the creator of Ugly Americans. AMA
Hello all. I read too many comic books as a child. So, to make money as an adult I planted a 'nerd-seed' that grew into this animated show.
Hello all. I read too many comic books as a child. So, to make money as an adult I planted a 'nerd-seed' that grew into this animated show.
Comments: 1429 • Responses: 53 • Date: 2012-03-20 15:38:55 UTCsource
poncheeto626 karma2012-03-20 16:33:07 UTC
I just want to say that you created one of the most underrated shows of all time. Each episode is always hilarious never a dead simple Ha! feeling. I will never forget the robot that used glasses to read what the humping robot printed out, hehe. Thanks again for a great show!
Let's assume the characters existed in real life, and you had the chance to hang out with only one character. Who would it be? And why?
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deevoon300 karma2012-03-20 17:16:08 UTC
Thanks for the good word!
I would probably want to hang out with Randall. Though I'm sure that would mean waking up naked with him and a sludge beast, probably a with a couple missing fingers, and the worst hang over ever...if I even still have a brain.
bokbok352 karma2012-03-20 17:05:17 UTC
Is it wrong that I want to stick it in Callie's three hole?
deevoon256 karma2012-03-20 18:39:19 UTC
Not at all.
bramblepuss204 karma2012-03-20 16:44:08 UTC
Favorite episode is Treegasm. What's your inspiration like for some of the bizarre situations in episodes?
deevoon428 karma2012-03-20 17:30:47 UTC
The Treegasm episode was inspired by two trees growing in David Stern's (former show runner) back yard. They we're slowly growing toward each other for years, and just about to connect. It was the idea of two creatures having to wait that long to 'do it' that sparked the episode.
pixel_illustrator179 karma2012-03-20 16:17:04 UTC
Holy hell man, Ugly Americans is my favorite animated comedy on television, fucking genius premise and the characters are too much fun! Not one of them is weak, and even the "straight man" Mark Lily is interesting on his own!
A few quick questions!
I had a friend that interned at Augenblick, John Starr, brilliant illustrator (we graduated together) I think he left something like a year ago? Interned for a little while at titmouse when augenblick gave them Super Jail (Sidenote: the drop in quality on that show since titmouse took over has been...distressing). Out of curiosity, do you remember him?
I know it's almost solely a fan-thing, and wouldn't really interest casual viewers of the show, but will we ever get to see a little more history of the Ugly Americans Universe? Dirigible Wars, when hell first opened up, etc,
Who is your favorite character? I keep cycling through Leonard, Grimes, or Twain.
How is the show doing viewership wise? I know it's not pulling the same kind of numbers that South Park does, but you've gotten three seasons aired now, so it can't be doing badly. Do you think that the cerebral nature of the show hurts its numbers?
Favorite Ugly American's line?
deevoon303 karma2012-03-20 16:35:28 UTC
Are you sure he was there for any of the Ugly production? At the risk of breaking John Starr's heart, I must admit that I don't remember him. I'm sorry John. Please, forgive me.
I think we would lose some of the magic of this crazy world if we explained too much of the back story. There is something nice about the mystery of why the world of Ugly Americans is full of monsters. However, we do like to drop little tidbits of our alternate history into episode here and there. One day, after season 10, we will be able to compile a massive historic tome. Which we will then put into schools in place of real history books.
My favorite character at the moment is Leonard. Only because I too am a 600 year old drunken wizard.
It's hard to follow up a show that has such a massive following like South Park. 16 Seasons! But, we're holding strong, getting the word out, building an audience…slowly. So, if you know anyone with a Nielsen box please bribe them to watch our show.
Favorite line?…"Suck my ball!" (meaning "thanks for watching" in ManBird of course.)
BlessedPeasant62 karma2012-03-20 17:05:58 UTC
I don't always bride someone, but when I do, they have a Nielson box.
deevoon55 karma2012-03-20 17:23:03 UTC
dirtymoney138 karma2012-03-20 17:12:39 UTC
That devil chick needs to be nude more.
deevoon151 karma2012-03-20 19:41:55 UTC
binbin392135 karma2012-03-20 16:37:54 UTC
Who was your inspiration for Mark Lilly?
deevoon196 karma2012-03-20 17:27:07 UTC
Our show developer, David Stern, played a big part in creating Mark. David's father was a social worker and David saw that profession as a great way of plunging our main character into the lives of all these bizarre and dysfunctional creatures.
jjitler80 karma2012-03-20 17:59:38 UTC
I apologize if this is off-target, as I've only watched maybe 2/3 of the first season in one long run over two nights, but do you see social commentary as being a large part of the show? And do you guys have a long history in New York?
My girlfriend is finishing up a master's in social work here in NYC and the show seemed to really resonate with her. And myself as well - the portrayal of New York is alive in relevant in a way I can't really remember seeing in any other mass-media entertainment.
Anyway, thanks for the reminder to watch the rest!
deevoon80 karma2012-03-20 19:42:00 UTC
Devin and I have lived in NYC for over a decade. The insanity of the city and how quickly one becomes used to it is definitely one of the driving satirical concepts of the show. (-Dan Powell, the show's other EP, answering for Devin Clark)
unknownfy24129 karma2012-03-20 16:22:13 UTC
what is your favorite cartoon?
deevoon371 karma2012-03-20 16:37:38 UTC
My favorite cartoon at the moment is a failed pilot for the Cartoon Network called "Uncle Grandpa". It's insane.
case_sensitive122 karma2012-03-20 16:37:25 UTC
I'm always afraid that despite all the fucking awesomeness of a show like yours, it will get shelved like Clone High. How many seasons are you guys guaranteed so far?
deevoon155 karma2012-03-20 17:33:39 UTC
No guarantees. If we get enough viewers on these episodes, they will pick us up for more. So, spread the word!
Atodd86119 karma2012-03-20 16:09:20 UTC
What was your inspiration for creating this show? Was it always meant to be made to look like the old EC comics? and why? that being said I really enjoy the show and keep up the good work.
deevoon206 karma2012-03-20 16:18:04 UTC
The initial inspiration for creating the show was really just to have an excuse to draw as many weird character designs as possible. I would blame that creative need on a lifetime of reading too many comics and watching horror and sci-fi films. I had to get all those monsters out of my head!
As for the look of the show. Aaron Augenblick and I are huge fans of that dark and inky style in EC comics. We definitely set out to capture that look in the show.
And thanks! Glad you're digging the show!
Diabetesh99 karma2012-03-20 16:38:17 UTC
Why did twayne go from dumb semi aggressive corporate demon to dumb sissy demon? Did I miss some event?
deevoon170 karma2012-03-20 17:35:31 UTC
All the characters have evolved a bit since the first season. I think we just got a kick out the idea of a big terrifying demon boss also being a naive mama's boy.
AnotherMulligan87 karma2012-03-20 16:19:21 UTC
No questions, just a thank you for making one of the few shows I like.
deevoon67 karma2012-03-20 16:39:05 UTC
TehStupid82 karma2012-03-20 16:57:09 UTC
So, being a Drunken 600 Year old Wizard must have it's ups and downs... My girlfriend and I are HUGE fans of the show. So here is our question, "What is your favorite aspect of making the show?"
Also, as I would LOVE to get into voice acting some day, what are any challenges you guys have come across in the sound studio when recording Ugly Americans?
deevoon115 karma2012-03-20 18:18:22 UTC
My favorite aspect of the show? Oof, very tough. It's split between character designs and directing the voice actors I think.
Voice recording is actually pretty straight forward. I guess one challenge is when the actors get too carried away and blow out the mikes...and scare me.
mrmailbox61 karma2012-03-20 16:58:53 UTC
I end up watching your show online more than on TV. Clearly you have a huge following, but the ratings do not reflect that. How do you think this problem should be dealt with?
What can you do to make sure they post episodes for legal online viewing?
deevoon171 karma2012-03-20 18:22:29 UTC
TV is dead! Long live the internet! We've started to put most of our episodes on-line, on the Comedy Central site to help combat the illegal downloading.
karmanaut56 karma2012-03-20 16:01:10 UTC
Please provide some proof with your post.
deevoon130 karma2012-03-20 16:07:11 UTC
I just posted a link to this AMA thread on my site. http://devinclark.com/
funions_mcgee39 karma2012-03-20 16:26:15 UTC
Hello, love the show! I follow your work on tumblr and it's really great.
I was wondering if you were influenced by Charles Burns' work at all in creating Ugly Americans, or if you could talk about that? He has a similar style in terms of art, and Black Hole has some similar themes, although the two works are definitely distinct (everyday american life with a weird/twisted monstrous side).
Thanks in advance, and have a good day!
deevoon49 karma2012-03-20 16:56:15 UTC
I think Charles and I were both heavily influenced by the style of EC horror comics. There is something about that dark inky look that I just love. I definitely was heavily inspired by the work of those EC artists like Jack Kirby,Will Eisner, Alex Toth, Will Elder, Johnny Craig, Wally Wood, L.B. Cole just to name a few. All amazing!
arsun37 karma2012-03-20 16:30:55 UTC
As a fan of your show, i must ask, have you ever seen SuperJail on Adult Swim? If so, how do you feel about it? It is also pretty bizarre and hilarious.
deevoon55 karma2012-03-20 17:09:54 UTC
I'm a big fan. Augenblick studios is where I spend much of my time working on Ugly Americans. They produced the first season of Super Jail. I'm big fan of Christy Karacas's work. His crazy frantic style makes for some awesome animation.
middlefingerraised30 karma2012-03-20 17:13:51 UTC
Suck my Balls!
deevoon93 karma2012-03-20 19:41:41 UTC
No salad for me. Thanks.
Pepsibojangles29 karma2012-03-20 16:19:08 UTC
Can you please describe the process from initial idea to getting a cartoon on a major network?
deevoon79 karma2012-03-20 16:50:43 UTC
Ooof. I could probably right a massive article or do a two hour lecture on pitching. There is no quick answer for this one. It took me 5 years to get Ugly on air, from a comic strip, to a web cartoon, to a show. So, my advice would be to find something that you are extremely excited about. Enough to keep you going through all the hard work and rejection within show pitching. Also, find your community. If you want to do comedy, hang out with comedy folks. Work on each others projects. Go through the process of creating content even on a small scale. It's not a 'win the lottery' model. It's a 'love what you do and work hard' model.
That is an extremely boiled down answer. Hopefully, it's moderately helpful.
domdiggity29 karma2012-03-20 16:35:42 UTC
Grimes is awesome, just wanted to thank you for creating the show.
deevoon30 karma2012-03-20 17:16:38 UTC
Thanks! Glad you dig it.
Dolomite80828 karma2012-03-20 16:24:54 UTC
What kind of project would you like to take on after Ugly Americans ends (hopefully not any time soon)?
deevoon50 karma2012-03-20 16:42:18 UTC
Honestly, it's hard for me to get too excited about any new ideas while I'm pouring myself into Ugly. But, I've got a couple other animated show concepts I've been toying with as well as some horror movie ideas. One day perhaps.
Prettyundead28 karma2012-03-20 16:29:30 UTC
I just re-watched all of seasons one and two yesterday, what a coincidence! Excellent show!
What would you name as your favorite comic? Series or otherwise. How about a favorite animation?
How long have you been working on the show(from conception)? Any words of wisdom for aspiring artists?
Thanks, and stay strange!
deevoon55 karma2012-03-20 17:03:42 UTC
Thanks! Glad you're digging the show.
My favorite comics right now is "Orc Stain" by James Stokoe, "Prison Pit" by Johnny Ryan, anything BPRD, and anything by Ed Brubaker.
Weirdly. I haven't been watching much animation. Making the show is eating up all my TV watching time! Dammit! But, I just started watching the second season of Archer on Netflix. Hilarious.
I answered this earlier. But, it took about 4 years from concept to pilot to get Ugly on air.
For words of wisdom...I'd say don't over think your ideas and let the second guessing and worrying if it's perfect hold you up. Just keep doing and doing and doing. Love the doing!
Mathari28 karma2012-03-20 16:39:58 UTC
You've mentioned being a big comic book fan. With that in mind I ask these questions;
-What is your current pull list?
-Any plans to introduce superhero types into Ugly Americans?
Love the show! Keep up the awesome work.
deevoon63 karma2012-03-20 17:43:23 UTC
Honestly, I never got into superheros. I do however love the design of Modok. So weird! Kirby is king!
Well. We do have a 'Bat Man' inspired episode coming up. Mark fights crime? What? It's insane.
Th0raxe_27 karma2012-03-20 16:49:08 UTC
Love the Show!
But how did you come up with Birdmen and them only saying "Suck my Balls?"
deevoon72 karma2012-03-20 17:53:34 UTC
That whole concept was inspired by one scene from the pilot. A Man Bird poops on someone and yells "Suck my ball!" The writers thought is would be hilarious if that was ALL they could say. And history was made!
tantpiss27 karma2012-03-20 16:48:26 UTC
What was the main inspiration for the character of Callie?
Ugly Americans is awesome and probably one of my favourite shows of all time.
deevoon90 karma2012-03-20 17:40:01 UTC
I'd be lying if I said Coop's devil girls didn't influence the look of Callie. Her personality is based on the right of passage many of us guys have gone through....dating that beautiful girl who is terrible to us. But, she's so hot! You can't help yourself. Dang!
Houseoflions26 karma2012-03-20 16:29:59 UTC
Are any of your characters based on people that you know personally? I.e. friends, family, etc.
deevoon37 karma2012-03-20 17:06:57 UTC
Not directly. No. But, I think elements from my life, and the writers lives. Bits and pieces of those personas. Like a dead beat roommate, or a terrible girlfriend. We mix those together into the insanity of those core Ugly cast.
YELLS_SONG_LYRICS24 karma2012-03-20 16:27:01 UTC
I don't have any questions; I'd just like to say thank you for creating this brilliant show.
deevoon26 karma2012-03-20 16:38:01 UTC
You are welcome! Thanks for watching!
petedog23 karma2012-03-20 17:36:31 UTC
Not that I don't enjoy it sober, but I enjoy Ugly Americans 10x more when I'm high. Was this intended?
deevoon55 karma2012-03-20 19:33:30 UTC
It was not intended. But, my family in Mexico appreciate your patronage.
deevoon54 karma2012-03-20 18:59:56 UTC
Hi. This is Dan Powell, the EP of the show. I'm helping Devin answer some general questions since he did not anticipate this amazing response. Anyhow, to answer your question, one of the most frequent statements on twitter about the show is "How high were the writers when they came up with this?" Which is ironic, because the other writers and I are some of the dorkiest, play-by-the-rules nerds you could possibly imagine.
SecretAgent00X22 karma2012-03-20 16:04:33 UTC
Devin, you are super hot! Are you single? :)
deevoon38 karma2012-03-20 16:06:00 UTC
Thanks! But, no. I am married.
Six_String21 karma2012-03-20 17:00:43 UTC
deevoon45 karma2012-03-20 19:02:34 UTC
We'd field this question but I'm pretty sure they are addressing it on the upcoming season of "The Walking Dead". (-Dan Powell answering for Devin Clark)
deevoon34 karma2012-03-20 18:29:04 UTC
They don't! That's part of the fun.
cosmonautsix19 karma2012-03-20 16:56:14 UTC
I LOVE Ugly Americans!!! My wife is indifferent. How do I get her to like it more?
Also: suck my balls!!
deevoon84 karma2012-03-20 18:12:51 UTC
Show her the 'Demon Baby' and 'Callie and Her Sister' episodes. If not...can I suggest divorce. Too strong a reaction?
deadprogrammer19 karma2012-03-20 16:32:22 UTC
What is the front entrance of DOI based on? It looks suspiciously like the entrance of the Criminal Courts building next to the Tombs.
deevoon25 karma2012-03-20 17:13:31 UTC
Honestly, I don't know. I'll have to ask the background artists. I can tell you that the exterior of Mark and Randall's apartment is based on one of our editors' china town apartment.
Thirtythree3314 karma2012-03-20 16:58:16 UTC
I'm not a longtime fan. I just heard about this show last week. I watched every episode of season two but hulu didn't offer the other seasons.
I absolutely loved it and was left wanting more...I just can't let this opportunity pass by to ask you...will you give me your blessing to pirate the rest of your show?
If not I completely understand
deevoon72 karma2012-03-20 17:47:40 UTC
Well. The first season is available for streaming through Netflix. You can buy them through iTunes! No? Do I hear laughter? Oh, I understand. Do what you gotta do. I'd rather have you watching them illegally and loving them, then not watching at all.
chris-topher14 karma2012-03-20 16:16:38 UTC
What is the show about? I have never seen it.
deevoon42 karma2012-03-20 16:20:34 UTC
To quote our press packet...
Take New York City, add every horrifying beast, science-fiction freak, and fantasy faerie, shake thoroughly, and you've got UGLY AMERICANS. This animated horror-comedy series follows one Mark Lilly, social worker at the Department of Integration, as he helps new citizens both human and "other" adapt to hectic life in the Big Apple. There are easier tasks than weaning vampires off of blood, socializing land-whales, and housebreaking werewolves, but Mark is up to the challenge. Between his stressful job, a zombie roommate, and a demon ex-girlfriend, Mark's lucky if he can sneak in a few minutes of sleep.
You can watch some episodes on the Comedy Central site...
SergioSF13 karma2012-03-20 16:47:08 UTC
What were your favorite cartoons growing up?
deevoon25 karma2012-03-20 17:45:04 UTC
I loved all the after school fair, like Thundercats and G.I. Joe. Galaxy High was also a favorite. MASK!
catsilikecats11 karma2012-03-20 17:13:01 UTC
I figured you should know that everyone around here agrees that Ugly Americans should be hitting it off in popularity more than Family Guy ever did. ANYWAY
As for questions:
I love you and your work, man. Keep up the awesome stuff.
deevoon18 karma2012-03-20 19:05:24 UTC
PieceBlaster11 karma2012-03-20 17:03:53 UTC
What color underwear are you wearing right now?
deevoon20 karma2012-03-20 18:34:04 UTC
RilesWatson8 karma2012-03-20 16:54:54 UTC
How do you develop the ideas for episodes? Every episode seems to bring in a new character along with a very original concept. Like Treegasm, how did you come up with that?
deevoon6 karma2012-03-20 18:03:19 UTC
I talked about Treegasm up the chain. But, the concepts for the episodes come from massive brain storming sessions with the writers. Comedy writers are a crazy bunch of deeply disturbed individuals. These ideas are constantly just bouncing around in their twisted minds! They create a huge pile of weird plots, and slowly whittle them down to the ones they think will work the best.
chocolatebRain7 karma2012-03-20 16:54:56 UTC
SUCK MY BALLS
deevoon24 karma2012-03-20 19:42:27 UTC
ThrowingChicken6 karma2012-03-20 17:04:20 UTC
Any chance you were influenced by MTV's Oddities: The Head when developing Ugly Americans?
deevoon4 karma2012-03-20 18:35:58 UTC
Nope. I do love that show though.
mastrepolo5 karma2012-03-20 17:09:58 UTC
will we ever get to see the action of the three hole?
deevoon9 karma2012-03-20 19:29:21 UTC
Not unless Comedy Central greenlights a movie and lets us make it NC-17. (-Dan Powell answering for Devin Clark)
imdadjunejo5 karma2012-03-20 17:11:30 UTC
just a request... can you make an episode decicated solely to Marks Hair?
deevoon11 karma2012-03-20 19:34:13 UTC
Fun fact: Mark's hair was kind of based on John Krasinski's "Jim" character on "The Office" at that time. (-Dan Powell answering for Devin Clark)
deevoon5 karma2012-03-20 19:41:08 UTC
I will strongly consider it.
Puppet134 karma2012-03-20 16:52:39 UTC
How did you come up with the idea for manbirds and Doug? I am a huge fan! Thanks for making such an awesome show.
deevoon3 karma2012-03-20 17:54:54 UTC
Doug was just a back ground character created by one of are very talented board artist, Hal Lee. I think we all fell in love with Koala man's solitary tear and he became a regular cast member.
academicninja4 karma2012-03-20 17:13:08 UTC
Cool show. I agree its underrated. The Treegasm episode will forever be planted in my psyche, whether I want it there or not ;)
1) Do you have any plans for a new series?
2) What is a typical workday like for you? Is it just chaos or do you have time for family/hobbies?
3) If so, what are your Hobbies?
4) Any chance you can weave a dysfunctional Batman-like character into an episode? I like Batman.
deevoon8 karma2012-03-20 19:08:42 UTC
whatalaymedown3 karma2012-03-20 17:00:24 UTC
I love Ugly American's! It gives me something to watch while I wait for season 5 of Venture Brothers. The character Grimes is hilarious, especially this season. How did you come up with him?
deevoon3 karma2012-03-20 18:28:46 UTC
Grimes was the mind child of our writer David Stern. He is the opposite of Mark Lilly. Mark wants to help people. Grimes just wants to beat them severely and then thrown them in jail.
gwarsh413 karma2012-03-20 17:06:39 UTC
So for the past year or so a few friends and I have been working on a series. We have made concept characters, have a pilot script set and ready, and plenty of the scenes done as well. Currently (slowly) we are creating a pitch bible.
Do you have any advice for people trying to get their ideas and show in front of the right people?
On a second note, alike many others I wanted to say how much I enjoy Ugly Americans. I feel like it redeemed Comedy Central in my eyes. It has been too long since a good animated adult comedy has come out!
(If it makes any difference in your response we are adults, which unfortunately means jobs, which slows production time... and a 100 mile distance between most of us)
deevoon3 karma2012-03-20 19:20:03 UTC
Not to be discouraging, but unless you have a lightning-in-a-bottle property that takes off and gets Hollywood's attention (as Matt Stone and Trey Parker did with their "Spirit of Christmas" short that evolved into South Park), it's very difficult to sell a TV show unless you've paid your dues in the industry and accrued years of TV experience as a staff writer or producer. Your best bet would be to try and find an experienced TV producer who believes in the idea and will develop it with you, then leverage their connections to help you sell it. As opposed to trying to sell it directly to a network yourself, in which case you'll most likely get blown off.
(-Dan Powell answering for Devin Clark)
oridean3 karma2012-03-20 16:40:43 UTC
No real questions, Just wanted to say I love the show!
deevoon7 karma2012-03-20 19:19:28 UTC
monstermash4203 karma2012-03-20 16:55:27 UTC
I've bought both seasons and been disappointed that there are only 6 episodes a piece. Will the seasons get longer in the future?
deevoon8 karma2012-03-20 18:09:19 UTC
It's totally out of my hands. Since we aired behind South Park, our first season was split in two. 7 and 7. But, there are 14 total in season one. Our second season was a little crazy as well. 10 aired last summer and 7 more now. Making 17 for our second season. Who know what the future may hold. More confusion I am sure.
bassic_person3 karma2012-03-20 17:01:40 UTC
Have there been any creatures you've wanted to include in the show, but haven't been able to?
deevoon16 karma2012-03-20 18:30:25 UTC
I can't get enough Cthulhu in there. He's just too damn big!
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