The ‘Robot Chicken’ Guys Have Their Sights Set on Another Kind of Poultry: Easter Eggs
What came first — the (robot) chicken or the egg? For the guys at Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, the creators of Robot Chicken, it was obviously the chicken, but now they’re finally looking into eggs, too. John Harvatine and Matthew Senreich are two of the co-owners of Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, and they’re currently Kickstarting a new project called The Von Dingles, an 88-page graphic novel that answers the question, “What happens to the Easter eggs that never get found?”
The answer, of course, is that they grow arms and legs and go on hilarious little adventures.
With just five days left in their campaign — which ends the morning of December 11th — Harvatine and Senreich joined us to talk a little bit about their egg-cellent new project.
Where did the idea for The Von Dingles come from?
Harvatine: We came up with The Von Dingles about a year or so ago. We were in between seasons of Crossing Swords and Robot Chicken. We had a bit of a break and had some artists we wanted to figure some things out with. We created this story with these eggs, with the basic idea being, “What happens to Easter eggs if you don’t find them?”
Where do they go? Well, naturally, they grow arms and legs and faces and run off into the woods and populate and do who knows what. It started as a short for Halloween and kind of snowballed from there.
Matthew Senreich: The next aspect was, “Okay, we like this world that’s getting built. Now, how do you build a story with it?” To take it out to a network or studio takes forever, so we wanted a way to do this where it was just our own. So we thought, “What about a comic book? What about building a fanbase for this with a Kickstarter?”
How did the story itself develop?
Harvatine: It started with the idea of, “If you were egging houses, what would the perspective of the egg be?” Not that I ever did that, of course. That’s what the animated short was about. Then, taking the holiday theme and thinking about Easter eggs, we thought about what an Easter egg’s perspective would be. Then, for some reason, it evolved into this world with a Smurf-type village where they elect officials and have all sorts of teenage drama. It was also fun to imagine it in our world, so everything is really low-angle and really big to them.
Where did the name come from?
Harvatine: I like the idea of something that sounds kind of fancy — “Von” sounds kind of fancy — with something dumb like “Dingle.” It’s fancy-dumb, and I like how it sounds.
Tell me about the artwork.
Harvatine: We worked with this team from Macroverse, which has all these great artists. We looked through different portfolios and found Patrick Williams, who does such amazing work. We were looking for a vibe that just felt right. I usually do stop-motion, and when doing stop-motion, there’s a lot of texture. Patrick’s stuff has a lot of texture, so it felt like a good translation from the stuff I typically do with stop-motion to a comic book translation.
Best of all, you’ve hit the Kickstarter initial goal already.
Senreich: Yeah, so we’re definitely going to make this thing, which is beyond exciting. This Kickstarter thing actually works; how about that?