Hollywood is famous for nepotism ruining projects: “I have this nephew that would be GREAT in your movie…” In the case of animated character names and drawn images, however, I never saw the harm in using friends and family in our work. It’s fun. It’s a little gift you can give to people you care for. Below are three examples taken from our Fox Kids shows in the mid-90s. You’ll recognize the first two as being from X-MEN:TAS‘s “Beauty and the Beast.” Hank feels harsh prejudice when helping a young blind woman regain her sight. Her name is Carly Ann Crocker, and she and Beast care for each other in a world that won’t accept them. Hank’s heartbroken colleague (next picture) is Doctor Alec Bohlson. Alec wants to help his friend, but he can’t. Well, Carly Ann Crocker is the name of the daughter of a close friend of mine, multiple-Emmy-winning animation writer Carter Crocker. And Alec Bohlson is my younger son. Finally, in the pilot episode of creator Ben Edlund’s incomparable THE TICK, sidekick Arthur is fired by his boss, in effect my brother-in-law, “Mr. Wiederspahn.” I had the honor of lending a hand during the writing of the series pilot episode, and I took the opportunity to immortalize Russ Wiederspahn as a short-sighted senior accountant. I never put myself in anything, but I am indebted to my friend John Semper for naming a guest villain “Lewald” in Spider-Man:TAS. I guess we all look out for each other.