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Xylus and Dexter in Space! "Fly Right" Episode 1 - Cartoon animation

Episode 1 -
of my animated cartoon series Xylus and Dexter in Space!

Watch the cartoon episode above

I watch a lot of cartoons and like to pause and view them frame by frame so I can study how they're made. I took some of the things I learned and wanted to try them out, so I decided to make my own series of cartoon shorts.


Xylus and Dexter are traveling through space, flying above the planet Mars when a slight mishap causes them to land earlier than expected.

illustration rocketship flying and red clouds
Xylus & Dexter flying above Mars

(Related post: Xylus and Dexter in Space! "What's That?" Episode 2 - Cartoon animation)


I spent more time on the layout of the storyboards for this series. I wanted to make sure I knew what everything was going to look like from the very beginning.

pencil sketch of a rocketship flying
Storyboard: Rocket ext. Pan in
Pencil sketch drawing of two boys
Storyboard: Dexter turns to touch the window
pencil sketch drawing of hand pushing button
Storyboard: Xylus pushes the button
Pencil sketch of rocketship and rocks
Storyboard: Rocket ext. Mars surface

Animatic storyboard scenes with audio

Here is the audio file I created with the storyboard to use for animating the scenes.

Watch the original storyboard animatic below

Inking the characters

When it came to drawing the actual characters for the cartoon at this point I was still inking everything by hand on paper and scanning them into the computer. I would then convert the line art to vectors, clean them up in the animation software, and color them there. I paid a lot more attention to the line art clean-up while making this cartoon but the outcome I think was worth it.


For this series, I decided to let the software do the in-between animation for me. I started using the "squash and stretch" method ever so slightly in the program, nothing to exaggerate. Mainly cuz I didn't realize until later that it was okay to get extreme with those concepts.


You may notice that Xylus' voice sounds a bit "different" quality-wise than Dexter's. Well, when I did this episode Xylus was staying at his mother's house so I had him record his part over the phone. I thought to make it look like it was supposed to sound that way I would put a 2-way radio mic on his character's helmet. Seemed like a good reason visually to explain it I thought.

illustration of a boy in a helmet
Xylus with his 2-way radio mic

Watch the full cartoon episode at the top of the page!

Check out the next cartoon episode 2 "What's That?" here 

Listen To The Podcast


Amy Regutti: Painter, Surrealist Paintings and Portraits - Tom Ray's Art Podcast

Amy Regutti is a painter living here in Madison WI. Amy had gone to school for art and gave it to become an acupuncturist. Years later Amy started painting again. But after an automobile accident a few years ago started focusing more on painting during recovery. Now Amy sells art online and promotes it at pop-up galleries and in the comic cons.


I could have been some uptight person for all they knew? 

Artwork for the original Candy Land game by Milton Bradley from 1955.

I have a vintage Candy Land game from 1955 by Milton Bradley and I was about to sell it so I thought I would add it to my personal art history course concept I've been doing . I'm going to try and see if I can find out how this game was created, designed and why? Here is what I found out about this game Candy Land is a board game about children exploring a world made out of candy and other sweets that originally came out in 1949. In every version of the game, there are a group of children that go through Candy Land. In the earliest versions of the game, it was a realistically drawn boy and girl. Drawing of the Candy Land kids I did on my phone ☝ The game was designed in 1948 by Eleanor Abbott , while she was recovering from polio in San Diego, California. It's rumored that Eleanor also did the original artwork but I didn't find anything that

Time difference.

I've never been good at geography.