Why Regular Show Is So Huge at Comic-Con This Year

Categories: Culture

Liz Ohanesian
J.G. Quintel, creator of Regular Show, left, meets Muscle Man come to life.
J.G. Quintel has been going to San Diego Comic-Con for a decade now. He started out his journey here as a fan, a CalArts student who caught wind of the event from his brother. Quintel would register to attend the convention after he arrived at the venue. He would walk into panels at Hall H, now the home of blockbuster convention talks and long lines. He did this anonymously. Ten years ago, people didn't recognize Quintel.

Just as San Diego Comic-Con has grown in popularity over the past few years, so has Quintel. He created an animated series for Cartoon Network called Regular Show. It's about a bluejay named Mordecai, a raccoon named Rigby and their eclectic group of friends.

Over the course of four seasons, it's become a commercial and critical success Regular Show already has an Emmy to its name and was just nominated for two more. People cosplay characters from the show at conventions and swap all sorts of Regular Show references online.

Here at Comic-Con, the fans are plentiful. They packed a large hotel ballroom for a Regular Show panel on Friday morning. That afternoon, they were waiting in line for entrance to the Regular Show Regular Zone exhibition at the New Children's Museum, located across the street from the convention, next to a small park where inflatable versions of Mordecai and Rigby are hosted high in there. This is Regular Show's year at Comic-Con, and no one is feeling it more than Quintel.

Liz Ohanesian
J.G. Quintel stops to sign a synthesizer outside of the Regular Zone.
On Friday afternoon, Quintel and a small group of people involved with Regular Show headed down to the museum to check out the exhibition. As they waited their turn, one fan after the next came up to Quintel. There was a boy who asked the show creator to pose for a selfie with him and a handful of teenage girls with cell phones ready for the photo op. A young man requested that Quintel sign the small synthesizer that he was carrying. At Comic-Con, whether or not he's standing near images of characters he created, Quintel gets stopped a lot.

"In animation you always figure no one is going to recognize us because it's the show that they like, but people are asking for pictures and drawings, which is super cool," he says. "It's a very weird thing."

It's not just the kids who are asking for a minute with the guy who gave a bluejay and a raccoon an anthropomorphic life. "I've been stopped by people my age, saying I watch this with my kids," he adds. "It's so awesome."

Maybe Quintel understands the root of the fans' fascination. He grew up idolizing guys like The Simpsons creator Matt Groening and Beavis and Butt-head mastermind Mike Judge. He still sounds giddy when he recalls the time he got to sit in on a table reading of The Simpsons, saying that it's because of shows like that he ended up in the animation world.

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