Sick Little Monkeys: The Unauthorized Ren & Stimpy Story
By Thad Komorowski
(2013, Bear Manor Media)
In the 1990s animation boom, The Ren & Stimpy Show stood supreme. Through vigorous draftsmanship, charismatic voices, irreverent sight gags, crass humor, and stellar character acting, animation’s most talented and disturbed artists created an entity for the Nickelodeon cable network that pulled the art form out of a 25-year rut. The world has never been quite the same since – and we’re eternally grateful!
Now you too can join the roller coaster ride that is the fascinating, insane real-life story of art, money, and ego that gave birth to Ren Höek and Stimpson J. Cat. History Eraser Buttons need not apply. No stone has been unturned, no magic nose goblin unpicked, in this extensively detailed history of the show that defined a generation and changed an entire medium. It’s everything you wanted to know about Ren & Stimpy – but were afraid to ask!
Praise for Sick Little Monkeys:
“A compelling cautionary tale of rags-to-riches success in Hollywood, Thad Komorowski’s book documents the entire story behind Nickelodeon’s first cartoon hit, The Ren & Stimpy Show, utilizing extensive interviews with the program’s key players — including the cartoonists, network executives, and voice actors — justifying the show’s important role in the recent history of animation. A great read.” – Jerry Beck, Animation Historian and Co-Founder of Cartoon Brew
“The behind-the-scenes drama was even stranger and more outrageous than the actual animated television series and Thad Komorowski tells the tale with no punches pulled.” – Jim Korkis, Author of The Revised Vault of Walt
“If you care about animation, and specifically about what is probably the only television animation of the last few decades that is worth a minute of your time, you should buy the book.” – Michael Barrier, Animation Historian and author of Hollywood Cartoons and The Animated Man
“Thad Komorowski’s Sick Little Monkeys is perhaps the most thoroughly researched and extensive attempt to shed real light and clarity on the matter. From the outset his approach is candid and, most refreshingly, without allegiance to any party in particular. Ultimately, The Ren & Stimpy Show comes across as a radical gamble that was doomed from the outset by its own audacity. Its flaws, multitudinous though they may be, contribute to its charm and its place as contemporary animation’s biggest anomaly and, simultaneously, its most important saviour.” – Ben Mitchell, Skwigly
“If you are not a fan of the show, this book is still worth reading for the light it sheds on the workings of the TV animation business. There is always tension between artists and business people over resources and content. People working in TV animation and those with ambitions to create shows need to understand the pressures and the pitfalls that shape the business. Sick Little Monkeys is a cautionary tale about walking the fine line between artistic ambition and the reality of the marketplace.” – Mark Mayerson, Animation Scholar (Sheridan College)
“The most remarkable take-away from the book is just how intense the animation world is, considering how small the field, and how difficult it is was to create an animated show that wasn’t beholden to marketing campaigns and the canned laughter approach of the cartoon world from the 50s through the 80s. If you were/still are a fan of Ren & Stimpy, the book will definitely give you a real perspective that you didn’t have before. Truly a must-read.” – Elizabeth Weitz, Forces of Geek