Skip to main content

Xylus and Dexter in Space! Special Episode - Cartoon animation

A special episode
of my animated cartoon series Xylus and Dexter in Space!

Here is a special episode of my animated cartoon Xylus and Dexter in Space!


In this Episode: Xylus and Dexter read a review posted by a viewer of the cartoon series. It doesn't end well.

(Related post: Xylus and Dexter in Space! "Mirror, Mirror" Episode 6 - Cartoon animation)


Yes, this was a real message I got from a kid online (at least I'm assuming it was a kid?) about the cartoon, misspellings and all.

It didn't just tell say that they disliked the cartoon, they added insults too. And I'm under the impression they thought the kids in my cartoon -- made the cartoon.

So I thought it would be funny if I did a behind-the-scenes "Special" where the boys read the letter.


illustration of two boys in costume on tv stage

I redrew the background artwork from the previous episode's cliffhanger storyline. 

I added stage lights and a TV camera to show the behind-the-scenes setting for the episode.

Caption spelling errors

The message the person who wrote this sent me was also filled with spelling errors. 

So I added those red lines you get when you misspell words in a document to the captions to point those out.

illustration of two boys in costume on TV stage
Captions shown with spelling errors


I animated the words above Xylus and Dexter to go along with the voiceover to show the many grammatical errors in-between the angry insults that were in the message.

Special Feature intro

I wanted the opening scene to be like the CBS special feature presentation intro that used to play before they would show a Charlie Brown holiday cartoon.

So I found one of those on YouTube and created my own version. I added multiple colored fonts and rotated them and zoomed and rotated the in-betweens.

The original CBS Special Feature intro

This cartoon was a fast one since most of it was one scene with an audio narrative.

I did do a scene with dexter that was actually just a detailed image illustration I drew and I added an animated head on top of it for effect. 

illustration of angry boy
Dexter getting upset

Dexter's head twitched and shook as it zoomed in closer.

Off-screen gag

I also did a whole scene that was off-camera when Dexter takes his frustration out on me.

illustration of boy in costume
Xylus cringing

All I had to do is shake the camera with each slap sound effect and Xylus would react. 

It's actually a sort of cheat that I learned from watching old cartoons where the voices and sound effects are a replacement for the animation.


For the voice of the person that sent the message, I decided to talk like the cartoon character Droopy dog.

I pulled my cheeks with my hands to make the voice. I actually learned this trick from seeing Phil Hartman do a Droopy Dog voice on an episode of the TV show News Radio.

I also added the background music from The Flinstones by Hoyt Curtin when they are reading the letter. And when the part where Dexter freaks out happens, I added some dramatic needle drop cartoon music.

Next time: Watch the next episode "Pins and Needles"

Check out the previous episode 6 "Mirror, mirror" here -

Listen To The Podcast


How I use one Gmail address for multiple Soundcloud accounts

Do you know the Gmail "+" trick to use one email for multiple accounts on one service? Here's a little trick I use that works for any service.  I talked about this on the podcast episode I did with artist Mortimur K . In this case, let's say I used up all the uploads I have for my free Soundcloud account . With this trick, I can open a new free account and use the same Gmail address. I don't want to create another Gmail account to sign up again.  Using my one Gmail address for multiple accounts on the same service I don't remember when I learned this but you can alter the name on a Gmail address. Like, let's say mine is "". To be clear that is not my email. I wish it was, but this is just a short example. Start with the original Gmail address Add a "+" after the email name Where it says "tom" on the address I can put a "+" after that. Add a "+" after the email name After that "+" I ca

Michael Filippello: Painter - Tom Ray's Art Podcast

Listen to the podcast on Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | RSS On this episode of the podcast, I meet Michael Filippello . Michael is a painter living in Hendersonville Tennessee. Michael paints landscapes and tells me about doing painted illustrations for children's books. Michael also talks about how going through a major surgery has driven him to really move forward with his art career. Watch the video Links Michael Filippello on Facebook Michael Filippello on Instagram 📬 Join my email list to get a call out for artists when I'm booking interviews! Join my email list

Travel coffee - A silly Horsey Headface comic

There is a character I was messing around with a while back that I called "Horsey Headface" . How it started I was originally messing around with this as an idea for a children's book character. I drew it as a kid dressed in a cowboy getup in the vector program Inkscape in an old '60s children's book style. But then I decided to give it a horsehead. Horsey Headface Children's book idea But truthfully, by the time I was done, I didn't really do anything with it and felt like drawing it all out in a vector program took too long. Drawing it more cartoon-like I felt like trying to make the character goofier. So I was trying different cartoon-like styles. I drew this version of Horsey Headface tap dancing on the  Google Keep app  on my phone. Horsey Headface sketch from my phone I kinda felt like I would enjoy drawing the character this way a little more. Also, it wouldn't take me as long to do. I thought maybe I could even animate it so I drew a version o


Another reason I dislike winter.