Artist: Angus Oblong
Importance: What happens when your TV show gets cancelled.
The Plug: Catch The Oblongs on Adult Swim on the Cartoon Network
This is the picture that Angus sent of himself.
This really set the tone for the interview.
Interviewer's Note: When I approached Angus about
doing this interview, it was originally going to be a nice, "I think your show
is funny, sorry it got cancelled," kind of interview. But then I looked at his
web site, and then he sent me his picture, and I thought, "I'm never getting
a straight answer out of this guy, so let's make it as outrageous as possible."
And then he asked for more questions. And I gave him more, and then I think he
got a little mad.
Editor's Note: The questions from both rounds have been mixed together so they flow in the proper order. It's up to you to figure out when I go too far.
Is an oblong a thing, cuz it sounds like something I had to
draw in Geometry class, and using theorems I had to prove that it exists? Or
it just a wretched, wretched curse?
The latter. All of me is a wretched, wretched curse.
It took me a long time to get into [your show] "The Oblongs," mostly because
conjoined twins disgust me. No offense to your parents, but I find them disgusting.
I'm sure they're nice. Nice and disgusting. Is it tough trying to get people to watch
a show where most of the main characters are repulsive?
I personally don't find my characters repulsive. I find deformities & abnormalities
to be quite fascinating! As far as trying to get people to watch the show, I
don't think I ever did that except with my new neighbors. I just let the world
do what it wanted & it didn't want to watch the show during its 1st run on The
WB. But that's OK, it got a 2nd life on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim.
Which character in "The Oblongs" do you most relate to?
Milo is me. Milo in the show is nothing like Milo in the book ("Creepy Susie & 13 Other Tragic Tales for Troubled Children"). The book-Milo is me. The TV Milo is a very watered down version.
Did you feel that people might misinterpret "The Oblongs" as being auto-biographical because you named it after yourself?
God, I hope so!
Did you or any of your "people" actively try to get "The Oblongs" made, or did the WB come to you and say, "We would like you to make a TV show?"
It was my agency who said "Prime time animation is hot right now. Create an animated series & we'll shop it around." This was after they had seen my book & signed
me as a client. Then they relocated me to Los Angeles where the air is brown.
There was a bidding war for The Oblongs from FOX, The WB & Disney (!). Had I known the WB would chicken out & not want an edgy, funny show, I would have gone with FOX.
You chose the WB over FOX to produce a disturbing cartoon?
Are you retarded? Why the hell would you do that?
(I realize that it's an over-whelming multi part question. Take it slow. Break
it down. Baby steps.)
I was pretty green in the industry. I allowed my agency to make all of the big
decisions. I stood there, wide-eyed, holding a pencil in one hand & a drawing
of Helga in the other while a whirlwind of business went on around me.
Next thing I knew, a big red rubber stamp that said SOLD hit a wordy piece of
paper & I was the property of The WB.
Did it surprise you when the WB canceled your show that featured a "talking man stump" as a main character?
No. It was a pretty bad show. Not as funny as my original concept. It wasn't
twisted at all & very family values/Simpson-like. It's not a work that represents me all that much.
You said: "The producers working on the show softened Oblong's vision, making 'The Oblongs' merely another lukewarm, prime time comedy about a family who does nothing all that unusual, then hugs at the end of every episode." What sort of "unusual" things did you want to have the Oblongs do?
Well, I wrote one episode where Biff (one of the conjoined twins who repulse
you so) developed a masturbation problem that he tried to hide from his conjoined
brother. Funny shit ensues! There was another where little Beth swallows a seed & roots come out of her butt. And another where Milo accidentally kills a door to door salesman & buries him in the yard. Family value stuff like that.
What are the benefits, other than money, to having your own TV show?
People like you write to me with questions & tell me I'm disgusting.
What are the bad parts?
The money, the hookers & my brand new heroin problem.
What's wrong with hookers?
I have a scab on my penis the size of a fist.
Would you like to see it?
As a service to the aspiring cartoonists, what can you tell them about how to get paid doing what they love?
Hmm, I get this question a lot & am mystified every time.. Let me take a stab at it here.
My advice is to create what you want. Not what you think other humans might like or ask of you. Start there & you won't be giving up your integrity. I wrote books & created an animated series that I was certain only I would like. Much to my surprise, they caught on! Believe me, nobody was more surprised than myself that it all got produced & published, & a
fan base occurred. Other advice is not to be afraid of getting your work out
there. For a few years I was keeping my stories to myself, afraid that my ideas
stolen. After realizing that that was a bad idea, I copied & distributed my books to anyone who would look at them. That's where it all began.
I've never read your books,
Go read my books!
..but the one sample I saw online where the fat chick chops
up the Debbies and eats their pizza. Dude, that is just messed up. Have you ever
freaked out a potential date to the point where they just run and leave when
they know what you do?
Helga. The fat chick is Helga. If you're going to interview someone, do your
By the time my dates find out what I'm really like, they usually can't run or
Does having your own TV show get you laid more often?
Yes. Yes it does.
Ready for the lightning round?
Favorite Food? A hot dog in a (hard) taco shell topped
with spaghetti & meat sauce & enough black pepper to kill the average man.
Seriously! Try it!
Favorite Sound? Sound you say?
Favorite Taste? See "Favorite Food"
Favorite Touch? I do enjoy having my nipples stimulated now & again.
Boxers or briefs? Boxers & occasionally silk panties.
Dinette Set, or trip to Europe? Ooh, a curve ball! Europe. No! Dinette set! But only if it's a red pleather diner booth.