Michael John Kricfalusi, better known as John K., is a Canadian writer, animator, voice actor, producer, and director. He is the creator of The Ren & Stimpy Show, its adults-only spin-off Ren & Stimpy "Adult Party Cartoon", The Ripping Friends animated series, and Weekend Pussy Hunt, which was billed as "the world's first interactive web-based cartoon", as well as the founder of the former animation studio Spümcø. John Kricfalusi was born in Canada to a father of Ukrainian descent and mother of Scottish-English descent. He spent his early childhood in Germany and Belgium as a military brat, his father serving in the air force. At age seven he returned with his family to Canada. Having moved in the middle of a school season, he spent much of his time that year at home, watching Hanna-Barbera cartoons and drawing them. Kricfalusi's interest in Golden Age animation crystallized during his stay at Sheridan College, where he attended weekly screenings of old films and cartoons at Innis College held by film archivist Reg Hartt, among them the cartoons of Bob Clampett and Tex Avery, which left a deep impression on Kricfalusi. He soon left Sheridan College and moved to Los Angeles, intending to become an animator.
Kricfalusi formed Spümcø animation studio with partners Jim Smith, Bob Camp and Lynne Naylor. They began working on a pilot for The Ren & Stimpy Show on behalf of Nickelodeon, after the eponymous characters were favored by Nickelodeon producer Vanessa Coffey in a presentation by Kricfalusi. The pilot was very well received, leading to the production of the first 13 half-hour episodes of the show. The show came to garner high ratings for Nickelodeon.