I’ve arranged to meet Peabo at his favourite restaurant, whose name I won’t divulge because of the inevitability of Peaboids (his fan club) descending on the place en masse.
Most web animation creators refuse to go anywhere without a huge entourage of hangers-on and stylists (Skoo always brings his personal back-waxer ) but Peabo arrives on his own and immediately orders a huge plate of scampi and eggs.
J: So, how did you end up working with Weebl?
P: I think the first thing I saw of Weebl’s was either Badger or Weebl & Bob, although I didn't know they were done by the same person. I saw W&B on MTV and thought it was really clever, then later a friend of mine told me it was an ongoing series on the internet. I think I must have sat the whole afternoon and watched it from beginning to end! I then followed the link to the Weebls-stuff site and found out that he'd done Badger too. At this point, I had some weird vendetta against Flash. I dunno why, I just liked animating the traditional way much more, probably because it really shows how much effort you've put in. Even so, there's no way I could make cartoons that way all by myself on a regular basis as it takes forever. My cousin said he'd pay me to put my cartoons on some Scandinavian airline program, but for the pay he'd give me, it wasn't worth the time! I figured I'd give Flash a try just so that I could make some cartoons really quickly! The first toon I made was called Troll Tales, which I emailed to Weebl in the hope that he might also be interested in it and put it on his site. He said no, but that he kinda liked it anyway. The next day, I get an email from Lee saying that they'd like me to work for them! At this point I'd already been all over the place looking for work with no luck, so this was a real blessing!
Even so, I'd only ever made 1 Flash cartoon in my life so it was a bit of a leap of faith! I dunno if they knew how serious I was about making toons with them, but now I'm here every day animating something or other and it's frickin' great!
J: If your life was a television show, what would the main titles be like?
P: Probably like the X-Files intro, but instead of stretching faces and fingers with red things on them, there'd be like rubber chickens and Battenbergs and funny-looking policemen.
J: What was your favourite Saturday morning children’s show (Number 73, Get Fresh, etc…)
Since you mentioned number 73, I'm going to say that simply because I've lived at number 73 for as long as I can remember! And also because they had a life-sized Telebug that would move around the studio (remember Telebugs?) and I wanted one so badly! I was obsessed with robots and was probably the only child in the world to own an Omnibot 2000. I think that was as close as I ever got to being a child-celebrity: living in the same numbered house as the title of a kids' show. Oh wait, I also got in the newspaper for grazing my knee in school...that must have been a slow week for news.
J: How do you keep your hair so glossy and lustrous?
I think it's genetic. I never do anything to it, or put anything special in it. I use completely random shampoos, and really bad ones like "Wash 'n' Go Bald". I have to attribute it to animating then. If you animate as much as me, you too can have beautiful, girly locks.
That's my advice to you.
J: Snack foods you have known. Discuss.
Damn, that sounds like a deeply philosophical English-Literature exam question. I don't know any other kind of foods! You gotta have the snack treats, or else you might as well be dead! No day is complete without Turkish Delights floating in a jug of coke, sprinkled with KP Skips!
J: Best dream you’ve ever had.
I realised I was dreaming and then was able to do what I wanted. I could make stuff appear, go wherever I wanted, fly etc. Yeah...it was cool...I did lots of stuff that I wanted. Mmhmm.
J: Are you a John Kricfalusi fan?
I get asked this a lot, and my response is would have to be: YES. YES I AM. My drawing style is kinda a cross between SPÜMCØ and Dragonball Z. Weird mix, but I think it works ok! John K is probably my favourite western cartoonist. I love the expressiveness of his characters. Some people say he makes his characters ugly, but I disagree. If you ever watch a video of someone talking frame-by-frame, you'll see them pull some pretty 'ugly' and weird expressions.
I try to do the same with my cartoons - lip sync is my favourite part! It's what brings the character to life in many ways!
J: They’re making a film of your life, but it’s set in medieval times. What happens in it?
P: The film would be all about one man's quest to invent a medieval time machine powered by dodos and woolly mammoths and go forward in time to where there's some internets.
J: Now you’re a masked Mexican wrestler. What’s your name and power-move?
P: Mister Mookey would be my name and my power move would be the ability to emit a low-pitched bass sound that would mess with the opponent’s inner-ear chambers and cause them to lose balance and puke up their breakfast. Then I guess I'd just kick them or something.
J: On The Moon: Major influences.
P: Button Moon. I didn't realise this until recently, as it must have been on a purely subconscious level, but seriously, Google that and find some images. I watched that show when I was a weeny little baby, and I can hardly remember anything about it, but it must have been engraved on some part of my brain I've never used since. The style for On The Moon came about by Weebl saying 'we're making this new toon, it's called On The Moon and the first two characters are called Toast King and Insanity Prawn Boy'. From that I just had to come up with what the characters looked like and how the toon would be laid out. It was at that moment that my brain inadvertently connected the terms 'moon' and 'cartoon' with some tiny fragment of memory from when I was two years old of weird little characters standing on a moon, the size of a paddling-pool. And there you have it. Oh yes, it's also coincidence that my favourite episode of Weebl & Bob is 'Moon'.
And suddenly he’s up and out of the room, his velvet cape billowing behind him, pausing only at the door to give a gaping fan a lightning sketch of Moon-Keith Moon doing his taxes. I shake my head with admiration and, yes, a little lust.
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