Mike Reiss - Career - Solo Work

Solo Work

Along with director Xeth Feinberg, in 2000 Reiss independently produced Hard Drinkin' Lincoln, a series of 16 flash animation cartoons for Icebox.com. Reiss collaborated with Feinberg again to independently produce a short internet cartoon series entitled Queer Duck for Icebox.com. In 2002, the series was picked up by Showtime, where it aired as a supporting feature to Queer as Folk. Queer Duck: the Movie was released on DVD in 2006. Reiss has stated that Queer Duck is "the thing I'm most excited about in my entire life. I don’t like how gay people are treated in comedy. Gay people are nothing besides their gayness. So I created a cartoon that was pro-gay and featured gay animals."

Reiss has contributed to numerous film screenplays. He wrote several jokes for the film Ice Age after The Simpsons colleague David Silverman asked him and Jon Vitti to help out with the film's story issues. He later wrote a number of screenplays including Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Horton Hears a Who!. The first live-action film he wrote was 2009's My Life in Ruins, starring Nia Vardalos. Reiss initially wrote the film, which was based on his experience on holiday bus tours of Mexico and Greece, as a short story. After it was rejected by 37 publishers he rewrote it as a screenplay and sent it to Vardalos who "snatched it right up". The film garnered a negative critical response with Roger Ebert, for example, stating "there is, in short, nothing I liked about My Life in Ruins, except some of the ruins" and calling Reiss' script "lousy". Reiss defended the film: "My Life in Ruins really makes people happy. It's a relentlessly sweet movie about the basic decency of humanity. It's happy ending kicks in around the 30-minute mark and continues for the next hour. I know those were sitting there in that audience. They were sitting there going, 'These 1,498 people were wrong and the two of us are correct.' It makes me a little nuts."

He has published ten children's books, including How Murray Saved Christmas, published by Penguin. He also won an Edgar Award for his mystery story Cro-Magnon PI.

Read more about this topic:  Mike Reiss, Career

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