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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


Ashley Shaw Adams: Watercolor Artist - Tom Ray's Art Podcast

Listen to the podcast on   Apple Podcasts  |  Google Podcasts  |  Spotify  |  RSS On this episode of the podcast, I meet Ashley Shaw Adams . Ashley is a Watercolor Artist living in Baraboo Wisconsin. Ashley talks about their beginnings in watercolor and starting a line of hand-painted greeting cards. Then realized that the supply and demand of that was easier said than done! Ashley has been hitting the craft markets and selling on Etsy for the past few years making a whole different range of items featuring watercolor artwork. Links Ashley Shaw Adams on Etsy Ashley Shaw Adams on Instagram 📬 Join my email list to get a call out for artists when I'm booking interviews! Support the show! Check out the vintage pop-culture items available in my eBay Store Check out the other things Tom Ray does too! 😊 - Tom Ray's Daily webcomic - Tom Ray's graphic

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Should have stuck with the original plan!

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They weren't even fancy. Just regular bottles of water.