Animation Nerd, Artist Nerd, Writer Nerd

Mo Willems (American writer, animator, and children’s books author/illustrator) was born on May 24, 1968

Mo Willems is an American writer, animator, and children’s books author/illustrator. After graduating from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Willems spent a year traveling around the world drawing a cartoon every day, all of which have been published in the book You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When it Monsoons. Returning to New York, he kicked off his career as a writer and animator for Sesame Street, where he earned six Emmy Awards for writing during his tenure from 1993 to January 2002. During this period he also performed stand-up comedy in NYC and recorded essays for BBC Radio along with making a promo for Cartoon Network and animating the opening for a show on Nickelodeon. He later created two animated television series: The Off-Beats for Nickelodeon’s Kablam, and Sheep in the Big City for Cartoon Network. Sheep in the Big City was a success with the critics but ultimately failed to attract sufficient viewership and was canceled after two seasons. Willems later worked as head writer on the first four seasons of Codename: Kids Next Door, created by one of his colleagues from Sheep, Tom Warburton. He left the show to pursue his writing career.

Artist Nerd, Music Nerd

Mark Mothersbaugh (co-founder of Devo) was born on May 18, 1950

Mark Allen Mothersbaugh is an American musician, composer, singer and painter. He is the co-founder of the new wave band Devo and has been its lead singer since 1972. His other musical projects include work for television series, films, and video games. Mothersbaugh attended Kent State as an art student, where he met Devo co-founders Jerry Casale and Bob Lewis. In early 1970, Lewis and Casale formed the idea of the “devolution” of the human race; Mothersbaugh, intrigued by the concept, joined them, building upon it with elements of early poststructuralist ideas and oddball arcana, most notably unearthing the infamous Jocko-Homo Heavenbound pamphlet (the basis for the song Jocko Homo). This culminated in 1973, when the trio started to play music as Devo. Since Devo, Mothersbaugh developed a successful career writing musical scores for film and television. In film, Mothersbaugh has worked frequently with filmmaker Wes Anderson, and scored most of his feature films (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou). His music has been a staple of the children’s television shows Rugrats, Beakman’s World, Santo Bugito and Clifford the Big Red Dog. He also wrote the new theme song for the original Felix the Cat show when it was sold to Broadway Video, some music for Pee-Wee’s Playhouse in 1990 and the theme song for the Super Mario World TV series for DiC Entertainment in 1991.

Artist Nerd, Music Nerd

Brian Eno (English musician, composer, singer, and visual artist) was born on May 15, 1948

Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno, commonly known as Brian Eno or simply as Eno, is an English musician, composer, record producer, singer, and visual artist, known as one of the principal innovators of ambient music. Eno studied at Colchester Institute art school in Essex, England, taking inspiration from minimalist painting. During his time on the art course at the Institute, he also gained experience in playing and making music through teaching sessions held in the adjacent music school. He joined the band Roxy Music as their keyboards and synthesisers player in the early 1970s. Roxy Music’s success in the glam rock scene came quickly, but Eno soon tired of touring and also conflicts with lead singer Bryan Ferry. Eno’s solo music has explored more experimental musical styles and ambient music. It has also been extremely influential, pioneering ambient and generative music, innovating production techniques, and emphasising “theory over practice”. He also introduced the concept of chance music to popular audiences partially through collaborations with other musicians.

Animation Nerd, Artist Nerd, Director Nerd

Bob Clampett (American animator, producer, director, and puppeteer) was born on May 8, 1913

Robert Emerson “Bob” Clampett was an American animator, producer, director, and puppeteer best known for his work on the Looney Tunes animated series from Warner Bros., and the television shows Time for Beany and Beany and Cecil. Clampett was born and raised not far from Hollywood, and early on expressed an interest in animation and puppetry. After leaving high school a few months shy of graduating in 1931, Clampett joined the team at Harman-Ising Productions and began working on the studio’s newest short subjects, titled Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies. Clampett was promoted to a directorial position in 1937 and during his fifteen years at the studio, directed 84 cartoons later deemed classic and designed some of the studio’s most famous characters, including Porky Pig and Tweety. Among Clampett’s most acclaimed films are Porky in Wackyland (1938), Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs (1943) and The Great Piggy Bank Robbery (1946). Clampett left Warner Bros. Cartoons in 1946 and turned his attention to television, creating the famous puppet show Time for Beany in 1949. A later animated version of the series, titled Beany and Cecil, ran on ABC for five years beginning in 1962 and ending in 1967, which was well loved by millions, and credited “a Bob Clampett Cartoon”.

Artist Nerd

Stephen Wiltshire (British architectural artist) was born on April 24, 1974

Stephen Wiltshire is a British architectural artist of West Indian ancestry who has been diagnosed with autism. He is known for his ability to draw from memory a landscape after seeing it just once. His work has received worldwide popularity. In 2006, Wiltshire was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to art. In the same year, he opened a permanent gallery on the Royal Opera Arcade in London. Wiltshire was born in London, England, in 1974 to West Indian parents. Wiltshire was mute when young. At age three, he was diagnosed as autistic. The same year, his father died in a motorcycle accident. At age five, Stephen was sent to Queensmill School in London where he expressed interest in drawing. He began to communicate through his art. His teachers encouraged his drawing, and with their aid Wiltshire learned to speak at the age of five. At the age of eight, he started drawing imaginary post-earthquake cityscapes and cars. When he was ten, Wiltshire drew a sequence of drawings of London landmarks, one for each letter, that he called a “London Alphabet”. In 1987, Wiltshire was part of the BBC programme The Foolish Wise Ones. Drawings, a collection of his works, was published that same year. Between 1995 and his graduation in 1998, Wiltshire attended the City and Guilds of London Art School in Kennington, Lambeth, South London.

Artist Nerd

Michael Turner (American comic book artist) was born on April 21, 1971

Michael Layne Turner was an American comic book artist known for his work on Witchblade, Fathom, Superman/Batman, Soulfire, and various covers for DC Comics and Marvel Comics. He was also the president of the entertainment company Aspen MLT. In 2004 Turner contributed covers to various DC Comics titles, including The Flash and Identity Crisis. He also provided cover art and co-wrote the “Godfall” story arc that ran in the three main Superman titles in early 2004. He also illustrated the six-issue Supergirl story arc in Superman/Batman. His creator-owned title Soulfire also began publication in 2004, and Fathom resumed publication in that year as well, though this time with Aspen MLT rather than Top Cow. On August 6, 2005, Marvel Comics announced the signing of Michael Turner to a work-for-hire deal for a six-issue project and covers. This would turn out to be at least the variant covers for the miniseries Civil War and the Wolverine ongoing series Wolverine: Origins. In addition Turner had been announced as the artist on Ultimate Wolverine. Turner created online comic adaptations for the NBC television series Heroes.

Artist Nerd, Computer Nerd, Game Nerd

Michel Ancel (French video game designer) was born on March 29, 1972

Michel Ancel is a French video game designer for Ubisoft. He is best known for creating the Rayman franchise, for which he was the lead designer for the first two games, and the recent Rayman Origins. He is also known for the cult favourite Beyond Good & Evil and for the video game adaptation of Peter Jackson’s King Kong. He is currently working on a sequel to Beyond Good & Evil with a small team of developers, using development tools specially designed to make game development more accessible to a greater audience. Ancel’s first demo, Mechanic Warriors, was developed for software house Lankhor. Ancel then joined Ubisoft as a graphic artist after meeting the game author Nicolas Choukroun in Montpellier at the age of 17. He made the graphics of Nicolas’ games such as The Intruder, Pick’n Pile before doing his first game as both programmer and graphic artist Brain Blaster published by Ubi Soft in 1990. In 1992, he began to work on Rayman, his directorial debut. It was originally released in 1995 for the Atari Jaguar, and in 1996 for PlayStation and Sega Saturn. Ancel was also heavily involved in the development of Rayman 2: The Great Escape, but had only an advisory role on Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc. Although he praised its development team, he claims he would have “made the game differently”.