So, Clench Goes to the Dentist was the name of the animated short. I designed all the backgrounds and really got to work solidifying the way the characters looked. Here's the background that opens the short:
I also added a new character, Alice, an omniscient New York apartment dweller who answers the door in an unusual fashion:
The gag for this was Alice saying "I thought you were someone else." This started a long trend of Cheese interrupting Alice in the midst of some bizarre activity.
Drawing all these frames one at a time was an amazingly long and detailed process... and they weren't yet even animated! As I went on working every day, I began to get overwhelmed with the enormity. 24 frames a second, sixty seconds in a minute, ten minutes... that's a lot of work. Plus, I recorded a soundtrack complete with music. This is called an animatic or, more properly, a "Leica Reel" since it has sound. Unfortunately, right around this time my Lacie external hard drive crashed, taking most of my files with it. In light of this, I gave up. However, there remains a low-res version of the animatic with an early scratch soundtrack:
Apologies in advance for the low quality. At any rate, this setback was just too much and I abandoned the animation in favor of doing a few comics to develop the characters. More on this later, but suffice to say the strip soon became its own particular project... over 250 color and black and white strips, five different storylines and hundreds of thousands of page views.