Kickstarting: Nashville’s Mike Salva’s “HG Chicken” cartoon stars Bobcat Goldthwait, Jonathan Katz, Maria Bamford and Todd Barry

HG Chicken

“HG Chicken” is a cartoon with a voice cast that stars comedians Bobcat Goldthwait, Jonathan Katz, Maria Bamford and Todd Barry. A Kickstarter campaign has been launched for the animated production about an evil, mutant, time-traveling chicken (Goldthwait) and his robot sidekick (Katz).

The voice cast also includes filmmakers Lloyd Kaufman (Toxic Avenger, Class of Nuke ‘Em High), Herschell Gordon Lewis (Blood Feast, 2000 Maniacs), as well as Samantha Newark (Jem) and Trevor Lissauer (Sabrina the Teenage Witch).

The cartoon is being produced, directed & co-written by animator Mike Salva, who’s made a handful of animated shorts that have had over 100 film festival screenings. Salva plans to make HG Chicken into the length of a half hour show, and to use it as a pilot for a proposed animated series. The video on the Kickstarter page includes a 30-second scene from the cartoon:

In exchange for supporting the project, backers can choose from rewards including digital downloads of the cartoon, onscreen thanks credit, posters, t-shirts, associate producer credit, and more. There are even options for backers to be drawn as a character in the cartoon. (One option even promises the backer’s character can “die a horrible and grisly” onscreen death.)

The project is live on Kickstarter until Nov. 20, 2014. During this time, backers can become part of the animated project and get access to the rewards at (that URL redirects to the Kickstarter page).

For more information, contact the creator, Mike Salva, at

Jonathan Katz & award-winning Nashville animator Mike Salva launch Kickstarter campaign for ‘Death Row Diet’

death row diet still1

death row diet still 2Nashville-based animator Mike Salva has started a crowd-funding campaign to fund an animated comedy series starring comedian Jonathan Katz called Death Row Diet. Katz is best known for playing the title character on Comedy Central’s Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, a role for which he won an Emmy. Salva’s previous work includes award-winning shorts “Max The Hero” (which stars and was written by Mystery Science Theater 3000 and’s Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett) & “Pound Dogs” (which features Nashville-based comedians Sean Parrott and Ryan Williams plus Atlanta’s Andy Merrill, who played Brak on Space Ghost and Oglethorpe on Aqua Teen Hunger Force).

death row diet still1In Katz and Salva’s animated short ‘Death Row Diet’, Jonathan plays a man on death row and Weight Watchers, where he consults with his lawyer (played by Tom Leopold of “Seinfeld” and “Cheers”). The cartoon was a big hit at film festivals and won a lot of awards, including a television pilot award from the New York Television Festival.

Work began to expand Death Row Diet into an animated series about the main character’s life in prison. A number of scripts were written but as they were ready to begin recording the dialogue, their funding source for the project backed out. The creators immediately began planning a Kickstarter campaign to fund the series. They are offering rewards to backers, including a “special thanks” listing in the credits, an “associate producer” credit, a speaking part in the cartoon, DVD copies of Death Row Diet autographed by Jonathan Katz.. and having the director & a voice actor come to your house to clean your bathroom.

Complete details of the campaign can be found on the project’s Kickstarter page and at Here’s the original short:

Death Row Diet (with Jonathan Katz) from Project Meatball on Vimeo.

More infos:
Death Row Diet @ Kickstarter

Mike Salva’s animations (featuring Sean Parrott & Ryan Williams) win awards and development deals at NYTVF


NEW YORK, NY – The New York Television Festival was held September 19-24, 2011. Nashville animator Mike Salva left the festival with three development deals for his comedic animation work, more than any other artist received at the festival this year.

The New York Television Festival provides unprecedented access for emerging television artists looking to showcase new and innovative ideas for television programming.

Bing “Decisions” Project

NYTVF teamed up with Microsoft’s Bing search engine and Ben Silverman’s Electus studio to develop a new show created by a member of the NYTVF community. Mike Salva’s cartoon “Death Row Diet” won this competition, receiving a $25,000 development deal.

“Death Row Diet” stars Jonathan Katz (best known for Comedy Central’s “Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist”) and Tom Leopold (who wrote episodes for “Seinfeld”, “Cheers”, “Will & Grace”, others) about a man who is on death row and Weight Watchers.

MTV’s “Voice and Vision” Awards

MTV offered two development deals at the television festival for comedic animation submissions. The awards, each valued at $5,000, were to be presented to an outstanding comedic writer (“Voice”) and animator (“Vision”). Although the awards could have been given to separate entrants, NYTVF gave both awards to Mike Salva for his “Pound Dogs” cartoon.

“Pound Dogs” was a 100% Nashville-based production, with Nashville standup comedians Ryan Williams and Sean Parrott in the lead roles. Williams and Parrott play comedic cartoon dogs that live in an animal shelter. The cast also includes Andy Merrill (Brak from Adult Swim’s “Space Ghost Coast to Coast”; “Aqua Teen Hunger Force”), Samantha Newark (best known as Jem & Jerrica on the 80s animated series “Jem”) and Nashville filmmaker/singer/producer Steve Taylor.

More information about the New York Television Festival can be found at More information about Salva’s animation work can be found at Find Ryan Williams online at and Sean Parrott can be reached on Facebook.

‘Pound Dogs’ cartoon selected as finalist for NY Television Festival pilot competition

Pound DogsIn March we told you about POUND DOGS, the new cartoon from award-winning Nashville-based animator Mike Salva, which features Nashville comics Sean Parrott and Ryan Williams in addition to Atlanta’s Andy Merrill (who played Brak on Space Ghost, and Oglethorpe on Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and some other Adult Swim shows).

Clay animated characters are the stars of this comedy about two dogs in an animal shelter. Blue Dog is showing Yellow Dog the ropes, when they find out that Blue Dog is going to be put to sleep if he is not adopted by the end of the day.

Last time we checked in, Mike had set up a Kickstarter project to raise funding for the production of the new film. Well, we have good news.. and then even better news:

The good news: The Kickstarter project was successful and production of the film was finished a few weeks ago. Here’s the trailer:

The even better news: “Pound Dogs” has been selected as a finalist in this year’s NY Television Festival pilot competition. The cartoon will be competing against a handful of other cartoons for two cable network development deals, one for the cartoon, and one in the writing category. This is fantastic news for this 100% Nashville production. Congratulations to all involved!

For more info about “Pound Dogs” or Mike Salva, visit the Project Meatball website, or check out the Pound Dogs page.

‘Pound Dogs’ cartoon featuring Nashville comics seeks funding on Kickstarter

Award-winning Nashville animator Mike Salva is taking his latest film POUND DOGS to the people. His animated comedy — about two dogs talking about eating cat poo and waiting for adoption at an animal shelter — is now a Kickstarter Project seeking funding. Here’s the pitch video:

Kickstarter (launched in 2009) is an exciting online pledge system that allows for funding of creative projects ranging from independent films to music to inventions. Salva is looking to raise at least $2500 to pay for the audio on POUND DOGS, which will be a 10 minute animated short to be completed by the end of this Summer.

After working in more traditional hand drawn 2D animation, Salva is experimenting with a new technique by making his canine cartoon characters out of clay and then baking them in the oven. He says it’s the first cartoon he’s made “in his kitchen.” By supporting this production, donors will be helping to fund the recording and sound editing for the film. The voice performers will include Nashville comedians Ryan Williams and Sean Parrott, as well as singer Samantha Newark (who played Jem & Jerrica on the animated “Jem” series), filmmaker/music producer/songwriter/ singer Steve Taylor, and Andy Merrill (who has voiced several well-known characters on TV’s Adult Swim).

People contributing to the project will have a unique opportunity to support an independent filmmaker. To encourage donations, Salva is offering some fun incentives including a barking dog ringtone (performed by Williams & Parrott, who play the dogs in the film), a chance to have your pet thanked in the credits, a DVD copy of the finished film, and a 15-minute Skype Session with Samantha Newark for those contributing at the $200 level.

For a mere $125, though, you can receive an Associate Producer credit on the film and be listed on IMDb! Will this impress your friends? Indeed it will!

Previously, Salva has made MAX THE HERO, which screened at many international film festivals and won several awards. The cartoon features “Mystery Science Theater 3000’s” Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett. He also made DEATH ROW DIET, which stars Jonathan Katz (from TV’s “Dr. Katz”) and Tom Leopold.

Salva is available for interviews to discuss the film and the Kickstarter project, and about the creativity needed not only to make a film these days but also to find ways to fund it.

The Kickstarter project is at: (or: )

More information on Salva and his work is available at