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Animated Radio

posted Sep 10, 2018, 4:40 PM by Viktor Zólyomi   [ updated Sep 10, 2018, 4:40 PM ]
The following article by Jonathan Parker was originally published in the Con City Times.

Veteran action movie actor Jamie Ace is seething with rage over the fate of his new animated television show, which currently airs on Desert Rock Radio. The show, called Brutus Catus, is about an animated crime fighting cat who keeps the streets of Cat City safe from thuggish giant rats, cheese smuggling crows, and sidewalk fouling poodles. The name of the protagonist, Brutus Catus, is a mild reference to the character of Brutus Force portrayed by Jamie Ace in the Bombs, Bullets & Babes movies. This, many believe, may have caused the show's cancellation on Channel 11, the television station that had produced the show in the first place.

`It was a good plan, honestly,' says Jeremy Edwards, Marketing Director at Channel 11. `Everyone knows and loves Brutus Force. Little kids wish they were old enough to watch those movies. So why not produce a family friendly animated show about a cat who does the same thing Brutus Force does, just with a lot less violence and a lot less exposed breasts? It was a recipe for success, for sure. And obviously, we had to get Jamie Ace to voice the cat. But then the animators said we should have Brutus Catus resemble Jamie Ace as closely as possible. That, too, sounded like an excellent idea. We never expected it would backfire in the end.'

Jamie Ace is often referred to as `the man of a thousand identical facial expressions,' and has won several awards for his ability to `keep his face so rigid in emotional scenes it could only be done with great effort and dedication.' To do his acting skills justice, the animators at Channel 11 decided that Brutus Catus should have the exact same facial expression in every frame. Due to this, the cat's face was rendered as a static image in the entirety of the show.

`It was the only way,' says Kyle Gomez, lead animator on Brutus Catus. `How else were we supposed to make this damn cat look like Jamie Ace? Even the slightest bit of animation in the cat's head would have meant that no one would recognize him as Jamie Ace's feline equivalent. But I don't understand why people complain so much. Sure, Brutus Catus's head is not animated. But everything else is. So what's all the fuss about?'

The stark contrast between the static face of Brutus Catus and the speed with which he claws his way through his adversaries apparently did not sit well with audiences who complained about nausea, lack of immersion, and boredom. Ratings plummeted after the second episode, and by the fourth Channel 11 decided to take the show off the air and replace it with reruns of old Joe's Gonna Kiss You episodes.

`It was a catastrophe,' says Jeremy Edwards about the cancellation. `In retrospect, we should have used puppets. Or made a live action kid's show with Jamie Ace. Although that would have been a lot more expensive to make. And the channel's not doing so great these days.'

Still reeling from the cancellation of one of their leading programs, Channel 11 decided to try and salvage the fiasco with Brutus Catus by offering up the rights to broadcast the show to the highest bidder. Desert Rock Radio secured the rights for an undisclosed sum. Other stations expressed their interest in the show as well, including Radio Con City, albeit their application was turned down due to the limited amount of airtime they have every month. No television channels made a serious bid.

Desert Rock Radio now airs the show every Saturday at 10 AM, in audio only format for obvious reasons. Jamie Ace is furious over the fact that his first foray into animation met such an inglorious end, and is demanding on social media that the show be given a release on internet video hosting sites. Channel 11 has thus far refused to comply, while Desert Rock Radio are unable to as they only purchased the rights to the audio track of the series.

Rick Jackson, producer of the Bombs, Bullets & Babes movies, believes that the fault lies with the actor himself. `I told Jamie this would happen,' the producer says. `He goes and gives his voice and his face to a lame ripoff of Bombs, Bullets & Babes with a title that's barely legal, produced by some second rate television channel, and he's surprised his show bombs? Of course it bombed, it was not produced by me. Not that I wanted to, but if I had, the show would have made billions and would have been released theatrically. And we wouldn't have called it Brutus Catus, either. It would have been called: If Brutus Force Were A Cat. But it wasn't. So, tough luck, Jamie. Now get your ass back on the set of the next Bombs, Bullets & Babes before your career follows this animated show into oblivion.'

Jamie Ace continues his social media crusade to try and get Brutus Catus a wider, on-screen release. He has launched a crowd funding campaign to gather enough funds to purchase the rights to the show for himself so he could binge watch it in his living room and live stream it to the entire world on the internet. After the first twenty-four hours, the total amount of funding he has accumulated is one dollar, donated by a user named `notJamieAce' and accompanied by a comment that says, `I'd pay more but I gotta save for the coke I'll need to watch this shit.' Jamie Ace remains confident that his campaign will pick up in the near future.