Warner Bros. have put out some fantastic shorts during their DC Nation programming block on Cartoon Network. They are evolving one of those into a series – Teen Titans Go! It’s almost a continuation of the old Teen Titans animated series but either way, sounds like fun. I know a lot of folks were hoping SBFF would also move on to a half hour series as well but from what I’ve been hearing, it’s not likely and my question is – why?
Warner Bros. don’t believe a “girls” show has the same selling power as a “boys” show and I’d like to prove them wrong. I’d point them to the huge successes that were Lauren Faust’sPower Puff Girls (EDIT for clarity, I know Craig McCracken created PPG, Faust also worked on the franchise. Sorry if I confused anyone!) and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic were, I’d tell them women make almost all the purchasing decisions for their household (specifically entertainment), that they are seriously underestimating how much parents spend on their daughters, and that children aren’t the only consumers of animated TV shows and their related products. I could do that but what I’d like to see right now is all of YOU do that.
Reblog or like this post if you’d not only watch a Super Best Friends Forever television show but buy products based on it. (Money talks, remember?) Add your own commentary or not but let’s see what the numbers say.
If you’ve been following The Amazing Spider-Man and any of the viral activity surrounding #markofthespider-man, you may note that there’s been some action leading up to today. There’s been a countdown clock that indicated various things were going to happen today, with flights booked by Dr. Richard Parker leaving today.
At noon today, this image appeared on the link for New York:
That happened to be at the New York Hall Of Science, not far from the Forest Hills home of the Parkers, and where there happens to be a pretty decent exhibit on Animation running until Sept. 2 sponsored by Cartoon Network.
I rushed over there, went to the coat check window, and reclaimed this satchel:
A leather satchel with an RP monogram…
Inside we found the following:
A bit more detail:
Oscorp Industries ID for Richard Parker, glasses, and a Parker Pen.
An HP48G calculator, an Ericsson phone, and more pens.
Three New York City subway tokens, and three quarters, all at lest twelve years old.
And two spiders encased in lucite.
Surely, this couldn’t be all of it, could it? Hey, there’s a pocket on the back of the satchel…
Pocket’s empty. But wait, I can feel something in there… is there a zipper on this pocket?
Bingo. And what do we have here…?
This is the point where a good storyteller covers for getting to a scanner with the words… “To Be Continued!”
“This is the year two thousand and twenty. The place is the Challenger Sea Mount, the top of an underwater mountain, a complex beneath the sea. Two hundred and fifty men, women and children live here. Each of them, a scientist pioneer. For this is our last frontier, a hostile environment which may hold the key to tomorrow. Each day, these oceanauts meet new challenges as they build their city beneath the sea. This is Sealab 2020.”
Hanna-Barbera had to change with the times and as the 1970s dawned, kids and adults alike were tuning into the difficulties planet Earth was facing. Ecology and Earth Day were on everyone’s lips. At the same time, parents’ groups were insisting Saturday morning cartoon shows do more than shill cereal and have characters hit one another.
It’s that time again… okay, it’s a little past that normal time, thanks to the Mix March Madness wrapup, but here are the preview materials for DC Comics releases for July 2012.
What’s on tap this month? More of the Before Watchmen books, with the debut of Ozymandias from Len Wein and Jae Lee, the conclusion of the Court of Owls storyline and crossover in all the Bat-books, and the debut of the done-in-one book, National Comics, featuring the New 52 Debut (coming right at you) of Eternity.
And in the white elephant of desire category, there’s the $300 statue showing the climactic scene from The Dark Knight Returns.
Once more, into the breach? Banzai!
As always, spoilers may lurk beyond this point. (more…)
Friends, we are at the dawn of a new and great age. The mighty Marvel Universe and the dynamic DC Nation each will have a block of programming on cable television. On Saturday mornings. Set those DVR’s to stun, kiddos.
Sure, both the House of Mouse and the Brothers of Warner have each ventured into the cartoon cavalcade before, and they were glorious times indeed. As I recall at their heyday, Spider-Man and the X-Men were in full force. Batman’s animated adventures become a power hour with the addition of Superman. And throughout the late 90s and early aughts we’d be privy to all sorts of spin-offs, short lived series, and some toons we may all wish had never seen the light of day. Don’t fret… I’ll have a whole column to dedicate to them soon enough.
The DC Nation block leads off with Green Lantern’s new CG series. Kids ken to the Clone Wars will find fast friends in Kilowog and Hal Jordan as they romp around space helping protect innocents from the wrath of the deadly red lanterns. Following the emerald knights is Young Justice – the continuing tale of a modified DCnU with a team of sidekicks turned proto-titans.
On the Marvel side of the coin, we’ll get the new Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon and the continuing saga of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes with … well… The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Both blocks will feature fanboy-service by way of interstitial shorts, special segments, and probably a few bonus promotions. DC Nation shows on Cartoon Network, and Marvel Universe will show up on Disney XD. Thus far, DC is ahead of the curve with their block of programming having debuted two weeks ago. Marvel is launching in early April. I can safely report that DC came out of the gate very strong.
I admit I was very nervous about the Green Lantern series when the trailer debuted back in the summer. The Bruce Timm-meets-Clone Wars styling didn’t immediately strike me as being indicative of the quality of previous animated incarnations of DC property. But, like the true emerald enthusiast that I am, I gave the pilot a shot. I was quite impressed. While the character models are a bit too stylized for my personal taste, the writing is high quality. Hal comes across bountifully cocky. Kilowog as the buddy in this buddy-cop-cartoon works surprisingly well. The Red Lanterns are even given a bit of depth out of the gate, quelling most of my fears by the end of the first episode. If there’s any complaint I have thus far, is my fear of the series not exploring the true expanse of cosmic characters. and focusing too much on the Red Lanterns. Simply put, by the end of the season I want Larfleeze, damnit.
Young Justice has been a quietly rising star in DC’s animated belt. The “made cool for the preteen crowd” style keeps me coming back to soak up the fresh redesigns. And their treatment of Aqualad has done more for the character than Geoff Johns did in all of Brightest Day. While their treatment of Conner Kent is a skosh too angsty for my taste… they balance it out superbly with Wally West. The show has taken some time to get its sea legs firmly planted, but a slow burn of serialization paid off at the tail of their first season. Not every story they’ve done has been a complete winner, but the action sequences and cameos from adult league members has always kept things moving. Suffice to say, have it anchor the DC Nation shows their commitment to find new life after the Bruce Timm era-of-awesome.
Over at Marvel, I have to say I’ve never been this excited for a block of their programming. In the mid-nineties, they produced an Iron Man / Fantastic Four block that started strong and staggered stupendously. Their Spider-Man cartoons have always been solid. The X-Men cartoon tackled an amazing amount of comic milestones, but ended sloppily. With their Avengers cartoon though, they have achieved something I honestly did not think I’d see: a comic-inspired take on their quintessential team, done in a manner that is both accessible to new fans and a wink and nudge to their old base. With top-notch voice acting and a fearless plummet into a cadre of villains, the series has been nothing short of brilliant. Every team member has been given time to shine. Suffice to say it not only tows the line for Mickey… it makes me forgive them for releasing the Avengers cartoon from 1999. Wait. Scratch that. Nothing will make me forgive them for that. Seriously? Ant-Man as team leader!? But I digress…
Last, but not least, is ole’ Web Head. Ultimate Spider-Man appears to take its cue from the Brian Michael Bendis penned series, with a bit of a comedic bend to it. With a supporting “and his amazing friends” cast including Nova, Power Man, Iron Fist, and White Tiger… who among serious comic fans are salivating just a little bit? I suggest you check out the trailer, and get ready for the return to quality toonage from our pals over on the Disney float.
So as I’d said before… make sure to have those DVR’s at the ready. And for all you evil pirates, make sure the Torrent Bay is loaded. It’s a good day to be a comic book fan, cartoon lovers… Hop aboard the bandwagon before it takes off without you.
Mad Magazine worked in the 1950s when it debuted because it was subversive in its own way. At a time when conformity was the ideal, Mad went out of its way to skewer that very conformity, poking at the pop culture icons of the day, from its comic book brethren to movies and the nascent field of television. But it was smart humor, written and illustrated by some of the greatest talents working in the field. Its shift to black and white magazine was a desperate move at the time, avoiding the coming of the Comics Code Authority, but it also let the magazine grow in scope and influence. Being skewered by Mad’s usual gang of idiots was a badge of honor, usually proudly worn.
With time, the magazine became stuck in a pattern while the world around it changed and only offers up occasional bursts of brilliance these days. Still, it remains a cultural touchstone and spawned a long-running late-night sketch show that bore little resemblance to the magazine. More successful was the animated version of Mad, produced by Warner Bros. Animation for its sister division, Cartoon Network. Made up of eleven minute shorts, it has relied heavily on only parody since its September 2010 debut. Other carryovers from the magazine have included Spy vs. Spy and some of Don Martin’s cartoon panels coming to life.
The pedigree here comes from executive producer Sam Register, who has normally handled the more action-oriented fare; and Kevin Shinick (Robot Chicken) and Mark Marek (KaBlam!), far more accustomed to comedic stuff.
Recently, Warner Home Video released Mad Season One, Part Two, containing thirteen episodes of the show, which ran between February and June 2011. The parodies range from kid-oriented shows like Pokemon to older-oriented offerings including The Social Network (The Social Netjerk). Sometimes, the titles are funnier than the episodes themselves, especially Smallville: Turn Off The Clark. You wonder if some of the audience watching gets that Law & Ogre is Law & Order?
While the parodies tend to be smirk inducing to laugh out loud funny, they are only a small piece of what Mad is all about and it’s a shame that some of the mainstream social mores the magazine was brilliant at puncturing is totally absent here. There was an edge and bite to the mag at its best but all a new generation is learning is that everything they watch, read, and hear is ripe for parody. I think they knew that.
The quality of the animation is fine but the eleven minute structure needs to be more flexible so the jokes are made and we move on. Interstitials, like the Sergio Aragones margin pieces, would have been nice to have to connect everything.
The only bonus you get on the disc is a Mad digital comic which proves to be funnier than some of the installments themselves.
If you’ve been a fan of Warner Bros.’ direct-to-DVD DC Universe movies, you are no doubt eagerly awaiting the February 28th release of Justice League: Doom.ComicMix’s ownGlenn Hauman and Mike Gold attended a press screening of the movie, along with the mandatory press conferences and post-game roundtable discussion. We decided to take a conversational approach to our preview – not quite a review, as we’re avoiding spoilers. Still, if you’re extraordinarily anal retentive (the fanboy/fangirl affliction), you might want to just look at the pictures.
Glenn: The story, and the universe, felt familiar – not just because we’ve known these characters forever, but because it was Dwayne McDuffie’s take on them, his POV from Justice League and from Justice League Unlimited. One of those “you don’t realize how much you miss it until it’s gone” things.
Mike: DC’s animated universe came about organically, from the original Fox Batman Adventures through Doom… with major exceptions like that Teen Titans and that unnecessary and initially unwatchable TheBatman series a couple years ago. Dwayne played a major part in that Justice League animated universe to be sure, but those Batman and Superman series created the foundation of this universe, as well as the bouncing off point for many of the actors.
Glenn: Speaking of the DC animated universe: one thing that was weird for me, throwing a new bit of unexpected unfamiliarity, was meeting Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman for two decades, because he just doesn’t quite look the part in real life – he looks more like the Scarecrow. I found myself mentally covering up his face from his nose up, superimposing a cowl on him. Or am I just that weird?
Mike: Yeah, Conroy is pretty skinny and he’s got a great face. But I think he’d be perfect as Jason Blood or Orion of the New Gods.
Glenn: Conroy as Jason Blood, live action? Oh, that works really well.
It’s that time again… here are the preview materials for DC Comics releases for May 2012.
As you can see, DC is clearly getting excited about the imminent arrival of The Dark Knight Rises with new movie statues showing Anne Hathaway, Christian Bale, and Tom Hardy, the return of Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham’s Batman Incorporated and the long awaited arrival of Batman: Earth One by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, and the Talon appearing in every single Batman book this month… and even All-Star Western?
Plus, with the return of Earth One, we also get the return of Earth Two– and the return of the World’s Finest.
Shall we get into it? Let’s!
As always, spoilers may lurk beyond this point. (more…)
Here’s a fun one you may not have seen: when Fisher-Price began to produce DC Comics characters in a kid-friendly toyline named after the Super Friends, a cartoon was created to package with the toys and to test the waters for a new TV series.
And these people had the right mindset. Take a look, and see if you fall in love in the first few minutes with Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, and Cyborg in… ah, but that would be telling. Just watch.