Q. Is that you in the McDonalds commercials?

A. No. I was against Lazlo being used in McDonalds Happy Meals, but could only withdraw my own participation in the commercial. That is my character designer C Raggio.

Q. When is Rocko coming out on DVD?

A: I have heard nothing about Rocko DVD's. I have no news on that front. There are quite a few illegal Rocko DVD's on Ebay., that rip me off every time one is bought. But at least someone is trying to give Rocko fans what they want. Because Nickelodeon sure isn't doing it.

Q: Do you have any advice for someone who wants to do their own animated television show?

A. First,, examine why you want it. I've heard reasons ranging from Money, to Fame, to "being the boss to a lot of people". If it's not for love of animation, story and character, then you will grow tired of your job very quickly.

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Second,, Stay true to your vision. Examine every nook and cranny of it. Who are these characters? How do they live? What are the rules of the world? Then stay true to it. Defend it. If you can't defend it, it's not rooted in something you feel strongly about. You will be tested and asked to change things by networks and studios. If you feel the suggestions are valid to your vision, then do it. If not, then defend it. If you mold your idea to what ever you feel the network wants, it will be a mish mash of several visions, and I can tell you from several observations, it will die a quick death. Attract others to your vision, don't try to be all things to all people.

Third,, the realities of Corporate intervention will drive you nuts if you don't view it as playing successfully despite the challenging rules of the game. It's your art project,, including the corporation. Don't bend over and take it. If it's your art, then fight for it. Your art deserves it. Your the creator. Not a corporate Oompa Loompa.

Then,,,, have fun.

Q: Why don't you do more Rocko's?

A. Well, Nickelodeon owns Rocko, and we've never discussed it since I left in 1996. I think we both have many new adventures to explore without going back to revive something. But, I've learned to never say never.

 

 
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Q: Don't most creators of shows just come up with an idea and let everyone else do the work while he sits back and collects royalties?

A. Well, for me, that would take all of the fun out of it. But everyone is different. I'm an independent filmmaker, and a control freak, so I like to be involved in everything. I create the characters and every detail of the world they live in, down to the leaves on the trees. I direct the voices, and hand choose the dream team crew we have (and had). I also am very actively involved in budgeting and scheduling. To me, it all goes together. You can't get the best from your writing if you don't have great animation timing. And the timing isn't going to matter if you don't have the right color to see the animation. And if we don't have the money to do the proper post production on it, then all of that work has gone on for nothing. It all plays together. If I'm emotionally invested in the concept of the show, I'm either going to want to be involved in safeguarding the quality and the vision, or hand choose the people who will feel as passionately about it as you do. And that's hard to find.

Q: Did you do SpongeBob?

A. No. That was created by Steve Hillenburg, who worked for me on Rocko along with his Co-producer Derek Dryman. There may have also been some similarities because the Spongebob art director was Nick Jennings, who was also mine on Rocko (and worked with me at my studio up north.) Steve is one of the most amazing talents I have ever had the opportunity to work with.

Q: Can you draw me something?

A. It's hard to keep up with email requests for drawings. I'm going to try and set up something so that can be possible.