michael Ouweleen, SVP of the Creative Group, had been listening to Impactist so we reached out to them about making some tracks for us. Right before the call, we discovered that Impactist is a powerhouse duo, Kelly & Daniel, who also direct and animate. They’re probably whipping up a cure for the common cold in their spare time. But seriously, they delivered the first pass of music and we chose our top two tracks – no notes. We immediately invited them to take one of the :10 slots to animate.

We asked the animators to work simultaneously so the timeline was fairly straightforward with everyone hitting the same dates. The first delivery was each animator’s final frame of their allotted :10, which was the starting point for the next team.

04. I’m a big fan of the color scheme y’all chose. Where did the inspiration for that come from?

Our network design DNA is black and white checkerboard with an infusion of CMY. We wanted to update the look this year so our design team collectively made some adjustments which included brightening the CMY.

05. In my eyes, this project was a success! I love the new look and the video was really amazing (and seamless) to watch! Are there any plans to do this again in the future?

Thanks – we’re so proud of the work from every team. I don’t know if we’ll tackle another Exquisite Corpse but I can guarantee that we’ll dive into the unknown again.

06. What was your favorite part of working with all these people?

When we called to pitch the job, we hadn’t worked out the process yet so we were like, “Hey, we like you. Do you want to work with a bunch of animators from around the world? We’ll email you the details later.” The amazing thing was that everyone we spoke to jumped on board – and it wasn’t for the cash! They were all so gracious and collaborative… Now you have a taste of how our Basecamp posts read!

07. And finally… What’s your favorite color?

It’s a three-way tie between cyan, magenta and yellow. I’m subconsciously working them into every facet of my life though my two boys have drawn the line at magenta shoe laces.

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What Time Is It? It’s… The End!

Thank you to Leslie for taking time to answer my questions and for everyone from Creative Group and Cartoon Network for the awesome project. Everyone be sure to check out Cartoon Network and let me know what you think! I would love to hear your thoughts on the video!

And downright the most geekiest. Honestly I don’t think it needs an introduction. Just watch it.

I was eating a jelly bean while watching this. Bad move. Started laughing so hard I almost choked and passed out… almost like I had been hit with a Vulcan nerve pinch. You’ll get it if you watch the video. Also, who didn’t think that the song Nimoy sings while in the car isn’t the best choice EVER? Have you ever seen THAT video? Well now you have.

GO BILBO!

Found via The Mary Sue.

Haven’t done one of these in so long but I rediscovered my love for illustrative storytelling and have resumed my hunt for awesome webcomics. So without further ado. Today’s webcomics!

Everblue

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Everblue, Michael Sexton
Updated: Usually Sundays
Everblue is a story about adventure, camaraderie and exploration in a world with a potentially bleak fate. In a world of endless ocean, a young shipwright named Luna meets an odd and cheerful drifter when he crashes his flying boat on her city’s dock. When strange circumstances force Luna to leave her home, her once quiet life quickly takes a turn for the unpredictable. In an instant she is swept up in an adventure that will take her beyond the bounds of the charted world and into the Everblue, following the path of an ancient legend with the potential to change the world forever.

Machine Flower

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Machine Flower, Pana Stamos
Updated: Fridays
The children who reside in the Facility don’t have names, they have numbers. They don’t have parents, they have doctors. They don’t have dreams, they have assignments. And yet, one child among them wonders about the family she was snatched away from, about the name they surely gave her… And she dreams. She dreams about an ordinary life and what’s waiting for her on the other side of the wall that imprisons her. Fresh air, freedom… delicious food. Machine Flower follows 9-01’s struggle to claim the human identity that was denied her by the scientists, who see her as nothing more than a weapon to be used in the righteous battle against the villains who would terrorize their nation. But is the selfish need for personal freedom worth sacrificing the safety of millions?

The Intrepid Girlbot

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The Intrepid Girlbot, Diana Nock
Updated: Tuesdays & Fridays
Girlbot lives in a big house in a world with no people, just forest critters and other robots. But she’s unique, and therefore, alone. She’s on a constant quest to be a “good girl,” whatever that really means. Despite living with a few other robotic companions, she’s still isolated and reaches out to others in her own awkward way.

Missed other #WW? Find them here:
Webcomic Wednesday Hourly Comic Special: Emily Carroll, Dani Jones, Jess Fink
Webcomic Wednesday 24: Wondermark, Stuff No One Told Me, A Softer World
Webcomic Wednesday 23: One Swoop Fell, Savage Chickens, Sinfest
Webcomic Wednesday #22: Housepets!, Gronk, Copper
Webcomic Wednesday #21: Lesbian Pirates, Bug Comic, Dicebox
Check out the Archives for more comics!

Webcomic Wednesday: Top 100 Comic Blogs to Follow in 2013

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A special Webcomic Wednesday for today! I was recently contacted by Mr. David Soto, creator of the following list, and asked if I’d like to be included in an infographic showcasing the top 100 comic blogs to follow in 2013. Of course I said, “Yes!” I love that Snailbird is known as a place for comic-fans to come and hang out and enjoy the many webcomics and illustrators that I feature. So instead of just three webcomics for you like normal, I’m posting this so you get 100 great comic blogs and resources for your reader.

Plus – a ton of my favorite sites are showcased in this extra long infographic. CBR, Major Spoilers, Lackadaisy Cats, all make appearances. And quite a few that I’ve never head of but am now a fan of. I’ll stop giving it away now – go look at for yourself!

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Webcomic Wednesday: The Hourly Comic Day Special!

Webcomic Wednesday is back folks! And today we have a special feature – today I am showing off some of the comic artists that took part in Hourly Comic Day on February 1st. While I was at work and couldn’t participate myself, I still enjoyed watching what other artists came up with, and I’m sure you will to!

Emily Carroll

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Hourly Comic: Em Carroll Blog
Website: www
Twitter: @emilyterrible

Dani Jones

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Hourly Comic: Dani Draws
Website: www
Twitter: @danidraws

Jess Fink

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Hourly Comic: finkenstein
Website: www
Twitter: @jessfink

Enjoy!