Mike Rosenthal

Animation Magazine - - Tv -


(Car­toon Han­gover) The new Car­toon Han­gover se­ries Slug Riot is about a gui­tarist “reek­ing of fail­ure and sewage who re­turns to his hometown full of fans who want him dead to save his sis­ter from fol­low­ing in his moldy foot­steps.” Mike Rosenthal, the bril­liant 27-year old who came up with that awe­some con­cept, says he knew he wanted to get into an­i­ma­tion in mid­dle school. “In math class, I fig­ured out my TI-83 cal­cu­la­tor lets you draw on graphs, so I’d save graph draw­ings and make a pro­gram that dis­played cer­tain graphs to do lit­tle an­i­ma­tions,” he re­calls. “And I still got an A in that class. I’m very good at al­ge­bra!”

The Bucks County, Penn­syl­va­nia na­tive also spent a lot of time watch­ing Nick shows and on­line toons such as Homes­tar Run­ner and Weebl & Bob. “Early Adult Swim was also re­ally big for me,” Rosenthal ad­mits. “Ba­si­cally, any­thing that was weird and beau­ti­ful and made me feel like be­ing weird and beau­ti­ful was im­por­tant. Now that I’m a so­phis­ti­cated adult, I just watch Frasier.”

Rosenthal wrote and drew comics for his col­lege news­pa­per, and he turned one of those strips into a short for Fred­er­a­tor’s Car­toon Han­gover back in 2013. He says, “That was my first big break, and I pitched the short in a cold email. Turns out you don’t nec­es­sar­ily need to know any­one or any­thing to get some­thing made!”

Slug Riot is ac­tu­ally based on some of Rosenthal’s own ex­pe­ri­ences of be­ing in a short-lived punk band as a teen. “We couldn’t even get into the school tal­ent show be­cause we were so bad,” he re­mem­bers. “The show is also about my hometown and my fam­ily, in an ab­stract way — ex­cept all the cov­ered bridges stuff. Bucks County is fa­mous for old cov­ered bridges and noth­ing else.”

What does he love about work­ing in an­i­ma­tion? “There was a mo­ment dur­ing the char­ac­ter de­sign stage of Slug Riot where we had to dis­cuss what a char­ac­ter’s butt looks like,” he says. “It was Very Dead­ward’s butt, which peeps out of his pants. Some­one paid me to cri­tique a butt. It’s in the bud­get some­where. ’On this day, for sev­eral min­utes, Mike will be paid X amount of the bud­get to cri­tique a butt!’” along with a dis­trust of hoovers!”

And what are Askin’s glo­ri­ous words of wis­dom for as­pir­ing an­i­ma­tors? “Get in­spired, travel, talk to interesting peo­ple, do new stuff, cre­ate and go to the mar­kets,” she of­fers. “Cre­ate the stuff that brings you joy and makes you happy. If it’s au­then­tic and true, it will con­nect with some­one else — hope­fully, a com­mis­sion­ing ed­i­tor!”

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