AT THE COMIC SHOP

loislane.jpgFriday is the day I usually walk over to Golden Apple and see what’s new. I’ve noticed that I’ve become very picky in recent years. I usually only buy fanzines like Alter Ego and Comic Book Marketplace and the occasional alternative comic that catches my eye. This week I noticed for the first time the incredible 9 inch tall Fleischer-style limited edition, hand-painted cold-cast porcelain maquette of LOIS LANE. superior.jpgThis has been out for a while, and I’d known about it – but I hadn’t seen it until now. It’s fantastic. (click on image above to see the full figurine). I wish I could afford it.More affordable was an excellent new anthology (right) from Chris Pitzer’s Ad House Books. Pitzer has commisioned over 3 dozen indy cartoonists and alternative artists to create a superhero image or comic strip and filled 288 pages in color with the coolest comics I’ve read in a long time (well at least since a few weeks ago when I bought BIZARRO WORLD). PROJECT: SUPERIOR features story and art by Brew favorites Ronnie Del Carmen, Tim Biskup, Seonna Hong, Scott Morse, and Brandon Ragnar Johnson – and many many others. Much fun, much eye candy. I don’t buy many of these anthologies, but this is one of the best I’ve seen.
It was a good week.

Looney Tunes and Silly Symphonies in Astoria

Here’s a good one for the New York area Cartoon Brew readers.The Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria (Queens) Thursday, March 24, 2005 at 7:00 PM presents Looney Tunes and Silly Symphonies, a special presentation by Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. There will be a shorts screening and panel discussion with author & animator John Canemaker, cartoonist Ben Katchor and Raymond Scott Archivist Irwin Chusid. Additionally, Six members of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra will perform, live, selections of the music of Raymond Scott.Looney Tunes and Silly Symphonies will explore the relationship between cartoons and the concert hall, comedians and composers. John Schaefer of WNYC Soundcheck is the moderator/curator of the event.Riklis Theatre
Museum of the Moving Image
35 Avenue at 36 Street
Astoria, N.Y. 11106
To reserve a seat please call 718/784-4520

A F***ING LOONATICS PREVIEW

Sander Schwartz can kick back and relax. Somebody has already done the work for him and animated the new LOONATICS cartoon, starring that one and only “Buzzed Bunny.” Actually, it’s a Flash parody of what the show might be like and it’s absolutely hilarious. WARNING: CONTAINS VERY STRONG LANGUAGE, but come on, WB deserves it. Click here to watch A NEW BUNNY. (Thanks, Daikun)

BUZZED BUNNY

Blue Sky doing Seuss

Horton Hears A WhoTomorrow’s HOLLYWOOD REPORTER has a story that Fox/Blue Sky’s next feature following ICE AGE 2 will be an adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ HORTON HEARS A WHO! The film is scheduled for release in late-’07 or early-’08. No director is attached to the project yet, but the screenplay is being written by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio, whose prior writing credits include THE SANTA CLAUSE 2 and BUBBLE BOY. Those writers are the only part of the announcement that raises a red flag for me, but otherwise I’m confident that Blue Sky will do a fine job with this project. Full details at THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER website. The REPORTER piece neglected to mention that HORTON HEARS A WHO! was previously adapted to animation by Chuck Jones in 1970. For my money though, the most entertaining animated adaptation of Seuss’ Horton character is Bob Clampett’s HORTON HATCHES THE EGG (1942).

ANIMATION ROLLER COASTER

Elizabeth ItoAnimation designer Alex Kirwan (My Life As A Teenage Robot) sends us this link to a new animation production blog:

“This one belongs to my friend Elizabeth Ito, novel in that it’s one of the first female production blogs I’ve seen. Adventures on the Animation Rollercoaster shows Elizabeth documenting (among other things) the development of television projects and the recent excitement over her student film “Welcome to my Life” – which won producer’s pick in the Nicktoons film festival, and can be viewed here.”

SPARKLE PAINTS

sparkle3.jpgA friend of mine just pointed out this item on ebay – he called it a Holy Grail of cartoon collectibles, but I’m not too sure of that – but it sure brought back a flood of memories to me.I guess finding a Sparkle Paint set in mint condition would be a rather rare find. And get a look at this example of UPA merchandising in its waning days.The Dick Tracy Show with it’s wealth of ethnic stereotyped dectectives and policemen – and Mr. Magoo and his Chinese houseboy, “Cholly” (not Charlie). No wonder we rarely see these cartoons anymore.Ahh, the good old days…

Progenitorivox

pill.jpgProgenitorivox is a fake pill – not a placebo – but a fiction devised as part of a campaign by Consumers Union, the non-profit publishers of Consumer Reports, to pass legislation requiring drug makers to disclose the side effects of their products.Regardless of politics, this funny animated music video was produced by The Animation Farm out of Austin Texas, and is well worth a look.(Thanks, John Hudgens)

Tim Burton Garage Sale Update

The Tim Burton garage sale that Cartoon Brew first broke the story on, and which has subsequently spread around the Internet like wildfire this past week, reportedly does not have the official endorsement of Tim Burton. According to the Tim Burton Collective, the following are Burton’s comments sent out via email from TimBurton.com:

“It recently came to my attention that a warehouse sale, claiming to include “previously -owned” items of mine, is scheduled to take place. Allegedly, these items include props, memorabilia and costumes from various films I have directed, as well as some drawings of mine that were private gifts–never meant for public display or purchase. Since I have not been contacted by the sellers, it is important to note that I can in no way vouch for the authenticity of these items. I am completely against the selling of personal items in such a public way.”

It’s important to note that there’s no way to confirm the validity of whether these comments are actually from Burton, but WOW Report has this additional bit of info: “It’s strictly ex-girlfriend Lisa Marie getting rid of stuff he gave her over the years or just left behind when they broke up. Their split was not amicable.” So at this point, it seems like the garage sale will still contain a lot of Burton’s possessions, but it’s more like Lisa Marie’s garage sale than Burton’s. Also interesting to note, one of the items up for grabs will be this chair prop from ED WOOD.

Liz Smith Loves My Book

Art of RobotsWow, I’ve finally made Liz Smith’s legendary entertainment gossip column. No, not for my many torrid love affairs with various Hollywood actresses, but for THE ART OF ROBOTS. Well…these days I’ll take whatever I can get. Liz writes: “Amid Amidi’s new book, THE ART OF ROBOTS, about the making of this movie, is totally fascinating with beautiful artwork.” If anybody has an extra copy of this item printed in the NY POST’s Page Six, please drop me a line at amid (at) animationblast (dot) com. (I’m good now – thanks). (Thanks, Sarah P.)

Three Nights of Animation in New York

The judging nights for the ASIFA-East Animation Festival are a great opportunity to see animation that’s currently being produced in New York. The screenings take place at the School of Visual Arts, and are free and open to everybody, though only ASIFA-East members are eligible to vote. Screening dates are:

Tuesday, March 8 – Student Films
Thurday, March 10 – Independent Films
Monday, March 21st – Commercials, Promos and Sponsored Films

Rumor has it that on March 10, John Dilworth, of DIRDY BIRDY and COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG fame, may or may not premiere his new epic animated short, which has been four years in the making.

RICHARD FLEISCHER’S NEW BOOK

maxbook3.jpgComing in June will be the publication of Richard Fleischer’s new book, OUT OF THE INKWELL, Max Fleischer and the Animation Revolution (University Press of Kentucky, $27.50).This is the story of Max Fleischer from the p.o.v. of Max’s son. It follows the highs and lows of Fleischer Studio and attempts to explain how the family lost control of their studio to Paramount Pictures. It contains much biographical information on both Max and Richard, and extensively follows Max’s life in the years following World War II. How he regained control over Betty Boop and Koko, and his involvement with those later the Hal Seegar Out Of The Inkwell TV cartoons, are of particular interest.I saw an early draft of the book last year and can tell you its a great read – and it may start a few new controversies. I’m looking forward to the finished version. Amazon.com has it for $18.15 – and it’s a hardcover! Needless to say, this will be one of the year’s most important animation books.

WB Animation: Failing One TV SEries at a time

Seemingly Warner Bros. TV Animation is engaged in some sort of competition with itself to see what’s the crassest, most incompetent piece of animation they can produce. Well, they’ve come up with another strong contender – KRYPTO THE SUPERDOG – which premieres on Cartoon Network next month. Bonus points to the executive who greenlit the show’s hideous theme song. (Thanks, Daikun)

LOONEY TUNES INSIGNIA

bugspatch.jpgIsn’t this a beauty?We know that the major cartoon studios designed insignia for the troops during World War 2, but outside of Disney, how many surviving pieces have you seen from Lantz and Schlesinger’s studios?Brew reader Michael Brown sent this in:

I am seeking assistance with an identification of a World War II Army Air Force unit insignia that was designed by Leon Schlesinger. I would appreciate any assistance that you can provide.

Has anyone done the research on these? How many were there? For what units?

ROCK & RULE ON DVD

I don’t know about you – but this is big news to me. Stephen Biro of Unearthed Films has announced the release of Nelvana’s cult classic animated feature Rock & Rule.The film will be released two ways – one, a 1 disc Special Edition, and the other, a 2 disc Collectors Set – both on June 7th 2005. Specs are below:rockruledvd.jpg

Rock and Rule Special Edition
New fully restored High Definition Anamorphic transfer in 1:85:1
An enhanced 5.1 Dolby track and cleaned up 2.0 Dolby track
The Making of Rock and Rule Featurette
Commentary with Director Clive Smith.
Intensive sketch gallery
Deluxe animated menu’s
Restoration comparisons
Liner NotesRock and Rule 2 Disc Collectors Set – Disc 1
New fully restored High Definition Anamorphic transfer in 1:85:1
An enhanced 5.1 Dolby track and cleaned up 2.0 Dolby track
The Making of Rock and Rule Featurette
Commentary with Director Clive Smith.
Intensive sketch gallery
Deluxe animated menu’s
Restoration comparisonsDisc 2
CBC; Original version of Rock and Rule
The Devil and Daniel Mouse
The Making of The Devil and Daniel Mouse Featurette
PDF File of the script
Massive sketch gallery
Alternate Title Sequence
15 Minute workprint ending of Drats
Collectors Booklet