Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo - Concept art and storyboards from the best cartoon of the century so far
"I am now addicted to Adventure Time; actually, I am in awe of it.” Director Guillermo del Toro expressed this opinion in his forward to this massive book of art from the cartoon series, and I agree with him.
I love everything about Adventure Time: the constrained-crazy character design, the candy-colored otherworldly sets, the untraditional-but-nevertheless-engrossing stories, and the bromantic relationship between Finn the Human and Jake the shape shifting dog, who embark on their Jodorowsky-esque adventures on a post-civilization Earth (all we really know is that our world ended as we knew it after the Great Mushroom War and the cartoon takes place about 1,000 years after).
This book is a deep dive into the Land of Ooo (the new name for Earth), with tons of concept sketches, marked-up scripts, and production art. It’s also an oral history of the development of the series, with interviews from the show’s creative team sprinkled throughout.
Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo, by Chris McDonnell
Saturday Morning Slow Jams' slick R&B cover of the Transformers theme. Don't miss their takes on Muppet Babies (below), Ducktales, Pokemon, Animaniacs, and many more.
Over at Dangerous Minds, Richard turns us on to the late animator John David Wilson whose credits include the likes of Disney's Peter Pan, Mr. Magoo cartoons, and the opening to Grease, and also made terrifically fun cartoon music videos for The Kinks, Joni Mitchell, and others that aired in the 1970s on the Sonny and Cher Show!
Interview with the creators of Stripped, feature-length doc about comic strips [New Disruptors Podcast #68]
Dave Kellett and Fred Schroeder created the movie Stripped about the past, present, and future of comic strips and their creators. Dave is the creator and cartoonist of two webcomics titles, Sheldon and Drive, and the co-author of How To Make Webcomics. He is one of a small but growing group of webcomics artists who are self-sufficient. Fred is a veteran cinemographer, nominated for Best Cinematography at Sundance for his work on Four Sheets to the Wind. He has been shooting commercials for much of his career.
Together, they matched Fred's filmmaking skills with Dave's personal knowledge of the field and his contacts to create the first feature-length documentary on the topic, funded in part through two Kickstarter campaigns. They don't pull punches about the difficulties of being a comic-strip artist, but they show all the joy and love that goes into the work along with many potential bright lights already illuminating parts of the field and shining on the horizon.
This episode is sponsored by:
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Saturday morning cartoon pioneer Lou Scheimer, whose Filmation company created Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, Star Trek: The Animated Series, Groovie Goolies, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, and many other classics of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, has died. He was 84. Above, Scheimer with some of his Filmation characters in an illustration from the cover of his book, "Lou Scheimer: Creating the Filmation Generation." From the New York Times:
Filmation was considered noteworthy on two counts: it kept production in the United States in an age of increasing outsourcing (then as now, the labor-intensive work of animating many American cartoons was done in Asia) and it sought to produce cartoons with a message of social tolerance.
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The terrific humorist and cartoonist Doogie Horner, who wrote last year's hit Everything Explained Through Flowcharts, has a new book out called 100 Ghosts, which consists of drawings of well-known people and characters depicted as cartoony ghosts.
Doogie emailed me and offered to draw some exclusive ghosts for Boing Boing. I suggested Orange is the New Black. It turns out that Doogie loves the show as much as I do, and he drew 12 of the characters from the show as ghosts (13 if you count Little Boo). He did a fantastic job! Check out all of Doogie's OITNB ghosts below.
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Miffy is a much-loved cartoon rabbit, designed by Dutch artist Dick Bruna in the 1950s. His publishers, however, now deem it in need of a refresh "to appeal to a modern British audience." From the BBC:
They will feature new translations of Bruna's original rhyming verse by award-winning poet Tony Mitton. The books Miffy, Miffy at the Gallery and Miffy at the Zoo will be the first to be re-launched in February 2014. A variety of novelty and activity books will also be published alongside the traditional square Miffy hardbacks. It is 50 years since the series was first published in the UK.
Beyond this, however, no details have been given of the planned revamp. Frankly, the mind boggles at the possibilities! We could have Miffy struggling to reconcile her animal nature with the world around her, only to find surprising opportunities in the fast-changing and fluid world of human gender identity.
Actually, that's the best idea I've had for a classic-comic revamp since "Elderly Scottish naval captain tracks down the intrepid young reporter who was once his lover, but has long-since fallen into a dissolute life as a gun runner in the Belgian Congo."
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing, which bills itself as a "directory of wonderful things." He joins us to share some of his recent finds.
This time, it's The Adventure Time Encyclopedia and the iPad game Blocksworld.
The Cartoon Network's show Adventure Time is ostensibly for children, but eagerly devoured by people of all ages. It follows the psychedelic adventures of a boy named Finn and his dog Jake. The new Adventure Time Encyclopedia, "translated" by comedy writer Martin Olson, features new original artwork and everything you ever wanted to know about the post-apocalyptic land of Oooo. Mark also suggests downloading the Blocksworld app for iPad, a virtual Lego-like world with huge creative possibilities.
Cartoon Closets presents wonderful fashion collages inspired by cartoon characters!
Here's the trailer for The Adventure Time Encyclopaedia book trailer. The book, which is fantastically weird and fun, was written by my pal Martin Olson, who plays Hunson Abadeer (aka "The Lord of Evil") on Adventure Time.
Martin also wrote Encyclopaedia of Hell: An Invasion Manual for Demons Concerning the Planet Earth and the Human Race Which Infests It, which we featured on Boing Boing in 2011. Both books were designed by Crap Hound zinester genius Sean Tejaratchi.
Adventure Time is probably the best cartoon currently running on TV. Here's a sneak peek at the forthcoming book, Adventure Time Encyclopaedia: Inhabitants, Lore, Spells, and Ancient Crypt Warnings of the Land of Ooo Circa 19.56 B.G.E. - 501 A.G.E., by Martin Olson, the voice actor of The Lord of Evil on the show, who narrates the book in character. (Martin is the author of the wonderful Encyclopaedia of Hell by Satan, too!)See pages from Adventure Time Encyclopaedia