Ballmastrz: 9009 follows Gaz Digzy, a washed-up superstar and notorious party gal who, after a spiral of destructive antics, is demoted to The Leptons, the worst team in The Game. Her only way back to the top is to somehow lead these pathetic misfits and “ultimate losers” to victory. After the Titmouse Panel at Emerald City Comic Con, we got to sit down with Ballmastrz creator Christy Karacas. As well as Titmouse Inc Founder Chris Prynoski to talk about this brand new series.

Be sure to read our first interview with Titmouse Inc here!

ComicsVerse: Can you tell me a little bit about the origins of Ballmastrz?

Chris: Yeah you should be the one to talk about that.

Christy: To be honest I think the original pitch was a while ago. It was a couple years ago, I think we weren’t done completely with Superjail season four, but I think we’re just trying to line up, “What’s the next thing.” And again, like I said in the panel, I’ve always been a big Anime fan, and I just thought I was seeing a lot of stuff that was new for me, but I also like the old stuff. Then I just thought, “Oh there’s not really a sports show on Adult Swim.” And it’s funny because there are so many sports shows out there, stuff like Eastbound & Down. As well as sports Manga and Anime.

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Christy: Yeah, you know what’s funny? With the sports stuff, a lot of it is films as opposed to series. So, it is funny. Yeah, what else was I watching? Mighty Ducks for sure.

Chris: What’s that one with Charlie Sheen in it?

Christy: Oh, Oh, Major League.

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Christy: Major League. Well, to be honest, you know what’s funny? I forgot about this. The Baby Ball in Ballmastrz is kind of, inspired by that poster because when I was a kid and Major League came out. The poster is a baseball with sunglasses and mohawk and stuff. When I was a kid and I went, I saw the movie, I was like, “Where’s that ball?” because I thought that was going to be in the movie. And I was so like, “Crap, there’s no ball”. I thought it’d be like, stop motion or something. And I was like, “Oh, maybe in this sport the balls are alive and they can talk like that ball, it’s like a crazy ball.” I totally forgot about that.

Chris: That first thing that you told me was like, “Dude I want to do this show and it’s going to have a talking ball, and I want Dana Snyder to be the voice of the ball.” And I was like, “Sounds great.”

Christy: I have the worst memory like I forgot all this stuff.

Chris: Well, there you go. It’s Exclusive!

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CV: That’s awesome. So Ballmastrz has been in development for about how long?

Chris: Well it’s been in production for about a year. Maybe a little longer, if we’re including the pilot. I can’t remember, but the first season, because they announced it at the Adult Swim upfronts in 2015, so that is how long. And we had already been working on it at that point.

Christy:  I don’t think of myself as like the strongest writer, I shouldn’t be saying that in interviews, but it’s true. But, I took a long time to, kind of, figure out what it was really going to be about, and I think I might have also been freelancing some other stuff, like some other odd jobs.

Chris: You did like the storyboarding for the Moonbeam City pilot.

Christy: Yeah. I think I was, kind of, working on it while doing other jobs. Because like, when you’re working on that, it’s not like you’re going to work every day getting a paycheck, so you’re, kind of, working on it on the side, and I think that I just took a while to get it to figured out. But then, once we submitted the script and the storyboard it was pretty quick. It was more like, “Okay, this is cool, let’s make the pilot.” So, we made the pilot, and that took maybe three months. Then you, kind of, wait and see if they’re going to order the series so, it always kind of takes a while.

Chris: You were working on a Star Wars thing? Like, some other stuff.

Christy: We’re not allowed to talk about that.

Chris: Who knows? Anyway, whatever. That’s not part of the story.

Christy: Yeah, I think that I was doing some odd things. I just didn’t want you to get the impression it was in this weird, you know, long development hell, it wasn’t at all. I was slow basically, I took too long.

CV: Well, you were figuring out if you wanted to make it a kids show like Robotomy or more for adults like Superjail, correct?

Christy: Well, you know what it was?  Kind of like Antonio Canobbio said on the panel, VP/Creative Director at Titmouse inc. I think I was getting too complicated with the world, and I was also juggling with how weird this is going to be or how funny. At the end of the day, it is Adult Swim, it needs to be comedy. But I still think there is like a lot of weird in it. I think that I was just figuring out this world. Because I think there were some other versions of it where the game was much more of a strange like meta-world that wasn’t reality.

There was all this complicated stuff, and it just came down to, you know what, it’s just a sport because there is the other thing, there’s this whole thing, when I made all these rules. It was like trying to make it like a real game, and I was like, “There’s no time or enough minutes to watch a real game and have a story.” So, they should just pretty much fight, and try to kill each other like Dragon Ball Z or something. But, it’s a little simpler, you can score, and you can kill, and that’s it, just try to stay alive.

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CV: So, you were putting like a little bit of pressure on yourself. Do you think that was partly because you were trying to appease your fans of Superjail a little bit? To make it that crazy and that off the wall?

Christy: Yeah, I just wanted it to be good because I just figured if the pilot wasn’t good, it won’t go to series. With these type of series, you need to think about longevity. You need to have good enough characters and stories, so you can tell multiple episodes. So there was a lot of figuring it out. I mean, again, I think a lot of the stuff that was getting figured out, didn’t get put into it, but I think that was a good thing.

But to be honest, I was doing Superjail for so long that I got so used to this style and tone, and I was like, “I really want this to be really different than Superjail.”. So, it’s also like, kind of, that adjustment period of switching gears and figuring out, “What is this show like? What is different about it? How is it still something that comes from me?” You know what I mean?

Chris: Yeah, I remember you talking about like how you didn’t want to repeat Superjail, you wanted to have a different style. We talked about like definitely doing painted backgrounds, doing a composite, making it feel like it’s different. Superjail was flat art with a lot of stuff going on. This is like, not as many characters going bananas with like more depth and texture.

Christy: We tried hard to really make it look different and again, it’s still raw but it’s a lot slicker too in some ways. Ballmastrz it’s just different.

Chris: We got some of our like coo-coo bananas like super slick effect animators to work on it, so the effects are all like “Whaaaa!”

Christy: Yeah like when you’re watching Anime, you’re like, well, what’s the coolest thing is like, say, One-Punch Man, when he punches, he doesn’t just punch them, there’s crazy energy, and lightning bolts and effects animation. It has a lot of that.

Ballmastrz

CV: Can you tell me a little bit more about Digzy and the Leptons?

Christy: Yeah, so Gaz Digzy’s like the Michael Jordan of this sport, she’s super badass and awesome, but she’s a lot of trouble and she’s just, basically gone too far this time, and so they put her on the worst team in the game, the Leptons. And then they’re like if you can get this team to the championships, you can go back to your old team, but that probably won’t happen. I tell people it’s like Rollerball meets The Bad News Bears, mixed with Anime. So, it’s pretty fun. It’s been a really fun show to work on, it’s super fun.

CV: Is there any sequence in the upcoming Ballmastrz that you’re more excited about than any other?

Christy: In the third episode, there’s a flashback to … this game was started by this crazy guy named Crazar, and the game has become this substitute for war. There was this ancient, kind of a nuclear war or whatever, called the rad wars, the radiation wars. The flashback shows these crazy wars, that I’m pretty psyched about. It looks like a crazy … it’s pretty, it’s fun, I like that. But there’s a lot of great stuff, there’s a lot of real talent working on that show. You know, it’s funny to talk about the backgrounds, and the animation is often the star, but with this

You know, it’s funny to talk about the backgrounds, and the animation is often the star. But with Ballmastrz the backgrounds look really sick. A lot of people are like, “Man, these backgrounds look crazy.” It’s real neat. Like Antonio mentioned at the panel I got to give it to Andy. Andy Brinkman the BG supervisor & painter at Titmouse Inc. Yeah look at his stuff, it’s really cool. All in all Great Team mode all around, its just been a lot of fun.

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Make sure to tune into to BallMastrz:9009 on Adult Swim 4/8 at Midnight!

 

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