Have you ever pondered, "I wonder if they ever took a picture of all the people who created the 52 original shorts for the 'What a Cartoon!' show on Cartoon Network?" Well, if that's you, (and it probably is since you're still reading this) then keep scrolling down to find out!
Now you're probably looking at the picture above and thinking, "That looks more like a class collage than a class picture." (Because it appears that I'm controlling the narrative here.) Interestingly enough, because of the lack of a light source, it's even hard for ME to tell who was there and who wasn't! But I CAN tell you that I was there standing in the back row. (Special thanks to Mike Milo for saving this gem of a picture!)
The picture was taken (and Photoshopped) for the premiere of the second batch of 52 shorts that took place at the Academy Of TV Arts And Sciences back in 1995.
As you probably know, before a show premieres on television, the publicity department of the network usually promotes said show through print and visual media, hoping to get people to tune in and watch.
Back in the day, the publicity department at Hanna Barbera would either pull visuals from the show's model sheets, use an animation cel set-up from the show, or (for better or worse) put something together without consultation or approval from the production artists. Below is a set of stickers used to promote the show where the network slapped pre-existing art on a generic background. Not offensive and gets the job done, but when this happens, there are often tiny details that get overlooked. Like giving Johnny a white t-shirt. Or using early artwork for the Powerpuff Girls that are completely off model.
Fortunately, we did get to participate in creating some original art to promote the show. For example, the publicity department asked Pat (George and Junior) Ventura, Craig (Powerpuff Girls) McCracken, Genndy (Dexters Laboratory) Tartakovsky, and myself to create original art for a set of stickers.
We even got to draw a mash-up for the side of a Fruity Pebbles box!
And in a more inclusive bit of promotion, they had the in-studio artists working on the show draw caricatures of themselves for an article in Animation Magazine.
Ultimately, it's all good. It gets people talking and brings awareness to potential viewers. And most people often see these things and forget all the details that we, as creators, cringe over. That is, until someone on the internet (like me) shares them again and points them out.