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Brad Neely is a lot of things. Wikipedia describes him as a comic book artist, although he also writes short stories, creates animations and is probably most famous for his satirical alternative soundtrack to the first Harry Potter movie, Wizard People, Dear Reader. (Protip: This is actually worth it.) Most of his animated work centers around an rich, alternate universe of characters he has developed over the course of several series of animations. I first discovered Neely through his Baby Cakes series, which examines the world through the blunt eyes of a poetic “playboy man-child” named Baby Cakes. The animations are accompanied by epic narrations from Baby Cakes diary, as he comments on love, death, happiness, friendship, therapy, dads, vodka and the Brain Fugglers. (They will fuggle the shit out of your brain.) Another popular series of his is the Professor Brothers. Through the mouths of two incompetent professors, Neely reimagines the histories of Sodom and Gomorrah, JFK, and William Harrison’s presidency, amongst other things.

These animations seem only tangentially related to creative writing, although I think something can be learned from Neely’s narrative voice he supplies to his characters. Baby Cakes’ naivety produces all sorts of creative definitions for the mundane objects we take for granted. The Professor Brothers communicate a desperate passion for history, despite the fact that they often hardly understand it. I’ve often found Neely’s work to be useful to examine when my ideas become stale. The free association inherent in the stories and dialogue almost never fails at sparking some new idea. Anyways, if you dig his sense of humor and style, check more of his short stories and videos.

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