YELLOW SPRINGS – “My Little AlphaButts,” an entertaining alphabet app for children created by a Yellow Springs family of artists, was released Friday, Jan. 17 on the Apple iTunes Store.
Featuring illustrated letter shapes emitting funny “back-end” sounds, the interactive alphabet was originally conceived decades ago for his sons by Mike Fleishman, a humorous illustrator and author of six illustration and graphic design trade books. When son Max Fleishman graduated from Wittenberg University in 2013 with a graphic design/illustration concentration, he was asked to turn his dad’s sketches into the 99-cent app’s final color drawings.
The family’s app production involved hours of sidesplitting conversation regarding the precise look of 26 different “AlphaButts” and their associated sounds. Also developed was a bonus feature that allows users to create their own “gassy” tunes.
Mike’s wife is filmmaker and art project manager, Joanne Caputo, who co-directed the app’s development and lent her former teacher’s voice to the English narration. Benny Vazquez, the Yellow Springs branch manager of U.S. Bank, recorded a Spanish version. Title audio was recorded by Yellow Springs children, Shaylee and Nevaeh Smith, with Kenji and Tyson Housh, at SoundSpace Inc.
Max is a graphic designer and illustrator for The Daily Dot (a national online newspaper), who recently completed an internship with Children’s Hunger Alliance of Columbus. Mike retired in 2012 as Associate Professor of Commercial Art at Edison Community College in Piqua.
Mike and Joanne, natives of Pittsburgh, Pa., are the owners of JoJo Beanyhead Co. LLC, creators of the behind-the-scenes “Ballerina, Ballerina!” video for children, PBS Independent Lens Audience Award winner “On A Roll: Family, Disability and the American Dream,” and other independent video productions.