Good question. Heck, my own family can't agree on whether it's pronounced "Struh-NOD" or "Struh-NADD" or "Stir-NOD" or "Stir-NADD." I use "Struh-NOD" because that's the sound I like best.
It's Czech. In fact, "Strnad" is the name of a Czechoslovakian "bunting bird," meaning a bird with a big nose. As you can tell from the portrait on the lead page, big noses run in my family.
Incidentally, twice I've beheld my television credit at the front of a show, in big letters, with nobody else's name on screen. Twice it's been misspelled "Jan Strand."
It's "Jan," as in "Jan and Dean."
People don't. But when I took the domain name of "atombrain.com" I decided to adopt "AtomBrain" as my handle. I love the 1955 movie Creature with the Atom Brain and I think I have one. It's not an atomic brain, mind you, but an atom brain. I guess this means the brain is composed of atoms, which mine certainly is, which I have verified by establishing that it's 99.9% empty.
A resounding "Yes!" to the first question. I would tell you more about my wife, Julie, but she is more private in some ways than I am.
As for the "rich" part, the answer is another resounding "Yes!" I have my health, a good woman, a smelly dog, a pleasant back yard, the kid is grown, and I make a living doing what I've always wanted to do, which is "to write." That is true wealth.
No. If you have extra, please send some.
Yes. She went through a year in which she watched television for twenty minutes at a time...as long as the set was off. I think she may have been receiving instructions from the home planet.
Toby watches The Toby Channel. All Toby, all the time.
The last "real" job I had was on staff at Disney Television Animation. I got a paycheck every week, a Silver Pass to Disneyland, worked with wonderful artists and writers and editors and producers, they provided me with a Macintosh, and I stole a sofa from an empty office. (Mere writers were not supposed to have sofas. Or Macs, for that matter.)
But I'd rather work on a variety of things, some of which I own, than to labor day in and day out on a single show for months at a time. And I really hate the mentality of any place that insists on owning everything you write...even when you write it on your own time!
I worked there for three-and-a-half years, then they booted me out. They hire me pretty regularly as a freelancer. They (and Warner Bros.) do the best tv animation, so I'm always proud to be associated with their shows. I can say that because I didn't work on Bonkers.
Contact my theatrical agent, Candy Monteiro at the Monteiro-Rose Agency, 17514 Ventura Blvd., Suite 205, Encino CA 91316, USA.
Also contact Candy if you want me to write a cartoon or a live action television show. It should be a Union job (MPSC or WGAw).
If you want me to write a comic book...uhm, it's probably better to find someone else. I work with a darned short list of people these days. I'm just not fast enough to make comic books pay in most circumstances, but I do like to work with my friends or on projects that particularly appeal to me.
Contact my literary agent, Stuart Bernstein, at 63 Carmine St., Suite 3-D, New York NY 10014.
If you have a real question for me, which would be a whole lot better than this made-up junk, send me some email at Jan@atombrain.com!