Two years ago I decided to make the jump from comics to animation. I’ve been drawing comics for over a decade and wanted to take a stab at creating an animated TV series or film. I eventually found myself at Illumination, the creators of Despicable Me, Minions, Sing
, and The Secret Life of Pets. They were fans of The Oatmeal, and I was a fan of Illumination, so it was a happy union. I’ve been working with them as creative consultant for the past 18 months on a few of their features.
I started by doing punchup comedy on The Secret life of Pets 2, creating jokes about cats, dogs, and farm animals. Some of these jokes were written in script pages, others were drawn as storyboards. Throughout this process I’ve learned a ton about screenwriting, filmmaking, and storyboarding. I even taught myself how to make animatics — animatics are lo-fi cartoons used to prototype a scene, like an animated storyboard.
I included one of my sample storyboards below, along with the full-CG rendered scene. Working on a movie like this means collaborating with dozens (if not hundreds) of other people, so the process means a lot of tweaks and adjustments to make a scene work. I originally drew this scene with Max, but in working with the filmmakers, it was decided it worked better for the scene with Duke. The final version can be seen in the Rooster Trailer, which I’ve linked to below.
You can watch the final, CG-rendered version of the cow scene here:
If you have a chance, go see the movie. It’s the first film I’ve ever been involved in and I’m proud of my contributions. It’s also got a ton of funny cat jokes which, if you’re reading The Oatmeal, I’m guessing you’re into that kind of thing.
My big announcement.
This brings us to the meat and potatoes of this post:
I am happy to announce that I am in development on my own animated feature for Illumination.
In short: I got a movie deal.
The good news: I’m making a movie and it’s going to be very funny.
The bad news: these things take years to make and it is an all-consuming task. This means I will no longer be working on The Oatmeal full time.
I am not going to disappear, but I’m going to be publishing fewer comics. If you see a new comic from me, think of it as a delightful blessing — like finding an old M&M in your couch. This is partially why I published my new book. I figured I’d be gone for awhile, so I might as well leave you with a collection of new comics to read.
I started The Oatmeal ten years ago, almost to the day, and I never thought it would bring me here.
To everyone who supported me all these years: thank you.
I’m excited for what happens next.
P.S. I’m dying to tell you what the movie is about, but it’s top secret for now.