Jerrybrice's Blog
The intersection of animation, entertainment, and politics

T-Rock’s Slammin Cave Dayz-An original take on the Black Flinstones By Jerry Brice

T-Rock TitleIn the 90’s, I had developed a relationship with Judy Price, who was the Vice President of Children’s Programming for C.B.S. television networks.

For some reason, she had become a fan of my No Joke comic in Urb Magazine, and I had come to find out that my friend Brian O’Neal had made her aware of it, and my work.

She made a deal with me to develop a new Saturday morning series that could appeal to the urban audience, and be somewhat pre-sold.

We tossed out a lot of ideas, and the one we went for was a black version of the popular ”Trolls” toy property.

I thought that sounded great, but we still needed a script, and some character relationships to make it all work.

I set out to develop that show, and to hedge my bet, and maximize my opportunity with the network, I also developed one of our throwaway ideas, and that was a series concept that, in a nutshell, would be the black version of ”The Flintstones”.

What I came up with was this pitch called ”T-Rocks Slammin Cave Dayz’‘, set in the prehistoric world of Atlantrock, which is basically a mixture between Atlanta, Georgia, and the mythological lost city of Atlantis.

I based the character off of my friend, Urb magazine publisher Raymond Roker, and some of the menagerie of staff and contributors that were working on the Urb to make it the phenomenon that it became.

Atlantrock,  disappeared years ago, as it sank to the bottom of their version of the La Brea Tar Pits, that they used as a dump site for the whole city.

The tar pits were growing a foot every year, due to the dumping, and it eventually grew so big, it consumed and swallowed up the city, and all its inhabitants, much like Mt. Vesuvius, but more like the lost city of Atlantis from  ancient Greek mythology.

It mirrors what is happening in the Amazon Rain forest today, if you are aware of that ecological disaster in the making.

Prior to all of that destruction, T-Rock and the gang encounter all the emotional and exciting day-to-day events that an interesting group of teens in any century can get into.

They investigate stories, and get in to conflicts, and just have fun, all in the pursuit of publishing T-Rocks underground magazine called the ”Word”.

That’s the pitch in a nutshell without getting in to the specific characters personalities, which is where the heart and legs of the humor and series is.

So, it was the Black Flintstone’s, Prehistoric Atlanta Georgia, and the La Brea Tar pits, with a little bit of the disappearing rain forest thrown in there as well.

 Now that is what I call derivative, original, and pre-sold.

All the work is the property of Brice Productions, and has never been presented publicly before. This presentation led to my company winning the Martin Lawrence project, after a former friend had attempted to get that project for himself, by misrepresenting this artwork as his own.

I found this out when I was sitting across from Martin and his producer Peaches, and Peaches was telling me that this was not my artwork, but that it was my former friends artwork. Apparently, they had met him through one of their managers, or something, and they also told me that he had been promoting my work as his own, throughout the development departments at all the major networks.

All I could do is put them in touch with my agent, Jeanne Williams at I.C.M.at that time, and she forwarded my contract with C.B.S. to them, and Judy Price stepped up, with  Brian O’neal and interceded for me.

Luckily for Martin, he had thorough investigators, and when the trail of the artwork led back to C.B.S., the network recommended me and my production company for that commission with Martin and H.B.O..

They also confirmed that the art is my original creation, from a concept I created, to the embarrassment of my former colleague. I mean, he did not work on the project at all, and he is still doing the same type of fraud.

I was susceptible for those kind of shenanigans from someone, because at that time, I had a lot of people hanging out at my studio, and I always encouraged young artist to come through,kick it, and witness how we do what we do, and keep it all professional, original, and better than every body else’s work that might present themselves as competition.

I like to create around total confusion, and very loud music, if at all possible. That’s why I thrive in Downtown L.A.

I told the young man, the next time, let me in on the gig, and I will act as if he was the creator of the artwork, or some kind of creative force behind the work, much like what the character Howard Roark did for his colleague Peter Keating ,in the novel ”The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand. Peter desired all the glitz,glamour, and public fame that comes with being considered a creative force, and Howard Roark loved the work involved with being an actual creative force.

I knew I should not have trusted him when he kept coming around my studio wearing a Brooks Brother suit, and insisting that I should wear one as well to get respect. 

 He reminded me of a pimp.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fountainhead

As on all my large productions that are heavily financed, I had assistance from other artist, that would clean-up, ink or revise my work, until we had nailed it. I like to spread the wealth, and provide artist with new and exciting opportunities to exhibit their skills, in a way that would never happen at a major studio.

Maybe one day I will get back to that ”Trolls” concept we had going…

Antlantrock Apartment Concept

Antlantrock Apartment Concept

T-Rock concept

T-Rock concept

The Girl Next door

The Girl Next door

T-Rock rough poses

T-Rock rough poses

Girl Next door rough poses

Girl Next door rough poses

The Missing Link

The Missing Link

Character Line-up T-Rock

Character Line-up T-Rock

Character Line-up-Dad, Appliance pet, Big Sis'

Character Line-up-Dad, Appliance pet, Big Sis'

Character Line-up-Final Link,Girl Next Door,Photographer friend

Character Line-up-Final Link,Girl Next Door,Photographer friend

Character Line-up-Final -cool Friend, and Hood Bully/Hater

Character Line-up-Final -cool Friend, and Hood Bully/Hater

The presentation also included a pilot script as well as a series bible describing all the details of the characters, how they relate to each other, and the overall concept for their surroundings.

All of the character deigns are based on actual people who were in my life at that time. If my cartoon design looks like someone I admire in real life, it helps me relate to the character and the material in a more personal, and emotional way.

The fact that the I can create compelling artwork and designs, in my mind, has little to do with my own desires and needs, but everything to do with a higher power, because I never set out to become a professional illustrator, and there were none in my community that I could look up to.

It simply was something born out of instinct, so it is something I can not control or dictate, nor do I care to.

It is what it is, and I keep it moving. I like to marvel at other artist brag about their work, like they never did a tight illustration before in their life….lol. I wonder how that feels…

I hope you enjoy the work.

Atlantrock Skyline Concept

Atlantrock Skyline Concept

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