Hey gang, here's what happening in the world of cartoons:
A new Simpsons game, possibly created to coincide with the movie, has been showing up on some retailer's list as "The Simpsons Game." Electronic Arts is publishing the game, which will be available for pretty much all the major platforms, including Wii.
First of all, I have to give a big ol' Minnesota-style "thank ya" to those of you who recommend some great anime for me to check out. A Minnesota-style "thank ya" is like a regular "thank ya" except you say it while keeping a herd of rabid moose away from your snow fort with a hockey stick.
I watch a lot of cartoons. I don't however, watch much anime at all. Sure, there are movies and TV shows I've seen and enjoyed (Akira, Ghost in the Shell, FLCL), but that's a mere drop in the vast anime ocean, hardly enough to call myself a fan.
So, my lack of true anime insight and the fact I was nowhere new the New York ComicCon this year are my two main excuses for not getting this news to you sooner, but winners of the first American Anime Awards --which honors anime series released in the U.S. and redubbing provided by English-speaking voice actors-- were announced, and they are:
It's the last stop on this year's audition tour, and what a tour it's been. I'm beat. I'm ready to wrap up these auditions and move on to the real competition. But first we see 11,000 people packed into the Alamo Dome as the Rawhide theme plays. An interesting tidbit: The Rawhide theme was originally sung by 1950s crooner Frankie Laine, who died today at the age of 93.
Back in San Antonio, the judges arrive, and Simon is cranky and suffering from jet lag. Poor Simon.
Someone left a comment on my latest Moral Orel review asking whatever happened to Boondocks. Oddly enough, Boondocks will return with a new season in March, along with the second half of the current season of Moral Orel.
Before all of that, however, there are two new series debuting in February: Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job!, a fifteen-minute sketch show from Tom Goes to the Mayor creators Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim will kick off on February 11 at 11:45pm, followed by the Sid and Marty Krofft-inspired Saul of the Molemen at midnight. Also look for fifth season episodes of Family Guy to debut the same night. In addition, new episodes of anime series Trinity Blood, Eureka 7 and Bleach will continue throughout February along with repeats of 12 Oz Mouse, Harvey Birdman, Minoriteam, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Squidbillies and Home Movies. Adult Swim HQ also writes that a new anime series will replace Trinity Blood in March.
Finally, it looks as if a third season of the Venture Bros will debut sometime later this year. Wikipedia says as much, and on January 4 co-creator Jackson Publick wrote on his LiveJournal that they had just begun to write episodes for the next season. So it's happening, but you'll have to be patient. I suggest watching the first and second DVDs over and over again.
I love animation, but I have to admit my knowledge of anime is rather limited. There's a lot of anime I enjoy and admire, but what I've seen doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of this popular animation style.
If you love anime, or you just want to start at the very beginning of this art form, Digital Meme is releasing a DVD titled "Classic Japanese Anime." Don't expect stuff like AstroBoy, Speed Racer or Gigantor in this set. Instead, think silent animation from the '20s and '30s. Some of the works contained in this DVD set were originally shown in theaters with a separate audio track played on a gramophone record. If your interest in anime goes far beyond casual admiration, this is something worth spending $110.00 on. Also, every one of the fifty-five cartoons is subtitled, so there's none of that gaudy American dubbing to ruin it.
The set releases on April 30.
[via Cartoon Brew]
The deviantARTist known as Space Coyote recently received copius praise and accolades for her anime-renditions of characters from The Simpsons and Futurama. Now, it seems her drawings have also captured the attention of both Bongo Comics and 20th Century Fox. According to a message on her deviantART page, Space Coyote has been hired to draw for a one-off Simpsons comic in manga style for Bongo Comics. She further writes that 20th Century Fox has also contacted her about doing work, possibly for the newly-resurrected Futurama.
She also writes on her Live Journal that the details are still being hammered out, but needless to say, this is a great example of a relatively unknown artist getting some decent exposure through this crazy thing called the Web. She has also worked on the Web comic Saturnalia since 2002, which is also worth checking out.
So, when I found this artist's group shots of The Simpsons' and Futurama's ensembles, I was pretty amazed. Each character looks totally different, but it's still easy to tell who's who (a most important element in good fan-art). I think it's fantastic, but, I must admit, I'm a little disturbed by Lisa's striking resemblance to the characters of Dragon Ball. It must be a hair thing.
So, you're now in that limbo period between the parade and Thanksgiving dinner where there isn't really much to do (well, except watch football. Blech!). So, you need something to occupy your time before you dig into that turkey with all of the trimmings. Boy, do I have that something for you!
Our friend iZ Reloaded (not his real name, I'm pretty sure) has compiled an extensive list of 1980's cartoon introductions that you can find on YouTube. There are seventy-five listed and they run the gamut, from Saturday morning fare like Pac-Man, Smurfs, and Dungeons and Dragons to syndicated classics like G.I. Joe, Transformers, He-Man and My Little Pony. Also included are intros to cartoons that I barely remember or never even saw, such as Potato Head Kids, Starcom and The Raccoons.
As usual with YouTube when you are looking for one video, you end up finding another video that peaks your interest. And then another, and another, and soon the dawn of the next day comes around.
Thus was my situation. I was about to do a post on the Japanese anime classic Star Blazers when I found a more interesting piece of video that contained the opening introductions to a number of syndicated cartoons of the 1980's. And, even though I think that many Saturday morning cartoons of that era were pretty weak, I feel that this was when syndicated action cartoons reached their glory. I mean, who doesn't remember cartoons like Thundercats, M.A.S.K., or Voltron.
So, take a look at the video that appears after the jump and see if you can remember all of the cartoons shown. If you can, please let me know the name of the second cartoon shown in the video, as well as if one of the versions of Voltron is shown as well.
I just got off the phone with Dino Stamatopoulos, creator of Moral Orel (look for the interview soon), and since I just finished talking with someone for over an hour about animation and comedy I thought I would indulge myself with a kind of "fantasy post" I've been wanting to do for a long time.
Below you will find a schedule that shows how I would program Adult Swim if it were its own twenty-four hour network. I guess the time zone would be CST, since I live in Minnesota, but don't worry about that, it's just for fun.
This is why Zeus created the DVR, animation lovers. According to an updated schedule grid, Adult Swim has a few marathons planned for the month of December. Fans of Bleach, Metalocalypse (ROCK!!!), Squidbillies, Robot Chicken, Venture Brothers and Boondocks pay heed, cause here's what's being served up:
On Christmas, gather the family around the television for a fifteen-episode, out of order Venture Brothers marathon beginning at 10:30 pm.
On December 26th, a marathon of episodes one through fifteen of The Boondocks begins at 10:30 pm.
Robot Chicken marathon on December 27: Episodes ten through forty starting at 10:30 pm.
Squidbillies marathon: Episodes one through twenty, then a repeat of episodes one through ten, starting at 10:30 pm on December 28.
Bleach marathon: Episodes one through fourteen kicking off at 11 pm on December 30.
Metalocalypse marathon: Episodes one through twenty, followed by a repeat of episodes one through twelve, starting at 10 pm on December 31.
You know, it's weird that Adam posted an item on Cartoon Network's influence on the sale of magna due to the airing of numerous Japanese anime shows. Not weird because all of the characters in the cartoons have eyes as huge as dessert plates, but weird because I was just reading something about an earlier Japanese import that influenced the popularity of anime in North America.
The program in question is Gatchaman. Or, as we know it in the United States and Canada, Battle of the Planets. If you were a child of the 1970's and 80's Battle of the Planets was appointment television for you once you got home from school, and it was probably paired with another anime show like Star Blazers, Voltron, or Robotech. Well, Newsarama's
Matt Brady Steve Fritz has a very comprehensive look at the show's origins and how it became so popular both in its native Japan and here in America.
It's funny how popular manga has become in the last several years. And to think all I did was read Garfield and Heathcliff books. These days many people in the biz point to the Cartoon Network Effect on manga sales due to the increasing popularity of anime on the network. Thomas J. McLean, writing for Publishers Weekly, uses Bleach as an example. That particular manga was never a huge seller, but when the anime debuted on Adult Swim, sales of the manga began to soar. This is not true, though, for all comic books and graphic novels. In the case of manga and anime, the two often have a direct connection that makes it easier to move from one to another. American animated series based on comic books don't always have that connection, and the result is that a series like Fantastic Four, while popular, doesn't help the sale of Fantastic Four comic books that have no direct correlation with the television series. This difference, however, can work, as in the case of Teen Titans, a cartoon that looks nothing like the original comic books. The anime-style of that show probably doesn't hurt much, either.
[via Toon Zone]
Reader Rod wrote to us recently asking for a comprehensive list of all the television programs that can be downloaded or streamed online. That's a pretty tall order, and I'm sure I'll forget a few, which is why I'm asking our faithful readers to fill in any gaps left due to my ignorance or plain forgetfulness. I'm going to focus purely on legitimate downloads and not such things as peer-to-peer downloads or torrents. I'm not going to list specific shows, because obviously as the television schedule changes, so do the programs.
I encourage you to add this post to your Favorites, as I'll be updating it every now and then.
(Last updated on 01/21/07)
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