We are me...Doug Compton. The pic here was taken by my dad, a photographer
by trade, sometime near the end of the 1950s. A few years later, now I am a
cartoonist and animator living in the rugged rocky foothills of the
Kittatinny Mountains of northwestern New Jersey, USA.
I grew up in New Jersey in the 60s (lived in Riverdale N.Y. on the Hudson
river for a couple years too) and in 1971 graduated High School and left
home on an amazing cross country journey in my '67 Mustang. Over the next
few years, I sold the Mustang, but traveled extensively by thumb back and
forth across America to California, to New Mexico, to Florida...and
eventually ended up back in my home state of New Jersey, where I decided to
get serious, stop selling my blood for a living and get a career. Since
becoming a professional like a doctor or lawyer or accountant or such would
have required long hard hours of toil and study (things I was definitely
never accustomed to),I decided to try and do the thing I loved and that
always came naturally to me, drawing cartoons.
I'll never forget the thrill I had as a child when watching those great
Disney films on the big screen. The sight of the crocodile crashing Captain
Hook through the wall of Skull Rock...Monstro the Whale bearing down
relentlessly on Pinnochio and Geppetto...Maleficent's transformation into an
enormous Dragon...The Tyrannosaur and Stegosaur battle in Fantasia...(I had
a thing for Dinosaurs...in school one year they called me "Dinosaur Doug")
and let's not forget the "funny" cartoons on TV. To this day Bugs Bunny and
Popeye(the Fleisher version of course) remain my favorite cartoon characters.
And to be fair, while I frown on the work of Hanna-Barbara today, it was The
Flintstones (again my fascination with dinosaurs coming into play) that
really got me to drawing. One day my mom got me to draw Fred Flintstone for
some visiting adult friends, and their genuinely amazed praise was addictive.
I found myself to be an artist.
In 1975, while attending the School of Visual Arts in New York City, I
landed a job as a messenger at a commercial animation studio, Phil Kimmelman
and Associates. While running all over Manhattan I learned all the aspects
of the commercial animation business, the agencies, the artists, the
cameramen, the film labs...and within 6 months I was doing limited animation
for a TV special.
I continued doing animation work at PK&A, and running
messages in between, until 1978 when I joined Perpetual Motion Pictures as a
full fledged animation artist. In 1980 the company divided and I went
freelance, working for different studios in New York, and eventually
expanding my clientele to include studios in other cities.
I call my company Karmatoons, well...because I guess over the years I have
learned the laws of karma and how they work. I believe karma to be a
definite and tangible force. When you do something that harms someone, or
even if you simply tell a lie, there will be a time when that negative act
comes back at you. Maybe not directly, but in some way shape or form. It
merely takes an intelligent observation of one's own acts and their
consequences to see that this is so. Anyway, I thought it was a cool name.