Nicktoons Week brings us the disgusting cartoon cat and dog duo Ren and Stimpy. Day 47 of the #365daysofdrawing. This was one of my favorites. It was edgy, and gross, and weird and wonderful. At times my mom tried to ban me from watching it. And I remember a period where it got moved from the daytime programming to the Saturday night Snick block. So I got to stay up late and watch it with Are You Afraid of the Dark?, which was a great time. It made you feel like you were watching something so subversive that the world was conspiring to stop you. Maybe it was.
The show could turn so dark almost instantly, and I loved it. This cartoon actually impacted me a lot as a comic artist. The massive tonal shifts, over the top emotions, sudden extreme detailed close ups, the almost expressionistic backgrounds…it all inspired me. Ironically I did collect a few comic books they made based on the show and found them lacking in a lot of those areas.
I know a lot of people hate this show, and the adult follow up series they made when Spike TV launched did not help. Not to mention some recent controversy with the creators. While it sometimes got a little too gross the bizarre creativity more than made up for it. You could see a lot of direct inspiration that led to SpongeBob being the success it is. In a lot of ways they took the Ren and Stimpy formula and made it more family friendly.
So I really wanted to draw something for this cartoon and was very happy when a fan requested it. They were a ton of poses and things to chose from, and I wouldn’t mind drawing more. The characters are so weird and extreme, and their looks shift and vary greatly in a way that makes them interesting.