Michael DeForge and Ryan Sands were developing a show for Cartoon Network — but no longer. This would be sad news if we didn’t now have THE ART! 

The two revealed yesterday that they had spent the past year working on a ~secret project for Cartoon Network called MallNation. The network decided not to proceed any further with the show — they’d gotten as far as final storyboards, according to DeForge — but will soon release all of the creators’ work to them.

Michael DeForge and Ryan Sands MallNation

Elementary school gangleaders, etc.

As soon as I saw DeForge’s artwork, I was sold, but their pitch! Oh!

DeForge says, “MallNation is about the entire student body of an elementary school getting locked inside of an abandoned shopping mall as punishment for scoring lowest on standardized testing in the country. All the cliques of the school branch off into their different storefronts – the goths take over the arcade, the popular mean girls build a tent city out of expensive textiles in the department store, etc.”

While Sands says, “The best part of the process of collaborating with Michael was riffing on the various students and cliques, the shops they would inhabit, their clothes, their dumb personalities and jokes. We came up with around 10 major ‘cliques’ and a dozen or so characters, along with their connections, crushes, competitive streaks, and turf rivalries among them — all of which are seen through the eyes of the three siblings.”

Mall Nation kids, Michael DeForge

The leads. Cannibals? Double dippers? I don’t trust them.

I could have loved this show. I love it anyway! There are maps and layouts and noodle-armed kids with animal backpacks waging war in a mall! I’ve been waiting for it my whole life — when is the comic coming out?