"KEEP BUSTIN'."

Little Nemo / Freddie as F.R.O.7 (and the weird animation of summer ’92, part 2)

Although the weird blockbusters like ALIEN 3 and BATMAN RETURNS were a defining feature of summer ’92, it’s hard to overstate how much weird animation popped up in this little window between Disney reinvigorating the animated feature and anybody else figuring out how to get in on the action in a reasonable way. Earlier I reviewed the well-meaning environmental fantasy FERNGULLY: THE LAST RAINFOREST and mentioned Don Bluth’s bizarre Elvis-rooster movie ROCK-A-DOODLE. Now I need to bring up two July releases that I skipped over because I’d previously reviewed them: COOL WORLD (co-starring Brad Pitt of JOHNNY SUEDE fame) and BEBE’S KIDS (written and produced by BOOMERANG’s Reginald Hudlin). Both were rated PG-13, which was very unusual for the time… and I guess would be now too, huh? BEBE’S KIDS is groundbreaking as an animated feature from a Black director and about a Black family. It’s also kind of cool that it’s adapted from a standup routine. And Tone Loc got more to do (voicing a fucked up baby) than he did in FERNGULLY (where he was a lizard).

I really want to direct you to my review of COOL WORLD if you haven’t read it, though, because this is a real headscratcher of a movie from indie/adult animation pioneer Ralph Bakshi, working with Paramount and making all kinds of concessions that might’ve turned it even weirder. Back then I liked it (or wanted to like it) enough that I saw it twice in the theater, then when I watched it five years ago to write that review I decided to retire from watching COOL WORLD. But in any study of the weirdness of summer ’92 it must be acknowledged.

Now let’s move on to two more distinctly befuddling animated features released, unsurprisingly, in August, the month of misfit movies. LITTLE NEMO: ADVENTURES IN SLUMBERLAND (onscreen title: just LITTLE NEMO) is a long-in-the-works Japanese-American co-production. It was a 1989 release in Japan, but we got it on August 21st, 1992.

The opening credits for this thing are incredible because you see a screenwriting credit for Chris Columbus, and then story by Jean Moebius Giraud (also designer), and then “concept for screen” by Ray Bradbury. Disney legends Frank Thomas & Oliver Johnston are on a list of story consultants along with CHINATOWN writer Robert Towne. The songs are by the Sherman Brothers (MARY POPPINS). Other names I recognized include DARK CRYSTAL designer Brian Froud under “design development” and indie animator and scholar John Canemaker as “visual image development.” Some bigger names are not in the credits, but were part of the history of the project: Japanese producer Yutaka Fujioka of TMS (the studio behind AKIRA) wanted to collaborate with George Lucas, but he turned it down and suggested his partner Gary Kurtz, who did work on the movie for years before leaving. Japanese animation legends Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata worked on many concepts and treatments, but their ideas were rejected. Wikipedia says that Moebius coming aboard, seeing Miyazaki’s drawings and wondering why they weren’t using them was what led to their friendship. (But it also says LAPUTA, NAUSICAA and PRINCESS MONONOKE all came out of rejected LITTLE NEMO ideas, which sounds far-fetched to me.)

Fujioka dreamed of an anime film with full animation (more drawings per second than were standard in Japan) to cross over to American audiences, and he got the rights to Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo comic strip in the late ‘70s. Then he hired team after team to try to crack it, so by the time it reached fruition more than a decade later it was very impressive on a technical level and a total mess as a story.

The plot is simple: in his dreams, when this kid Nemo (Gabriel Damon, THE LAND BEFORE TIME, TEQUILA SUNRISE) falls asleep he flies his bed over the city, then over a post-apocalyptic city and into a magical land, still in his pajamas. He meets a princess (who makes fun of him for being in his “underwear”) and various other fantasy characters, is given a magic key and goes and opens the door that he’s specifically told not to open with it, then has to use a magic scepter to save the kingdom or some shit, because there’s a very cool VENOM-type black slime thing that I believe turns into the Chernabog-esque “Nightmare King,” etc. Meanwhile at home he’s sad because his dad is too busy to take him to the circus tomorrow.

It’s one of these stories that resembles THE WIZARD OF OZ or ALICE IN WONDERLAND without working as well – a blank character wandering through an aimless series of meeting a different person in a cape or crown or the occasional creature and being explained another piece of nonsense about a place or object or creature he has to go to next. Nemo has little memorable personality other than being sexist at the beginning and not wanting to play with girls. I also find it a little annoying that he’s so comfortable with everyone treating him as the most important person in the world, but I guess that’s the convention of these stories. Anyway he doesn’t have an interesting goal to achieve and he frequently drifts out of the dreams anyway so there’s very little direction or stakes until the end and it’s hard to give a shit what’s going on.

I guess to be fair he wakes up with the magic scepter in his bed, proving the dream world is real and in my opinion proving that it follows Freddy rules – if he’s killed in his dream he dies for real. (The opening scene where his bed is chased by a train really did remind me of a Freddy nightmare.)

There’s a phenomenon in many of the ‘80s and ‘90s off brand animated features, I’m gonna call it cartoon brain. It’s where they get the big idea that they have to do the thing that’s done in the other cartoons even though it just doesn’t make sense here and is gonna be more embarrassing than entertaining. An example of cartoon brain in LITTLE NEMO is that they’re trying to establish this divide between the fantastical dream world and the normal waking world that Nemo comes from, and yet they decided that in the real world he should have a lovable flying squirrel friend. At first he talks to the squirrel in a tree but then he walks around in the house with it on his shoulder and lets it sleep in his bed and his parents don’t react at all so I guess they’re used to it. The squirrel’s name is Icarus, because of flying. He wears a little pilot helmet, also because of flying. And he makes little squeaks and sometimes says words Scooby-Doo style, because of cartoon brain.

It’s a stupid character no matter how you cut it, but just leave him out of the opening and put him in the dream world – problem solved, you silly-billies. But you didn’t have the discipline.

Another odd thing based in cartooning conventions is when you see Nemo’s troublemaking sort-of friend flip (voice of Mickey Rooney) and think holy shit – some kind of blackface type character? But then you realize his skin is green and he’s supposed to be a clown. And I think that might be what it always was even in the comic strip, but I guess it just shows when you try to make something really old timey you might run into some issues with the things about old times that sucked. (See also: FORBIDDEN ZONE.)

An undeniably good thing about the movie though is that it has very smooth, full animation, lushly painted backgrounds and some really cool looking sequences, most of them when he’s flying the bed, or when they create the famous image from the comic strip where the legs of the bed grown very high like stilts and it walks around.

I assume they must’ve done some kind of rotoscoping for the bed, because it looks very three dimensional. I think this is a little early for computer assisted animation to look that organic.

Though most of the character designs avoid typical anime styles, they’re not particularly appealing to me. But there are definitely background characters and settings that remind me of Moebius’ style or of McCay’s style. And I like that they occasionally mimic the side view framing of McCay’s strip.


I can’t really say if McKay would’ve been disappointed in how they adapted his surreal comic strip adventures to feature length. But he was one of the early pioneers of animation (he was the guy who did Gertie the Dinosaur) and he died in 1934, so I’m pretty sure he would’ve been impressed by how far it took the art form of moving drawings. Give it that, at least.


Then on August 28th Miramax released the British production FREDDIE AS F.R.O.7. Let me try to set the scene here. The movie opens with a painting of the Eiffel Tower, and then text appears over it saying “AN AMAZING FANTASY OF A NEW KIND.” Oh, okay, they put the trailer at the beginning of the tape for some reason, I thought.

No. This is the actual movie. It just wants to declare its delusional intentions up front, I guess. As the camera pans across the painting, and the title fades in, gentle keyboard chords support George Benson singing “When you’re being chased by dragons, and you’re back’s against the wall / I will pull you from the fire, and catch you when you fall…” Soon he’ll be joined by Patti Austin. This totally serious sounding adult contemporary ballad (think, like, “Almost Paradise” or something like that) reappears later in the movie, always feeling comically out of place.

The animation on this one is smooth and I at least respect that some of the human character designs are decent and not your usual faux-Disney. Occasionally there are artistic touches like some ghostly chalk animation representing the history of Britain. Examples of cartoon brain: the villain is an evil queen who becomes a snake. The humanoid frog hero, despite living in a normal London of humans, drives a car that has a frog face on it (with lipstick) and seems to be alive. And hey, wouldn’t it be fun if there were punk rocker crows? They have feather mohawks.

But mostly this one suffers from a much graver infliction, which I’m gonna call cartoon financer brain. This is where some guy somehow gets a bunch of money to make an animated movie and clearly has no understanding of how to tell a story or what is a non-asinine idea for a story but thinks because it’s for kids that for sure his dumb idea is good enough. I mean just hire the drawing people, that do the drawings, it should be fine, right? We’re gonna get all the greatest songwriters and celebrity voices. The kids love these things – the cartoons, you know, with the songs and the animals. Love ‘em! We’re gonna sell dolls too. This is gonna be great.

The worst case of cartoon financer brain of all time has got to be FOODFIGHT!* – nothing will ever top the madness of “ROGER RABBIT, but instead of cartoon characters it’s food and cleaning product mascots” – but FREDDIE is still a pretty funny example. Producer/writer/director/lyricist Jon Acevski (no other credits) literally adapted it from the bedtime stories he told his kid about a favorite stuffed frog doll having spy adventures. So it starts as a fairy tale (narrated by James Earl Jones in the American version) about a prince being turned into a frog, and he meets the Loch Ness monster and she tells him if he ever needs her to whistle. Then he enjoys jazz but doesn’t fit in with frogs because he wears boxer shorts and has “powers of mind, dreams and visions” according to a song sung by Ben Kingsley (who voices Freddie with an exaggerated French accent) and he grows into upright human size so “he went out into the world to fight evil wherever it was,” meaning he’s a secret agent (I guess?) so he wears a tux under Frog and Toad type clothes.

Freddie is “called to London” to help when Big Ben and other landmarks start disappearing. Turns out an evil guy is shrinking them and holding them hostage. Freddie is teamed with a karate expert named Daffers (Jenny Agutter, CHILD’S PLAY 2) but she’s hot so the bad guy El Supremo (Brian Blessed, ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES) puts her in a cage and in a dress. But they both work together to save the day at the end when Freddie tricks Supremo into standing over Big Ben and Daffers pulls the switch to turn it giant and it really seems like the plan is to ram Big Ben up his ass. Unfortunately he just gets the back of his pants hooked to the minute hand.

In the classic pathetically-trying-to-do-what-Disney-does-without-having-a-fucking-clue-how-they-do-it tradition, FREDDIE has a series of inane musical numbers, including one by Grace Jones as the evil snake. Nessie sings “Just a wee song in your honor, Freddie” called “Shy Girl” by Barbara Dickson, plus there’s an Asia song and a Boy George song called “Fear Not The Sword, My Son.” There’s also a pretty funny end credits theme song by Holly Johnson of Frankie Goes to Hollywood, which causes the last words of the movie to be, “F.R.O.7 / gonna change your Hell right into Heaven.”

In the U.S. video market FREDDIE AS F.R.O.7 was only ever released on VHS, retitled FREDDIE THE FROG. According to Wikipedia, even though the video was released by Shapiro-Glickenhaus it’s a censored version that knocked it down from a PG to a G rating by cutting double entendres and “racially sensitive elements” (images of Klansmen and Nazis during a song where the Grace Jones snake delights in how much she loves evil). So maybe the cobbled together shittiness of the movie I watched is not reflective of what people saw in ’92, but I glanced through the alternate version on Youtube and it didn’t seem that different.

Thankfully Wikipedia’s reports of the original being 20 minutes longer seem to be bullshit. That would be a fuckin nightmare. Like far too many of these August 1992 releases, FREDDIE AS F.R.O.7 was a challenge to get through. But I did it. For queen and country, or whatever. (Queen Elizabeth is a character in it, by the way.)


Of the four Weird Animation movies discussed here, I think only BEBE’S KIDS wasn’t a flop – I’ve seen different reports of how much it made, but it seems to have been more than its low budget, and I would bet it did better than the others on video, too.

COOL WORLD made only half of its $28 million budget back in theaters. Bakshi hasn’t directed a movie since.

LITTLE NEMO cost about $35 million and only made $10 million in Japan (destroyed by Miyazaki’s own KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE) and $1 million in the U.S. Producer Fujioka left the animation industry and TMS started doing for-hire animation for American TV shows (though at least it was well regarded shows like Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs and Batman: The Animated Series).

FREDDIE AS F.R.O.7 was such a flop that it was considered to be the lowest grossing animated feature of all time until August 2009 when it was beat out by two movies, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (also starring Kingsley) and DELGO. Understandably the producers decided not to do their planned (and set up in the movie) sequel FREDDIE GOES TO WASHINGTON, and by that time I gotta assume Acevski’s son was too old for the franchise to return to its original medium of bed time stories. So that one’s just gonna have to remain one of the great what-ifs, like Jodorowsky’s DUNE or what if I had peanut butter and jelly for lunch today instead of a bagel and cream cheese. We’ll never know.

*though for the record this DVD has an unskippable trailer for a DTV movie called WOBOTS CHRISTMAS, featuring computer animation even uglier than FOODFIGHT!

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 27th, 2022 at 7:17 am and is filed under Cartoons and Shit, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

50 Responses to “Little Nemo / Freddie as F.R.O.7 (and the weird animation of summer ’92, part 2)”

  1. Man, the NES game of LITTLE NEMO, which apparently was a movie tie-in although it was in most parts of the world not advertised as it, thanks to the delayed international release, was damn good!

  2. Yeah, Flip wasn’t exactly the most problematic character in the Little Nemo-verse

  3. My dad took me to see FREDDIE in the cinema during a family holiday to St Andrews, and I can still see the huge Batman Returns poster in the lobby promising a much better time. But my dad thought the “walk like an Egyptian” joke was hilarious so it’s hard to hold a grudge.

  4. Once again, the kids movies of the early 90s prove that I grew up just in the nick of time.

  5. Let’s spare a thought for our poor parents – we have it so much better than them. The last couple of decades have been a golden age to raise children if you manage to curate what they watch (Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol notwithstanding; it really helps if you avoid having on-air channels) but I never got to apologize to my dad for making him sit through the Transformers movie and other assorted crap. And this… this looks so much worse.

  6. I’m trying to read this review, really trying, but how in living hell of all that’s holy do you pronounce “as F.R.O.7” ?!?!?! “As frozen?” eff are oh seven?” “froz??” It’s literally hurting my eyes to look at!!!

  7. I watched Little Nemo when it came on Disney Channel but all I remember is Kazama Pajama.

    Dreadguac, my mom fell asleep in both He-Man and Transformers animated movies, and more power to her. She had two kids, she deserved 90 minutes of rest.

  8. A young lady I was vaugely acquainted with and had wished to be friends with would rent this movie from a small, lesser-optioned pharmacy every week during her early childhood. I wish I wound up being friends with her like I’d hoped for and I wasn’t so impossibly odd, but her childhood fandom of this movie will continually resonate with myself in a special place of appreciation all the same. She is a funny, distinct young lady and I wish her every happy emotion there can be.

    Being a cartoonist and fan of cartooning and the old-timey world of old shit, I know a lot about Winsor Mccay, to the point where I’ve viewed his original art in person among the flat files of little-acessed museum libraries. What an honor, what a nervousness.

    Fancy Ass McCay aka FAM is one of the best cartoonists ever However, the real hero is Herbert Crowley, a man even Jung couldn’t wrap his head around and who was almost entirely ignored by the books until early-ish in this millennium, thanks to two works of amazing scholarship. The Wigglemuch is the one that deserved the lush yet unsatisfying international co-production that at least brought together some unexpected friendships in the process. Sorry Winsor McCay you trash ass no tracks having devoid of funk lazy bum slob.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_Crowley
    http://monsterbrains.blogspot.com/2016/10/herbert-e-crowley-1873-1939.html?m=1
    https://wigglemuch.tumblr.com/comics

    Herbert Crowley: Mind-Bogglingly Fantastical

    Josh O’Neill, publisher of Beehive Books/Locust Moon Press and the brilliant Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream project (2014), has been been hard at work for the last few years compiling work by Her…

    This is what my senses of death and spiritually feel like:

  9. No point in being immodest here, I know what you’re all thinking “I bet Pacman, the poster here and not the video game character, although maybe him too, is obsessed with at least one of these movies. Plus he made several posts alluding to his excitement over the potential of one of these films being discussed several times earlier in the summer, posts that I definitely remember”.

    Well, good news, no more sleepness nights, yes I am. Here is the sum total of F.R.0.7-tidbits I have found in my many years of diligent F.R.O.7. research. Some of this may be myth as hard to verify or anecdotal.:
    – There was a decent amount of UK mainstream media attention, with a lot of hope for their efforts to set up a feature films animation studio in the centre of London, the confusingly named Hollywood Road Films. This included a visit to the studio in the episode of the great BBC Animation Documentary series hosted by Tony “Baldrick” Robinson STAY TOONED. A series/season of the imaginably named kids’ movie game show THE MOVIE GAME had as its grand prize a visit to Hollywood Road Films to watch the making of the movie. What an honour. (THE MOVIE GAME host Phillip Schofield is currently embroiled in a controversy in the UK related to the passing of noted FREDDIE AS F.R.0.7. character Queen Elizabeth)
    – People who worked on the production have described Jon Acevski as basically being a Tommy Wiseau who spent his money a little more effectively. No prior or subsequent movie making experience, and (unlike Wiseau) not necessarily much interest, but somehow thought he could make his way to the top through the very complicated, and then rather niche world of animated films. Supposedly Acevski modelled Freddie on himself, and he dressed the same way around the studio. Also all the female staff allegedly hid away when he came into the office on Valentine’s Day with “a rose and a kiss” for each of them. But one guy says he did enjoy the Five-a-side football games they had there on Fridays.
    – Merchandise included a storybook, 4 smaller picture books that surmise parts of the story (all part-credited to Acevski I believe), Puzzles and best of all, a Board Game. I have never seen any evidence of Freddie plushies; if I find any I promise I will tell you.
    – A poster announcing the film at Cannes Festival (in 1989), titled just F.R.0.7., has very different character designs, better ones IMO, they kind of remind me of the JAMES POND video games (surprising there wasn’t an F.R.0.7. video game actually)
    – Jerry Lewis owned several framed cells from the film signed by Acevski that were sold off by his estate after he died. A bit random you would think, but the cells also include a caricature (I guess? Doesn’t look much like him) of the character it seems he was going to voice in the sequel. I guess he was one of the villains
    – If the BFI is to believed FREDDIE GOES TO WASHINGINGTON’s voice cast was going to include Lewis, Whoopi Goldberg, James Earl Jones (I guess that’s how they convinced him to get involved with the US narration?), Steve Guttenberg, Tony Curtis and Dick Van Dyke. Not bad!
    – Reportedly as much as 14 minutes of FREDDIE GOES TO WASHINGTON were animated by the time they pulled the plug. There’s a line test online by the guy who enjoyed the five-a-side football tournaments, but nothing else has turned up besides those Lewis cells.

    I think that’s about it. Maybe more later! Part of my fascination is that there’s very little on it out there. I did pass up the opportunity to buy the press kit once (and the original UK quad poster more than once). I told myself I didn’t really want it but…I did, I did. I do.

    So does this fascination mean you actually like the film, Pacman? Eh…not really. I admit to enjoying COOL WORLD while acknowledging the world was 100% right in its dismissal/condemnation, but this one, while having some virtues, is mostly just awkward. It’s kind of a general subset of my fascination with these off-brand pre-CG animated films. In particular why did people keep trying when so little broke through. “No guys, don’t worry, I know the last couple of Don Bluth films didn’t do so hot, and TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE didn’t do that well even though it was literally the biggest property on the planet at the time, but don’t worry, my film about a frog who is a prince who turned into a frog hundreds of years ago and became a spy in the present for some reason will catch on, we can start the sequel already, why wait?”

    As for LITTLE NEMO, only saw the end of it in the 1990s, I’ll watch that some time and no doubt become obsessed with that too. The most rewarding weird old school animated film to get obsessed with is Richard Williams’ RAGEDY ANN & ANDY: A MUSICAL ADVENTURE, because 1) It’s actually good 2) It has a loving and dedicated cult following that keeps working hard to restore it to the best quality available and 3) They actually released a very detailed Making of book when it came out.

    Good thing you never got through FELIX THE CAT: THE MOVIE Vern, or I’d still be in that thread even now. But in honour of the first star of animation, I’d like to note it’s Silent Movie Day on Thursday.

  10. *No point in being modest here* is how I meant to start that post. But I stand by the rest as a top-tier display of F.R.0.7-expertise, because there really is no point in being modest about such things.

  11. @Pacman – haha! No modesty needed, that was a fun read.
    @ALF – Wow, you weren’t kidding about Crowley. $120 for his artbook is a bit too rich for my taste, but I might spring for it if things get better.

  12. The whole thing is up on Youtube. Checked out the intro and it’s… I mean, the animation is actually all right, but holy hell the direction is off; The whole presentation is painful to watch, no relationship between the music and the action. Gives it a very… inept feel.
    Skipping through… yeah, this looks terrible. Wait, did the girl in the Karate Gi flash his boobs at the frog? Yes she did. Also, the Nazi and Klansmen parade is something else; I’m sure it’s fully justified within the narrative and a lot of thought went into making it respectful.
    Seriously, they must really like drawing her breasts in tight-fitting clothes. Most attention given to boobs I’ve seen in a children’s film since…. Monsters Vs Aliens, maybe?

  13. Thank you Pacman. I’m fascinated with movies like this for the same reason – that embarrassing hubris of all these people seeming to assume that animated features must not be that hard. One of the things that’s so crazy about it is it seemed clear at the time and clearer in retrospect that if they’d tried to make animated movies that were not trying to copy Disney’s look, tone or musical format they would’ve had a way better shot at getting people’s attention. It would still be risky but at least it wouldn’t be automatically detected as garbage. But they all accepted that a shitty fake version of a popular thing was the only thing audiences would consider accepting. Just madness.

    I really appreciate your details on the director because that’s exactly what I assumed from watching the movie.

  14. Tried to watch Little Nemo in college, and I can’t remember if I made it to the end, but I do remember feeling like I was watching an acid trip. I was a fan of the original comics, though.

    There is a movie coming to Netflix this November called SLUMBERLAND which appears to be a live-action reboot or possibly legacyquel of Little Nemo with Jason Momoa as Flip. From the director of CONSTANTINE!

  15. You’re welcome (and thank you for the Twitter post), glad I’m not the only one who finds some interest here.

    Some of the anecdotes about Acevski come from animators who popped up in the comments section of this review. Since the film he seems to have only hit the news for being fined 5million Euros for renovating a Chateau without the proper permission. A YouTube channel called “Comina Media” claims to have recorded an interview with him for a video essay, a mouth watering proposition for us FRED-heads, but that was tweeted two years ago and the Channel seems not to have uploaded in over a year, so I’m not holding my breath

    Also, if the links work, here is Jerry Lewis, Acevski-style.

    An Animated Dissection: Freddie as F.R.O.7. – the ‘Best Worst Movie’ of animation?

    In this day and age, we have access to a number of films. Some are great, others good…and a lot of them that are just plain bad! Over the years, small ‘cults’ of fandom have grown…

  16. Half a success! If this doesn’t work it’s one of the only hits for “Jerry Lewis Jon Acevski”

  17. I can’t really defend Cool World but recommend Heavy Traffic. I think it’s the purest version of a Baskshi.

  18. I still like Cool World for its animation. Fritz The Cat for further study.

  19. I really like FRITZ THE CAT and HEAVY TRAFFIC – even have both soundtracks on vinyl. I should review those some day. Or maybe even go through with my idea of a SONG OF THE SOUTH/COONSKIN comparison.

  20. Very cool. Coonskin is a whole other beast. I think that comparison would be very interesting.

  21. Thank you for all the extra bizarre details, pacman. I.started the review thinking something about this seemed vaguely familiar but when you mentioned James Pond I realized that that was what I was thinking of. How did two people (or groups of people) independently think that the.idea of James Bond as a frog had legs? If you know what I mean.

  22. Yo Pacman! High five! Great stuff!

  23. You’re very welcome Humaniac. I think James Pond was meant to be a fish (the second game where he gets a robot suit was called JAMES POND: ROBOCOD), but he does look like a frog.

    That’s another obvious to me (20-20 hindsight etc) problem with the film from a commercial perspective that James Bond parodies were seriously played out by 1992, in general certainly and in animation in particular; heck, they’d been parodying Bond long enough that original run Flintstones and Road Runner cartoons had a go at it, and my gravatar is from a Pink Panther cartoon called PINKFINGER from 27 years before F.R.0.7. And from a UK perspective, the middle section of the film is kind of like slower, less creative, less funny version of DANGER MOUSE, which had been near Spongebob-level popular for a decade on free to view TV by that point. Of course after this AUSTIN POWERS and to a lesser extent JOHNNY ENGLISH caught on, and about ten years later there was that wave of kid-friendly spy stuff (SPY KIDS, AGENT CODY BANKS, KIM POSSIBLE etc) at the same time non-Disney animated films started to do big business internationally (and later the DESPICABLE ME/MINIONS movies are also kind of Bond pastiches), so in a way they were vindicated, but I don’t think any of that caught on specifically because it was parodying Bond. And obviously in 1992, Bond was at its lowest ebb, at threat of being mothballed forever, so I doubt that helped.

  24. Thanks CJ :)

  25. It is a happy thing to be able to join in on the “For He’s A Jolly Good Pacman” festivities, something I’ve thought even when seeing TSALB MIH on lamer, non-Sport-Goofy movie websites.

    Never seen 07, but it seems slightly worth mentioning that this was also an attempt at getting a bit of that Macca juju, with his stupid ass hit song “We All Stand Together”, featuring Rupert The Bear and the Frog Chorus. I wasn’t in the UK then, but read enough old music shit to suspect that whacky ass producer might have thought it worth getting in on that Autumn 84 frog mania, certainly preferable to some more recent versions of such trends.

    If anybody is as amused by the Hey Grandude IP as I am, I’d like to point out that Grandude’s Green Submarine has never had a Wikipedia page created, which is totally amazing and funny when considering what an intense hobby detailing Beatle minutae online is.

    I will respond to those awesome music, cartooning and kindness posts soon – I’m actually doing worse than before physically, contextually and emotionally and it took a lot of effort to even write this comment. For now, I’d just like to say that Pac is awesome, like the song Alright by Cast. It makes me so happy to know he is also appreciative of Kirsty MacColl, the best.

    As a thank you, I offer this dumb shit, just look at that smug bastard. Good for Brendan Fraser or whatever, but THIS is how you interact with blue screen….

    ….with what Vern once called “the comedy shrug”.

  26. YouTube

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  27. Thanks ALF, sorry to hear you’re doing worse. Hope you feel at least a little better before the day is through.

    I am of course a big enough sap to think the Frog Chorus is cute and that making Rupert the Bear short movies is totally what a Beatle should have been doing with his money and influence. The full length version played in the UK in a double bill with GIVE MY REGARDS TO BROAD STREET, the timeless movie where Paul looks for missing studio tapes while wearing silly hats and singing rerecordings of Beatles songs. I was thinking that they were re-recorded with lots of 1984 synths, but listening to them on YouTube they’re pretty faithful, which is a shame as that would have been pretty funny, especially a year or two later if they’d been smothered in Digital Native Dances.

    Paul always kind of wished YELLOW SUBMARINE was more like a Disney movie, and he’s periodically tried to make his own, albeit usually in short form. The funniest is THE BRUCE McMOUSE SHOW, an unreleased until a couple of years ago Wings concert film which intersperses it with footage of mice who look like fan art characters inspired by the not-actually-made-at-the-time, weird broody 70s Animated film THE MOUSE AND HIS CHILD and say “hey what’s all that noise up there?”, and then at the end they go up on stage and shake hands with him or something.

    Also to bring it all back around to Freddie, via Holly Johnson, I can’t really think about The Frog Chorus without thinking of this bit from Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse’s masterful niche-Bristish-pop-music-knowledge-tastic special SMASHIE AND NICEY: THE END OF AN ERA

    Frog Song gets banned from 80's radio

    Frog Song gets banned from 80's radio.Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse - Smashy and Nicy end of an area.

  28. I’m fairly sure I have nothing to contribute to the discussion of these movies, and certainly nothing to compare with Pacman’s insights. But I’ve wanted to offer some encouragement to A.L.F., by way of a trivial tangent.

    All of the various CD versions of Kirsty MacColl’s Kite album have featured a cover of Kate and Anna McGarrigle’s Complainte Pour Ste Catherine. My schoolboy French doesn’t help much, but I think that, at least in part, it’s about trying to stay warm on the winter streets of Montreal. But it’s wry (the summer mosquitoes are also a problem), and if it is really intended as a complaint, it’s an extraordinarily beautful one. Here’s the original:

    Kate & Anna McGarrigle - Complainte pour Ste-Cathérine • TopPop

    To commemorate the anniversary of Anna's death on 18 January 2010.Watch our great music videos ❯ https://goo.gl/feVLNNMore TopPop? Subscribe here ❯ https://g...

    Of course, if you just need a laugh, and I’ll wager we all do, go watch the video for MacColl’s In These Shoes? Live strong!

  29. Borg – Thank you so much for invoking the great spirits of McGarrigle and MacColl. That cover is really amazing, and there are some interesting discussions to be found on kirstymaccoll.com about the lyrics’ translation. Despite the aversion to mosquitos, it’s cool that Kirsty MacColl was awesome enough to find pigeons beautiful. I’m a big “Tropical Brainstorm” fan but actually had not seen that video in more than a decade, it was a nice reminder of how when given a video, Kirsty would good around with Ade Edmondson, Edward Tudor-Pole or Phil Jupitus. My favorite song on that record is “Wrong Again”, a really sad song. I could go on and on about MacColl “rarities”, but maybe for now (and in my current state, not that of my best writing ability) all I can offer is that I am a big fan of “All The Tears That I Cried” (a fast, miserable cousin of “The One and Only”) and “No Victims (Guitar Hero mix)”.

    Borg, Pac and other UK music fans: If there are any fans of Slade out there, I’d very much recommend the time Kirsty and Noddy Holder were teammates on A Question of Pop. They even show a begrudging respect for the young lady from B*witched, and are a funny point of comparison to the slick confidence of Suggs.

    Pac, I’m a bit too loopy to offer what your enjoyable, kind and hilarious comments deserve, but I am for sure a Bruce McMouse fan, particularly Paul’s try-hard character sketches, universes away from Lennon’s Saul Steinberg/James Thurber cartooning, or the hilarious pixel-based art Ringo does these days, which rule and are way more of an enjoyable comment on post-digital media than anything offered by some American shithead lucky enough to fit in with the New High School/decades past the point of newness scene of internety noise music people. No dis to such types though, just saying they are lucky and usually try to act too cool to acknowledge that.

    It always made me laugh how many of the BROAD STREET rerecordings were of Revolver songs, some funny ass Special Edition thinking.

    I’d never heard of Smashey and Nicer before and enjoyed a laugh at that, I look forward to learning more about that show once I’m somewhere with access to a device besides a cellphone where only half the ears’ worth of headphones work.

    Are you a The Shuttleworths listener?

    Things keep feeling increasingly systematically impossible and I’m very sad and afraid. I appreciate this community immensely.

  30. I think it’s been a couple of years since I’ve listened to any Shuttleworth ALF, but I’ve always been a pretty big fan, indeed I believe seeing Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth and Brian Appleton at the Norwich Madermarket Theatre in 2001 was my first time at what I think could reasonably called “a gig”. I’d seen a few stage shows before that. I think the first music performance I saw was Hugh Cornwall, formerly of The Stranglers, about six months later at a Book Store. Wasn’t a whole lot going on in my city then as far as I could tell. Anyway, it was great, and I’ve seen him a handful of times since then.

    Have you heard of Fellow’s Brian Appleton character? It’s a character who spins yarns about being the real inspiration behind all the key hit British bands from the late 60s though to the mid-80s, e.g. auditioning to become the new lead singer in Genesis and accidentally encouraging Phil Collins to sing, the gap in Cockney Rebel’s Make Me Smile was because he interrupted the band in the studio (those aren’t the funniest, but they’re the easiest to explain). I don’t think the character really caught on, even by the fairly niche standards of John Shuttleworth, but I think it’s pretty funny to the right audience, which I suspect you would be a part of. The radio show was called Brian Appleton’s History Of Rock ‘n’ Roll, unfortunately there’s no episodes on YouTube, but hopefully they’re out there online somewhere (I used to have them taped, but I think all my tapes are gone).

    Smashie and Nicey were characters from HARRY ENFIELD’S TELEVISION PROGRAMME, that special was made as a kind of farewell to the characters because BBC Radio was “modernising” and getting rid of the kind of DJs Smashie and Nicey were parodying. I don’t think Enfield has ever made much of an impact in the US, but John Hughes was a big enough fan that he wanted him for a role in his TOM & JERRY ARE TOT WATCHERS remake BABY’S DAY OUT. What a way to honour.

    It’s always been funny to me that Slade’s only (I believe) big US chart hit was Run Runaway which sounds more like Big Country than their signature sound (at around the same time Quiet Riot were cleaning up with a covers of their signature songs).

  31. Also just found out today is the 30th anniversary of Cartoon Network, presumably because all that Weird Summer Animation left everyone craving a constant 24/7 loop of the glorious medium that birthed these works (I think it was more like 12/7 but the intent was there).

  32. “Seen him a handful of time since” was Fellows/Shuttleworth, not Hugh Cornwall BTW (who I’ve seen once since, double headline with Hazel O’Connor).

  33. I guess Harry Enfield got a bit of international fame with KEVIN & PERRY GO LARGE, aka the funniest and for some fucked up reason most realistic (and also grossest) movie about DJing ever.

  34. ‘Ere we go 2-3-4!

    Saw the return of Jilted John at the Big Chill in 2008. He did the hit, obviously, but it was mostly memorable for the premiere of Keira Knightley (Eat Your Dinner!), which is both shamelessly body shaming and a real crowd pleaser; probably the greatest song ever to mention Michael Winner. Bernard Kelly’s dancing was as fine as ever too:

    Jilted John-Keira Knightly (eat your dinner!)

    A new song from the jilted one.

  35. Hi Pacman, I keep trying to think of a way of communicating appreciation for your really moving appreciation of Graham Fellows. That is all so good. What an amazing first gig, I’ve never heard of one better. I had not heard any of the Brian Appleton character before and hope yourself or someone else turns up those tapes. Fellows’ collaborator Chris Sievey also performed as a nearly-unknown radio dj character of which there is next to no evidence, the alias Andy Wright. For quite a number of years, I’d researched a very strange American radio program called Vic and Sade. There were only about two or three vocal fans of that show online in my time of active interest and none of them had wished to speak minutae with myself (which makes your funny, interesting, sincere cultural expressions all the more valued), but one of the few vocal Vic and Sade fans I’d encountered said the only comparable radio show to their knowledge was The Shuttleworths. That is a good comparison. I would generally recommend that show, I was researching it when a very kind library’s staff told me of their archiving McCay work. My favorite Sidebottom material is the comics and the audio story/radio show material – Frank’s Fantastic Tales and Radio Timperley being the most recommended for a quieter quality The Shuttleworths has. There are moments of Fellowes’ work I don’t know, such as the original Jilted John’s character’s age worth of Jilted John revivals. It is also the work of a sincere appreciation for yourself and some of the people I’ve shared the most amount of time in my life, so I see myself as a regular Smash Hits sorta basic type when speaking of the work. I am a fan of the entire John LP, particularly “Goodbye, Karen” which is as good, almost as good or better than a lot of the things it sounds like, such as Mari Wilson, Porter era V. Godard, Belle and Sebastian or 90s attempts to sound like mood song Beach Boys. Anyway one of the best indie pop and comedy people, and he knows popular USA favorite TV star Ainsley Harriott.

    Life has gotten even more difficult. It will not be possible survive what I’m being forced to should I want to stay alive. I’ve also realized that I am wrong to attempt to change or speak of any matters through this website; it is an impossible disruption for writer and commenter alike. I am seriously injured and cannot even have any place at all to recuperate in a place of safety, physically or emotionally.

    In service of sorting this matter out with hopes of location for improvement, I will leave you all for a time to focus on jokes about mocap Joe E Ross or whatever. Please feel no reason to reply. Thank you again to numerous people.

    Best Gwynne performance: https://mpt-shop.myshopify.com/products/248

  36. I worked for a vocational catering school (in admin, you don’t want me teaching the youth how to cook!) for a few years in the halcyon mid-2010s, there was a number of photos up of Harriott meeting with the students a few years earlier. Good guy. He was so popular at one point that a book signing he was doing was overrunning by hours, so a signing/reading I was at with CARRY ON COLUMBUS star Alexi Sayle had to start in a smaller area of the store while he was still going. Also his first on screen appearance was in HALE & PACE, a particularly puerile sketch show that most Brits (including Mr Sayle) are ashamed of but that I thought was pretty funny, at least at first.

    I will check out Vic and Sade, sounds like it will fit in with my current old timey interests.

    All the best ALF, hope it picks up soon.

  37. Hi all, just checking in quickly with a note of thanks. Of the many things I’ve felt badly about in recent times, included is not directly replying to some of the awesome and nice comments around this place.

    Pac, thanks again for everything. That Ainsley story actually meant a lot to me. I wasn’t referencing him with snideness, and was very familiar with his 100 episode run on syndicated American television. Sometimes when I seem sarcastic or willfully odd the content of my expression is actually very sincere, and though refined thinkers such as yourself, Vern and many of our fellow outlawvernoniand tend to understand, I often times find myself thinking “oh jeez I probably sounded needlessly crabby and distanced there”. Sometimes what is the most personal is incommunicable. I can only offer a clue as to what I was saying with that: Slim Whitman. Of course I am down with Alexi – at one point, my favorite band was Dexys Midnight Runners.

    Andy, you better believe I am a Nirvana fan. That video that essentially concluded the ultimate in summer ’92 weirdness resonated for a lot of reasons and I was saying a lot of things with it. The only one I can articulate is that I kind of feel like Vern is not dissimilar from what Kurt’s prevalent cultural influence could have been like had it grew slowly, without corporate ties or direct acknowledgement. There are a lot of writing things Vern invented that go unhearlded, and in a weird way we’re in a better place for it having occured naturally. Sorta like with Lynda Barry, his fellow Northwest funk queen.

    I was also comparing myself to Cobain though, etc. Complicated statement.

    David Lynch is good but at times I wish he had better taste in indie rock. I found it interesting to read Vern politely express no longer caring very much for him, which is not the general trend. He is kind of the Neil Young of Movies – good, but a terrible influence. Peter Ivers, though; one of my heroes. I think I sort of look and act like him, though I can’t shred no harmonica. I like those stories about Peter Wolf from J. Giles Band freaking out David Lynch when they lived together in Boston. That’s a tall apartment.

    Anyway, thank you for this website. I am still struggling and feeling horrible about anything I contribute to anywhere, but like to read the writing here very much and thank you all for being accepting and welcoming.

    Happy birthday Kirsty MacColl.

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=PdJ2p8nN6yk

  38. Thanks for checking in ALF. I knew your Ainsley comments were sincere.

    Happy Birthday Kirsty, I couldn’t find that time you were the one time (as far as I remember) someone sang a non-joke song on FRENCH & SAUNDERS, but I know this was the song

    Kirsty MacColl - Don't Come The Cowboy With Me, Sonny Jim

    Some boys with warm beds and cold, cold heartsCan make you feel nothing at allThey'll never remember and they'll never mindIf you're counting the cracks in t...

  39. Also, now that this thread has been bumped, I’ll post about another businessman’s overly ambitious venture in the world of 80s/early 90s Western Animated Features that I only learned about last week, one that makes F.R.0.7. look like a ringing success; HUCK’S LANDING by Tom Carter Productions. This guy managed to bring together some top flight old school animation talent like Floyd Norman, Scott Shaw! and Phil Mendez to make a film about Huckleberry Finn chilling with some animals, which seemed to be worked on for about eight years without reaching conclusion. The characters were also planned to be the mascots in a chain of regional theme parks. Unfortunately the plans went to seed when Carter was arrested for investment fraud. But he still claims HUCK’S LANDING and others are still to come via the website for his new production company 34th Street Entertainment.

  40. But good news if you’re a little bummed out that HUCK’S LANDING never made it (yet?), it made it to the connoisseur’s medium of Tote Bags.

  41. I love that Tom Carter gets his name across the title on the tote bag. I think HUCK’S LANDING may just be his masterpiece.

  42. Pac, I hate the very thing of names and as such, hate “the name game” – so I am hesitant to make jokes around it, even of the harmless sort. I wish I was of a more precise mind so that I could properly formulate a no-potential-audience joke about Hurrah!-ass Scott Shaw! smoking weed with the dude from Charalambides. I’d say that was my dream blunt rotation but any blunt rotation would be a dream at this time.

    Although Scott Shaw! had been interviewed in audio form by CanniBlogger’s Spotify podcast and is the creator and sole ©️ owner of Flynt Stoner of 420 BC, I originally know he smokes weed from an interview with the amazing cartoonist Tim Hensley. Pac, do you know his work? I would recommend all of it to you very much, his music and interviews are awesome too, a multi-talented guy with an outlook that I really appreciate. I revere his efforts and am thrilled he has a new one, particularly about my beloved subjects of isolated poverty and literary interpretation.

    It might be kinda tough to find over there on your side of the pond, but Fantagraphics is reprinting his masterly Sir Alfred No. 3 – a fascinating deconstruction and rearrangement of the life of Alfred Hitchcock – to coincide with the publication of his new one, which I will promote in a link below. I look forward to reading it once my life improves. I think you would really, really like Sir Alfred.

    Also the inventor of San Diego Comic Con Scott Shaw! is accepting commissions and having worked on the classic Muppet Babies program, I’d bet he would draw a good one of Rolf and Scooter tokin’ and jokin’ for any solvent connoisseurs of cartoon characters blazin. Actually, maybe THAT is my dream blunt rotation, no wonder they were always seein clips from Star Wars and that sorta shit.

    This thread is making Sport Goofy look like two cents.

    Any fans of Captian Carrot and the other Tom Carter out there? I saw Charalambides in 02 and they were good, but the late Tom Rapp won the battle of the Toms that day.

    Your bud,
    A.LF.!
    A Girl of the Streets!

    Detention #2

    Brilliant cartoonist Tim Hensley (Wally Gropius) returns with his first new comic book since the acclaimed “Sir Alfred No. 3” in 2015! This is a gorgeous, oversized one-shot comic magazine (there is no Detention #1 — it's a joke, folks!) strictly limited to 2000 copies and available only through the direct market! Hens

  43. Also, Scott Shaw! worked on two SCTV guy cartoons – nice work if you can get it. Maybe a good commish for any comedy moneybags out there would be one of my fav SCTV character, Al Peck, seen here in his funniest of a quadrilogy, which is also one of the all-time highlights of the sketch comedy format entirely, though all of his appearances are good.

    All the best from,
    A.L.F.
    Used Fruit

    https://youtu.be/llgyfNZcseA
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=llgyfNZcseA

  44. I’m not familiar with Tim Hensley, but it looks cool. There’s a lot of cool non-DC/Marvel, non-Peanuts non-Asterix/Tintin, not-manga comics stuff that’s hard to come by here, at least for what could even generously be called “affordable” prices. I’m honestly not that familiar with Scott Shaw! either, but I know he worked on HEATHCLIFF & THE CATILAC CATS, which as cool as it gets in my world. I’ve heard he didn’t enjoy it, but that can’t possibly be true. Also I know he created a character called Duckula, who he later claimed was ripped off by QUACKULA but *not* by COUNT DUCKULA.

  45. Hi Pac, I am very happy that you stepped out of anonymity for a moment to share your work, and for your expression the difficulty of feeling not quite set on the fast track to success and a place of stability by spinning the roulette wheel of education. I’ve watched your graduation film and think you have a really solid, fundimental understanding of timing and composition, so even if you think it may have been a move made with regrets there are for sure strengths to speak of that you either learned or practiced while in school and that you should feel proud of.

    I know you weren’t asking for a “crit”, but your paper drawings are enjoyable, too, particularly the googly-eyed duck and the storyboards. Have you ever thought about drawing a comic strip, maybe a once or twice a week webcomic? Between your very articulate and very-yourself way of writing and solid understanding of what funny drawings are and a definite personal standard of what “appeal” is, it is evident that you have the tools needed for a form of cartooning, and most of all, being a smart dude, you could make something worthwhile. (Not that you haven’t already, I just mean if you keep giving projects a try.)

    I always wonder about what education consists of, all of it, having dropped out of two different kinds of school. The Preston Blair animation books must be a foundation in any toon college ciriculum, right? I was lucky enough to stumble across one of those when I was thirteen, and though it took a few years and a lot of effort I think I’d internalized their lessons. It seems the Richard Williams volume is increasingly the standard collegiate text, and though I’m a fan of his (particularly of the movie titles and the Raggedy Ann movie you’ve mentioned) I think the Blair book is way superior and instantly applicable.

    Are you a fan of the animator who made a series of films about a duck named Quasi? Again, she is someone I DEFINITELY do not want stumbling across this A.L.F. garbage, for reasons of my intimidation and otherwise. Those movies are awesome though, readily accessible and really worth your time.

    If you haven’t attempted 2D animation or read the Blair volume, here is some applicable advice from a talented lady. I dunno if you know the Nas song I referenced yesterday, but all you need is ONE book!

    “Inexperience, entirely. I had no idea of what to do. I bought a big hobbyist paperback written by Preston Blair (a great Disney animator) that said on the back cover in big letters: “You can draw, why not try!” Pretty much my attitude. I was a senior at Smith College and proposed doing a special study making an animated film. There was resistance but the photography teacher helped me. He rigged up a Bolex to a darkroom enlarger. I just tried to make it work. I was so intrigued by the idea of seeing my drawings move.”

    Here she is again, talking about drawing as a holistic concept with the tirelessness of our fellow from the other thread “Big” Wins McC as a launching point.

    “Considering his stunning imagination you’d think he’d have felt restless. But maybe he had a compulsion to keep drawing. I was sort of like that in college. I do think drawing is a very important skill for an artist, even if that artist doesn’t work in a naturalistic way. The more you draw the more your line expresses who you are (and you get better from the practice). It also gives you something to do in airports besides look at your telephone!”

    Anyway, I think you should keep at it with the drawing, even if writing is where you feel a there is (deserved, uniquely legitimate, factual) aplomb.

    I had an old music biz boss tell me that my drawings were “too cartoony”, point blank, while immediately afterwards enthusing over a more (unArgosian) art brut guy, who I’d had kind of a silent rivalry with, followed many years later by a period of genuine kindness and friendship, concluding with a falling out over both large and social-community politics. At the very least, this other drawing guy knew drawing was something positive – what I’m saying is whoever discouraged your drawing as a youth is a grade z Bo Zo. That’s mean enough to say to a rude 24 year old, but a twelve year old!?! What a dingbat.

    I was going to list fifty billion cartooning and animation resources, but this is about enough for now. The only two names I’d really mention worth checking out are Mark Connery’s hilarious and moving comic Rudy and the fun, exhuberant work of Charles Brubaker as examples of what can be done when one has good ideas, an interesting style and a willingness to work and Lynda Barry’s Making Comics and Ivan Brunetti’s Aesthetics: A Memoir as an example of how to apply the very facts of oneself – the most interesting thing there is – to one’s work. My hero Lynda Barry often makes the point that all kids can draw and often, at some point something convinces them she can’t. It’s good to hear you’ve realized this fact, even if the educational system can be thwarting.

    I’d had very real problems with a writer for the Cartoon website you’d mentioned earlier, which is extra tragic as I’d separated my feelings about past community as being people I’d really liked and a bunch of scumbag-guzzlers. That writer had mentioned had previously been in my category of real, rare esteem until I’d learned he was in a secret cahoots with the most personally destructive person I’d had any level of friendship with, ever. He kind of switched categories after that, which isn’t as simple for me to think of as he genuinely has value as a human being and creatively, which is saying a lot as I hate the guy and the content of his cartoon work, or last I knew eight years ago. Maybe it’s mad humanistic and not all fucked up about my many problems or whatever. This bastard, I offered to give him Bill Wray level painted backgrounds and then the cartoon turned out to be an agressive action against myself. That’s what generosity gets ya. I also think at times that he is the only person of those who chose to be a bad, ruinous person with potential for morality, recuperation and change. I hope he disassociates from the group that exploited himself so disrespectfully and ruined myself so loathsomely and miserably. I also think he should announce that he framed that poor, mentally-ill woman because her mistreatment by the since disgraced animatior and resultant unnerving petulance was not reason to worsen the life of a woman who had been charged with that very crime and done her time in the criminal justice system. My way of seeking justice against him was wrong and awful, so eight years later I’d just like to say for one last time he needs to separate from those who hurt and mocked him. I dunno if he realized this, but “I hate the son of a bitch, but I might just need him some day.” is a funny quote, but not a holy commandment. Nobody needs anybody, particularly not a man of great potential and talent needing some useless, advantageous person furiously mad at the fundimental structure of being a biologically existent creature, the existence of bad luck being mentally damaging and the pangs of complex (many definitions) feelings he imagined – the way so many do – for being exclusive to himself, making the complexes both more complex and even stupider and simpler, while thinking his lifelong grooming to inherit evil morass is him being some edgy underground tastemaker when in fact the My Super Sweet Thirty they’re throwing for him all over the place to is just as fucked up and boring as that unnerving 19th birthday party his parents threw him where they hired all the upset-seeming little people and I just wanted to get away and smoke cigarettes, while my ex got hateful texts from her former live-in who became a side piece, and later signed on the dotted line in others’ blood when Little Lord Fauntleroy ended up deflecting to the sidepiece’s side of things, when he decided to cling to the benefit of mutual user losers instead of the harsh criticism of myself and not illogical and politely unimpressed kid gloves of my idiot friends at the time.

    It seems happy rehabilitation has occurred for this animation person, but he is still completely on the wrong side of things. His harm has already been done, but I’d genuinely advise him to end all association with those who never truly have had his well-being at heart. Intimacy does not mean one is actually cared about, or that one’s actions are moral.

    Anyway, that Scrappy cartoon was pretty good, it reminded me of a long-time favorite old timey depiction of the future favorite, JUST IMAGINE with El Brendel. Pac, I wish we were internet compatriots back in 2017, when I’d returned to New York for the first time in a year and a half and learned an hour after landing that my friend who had been the repeated victim of terrible advantageousness (some previously alluded to here) had died of an intentional heroin overdose after being disfiguringly assaulted, within a very short time of my being disfiguringly assaulted in Ohio. She was barely thirty. Although her death was a half-year prior, and nobody I was supposedly friends with had bothered to inform me even though I’d spoken with them and more relevantly, I knew for a fact – from her telling me so directly and warmly – that I was her best friend of anyone in New York. They made her funeral yet another Wicked Stepsisters’ party from which I was excluded, and that week in New York wound up being sad for reasons in addition to her passing. I’d spent a lot of the time since her death retracing her footsteps, and though it wasn’t the best place I’d lived, my time in Wisconsin meant a lot to me because every time I’d hear the local honk of a Wisconsin accent, I’d be reminded of her.

    Anyway, of course I coped upon returning to Chicago by quitting smoking cigarettes and writing bizarre Letterboxd reviews of DESTRY RIDES AGAIN, KILL THE UMPIRE, RHUBARB, MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN, LONELY ARE THE BRAVE, DICK TRACY MEETS GRUESOME, LANGRISHE (comma) GO DOWN, the A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN tv series, Richard Condie’s extremely disturbing animated short THE APPRENTICE, and most importantly, several very excited reviews of my first viewing and repeated rewatchings of the concluding Buddy short, BUDDY THE GEE MAN.

    That one is really good, though nowhere near as good as the since-lost Letterboxd review someone had written prior to myself, wherein the text simply said “Buddy the Gee Man”, objective truth in criticism if such a thing exists. Buddy is an unexpectedly progressive type in that he is nice to the prisoners. Those Letterboxd reviews sure were unpopular.

    Though it is still an important resource, I’m put off by the more writerly, fact-collecting mast of the animation community, and really, that website died for me when Fred Patten did.

    (My favorite discovery of his undoubtedly was “Giant Gorg”, which I will let Fred himself explain:

    Giant Gorg. 26 episodes, April 5, 1984 to September 27, 1984. I probably shouldn’t include this here, but I can’t resist. When mysterious Austral Island rises to the surface of the South Pacific, it is explored by Drs. Tagami from Japan and Wave from the U.S. It supposedly submerges again right away. Later when Dr. Tagami dies, he leaves a letter telling his young son Yuu to go to Dr. Wave in New York to learn the real secret of Austral Island. Yuu finds Dr. Wave and his little sister Doris (who is Yuu’s age) living in a New York slum, and targeted for murder by the GAIL megacorporation which is a major secret financial contributor to both Ronald Reagan and Yuri Andropov. GAIL has suppressed the fact that Austral Island is still there, and has sent a research team to discover its secret. Yuu, the Waves, and their small party go to Austral to beat GAIL to the secret.

    We were halfway through Episode 3 when I started laughing hysterically. I had just recognized the plot by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko (who also did the character designs) – until they get to Austral Island, anyway – as a reversal of the first months of Milton Caniff’s classic Terry and the Pirates. A plucky young Japanese orphan comes to exotic America to have adventures with colorful native characters. Instead of the Dragon Lady, there is Lady Lynx, the femme fatale boss of all the Las Vegas casinos. The NYC slum is realistically graffitied with background words like FUCK. Dr. Wave and his Great Dane Argus are comic-relief caricatures of Woody Allen and Scooby-Doo; a teamup that has to be seen to be believed. Each episode ends with the caption in English, “TUNE IN TO THE NEXT the same GORG time the same GORG channel”, which made it obvious that one of Yasuhiko’s influences was the 1966-’68 Batman TV comedy.

    I later learned that Nippon Sunrise was very proud of getting away with the first four episodes before the sponsor realized that their giant robot toy was not in it, and ordered the studio to include it from then on. Also, Giant Gorg was originally planned as a very short series – 18 episodes, I think – and when it was more popular than expected, the studio was ordered to expand it to 26. This resulted in a lot of obvious padding, mostly in trekking around Austral Island and not finding Giant Gorg’s secret.

    Giant Gorg was never a battle suit. It was an intelligent artificial life form, not under anyone’s control. Yuu did not enter into it; he rode either in Gorg’s hand or in a cupola atop its head. Gorg usually did what Yuu wanted, but as though it was consciously agreeing to it rather than following orders. Giant Gorg was an intelligent and extremely likeable s-f serial (except for the episodes that were padding and did not go anywhere).

    It’s amazing, heartbreaking and inspiring to think he was capable of writing like that while paralyzed and confined to a hospital bed for nearly the last two decades of his life. Those are actual problems. It is good to realize what standards actually are, and how his pioneering work in global outreach for weird things founded the joys of so many; people who were once weird in their interests, but are all now kinda normal. I’m not so much into the more uncomfortable for myself anthromorphic thing, but I genuinely feel his pioneering work in early support of eastern cartooning is a matter of reconfiguring how brains work, which I think is going to be really healthy in the long run. Kids reading from left to right and learning other languages is such a beautiful thing.

    He started something with hard work, seriousness, organization and being unconcerned with derision. I’m going to spray paint FRED PATTEN LIVES on a brick wall one of these days.)

    Another good point about the power of cartooning and all the potential there is in the world of drawing pictures or carefully choosing the movement of constructions in incremental fractions of time gives me chance to yet again talk about the same boring topic I yap about non-stop. Though the traditional narrative of animation is that of the CalArts wunderkind who is set for life after one What A Cartoon or whatever, a lot of cool folks take time to find their way around to animation. My hero Chris Sievey started working for a living in ways outside of his own film projects or his other unseen works around the age of 45, when he began working on Bob the Builder, Fimbles and my particular favorite, Pingu. His Pingu episodes are really fun and moving, and the segment about his time as an animator is one of the happiest points of that documentary I keep trying to get people to watch.

    Back to the topic of writing, Pac, after cursory Google it seems no one has ever written an academic, proper, “go out there and get those interviews” work about the history of Count Duckula. I can’t think of anyone who would do a better job at that than yourself. You’re in the right country, you’re well-mannered enough to secure interviews, you are an organized thinker and you truly care about the material, which makes sense because it is a good program. Some treasured memories of my earliest memories of media are hollow or make me regret the availability of some memories. Not so for the Count.

    That Scott Shaw! detail made me laugh, seems like a fair guy. Yeah HEATHCLIFF AND THE is good, I agree. For some insane reason (a shaming of my drawings mentioned up thread), I’d attempted to participate in a “music” “scene”. A lot of other total incompetents were giving it a go, making redundant baby music in fakeass C86 style. One guy, an actual musician, would get SO pissed when people would offer works that were “….just the Heathcliff song!”. When actually challenged about it, the musician made the point that, well, yeah, it’s good WHEN it’s the Heathcliff song, but not when it’s YOUR song, or that other guy’s song, or….”. I prefer the one with the disruptive “Cats and Company” verse, along with the version of the “Muppet Babies” theme with the awkward “…and Monsters too!” addition. Those new bizarre Heathcliff comics are one of those times when I agree with the popular consensus that yes, this popular thing everyone loves is awesome, like The Strokes or Wu Tang or Nirvana or whatever.

    Anyway, that’s a lot of blah blah blah when I should have I really enjoy talking about cartoons on here and am happy to see what your future efforts involving cartooning are, in whatever format that ends up being. You are a nice person and a talent, thank you very appreciatively.

    Give Tim Hensley a read if you ever get the chance. You are in the top percentile of people who’d appreciate, understand and value his work, and I’m counting the music and interviews, too. One of my heroes for sure.

  46. Hi Pac, I am very happy that you stepped out of anonymity for a moment to share your work, and for your expression the difficulty of feeling not quite set on the fast track to success and a place of stability by spinning the roulette wheel of education. I’ve watched your graduation film and think you have a really solid, fundimental understanding of timing and composition, so even if you think it may have been a move made with regrets there are for sure strengths to speak of that you either learned or practiced while in school and that you should feel proud of.

    I know you weren’t asking for a “crit”, but your paper drawings are enjoyable, too, particularly the googly-eyed duck and the storyboards. Have you ever thought about drawing a comic strip, maybe a once or twice a week webcomic? Between your very articulate and very-yourself way of writing and solid understanding of what funny drawings are and a definite personal standard of what “appeal” is, it is evident that you have the tools needed for a form of cartooning, and most of all, being a smart dude, you could make something worthwhile. (Not that you haven’t already, I just mean if you keep giving projects a try.)

    I always wonder about what education consists of, all of it, having dropped out of two different kinds of school. The Preston Blair animation books must be a foundation in any toon college ciriculum, right? I was lucky enough to stumble across one of those when I was thirteen, and though it took a few years and a lot of effort I think I’d internalized their lessons. It seems the Richard Williams volume is increasingly the standard collegiate text, and though I’m a fan of his (particularly of the movie titles and the Raggedy Ann movie you’ve mentioned) I think the Blair book is way superior and instantly applicable.

    Are you a fan of the animator who made a series of films about a duck named Quasi? Again, she is someone I DEFINITELY do not want stumbling across this A.L.F. garbage, for reasons of my intimidation and otherwise. Those movies are awesome though, readily accessible and really worth your time.

    If you haven’t attempted 2D animation or read the Blair volume, here is some applicable advice from a talented lady. I dunno if you know the Nas song I referenced yesterday, but all you need is ONE book!

    “Inexperience, entirely. I had no idea of what to do. I bought a big hobbyist paperback written by Preston Blair (a great Disney animator) that said on the back cover in big letters: “You can draw, why not try!” Pretty much my attitude. I was a senior at Smith College and proposed doing a special study making an animated film. There was resistance but the photography teacher helped me. He rigged up a Bolex to a darkroom enlarger. I just tried to make it work. I was so intrigued by the idea of seeing my drawings move.”

    Here she is again, talking about drawing as a holistic concept with the tirelessness of our fellow from the other thread “Big” Wins McC as a launching point.

    “Considering his stunning imagination you’d think he’d have felt restless. But maybe he had a compulsion to keep drawing. I was sort of like that in college. I do think drawing is a very important skill for an artist, even if that artist doesn’t work in a naturalistic way. The more you draw the more your line expresses who you are (and you get better from the practice). It also gives you something to do in airports besides look at your telephone!”

    Anyway, I think you should keep at it with the drawing, even if writing is where you feel a there is (deserved, uniquely legitimate, factual) aplomb.

    I had an old music biz boss tell me that my drawings were “too cartoony”, point blank, while immediately afterwards enthusing over a more (unArgosian) art brut guy, who I’d had kind of a silent rivalry with, followed many years later by a period of genuine kindness and friendship, concluding with a falling out over both large and social-community politics. At the very least, this other drawing guy knew drawing was something positive – what I’m saying is whoever discouraged your drawing as a youth is a grade z Bo Zo. That’s mean enough to say to a rude 24 year old, but a twelve year old!?! What a dingbat.

    I was going to list fifty billion cartooning and animation resources, but this is about enough for now. The only two names I’d really mention worth checking out are Mark Connery’s hilarious and moving comic Rudy and the fun, exhuberant work of Charles Brubaker as examples of what can be done when one has good ideas, an interesting style and a willingness to work and Lynda Barry’s Making Comics and Ivan Brunetti’s Aesthetics: A Memoir as an example of how to apply the very facts of oneself – the most interesting thing there is – to one’s work. My hero Lynda Barry often makes the point that all kids can draw and often, at some point something convinces them she can’t. It’s good to hear you’ve realized this fact, even if the educational system can be thwarting.

    I’d had very real problems with a writer for the Cartoon website you’d mentioned earlier, which is extra tragic as I’d separated my feelings about past community as being people I’d really liked and a bunch of scumbag-guzzlers. That writer had mentioned had previously been in my category of real, rare esteem until I’d learned he was in a secret cahoots with the most personally destructive person I’d had any level of friendship with, ever. He kind of switched categories after that, which isn’t as simple for me to think of as he genuinely has value as a human being and creatively, which is saying a lot as I hate the guy and the content of his cartoon work, or last I knew eight years ago. Maybe it’s mad humanistic and not all fucked up about my many problems or whatever. This bastard, I offered to give him Bill Wray level painted backgrounds and then the cartoon turned out to be an agressive action against myself. That’s what generosity gets ya. I also think at times that he is the only person of those who chose to be a bad, ruinous person with potential for morality, recuperation and change. I hope he disassociates from the group that exploited himself so disrespectfully and ruined myself so loathsomely and miserably. I also think he should announce that he framed that poor, mentally-ill woman because her mistreatment by the since disgraced animatior and resultant unnerving petulance was not reason to worsen the life of a woman who had been charged with that very crime and done her time in the criminal justice system. My way of seeking justice against him was wrong and awful, so eight years later I’d just like to say for one last time he needs to separate from those who hurt and mocked him. I dunno if he realized this, but “I hate the son of a bitch, but I might just need him some day.” is a funny quote, but not a holy commandment. Nobody needs anybody, particularly not a man of great potential and talent needing some useless, advantageous person furiously mad at the fundimental structure of being a biologically existent creature, the existence of bad luck being mentally damaging and the pangs of complex (many definitions) feelings he imagined – the way so many do – for being exclusive to himself, making the complexes both more complex and even stupider and simpler, while thinking his lifelong grooming to inherit evil morass is him being some edgy underground tastemaker when in fact the My Super Sweet Thirty they’re throwing for him all over the place to is just as fucked up and boring as that unnerving 19th birthday party his parents threw him where they hired all the upset-seeming little people and I just wanted to get away and smoke cigarettes, while my ex got hateful texts from her former live-in who became a side piece, and later signed on the dotted line in others’ blood when Little Lord Fauntleroy ended up deflecting to the sidepiece’s side of things, when he decided to cling to the benefit of mutual user losers instead of the harsh criticism of myself and not illogical and politely unimpressed kid gloves of my idiot friends at the time.

    It seems happy rehabilitation has occurred for this animation person, but he is still completely on the wrong side of things. His harm has already been done, but I’d genuinely advise him to end all association with those who never truly have had his well-being at heart. Intimacy does not mean one is actually cared about, or that one’s actions are moral.

    Anyway, that Scrappy cartoon was pretty good, it reminded me of a long-time favorite old timey depiction of the future favorite, JUST IMAGINE with El Brendel. Pac, I wish we were internet compatriots back in 2017, when I’d returned to New York for the first time in a year and a half and learned an hour after landing that my friend who had been the repeated victim of terrible advantageousness (some previously alluded to here) had died of an intentional heroin overdose after being disfiguringly assaulted, within a very short time of my being disfiguringly assaulted in Ohio. She was barely thirty. Although her death was a half-year prior, and nobody I was supposedly friends with had bothered to inform me even though I’d spoken with them and more relevantly, I knew for a fact – from her telling me so directly and warmly – that I was her best friend of anyone in New York. They made her funeral yet another Wicked Stepsisters’ party from which I was excluded, and that week in New York wound up being sad for reasons in addition to her passing. I’d spent a lot of the time since her death retracing her footsteps, and though it wasn’t the best place I’d lived, my time in Wisconsin meant a lot to me because every time I’d hear the local honk of a Wisconsin accent, I’d be reminded of her.

    Anyway, of course I coped upon returning to Chicago by quitting smoking cigarettes and writing bizarre Letterboxd reviews of DESTRY RIDES AGAIN, KILL THE UMPIRE, RHUBARB, MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN, LONELY ARE THE BRAVE, DICK TRACY MEETS GRUESOME, LANGRISHE (comma) GO DOWN, the A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN tv series, Richard Condie’s extremely disturbing animated short THE APPRENTICE, and most importantly, several very excited reviews of my first viewing and repeated rewatchings of the concluding Buddy short, BUDDY THE GEE MAN.

    That one is really good, though nowhere near as good as the since-lost Letterboxd review someone had written prior to myself, wherein the text simply said “Buddy the Gee Man”, objective truth in criticism if such a thing exists. Buddy is an unexpectedly progressive type in that he is nice to the prisoners. Those Letterboxd reviews sure were unpopular.

    Though it is still an important resource, I’m put off by the more writerly, fact-collecting mast of the animation community, and really, that website died for me when Fred Patten did.

    (My favorite discovery of his undoubtedly was “Giant Gorg”, which I will let Fred himself explain:

    Giant Gorg. 26 episodes, April 5, 1984 to September 27, 1984. I probably shouldn’t include this here, but I can’t resist. When mysterious Austral Island rises to the surface of the South Pacific, it is explored by Drs. Tagami from Japan and Wave from the U.S. It supposedly submerges again right away. Later when Dr. Tagami dies, he leaves a letter telling his young son Yuu to go to Dr. Wave in New York to learn the real secret of Austral Island. Yuu finds Dr. Wave and his little sister Doris (who is Yuu’s age) living in a New York slum, and targeted for murder by the GAIL megacorporation which is a major secret financial contributor to both Ronald Reagan and Yuri Andropov. GAIL has suppressed the fact that Austral Island is still there, and has sent a research team to discover its secret. Yuu, the Waves, and their small party go to Austral to beat GAIL to the secret.

    We were halfway through Episode 3 when I started laughing hysterically. I had just recognized the plot by Yoshikazu Yasuhiko (who also did the character designs) – until they get to Austral Island, anyway – as a reversal of the first months of Milton Caniff’s classic Terry and the Pirates. A plucky young Japanese orphan comes to exotic America to have adventures with colorful native characters. Instead of the Dragon Lady, there is Lady Lynx, the femme fatale boss of all the Las Vegas casinos. The NYC slum is realistically graffitied with background words like FUCK. Dr. Wave and his Great Dane Argus are comic-relief caricatures of Woody Allen and Scooby-Doo; a teamup that has to be seen to be believed. Each episode ends with the caption in English, “TUNE IN TO THE NEXT the same GORG time the same GORG channel”, which made it obvious that one of Yasuhiko’s influences was the 1966-’68 Batman TV comedy.

    I later learned that Nippon Sunrise was very proud of getting away with the first four episodes before the sponsor realized that their giant robot toy was not in it, and ordered the studio to include it from then on. Also, Giant Gorg was originally planned as a very short series – 18 episodes, I think – and when it was more popular than expected, the studio was ordered to expand it to 26. This resulted in a lot of obvious padding, mostly in trekking around Austral Island and not finding Giant Gorg’s secret.

    Giant Gorg was never a battle suit. It was an intelligent artificial life form, not under anyone’s control. Yuu did not enter into it; he rode either in Gorg’s hand or in a cupola atop its head. Gorg usually did what Yuu wanted, but as though it was consciously agreeing to it rather than following orders. Giant Gorg was an intelligent and extremely likeable s-f serial (except for the episodes that were padding and did not go anywhere).

    It’s amazing, heartbreaking and inspiring to think he was capable of writing like that while paralyzed and confined to a hospital bed for nearly the last two decades of his life. Those are actual problems. It is good to realize what standards actually are, and how his pioneering work in global outreach for weird things founded the joys of so many; people who were once weird in their interests, but are all now kinda normal. I’m not so much into the more uncomfortable for myself anthromorphic thing, but I genuinely feel his pioneering work in early support of eastern cartooning is a matter of reconfiguring how brains work, which I think is going to be really healthy in the long run. Kids reading from left to right and learning other languages is such a beautiful thing.

    He started something with hard work, seriousness, organization and being unconcerned with derision. I’m going to spray paint FRED PATTEN LIVES on a brick wall one of these days.)

    Another good point about the power of cartooning and all the potential there is in the world of drawing pictures or carefully choosing the movement of constructions in incremental fractions of time gives me chance to yet again talk about the same boring topic I yap about non-stop. Though the traditional narrative of animation is that of the CalArts wunderkind who is set for life after one What A Cartoon or whatever, a lot of cool folks take time to find their way around to animation. My hero Chris Sievey started working for a living in ways outside of his own film projects or his other unseen works around the age of 45, when he began working on Bob the Builder, Fimbles and my particular favorite, Pingu. His Pingu episodes are really fun and moving, and the segment about his time as an animator is one of the happiest points of that documentary I keep trying to get people to watch.

    Back to the topic of writing, Pac, after cursory Google it seems no one has ever written an academic, proper, “go out there and get those interviews” work about the history of Count Duckula. I can’t think of anyone who would do a better job at that than yourself. You’re in the right country, you’re well-mannered enough to secure interviews, you are an organized thinker and you truly care about the material, which makes sense because it is a good program. Some treasured memories of my earliest memories of media are hollow or make me regret the availability of some memories. Not so for the Count.

    That Scott Shaw! detail made me laugh, seems like a fair guy. Yeah HEATHCLIFF AND THE is good, I agree. For some insane reason (a shaming of my drawings mentioned up thread), I’d attempted to participate in a “music” “scene”. A lot of other total incompetents were giving it a go, making redundant baby music in fakeass C86 style. One guy, an actual musician, would get SO pissed when people would offer works that were “….just the Heathcliff song!”. When actually challenged about it, the musician made the point that, well, yeah, it’s good WHEN it’s the Heathcliff song, but not when it’s YOUR song, or that other guy’s song, or….”. I prefer the one with the disruptive “Cats and Company” verse, along with the version of the “Muppet Babies” theme with the awkward “…and Monsters too!” addition. Those new bizarre Heathcliff comics are one of those times when I agree with the popular consensus that yes, this popular thing everyone loves is awesome, like The Strokes or Wu Tang or Nirvana or whatever.

    Anyway, that’s a lot of blah blah blah when I should have I really enjoy talking about cartoons on here and am happy to see what your future efforts involving cartooning are, in whatever format that ends up being. You are a nice person and a talent, thank you very appreciatively.

    Please give Tim Hensley a read if you ever get a chance. I think you are one of the highest percentile for appreciation and understanding of his work, including the music and interviews. There are some works of fewer pages that can be found on a group blog he has participated in, along with a number of other excellent comics people.

  47. Thanks for the kind words and the feedback ALF, I definitely haven’t given up yet, and I’m quite excited about the prospect of trying the drawing/2D stuff again with a free hand (so to speak). I have some ideas for what I’d like to try first, but a comic of some kind is certainly something to consider in future depending on how things go.

    I got one of Preston Blair’s books when I was putting my portfolio together, so I’m familiar with him, and I think it may have been referred to once or twice, but it was indeed Richard Williams’ book that was seen as the standard.

    I do know about Quasi, QUASI AT THE QUACKADERO was even in the book THE 50 GREATEST CARTOONS which I bought when I was 10 and is one of the books that set me on this current course.

    Sorry that mentioning that site brought about some unhappy memories for you, there are one or two people I know associated with that scene that don’t seem like I’d want to know, which is not to say they’re necessarily the same people you’ve had trouble with. Also, sorry to hear about your friend. Yesterday I ran into a couple of people who told me my best friend from first/elementary school had passed away some 7 or so years ago, when he would have been around 28. I hadn’t seen him in some 25 years (no big drama, just the natural result of a move and attending three completely unconnected schools), but still weird to think about.

    Fred Patten was a cool guy. You know what I would really like is that T-Shirt they had at I guess Anime conventions in the 90s that had Kimba staring at Simba in a mirror under the fatal blow words “The Lying King”, even though I don’t really buy into that whole thing or at least think it’s overblown (as Patten noted), but it’s provocative, like that guy I saw one time wearing a T-Shirt with all over image of the Street Sharks, which he saw me noticing and got a “yes I’m that awesome” smirk on his face, which was obnoxious but based on the evidence there justified.

    Anyways, thanks for your thoughts and pointers. Here is my JETSONS V FUTURAMA dissertation in case you (or anyone else) is interested, fair warning though it is 5.5k words long.

    Take care

    Google Drive: Sign-in

    Access Google Drive with a Google account (for personal use) or Google Workspace account (for business use).

  48. Hi Pac, thank you as always for your reply, talking with yourself on the Outlaw Vernaverse is always nice, even when the subject matter is serious, or I am incomprehensible and/or speaking through the results of a scattered brain. In fact, I think I will piss the people off and reply to yourself in some of the other threads, too.

    Of most sincere importance, I am truly sorry about the news you’ve been informed of and have continually dealt with, about your elementary school friend. I hope this isn’t too plainly stating of facts or wasting of words. People from those times can really matter even if you haven’t seen them since childhood and trying to process something terribly real and yet far away like that is not easy in any sense, and I hope the sadness wasn’t too much for you to deal with, at the time when you’d learned or now – not to articulate your life for you, of course.

    I wrote some long thing about the three other kids I knew in grade school who were actually interested in “media”, but realized it was myself being obnoxiously announcing in response to another being true and genuine. If you’d like to hear it it is written and I’d be happy to share, but for now I will just say it has me repeatedly comparing an alternative rock kid to Sam the Sheepdog, and myself frequently annoyed at a rich kid who was into showtunes and shit where the most interesting detail recalled is that he was the first person I knew with the internet and that the first thing I’d seen the internet accomplish was a very slow appearance of The Mighty Ducks logo.

    Speaking of might and ducks, I am very happy you are a fan of my boy Quas’. For a long time his equivalent to BUDDY THE GEE MAN, in which he has a CABARET was my favorite animated film of all time. At this point, though, Richard Condie’s terrifying THE APPRENTICE is my favorite cartoon of all time, because I feel more in tune with the more miserable work than the joyous one. She is one of my favorite people in cartooning, film AND writing and I’m very much terrified of her. Those Sesame Street shorts she made are some of my first beautiful memories not involving the natural world. Less intensely than earliest memories of life but similar to yourself, I was also a childhood fan of that Leslie Cabarga encased book, which also set myself on a life path. I’m sure the Cartoon Network marathon of those cartoons was a month moment for yourself, too. Man, did that kid who had the internet and Cartoon Network before “me” get pissed when I’d want to watch Toonheads or that weird Fred and Barney Meet the Thing show.

    The all-over-print Street Sharks guy sounds like a real legend, I would smirk in self-approval too, if I wore that. My all time hero that people are tired of hearing about is this guy on the subway in 2007 who was wearing no comics gear at all but had complimented my friend on his Archie button. He proceeded to name every Archie character in a careful list, and eventually started naming unrelated silver age humor books like “Sugar and Spike, talking babies…”. Right before the subway doors closed, I’d told him “…great talking to you, man, keep reading comics!” He nodded in agreement and with a tinge of self-satisfaction and one awkward nod too many said “Comics and sports”.

    Hoaxes are not something I can approve of at all, maybe with extra pissiness due to the times we are in and the people I’ve known. However, that hoax about there being a lady Street Shark sure makes me laugh.

    Fred Patten truly was great, that’s for sure. I hadn’t known of “The Lyin’ King”, which is hilarious and seems very accessible in the bootleg format online.

    Your Jetsons/Futurama paper was a good read, and I particularly appreciated that it concluded on a note of positivity. I look forward to your next cartooning efforts, whatever format, 2d, 3d, essay or outlawvern discussion.

    I used to work in a cellphone company’s outsourced call center, an Amazonian job of cruel, unhealthy restrictions. Because this was a franchised location staffed and equipped with cheap garbage (much like the recuperation center I’m living in!), I’d routinely have to explain to customers that the computer was running slowly, which the customers almost never believed. Fun thing to do after scumbag silver spooners run a boy who cried wolf campaign against you, he said, quickly going back on his word. Anyway, one day a lady from. Southern American state – who sounded older and meek but uninterested in anyone’s bullshit – was told the computer was running slowly, and that I’d resolve her cellphone qualms promptly, and that I apologized on behalf of the company who very much placed efficient customer aid as a priority. Quietly, and with the vaguest hint of menace in her voice after a pause, I’d heard what sounded like “rassafrassafrissinbiddagit….ELROY in there”. Delighted by my momentary good fortune, I dropped the professional act and let out one word from my naturally loud voice – an enthusiastically boomed “WHAT?!?!?!?”.

    As if quickly trying to get out of trouble with an airy, casual “pay it no mind” tone, this Southern belle said “Oh….nothing.”

    Being myself, I would not let up. “Did you just say ELROY?”

    A moment of silence, with her possibly afraid of being in trouble with the telephone man or the awkwardness of getting caught in a totally unrude joke.

    She didn’t know who she was dealing with – a very miserable person in an even more miserable place who had just been offered a brief moment of being reminded why the world is beautiful. “Elroy JETSON?”, I offered.

    With a communicated vocal shrug that said “Don’t mind me”, “I was being silly” and “I’m happy you understand”, a beam of sunshine sounded from what internal lingo called our “foamies” – the over ear foam pieces we were required to have each shift, obtained ourselves for sanitary reasons from a three-dollar vending machine in the lobby at a site that employed thousands of disgruntled, incompetent, mostly-thuggish Uticans. A beam of sunshine that offered the nicest explanation possible.

    “He was good with computers!”

    Then she began letting out a set of giggles and chuckles in which I could tell she was happy I was a cool person, and I started braying and yell-laughing. It felt like it couldn’t get any better than that, but I’m a believer in aiming for greater fun.

    “HEY!” I asked. “How about we SING The Jetsons song!!!!!!?”

    She laughed, and obligingly, she led with the nicest introduction to George Jetson one could ever hope to hear. We joined in on the next line, laughing as we sang. Hoyt Curtin’s worst theme never sounded so good. “Daughter Judy” never before like such a funny concept. I’d like to think I sang the chopsticks part, but it’s immaterial.

    After that, the computer was working properly, I offered a scenario in which Elroy had stopped past and fixed the tech issues, and we concluded the call wishing each other a very nice day through continued laughter, while the frustrated other desk workers at 131 Genesee St looked at me with even greater anger and frustration than usual. They never heard Tiffany as Judy, I bet, and probably didn’t even give Boomerang a spin during their angry upstate childhoods.

    Do they have post-customer-service robo calls in England, in which you are annoyingly asked to rate customer service agents on a scale of one to five? Those are the worst. Besides disgruntled people who didn’t get their way, the surveys also befall oneself to the ludicrousness of people who are all apples and peaches on the phone but then award you a one, either due to disingenuousness or maybe the thought that one means good. Also, the weirdo oddballs who think that somehow a three is a fair assessment that won’t almost get you fired, usually shitty white work ethic Midwesterners. Anyway, this lady gave me a five, and it ended up being one of the calls that randomly was reviewed by my boss that shift during “coaching”.

    “The Jetsons, huh?”

    He shook his head, with an unspoken tone of “You’re not supposed to sing songs with the customers but thanks for keeping up my ‘bay’ ‘metric’ of approval.” I like to think when that lady calls in with other customer service issues, she asks to speak with the guy who sings the Jetsons song, and the employee is absolutely befuddled.

    Thank you, Pac, my best to you genuinely.

  49. Thank you for taking the time to read my dissertation ALF, most appreciated. And thank you for the well wishes regarding my recent news, it hasn’t hit me too hard, just something I have had to chew on a bit. Certainly will be happy to read your reminiscences about your grade school days or anything else you wish to write.

    I agree Roxie the Street Shark is one of the few good hoaxes, up there with F IS FOR FAKE and such. Mostly it’s funny because no one has any reason to have volunteered themselves as a victim of it, but so many did. “I simply must log in to IMDB and tell people that I have extremely vague memories of the show Street Sharks. What’s this…Roxie? Uh…yeah, she was great. She really paved the way for Saban’s Venus the Ninja Turtle!”

    I think we do have those post-call Robo questionnaire things, although I don’t think I’ve answered one for a while.

    Take care ALF, and happy Halloween.

  50. Thank you, Pac, a happy Halloween to you as well. It should still be the thirty-first where you are. Just wanted to offer a holiday greeting, I will be back tomorrow with true life adventures of stupid ass kids.

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