Cartoonist seeking TV life for his book

June 28, 1994|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Sun Staff Writer

Slammed doors, rejection letters and even the need to raise TC $4 million haven't kept Steven Fischer from pursuing his dream of bringing his comic book characters to television screens around the world.

He wore out a pair of shoes shopping the idea around producers' offices in London and took a clerk's job at England's Elstree Studios so he could make contacts with producers. He once pitched his project to a production executive in a men's restroom.

"The things I won't do to try to sell this," said Mr. Fischer, 22, of Gambrills.

He recently returned from three years in England and is preparing to make another push for his project. His father was transferred by his employer to England in 1991, the same year Mr. Fischer invested his life savings to publish his comic book, "There's a Blue Dog Under My Bed."

Mr. Fischer, a graduate of Arundel High School, said he has always been interested in writing and drawing. While in England, he took classes through the University of Maryland's London program and studied cartooning at London Cartoon College. He recently transferred to the University of Maryland Baltimore County, where he plans to major in filmmaking.

He plans to turn the book into a 30-minute children's animated television series, which he'll call "The Steve and Bluey Show."

The show would feature Bluey, a naive dog, and his 15-year-old owner, Steve, an aspiring rock 'n' roll guitarist.

"They're both my cartoon alter egos," said Mr. Fischer.

Bluey represents his extroverted self, while Steve represents the introverted part, Mr. Fischer said. The show's appeal lies in the comedic interplay between the two. He likened the pair to Abbott and Costello, with Steve being the straight man.

Some producers have been interested. Mr. Fischer said he had eight months of discussions with the BBC, and Warner Bros. also showed interest. "I guess I picture London to be my school of hard knocks," said Mr. Fischer.

However, London also brought him a precious gift -- a mentor, Steve Melendez, 48, who won an Emmy for his 1978 production of "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe."

Now Mr. Fischer faces the daunting task of raising money. A well-packaged proposal, including a sample of animated film, would cost up to $15,000, he said. A half-hour episode of "Steve and Bluey" would cost $325,000. A year's series would cost $4 million.

"It's just finding the person who has money to give, and who likes the things that you like," Mr. Fischer said. "It sounds so easy."

He remains confident.

"This is what I believe I was put on this earth to do," he said. "Entertain a mass audience."

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