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New Animation Magazines


Two new animation magazines appeared in my mailbox last week. Both are very well done, though aimed at completely different audiences.

CARTOONS (Vol. 2, Issue 2, Winter 2006), the John Libbey publication for ASIFA, edited by Chris Robinson, is the best edition yet. This 52-page color, glossy magazine is distributed free to all ASIFA members internationally. I’m not even sure you can buy this anywhere. Another great reason to join Asifa (check here for your local branch).

This issue contains many good articles – among them, Karl Cohen on how ASIFA helped win the Cold War; Martin Goodman on the making of Cartoon All-Stars To The Rescue, and Chris Panzner on kids network demographics. But the standout is John Canemaker’s 13-page profile (part 1) of Disney animator-turned-influential Golden Book illustrator John Parr Miller. Per Canemaker standards, the piece is filled with meticulous research, great writing and rare illustrations. This is a must-have.

CEREAL:GEEK is another matter entirely. This isn’t for everyone. This is a lavish 100-page magazine, printed in full color on heavy gloss stock, devoted to 1980s TV animation. Publisher James Eatock understands that the animation of the era was “junk food” (hence the “cereal” of the title), but has a passion (hence the “geek”) for the cartoons he grew up with, and a sense of humor about it. He believes the 80s were a watershed decade where the young TV animators found their voice. I personally have no love for He-Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Inspector Gadget, but if you do, then this is for you. There are some in-depth articles, an interview with Larry Ditillo (Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors) and lots of insight into The Transformers, She-Ra and 80s anime. If this excites you, get it. You won’t be disappointed.

  • I don’t know if I could slog through pages and pages of Transformers, She-Ra, Thundercats, He-man, or TMNT to get to the real 80’s television gems, like Duck Tales and the Smurfs.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Heh, both sounds like pretty nifty mags to get. Of course I have to wonder what makes “Cartoon All-Stars To The Rescue” really that important to publish in an ASIFA publication, since it sounds right up CEREAL:GEEK’s alley (of course this special has a place in the hearts of those that enjoyed/rediculed it’s message). Still “CARTOONS” sounds a lot up my alley with their articles. Might have to join up ASIFA one of these days to keep up.

    Travis Gentry wrote, “I don’t know if I could slog through pages and pages of Transformers, She-Ra, Thundercats, He-man, or TMNT to get to the real 80’s television gems, like Duck Tales and the Smurfs.”

    Heh, I personally think this magazine would appeal greatly to the guys who go on sites like RetroJunk and might like to learn more of the cartoons they enjoyed as children in the 80’s (like me, but I really don’t have a place in my heart for He-Man the same way I had 24 years ago).

  • Trust me, Cereal:Geek will sell by the truckloads. Just today most of the guy’s at collage were watching YouTube clips of Thundercats and Bravestarr with awe and nostalgia in their eyes. I watched a lot of those cartoons as a kid too, but I couldn’t really stand to sit through them now. Still, the magazine does have really nice artwork of the characters so many eighties babies will love.

  • mwb

    Hey I already order issue one of cereal:geek. But I also bought (and have on pre-order) the He-Man & She-Ra DVD box sets. (Heck I ordered the Here Comes the Grump box set.)

    They are vastly amusing, but not in the way they were when I was younger.

    How can one not appreciate the genius of He-Man when Man at Arms announces he’s invented a “beam ray?” Seriously. What the heck is a beam ray that is different from a beam or ray – which should be the same thing….

    Plus seeing the folks who were working on it back then – Paul Dini, Bruce Timm, J. Michael Straczynski – although I doubt they feature it prominently on their resume nowadays.

  • Jim Kosmicki

    I’m intrigued by Cereal Geek, but I simply can’t get past the cover, as I’ve emailed the editor. A head shot of a battered and bruised woman (even She-Ra) is appalling to me. If they want to emphasize her warrior nature and her being victorious, there are many ways to show that in more of a long shot. To have this cover (the first cover of your first issue) emphasize her bruising just bothers me. It tells me that I’m most likely not going to appreciate the tone and approach of the internal articles or artwork either, especially at $12 to try it.