Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the upcoming release of your animated series, Highly Gifted! For our readers, who may be unfamiliar with the animated shorts, what inspired their premise?
Jeremy & Daniel Lehrer: Well, sadly, our junior high school and high school years were the inspiration. We went to “smart” school, where the emphasis was on intellectual development. The message that was constantly drilled into us was “knowledge is power.” Obviously, as anyone who has ever attended High School knows, that’s complete bullshit. Knowledge is nice. But in High School, the power equation is a lot simpler. Power is power. Sex is power. Popularity is power. It’s kind of like being told you’re a superhero, but when you look in the mirror, you see glasses, braces, and orthopedic shoes. And your “smart brain” is telling you that something just doesn’t add up.
BD: The series has garnered a high-caliber voice cast including comedian Ron Funches, Silicon Valley’s Josh Brener, and Oscar-winner Nat Faxon. What did you most looking forward to in writing for these talented performers?
Jeremy & Daniel Lehrer: It actually worked the other way. We wrote the shorts, then did the casting. The actors you mention (and Kesha among others) were the ones who really blew us away. They brought a totally unique perspective, intelligence, and voice to the whole shebang. It was amazing to watch the characters evolve and expand once they got in the booth and started doing their thing.
BD: What do you hope that viewers will take away from the series?
Jeremy & Daniel Lehrer: Forty minutes of laughs and hopefully no diarrhea.
BD: What type of platform are you looking for as a home for Highly Gifted? And why?
Jeremy & Daniel Lehrer: The most important thing to us is a place with a shared sensibility. It’s like walking into a house: cozy fire, comfy couch, good natural light, pornhub playing in the corner. You know you’re home.
BD: Having worked together collaboratively in writing and drawing cartoons through your wildly popular Instagram account, how would you describe your shared creative process?
Jeremy & Daniel Lehrer: The creative process is… loud. Imagine identical twins sitting a few inches from each other in a bunker-like office having a furious, endless argument about the right number of pubic hairs to draw on the day’s cartoon. We like it.
BD: As the comic strip transitions from a printed medium to an online industry, do you foresee that platforms like Instagram will provide a new opportunity for cartoonists to build a future for the artform?
Jeremy & Daniel Lehrer: Not really. It should work that way - maybe it will one day. Right now, it seems to be a place mainly for celebrities, memes, butt selfies, rainbows, and cats. Which is fine. But it’s not really content. We have a theory on the reason why and (spoiler alert!) we’re going to bore you with it right now. In some ways, the problem is that Instagram is too big. It has 400 million users. They don’t want to offend anyone. So, there are all sorts of puritanical rules about what can you post, and they promote the most banal elevator-music-esque accounts. Instagram could be a studio where interesting content is found, nurtured, and promoted. But that’s not the route they’re going down. At least not yet.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
Jeremy & Daniel Lehrer: Yes. Jeremy is getting a haircut next week. We also have a number of shows in development but sadly cannot talk about them other than to reveal that they are awesome and will probably change your life.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Highly Gifted, your Instagram account (@lehrerboys), and your other work?
Jeremy & Daniel Lehrer: Visit our Instagram account @lehrerboys and our website, www.lehrerboys.com, for daily cartoons, news, and to check out our shop. Beyond that you can always shoot one of us a question, day or night, at partybutt18 on Grindr.
*Photo Credit: Ron Eshel