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Lisa grunted in discomfort and set her pencil aside. If anyone had told her that animation would be so difficult, she probably would have gone into a different career. Most likely not, though - the vast stores of creativity she had in her mind simply needed to be released, and animation was the best medium for that.

That affirmation did little to calm the throbbing in her wrist, though. How long had she been drawing, now? The clock on the wall indicated it had been almost five hours. Past time to take a break. Lisa sat back in her seat at her desk, one of many in Filmation's Californian animation studio, and closed her eyes, arm hanging down.

Though, like most animators, Lisa dreamed of working for Disney, a job for Filmation was a good step up. Maybe one day she'll be able to pitch her own cartoon. But for now she's expected to work on another creator's project. Penny and the Renegades.

After a few seconds she turned her attention back to the many drawings she'd been working on: Concept art for the main character of the series, Penny Renegade. Tassiter had described her as a 'punk rock star with a cocky attitude'. Lisa had done a lot of research on the developing punk subculture, and the many drawings she'd done over the last few hours reflected that. The possible designs were full of radical hairstyles in bright colors, ripped jeans and leggings, leather jackets, and symbols connected to rebellion and anarchy. All shared the same cocky expression.

As Lisa looked over the concept art, she saw one of the pictures blink. She immediately looked straight at it, eyes wide. This design, number 5, was one she'd probably thought the hardest on: dark purple boots with spikes near the toes, jean shorts with frayed edges as if the legs had simply been torn off, a black crop top with a skull on the front, fishnet arm gloves, pink hair tied into a ponytail that faded to yellow (a color scheme that had been inspired by a choice between normal lemonade and pink lemonade she'd found herself struggling with a week ago), and eyes in the pie style so popular since the 20's, one red and one orange.

The picture didn't blink again, and Lisa relaxed after a few seconds, convinced that it must have just been a sign of exhaustion. She really did need a break, if she's hallucinating. Stifling a yawn, she set the paper down and got up to stretch her legs and grab something to eat from the break room. Hopefully those donuts were still there

Penny watched her from the page as she left her station.


As Lisa had hoped, design number 5 was chosen as the official design for Penny. Tassiter praised her work, jokingly asking if she had looked into his mind and pulled his vision of Penny out. The executives didn't seem too pleased with the choice, one even declaring it too 'radical', but they weren't the ones in charge of the series.

Tassiter and his writing assistants were still working on the scripts for the first season, but the pilot was completely written out. The next step was the storyboarding, in which the artists translated the script into sketched frames, to try and get a feel for how it will flow in the animated medium.

While the voice actors were in another room, getting a feel for their characters, the animators and writers were gathered in the storyboard room. It was going well at first. Penny is challenged to a battle of the bands by an rival band, called the Status Quo. Where Penny is rambunctious and rebellious, the Status Quo is law-abiding and strict. The polar opposite of the main character, and thus fitting antagonists. The problem was with the battle itself. Nobody involved in the storyboarding could agree on how to best portray the show.

"It's gotta be big." Tassiter insisted. "An outside stage, with at least a thousand people in the audience."

"That's way too complicated!" Jacob protested. "It'll take us at least a year to animate a crowd of a thousand!"

"And if we do manage it," Lisa added, "The rest of the series will probably just disappoint. We can't maintain that sort of detail and action for the whole show."

"But we need to catch peoples' attention! I want Penny and the Renegades to stand out from Filmation's other shows."

"What if you didn't put any detail into the audience?"

Everyone stopped as that question as posed, surprise, concern, and confusion written on their faces and body language. None of them recognized that voice. Tassiter himself looked around, but nobody had spoken. In fact, it sounded like the question had come from…

"What's wrong?" the storyboarded paper, pinned to a corkboard on the wall, spoke again, and all eyes snapped to it. "It's not that bad of an idea, is it?" Specifically, the voice was coming from a closeup of Penny, looking with disdain at Status Quo off camera. Everyone gathered could tell because it fluttered with each word.

Finally, Lisa spoke, stepping closer to the storyboard. "Penny? Penny Renegade?"

"Uh, yeah, who did you think was talking, the Queen of England?"

"But, but, how-"

"Come on, I know I ain't the first toon, doll, you know how."

"Filmation has never produced a living toon before!" One of the artists shouted, to which the sheet of paper replied "First time for everything."

Having gotten over his shock, Tassiter whooped and punched the air, ecstatic. "Yes, yes! The first toon in Filmation history, made by me! Oh, those stuffy executives can't back out of the deal now."

"Hah, nice try, lead writer." Penny replied sardonically. "But Lisa is actually the one who created me."

"What?" Both Tassiter and Lisa said simultaneously, one with anger and one with surprise.

"Yeah, she designed me, she animated me, she gave me a voice. Now come on, let's get back to the storyboard!"


"… This is terrible." Mr. Brown said once the episode was over, looking at Tassiter, Lisa, and Penny with clear disdain. Penny scowled in response, resisting the urge to flip him and the other executives off as Lisa and Tassiter protested.

After her first manifestation in the storyboard room, progress on Penny and the Renegades had continued at a steady pace. Each day, Penny became more and more real: She went from speaking to moving around on paper, and eventually was able to pull herself off the page and enter the three-dimensional world. Perhaps not so coincidentally, this proper birth coincided with the team putting the finishing touches on the first episode, which had just been shown off to the Filmation executives after almost a month of work.

Only for them to insult it.

Honestly though, Penny had expected that reaction. Penny's manifestation, which should have been a cause for joy if only for the financial opportunities she provided, had elicited barely a response from the executives when they were told of her. No doubt they weren't fans of punk, and Penny had to wonder what they were expecting to get when they agreed to take on Tassiter's project.

"This is far too radical." Mr. Brown continued, ignoring the artists' collective frustration. "We simply can't air something which encourages children to disrespect authority figures. What do you think parents would say?"

"I think they'd say it's great someone is trying encourage their kids to think for themselves!" Tassiter shouted. "This isn't just rebellion for the sake of rebellion, this is-"

"Not going to be aired." Brown interrupted. "Penny and the Renegades is, as if this moment, cancelled."

"You can't, we've worked so hard on this!" Lisa objected, as did Tassiter. To no avail, though.

"We have more projects you can work on." Brown said, cold and stony. "If you don't want to, you can submit your resignation. Except for you, Renegade, you are fired."

"Yeah, f**k you too, old man." Penny finally spoke, ignoring everyone flinching from the loud, shrill censor bleep that she emitted when she tried to swear. "I've got a better future than dancing to your capitalist strings, anyway. Lisa, Tassiter, thank you. I wouldn't exist without you two. I wish this had worked out."

"What are you going to do, Penny?"

The toon smiled at Lisa's question. "I'm gonna do what was I drawn to do. I'm gonna become a rock star." She then turned on her heel and walked out of the board room, giving the executives one raised middle finger as she left.

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