Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cartoon Review - Interview with Jay Stephens

Hello and welcome to Cartoon Review! Instead of doing that late Cartoon Review of Phineas and Ferb, I decided to do an interview with Jay Stephens. Jay, if you didn't know, is a cryptozoology freak who is the creator of the upcoming Cartoon Network show "The Secret Saturdays" (which I think will be one of the best action shows ever, maybe even better than Avatar). It's a rather short interview, which just answers a few short questions. So without adu, here's the interview!

Me : Where did you grow up, and did your childhood have any affect on your work?
Jay: I grew up in a traditional North American 'broken home' where I was abandoned for hours-- even days-- at a time in front of a TV or with a stack of comic books. I found the love and nurturing I needed in junk culture, and it definitely sent me on this screwy 'career' path. I had to hone my imagination while dreaming up a happy childhood.

Me: How did the idea for your other animated series, Tutenstein, come about?
Jay: When I was 7 I saw a touring exhibit of 'The Treasures Of Tutankhamen' at the Art Gallery Of Ontario, and it blew my mind. Much later, I thought the idea of cross breeding a living mummy with Frankenstein's Monster would be wicked cool.

Me: Before Tutenstein and The Secret Saturdays, I hear you worked in comics. What was some of your work in that and how did you end up in animation?
Jay: I worked in comics (and continue to) for 15 years before coming to animation. You could do some homework on that stuff at my website:
Basically, an executive saw my comics and thought they might make good TV. First Jetcat for Nick, then Tut, and the rest is history.

Me: How was it, working on The Secret Saturdays? And if the channel lets you, would you work on a third season?
Jay: We don't have a second season yet, so I'm not sure of what you mean (the first season order was for 26 episodes). CN has been my best experience in animation to date, by a wide margin. I would be delighted to continue the relationship.

Me: How did the Saturdays end up with Cartoon Network?
Jay: They were the only network we shopped it to with the vision to see it through. As luck would have it, the success of Ben 10 had executives hungry for more action stuff. I've been trying to get in that door for years, so it came as a kind of anti-climactic shock to suddenly be doing business with the best animated network out there.

Me: How did you end up being so interested in monsters and cryptids?
Jay: I've been told I have a sick mind. Monsters creep into my thoughts pretty naturally, I guess! When I was in grade school, I was voracious in my private reading habits, sneaking off to the Library across the street from my house as often as possible. It was there that I first discovered the secret science of cryptozoology, and I used evidence for the existence of Bigfoot as my grade 4 Public Speaking project. I won first prize. Cryptids have been good to me ever since.

Me: What do you do in your spare time?
Jay: Get well in a Mental Hospital. For real.

Me: Are there any significant people that influence your work?
Jay: Far too many to list here, and it's an ever expanding list. I can tell you that I was looking to Alex Toth, Doug Wildey, Warren TuftsMilt Caniff, Roy Crane, Harvey Kurtzman, Daniel Torres, Jack Kirby, and Hergé as inspiration for the Secret Saturdays.

Me: Are there any secrets you can reveal about upcoming episodes?
Jay: If I told you, I'd have to sick my chupacabras on you.

Jay Stephens' "The Secret Saturdays" is set to premiere in October on Cartoon Network's new fantasy/adventure/action block along with Star Wars: The Clone Wars.


QBComics said...

Cool! October can't come sooner

Jay said...

Wrong Daniel Torres in the link... try Daniel Torres (comics) on Wikipedia instead...

Racattack Force said...

Oops. Probably should have checked out the site before linking it. Fixed it.

MasterK said...

how do you get all these interviews and how do you execute them? As for your prediction on the quality of The Secret Saturdays, is this based on previews you've seen or have you seen a pilot or something?

Racattack Force said...

I just email them all the questions, asking for an interview. Jay was nice enough to be one of the few that replied. As for the quality of TSS, I just took one look at the commercial footage, and I knew I would love it.

Nick(lemonhead75) said...

Holy heck! Another interview!

Btw...Toonzone banned you again? WTF? I just found out TODAY you had another account.

Racattack Force said...

They banned my new account and reversed the ban on my old account. So I'm once again The Tednut!

MasterK said...

I saw one of the promos today while watching Flapjack. The animation looks really good, I wasn't able to tell too much about the characters though. Flapjack's gotten really good. I laughed so hard during "How the West Was Fun" Now I'm really not sure, Flapjack or Chowder. I'm actually starting to lean towards flapjack.

Chykin said...

OMG, Jay is actually in a mental hospital?! That childhood of his must have been pretty rough...

Skippy said...


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