Holiday drawing by John K
Holiday drawing from John K's highly informative blog, published on 7 December 2015

John Kricfalusi, also known as John K, is a Canadian animator, writer and producer, best known for creating 'The Ren & Stimpy Show'. He grew up developing a fascination for Golden Age cartoons by Max Fleischer and Warner Bros legends like Tex Avery, Chuck Jones and especially Bob Clampett, who would become one his biggest influences. He has also defended less artistically lauded animators, such as Ub Iwerks, Bob McKimson, Walter Lantz, Paul Terry and the early Hanna-Barbera cartoons for their skill in making fun and "cartoony" pictures. In the field of comics Kricfalusi is inspired by Mad Magazine (particularly Harvey Kurtzman, Basil Wolverton, Paul Coker, Mort Drucker and Don Martin), Milt Gross, Jack Kirby, Walt KellyJohnny Hart, Brant Parker, Bud Blake, Charles M. Schulz and E.C. Segar.

In the 1970s, he moved to Los Angeles to become an animator, and spent his first years in the industry working for companies like Filmation, Hanna-Barbera and DIC Entertainment. He also ventured in more independent cartooning after teaming up with Ralph Bakshi in 1981. With Bakshi, he worked on the cancelled film 'Bobby's Girl', a Rolling Stones music video and the CBS series 'Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures' (1987-1988), starring the classic Terrytoons cartoon character.

Weirdo comic page
Comic page drawn anonymously by Kricfalusi during his Hanna-Barbera days, and published in Weirdo #9

In 1988, Kricfalusi worked for DIC as a director on 'The New Adventures of Beany and Cecil', a revival of a 1960s series created by Bob Clampett. The show was cut short, but did leave K with a team of animators that he would work with on many of his later projects. He formed the Spümcø animation studio with his partners Jim Smith, Bob Camp and Lynne Naylor, with whom he developed the hilarious 'Ren & Stimpy Show', one of the three original Nickelodeon cartoon series in 1991. The show stood out for its originality, absurd and surrealist humor and slapstick.

Ren & Stimpy
Ren & Stimpy

Spümcø ended its collaboration with Nickelodeon in September 1992, and Kricfalusi went on to direct and produce animated TV commercials, and music videos for artists like Björk and Tenacious D. He also pioneered in the development of cartoons made direct for the internet with 'The Goddamn George Liquor Program' (1997) and 'Weekend Pussy Hunt' (1999). Between 1998 and 2001 he worked on several Hanna-Barbera cartoons for Cartoon Network, and his creation 'The Ripping Friends: The World's Most Manly Men!' premiered on Fox Kids in September 2001.

Spumco comic bookSpumco comic book

In addition, John K and his team published four comic books under the title 'Spümcø Comic Book' with Marvel and Dark Horse between 1995 and 1997. The comics showcased the same zany humor as the original 'Ren & Stimpy' shows. Artists and writers involved were Jim Smith, Vincent Waller, Mike Fontanelli, Shane Glines, Rich Pursel and Kricfalusi himself. A hardcover collection edited by Craig Yoe was released in 2013 by IDW. Not present in the book was Bill Wray, one of Kricfalusi's main animators on 'Ren & Stimpy', who later did become a succesful cartoonist in his own right.

Remote Control Jimmy
Remote Control Jimmy, with art credited by Mike Fontanelli and John K (Spumco Comic Book)

johnkstuff.blogspot.com

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