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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Q&A with Matthew Reinhart

World-renowned, New York Times best-selling author and artist Matthew Reinhart studied industrial design at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn before finding his calling as a paper engineer. His books include the best-selling Encyclopedia Prehistorica: Dinosaurs, Star Wars: Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy, The Pop-Up Book of Nursery Rhymes, and DC Comics Super Heroes: The Ultimate Pop-Up Book, among many other award-winning titles. He lives in New York City.

We asked him questions about his extremely impressive career, his latest book Game of Thrones: A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros, and what’s on the horizon:

1. What was your first pop-up creation, and what gave you the idea?

Pop-ups weren’t really a big part of my childhood, unfortunately – my little sister tore apart the only one I had, which was appropriately about dinosaurs, within 24 hours of receiving it!  That said, back then I was always building and constructing things out of paper and cardboard, whether I realized they were pop-ups or not.  Back before digital music media and even CDs, we used to make mixtapes of pop music (prophetic, huh?) and I always included a miniature comic to go with each cassette.  There was one person I was smitten with back then who inspired me enough to make a sort of pop-up comic scene for the mixtape package…amazing what puppy love will do, eh? I don’t know why I decided to make it, probably just wanted to enhance the scene a little.  That little pop-up scene, the first pop-up I constructed, is thankfully back in my possession.

2. Was there a moment when you realized that you could make a living out of pop-up design?

Yes.  After apprenticing with acclaimed pop-up book master and children’s book illustrator Robert Sabuda for a few years, I started to get the knack for paper engineering.  With his encouragement and patient guidance, I was able to see a path toward a real career in movable books.

3. Did you have a mentor or artists that inspired you?

I’ve taken inspiration from countless artists, from ancient times to current young artists just coming out of art school (seriously)—there’s too many to name, really, but I’ll try.

Paper Engineering inspirations: Vostech Kubasta, David Carter, Marion Bataille, and one of my former interns, Giovanni Iofrate.
Illustration inspirations: Peter Spier, Eric Carle, Maurice Sendak, Will H. Bradley, Charley Harper, Raiph McQuarrie...too many to mention!
Art movement inspirations: Art Deco, Grafitti – Urban Street Art, Photorealism, Impressionism, Superflat, Comic Book art (from the beginning to now), advertising artwork/graphics... even ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Babylonian!

4. We hear talk about the decline of print books due to the popularity of ebooks, but nothing digital could ever compare to what you create.  Was that a consideration when you first got started?

Not at all!  I was not that forward thinking in the least (kinda in my own world sometimes)—I just wanted to make cool movable books for readers of all ages.  Back then, it seemed to me the opinion was that print books would keep growing, ebooks weren’t a threat, Barnes & Noble would continue to keep opening stores and Borders Books would be around forever… but things changed.  Books went in a slightly different direction, and it taught me that an artist needs to continue evolving.  Pop-up books and paper engineering will always be a part of the work I do in some way, even though I have already started to broaden the types of books/stories/artwork/media I create in the future.  Ooooh, mysterious—huh?

5. Obviously, your new book is not designed for kids, but you’ve done a ton of children’s pop-up books in the past. What was the most fun to work on?

OK, I’m going to answer in a really corny way, but it’s totally true: Every book is fun for me in some way.  Admittedly, some are more fun overall than others.  Being a huge Transformers and Star Wars fan, both projects were pure love and joy, but also a huge amount of stress as well—everything had to be beyond perfect.  Seriously, though, I have fun with just about every book I create.  Making pop-ups is really fun, I’m not gonna lie!   I sometimes joke about my job being a prolonged ‘Arts & Crafts’ project, and at times I’m not far off.

6. Have you ever given pop-up tutorials? What’s a project you’d recommend for the novice pop-up artist?

Occasionally, I give tutorials if I’ve the time in my busy schedule.  School visits are the most enjoyable to me—kids’ art inspires me most.  Their imaginations are unencumbered by logic, and cynicism.

As for novice pop-up creators, there’s a bunch of simple Do-It-Yourself pop-ups on my website, www.matthewreinhart.com, to download, printout and build—complete with instructions.

7. Were there any creative challenges unique to the Game of Thrones pop-up that you hadn’t faced before?

Certainly, yes!  The unfolding book/map concept was once of the most difficult challenges I’ve ever met. When I came up with the idea, I thought it would be appropriately awesome and so unique, but had NO idea if it would actually work.  After many constructed concept models (most of which were tossed in the trash), I found a way to make it work, and our expert manufacturer, my friends at Sirivatana in Thailand, made the book’s mass production a reality.

8. How long did it take to construct?

The book took about four months to engineer from the beginning concept to final, although there was some lag time waiting to incorporate the incredible artwork of the uber-talented illustrator Michael Komarck.

9. Do you have a favorite pop in this book?

The pop-up for Winterfell I like quite a bit because it’s so intricate.  I also love the Wall pop-up, because it becomes so large and impressive.  The book/map transformation, though, remains my favorite paper engineering for this magnificent project.

10. I’m guessing you’re a fan of Game of Thrones—what’s your favorite house? Character?

Totally House Targaryen all the way.  Daenerys rules (at least I want her to), and I find her development and journeys the most interesting.  I’ve also been a fan of Tyrion Lannister from the very beginning!  My other favorites—mostly lesser characters with complicated pasts—are Brienne of Tarth,  Davos Seaworth and Sandor Clegane a.k.a. ‘The Hound’.  They all go through such wonderful and surprising transformations of character, something those of us in the mundane world hope for ourselves (at least I do).

11. What does your workspace look like?

A mess!  Well, not entirely—I rent the far corner of a bustling multi-purpose workspace with an architecture practice and textile design studio.  It gets a little loud sometimes, but I enjoy the creative energy around me and the big windows with 15-foot ceilings.  What’s not to love?  No crazy artist hours for me—I  work normal workday hours typically (9am – 6pm) , except before deadlines when I am at work all hours!

12. What are you working on now? Book-related or otherwise. 

Wow—there’s a lot happening right now!  Just finished up a pop-up book about (drumroll please…)—My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic!  Yes, I know what you’re thinking, very different from Game Of Thrones, but I am a big fan (as are my sister Erin and niece Lillian, who would’ve been very cross if I didn’t do it) of the new cartoon from The Hub Network.  MLP has an unreal cult following (ever heard of Bronies?), and I understand why—it’s really well written, the characters are fantastic, and it has real heart.  Also prepping a series of fun movable non-fiction books, about creatures, history and science—which takes me back to my roots in publishing.  Lastly, there are some secret (possibly pop-up) projects in the future that I cannot yet reveal… more mystery!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Q&A with Sideshow Collectibles CEO Greg Anzalone

2014 marks the 20th anniversary of Sideshow Collectibles, the world-renowned specialty manufacturer and distributor of the most highly sought-after licensed and original collectible figures and statues from recognized properties including Star Wars, Marvel, DC Comics, Alien & Predator, Terminator, The Lord of the Rings, G.I. Joe and many more.

Since 1994, Sideshow’s team of artisans—including renowned sculptors, experienced model makers, painters, and costumers—have combined efforts resulting in the creation of outstanding original designs and intricately detailed likenesses of pop culture, including film and television monsters, villains, heroes, mystical creatures of fantasy, and legendary figures from history. A deluxe gallery of Sideshow’s best work from its beginning to present day, Capturing Archetypes: Twenty Years of Sideshow Collectibles Art showcases the stunning creations they’ve produced over the past two decades in one breathtaking collection.

We asked their CEO and President, Greg Anzalone, about Sideshow’s journey thus far, and what’s on the horizon for them.

1. What inspired you to start the company back in 1994?

I was inspired by the amazing talent that I saw, a sort of raw ability from sculptors and fabricators to fashion characters and creatures like I’d not seen before. I wanted to work with them and help bridge the gap between their talent and a commercial enterprise.

2. What kind of products did Sideshow start out creating 20 years ago? How has the company transformed since then?  

Our original vision was to be mass market, to create plastic figures that would be carried by the larger toy retailers such as Toys “R” Us and Walmart. After succeeding with that initiative I realized it was a dead end for our true calling, which was more or less the polar opposite: low run, limited edition figures produced for the discriminating buyer.

3. Sideshow is known for its direct-to-customer communication—you sell products from your website and frequently interact with fans and collectors. When did the company start adopting this business model and how has it helped your brand over the years?

While we service hundreds of retail store accounts, we are unabashed enthusiasts of the direct sales model. We think of ourselves as the best spokespeople for the products that we make and relish the responsibility to connect with our consumers around the world.

4. How do you find and recruit the creative talent behind your collectible products?

For the most part, the cream of the figure talent pool rises to the top. Artists know artists and there’s a shared respect for the work that’s being done around the globe. Many of the folks that currently work for us were referrals from friends in the industry, with a large pool of talent emerging from the film industry.

5. What’s your best-selling brand or product?

The legion of Star Wars fans around the world is quite well known. They are rabid, passionate advocates for the type of work that we do and highly supportive of the company. Within that Star Wars universe, it’s logical to see how Darth Vader has become the most successful character we’ve ever produced.

6. When did Sideshow start collaborating with filmmakers and special effect houses like Guillermo del Toro and Legacy Effects, and how closely do you work together?  

Our intention was always to work closely to the source material, or with ingenious talent that were creating film content. That attitude has led us to numerous collaborations with filmmakers, writers, and illustrators.

7. Why publish Capturing Archetypes now? What was your ultimate goal with the book?

We’re proud of what we’ve created over the years—in most cases, the best 3D representation of a character for the collectible market. While typically humble in our approach, after 20 years we felt both the need and the right to showcase some of the work we’ve done for folks that may not know of us or who may not have seen the breadth of our work.

8. Will you be unveiling anything new and exciting at Comic-Con: San Diego this year?

Absolutely. Comic Con is always an opportunity for us to present many new things, including original characters and content, which have been borne from the creative genius that makes up the nucleus of Sideshow.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Q&A with Author Rob Auten

Rob Auten is a video game writer who cowrote Gears of War: Judgment with Tom Bissell and who contributed creatively to numerous games including James Cameron's Avatar: The Video Game, Far Cry, and Aliens vs. Predator. He lives in New York City.

His new book, Gears of War™: Judgment: Kilo Squad: The Survivor’s Log, was published on March 4, 2014. We asked him questions about his career thus far, his new book, and what he’s working on now:

1. How long have you been in the video game industry?

I got started working in game animation and cinematics after several years of being an editor for music videos and commercials. The first game I worked on was Rainbow Six: 3 for the original Xbox which was released in 2003.

2. When and how did you start working with Epic Games and Tom Bissell on Gears of War: Judgment?

Tom and I had been friends for a while and had a few other projects in the hopper, most of which still have yet to see the light of day. He was asked by Epic to write a short book about the development of Gears of War 3, during which time he heard that Epic was starting to talk to some writers about the next installment. Tom asked if we could write a pitch and we ended up getting the job.

3. What excited you about the franchise?

Gears of War was the game that defined my 360. I remember all too clearly that I was away from home and without a console on the day the game was released. When I finally got back, it was just as great as I had expected. When I sat down with one of my best friends to play the campaign in co-op, it even further exceeded my expectations.

4. How does your new book help further immerse players in the game?

The book isn’t going to be a very easy read unless you know the Gears universe. That probably goes without saying. But for those who do care, the book tries to help fans better understand the mentality of Seran citizens around the time when giant monsters started pouring out of holes in the ground. There’s also plenty of detail about Baird and Cole prior to their joining Marcus Fenix and Dom in Delta Squad.

5. What has been your favorite property to work on so far (you don’t have to say Gears of War!)?

I’ve been lucky enough to work on a few of my favorite properties. I still wish the world had been given a chance to play the Aliens RPG that was in development at Obsidian a few years back. The most eye-opening project (and one in which I only played a very small role) was Avatar. I was fortunate enough to be around the filming process and seemingly every week a new technological challenge was being surmounted. I’ve never seen technologists race so fiercely to fill a vision. It was remarkable.

6. What’s on the horizon for you? 

The life of a games writer is filled with nondisclosure agreements and I think my inability to talk about virtually anything I’m doing has made me even more of a bore to be around. Right now, I’m most looking forward to watching my girlfriend finish her doctoral thesis. That is no secret.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Exclusive Pre-Order Discount for Game of Thrones Pop-Up

We're thrilled to announce our Game of Thrones: A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros, available March 25th! Check it out:

Pre-order your copy of Game of Thrones: A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros and receive $25 off and a free house journal of your choice! See below for details.

Visit www.insighteditions.com and add both the Game of Thrones: A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros and the House Journal of your choice to your cart. Upon checkout, simply enter your house's promo code:

For House Lannister fans: GOTPOPLA
For House Stark fans: GOTPOPST
For House Baratheon fans: GOTPOPBA
For House Targaryen fans: GOTPOPTA

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Q&A with Author Christie Golden

Award-winning and seven-time New York Times best-selling author Christie Golden has written over forty novels and several short stories in the fields of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Among her many projects are over a dozen Star Trek novels, nearly a dozen Blizzard World of Warcraft and StarCraft novels, and three books in the nine-book Star Wars series, Fate of the Jedi, which she co-wrote with authors Aaron Allston and Troy Denning. Her latest book, Assassin’s Creed® IV Black Flag™: Blackbeard: The Lost Journal, hits shelves on March 4, 2014.

We asked Golden questions about her incredibly impressive career thus far, her new Assassin’s Creed® book, and what she sees on the horizon:

1. You launched the TSR Ravenloft line with your first novel, Vampire of the Mists, in 1991. What inspired you to start writing fantasy? How did you break into the publishing world?

I’d been creating stories ever since I was old enough to hold a crayon and started my first serious attempt at writing a fantasy novel in high school. In my mid-twenties, I had been on the editing staff of magazines and gotten on the open audition mailing list of TSR, who gave the world Dungeons & Dragons. I gave it a shot at one point and was not successful. The next chance I got, I tried again—and I was chosen! I’d submitted an outline and a first chapter based on a rough idea they had presented, and next thing I knew, I had to write my first book . . . in three months! Baptism by fire, for sure! 

2. What has been your favorite series or property to work on?

Oh my, oh my, that’s like asking which of my children I love best! I’ve been so fortunate in that I’ve worked in so many different worlds. Each one has had something wonderful to teach me and has been a valuable experience. How about I say why I love a few in particular? I love Ravenloft, because I got to create Jander Sunstar—perhaps my best-loved character by readers. I love Star Trek, because it was the first science fiction show I ever watched when I was a child. I love Star Wars, because it took me by the heart when I was thirteen and didn’t let go. I love Invasion: America, because it gave me the chance to work with Harve Bennett, who paid me the ultimate compliment when he said on a phone call, “You know what you’re doing.” I love all of Blizzard’s properties, because I’ve been with them so long and the blending between game and novel is so fluid, and they’re super to work with. I love Assassin’s Creed® IV Black Flag™ because Ubisoft really does their homework on history, and well—who wouldn’t be thrilled to write Blackbeard’s Journal? As for my favorite world to write in . . . I have to say, my own!

3. Where can fans expect to meet you next? Any book signings or appearances in the future?

I am a fixture at Colorado’s StarFest, where I will be selling and signing books on May 2–4 at the Marriott in the Denver Tech Center. I’m hoping to be a guest at Wyrd Con, May 22–26, at the Westin LAX. We’re still waiting on the results of a Kickstarter before I can confirm I’ll be attending. I am also a regular at BlizzCon, but I have no details to share as to when—if it’s happening, which I hope it is!—it will be this year. 

You can follow me on Twitter @ChristieGolden, on Facebook, and at my website at www.christiegolden.com. (I am going to try to be better at keeping it updated!) I hope to do more signings this year with two exciting projects out, and my Twitter is where I’ll be posting the latest info.

4. Do you have any advice for gamers who want to write?

It’s nearly impossible to break into any sort of media fiction if you don’t already have publishing credits. That’s because it’s very deadline driven, and the companies and publishers want someone who has already demonstrated they can handle that sort of thing. What you can do to start getting that “track record” is look into getting your own original fiction out there in reputable markets. A great resource is www.writerbeware.org

5. What’s next for you?

My next immediate project is doing a novel for Cryptozoic’s forthcoming HEX MMO trading card game. It’s exciting to be helping create so much of this world, as it is all so new. Then I’m doing another project for Blizzard, and in my copious spare time, I am working on seeing if I can’t get some original works published as well. I’m certainly busy, and I couldn’t be happier about that!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Insight Editions, Legendary Pictures, Toho Co., Ltd., and Warner Bros. Announce Godzilla Partnership

Insight Editions, Legendary Pictures, Toho Co., Ltd., and Warner Bros. Consumer Products have announced a collaboration that will take audiences behind the scenes of Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla, the epic rebirth of one of the world’s most revered monster, set to release in May 2014.

Godzilla, one of the most recognizable characters in history who has become an icon of Japanese cinema since his debut in 1954, will once again take center stage in the new film by acclaimed filmmaker Gareth Edwards (Monsters). Edwards directs from a screenplay by Max Borenstein and story by David Callaham and Max Borenstein, based on the character “Godzilla,” owned and created by TOHO CO., LTD. Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni are producing with Mary Parent and Brian Rogers. Patricia Whitcher and Alex Garcia are serving as executive producers, alongside Yoshimitsu Banno and Kenji Okuhira.

Leading up to the release of the film starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Elizabeth Olsen (Silent House), David Strathairn (Lincoln), Ken Watanabe (Inception), Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine) and Juliette Binoche (The English Patient), Insight Editions will partner with the three major film companies to bring readers Godzilla: The Art of Destruction by Mark Cotta Vaz. The book is a visually stunning volume that delves into the making of the new Godzilla film, showcases its incredible production art, and includes interviews with its director, key crew members, and cast. Insight Editions, known for their innovative, cutting-edge books Man of Steel: Inside the Legendary World of Superman and Pacific Rim: Man, Machines & Monsters, will once again bring their expertise to this definitive book on one of the most anticipated films of 2014.

About Godzilla:
Toho Co., Ltd.’s Godzilla franchise contains one of the most widely recognized movie monsters worldwide, including more than 25 films, multiple television programs, video games and book series.  Gareth Edwards directs “Godzilla” from a screenplay by Max Borenstein, story by David Callaham and Max Borenstein, based on the character “Godzilla” owned and created by TOHO CO., LTD.  Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni are producing with Mary Parent and Brian Rogers.  Patricia Whitcher and Alex Garcia are serving as executive producers, alongside Yoshimitsu Banno and Kenji Okuhira.  Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures present a Legendary Pictures production, a Gareth Edwards film, Godzilla.  Slated to open beginning May 16, 2014, the film is expected to be presented in 3D, 2D and IMAX® in select theatres and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, except in Japan, where it will be distributed by Toho Co., Ltd.  Legendary Pictures is a division of Legendary Entertainment.

About Insight Editions:
Insight Editions is a publisher focused on creating superlative illustrated books on photography, music, and popular culture. Lavishly produced and visually stimulating, every volume from Insight is dedicated to the skillful interplay of word and image. The books produced are unique works that combine the highest quality print production values with time-honored traditions of publishing and rich subject matter. Elegant and informative, books from Insight showcase the best of art and photography in exquisite presentations of the bookmaker’s craft. For more information, visit www.insighteditions.com.

About Legendary Pictures:
Legendary Entertainment is a leading media company with film, television, and comics divisions dedicated to owning, producing, and delivering content to mainstream audiences with a targeted focus on the powerful fandom demographic. Through complete or joint ownership, Legendary has built a library of marquee media properties and has established itself as a trusted brand that consistently delivers high-quality, commercial entertainment, including some of the world’s most popular intellectual property. In aggregate, Legendary Pictures-associated productions have realized grosses of more than $7.2 billion worldwide at the box office. Most recently Legendary has released Pacific Rim, directed by Guillermo del Toro, and Man of Steel, with partner Warner Bros., and will next release 300: Rise of an Empire.

About Toho Company, Ltd.:
Toho Co., Ltd., engages in the production, distribution, and exhibition of movies. It is also involved in the production and sale of videograms, TV programs, and commercial films; production, presentation, and sale of theatrical works; and talent agency business. Toho Co., Ltd., was founded in 1932 and is based in Tokyo, Japan. The company’s most-famous creation, Godzilla, was created by Tomoyuki Tanaka.

About Warner Bros. Consumer Products:
Warner Bros. Consumer Products, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.

GODZILLA is a trademark of Toho Co., Ltd. The GODZILLA character and design are trademarks of and copyrighted by Toho Co., Ltd.  Used with permission. All Rights Reserved.  © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s14)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Five Questions for Animation Expert Jerry Beck

[[Photo caption:]] From left to right: writer Jerry Beck, Peabody voice actor Ty Burrell, 
director Rob Minkoff, and executive producer Tiffany Ward 

Jerry Beck is a world-renowned animation historian and cartoon producer. He writes about classic cartoon characters on Cartoon Research and blogs about the current industry over at Animation Scoop. His fifteen books on the subject include The Animated Movie Guide, Looney Tunes: The Ultimate Visual Guide, The SpongeBob SquarePants Experience: A Deep Dive into the World of Bikini Bottom, and The 50 Greatest Cartoons. His forthcoming book, The Art of Mr. Peabody & Sherman, is available February 18th in anticipation of the film Mr. Peabody & Sherman, out March 7th. A former studio executive with Nickelodeon and Disney, Beck is currently a consulting producer to Warner Bros., Universal, and Disney for their classic animation DVD compilations and teaches at Woodbury University in Burbank, California.

We asked the bona fide cartoon expert some questions about his career and about working on The Art of Mr. Peabody & Sherman with DreamWorks Animation:

1. What was it like working with DreamWorks? 

This was my third time to go behind the scenes on a DreamWorks film (previously I’d chronicled the making of Madagascar and Jerry Seinfeld’s Bee Movie). The DreamWorks campuses—both in Glendale, California, and upstate at PDI in Redwood City—are incredible, state-of-the-art factories of creativity. Imagine the best artists, writers, directors, and producers, all under one roof, with all the materials needed to create spectacular 3-D animated movies. It’s not unlike the filmmaking factories of classic Hollywood in the 1930s and ’40s. You can’t help but have a smile on your face just walking through the halls. Oh, and the commissary food . . . superb! My role was to explain the characters, concepts, and techniques in the book, but the crew made me feel like part of the production team—part of a family that made an incredible family film. 

2. Mr. Peabody & Sherman is based on the beloved 1960s classic cartoon by Jay Ward. Are you a fan of the original animated television show? Does the new film stay true to it? Any major differences? 

I love the original Jay Ward cartoons—Peabody and Sherman in particular. I think I learned more about world history from those original cartoons than I did in elementary school. As a guy who has taken cartoons quite seriously all my life, I’m happy to report that the characters of Mr. Peabody and Sherman are perfectly brought up to date in this new film. The original cartoons—funny as they were—were only five minutes long, and crudely drawn and animated in Mexico. To make a ninety-minute 3-D, CGI, full-length movie, a real story was required—one with emotional beats and spectacular visuals. The finished film is a template on how to update a classic cartoon character—start with a producer, director, writers, and crew that truly love the source material. That comes through here from start to finish.

3. Jay Ward’s daughter, Tiffany Ward, is an executive producer on the film. How important do you think it is to have a family member involved in this kind of project, which uses concepts developed by a singular artist? 

On a project like this, when you plot to revive a classic cartoon character, if you can get the cooperation of the original creator—or someone as close to the creator as Tiffany Ward was to her father—grab them! Her participation was essential to keeping the original integrity of the characters together. It’s important to remember what made these characters fun in the first place. That core knowledge of the characters central appeal is a crucial starting point on adaptations like this. It’s what makes those recent Marvel Comics movies so successful—they understand their classic characters and know who their audience is. Tiffany provided that role on this film and she had learned a lot of “what to do”—and what not to do—in previous revivals of her father’s property. Everyone was glad she was there. 

4. What’s a project you’ve always wanted to work on, but haven’t had a chance to yet? 

One of my goals—which I’m happy to say I’ve achieved—was to write books on cartoon characters I love. The classic ones like Looney Tunes, SpongeBob SquarePants, The Pink Panther, The Flintstones—and now, Mr. Peabody & Sherman. I was incredibly excited by DreamWorks acquisition of Classic Media last year, and I think it opens an opportunity for more revivals of classic cartoons—like Casper, Underdog, Little Lulu, etc. I love them all and I’m crossing my fingers to be involved with new works involving those characters. They shouldn’t just become a distant childhood memory. They should be revived and enjoyed by generations to come. I hope I’ll be part of making that happen. 

5. What animated movie or show on the horizon are you most looking forward to?

There is so much good stuff coming up—and animation is part of all of it. Even in live-action spectaculars like Godzilla, Avatar, and The Hobbit. In animation, I’m curious to see how Disney adapts a Marvel Comics property like Big Hero 6, and likewise I’m anxious to see Genndy Tartakovsky’s take on Popeye. As a big fan of The Big Bang Theory, I’m looking forward to DreamWorks’ Home with Jim Parsons. While working on the Mr. Peabody book, I saw much art from that film on the walls, and it looks hilarious.