If you ever watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer and wondered what would happen to Buffy Summers as she gets older, Gary and His Demons may be just the show for you. It follows Gary, an old demon slayer as he struggles with being a middle-aged man who can’t escape his destiny. A mix of office politics and the action you expect from the genre, Gary and His Demons is a show that defies expectations as it explores its outlandish concept.
Originally developed for the now defunct channel VRV, the show is getting a second season, now coming to Prime Video. Picking up the mantle from where the first season left off, Gary is still fighting through the many problems he finds himself in, and still hating every minute of being the “Chosen One”. During the recent Prime Video Showcase, we were lucky enough to sit down with Mark Little to discuss Gary and His Demons, how it came to be, and what is next now that it has a new home on Prime Video.
CGMagazine: Let’s get started with how Gary and His Demons started, and what made you want to make it into a show?
Mark Little: It started as a very small idea that I texted to my producer friend, Josh, while I was in the hospital cafeteria. I had just broken my ankle and got a cast on it, and he was like, do you have any ideas for shows? I think I was in a pretty low place. So, I said, “What about a show about a demon slayer who is old, and he wants to retire, but he is not allowed.” And he was like, “Tell me more.” And I was like, “That’s all I know. I do not have anything else to tell you. Except there is a man who wants his life to be better and no one will let him.”
CGMagazine: How did you plan the trajectory of the show? Did you always know that it was never going to go right for Gary when you came up with the concept?
Mark Little: No, I was not sure about that. I did know that I find a lot of comedy in misery. So, I did not want things to go too well. I did not want Gary to figure out his problems. It was not going to be that kind of show. All due respect to those kinds of shows, but my taste in comedy tends to be like, “these people are stuck.”
I think it is probably because it reflects my feelings about life. I always knew that I wanted to play around with that. Especially because Gary is the agent of his own misery, more or less, as he discovers, especially towards the end of the first season. Even when he gets what he thinks he wants, he is still trapped in his own head. It did not feel very believable for him to be able to escape that completely. But we do play around with glimmers of hope in season 2.
CGMagazine: Why the move to Prime Video for Season 2? And what do you think that is going to do for the show?
Mark Little: Well, our initial broadcaster no longer exists. So, the move away from them was by necessity, but the move to Amazon, I do not know how it came about. I am so happy it did. I think there were just some meetings between my producer, Josh Bowen, over at Look Mom! Productions, and some people at Amazon, and they made it happen.
And thank God, I was not in that pitching room because I would have botched it. They were going to like, “This guy is just sad. We cannot take this show.” But what I think they will do, I mean, on a basic level, is that more people will have the opportunity to see it, which is so exciting.
CGMagazine: What was the original broadcaster of Gary and His Demons?
Mark Little: It was VRV, and that was cool because we had a lot of anime fans, which was a different sort of sector of the world who gravitated towards different things in the show. I do feel like the numbers will be bigger on Amazon. I am assuming. I could be wrong about that.
CGMagazine: Gary and His Demons has a unique visual style for the characters and the demons and creatures of hell. How do you come up with those concepts?
Mark Little: I do not want to take any credit for that. Most of that came from the amazing animators and artists at Solis Animation who did the first season. It is Louis, Leah, and Les Solis, three siblings, who run this little boutique animation studio in Toronto. We had some meetings early on about trying to walk that fine line between having things be not too realistic like Archer, but not too cartoony, like prime-time animated shows.
It was about trying to find a middle ground where the characters could still be really expressive, and we could find a lot of comedy with the micro-emotions because we knew we wanted it to be very dialogue-heavy, but still have fun with a level of anime-inspired action sequences.
We had preliminary conversations, and then they just did it, and what they did was unique and cool. They made it a little more boxy and rough around the edges than a lot of other animated shows that I have seen. A lot of what is good about the show is definitely thanks to them. I think they are the only people I thank every Thanksgiving. Most people at my family table do not know what I am talking about.
CGMagazine: For fans that are just jumping into Gary and His Demons now, what should they expect from the show and season 2?
Mark Little: What should they expect from the show? It is a depressed character. But it is not a depressing show, at least as far as I am concerned. I think they should expect a lot of genre parodies of the sort of chosen one demon slayer genre. They should expect it to get really loose and crude and impromptu at times, because there is a lot of that. And then come season 2, they should expect it to get almost annoyingly sweet at times.