For the past two years, a mysterious cartoonist named Aphids J. Kaboodle has been posting very funny (and very short) videos to Youtube. The star of these films is a guiless anthropomorphic bow-tie named Bow Tie and the stories seem to be based on autobiographical events from Aphid’s life. For the first time ever, Aphids agreed to be interviewed via email. But first, let’s get you acquainted with the world of Bow Tie:
Tell me a little about yourself, Aphids. Who are you? Are you an aphid or a bow-tie?
Aphids: Aphids is actually an acronym for Awesome Person Handling Inevitable Daily Situations. I can’t tell you what Kaboodle means without blushing. I work in the entertainment industry by day and make these cartoons after dark. Although daylight savings time is really messing with the latter.
You release an animated short film just about every day, even with a full-time job. How do you find the time? What keeps you churning these little movies out at such an impressive pace?
Aphids: Time is where you find it. Usually right next to where you’ve lost your glasses. My normal release schedule is a new cartoon every Tuesday, but just for the month of April I amped it up to do daily releases for VEDA (Vlog Every Day in April). It’s been a fun opportunity to further flesh out the world of Bow Tie with new stories and even more original songs.
Is every Bow-Tie autobiographical? Do you find it funnier to fictionalize the events or stick as close to the truth as possible?
Aphids: Yes, each episode of Bow Tie is based on a real moment in time from my life. Some have hardly any fictionalization besides the lens of caricature that animation offers. Others have a little embellishment.
Do you do play all the character voices yourself?
Aphids: Yes, I do all the voices from males to females to robot males. My process is super high tech and involves going into a closet with an iPhone and a
How do you decide what type of creature or object to cast people from your past as?
Aphids: It’s usually based on a key feature of the person. For instance in “Lunch with Skip,” I made Skip a pelican, because the real guy he’s based on is always jutting out his jaw in a cocky way. In “Three’s Company” Bow Tie’s wing man is a men’s hat because that friend always bought a new hat before a night on the town.
What does the future hold for Bow-Tie? Have you found that you’re running out of personal anecdotes or do you plan on making Bow-Tie for the rest of your life?
Aphids: I don’t think I could run out of ideas, even if it went another 20 years, because Bow Tie is about the little moments. I have a near photographic memory for those. I think most normal people’s brains flush that stuff away, but mine seem to collect as if in a file cabinet. In the end, it’s the little things that make up a lifetime, since the big events are so few and far between.
Do you plan to turn Bow-Tie into a longer form show at some point?
Aphids: I do think Bow Tie could sustain a longer form show or even a feature film, so I wouldn’t rule anything out. But for now, these 30 sec stories are like a kind of fun comedy lab. It’s a neat challenge to tell a little self-contained story in Bow Tie’s world.
The stories seem to range from Bow-Tie’s childhood all the way until his married life. Yet Bow-Tie never ages at all. Is this a commentary on the notion that people never really change?
Aphids: I dig the all-ages approach of Bow Tie because it just brings more freedom. A problem in TV series animation is how locked down everything has to be. Characters have such strict rules in that landscape, but in a little Youtube cartoon you make your own rules.
You can keep updated on Bow Tie’s misadventures here at his Facebook page.