Griddleville: amazing cartoon made entirely by one dude.

Jesse Brown, a BoingBoing guest-blogger, is the host of TVO's Search Engine podcast.

The most creative guy I knew in high school was this kid Ba Blackstock. He drew hilarious cartoons, directed theatrical adaptations of Dan Clowes comics and made crazy short movies.

Later, he spent years of his life making this cartoon. He went old-school, penciling by hand over a light board (he's entirely self-taught). Then he inked and colored it and added 3D stuff digitally. Of course, he nearly lost his mind in the process.

The resulting cartoon speaks for itself.

NOTE: this is just one chapter. I recommend watching the whole 14 minute thing (link.)


  1. wow…i wish i was that dedicated to hand drawn animation. i got through about 300 frames during my first school project before giving up.

    i can’t wait to see the rest of this.

  2. I have to say that based on personal experience with animators, most of them *have* lost their minds. To be an animator is a hard, hard life with little reward. But when it’s good, it’s real good!

  3. hey! wow! I went to school with Jacob Blackstock too. It only took one frame to see that it was his work; not much has changed since grade 6. I wonder if he still speaks Klingon…

  4. Ba stills speaks Klingon, among other dialects. Original tunes are by other high school alumni E. Pendergrast & M. Goodwin. Checkout his latest project @

    @#13 – “Horrible voice acting” is a little harsh

    Love, one of the horrible voice actors, A. Hogg

  5. To each their own, #13 but for my money Keith White’s voice work as Spag is top-notch! He nails the zany attitude without veering into the annoying…

    You too, Hogg.

  6. @2 TheKingInYellow:

    This really doesn’t look like it’s hand-drawn frame by frame, like you’re imagining.

    I’d say many of the elements may certainly have been hand drawn on a light board, but the video was then created with animation software.

    That said, this is really, really delightful. Whimsical and fun with really good pacing and variety. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I think it’s very worth mentioning that almost every single animator I know is self taught, and makes all their short films on their own.

    I don’t want to thumb my nose at Ba, here.
    As an animator I’m delighted that anyone would sit down and make an animated short but I feel compelled to champion my people.

  8. @Nosehat – If I remember correctly, each and every frame was hand drawn on a light board, then individually scanned & traced in Illustrator, finally brought into Flash to color, tweak and render the scenes (with a number of other programs used for other elements).

    Another interesting point, without stealing the story from Ba, was that this was optioned by a major Canadian network, but the option expired as the network execs could not comprehend a Canadian cartoon for kids that lacked a Villain, amongst other cartoon series archetypes.

    A. Hogg

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