Flush Gordon (Crazy Magazine #75)

Bob Camp is an American animator, comics and TV writer and artist, best known for his work on John Kricfalusi's 'Ren & Stimpy' and Stephen Hillenburg's 'SpongeBob Squarepants'. Together with Kricfalusi and Bill Wray he was one of the "Big Three" creative brains behind the success of 'Ren & Stimpy'. While Camp is most known as an animator he was also active as an illustrator for Marvel Comics.

Early life and career / Crazy
Robert Camp grew up with a love for movies and cartoons. He is a huge fan of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Laurel & Hardy, Stanley Kubrick, Peter Sellers, Monty Python, Terry GilliamWalt Disney and MAD Magazine's Don Martin. Between 1981 and 1988 he was working as a comics artist for Marvel Comics. He started out making movie parodies for Crazy Magazine, Marvel's answer to the legendary humor magazine MAD. Together with writer Paul Kupperberg, he spoofed movies like 'Smokey and the Bandit II' ('Snookey and the Band Aid II' in #72, March 1981), 'Flash Gordon' ('Flush Gordon' in #75, June 1981), 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' ('Raiders of the Lost Argh' in #83, February 1982), 'Time Bandits' ('Time Boo-Boos' in #86, May 1982), 'Quest for Fire' ('Quest for 3rd Degree Burns' in #89, August 1982), 'Blade Runner' ('Blade Bummer' in #91, October 1982) and several others in the period 1981-1982. In 1985 he was co-penciller with Rod Whigham, Mark Bright and Larry Hama for issues #35 and #36 of 'G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero', the tie-in series to the popular 1980s TV series. Camp also pencilled issue #160 of Marvel's 'Conan the Barbarian' in 1984, and served as John Buscema's inker in six issues of this title in 1985. He also inked the second issue of the comic book adaptation of the 'Conan the Destroyer' film (1985), and was a cover artist for 'The 'Nam' (1988).


Conan the Barbarian #160

Early animation career
He began his animation career in 1985 working for Rankin/Bass as development artist on shows like 'ThunderCats', 'Silverhawks', 'TigerSharks', 'Mini Monsters', 'Karate Kat' and 'Street Frogs'. By 1986 he joined DiC, where he made designs for 'The Real Ghostbusters', based on the popular movie 'Ghostbusters' (1984). Like most animators at the time he resented working on bland, unimaginative TV cartoons which were only made to sell toys and other merchandising. In 1990 he moved to Warner Brothers Television where he finally had the chance to write funny and creative scripts for series like 'Tiny Toon Adventures' (1990-1993). But even 'Tiny Toons' played everything too safe for his taste.

John Kricfalusi
One of Camp's colleagues at the time was John Kricfalusi, who was also frustrated with the state of the animation industry. In 1988 Camp joined Kricfalusi in creating a reboot of Bob Clampett's classic animated series 'Beany and Cecil'. 'The New Adventures of Beany and Cecil' (1988) ran on ABC, but was cancelled after six episodes because executives tried to keep everything child-friendly while Kricfalusi wanted to take a more offensive route. Eventually even Clampett's relatives weren't too pleased with the end result, but kept supporting it. The best thing about the experience was that it left Kricfalusi with a team of animators he could work with on many of his next projects, among them Camp, Bill Wray, Gabe Swarr, Scott Wills, Vicky Jensen, Jim Gomez, Bruce Timm, Jim Smith and Lynne Taylor. The same year Kricfalusi, Camp, Jim Smith and Lynne Taylor co-founded their own independent animation company: Spümcø. It consisted of a whole team of animators who were fired from other animation studios or quit out of frustration. With a dedicated team at his support Kricfalusi could finally bring his vision to the screen in the best possible way. In 1991 the studio animated 'The Ren and Stimpy Show' (1991-1995) for Nickelodeon. Camp was one of the main writers and creative directors. He was involved with the majority of the episodes and even did a few additional voices like the drill sergeant in the episode 'In the Army' (1992), the dog catcher in 'Big House Blues' (1992) and Ewalt the cowboy in 'Out West' (1992).


Title card for a Ren & Stimpy episode. Camp designed most of the series' title cards

Other animation, TV and film work
Together with writer Jim Gomez he developed a new series for Nickelodeon named 'Kid Komet and Galaxy Gal', which nevertheless never aired. For Nickelodeon he is also involved with writing scripts for Stephen Hillenburg's 'SpongeBob Squarepants' since 1999. For Cartoon Network he drew storyboards for 'Cow and Chicken' (1997-1999), 'I Am Weasel' (1997-1999), 'The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy' (2003) and 'Mighty Magiswords' (2016). With Arthur Filloy he co-created and wrote 'Lucky Lydia' (2000), which aired on the Cartoon Network showcase series 'The Cartoon Cartoon Show'. It was a short about a little girl, whose curiosity often gets her into trouble. She however manages to avoid disaster through her good fortune. He was furthermore co-director and writer for 'Robotboy' (2006-2008). For Disney, he made storyboards for Sandro Corsaro's TV series 'Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil' (2010).

In terms of film work Camp wrote the storyboard for the live-action version of 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas!' (2000), based on Dr. Seuss' eponymous children's book but imitating much of its imagery from Chuck Jones classic 1965 TV special adaptation. At Warners he scripted the films 'Osmosis Jones' (2001), 'Cats & Dogs' (2001), 'Scooby-Doo' (2002) and 'Looney Tunes: Back in Action' (2003) . He also wrote the storylines of 'Robots' (2005) and 'Ice Age: The Meltdown' (2006).

Today Bob Camp is also active as an art teacher at the School of Visual Arts. Since February 2007 he hosts his own blog.


Cover piece for Family Weekly magazine (2008)

bobcampcartoonist.blogspot.com

Series and books by Bob Camp in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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