Funny or Die animated "Greg and Charmaine" is a Columbus creation

Jim Fischer

When the new Funny or Die animated series "Greg and Charmaine" happens into your social feed, watch it and support the Columbus arts community.

The series, which debuted today at, was created by writer Dan Ewen and Tom Richner, associate professor of animation at CCAD.

Richner, whose background is in traditional animation - including six seasons working on "The Simpsons" – did "Greg and Charmaine" in cut-out style (think "South Park").

"It's pretty popular right now. It's a sort of down-and-dirty approach to animating that's getting a bit more sophisticated in the last couple of years," Richner said.

Greg and Charmaine are voiced by Ewen and his wife. The characters are originally from the South but have moved and are increasing surrounded by the cosmopolitan, high-tech and Bohemian. Episodes chronicle their attempts (often failed) at understanding and adaptation.

The pair did the voice recordings in one take, hoping for (and getting) some awkward pauses in the script, which includes arguments and confusion, rather than opt for a quick-edit audio style.

Richner said he drew each character only once, set the main poses then just continued to build throughout the approximately four-minute script. "Greg and Charmaine" is animated using Toon Boom.

The cut-out style allows for a faster animation process, allowing the scripts to be timely. Richner said episode two will reference "a certain major science fiction movie that's coming out soon."

Richner said there is currently a two-episode agreement with Funny or Die.