Gerald McDermott: Tricksters Animated Series

The following paintings were created by Gerald McDermott for a proposal to turn his Trickster tales into an animated television series. This tale follows the story of Zomo the Rabbit (from the 1992 book of the same name) and includes the rest of the trickster gang as supporting characters.  The storyline was intended to trace the adventures of Zomo the Rabbit (of West Africa), Papagayo the Parrot (of Brazil), Coyote (of the American Southwest), Raven (from the American Pacific Northwest), Fox (from European folk tales), Jabuti the Tortoise (the Amazon Forest), and Monkey (China and Southeast Asia), combined with authentic world music to expose a generation of children to stories and sounds from cultures all over the world.  The pitch was made in 2010-2011 but was cut short by Gerald’s death in 2012.

The series would be accompanied by a soundtrack that would be informed and produced by reknown musician Peter Gabriel and publicized through the international music festival he founded, WOMAD (World of Music, Arts, and Dance).

Individual Panels


Series Proposal Booklet

The Tricksters: An Animated Television Series for the Entire Family

The Tricksters starts a multicultural cast of animal mischief-makers bent on turning the world upside down. Drawn from traditional tales of diverse cultures, these classic tricksters plunge into adventures that are comic, courageous, and sometimes outrageous. In the process of entertaining, they take us on the wondrous, daring journey of life through the eyes of people of other countries and cultures.

Each half-hour episode will feature an international cast of quirky, lovable and magically diverse siblings. This family of tricksters includes, among others, Zomo the Rabbit of West Africa, Papagayo the Parrot of Brazil, and Coyote of the American Southwest. In the course of each show, one of these mavericks will entertain and enlighten us by telling his or her own story.  Like children everywhere, the tricksters are often small and without real power. They triumph by using their wits and their cleverness. Sometimes they don’t succeed . . . but they always learn something important about life. And they always push the boundaries of the human spirit.

The rich cultural origins of these tales will be reflected in the art and design of the animal characters, the colorful animation and the world music that is the heartbeat of the sountrack. Through music, sound and visual imagery, the series will enfold viewers in the wisdom and spiritual riches of our multi-cultural world.