Amy Winfrey, a west-coast Flash artist and animator, began developing the darkly comical Making Fiends in 2003, along with other popular web cartoons Big Bunny and Muffin FilmsHaving attracted interest from Nickelodeon, Making Fiends is a relatively simple but slightly subversive Flash cartoon that has found immense popularity.  The voices in the show are provided by Peter Merryman, Aglaia Mortcheva and Winfrey herself, who worked on her animation skills at UCLA and as a staff animator on South Park.

Clever and irreverent, Making Fiends is a fairly classic series of short episodes which follows the devious doings of Vendetta, an evil little girl genius who creates a host of various monsters and beasts to keep her grade school in the merciless grip of her control.  Enter Charlotte, an impossibly cheery, sprightly young girl who somehow manages to foil all of Vendetta’s dastardly plans.  Potentially violent situations in a seemingly child-friendly environment lead to moments of irresistible dark humor that will make even the most stoic grin wickedly. 

Nothing is left untouched; torture, animal attacks, musical numbers and April fools’ jokes (an episode was filmed entirely in Bulgarian as a gag ).  Character development is kept largely to a minimum, in keeping with the classic simplicity of the cartoon, ie. Vendetta vs. Charlotte.
If nothing else, be sure to watch the Vegetable Episode (Season 1, Episode 3), which encapsulates Winfrey’s fine blend of slightly insane humor mixed with sheer madness. There is nothing better than watching meek children be terrorized by maniacal broccoli and screaming carrots, and if you didn’t know you enjoyed such nonsense, now you do.

If you’re looking for more flashy Winfrey, follow the link over to Muffin Films as well, where you can find her 12 shorts as odes to all things Muffin.

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