Copyright Acknowledgment: All images of WEENIES and other
Products and Images, created by Mel Birnkrant and Mike Strouth are Copyright (c) KISCOM/ The OBB
You might wonder how someone who has never attempted to do anything resembling animation could hope to produce the drawings you’ve just seen. That is the very question that I asked myself when I began. The answer’s easy: I simply asked the greatest animators of all time to help me. Referencing my extensive library of comic characters, I paged through every book on animation. When I saw a pose I liked, I quickly sketched a tiny thumbnail, reinterpreting it as a Weenie. Thus, if you are familiar with animation history, you might have noticed that some of the poses have a certain Deja vue quality. On the other hand, once I got into it, I found the job becoming easier by the minute, and by the time I got to characters like “Hot Doggie” and the “Wee Weenies,” I tossed all reference material aside and just let them happen, free and easy. The Weenies were coming to life for me, on the page, and in my mind.
Below, are some of many thumbnails this process generated. There were many more than you see here. They are souvenirs of a fun filled journey of discovery, in which I was simultaneously animating the Weenies, and meeting them at the same time.
And so it was that after far too many years of exquisitely subtle frustration, wading in the shallow end of the pool of creativity, caring for and babysitting other people’s licensed properties, I bravely climbed the poolside ladder, removed my Colorforms life preserver, walked over to the deep end and dove in! Would I sink or swim? This was an exhilarating moment. The splash produced a thousand thumbnail sketches. They were like a school of tiny minnows, swimming madly all around me, as with doodle after doodle, I drew myself into the World of Weenies.