The Big Whan.

And then, at some point, that thing that you’ve been thinking about and developing for years, really becomes something.

With a mind of it’s own. All of a sudden, the tables are turned, and you’re responsible to it.

It is a strange thing when an idea takes on form.

Especially when you’ve been flogged for believing in it; which is what most creatives get flogged for.

I remember Nightmare was just a mock-up game box sitting on my table for years waiting for the right idea to come along.

That’s what’s happened to Carny Island.

It started off as a desire to do an animated sequel/prequel to The Video Board Game Nightmare.

Surely, had the tech been available back then, we’d have used it and Nightmare/ATMOSFEAR would have looked a lot like Carny.

But Carny was never Nightmare and Uncle Shrift would never be The Gatekeeper.

Even if he looked a bit green and was rather, fuckin’ unpleasant.

Plus Tanner never wanted a bar of it anyway. Probably a good thing as it has all turned out.

Carny’s colour and amusement park setting was born out of ‘chemo’. It helped keep my mind off it.

Then the art developed into worlds and scenes and game play.

And in late 2022, I started uploading some videos to a new YouTube channel.

In vertical. Or portrait. I have always LOVED portrait.

And so I’d been dabbling away releasing short sight gags on It was my wife Linda who gave me the impetus to really lean in and do an actual story.

The big push. Go on and get out there the ledge.

Go write and animate a fully-blown, animated sitcom with a dark humour/horror bent to it.

So Crookwood went from a sideshow attraction in the amusement park – one level in a mobile game – to a sitcom set in a graveyard where characters with colourful pasts would come to be buried – thus ending their stories.

Crookwood has a funeral parlour and a crematorium (that doubles as a pizzeria) and its run by a dog who thinks he’s enlightened.

There’s the Undertaker, Uncle Shrift. And there’s a morgue. And a town. Ghosts get reincarnated and there’s always a serial killer on the loose. I’ve been animated and editing scenes and uploading them as shorts.

The process has helped refine the animation style and there’s nothing like a deadline for a story.

Now I read somewhere on Reddit Carny Island was such a grand plan it would probably never be completed.

And that was before it went from a mobile game to a sitcom. I just figured if I could animate an entire series, a mobile game would be a snack.

At least I’d know where all the bodies are buried! (Robbing graves is part of the game play)

As I write, I’m working on the last scenes of episode 2 which is about a mobster called Vinnie The Greaser Prosciutto.

Plan is to stitch all the segments together and send it off fort a mix. Then having learnt from all that, I’ll start work on the pilot. Iterate.