Tak and the Power of Juju, 2007

With every series I've worked on, I always found something to love and memories to cherish. Except this one. To the outside world, Nickelodeon is a playground of fun, excitement, and colorful cartoons. On the inside, the picture is quite different. Everyone comes out of it with a story to tell, and now you get to read mine. Spoiler: it ends with me getting fired.

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Iron Man/Hulk: Heroes United, 2013

Hulk's pulverizing brute strength and Tony Stark's high-tech brainpower come together to face off against the ultimate enemy. When "Zzzax," a seemingly invincible, energy-devouring monster threatens to destroy the planet, Marvel's unlikeliest pairing of Avengers is mankind's only hope. Alone, neither can defeat the awesome power of Zzzax. As a duo, they just might have a chance -- if they can find a way to work together without smashing heads before time runs out!

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Xiaolin Showdown Season 3, 2005-06

Nothing quite matched the spark, enthusiasm, and unbridled fun of Xiaolin Showdown. In many ways, we all made that show our own and those characters became our family. I hope I'm lucky enough to have that experience again. But if I don't, I have nothing but gratitude for getting to do it even once.

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Wolverine and the X-Men, 2008

Following the disappearance of both Jean Grey and Charles Xavier, Wolverine becomes the new leader of the X-Men. The government organization MRD (Mutant Response Division) begins capturing mutants to "protect the safety of humankind." Magneto responds by welcoming mutants to his island sanctuary Genosha. Mix in a dystopian future war and the Hellfire Club's attempt to revive the Phoenix Force, and you got yourself a party.

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Xiaolin Showdown Season 2 (2nd half), 2005

Picking up where we left off, the second half of Season 2 gets rougher and rowdier with the villains getting more powerful and the paths of our Xiaolin warriors becoming less predictable. You might say the funny even gets seriouser! It was as suspenseful for us as we made the show as it would be for anyone watching it week after week on TV.

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Xiaolin Showdown Season 2 (1st half), 2004-2005

After season 1 wrapped in the fall of 2003, I already knew I wasn’t coming back as a director, but they were happy to have me back as a storyboard artist working for other directors. I wouldn’t be in a position to guide individual episodes, but I would get to contribute to more of them and actually leave a bigger mark on the series. Here's EVERY episode from the first half with notes for how to find my bits.

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DC Oddjobs, 2006-2010

My largest DC project was The Brave and Bold (all three seasons), but I also dipped my toe into Teen Titans and Young Justice for brief periods. For even briefer periods, I worked on the two projects presented here: Legion of Superheroes and DC Superfriends!

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Xiaolin Showdown Episode 11, 2004

Royal Rumble was the title of my fourth episode in season 1 of Xiaolin Showdown. It's also a good descriptor for the process of directing it. This turned out to be the last episode I directed, though I was still heavily involved in the show for its subsequent seasons. Why? Because there were some lessons I hadn't learned yet.

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WWE Rumblers, 2012

Never heard of this one? That's probably because it didn't get past the pilot stage. It was a 3-minute Looney Tunes-type showdown, based on a Mattel toy line, between top-tier WWE wrestlers Kane and John Cena. Since the project was so short, I'll take the opportunity to present something people outside the animation biz rarely see: multiple drafts of a storyboard as it goes through notes and revisions.

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Xiaolin Showdown Episode 8, 2004

Our third episode of this series was where we took command. We'd already taken to the show like fish to water from the beginning, but now that the 2-episode shakedown was behind us, our funniest stuff was pouring out, and we drew the best-looking storyboards we could. See them all from start to finish here!

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Marvel Oddjobs, 2018-2019

Following my five-season tenure on Avengers Assemble, I took on a new role as the “go to” guy for special projects while working on the next Spider-Man series, titled Maximum Venom. Those project are presented here for your general amusement.

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Xiaolin Showdown Episode 5, 2003

I've spoken before about "magic scripts" in the cartoon biz. At least once on any given season, I get a script that I can see play out like a movie in my head the first time I read it. Then the storyboard flows out of me with seemingly no effort at all. That's what this one was like. The art was sharper, the gags were funnier, and more personality made it into the finished show. In many cases, the storyboards were better than the finished animation.

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Tutenstein, 2003-04

Tutenstein was based on a comic by Jay Stephens and produced by Porchlight Entertainment for Discovery Kids. I drew six storyboards for the series in the spring and summer of 2003. And despite being completely outside the intended viewership, I enjoyed every minute of it.

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Men in Black, 1997

Somehow I wound up with an odd, sporadic history with the Men in Black franchise when it became the only IP that I encountered in both my comic book and animation careers. Afterward, any time I was asked what I'd worked on, eyes often lit up when I listed the MiB opening title. More than one viewer said it was the coolest opening they'd ever seen. I will go as far as to say it's the coolest opening I ever worked on.

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Xiaolin Showdown Episode 2, 2003

Of the many TV cartoons I've directed and storyboarded, It's hard to pick one that was more fun to work on than Xiaolin Showdown. It featured four kids learning martial arts, racing villains all over the world to find mystical objects called Shen Gong Wu. It was like we stepped out of a jail cell, blinking in the bright sunshine as our producer handed us the keys to a hot rod and said to drive as fast as we wanted. I love it so much, I'm doling it out one episode at a time so you can see exactly how much fun it was.

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Bionicle: Mask of Light, 2003

When I was a kid in the 70s, building stuff with Legos was one of the ways I got my creative brain thinking about how to draw things. When I was looking for work in 2002, a studio named Creative Capers hired me to draw Legos. How does that click together for ya? This was only a brief storyboarding assignment, amounting to just 4 minutes of screen time, but it fun enough to make me wish I'd done more. See the whole movie here and my storyboard for comparison.

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Avengers Season 5, 2018-2109

While we worked on season 4, one of the MCU films that came out was Civil War, which featured the debut of Black Panther. His first solo film was already in pre-production. Someone in one of the executive chairs decided that this gave us enough momentum to shift gears and turn Avengers Assemble into a Black Panther TV series with the Avengers as supporting characters. The new title would be Black Panther's Quest, and we were all there for it.

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Mummies Alive, 1996

A gang of Egyptian mummies is revived in the modern world to protect the 12-year-old descendant of their pharaoh from an evil sorcerer on a quest for immortality. Rather than stumbling around as dried-up zombie husks, they draw power from Egyptian gods that turns them superhuman guardians against villains and evil spirits. See my storyboard for one episode of this series, drawn in the last days of the pre-digital era when TV cartoons changed forever. And not entirely for the better.

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Avengers Assemble Season 4, 2016-2017

Season 4 was truly packed with major events. After the original team goes missing, Black Panther brings together the "New Avengers" until the others can be found/rescued. After some more crazy adventures, everyone is transported to Battleworld where the Beyonder makes them his pawns in our version of Secret Wars. Boyoboy those are trigger words for me. Find out why in this article.

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Body by Jake (for kids), 2010

The studio was Wildbrain and the client was actor/fitness guru Jake Steinfeld, better known under the brand name "Body by Jake." After a successful career of training adults, he made the commendable decision to turn his breezy, positive, and encouraging style toward children's health. And there are few better ways to reach children than through cartoons. I heartily endorse EVERYTHING Jake has to say in these cartoons. Well done, sir.

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