Ward at the 2015 Peabody Awards
|Born||Ward Taylor Pendleton Johnston|
September 23, 1982
San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
|Pen name||Pen Ward, Pendelton Ward, buenothebear|
|Occupation||Animator, writer, voice actor|
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Notable works||Adventure Time|
The Midnight Gospel
Ward Taylor Pendleton Johnston (born September 23, 1982), known professionally as Pendleton Ward or simply Pen Ward, is an American animator, screenwriter, producer, and voice actor who works for Cartoon Network Studios and Frederator Studios. He created the Emmy Award-winning series Adventure Time (2010–2018) and the Internet series Bravest Warriors (2012–present). He has recently co-created the adult animated Netflix series The Midnight Gospel (2020–present).
Ward became interested in animation at an early age, inspired by his mother, who is an artist and worked with animators. He started drawing flipbooks in first grade. He often worked with his best friend, Alec "The Logdog" Coates, on short comic books.
Ward attended CalArts, where he became friends with J. G. Quintel and Alex Hirsch. They later worked on The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack together. Eric Homan, vice president of Frederator Studios, offered Ward a job at the studios after watching one of his films at the annual CalArts animation screenings.
In 2002–2003, Ward published a webcomic titled Bueno the Bear. He later took down the comics because he thought they were "terrible". However, he retains the name "buenothebear" for his website and his handle on sites such as Twitter. Ward created a student film titled Barrista, starring Bueno the Bear that was later released by Frederator Studios.
Ward continued to work on short animations for Frederator's Random! Cartoons, which aired on the Nicktoons Network. There he worked with several people who would later join him on the Adventure Time series, including composer Casey James Basichis, Adam Muto and Niki Yang, many of whom had attended the California Institute of the Arts alongside Pen. His two shorts were The Bravest Warriors and the Adventure Time animated short. The Adventure Time short was made in 2006 and went on to become an internet phenomenon in 2007, with over a million views by November of that year. Ward initially pitched Adventure Time to Nickelodeon, but was rejected. It also took some time before Cartoon Network decided to pick it up.
In 2007, Ward was hired to work on the first season of Cartoon Network's The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack as a writer and storyboard artist. Flapjack was a storyboard-driven show, allowing the storyboard artists to write all the dialogue and draw all the action based on an outline assigned to them. The artists each worked in pairs, and during his time on Flapjack Ward was partnered up with Mike Roth (formerly the supervising producer of Regular Show) and later Alex Hirsch, who has since gone on to create the show Gravity Falls and develop Fish Hooks for Disney Channel. The experience inspired Pen to approach Adventure Time the same way once it was picked up as a series.
In 2012, Frederator Studios developed Bravest Warriors and turned it into a web series for the relaunch of Cartoon Hangover, however Ward has little involvement in the series. Former Adventure Time lead designer Phil Rynda worked on the redesigns of the characters for the series. The series premiered during the fall of 2012 through Cartoon Hangover's YouTube channel alongside a comic book series of the same name by Boom! Studios.
Sometime during the fifth season of Adventure Time, Ward abruptly stepped down from running the show, explaining it was negatively affecting his "quality of life". In the October 2, 2014 edition of the Rolling Stone magazine, Ward stated "I quit because it was driving me nuts". However, he continued to work as one of the show's writers and storyboard artists until the end of the season six, and still served as an executive producer up until the series finale. In an interview with Indiewire prior to the debut of season seven, head writer Kent Osborne noted that Ward had stopped writing episode outlines at the beginning of season 7 but still looked over them and provided input.
In 2017, Ward was credited as "Story Consultant" for the current hard-cover adventure for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition, 'Tomb of Annihilation'.
On March 16, 2020, a trailer was released for an adult animated Netflix original show, The Midnight Gospel, co-created by Ward and Duncan Trussell. The plot reads, "Clancy is a space-caster who uses a multiverse simulator to interview beings living in other worlds." 8 episodes of the show were released on Netflix on April 20, 2020.
|2008–2009||Random! Cartoons||Director, storyboard artist and character designer|
Episodes: "Adventure Time", "Bravest Warriors" and "6 Monsters"
|2008–2009||The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack||Writer and storyboard artist|
|2010–2018||Adventure Time||Creator, writer, storyboard artist, producer (seasons 1–2), executive producer (seasons 3–10) and showrunner (seasons 1–5)|
|2014||Over the Garden Wall||Writer and storyboard artist|
Episode: "Songs of the Dark Lantern"
|2015||Uncle Grandpa||Director, writer, storyboard artist and writer|
Episode: "Guest Directed Shorts"
|2018||Steven Universe||Storyboard artist|
|2020–present||The Midnight Gospel||Co-creator, director, writer, storyboard artist and executive producer|
|2020||Adventure Time: Distant Lands||Creator|
|2014, 2016||Bee and PuppyCat||Animatic editor, voice director and writer|
Episodes: "Food" and "Toast"
|2007||Barrista||Director, writer and animator|
|2011||Pikapew Poop Chu||Director, Story, animatic and soundmixing|
|2007||Barrista||Bueno the Bear / Sasha||Short film|
|2008||Random! Cartoons||Abraham Lincoln / Old Man||Episode: "Adventure Time"|
|2009||The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack||Rower #1 / Sail Boss||Episode: "Ben Boozled"|
|2010–2018||Adventure Time||Lumpy Space Princess / Shelby / Additional voices||85 episodes|
|2011||Pikapew Poop Chu||Ash / Brock||Short film|
|2012||Bravest Warriors||Computer||Episode: "Emotion Lord"|
|2014||Broken Age||Gus||Video Game|
|2015||Uncle Grandpa||Uncle Grandpa / Pizza Steve||Episode: "Guest Directed Shorts"|
|2016||The Simpsons||Couch Gag singer||Episode: "Monty Burns' Fleeing Circus"|
Ward has previously stated that his friends, many of whom he works alongside on Adventure Time, are his biggest drawing and animating influences. In another interview, he explained that he was influenced by The Simpsons. He would later go on to be a couch gag singer in The Simpsons episode "Monty Burns' Fleeing Circus" in Season 28.
- "Pendleton Ward". geni_family_tree. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
- Weisman, Jon (August 14, 2013). "Emmy Wins Come Early for 'Adventure Time,' 'Portlandia,' 'Simpsons'". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
- Sims, Chris. "'Adventure Time' Creator Pendleton Ward's Next Project, 'Bravest Warriors,' Looks Awesome Archived 2012-05-14 at the Wayback Machine and Flapjack". Comics Alliance. February 8, 2012.
- "Pendleton Ward Bio". Turner. Retrieved August 16, 2012.
- Farago, Andrew. "Random Thoughts from Frederator Cartoonists Archived 2012-06-26 at the Wayback Machine". Animation World Network. Thursday January 29, 2009. Retrieved on July 28, 2011.
- Strauss, Neil. "'Adventure Time': The Trippiest Show on Television". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 22, 2015.
- Kohn, Eric (June 18, 2015). "Kent Osborne Explains the Crazy Logic Behind 'Uncle Kent 2' and the 'Adventure Time' Connection". Indiewire. Snagfilms. Retrieved June 22, 2015.
- "YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved March 27, 2020.
- "Bee and PuppyCat (TV Series 2013– )". IMDb.com. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
- Ewalt, David. "It's Adventure Time! Pendleton Ward Talks About His Hit Cartoon". Retrieved August 16, 2012.
- DeMott, Rick. "Time for Some Adventure with Pendleton Ward." Animation World Network. Sunday April 25, 2010. Retrieved on November 20, 2010.