All About Post-Ironic Pig!
Post-Ironic Pig
Post-Ironic Pig!
So he's obviously the main character in these cartoons, but you may be wondering what his name means. When I was planning on drawing the first "Post-Ironic Pig" cartoon, I was waiting to come up with a cheesy name for the main character, and hadn't yet decided whether he should be a pig or a squirrel or a dog or whateveryouknow. Earlier, at one of the monthly group cartooning sessions of the UC Comic Society, the term "post-ironic" was mentioned, and concurrently to my planning of a 1940's cartoon rip-off, people kept bringing up that phrase, "post-ironic". So, one day, I happened to wonder what this mysterious phrase meant, and asked. The best description I got was that "post-ironic" means retro/kitch, for no practical purpose other than being retro/kitch. For example, Burger King with all its tacky 1960's American memorabilia.
So, in a flash of realisation, I decided that "post ironic" perfectly described the yesterdecade-revival cheesiness that my 1930's cartoon parody was all about. Thus, Post-Ironic Pig was born. "A 1930's-styled B&W cartoon set in modern times."

Cyril The Squirrel
Cyril The Squirrel!
PIP is not my first 1930's-parody cartoon. In 1996-7, I created a couple of cheesy (do I use that word too often?) cartoon characters named Cyril the Squirrel and Dandruff Duck, who had big 1930's "pac-man" shaped eyes. The duo was the stereotypical "Ren/Stimpy"-"Bert/Ernie"-"Punch/Judy"-"Squidward/Spongebob"-"Kane/Abel" combo, with Cyril being the goofy, moralistic sidekick and Dandruff obviously being the grumpy, scheming one who always gets clobbered. Their cartoons were called "The Unsavoury Adventures of Cyril the Squirrel and Dandruff Duck", more of which will be posted on the internet when I can find them. But I digress -- the name "Cyril The Squirrel" was just too good not to reuse, so I recycled him for Post-Ironic Pig. Cyril stars in supporting roles in episodes 1, 4, 5 and 6.

Six-Pack Seal
Six-Pack Seal!
Six-Pack Seal made her first appearance in PIP Save's The Whale's as an anonymous gag-character: Two seals are stuck in one of those 6-pack beer-can-holding bits of plastic, and a whaler rips one of them free and proceeds to crack off its head and drink its blood as if it were a beer can. The female seal survived. After drawing this, I came up with the name "Six-Pack Seal" and thought it was too funny not to use in a future episode. Now, Six-Pack seal is one of Post-Ironic's friends, along with Cyril. The piece of plastic itself now represents the foolishness of body piercing, I think. Or fashion statements. Take your pick.

Celebrity Appearances
What makes a cartoon more topical than the occasional celebrity appearance? So far we've had: Bill Gates (Bill Goats), God & Satan (as themselves), Christina Agulera [spelling?](Christina A. Gorilla), Britney Speares (Britney Spiders), the Beastie Boys (Wilderbeestie Boys), Steady Eddie (Stable Mabel), Osama Bin Laden (Opossum Bin Laden), Buzz Aldrin (Buzzard Aldrin), Stephen Hawking (Stephen Hawk), Robert Zubrin (Rabbit Zubrin) and some slightly more subtle references to Eminem (Eminemu).

Current Event Rant
Why don't we ever see the old B&W classics any more? Why are we subjected to tripe like "Dexter's Lab" and "Cow and Chicken", which were all done on computer, when the likes of "Porky's Midnight Matinee" and "Betty Boop's Tavern" are left to rot in unopened archives, after the countless hours of hard work that the artists spent painstakingly drawing each animation cell?
I'll tell you why: it's because they're not a hit with the youth of today. "Generation W" don't care about Popeye playing 1950's music on 12 different instruments simultaneously, or Porky and Daffy going bullfighting. They want to see the streetwise "Rocket Power" kids zooming around on skateboards while trading ultra-hip transmillennial witticisms, or "The Powerpuff Girls" habitually resorting to blood-n-guts violence against hi-tech aliens and evil clones.
So Post-Ironic Pig combines these two things, B&W cheese, and "modern day" events!
It's all very well make topical things happen in stories, but rarely do writers/cartoonists expect that the whacky, far-out stuff they're coming up with will actually happen. How surprised was I to learn, that, after drawing "Post-Ironic Pig at the Olympic Games", some European basketball team was losing its medals becasue some of the players were "pretending to have mental disabilities in order to get into the team"! Never mind the drugs theme, of course I knew that was going to happen; it always does.
And then there was the Osama Bin Laden hijacking the aeroplane... well, that was just too spooky.
Stay tuned for "Post Ironic Pig becomes a cult cartoon and its creator gets a big sack of cash!"

"What's with the eyes?"
The first ever animated cartoon characters, such as Mickey Mouse and Porky Pig, were drawn in the most popular style of the time. This style included having eyes with pupils that were shaped like the computer-creature that future generations would come to call "Pac-Man". (On TV, I once heard a Disney animator describe the form of Mickey's B&W-days eye as "a pie with a slice cut out of it".)

I have always found these types of eyes disturbing to look at. Even the old B&W Mickey Mouse with pac-man eyes gives me the creeps. [Shudder!] On top of this, many of the themes that cartoon characters dealt with in those days would be considered racist, sexist, etc-ist today. (Some of the old Popeye cartoons are brilliant examples.) Inspired by how a cartoon that was once considered cute and innocent could be percieved today as offensive and creepy, I decided to draw my own cartoon that took the Mickey out of Mickey Mouse, so to speak.

Note: In "Post-Ironic World", most of the characters have pupils that look like pac-man facing to the right. Evil characters (Bill Goats, Christina A. Gorilla, Dandruff Duck, etc.) have their pac-man pupils facing the left. After deciding on this convention I found out that the original Warner Brothers characters had left-facing pac-man pupils. Hmmm.

"Why Do They Speak In Rebus-Form?"
It's a silent black and white cartoon. No speech. And having "silent movie"-type frames that contain only text would clutter it all up and disrupt the flow of things. Besides, it's funnier working out what was said, especially if it's a euphemism for something naughty. Tee-hee.

"Cheesy Music?"
For some reason, 1930's cartoon characters have a thing for singing and playing banjos (or ukeleles).
Copyright Warner Bros.
In some of the old Warner Bros cartoons that I've seen, the characters actually dance their entire way through the story. Now that's just disturbing. (In a post-ironically cool kind of way, though.)