2 Cleveland guys turn cartoon dreams into reality with launch of animated series

"The Nine Lives of Claw" co-creator Gary Pilla discusses the animated series that was 30 years in the making. (Source: WOIO)
"The Nine Lives of Claw" co-creator Gary Pilla discusses the animated series that was 30 years in the making. (Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Cleveland 19 News is introducing a new series today called "One In a Million." It's the story of everyday Ohioans who took a chance on their dreams and made it a reality.

Cleveland 19 reporter Sia Nyorkor shares the story of two guys from Cleveland who took their love of cartoons and turned it into something big.

Gary Pilla says it took almost three decades, but for he and his creative partner, Greg Scheetz, it's been worth it.

"We're two guys from Cleveland that you know if it wasn't for some luck, we would've never made it," said Pilla.

"The Nine Lives of Claw" is an animated series the duo created back in 1990, but it was put on hold as the young men married their wives, started their families and launched new careers.

But Pilla says in 2014 the action cartoon concept made a comeback after the guys decided to make their dream a reality.

"Twenty-seven years later, we're doing it!" said Pilla.

The pair created a kickstarter and fundraised $58,000 for a pilot episode.

"Once we completed the pilot, the floodgates opened up, everybody wanted to talk to us, people wanted to be in our show, versus us begging people to be a part of it," said Pilla.

Pilla says the cartoon has a loyal following with fans all over the world. They love the mix of old and new.

"This is a throwback to days gone by. There's some reminders of 'Tom & Jerry,' reminders of 'Batman: The Animated Series,' things that we all grew up with and we love, but still things from today," he said.

He says it's been a long road that had some detours, but he feels fortunate that they finally got the opportunity.

"When you're in Cleveland, you're not in the middle of the game. Hollywood and animation is really a closed game, it's hard to get into it. Without the break, we would never had had the chance," he said.  "It is one in a million -- I say two in a million because it's myself and Greg -- but it's something you just can't stop, you cannot stop the dream."

The Nine Lives of Claw debuts in January.

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