Tagged: Rob Paulsen

Emily S. Whitten: TMNT Season 5 & Rise of the TMNT – There & Back Again?

The current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated TV series is now in its fifth and final season, scheduled to wrap on November 12, 2017. It makes me saaaaaad, because I love not only TMNT (original flavor to present) and this current show but every member of this series’ cast and crew that I’ve met while covering the show (and thanks to Nickelodeon for inviting me to continually cover each season of this freaking awesome TV show). The folks who make this show are amazing, and I feel privileged to have been able to follow their journey through the seasons to its end.

Despite the impending finish of the series, however, there’s a lot of awesomeness that’s been going on this season, and I expect (particularly given what Ciro Nieli said in our most recent interview, and my knowledge of his, Brandon Auman’s, and other crew members’ dedication to respecting this property and getting the stories right) that it will end as perfectly as the rest of the series has developed. As part of that, this season we’ve already gotten an extra-cool addition to the series cast, Miyamoto Usagi of Usagi Yojimbo, the anthropomorphic rabbit rōnin whom creator Stan Sakai based partially on the famous swordsman Miyamoto Musashi.

Thanks (as always) to Nickelodeon, I got to sit down to talk about this season with Executive Producer Ciro Nieli, Rob Paulsen (voice actor, Donatello), Stan Sakai (creator, Usagi Yojimbo), and Yuki Matsuzaki (voice actor, Miyamoto Usagi). We chatted about Usagi’s appearance in this TMNT series and about the end of the current show.

In particular, we discussed the history of intersections between TMNT and Usagi Yojimbo; how Usagi’s appearance came about in this series; Yuki’s casting and how he prepared for his first animation/voice acting role; Yuki’s reverence for Stan’s work and concern about getting the voice right in Stan’s eyes; Ciro’s focus on casting a Japanese actor for Usagi and general approach to casting; and everyone’s respect for this beloved intellectual property. We also talked about Ciro’s emotional preparation to move on from the series (which I could sense when I toured the Nickelodeon studio earlier this year and visited with him – his love of TMNT and being a part of it are so palpable any time you talk with him) and the determination he and everyone involved have to end the show right.

It was great to talk with everyone about this final season, and as always, I’m glad to share that chat with you here. Check out the video below for the full interview:

Despite my sadness at the End of an Era, I’m looking forward to enjoying a proper finish to the amazing execution of TMNT in the current show. And although I can’t say how any new interpretation of the show will grab me (particularly given, let’s be honest, how much I love the current era of TMNT, and how watching any new version will thus be bittersweet), it is noteworthy that Nickelodeon has announced 26 episodes of a reboot of TMNT called Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Details are scarce, although we do know that Andy Suriano (character designer for Samurai Jack) and Ant Ward (supervising producer on the current TMNT series) are producing the series; but obviously I’ll at least have to give it a chance and see how it goes.

But before then, I’ll be wrapping Season 5 of the current series with y’all and feeling the same pangs of sadness I assume are creeping up on all TMNT fans. Hang in there, fellow Turtles fans. At least we’ll always have these five seasons of awesomeness to console us.

So until this season ends, BOOYAKASHA! And also, Servo Lectio!

Emily Whitten’s New York Comic Con 2016 Round-Up!


New York Comic Con has once again rushed by in a giant, fun, crazy blur, and although I didn’t get to nearly all the things I was hoping to, I did have a rockin’ time and see some really cool things I can share.

The first of these were a few great panels I landed seats for, including, as is my tradition, the Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles panel. If you don’t know I love the current TMNT, then what are you, new here? But seriously, I love it. And each panel I have gone to brings something new and different.

This panel (with Andrea Romano (voice director), Eric Bauza (Tiger Claw), Kevin Michael Richardson (The Shredder), Greg Cipes (Mikey), Rob Paulsen (Donnie), and Ciro Nieli (Executive Producer)) was particularly fun, because one of the things they did was a live read of episode #420, “The Super Shredder,” which will air when TMNT comes back on Sunday, November 6, at 11 a.m. ET.  I love watching voice actors do live reads, and I think this is the first time I got to see one with veteran and amazing voice director Andrea Romano actually directing during the read. So this was extra nifty! (Not to mention I caught Kevin Michael Richardson’s script after the panel and he signed it for me. ROCK.) The live read was a fun excerpt from what looks like a really interesting, game-changing episode in which Shredder is healed by mutagen to become The Super Shredder. And happily, I was able to get the whole live read on video, so everyone else can see it too!

Along with a clip from that episode, we got to see another clip that goes into the backstory of Tiger Claw, and I just loved every bit of it, from Tigerclaw and Bebop tooling around town together while they reminisce, to this image of Tiger Claw and Alopex as circus performers, which is just too adorable for words. Speaking of which, a new character reveal at this panel was obviously Alopex, who looks super cool. And another new character we got to see was Kavaxas, a.k.a. Hot Head, who looks fantastic and is being voiced by none other than Mark Hamill!

But the TMNT panel wasn’t through with showing us cool stuff even after that. Anyone who’s been to these panels before knows that Greg Cipes, who really is astoundingly like the character he voices, tends to show up in some sort of costume every time (the hot dog was memorable, Greg). This time, he showed up cosplaying one of my favorite side characters of the show, Ice Cream Kitty – and for good reason. Because lo-and-behold, in his spare time Greg has been writing songs about TMNT, and Ciro decided to actually put the one Greg wrote about Ice Cream Kitty (Mikey’s l’il buddy) into an episode! So we got to see the work-in-progress version of what will eventually be the Ice Cream Kitty music video. And thanks to my trusty video camera, you can see it too.

But we’re still not quite done! Because after that the panel announced that the Turtles have been paired with wresting stars (no, really) in some new merchandise…and among them Raph had been paired with Sting. Who actually came to the panel! (And pretend-fought with Greg Cipes, which was cute .) So that was crazy and unexpected! (And I confess that even though I’m not really into wrestling, I kind of want the Donnie as the Undertaker toy, because it looks so cool.) And I think that’s finally the end of what was a panel packed with super-cool stuff. Oh, except that I also caught one of Greg’s Ice Cream Kitty gloves and he signed it, and now clearly I have to cosplay Ice Cream Kitty next con. If I can figure out how to get the other glove from Greg, that is, because I have no idea where he got them, and one’s Ice Cream Kitty cosplay gloves must match.

Another great panel I attended was the Trollhunters panel. Trollhunters is an animated Guillermo del Toro project (created with Dreamworks Animation and Cha Cha Cha Films) which had apparently been a long time in the works in various formats before finding its home as a TV series with Netflix. The show is about a fifteen-year-old boy named Jim, who finds a magical amulet that turns him into the Trollhunter, tasked with defending both the troll and human worlds from evil trolls. We got to see the first episode, and it’s a really cute, sweet, fun show. I definitely want to see more of it when it airs on December 23.

Trollhunters also features a character del Toro described as “me, as a boy,” a.k.a. Jim’s best friend Toby (voiced by Charlie Saxton), who was my favorite character of the first episode. Jim is also great, though, and was voiced by Anton Yelchin, in what was unfortunately his last work before his untimely passing. Other voices of the show include Kelsey Grammer and Ron Perlman as the main good trolls, and Steven Yeun (Glenn of The Walking Dead) as Steve the bully. Yeun was very excited to play a role so different from Glenn, and talked about it in this clip here. And Ron Perlman was happy to have worked on what is about his seventh project with del Toro, and talked (and sang!) about that here. And then Perlman abruptly left the stage…and came back with a birthday cake for del Toro, because it was his birthday. And then we all sang, because awwwwww.

Directly after Trollhunters we rolled into a completely different kind of panel: The Walking Dead! After ages of being behind on this show I have finally caught up, so I was super-psyched to finally be able to go to a panel. And despite the panel being delayed by over a half hour – possibly because there were a million billion cast and crew members to round up – the wait was well worth it. (I could make a joke about how at least Negan’s antics with Lucille have cut down on the wait time at their next panel, but it’s probably tooooo sooooooon. Oh wait, I did it anyway. Oops.) AMC keeps a pretty tight control over what information can be shared before an episode airs, and obviously, with this panel leading into the Season 7 premiere where a key character was slated to die, there weren’t a whole lot of spoilers going on. But this cast overall is just a ton of fun to watch interact – in a way similar to the cast of Gotham, in that both shows are very dark but the casts (perhaps because of the intensity required when on camera) come off as a tight-knit bunch of friends who joke around in between takes and genuinely like each other.

It was great to hear a little bit from all of the cast members, but I’m an unabashed longtime fan of Jeffrey Dean Morgan, so one of my favorite parts was definitely Jeffrey Dean Morgan talking about Negan. And the other, of course, involved Norman Reedus, an actor I’ve loved since The Boondock Saints, and who is just so. much. fun. to watch on panels and talk shows and pretty much anywhere. (I know, I know – everyone loves Daryl, it’s such a cliché; but he’s just so entertaining – what can I say?). I also love Andrew Lincoln, although I wasn’t familiar with him before the show – and the friendship he and Norman seem to have thanks to The Walking Dead is super cute.

There’s also an ongoing prank war between the two, which is possibly the funniest behind-the-scenes stuff I’ve seen in some time. So far, it’s involved Andrew sending Norman a package of glitter which exploded in his face; Norman telling Andrew the wrong thing to say in Japanese; Andrew arranging for a fan of the show to prank Norman as a zombie in Tokyo; Norman replacing Andrew’s license plate with one featuring an airbrushed Daryl Dixon which Andrew didn’t notice for months; Andrew changing Norman’s window-tinting-in-progress so that it said “Andy’s B—ch”; Norman filling Andrew’s trailer with live chickens; Andrew sending a blow-up doll riding Norman’s motorcycle out into the middle of a lake on a boat; Norman filling Andrew’s car air conditioner with glitter; and Andrew glitter-bombing Norman in revenge at the SDCC 2016 panel. Unfortunately Andrew Lincoln couldn’t make the NYCC panel, but in his absence he sent a letter that Norman was to read aloud. It was, predictably, hilarious, and also another escalation in the prank war, as you can see in the video here. Those guys!

The last panel I saw for the weekend was actually a live recording of two episodes of the podcast We Got This!, with Hal Lublin and Mark Gagliardi. The podcast often has celebrity guests, and takes “the dumb issues in life,” and debates them until a clear victor emerges. The first episode we saw featured Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer of The Venture Bros., and the second featured John Hodgman, Jean Grae, and John DiMaggio. Both were really fun! You can listen to the first one on the site, and I’m sure the second will be up soon. I recommend!

Of course, there’s more to NYCC than panels. One of my other favorite things to do is wander Artist Alley – saying hi to old friends, meeting new ones, and, most importantly, checking out the art and new things from comics creators. I’m also currently (finally!) working on filling a sketchbook with cool commissions from artists (something I meant to start two years ago, oops!). This con, I commissioned Janet Lee to do a Deadpool in Shakespeare piece for me, and it is even now making its way back through the mail to my home. I can’t wait to see what it looks like!

This year in Artist Alley, highlights included finally meeting Deadpool co-creator Fabian Nicieza after missing him at several cons we’ve both attended, and having him sign my New Mutants #98 and a favorite issue of Cable & Deadpool. I also got asked by friend and rad comics creator Dennis Calero to serve as a photo reference for a Raven and Harley Quinn commission, and then happened back to his table just in time to meet the person who commissioned it and see the results, which was pretty neat! And then I picked up an issue of My Little Pony which had a great cover by Sara Richard that I fell in love with.

I had some good chats with the likes of Michael Golden, Fred Van Lente, Greg Pak, Aaron Kuder, Joyce Chin, Arthur Adams, Thom Zahler, Chrissie Zullo, Cully Hamner, Tom Raney, Mike McKone, Jim Calafiore, Tony Fleecs, Christopher Jones, Jamal Igle, Sanford Greene, Chris Claremont, Billy Martin, David Gallaher, Steve Ellis, Joe Harris, David Lloyd, Simon Fraser, and Mark Brooks. I ran into a couple of my favorite other comics journalists, Edie Nugent and Patrick Reed. I saw an adorable Jubilee cosplay, a hilarious Walking Dead cosplay, and another Starbuck while I was cosplaying Starbuck, and with whom I exchanged cosplay tips. And then of course sometimes during the con one needs a little time to sit, so I spent some time chilling behind the table with one of my favorite Deadpool artists, Reilly Brown (and we totally didn’t actually want to fight each other, I promise).

Oddly, I didn’t make it to the Exhibit Floor as much as I sometimes do (which was good for my wallet and the weight of my going-home suitcase, undoubtedly) – but I did, of course, go to the TMNT poster signing at the IDW booth, which was great fun (and the first time I’ve met Kevin Michael Richardson, yay!). And although the party scene at NYCC isn’t comparable to, e.g., SDCC, I did hit up a few late-night gatherings, including the Sonicboombox/Image After-Party. Apparently my brain wasn’t in a “remembering to take pictures” mood that night; but the one photo that did happen, of me and the fabulous Sorah Suhng, pretty much sums it up. The party was great, in that tons of comics pros and friends were there; although as with the previous year, they could definitely have used about four times the bartenders! Other nights were dedicated to much more low-key dinners with fantastic friends like author Esther Friesner (who brought along the wonderful Jody Lynn Nye and Bill Fawcett, and better company for dinner couldn’t be had!) and to chilling in bars with industry pros and excellent fan friends.

All-in-all, I had an amazing time, even more of which is memorialized in my full photo album here.

So check that out, and until next time, Servo Lectio!


Emily S. Whitten: Animaniacs Live!

Animaniacs Pinky and the Brain

So I used to think the best way to wrap up a con was to find a nice, quiet, atmospheric bar with some awesome friends and partake of a tasty dessert and a refreshing alcoholic beverage. But I have now changed my mind! That is the second best way to finish out the convention experience. The first is to have your last panel of the con be the Animaniacs Live! panel; as I learned firsthand at SDCC 2016.

Anyone who knows me at all (or reads all of my columns, and obviously you should all be doing that!) knows I’m a huge fan of Animaniacs, and will probably never get tired of writing about the different facets of its awesomeness. I’ve also had the pleasure of interviewing several of its key talents – including Rob Paulsen (Yakko, Pinky), Maurice LaMarche (The Brain, Squit, Jess Harnell (Wakko), and most recently, Randy Rogel.

I was delighted to meet Randy, a multi-talented guy who wrote a majority of the songs we all know and love from Animaniacs, at Dragon Con last year, where he and Rob Paulsen did a “Music of Animaniacs” panel in which they sang Animaniacs songs live, with Randy accompanying on piano. And it was fan-tas-tic. The room was packed, the excitement of the fans in the audience was palpable, and the experience of being there in person while those two performed was a joy. Later, Rob announced via Twitter that there were definite plans to take this show on the road with the addition of Jess Harnell, Tress MacNeille, and an entire orchestra to back them. Needless to say, I immediately started hoping someone at, e.g., the Kennedy Center would see the wisdom of bringing them to DC.

I don’t know yet if that wish will come true; but in the interim, seeing Rob, Jess, Tress, and Randy perform the music of Animaniacs live at SDCC recently was incredible. And at the panel, they announced that Warner Bros. has gotten behind the idea of the live tour and turned it into an officially licensed WB thing – with tour dates to be announced soon here. (Kennedy Center, WB. Kennedy Center. I’m just saying.)

Wherever they end up, I know that I must see that if at all possible. And for anyone who hasn’t seen them live yet – if the tour comes anywhere near you, trust me, you want that experience. But if you’re like me and you just can’t wait that long for your next Animaniacs-related fix…well, I did in fact record the whole SDCC panel just for you!

So click and enjoy; and also don’t forget to check out my ever-growing SDCC 2016 photo collection, or my previous coverage of Nick Animation (including TMNT); American Gods; and Kings of Con.

And after that, Servo Lectio for even more SDCC recaps!

Emily S. Whitten: Nickelodeon and Nostalgia @ SDCC 2016


As you undoubtedly know, San Diego’s Comic-Con International happened this past weekend, and I was fortunate to be amongst the tens of thousands of attendees. There was, as always, a mega-ton to see and do, and it was hard to keep the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) from getting completely out of control over the 4.5 days of the con. To stay sane, though, at some point you just have to accept that you’re going to miss a bunch, and focus on what you do have the opportunity to see.

This year, one of my main interests was what Nickelodeon was showcasing. Of course, Nickelodeon is always on my radar, and particularly the current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series, which I adore. But even beyond the coolness that is the TMNT, this year, Nickelodeon was focusing on its past – in the best way possible. Through its late-night programming block of “The Splat,”  which has been airing from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Teen Nick since it took over for “The ‘90s are All That” late night programming in October of 2015, Nickelodeon has been tapping into the deep, deeeeeeeep nostalgia that a lot of us have for shows like Clarissa Explains It All, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, Double Dare, All That, Doug, Hey Arnold!, Legends of the Hidden Temple, Ren and Stimpy, Rugrats, You Can’t Do That on Television, and more. And given that all of those shows were amongst my favorites growing up, I just love that, and was looking forward to experiencing some nostalgia up close and in person.

Of course, for SDCC people are always going to want to see what’s new. But since this is the 25th Anniversary of Nickelodeon Animation; Nickelodeon’s upcoming movie lineup includes updates and sequels from popular ‘90s properties – including Hey Arnold! and Legends of the Hidden Temple; and “The Splat” has proven to be a hit, it made sense that to celebrate that. Therefore, Nickelodeon’s Comic-Con 2016 celebrated the ‘90s with “an immersive retro experience” at its booth, panels, and party.

The booth was a well-set-up and eye-catching blast from the past. It featured a virtual reality experience and King Olmec head from Legends of the Hidden Temple (on which the King was voiced by the ever-talented Dee Bradley Baker), and the King’s head was festooned with 3-D characters from classic shows like Rugrats, Ren & Stimpy, CatDog, Rocko’s Modern Life, and Aaahh!!! Real Monsters. There was also a backdrop area where you could get photos with characters from shows like The Fairly Oddparents. The signing area and schedule included everyone from the TMNT to the cast of All That to legendary creators of the animation world. To purchase merchandise, you went up to windows set in the lenses of the purple glasses that bespectacled a giant Chuckie head from Rugrats (the only thing that would have made it better would have been if you could actually go inside Chuckie’s head. Next year’s virtual reality experience, Nickelodeon?). And, to top it off, the setup featured photo ops with the Hey Arnold! stoop and the original giant nose and red glasses from Double Dare. The merchandise on offer was also cool – including The Nick Box (similar in idea to LootCrate and other monthly “mystery boxes” of merchandise), which featured items from classic Nicktoons for its first release.

Nickelodeon’s panels this year included “Happy Happy! Joy Joy!: 25 Years of Nickelodeon Original Animation,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — Return to New York,” “She Made That?: Nickelodeon hosts Women in Animation,” “ and “Back to the ‘90s: Nickelodeon’s All That Reunion and Legends of the Hidden Temple!” They all sounded amazing, but even my FOMO couldn’t bend time and space so that I could experience them all. However, I did get to attend the first two panels, and had the privilege of sitting down with the panelists for interviews.

“Happy Happy! Joy Joy!” featured Craig Bartlett (Hey Arnold!), Jhonen Vasquez (Invader Zim), Butch Hartman (The Fairly OddParents, Danny Phantom) and Arlene Klasky, who along with Gabor Csupo and Paul Germain, created Rugrats. It was great to hear these innovative and clever creators talk about bringing new ideas to fruition and developing their shows over the years, as well as looking forward to future projects (such as Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie, which Craig Bartlett discussed, and for which we saw some cool production art. We also learned that the movie will finally answer the question of where Arnold’s parents are). Butch Hartman showed animation from his latest show, Bunsen is a Beast! And we got to see a TMNT short, Don vs. Raph by Jhonen Vasquez, that was awesome in its absurdity.

I was fortunate to sit down with Craig Bartlett, Butch Hartman, and Arlene Klasky before the panel as well, for a great chat about their careers and work. You can watch the interview here!

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — Return to New York” was, as always with the TMNT panels, a total joy. I love this show and everyone involved with it; and this year, we got to meet a new guest, Gwendoline Yeo, who voices new character Shinigami in the upcoming season (airing Sunday, August 14, at 11 a.m.). I also was glad to hear from Mae Whitman, who has been voicing April O’Neil since the get-go, but whom I’d not gotten to see on a panel before (every time she’s been on one I’ve missed it somehow) and from TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman (likewise). And what TMNT panel would be complete without executive producer Ciro Nieli, and more amazing voice talent like Rob Paulsen (Donatello), Sean Astin (Raphael), Greg Cipes (Michelangelo), and Eric Bauza (Tiger Claw). We missed executive producer and head writer Brandon Auman, but apparently he was hanging out at the Sistine Chapel, so I guess that’s an okay reason to miss a Turtles panel. Maybe.

At the panel they showed the entire first episode of Season 4, which introduces Shinigami and features some really cool development of April’s story, as well. I hate to use a cliché and say that Episode 1 was all about girl power, but: well, it was, and that was fun! I like how far April has come in the show; and I’m very curious to see more of Shinigami’s backstory with Karai, who we also caught up with. We also got to see a couple of fun TMNT shorts, which you can watch too! The first was Pizza Friday by Kevin Eastman and Paul Jenkins, and the second was Turtles Take Time (and Space) by Brandon Auman. I loved them. Booyakabunga!

I was happy to be able to sit down for interviews with the Turtles folks before their panel as well. You can check out my interview with Greg Cipes, Rob Paulsen, and Eric Bauza here; and my interview with Gwendoline Yeo, Sean Astin, Kevin Eastman, and Ciro Nieli here.


And as cool as everything I’ve just talked about was, there was one more totally rad thing I experienced with Nickelodeon this year; and that was the Nickelodeon Double Dare Party with Marc Summers! It took place at Fluxx Nightclub, and was just So. Much. Fun. For one thing, they literally hosted a mini Double Dare show right on the dance floor – where the obstacle course from the show and physical challenges were set up. To make it even better, the Red Team and Blue Team were composed of great players like Nickelodeon staff, and voice actor Greg Cipes (Michelangelo on TMNT) who had been on the show as a kid. And of course, to make things really authentic, the show was hosted by Marc Summers, who didn’t miss a beat as he ran the teams through their paces (watch it here!). It was super-cool to be “on set” for the show and watch the Blue Team win it all live.

For another thing, it was fun to have some chill time with some of Nickelodeon’s great talent– including folks from the panels like Craig Bartlett, Butch Hartman, Greg Cipes, Eric Bauza, and Ciro Nieli – and to get to know more of Nick’s cool staff. And finally, after the Double Dare show ended, they cleared the dance floor for some totally ‘90s DJing, and we all had a rockin’ time dancing and being completely unembarrassed at knowing, for instance, all the words to the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe.” (Wow, it had been so long since I’d sung that song.) My one complaint about this party is that the dancing ended too soon! And on top of all of that fun, I give high praise to the snacks at this party (especially since I’m always dying of hunger at the end of a busy day at Comic-Con) which included mini burgers, fries, shakes, and eclairs. Small but substantial food, easy to eat, and totally in theme.

All in all, Nickelodeon killed it this year at Comic-Con, and it wouldn’t have been the same without ‘em. I’m already feeling the nostalgia for Comic-Con 2016 and all the Nick fun I had there (which you can see in my photo album here). But that doesn’t mean I can’t wait to see what they do next year, too!

Stay tuned for tons more SDCC reporting from me, and until next time, Servo Lectio!


NYCC 2015 Part I: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!


So if you haven’t noticed, the Thursday of New York Comic Con has kiiiiiind of turned into “Turtles Day” for me, in the sense that Nickelodeon does their press and events for the current animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles show on that Thursday, and since I love Turtles and the current show, that’s where I’m at each year for whatever they offer.

This year, that means I had the pleasure of interviewing Ciro Nieli (Executive Producer/Director), Brandon Auman (Executive Producer/Head Writer), Hoon Lee (voice of Master Splinter), Rob Paulsen (voice of Donatello), and Greg Cipes (voice of Michelangelo) about the show. They dished about everything from the upcoming season to whether Raph and Mona Lisa are really going to maybe have babies in, like, Season 6 or something (heh). I also got to go to the rockin’ Turtles panel (in which cast and crew geeked out as much as we did when they realized their nameplates for the panel were made out of Megabloks and had TMNT character toys on them), and got to get a great Season 4 poster signed by the guys afterwards. And along with the aforementioned folks I interviewed, the panel also included Seth Green (Leonardo) and Eric Bauza (Tiger Claw), so we got to hear what they had to say as well, which was pretty cool! Not to mention there were lots of fun moments, such as when Eric Bauza gave Rob Paulsen a “gift” onstage (heh), or when Greg Cipes got Sean Astin to say hi to all of us live on his phone (since Sean was running a marathon and couldn’t be in New York).

As you may know if you have been keeping up on the show, (Spoilers Ahead!), big changes have come to the Turtles world in the now-wrapped Season 3. Namely, Earth and everyone on it, except for the four Turtles, April, and Casey Jones, are gone. As Season 4 opens, the remaining adventurers are now zipping around space with an android named Fugitoid. (Who just happens to be voiced by David Tennant, who just happens to know a little bit about shows involving time travel, so, you know, maybe we’ll get the Earth baaaack? But in the meantime…)

I was a little skeptical about how Turtles in Space might go in the show going into Thursday; but after hearing what’s in store for the season during the interviews, and getting to see the Season 4 premiere episode, I’m totally on board. The first episode, in particular, was really fun: action-packed, with the excellent humor I’ve come to love, but also able to fit the setup for the season and the introduction of a vastly varied and fascinating new planet setting comfortably into one episode. Since the Turtles are apparently going to be bouncing around to all sorts of new planets during this season, that’s very promising.

The panel also revealed some new characters and voices that we’ll be seeing this season, including a race of “Salamandarians” which will include the character Sal Commander; Mona Lisa; the genie Wyrm; and a familiar 1987-style Krang (voiced by Pat Fraley). Other callbacks to the 1987 show include a “transdimentional” episode I’m totally psyched for, in which the 2012 show turtles encounter their 1987 counterparts in the 1987-style animated world, a CG world, and possibly a Mirage comic as well. We got to see a little clip of that work in progress, which was pretty rad; and learned that the original Turtles will be voiced by the original cast! I bet that was a trippy recording session for Rob Paulsen; but the bit we heard sounded great.

If you want to know more about what’s in store in Turtle-land, check out the interviews I did with Ciro Nieli and Rob Paulsen and with Greg Cipes, Hoon Lee, and Brandon Auman. And if you want to see some great pics from the panel, check out my NYCC 2015 photo album.

Enjoy! And until next time: Turtle Power! Booyakabunga! And Servo Lectio!









Emily S. Whitten: Randy Rogel, the Music of Animaniacs & More!

Yakko’s World

If you’re any sort of regular reader of my columns, you’ll already know that I’m a big fan of Animaniacs. I’ve also had the privilege of interviewing several of the main voices for the show; including Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell, and Maurice LaMarche. One of these days I hope to meet the amazing Tress MacNeille as well!

One thing I’ve noted before as a favorite component of the show is the well-composed and clever song segments that are woven throughout the episodes – songs such as Yakko’s World; I’m Mad; Variety Speak; Noel; and There’s Only One of You. The songs are catchy, they’re fun, and they’re often educational to boot. And as it turns out, a great many of them were written by one man – Randy Rogel. That would be amazing enough on its own; but the cool thing about Randy is that he’s also a script-writer, theater actor, singer, and pianist. His work includes Batman (both the animated series and the movie SubZero), Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, Freakazoid, Danger Rangers, several Looney Toons properties, Tarzan, House of Mouse, The Emperor’s New School and Histeria! He’s also won a slew of awards, including three Emmys (and ten Emmy nominations), a Peabody Award, two Annie Awards, a Promax Gold Award, and an Ovation Award. Oh, and he can also do this.

As I mentioned last week, I was privileged to meet Randy at Dragon Con this year. I was also lucky enough to have a front-row seat for his panel with Rob Paulsen, “The Music of Animaniacs,” in which they discussed the creative process and performed Animaniacs songs live, and to also get to chat one-on-one with Randy about his life and work. And now, fortunately, I am able to share those awesome experiences with you!

FIrst off, if you aren’t super familiar with Randy’s work, here’s a little playlist of some favorites that I could locate on YouTube, consisting mainly of Animaniacs music, with a sprinkling of Histeria! and Bravoman thrown in. Give it a visit so you can marvel at Randy’s awesome talents.

Second, I was able to record the songs from the live show, so if you want to see what Randy and Rob are like live, hop on over to this playlist.

And finally, I had a ton of fun doing this great interview with Randy, wherein he talks about all kinds of cool things, and so I highly suggest everyone head over and give it a watch.

And then I suggest everyone gather some friends and have a nice Animaniacs singalong. I’ll be over here joining in by humming, “A quake; a quake…” And hoping that until next time, you Servo Lectio!

Emily S. Whitten: Oh, Dragon Con!

Dragon ConOh, Dragon Con, how I adore you! Let me count the ways…

They include:

  1. 1. The fact that even the airline losing my luggage until 3 a.m. on arrival Thursday feels like something I can roll with, since, after all, the minute I walk in I find old friends (and new) to greet me and take my mind off of things – and to commiserate, and hope with me that all of my toiletries and hand-made costume items are not lost forever in the bowels of Reagan National. Thankfully they weren’t.
  2. 2. The costumes, oh the costumes. Including my own! This year, a Harley Quinn / Jake the Dog mash-up (with hand-painted grenades, and my partner-in-crime Poison Ivy / Princess Bubblegum and bonus convertible-to-party-time skirt); Pinky from Pinky & the Brain (with my friend Chicken Boo, who is definitely not a chicken); and Helena from Orphan Black (complete with bloody fortune-teller). Great costumes I saw on others included Gadget & Monterey Jack from Rescue Rangers; the Mockingjay wedding dress; a walking game of Cards Against Humanity; two versions of Bender from Futurama; and a tiny Cthulhu.
  3. The parade of Deadpools, which deserves its own number because it was epic. It included everything from Chef Deadpool to Wolverine Deadpool, and delighted my Deadpool-loving soul. And I managed to get a couple of segments on video (there was more, oh, so much more).
  4. Meeting the amazingly talented and nice Randy Rogel, who is clearly a kindred spirit as well as the man responsible for many of my favorite Animaniacs songs, and getting a copy of his original music charts for my sister the musician & teacher of children’s music classes.
  5. Getting to see and hear Randy Rogel and voice actor Rob Paulsen (Yakko, Pinky, Doctor Scratchansniff, and more) perform a slew of great Animaniacs songs live (seriously a huge highlight of my weekend, possibly my overall favorite thing). I’m Mad was a special favorite, and they received two standing ovations for the panel. They do a show that travels around, and I really hope to see it come to Washington DC someday. If they come your way, don’t miss them!
  6. Watching the Voice Acting with the Pros panel with wise and funny voice actors Bill Farmer, William Salyers, Carey S. Means, Sam Marin, and Rob Paulsen, with excellent moderator Brian Prince. (And seeing a life-sized Dot Warner in the audience.)
  7. Going to the Hannibal Fannibal Panel, in which my roommate Cleolinda and friend Damien participated (and seeing all of the flower crowns).
  8. Attending the Friday Hannibal Q & A panel with guests (and informal comedy duo) Aaron Abrams and Scott Thompson, who were so hilarious that I went back to see the Sunday panel as well (although, alas, I missed the Saturday panel where the intrepid guests chased a squadron of Stormtroopers out of the room). Highlights of the panels included Scott Thompson narrating his interminable trips to the water pitcher at the far end of the table; Aaron Abrams “borrowing” a black drape from the stage to wrap up in because he was cold and then discovering that it smelled and was all wet (which resulted in him retaining a wet spot in a fairly unfortunate location); Scott being completely inappropriate all the time; Aaron constantly talking with his hands; Scott and Aaron doing their best Will and Hannibal impressions; and, of course, the actual answering of questions. (The Friday panel was also notable as the first time I’ve ever cosplayed three fandoms at once, thanks to wearing a Hannibal-fandom flower crown on top of my Harley Quinn and Jake the Dog!)
  9. Gifting Aaron Abrams with my hand-made flower crown (last worn at Dragon Con 2014 by J. August Richards, who is also a fan of Hannibal), which resulted in this fantastic picture. (Well, he did say in the panel that he’d like to get a flower crown. So, y’know.)
  10. Catching up with great Walk of Fame guests like Bill Farmer; Rob Paulsen; Bill Corbett; and Clay Croker, and meeting delightful guests like the aforementioned Randy Rogel (and the awesome Pat Brady); Aaron Abrams; Scott Thompson; Aaron Douglas; Vanessa Marshall; Carey S. Means, and William Salyers.
  11. Catching up with Comics guests like Georges Jeanty (and getting a sweet Firefly tee and a signed hardcover trade of Serenity: Leaves on the Wind); Andrew Aydin; and the Unshaven crew.
  12. Having a laugh at a Startled Cat picture waiting to stare in an alarmed manner at me when I entered the Hilton elevator (thanks, Dragon Con attendees with meme-friendly senses of humor).
  13. Delicious dinners and fun parties and chilling at the bars and lounges with friends I don’t get to see nearly often enough, and meeting Twitter friends who I’ve only known via computer or cell phone screen until now, or brand-new friends who may one day be old friends.
  14. Playing a completely inappropriate and hilarious game of Cards Against Humanity (the only kind of CAH game possible!) in the lounge late at night with a bottle of wine and good friends.
  15. Robots! Droids! Woohoo! A.k.a. the big interactive talking robot that was outside of the Walk of Fame for some time (my favorite interaction was when it made fun of a Headless Horseman cosplayer walking by), and the tiny Star Wars BB-8 Droid that just went on sale and was being demonstrated at a party by one of the fellas working with Peter Mayhew (it’s so cool).
  16. The calm Monday of the con, just chillin’ with friends and watching the thinning crowd and the bubbles drift by from the Marriott Loft (although our chill Monday was interrupted by an almost-fistfight (a dramatic one!) as we were going down an elevator). Hey, it’s not Dragon Con without a few stories about crazy people, right? (I guess? Seriously – elevators are for everybody, guys.)
  17. The Aftermath of Con (not to be confused with the Wrath of Khan), where everyone sits around together staring companionably at nothing and wondering if they’ve actually ever slept before or if that was just an imagined state.
  18. The Even Later Than Aftermath of Con, when most people have left and it’s time to wrap up with dessert and cocktails with your roomie (because otherwise, you just aren’t doing it right).
  19. So many other things I’m probably forgetting because conventions are crazy and no one sleeps much at Dragon Con; but they may be on my Instagram or my roomie Cleolinda’s Twitter or LiveJournal recap.
  20. And finally, arriving home after a really great Dragon Con (with all of my luggage intact!) to the sweetest l’il hamsterlet in the world, Wee Mini Squish. Ahh, home and tiny cute creatures.

So there you have it! It was an amazing Dragon Con, and I hope you enjoyed the recap as much as I enjoyed the trip. Stay tuned for next week, when I will have my Dragon Con interview with Randy Rogel up for everyone to see!

And until then, Servo Lectio!

Emily S. Whitten: Turtle Power! The Original TMNT

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

I’ve said before that some of the voice actors I’ve interviewed are the voices of my childhood, but I couldn’t possibly have been closer to interviewing a whole collection of voices from my early childhood at the same time than when I was at Awesome Con this year talking to all four of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Rob Paulsen, Cam Clarke, Barry Gordon, and Townsend Coleman. (I also interviewed the amazing Jess Harnell and Jim Cummings, so if you missed those interviews, check ‘em out now!)

I watched a fair amount of cartoons as a child, and among the ones with the earliest, largest impact on my young life were those coming out in the ‘80s, including Thundercats, Duck Tales, Inspector Gadget, Chip n’ Dale Rescue Rangers, He-Man, Danger Mouse, and more. But of all the ‘80s cartoons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles consisently stands out as a favorite, with both a premise and characters (brought to life by the voice actors!) that I just loved. Like Greg Cipes (the current Michelangelo), I used to glue myself to the TV when TMNT came on, knew the theme song by heart (still do!), and totally had a favorite Turtle (Raphael! I do love snark). To this day I remember weird little bits of plot or character that apparently ingrained themselves in my brain from the age of six. So getting to talk (albeit a bit briefly, since the con was so busy) to all four of the Turtles in the span of the same hour was just really, really cool. As is being able to share those talks with you!

So if you’re a Turtles fan or you just like cool videos, click here for shout-outs from Raphael (Rob Paulsen) and Michelangelo (Townsend Coleman), and interviews with Leonardo (Cam Clarke) and Donatello (Barry Gordon).

And if you want to see what the guys were like in action, doing their fun voices at Awesome Con, check out the Awesome Con Twisted Toonz panel, as filmed by my great friend Kristy Sproul of Voice Chasers.

Enjoy! And until next time, cowabunga! And Servo Lectio!

Emily S. Whitten Celebrates TMNT Season Three!

The current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series continues to be a favorite of mine. It strikes the right balance between being a goofy, fun cartoon about a bunch of lovable characters and addressing more serious and dark themes about power and responsibility. It also does well at adding new ideas, characters, and material while including homages to previous incarnations of TMNT and staying true to the foundations of the overall series. The art is pretty cool and unique; and of course, the voice talent and creative team are stellar.

The series is now in Season 3 (and already renewed for a fourth season!) and has taken on a slightly different focus, with the Turtles leaving the familiar NYC cityscape for other territory. A short while ago I got to sit down at the Times Square Toys “R” Us (a super-cool store with a Ferris wheel and other nifty things inside) with executive producers Ciro Nieli and Brandon Auman, and voice talents Greg Cipes and (briefly!) Rob Paulsen, to chat about the current season (and get some great photos). Warning: we start out all, “let’s talk about things like the themes and stories of the season,” but in the middle somewhere we start nerding out about toys, and it kind of goes all over the place from there. But, you know, that’s one of the reasons I like talking to these guys. So – here we go!

Ciro and Brandon, tell us a bit about the third season. What will we be seeing? And any favorite episodes?

Brandon: We’ve got so many amazing stories coming up. If you’re a fan of the original Mirage series, if you’re a fan of the eighties cartoon series, then you’re going to see a lot of references in Season 3. It’s one of my favorite seasons.

Ciro: The problem with Turtles is that if you ask me what my favorite episode is, it’s literally the one I finished yesterday. I finished the third episode of Season 3 and it’s unbelievable. It’s very much an April-centric episode. We answer a lot of questions about her.

Brandon: We’ve brought back the Punk Frogs for this season. So we’ve got Napoleon Bonafrog, who’s played by John Heder, who is, obviously, Napoleon Dynamite. And we’ve got Genghis Frog, Attila Frog; and that’s a Mikey-centric episode, so it’s pretty exciting. It’s really funny. Really cool.

Does Bonafrog sound like Napoleon Dynamite?

Brandon: Oh yeah, that’s why we got Jon Heder.

Ciro: It’s kind of hard to make him not sound like that.

Brandon: We were like, “Who are we going to cast for Napoleon Bonafrog?” and said, “What about Napoleon Dynamite?” It just made perfect sense and we figured it would be funny, but it’s not reliant on the jokes of Napoleon Dynamite; it’s still a story that stands on its own.

Ciro: And we’ve also got the Dream Beavers this season. The best thing about the Dream Beavers is the voice cast.

Brandon: Robert Englund plays two of the beavers, and John Kassir, who was the Crypt Keeper, plays the other two beavers, but they sound very different.

Ciro: We love John and Robert. They’re such amazing talents. We’re such old horror fans – Brandon and I go way back to the Fangoria days. So Season 3 is the Season of Fango for a little bit.

Brandon: When you go to the woods, you’re kind of limited in your storytelling options. You can do comedy, but the easiest route is doing horror, because the woods are scary, the cabin is kind of freaky, and it’s just easier. It’s easier than doing a big action, New York-style story.

Ciro: One thing that I really loved about the Mirage comic is when you actually got to see the Turtles in nature, when you’ve never seen them in nature before, and you go, “Aw, man, they’re going to leave New York? That’s so weird.” And then you see them meditating on a rock, and there’s a waterfall, or stream, and you go, “Oh, right, they look perfect there.” So there’s a lot of them getting in touch with themselves too, and re-centering their ninja instincts and training.

So Greg, how did you enjoy that, as Mikey, who seems to be one of the more centered turtles anyway?

Ciro: Cipes and Mikey, their third eye is the most open.

Greg: I love seeing the episodes. I love all the green, and the fact that we’re in the forest, and the Turtles are green, because green is such a healing color. It’s rad to be in a different world rather than in the city. And to deal with new characters and monsters.

So how did you like the episode where you were with all the frogs? Was that a lot of fun? Why is it a Mikey-centric episode?

Brandon: Mikey bonds with Napoleon Bonafrog; because they’re very similar in nature.

Ciro: They’re both the best warriors, you know? And Napoleon’s just like, “Whoa, show me something else.”

Greg: We bro out.

Ciro: Yeah, that’s like our reptile amphibian bromance. It’s pretty cool. It’s super cute; I’m into it.

So we have a casting change on one of the main characters, Seth Green is coming in as Leo, as well as of course some other new character voices. How are you enjoying the new dynamic of the show?

Greg: It’s great. Seth Green is a dear friend of mine. It’s awesome. I feel like it’s an elevated experience. Jason Biggs was great; but now it’s a new season, new turtle, new energy. I think everything is heightened and exciting, with higher stakes.

Had you worked with Seth before?

Greg: Yeah, on Robot Chicken. It’s nice having him. And we have so many great guest stars that come in all the time.

Of the guest stars, have you had a great moment with somebody, or a particularly fun story?

Greg: I always love when Roseanne Barr comes in as Kraang Prime.

Brandon: Robert Englund is great.

Ciro: The weirdest day ever was: I’m sitting on the couch next to Paul Reubens, and we’re both watching Danny Trejo work, and Paul Reubens’ mind is blown by him. He’s going, “Where’d this guy come from? I love him.” And then ‘Machete’ comes out, and ‘Pee Wee’ goes, “Oh, I love you!” and then ‘Machete’ goes, “Yeeeaah, I love youuuu!” They were freaking out over each other, and I was standing there going, “What is going on? I’m at work?” Because it wasn’t Paul Reubens and Danny Trejo. When they started bro-ing out, it felt like they were their characters.

Brandon: There needs to be a Machete/Pee Wee Herman movie.

Ciro: Like if they did a bank job or broke out of jail or something.

Brandon: One of my favorite voice actors that we’ve had come in who’s recurring is Gilbert Gottfried as Kraang Sub-Prime. He’s pretty hilarious. And when he found out that Roseanne Barr was Kraang Prime – because when he was recording he didn’t realize that Roseanne Barr was his boss – he thought that was the funniest thing.

Ciro: We have a crazy cast.

We’re always seeing new mutated characters. Are we going to be getting some new ones? Is there a favorite?

Greg: And which ones are going to be made into toys? Is Napoleon going to be a toy?

Ciro: There’s a character in Season 3 Episode 1 called The Creep. Mikey named him. And I want a toy of that. What he came from is so unique. In a weird way he’s part Leonardo DNA. And Leo’s kind of struggling with his problems because he’s physically injured from the aftermath of the Season 2 finale. And overcoming that, embodied in this monstrous form, is kind of cool. It’s a great episode. The Creep is so awesome.

Speaking of the toys, what are your favorites coming out of the show?

Ciro: I can’t find some of them, man.

Brandon: Tiger Claw’s out now!

Ciro: My buddy just texted me and said he picked me up one, and I freaked out.

Brandon: We would like to say that Playmates should send us more toys.

I love that you guys are working on the show and have to go out and look for the toys.

Ciro: Yeah, Brandon and I created Tiger Claw from scratch, and I’m buying it at a Target.

Did the Squirrelanoids ever become toys? They should have a whole little swarm of them.

Brandon: Yeah, they did! That was another original creation from me and Ciro.

Ciro: That thing’s horrifying. Irineo [Maramba] designed the heck out of that thing.

Greg: Did you see the new Mikey, the huge one, here at Toys “R” Us?

Yeah, I loved that!

Ciro: I want it. Everyone has to buy it, because if it does well, they’re going to make the other three.

And then they can make a Splinter, but he’ll be even taller.

Ciro: Well actually, what you’d do is, you’d buy all four, you’d send in the proof of purchase, and then they’d send you a robe and a Splinter mask – and then you wear it, and the scale’s right.

That’d be awesome! So Greg, are you going to get a big Mikey and put him in your house?

Greg: Heck yeah, I’m taking the one right here from Toys “R” Us home with me! I’m going to buy him a seat on American Airlines and put him right next to me. It’s worth it – that’s the coolest toy I’ve ever seen.

Ciro: And then when you wash your clothes and they have to dry and stuff, you can just put them on Mikey. You can dress him in your outfits, or make him a coat rack.

And then he will truly be a melding of Greg Cipes and Mikey.

Greg: He’d be stealing all my girlfriends, though.

You think they’d go for the green?

Greg: Mikey’s so cute. I can’t compete.

It’s true; of all the turtles, he may be the cutest.

Greg: Thanks!

Remember when Splinter had the cheese wheel phone? I got a big kick out of that. I would love to have a working cheese wheel phone. Is there something that shows up in one of the episodes that you would like to actually own; like not as a toy, but a functioning thing?

Greg: I want an Ice Cream Kitty!

Ciro: Ice Cream Kitty came from my fascination with Cookie Puss. Because I grew up on the East Coast, and I would have Cookie Puss dreams, that I would eat Cookie Puss. And I was like, “How do we put Cookie Puss in the show?” And then I realized that Cookie Puss isn’t really cookie. I wanted to do a cookie cat, and that didn’t work, so it became Ice Cream cat.

So what would you like to have in real life, Ciro?

Ciro: We’re having an art show soon, so we’re going to make all the objects we can. Nickelodeon has its own little gallery place for the artists, right at the studio. So we might make up all of our DVDs, and all the SuperRoboMechaForce VHS tapes, and all that stuff.

Brandon: I actually own a version of the stand-up arcade game. Ciro basically took his graphics from the game within the show, and we blew them up and adhered them to this giant game. You can see it on my Instagram.

[Rob Paulsen enters the interview]

Rob: Hi, I’m Rob, and I’ll be your Donatello for the afternoon.

Ciro: One thing I’m working on right now – I have the blueprint for everything in the show, because either I design it or someone I instruct to design it designs it, so we have all the graphics and stuff; and I know where everything comes from, so we’re putting together a functioning, proper Casey Jones costume.

Nice! Are you going to wear it at a con?

Rob: You’d get a lot of dates, Ciro.

Ciro: No, I’ll put it on a mannequin at work. It would require not washing your jeans for eighteen days.

Nice! Rob, of all the crazy things we’ve seen in the current TMNT universe, what would you like to have as a real functioning thing?

Rob: I don’t know what it’s called, but there’s a motorcycle, a Turtle-cycle…

Brandon: The stealth bike?

Rob: I’d get that in a heartbeat.

I am not at all surprised by this. Brandon built the arcade game. I think your next project should be building the motorcycle.

Rob: Well have you seen the smaller bikes that Honda sells? Honda makes these little 125s, for sale primarily in Asia. And each turtle has their own bike. I really want to buy a Donatello bike.

And you should! Is there something any of you would like to share with the fans that I haven’t covered?

Ciro: Brandon has a wealth of knowledge. Oh, Greg, you should plug your Instagram.

Greg: Yeah, there’s always behind-the-scenes stuff on my Greg Cipes Instagram.

Ciro: I’m on Instagram too. I’m superrobot74.

Brandon: And I’m Brandon_Auman.

Ciro: What would you ask us?

Brandon: Like is there going to be a TMNT / Deadpool crossover?

Ohmygosh, is there? Because that would be the most amazing thing. Pizza, tacos? They’d bond, they’d get along.

Brandon: Unfortunately, there isn’t. Without giving anything away, this season is so diverse in terms of, not just location, but themes, and the arc is just so different from the other seasons. Not just that they’re going to the farmhouse, but eventually how the story unfolds over the season is pretty exciting, and harrowing, and it does get a little darker this season, but it still balances out.

Ciro: We get a lot of character stories. And Seth Green really helped coming on as Leo, because he almost aged everybody up a little. Like, taking the lead and doing that. Leo definitely went through a lot last season and is coming out of it no longer who he used to be. He’s taken that next step into his bigger role. It’s kind of the Leo that I’ve been wanting to happen. It’s finally come along. And Seth knew that. I know Seth through Cipes and have met him before a few times through animation, and when I sat down with Seth, right away it was just like, “Mirage is your ten, yeah, I know what you want.” He was ready to do it.

Greg: He knows everything about Turtles.

Ciro: He did his take, which is the proper take, and he knew what to do. And when you hear it…it was weird, because this thing happens with voice actors, where it takes a couple of episodes to get used to hearing them as a character, no matter what it is. Just attaching the voice to the character that’s a design, moving. It’s always odd. It usually takes a couple of episodes. But Seth, even though he came in and it’s a new casting, it was like the first word was odd, and then the next word you went, “Wow, that’s kind of amazing.” It instantly felt right.

Brandon: He’s also gotten better to the point where he kind of ad libs a little bit here and there, and that’s some of the strongest acting, is when he’s kind of just taking it. He ad libs a little and gets this very realistic take, which is really cool.

Ciro: He is Leo.

•     •     •     •     •

And on that note, sadly I had to end the madcap interview so these wonderful folks could get on to their next engagement. However, I did also get to attend the NYCC TMNT panel, so I can also share that what I saw there of this season looks great and includes some new characters shown in my photoset here, including Hun, Renet, and (squee!) Bebop and Rocksteady. So check those pics out!

And until next time, Servo Lectio!


Saturday Morning Cartoons: Watch Pinky And The Brain’s Pulp Fiction


Rob Paulsen (Pinky) and Maurice LaMarche (The Brain) take on the Pulp Fiction hitmen Jules and Vincent as host Cole Stratton looks on at “An Afternoon with Pinky and The Brain.”

Recorded live at the 12th Annual SF Sketchfest, the San Francisco Comedy Festival on January 27, 2013 at the Eureka Theatre.

Visit Maurice LaMarche at his official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mauric…

Visit Rob Paulsen at his official website: http://www.robpaulsenlive.com

Visit SF Sketchfest: www.sfsketchfest.com

Artwork by Sam Carter http://samcarterart.com/