Public:PANNAmerican Productions, Inc.
|PANAmerican Productions, Incorporated
|Watson Waterstone (General Director)
PANNAmerican Productions, Incorporated [ˌpɑnaːˈmɛɹɪkən] (initially PANAmerican Productions, Incorporated; the name was later changed because of its similarity to Pan American Airways and because the founder realized the spelling did not convey the intended pun; see also below), also formerly known as Dolphin Productions, Incorporated, was a media company founded by Dutch comic artist, designer, screenwriter and composer Watson Waterstone.
Waterstone grew up with a keen interest in the arts, including drawing and literature, and comic books in particular. Having drawn since early childhood, he began drawing comics in 1995 or 1996 under the name “Watson Dolphin”. This name had been inspired by a cartoon show he liked to watch on Cartoon Network at the time, which featured sea animals in a Sherlock Holmes-themed setting. His first longer-running comic with its own universe and set of recurring characters was titled Meneer Muur (lit. “Mr. Wall”, after the titular character, who was an anthropomorphic interior wall; although the official English title was Wally), which ran from 1996 through 2000. He also had a less elaborate series of comics revolving around a titular pair of characters named Monty & Muutje. Soon, he began to imprint his work with “Dolphin Productions, Inc.” (according to contemporary sources, this name was preceded by the name “Octan Oil Co.”—a Lego reference—but nothing seems to have been released under this name). One of the first products released under the Dolphin name was a concept for a video game console modelled after the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, named the Super Fishtendo Entertainment System. A design was released for this console together with a headline game titled Super Fish World, which featured an anthropomorphic, bipedal dolphin wearing a hat and a shirt (named Watson) who had to navigate a Super Mario World-style platform game world.
The Dolphin name would not be used for long, however. In 1999, Pokémon broke through in the Netherlands. The Pokémon anime series had a profound effect on the young artist, which prompted him to rename himself Watson Waterstone and begin drawing in a Pokémon-inspired manga style. He would create Pokémon fanfiction and fanart together with his friends, which would eventually develop into Tavukball Z. A name was needed for a production and distribution company to promote this new anime and manga franchise, and since he no longer used the name Dolphin, Waterstone decided in 2001 on the new name PANAmerican Prod., Inc. (usually written in that exact style, i.e. with “Prod., Inc.” abbreviated; somtimes also “Prod. Inc.” without the comma). This was a pun on the words pan-American and panna, a Dutch word of Surinamese origin that refers to the football move known in English as a nutmeg; Waterstone initially mistakenly thought that panna was spelled with one N. Upon finding out that the correct spelling is in fact P-A-N-N-A, he duly changed the spelling of the company’s name, which had the convenient side-effect of no longer having the same name as other companies named “Panamerican” or some variation thereof, most prominently Pan American Airways. This respelling happened sometime between 2006 and 2008. Until 2008, PANNAmerican served as the label for all of Waterstone’s self-published projects. The most notable projects that appeared under the PANNAmerican banner were the All Kids One television channel and the Pepper Eating World Championship.
All Kids One (AK1)
All Kids One, abbreviated AK1, was a planned television channel Waterstone conceived of together with his childhood friend Trent Easton (then known as Calvin Hobbs, and later under his birth name Yasja de Miranda) in 2002. Having developed out of the media projects the pair worked on together, AK1 was to be the broadcaster for the Tavukball Z anime. Although the channel would never get off the ground, several other concepts for shows were developed from its creation until 2004, including Capamon, Clint the Lime Detective, and Memories of the Future. Waterstone also periodically published the news bulletin Het AK1 Nieuws (The AK1 News), and there were plans for an animation film based on the game Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. The last project to appear under the AK1 brand, in early 2003, was a children’s cartoon show titled Da Club Van Mr. Da Inktvis (Da Mr. Da Octopus Club), which Waterstone had created together with Ahmed El Jappaoui. This show never aired either, and AK1 ceased to exist thereafter.
In between work on AK1, Waterstone (who was a fan of FIFA RTWC 98) created a concept called Football RPG. This was a football game where, unlike in other football games of the time, footballers on the player-controlled team would earn experience points by playing matches, which they could amass to level up and receive skill points they could use to increase their skills such as tackling, passing, shooting, etc., as is common in role-playing games (hence the title). The game was to also include a ‘climb-the-ladder’ mode in which players could climb the FIFA World Ranking by playing as the lowest-ranked national team and beating progressively higher-ranked nations. Concept art was made for Football RPG, but the game never entered development.
Several years later, after having grown increasingly frustrated with the direction contemporary football games had been moving in, Waterstone came up with a new game concept titled PANNAmerican International Soccer or PAIS. This was designed to be a football game that put ‘old-skool’ gameplay (of the kind found in EA SPORTS’ FIFA games from around the turn of the century) at the centre, without much or any focus on ‘extraneous’ things like graphics; it was also partly inspired by the 1991 Wizard Games of Scotland MS-DOS football management game Goal. Like its predecessor, PAIS was never developed and remained a concept, although it was a concept Waterstone frequently returned to. Two demonstration videos were produced to showcase elements of the game, including the team management screen and the creation of a new player (the latter features a player with the name Thomas Haertlein). Later iterations of the concept re-used ideas from Football RPG, including the skill points and a ‘chemistry’ system where teams would perform better the more often the players on the field played together; similar ideas would be used in future best-selling football games, like EA SPORTS’ “FIFA Ultimate Team” and the “myClub” mode in Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer.
Pepper Eating World Championship
|Competitive pepper eating
|Amsterdam, The Netherlands
|PANNAmerican Prod., Inc.
|PANNAmerican Prod., Inc.
|Ahmed El Jappaoui
The Pepper Eating World Championship (Dutch: Wereldkampioenschap Peper Eten or WK Peper Eten) was organized by Waterstone, under the PANNAmerican banner, and took place in 2005 in his house in Amsterdam. PANNAmerican served as the regulating body for the tournament. Although it was a world championship, and was therefore nominally open to participants from all countries, only Dutch competitors took part, all of whom were friends or acquaintances of Waterstone’s. The rules were simple: the contents of several jars of Turkish pickled peppers (Turkish: biber turşusu) were provided to the competitors, who were required to continuously take turns eating a pepper until they no longer could; whoever managed to eat the largest number of peppers in this time was declared the winner. There was no time limit, and competitors were allowed to eat at their leisure, as long as they did so without breaks. Which company was the supplier of the peppers has not been recorded with certainty, but it is likely to have been CEREN. In any case, it is known that it was not BAKTAT because Waterstone, who had eaten BAKTAT peppers earlier at Ahmed El Jappaoui’s house, is recorded as expressing his disappointment with not having been able to find BAKTAT peppers. The tournament was won by El Jappaoui, who managed to eat 20 peppers. The runner-up, Waterstone, only managed 15, and the other competitors, of whom there may have been only one or two, considerably fewer. At the time, El Jappaoui was famous for his unusual abilities in the area of food and drink consumption; for example, he was known to be able to drink a 1.5-liter (approximately ⅖-gallon) bottle of water in one go. Following the tournament, some of the competitors reported diarrhea.
After not publishing any projects since 2009, Waterstone—who had by now changed his name to J.A. Brown—founded a company also named J.A. Brown, alternatively known as Department of Post-Chomskyan Linguistics, in 2019, through which he manages his professional activities. Unlike PANNAmerican, this company was officially registered with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce. Although his ideas for football games continue to be used, none have entered development as of 2020.
- Demo video for PANNAmerican International Soccer, 2008. YouTube.
- Another demo video for PANNAmerican International Soccer, 2008. YouTube.