A Conversation with Legendary Animator 'Joe Cartoon' on Life, Music and Frogs in Blenders

January 7, 2015 10:08 PM

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Back in 1998, a company called Macromedia had just released a program called Flash 2, a platform for creating interactive websites and banner ads. It sounds so paleolithic now, but at the time, Flash 2 was the first software package to integrate digital hand-drawn animation and sound allowing, among other things, cartoonists to produce and stream animation online even through old, slow dial-up modems. It revolutionized internet content, and was a major force in the subsequent "dot-com" boom of the late 1990s.

One of the first cartoonists to successfully create and stream web cartoons -- ever -- was my friend of 17 years, Joe Shields, popularly known as "Joe Cartoon." Joe started out as a t-shirt designer and, like me, began to tinker with Flash animations before anyone knew how to install the Flash plug-...

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