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
In 1961, Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Barney Rubble, and literally a thousand other cartoon characters (see vide above), was in a terrible car crash that put him in a coma. Nothing could rouse him until his surgeon addressed him as Bugs Bunny. Of course, Blanc's response was: "What's up, Doc?" Here's a 2012 short episode of Radiolab where they interview the surgeon, a neuroscientist, and Mel Blanc's son, Noel.
"What's Up, Doc?" (Radiolab)
The incredibly fun-sounding new animated series from IFC, Out There, has assembled a heck of a great cast to voice its characters. In addition to series creator Ryan Quincy, who is providing the voice of the lead role of Chad Stevens, here is who else has come on board and who they'll be playing (via press release):
Out There chronicles the coming-of-age misadventures of socially awkward Chad (Ryan Quincy), his little brother Jay (Kate Micucci) and his best friend, Chris (Justin Roiland). Living in the small town of Holford, the boys wander its surreal, bleak landscape waiting out their last few years of adolescence. Along the way, viewers meet Chad’s conservative parents, Wayne (John DiMaggio) and Rose (Megan Mullally), as well as Chris’s single mother, Joanie (Pamela Adlon) and her disastrous boyfriend, Terry (Fred Armisen). They also meet the object of Chad’s affection, Sharla (Linda Cardellini).
I don't know about you, but where John DiMaggio and Pamela Adlon go, I'll follow, to say nothing of Armisen, Micucci, and Mullally. Here's to a brand new year of more silly, weird cartoons! Out There premieres on Friday, February 22 on IFC.
Katie sez, "'This Modern World' generic gun control cartoon perfectly describes the discussion regarding the Newtown shooting. It was made for the Tucson shooting but, sadly, applies equally to all gun massacres in the USA."
Last night, my nine-year-old daughter Jane and I watched an episode of our favorite cartoon together: Gravity Falls. (See Jane's interview with the creator of Gravity Falls, Alex Hirsch, here.)
In the episode, the kids break into a derelict 7-Eleven style convenience store and find out that it's haunted. Inside the store, 12-year-old Mabel discovers a cache of powdered sugar candy called Smile Dip, which has strong psychedelic qualities. While she is drooling and glassy eyed, she goes on an incredible inner journey, as evidenced in the video snippet above.
At the end of the episode, some random-looking text appears on the screen for a second or so: RQZDUGV DRVKLPD! I paused the video and snapped a photo:
Jane reminded me that the beginning of every episode has a weird cartoony occult image that flashes on the screen for a fraction of the second. This image, also, contains random-looking text: VWDQ LV QRW ZKDW KH VHHPV
It's text written in a substitution cipher. Jane and I had cracked that cryptogram a couple of months ago. It says, STAN IS NOT WHAT HE SEEMS (Stan is Dipper and Mabel's great uncle, proprietor of the Mystery Shack occult curio store located in the woods of the Pacific Northwest.)
Jane and I used the same substitution cipher to attempt to decode the text from the episode we saw last night. We came up with: ONWARDS AOSHIMA!
"That doesn't seem right," I told Jane. But Jane said, "No! That's what Mabel says when she's riding the dolphin." She was right!
What does "Onwards Aoshima" mean? Google revealed that a lot of people have already cracked the cryptogram, and that every episode of Gravity Falls has a cryptogram at the end of it. but I haven't come across any explanation of what the term means. Aoshima is an island in Japan, but what does that have to do with Gravity Falls? The mystery deepens!
Gravity Falls is a thoroughly enjoyable cartoon. These little puzzles that are sprinkled throughout each episode take it to another level. I love this show.
Ronaldthecock produced this Black Mesa/Michigan J Frog mashup as part of a machinima challenge on steamcommunity.com:
Let's have another Theme week. Starting sunday September 16th and running through sunday September 23rd, will be Critter week. in honor of the release of Black Mesa this friday, Make Videos of headcrabs, bullsquids, antlions, alien swarm monsters, or whatever creepy crawly you want. Put "OSFM critter week" in the Video description and post it here. There are a couple people working on rigs to make animating monsters like headcrabs easier, so keep an eye out and I'll post them here.
[Video Link] My daughter and I are hooked on Gravity Falls, a quirky new cartoon series on Disney about about the goings-on in an occult curio shack in the Pacific Northwest (see Jane's interview with show creator Alex Hirsch here). Now David and his son are hooked, too!
The next episode, which airs Friday, September 14, features Street Fighter style animation by the amazing pixel artist Paul Robertson (some of his art is NSFW).
Here's another clip:
Last month I bought a season pass on iTunes for a new cartoon series on the Disney Channel called Gravity Falls. My family was about to take a long plane trip and even though I didn't know anything about the show, the artwork alone gave me a hunch that it would be something my 9-year-old daughter Jane would like.
She ended up watching The Powerpuff Girls the whole time on the plane instead, but when we got home we watched Gravity Falls together and we loved it. It's about a brother and sister (Dipper and Mabel) who go to the Pacific Northwest to spend the summer with their "Grunkle Stan," a fez-wearing proprietor of "The Mystery Shack," which trades in occult items, crpytozoological specimens, and other Fortean curiosities. The woods surrounding the Mystery Shack are populated by bigfoots and jackalopes, while the town's human residents are even stranger.
Intrigued, we got in touch with the creator of Gravity Falls, Alex Hirsch, and Jane asked him a few questions:
What is that hat Grunkle Stan wears? Does he ever take it off?
Like all cool people, Stan wears a fez pretty much constantly. According to legend, it gives him special powers, like the ability to cover his bald spot, and a place to hide his parking tickets. He bestows the fez upon Mabel in a future episode, and she learns of its awesome responsibility...
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Marvel superheroes are going on summer vacation with Phineas and Ferb, and Archer is going to Bob's Burgers. When you consider what it would mean stylistically and comedically, cartoon mashups can be a pretty beautiful (and beautifully weird) thing. As a fervent supporter of them, as well as someone who has written her fair share of fan fiction, I have five suggestions for potential crossovers with shows that are currently on the air. Would any of them actually happen? Probably not, but we can all dream can't we?
Disclaimer: I'm pretty sure there is zero chance of these actually happening.
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I enjoyed this short animation called "Ballad of Poisonberry Pete," a western starring anthropomorphic pies and cakes. It's a film by Adam Campbell, Elizabeth McMahill, and Uri Lotan and was presented at Cartoon Brew's 3rd Student Animation Festival.
Thomas Haller Buchanan says: "It's fun to see Charles Schulz delineate grown-ups and cars and such. It shows that the simplicity in Peanuts was a chosen exile."
My introduction to Gary Trudeau's Doonesbury happened around the age of 8, when I discovered my father's anthology collections. (I was extraordinarily up on early 1970s pop culture for a late 1980s grade schooler.) Reading the new strip and the daily archives is still part of my morning routine. But, given that I was born in 1981, I don't always get all the references. Sometimes, that leads me to discover weird bits pop history.
For instance, the strip above ran on July 19, 1977. My first response this morning, "What the hell is Laetrile?" I mean, it's Duke, so I assumed it was a drug. But I wasn't expecting it to turn out to be a quack cancer treatment, the promotion of which led to a strange bedfellows situation where alt-med proponents joined forces with the John Birch Society to fight the federal government for the right to sell desperate cancer patients a potentially dangerous treatment that had never been tested for effectiveness or safety.
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I really enjoy Gweek, especially your recommendations section. I’d like to offer a recommendation of my own, the Jonny Quest TV show. Jonny Quest was a half-hour prime time cartoon that came out in the early ‘60s, produced by Hanna-Barbera. Unfortunately, like so many great shows, it ran for just one season, but you can see them all in a DVD box set, iTunes, or Amazon Instant Video.
Jonny Quest is about the adventures of an 11 year old boy (Jonny), who travels around the world with his father, Dr. Benton Quest, a top government scientist assigned to solve action mysteries and defuse threats perpetrated by the evil Dr. Zin. The show is aimed at boys Jonny’s age, and it has the whole package: high-tech gadgets, villains, guns, ferocious animals, and even seductresses. There are great sidekicks too -- Dr. Quest’s commando bodyguard, Race Bannon, Jonny’s Indian friend Hadji, and their feisty bulldog Bandit. Each episode takes the Quest crew somewhere exotic and exciting, from the Egyptian pyramids to the South American Andes and even out to sea. They face every challenge imaginable: flying robots, pirates, and giant genetically engineered lizards. Naturally the Quests and their team always come out victorious and unscathed.
The show has some highlights that aren’t part of the story lines, as well. For one thing, the political incorrectness of the early 1960s really shines through. The Quests unapologetically gun down bad guys, especially troublesome natives and commies, along with any menacing animals they run into. Don’t worry though, it’s so over-the-top it’s funny rather than offensive. And the animation is wonderful. It’s bold, sharply defined, and quite realistic, bringing you into the action much more than typical kids’ style cartoons of the time, flying you by the seat of your pants.
Any aficionado of Gweek is sure to enjoy this series.