So it was 1997, and The Tick animated series had just been cancelled. I was living in Manhattan then, but had started on the show while still in college and living in New Jersey, and I never anticipated having a career in animation. So I kind of had no idea what to do with myself. A good friend, who had been the executive at Fox assigned to all Tick licensing products, got me a job on The King of the Hill as a storyboard artist, since her then-fiance was one of the directors. So I picked up and moved to L.A. to work on it.
Three months later, I'd had enough of L.A. (or, more accurately, missed N.Y. terribly) and had couch surfed my way through a few friends' places and gave notice on the show. For my last two weeks in town, I crashed at my new friend/co-worker Anthony Lioi's place...
Somewhere along the way, I'd picked up what I considered to be the funniest painting in the world at a local garage sale. It depicted a little boy standing on the moon and was obviously painted by a loving-if-misguided aunt or grandmother or something. The moon and spacesuit were clearly cribbed from a NASA photo, but the little boy's face inside the helmet bore the squinty eyes and hot glare of a family photo album snapshot, most likely taken at a Sea World or something.
Anyway, I cherished this thing. And as my last day in town approached, I didn't really want to wrap it up and send it to myself, so I decided to give it to Anthony, as a token of my appreciation for letting me stay at his place, and being a friend to me during what was kind of a psychologically tumultuous few months. It was my understanding that some day, when the time was right and he'd tired of it, perhaps during some future business trip to L.A., he would return the painting to me.
Then today, he sent me this link:
This is how my friends show their love for me.
P.S. I cried a little.
UPDATE: Venture Bros. animatic editor/Animo re-compositer/much nicer friend Tom Bayne has posted this video response, in order to piece my soul back together:
The secret files of the Ventureverse
- This Is How My Friends Treat Me...