Think of 13 year old Haleigh.
Nerdy, constantly online playing Neopets. I would look at their newspaper, called the “The Neopian Times” mind you, but I wouldn’t read any of the articles. I would look at the comics people would send in.
I wanted so badly to create a comic and submit it to their newspaper. I actually still have so many rough draft squirreled up in my room somewhere. All pencil drawings with fuzzy little animals on them. I don’t think I ever made the paper, but it still had a huge impact on me.
One of the biggest impacts was that someone submitted an actual animated cartoon. With voice acting and everything. I was astounded. Could someone seriously just make cartoons of their own and upload them?
Naturally, I searched out an answer. The answer is a little embarrassing. In fact, someone close to me teased me the other day about how nerdy it was.
Naruto Fan Flashes by Snowdragon. I’m cringing right now. They’re terrible to watch, especially if you’ve never seen the show. It pretty much sums up what 2007/2008 was like: random nerdy humor.
But over the years I did find out something interesting about those series of animations. There are a lot of people who have seen those animations. I mean a lot. I’m talking thousands. And those thousands of people had the same thought I did: “I want to make animations like this.”
On art websites I joined, animated cartoons would usually make the front page. They were highly popular, and usually a spoof on some video game. That was the norm. Everyone wanted to animate.
People left and right would download a program called Adobe Flash. It was a rather expensive program that would make parents weep when they searched up items on their child’s Christmas wish list. You know all those stickman fighting animations you would watch on youtube?
Now Snowdragon wasn’t the only one. Many people followed Edd Gould, the man who created the Eddsworld flashes online. They were insanely popular. So much so, close friends have continued his series even after his passing back in 2012, in memory of him.
Eddsworld cartoons impacted kids so much, he had copy cats of his style. I remember joining art websites and seeing look-a-likes with similar plot lines of kids and their own friends.
Just a simple search on google for “online cartoon” can bring thousands of results, with most of them being adobe flash animated cartoons. This was back in earlier 2004 to 2008 era. Online cartoon popularity grew more over the years, and it was all thanks to a particular website called Newgrounds.
Part 2 coming soon…
[Pictures from neopets.com and youtube.com]