Beloved Miffy books to be "updated" for modern British audience

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." Read the rest

My picks on Bullseye: Blocksworld and Adventure Time Encyclopaedia

On the latest episode of Bullseye with Jesse Thorn I recommended the iPad app Blocksworld and The Adventure Time Encyclopaedia.

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.

Read the rest
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The Adventure Time Encyclopaedia book trailer

[Video Link]

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. Read the rest

Adventure Time Encyclopaedia - sneak peek

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!) Read the rest

How Bugs Bunny saved Mel Blanc's life

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)

 Mel Blanc's vocal cords Read the rest

Minneapolis SkepTech conference, coming April 5/6

Next week, I'll be speaking at the SkepTech Conference, a new gathering put together by University of Minnesota students. The lineup features some great folks from the science and skeptic communities, including bloggers PZ Myers and Hemant Mehta, and Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal cartoonist Zach Weinersmith. Registration is free. Come check it out! Read the rest

The Beau Brummels(tones) on the Flintstones

The Beau Brummels guest star as the Beau Brummelstones on The Flintstones.
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Generic gun-control debate cartoon

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."

Generic cartoon Read the rest

Realistic Popeye

By Vancouver artist Lee Romao, who is currently working on an animated feature, Escape from Planet Earth. Prints are just $15 at his homepage. [via Joe Hill] Read the rest

Yet another reason why I love Gravity Falls

Inside a store, the 12-year-old character named Mabel discovers a cache of powdered sugar candy called Smile Dip, which has strong psychedelic qualities.

Michigan J Frog meets Black Mesa

Ronaldthecock produced this Black Mesa/Michigan J Frog mashup as part of a machinima challenge on

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.

CRITTER WEEK! :: Open Source Filmmaker: (via JWZ) Read the rest

Upcoming episode of Gravity Falls features animation by Paul Robertson (episode clip)

[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:

Gravity Falls on The Disney Channel Read the rest

Interview with the creator of Gravity Falls, Disney Channel's fun new cartoon

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... Read the rest

Five animated mashups we might desperately need

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. Read the rest

Ballad of Poisonberry Pete (short animated video)

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.

Making of "Ballad of Poisonberry Pete" Read the rest

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