In the 90s, while I still had a foot in the door of animation, I created and pitched a few ideas for series, including this one, which my brother Gunnar and I collaborated on. Gunnar put together a great text document, which I no longer have a copy of (Gunnar? Do you still have it?) describing the series as an animated riff on Vegas in the 50s.
The concept was to have this guy, Chesterfield Slacks, battling for gigs in the swankiest clubs in Los Vegas. His rivals include Dirk HiJean, a slick Pat Boone kinda guy and the mysterious mobster known only as The Chairman, his gang members resembling the infamous Rat Pack. Then there’s Lola Getz, the queen of Bossa Nova, and whatever Lola wants…
Even though Chesterfield Slacks is a lounge singer, the idea was to never hear him sing a single note. Every time he put his mouth to the microphone, we’d cut away. It was to be an adult cartoon, with drinking and smoking. Like Mad Men, only much funnier.
The style was going to be purely late 50s and early 60s, and we planned to get in touch with Capitol Records to make a deal to include swinging ultra-lounge music which had a short revival in the 90s. Alas, when pitched to Canadian networks, it was turned down for being too “American”. Here are my early sketches trying to portray Chester. I can see why I’m not hired as a character artist very often: