The Crew - Humble Beginnings

It’s hard to describe what this past year has meant to me. If 2017 is the year of building The Crew, 2016 was the year its foundation was laid. Unemployed, depressed, and directionless, I was looking for anything to occupy myself with. Working on my personal art projects felt tedious, as the work was beautiful but not fun. I wanted something different than I'd ever done before, something light and carefree to take my mind off my circumstances.

If memory serves, I had called my sister Catalina into my room and showed her this image. I remember saying something like “I have this idea about a group of scumbag heroes! What do you think?”


She told me then what she would continue to tell me throughout the year - “There’s something there, but it’s not there yet.

Don’t get me wrong – I can clearly see this is just a rough concept, but she was pointing to something deeper. I never really considered that this would be the beginning of our working relationship, let alone that she had just stated the mantra that we would continue to use when we would hit a brick wall. At the time I wanted The Crew to be a web comic I could quickly publish while I worked on more “serious” projects. Regardless of how I saw the project, I took her feedback, made some alterations, and about a month or so later I returned with an updated line up and new backstories for each character.

Again, it ended with a “There’s something there, but it’s not there yet.” And so it continued...

Days, or sometimes weeks, would pass before bringing the project up again. With every revision, the project and The Crew would come into clearer focus. While initially The Crew was just something we would joke about, it quickly became apparent that there was something of substance here. Every joke led to a scenario, and every scenario to a scene, until one day the world just came alive. By this point, it was obvious to me that the comic format of storytelling fell short of what our story demanded; to properly translate the idea of the The Crew it would need to be an animated show. This was only confirmed the day Catalina explained that this would be a show that she wanted to watch, and as the old adage goes, make something you'd want to see. We said farewell to the comic format and never looked back.

I enjoyed brainstorming with Catalina so much that I asked her to officially help me write on the project. While my strengths lie in story structure and visual arts, Catalina has a natural intuition about comedy and personality dynamics. Sometimes we may just be watching a commercial, but she is always keen to pull inspiration out of the most mundane, though characteristically human moments. Over the first three quarters of the 2016, we chipped away at this mountain of ideas until we’d eventually taken the project as far as it could go. We had written quite a bit, but really the work had been done establishing the world of The Crew. We had always worked with the idea that once we knew our characters inside and out, we'd be able to place them in any scenario and have them write themselves. While we could have moved into production at that point, the words we repeated so often now caused me to look for the flaws I didn't know the project had. "There's something there, but it's not there yet." I had began to listen to my intuition and my intuition was pointing me in one direction...

That's it for this week folks! I hope you enjoyed my first blog post, as we'll continue our behind the scenes look at the The Crew! If you haven't seen it yet, we hosted a live Concept Art session last night on Periscope and we'll continue holding them every Thursday at 7:30pm CST.

Remember to enter for a chance to win the Nicolas Cage mask from Alamo Draft House! Just tell us your useless super power on Twitter or on Instagram and don't forget to add #TheCrew #CageFace


More Fan Art, #Cageface Contest, and Concept Art Livestream Tomorrow!

It's already Wednesday?! Time is flying by! We've gotten more great auditions this week and continue to receive support from those that are excited to see where The Crew is going and want to come along for the ride. We'd like to express our gratitude once more by thanking everyone! Being on this side of The Crew and getting to interact with people from all walks of life is proof that there are those that truly understand the desire to produce something great and creativity has no age limit.

If you haven't already heard this week's podcast, you may not know we are having a contest for our listeners to win a Nic Cage face that the Alamo Draft House was giving away to those that attended this year's C4GED event in Austin. Our own writer, Aidan Myles Green, has kindly offered this as our first listener giveaway prize! To win, all you need to do is tweet us your useless superpower and use the hashtags #cageface #TheCrew! Some have direct messaged us since we actively communicate with our supporters and which is fine too! If you don't have Twitter you can find us on Instagram and comment or message us your useless power there as well.

Today we will be adding a new gallery on our website which will feature fan art to highlight those that would like to give us their interpretation of our characters or draw scenes they've imagined. You can tweet us yours to have it featured on our site too! Here is this week's newest addition that quite accurately brings to life the colorful Mo!

This hilarious drawing is courtesy of  Seth Tyler Jackson  via Twitter

This hilarious drawing is courtesy of Seth Tyler Jackson via Twitter

Lastly, tomorrow at 7:30 PM CST we will be live streaming via Periscope a concept art session! We haven't decided what we will draw but want to give you an opportunity to engage in our process when creating the world of The Crew. Be sure to watch and participate by giving us your feedback! Join us every Thursday for this and be sure to follow us, subscribe, and share with your friends.

Updates! Auditions! Fan Art! Shoutouts!

Where do we begin?! The countless phenomenal auditions? The first piece of fan art? The support of a few Comic Book Men?!

WHEW! We made it through our first week with The Crew and it has been full of wonderful surprises and an outpouring of support that we didn't anticipate so soon. This week we will begin reaching out to a few individuals but by no means have we made any final decisions. Additionally, we would like to make clear to everyone that casting will continue throughout the entire series even for smaller/reoccurring roles and those that first auditioned for our principal characters will be used to give as many of our supporters an opportunity to be a part of The Crew.

On a different note, one of our wonderful early supporters @becca_zabolio tweeted us this beautiful drawing of Matty. Feel free to tweet us and share your drawings too! Who knows - we might just use them in an episode!

And finally, we would be remiss if we didn't say a big Thank You to Michael Zapcic, Ming Chen, and Kevin Smith for the likes and retweets in support of former SMODCO animator and now creator/animator of The Crew, Jose Briseno. 

Check out our new weekly podcast up today, and don't forget to follow, subscribe, and share!