Rebecca Sugar’s Subtle Cartoon Chaos

Rebecca Sugar is a 26-year-old cartooning pioneer. First with “Adventure Time.” Now with “Steven Universe.” Rebecca Sugar is with us.

The main cast of Rebecca Sugar's popular new Cartoon Network cartoon, "Steven Universe." (Cartoon Network)

The main cast of Rebecca Sugar’s popular new Cartoon Network cartoon, “Steven Universe.” (Cartoon Network)

Tom Hanks plays Mr. Animation, Walt Disney, in a big new film out next month, but never mind all that Hollywood history.  We’re looking at animation, cartoons, right now. Rebecca Sugar is 26 years old.  She’s just become the first woman ever in the 21-year run of the Cartoon Network to create and run her own show.  She was Emmy-nominated for episodes of “Adventure Time.” Now she’s out with “Steven Universe.”  We’ll talk with Rebecca Sugar about what it takes these days to grab the creative reins and ride.  Up next On Point:  Rebecca Sugar, cartoon chief.

– Tom Ashbrook


Rebecca Sugar, creator of the new show “Steven Universe,” former writer on “Adventure Time.” First solo female creator of a cartoon on the Cartoon Network. (@RebeccaSugar)

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post:Steven Universe’ creator Rebecca Sugar is a Cartoon Network trailblazer — “By following her artistic passion from Silver Spring to Hollywood, Sugar has become something of a trailblazer. On Monday evening, Cartoon Network will debut its newest program, ‘Steven Universe,’officially making Sugar, at just 26, the first woman to be a solo show creator in the channel’s 21 years on the air. She is thrilled to achieve the breakthrough, but with just days until the debut, she’s not focused on being the first female creator — she’s too busy simply being a creator, with plenty to still decide and coordinate.”

Indie Wire: ‘Adventure Time’ Writer Rebecca Sugar on ‘Steven Universe,’ Being Cartoon Network’s First Female Show Creator And Why Pop Art Is ‘Offensive’ — “There are a lot of ways in which I feel different from other creators at the network, but I think the biggest one is that I’m not from California, and that’s always made me feel different from the other people I was working with who went to CalArts. So I feel that in an abstract way. In my life I feel the East Coast-West Coast difference more. I’m always trying to psych myself up and say, ‘I can do this!” because it’s a very stressful thing.'”

New York Times: Rising Animators Spring Into Motion — “In ‘It Came From the Nightosphere,’ an episode of the Cartoon Network series ‘Adventure Time,’ Marceline, a vampire over 1,000 years old but who looks 19, sings a tender ballad about feeling betrayed by her father, who also happens to be an unkillable, soul-sucking demon. The Emmy-nominated episode was co-written by Rebecca Sugar, and so was the ballad ‘Daddy, Why Did You Eat My Fries?’ A graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York, Ms. Sugar was wooed by the network after her self-published comics, created while in high school in Maryland, caught the eye of Pendleton Ward, the creator of ‘Adventure Time.’ Since then, Ms. Sugar has created 21 episodes, including celebrated ones like ‘Fionna and Cake,’ in which the heroes switch genders, and ‘Lady and Peebles,’ featuring a unicorn speaking in long passages of untranslated Korean.””

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