Hannan, Peter 1954–
Hannan, Peter 1954–
Born 1954, in NY; married; children. Education: Goddard College, B.A.
Home—CA. E-mail—[email protected]
Artist, writer, and producer. Creator and executive producer of CatDog, for Nickelodeon television; developer of film, television, game, and book projects.
The Adventures of a Huge Mouth, Chicago Review (Chicago, IL), 1990.
The Battle of Sillyville: Live Silly or Die!, Knopf (New York, NY), 1991.
Escape from Camp Wannabarf, Knopf (New York, NY), 1991.
School after Dark, Knopf (New York, NY), 1991.
Sillyville or Bust, Knopf (New York, NY), 1991.
CatDog (screenplay), Viacom International (New York, NY), 1999.
Wally, King of Flurbs (four-book series), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2009.
Contributor to books, including Speak!: Children's Illustrators Brag about Their Dogs, edited by Michael J. Rosen, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1993; and Purr!:Children's Illustrators Brag about Their Cats, edited by Rosen, Harcourt, 2004. Creator of online cartoon series, including "Joe Hemingmouse" and "My Own Private Hollywood." Contributor of illustrations to periodicals, including Harper's, Esquire, and Chicago Reader.
"SUPER GOOFBALLS" SERIES; SELF-ILLUSTRATED
That Stinking Feeling, HarperTrophy (New York, NY), 2007.
Goofballs in Paradise, HarperTrophy (New York, NY), 2007.
Super Underwear—and Beyond!, HarperTrophy (New York, NY), 2007.
Attack of the 50-foot Alien Creep-oids!, HarperTrophy (New York, NY), 2007.
Doomed in Dreamland, HarperTrophy (New York, NY), 2008.
Battle of the Brain-sucking Robots, HarperTrophy (New York, NY), 2008.
Peter Hannan began his writing career as a cartoonist in middle school, when he used to make flip books illustrated with bizarre creatures. After high school, he studied fine art, but realized that he had more fun with his "silly little drawings" than with abstract paintings, as Hannan explained in an online interview for the Nickelodeon Web site. That drive to draw strange and bizarre creatures led Hannan to create Nickelodeon's popular CatDog television series, which he also executive produced and for which he wrote and performed the theme song.
The CatDog series began as small part of an unpublished book called A Few Superheroes You've Probably Never Heard Of, which featured the Amazing CatDog Man, a superhero with a man's body and the heads of both a cat and a dog. "Five years later, I started thinking about the character as a cartoon, and it became CatDog, Hannan explained in his interview. He oversaw all aspects of the program, from writing, storyboarding, character design, and art direction to post-production. He has also directed and produced a theatrical short, titled "Fetch," as well as a ninety-minute television film titled CatDog and the Great Parent Mystery. Nine years later, A Few Superheroes You've Probably Never Heard Of spawned yet another book idea: Hannan's "Super Goofballs" books.
Hannan worked on several books before he created CatDog. His first cartoon collection, The Adventures of a Huge Mouth, was published in 1990. The following year he completed his "Sillyville" book series, featuring such titles as Escape from Camp Wannabarf and Sillyville or Bust. The series features Ruby and her older brother, who begin Sillyville or Bust on a car trip with boring Aunt Ida and Uncle Gus. When the quartet stumbles into a place called Sillyville, the boring trip suddenly gets very interesting as Ruby and her brother become involved in the conflict between the Sillyvillians and their neighbors in Drabville. The books feature a comic-book style and plenty of off-the-wall humor. "Hannan's efforts could serve as wonderful enticements to book-shy students," commented a Publishers Weekly critic in a review of Hannan's novel quartet.
In 2007, Hannan released a second book series, the adventures of the "Super Goofballs." That Stinking Feeling introduces odd superheroes Amazing Techno Dude and elderly mentor Bodacious Backwards Woman as they capture their arch enemy, Queen Smellina. The duo's troubles are not over, however. Due to financial issues, the pair must take on super-hero boarders, including Super Vacation Man, who can be two places at once, but only on every third weekend; Wonder Boulder, who appears to be a large cape-wearing rock; Blunder Mutt, who lives up to his name; Impossibly Tough Two-headed Infant; SuperSass CuteGirl; and Mighty Tighty Whitey. Although these newcomers seem annoying, when Queen Smellina escapes, Amazing Techno Dude will need all the help he can get. "Hannan's copious cartoons chronicle these zany antics, which will appeal most to kids with a fondness for potty humor and broad puns," wrote a contributor to Publishers Weekly.
The "Super Goofballs" adventures continue in Goofballs in Paradise, in which the odd assortment of super heroes celebrates their first success with a vacation. While on a tropical island, however, they discover a zombie plot being hatched by a grumpy chef. "Hannah's wild-eyed, exaggerated black-and-white cartoons are reminiscent of his animated Nickelodeon series," noted Elaine E. Knight in her School Library Journal review.
In the third "Super Goofballs" installment, Super Underwear … and Beyond, Mighty Tighty Whitey and Amazing Techno Dude have to stop the worlds worst underwear-stealing superslimeball ever, while Attack of the 50-foot Alien Creep-oids! find the Super Goofballs on the case to track down who or what is eating all the junk food in town. Soon they are chasing the disgusting Supreme Commander Cockroachia and his army of giant alien-creep-oids, whose evil plan is far more evil than mere junk-food theft. In Doomed in Dreamland Amazing Techno Dude's best dream ever turns into the worst nightmare ever as the evil Dr. Killdream sets out to single handedly destroy the dreams, daydreams, and hopes and dreams of all the Goofballs.
In addition to children's books, Hannan writes and draws a weekly single-panel cartoon called "Joe Hemingmouse," posted on the online networking site Jacket-Flap.com. Other work includes "My Own Private Hollywood," a series of single-panel cartoons about his real life in the entertainment industry that Hannan posts on his MySpace page. His illustrations have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines, as well as in advertising, and cartoon credits include Harper's, Esquire, and Chicago Reader.
"After working in television with a big crew and bigger hysterics, writing and illustrating children's books is a refreshing change of pace," Hannan told SATA. "However, the independence can sometimes feel curiously like solitary confinement. Any creative endeavor is a series of setbacks and successes, and it's crucial to keep one's sense of humor. Luckily, I've always found my foibles, and those of friends and colleagues, funny."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2006, review of That Stinking Feeling, p. 1269.
Mother Jones, November-December, 1990, review of The Adventures of a Huge Mouth, p. 63.
Publishers Weekly, February 15, 1991, review of School after Dark, Sillyville or Bust, Escape from Camp Wannabarf, and The Battle of Sillyville, p. 89; February 12, 2007, review of That Stinking Feeling, p. 85.
School Library Journal, June, 2007, Elaine E. Knight, review of Goofballs in Paradise, p. 100.
HarperCollins Web site,http://www.harpercollins.com/ (January 9, 2008), "Peter Hannan."
Nickelodeon Web site,http://www.nickelodeon.com.au/ (January 10, 2008), interview with Hannan.
Peter Hannan Home Page,http://peterhannan.com (January 9, 2008).