Mike Gribble and Craig “Spike” Decker started their theatrical showcase of independent animation shorts back in 1977 — a time when the entire medium was dismissed as for babies and it was nearly impossible to get an adult-themed cartoon any kind of decent distribution (unless your name was Ralph).
Spike & Mike’s Festival Of Animation was an important step in the genre’s long climb out of the dregs of the 70s into the revolution of the 90s. It brought to the masses countless talent they might otherwise have never been aware of and launched the careers of dozens of folks that are industry legends today.
Skybound Entertainment, the production company of Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead, Invincible) has announced they’ve acquired the rights to Spike & Mike’s and will be bringing the festival back. In modern times, getting an indie animation short out there is as simple as pushing a button, so you might ask what purpose Spike and Mike’s would have now. You’ve clearly never tried to get noticed on the Internet. It’s nearly impossible and based entirely on luck.
In a world of cold algorithms, human aggregators still have a purpose. The Spike & Mike’s name still carries some weight, and distributing new shorts in a theatrical festival will give them exposure they otherwise wouldn’t have had (and hopefully, prominent jobs from there).
“I’m incredibly appreciative of Skybound’s respect and understanding of what the Spike & Mike brand has accomplished, and what we can continue to offer.” says Spike Decker, the surviving member. “I’m excited to see what they’re able to do for existing Spike & Mike work and look forward to developing a new chapter with them.”
Submissions are now open at the new Spike & Mike’s website. Shorts can be submitted in one of three categories: Festival of Animation (general audiences), Sick & Twisted (decidedly adult), and Arty Farty (anything that leans more toward art than entertainment). Send yours today and reach for the stars!