Archive for cartoons

Cavalcade Comics #14 – Kamandi and Thundarr the Barbarian

Posted in cartoons, comic books, nostalgia, pop culture, TV shows with tags , , , , , , on August 14, 2017 by Paxton

Cavalcade Comics

I’m in full on prep mode for AWESOME-tober-fest 2017 right now. It’ll be my 10th year doing it and I’ll be talking about Ghosts!

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I have a full slate of stuff lined up; books, movies, comics, and cartoons. It should be a lot of fun. I also have, as usual, a monster/Halloween themed Cavalcade Comics cover ready to go. But before we get there, my friends, I have a completely different Cavalcade Comics cover for you.

My good friend and Hellbent for Letterbox co-host Michael May started up a Thundarr the Barbarian podcast called Thundarr Road where they are following the journeys of our favorite barbarian as he traverses his way through the apocalyptic wasteland of future Earth. However, they aren’t doing it in episode order, they are following his journey geographically as if he actually made the journey from future Manhat all the way across the country west. It’s an interesting journey and it’s been fun so far. In the very first episode they had mentioned the similarities to an old 70s Jack Kirby comic called Kamandi and I thought that was a great comparison and it would have been awesome to see these two characters together.  And it’s kismet as Jack Kirby actually did early character designs on the Thundarr cartoon.

So, without further ado, here is the team up between the Jack Kirby Thundarr and Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth.

These guys would totally be post-apocalyptic besties. You could almost imagine that they would have met except Kamandi’s post-apocalyptic world was ruled by hyper intelligent animals and Thundarr’s world is ruled by wizards.

For the Thundarr, Ookla and Princess Ariel in the cover I used one of Kirby’s Thundarr drawings.

Kirby Thundarr

As I said, Kirby was brought on in like 1979-1980 to do character designs for the show.  There are several of these drawings out there.  As you see I had to find an appropriate Sun Sword and add it to Thundarr’s hand.

Kamandi actually comes from Kamandi – The Last Boy on Earth #2 (1973).

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If you look in the background of my cover, some of that stuff comes from Kamandi #1 (1972) as well as Kamandi #2 (1973).

So I hope you enjoyed this cover as much as I enjoyed making it.  And go check out Michael May’s Thundarr Road podcast.  It’s a lot of fun.  And stay tuned for the 10th annual AWESOME-tober-fest Halloween celebration in like a month!

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2015: The Invisible Mouse (1947)

Posted in books, cartoons, Halloween, holiday, pop culture, TV shows with tags , , , , , , on October 19, 2015 by Paxton

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The Invisible Mouse was an episode of Tom and Jerry directed by Hanna and Barbera and was released in 1947.

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It was a parody of the Invisible Man concept from both the HG Wells novel and the Universal Studios movie (which was released 14 years prior to the cartoon).

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As usual the cartoon starts with the rampant chasing and violence between Tom and Jerry. They chase each other up a flight of stairs, jump on the banister and start sliding down. Then Jerry shifts to a second banister to avoid….wait, WHAT?! I don’t think banisters work that way. What the hell is going on there?

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Jerry jumps on the counter, finds a “chemo set” and jumps in a random bottle to evade Tom. However, it seems that Jerry accidentally jumped into a bottle of “invisible ink”. And it’s turning him invisible.

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Interesting.  Jerry’s invisibility is not hampered by seeing your food through your stomach. Whatever he eats seems to immediately turn invisible.

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But he still apparently casts a shadow.  Wait, what?!  What is the light reflecting around to cause that shadow?!

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Jerry has lots of fun with his new invisibility. He gives Tom the classic “hot foot” and tees off on Tom’s backside with what looks like a 3 Wood.

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The short ends with Jerry banishing Tom from the house by getting Spike the dog to chase after him and then laying on Tom’s pillow drinking his chocolate milk. Which seems to restore Jerry back to visible?!  Okay.

Well, this particular version of invisible has some goofy rules but what can you expect from a Tom and Jerry cartoon?  It’s still a fairly enjoyable watch for fans of the show.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

5 Classic cartoons that were ruined by the addition of a child character

Posted in cartoons, pop culture, TV shows with tags , , , , on August 25, 2015 by Paxton

This week on Nerd Lunch, episode 193, we are talking about things we think have gotten a bad rap. We discuss things like The Spice Girls, Star Trek Enterprise, the Keanu Reeves Constantine movie and the Robert Patrick character from X-Files.  We are joined by William Bruce West and Kirk Howle for a pretty good discussion.

During the fourth chair carryover question, we all discuss lists that we’d like to write. I mentioned that I had written a list about cartoons that I had sitting in my drafts for YEARS (it was originally written in 2012) that I wanted to get posted.  This is that list.

I love cartoons, but there was a rash of poor decisions by studios in the 80s wherein they added baby or child characters to their shows.  Here are five cartoons that were ruined by that practice.

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Scooby-Doo (Scrappy) – Scrappy-Doo is the poster child for bad “youth” characters. He’s so universally hated that in the recent (and AWESOME) 2012 Scooby-Doo Mystery Inc series from Cartoon Network Scrappy shows up stuffed in an exhibit at the Mystery Museum featuring Scooby villains from the past. The Mystery gang promises each other that they’d never talk about it again. Bravo.  As we’ll see, Scrappy turned out, unfortunately, to be very popular and would create a trend in cartoons to add baby or child characters to popular cartoon shows.

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Fangface (Baby Fang)I LOVED FANGFACE. Anytime you could get a cartoon featuring classic monsters, I was ALL IN (Drak Pack, Gravedale High, Teen Wolf, etc, etc).  However, in season 2, based on the apparent “success” of Scrappy-Doo, Fangface gets a baby nephew that is also a werewolf despite not making any sense based on the opening narration that states only one werewolf is born EVERY 400 YEARS.

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The Plastic Man and Baby Plas Super Hour (Baby Plas) – The Ruby Spears Plastic Man cartoon is GREAT. I loved it. However, during the second season, Plas is saddled with Baby Plas. Usually these children are nephews, but Baby Plas was actually the result of Plastic Man and Penny marrying.  And then he was the cause of me hating the show.

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Captain Caveman (and Son) – Again I LOVE CAPT CAVEMAN.  My son loves Capt Caveman who appeared on an episode of that aforementioned 2012 Scooby Doo Mystery Inc show.  Like Plastic Man, Capt Caveman was given a son in the mid 80s when he appeared in segments of the much younger kid focused TV show, The Flintstone Kids.  This particular entry may be the worst after Scrappy.  I mean, Baby Plas is pretty awful, but Cavey Jr was a disaster.

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Godzilla (Godzooky) – This is the only entry in the list where the child character actually started out on the show from the very beginning.  Godzooky is so bad that he even ruins the awesome Godzilla cartoon intro as soon as he shows up.

Scene by Scene: Watching the awesome Force Five Starvengers cartoon

Posted in cartoons, nostalgia, pop culture, TV shows with tags , , , on January 31, 2014 by Paxton

I just watched the 1980 Japanese anime classic, Force Five: Starvengers.  I’ve loved this movie since I watched it in re-runs as a kid.  I just recently rewatched it and I thought I’d go over the story and some of my favorite parts with you right now.

I do this from time to time where I step visually through a movie or TV show I loved and playfully make fun of it.  Let me show you just how much fun and awesome this cartoon is.

Force Five Starvengers

Force Five: Starvengers is a re-edited version of the Japanese show Getter Robo G, which was itself a sequel to another anime series called Getter Robo. Both of those Japanese shows originally aired in the 70s in Japan.  The re-edited Starvengers aired in the US in 1980 during an animated programming block called Force Five that featured four other giant robot cartoons; Gaiking, Grandizer, Dangard Ace and Spaceketeers.  Each show would air on a different day of the week.  The Starvengers robots would become a part of the Shogun Warriors toy line.

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We learn that a team at the Copernicus Laboratory have developed three advanced aircraft. The first aircraft (on the left) is code named Star Dragon and flown by the awesomely named Hummer. The second aircraft (in the middle) is code named Star Arrow and flown by the awesomely coiffed Paladin.

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I’m not kidding about Paladin’s hair. Check out this better picture of his anime hairdo that defies any sort of man made law be it physics, gravity or awesomeness.

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Of course there’s a girl member of the group and of course she is the perfect looking anime hottie.  Her name is Series and there’s an implied relationship with Paladin (of course).

Back to the robot ships above.  Just looking at them, the aircraft don’t really seem different than any other fighter craft.  But these three aircraft can combine together to form three different giant robots.  The three different robot formations are based on which aircraft is in control.  The three robots formations are Dragon (left), Arrow (middle) and Poseidon (left).  Each robot has different weapons, functions and skills that separate it from the other robots.

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Here’s an animation I made of the three aircraft combining into Dragon formation. The one they do most often.

Star Dragon GIF

As the story begins, the third aircraft, code named Star Poseidon, has no pilot (due to the previous pilot being killed in the first movie Getter Robo, but that’s never mentioned). Then, the head of Copernicus Labs’ son (Or nephew? I’m not sure.) runs into a man, nay, a force of nature, known only as Foul Tip.

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Foul Tip, or ‘Tip’, is a simple man. He loves eating and baseball. And we are constantly reminded of both.  It’s insinuated that he plays professional baseball, but that’s literally all we know about him.  And due to the impending crisis, Tip is drafted into the Starvengers without preamble, without any cursory background checks nor any previously revealed flight experience.  “Sure, guy we literally met 5 minutes ago, fly one of our multi-billion dollar advanced robot attack planes.  What could go wrong?”

Starvengers
And yes, Foul Tip is wearing a catcher’s uniform as his flight suit. Like that sh*t would work when his body is pulling 4Gs fighting off other giant robots.  Oh, and Tip speaks in mostly baseball metaphors during battle.  Subtle, Coen-like character work is going on here, my friends.

Let’s talk about the bad guys. The Pandemonium Empire.

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Ninja Day 2013: Scene by Scene: That Transformers episode with the female robot ninja

Posted in cartoons, holiday, Ninja Day, ninjas, Transformers, TV shows with tags , , , , on December 5, 2013 by Paxton

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Today is Ninja Day, my friends. I celebrate it every year. It’s one of my passions. So, in the spirit of the scene by scene movie reviews I did for Revenge of the Ninja and Ninja III: The Domination, today I’m going to do a scene by scene review of the Transformers episode “Enter the Nightbird”. You know, the one with the female robot ninja.

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This is Season 2, episode 6.  Here are the opening titles and title card.

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In the beginning of the episode, we see the Autobots installing new sensor pads on their floors. Wheeljack tests them by saying, “Look how they react to metal”, he touches the surface and then the sensor pad lights up. So the Autobots are putting metal detecting sensor pads in their headquarters?  METAL DETECTING SENSOR PADS IN A HEADQUARTERS FILLED WITH ROBOTS.  That makes sense.

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This is Dr Fujiyama, “the famous scientist” (all the explanation we are given).  He calls the Autobots because he needs their help guarding his newest invention, an advanced form of robot.  Optimus Prime is talking to Fujiyama on a standard two way video communicator you see in TV shows and cartoons all the time. However, they way it’s drawn, it looks like that’s a window and Fujiyama is in the next room.

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What is Fujiyama’s secret robot? Fujiyama introduces it as “The world’s first female ninja robot”.  He actually says that.  Not sure why the sex needs to be addressed since it is, you know, a f**king robot.  And maybe in this universe a MALE ninja robot has already been created.

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This is the moment in the cartoon in which Optimus Prime awesomely says, “What is a ninja?”  Prime, you’re adorable.  Jazz actually explains it to him.  Not one of the human characters.

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During the Q&A, this guy stands up and asks, “Why build a robot ninja, doctor?” He is then promptly escorted from the premises and beaten amongst the head and shoulders with heavy clubs.

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Here’s the full pan up of the ninja robot. Thought this was a cool shot. The robot is christened Nightbird. The Autobots are here to protect Nightbird from being stolen by the Decepticons. How the Decepticons know about this robot or why they would even care when their own robotics are light years ahead of anything even in this robot is never really explained. But it is a ninja, so, I can’t blame them for wanting it.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2013: The Purple Smurfs (1981)

Posted in 80s, cartoons, monsters, pop culture, TV shows, zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2013 by Paxton

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The sixteenth episode of Season 1 of The Smurfs cartoon was called The Purple Smurfs.  It aired in October 1981.purple_smurfs_title This particular episode of The Smurfs has become infamous as the “zombie smurfs” episode.

We start off with Papa Smurf waking up on the wrong side of the smurf this morning. He gets pissed at all his little smurfs cause they aren’t working hard enough and starts acting like kind of a smurfing smurf to everyone. Check him out below dressing down Lazy Smurf for sleeping on the job. I mean, the dude’s NAME is Lazy, why are you surprised?
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After bottling up the continued mental and verbal abuse of Papa Smurf, Lazy Smurf goes off to chop some wood in the forest and encounters the rare and elusive “purple fly”.

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Yes, that’s its name, “purple fly”.  I know because Papa Smurf calls it that later in the episode.  The “purple fly” bites Lazy on the tail which turns him into a mindless purple smurf monster that only says “GNAP!”

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Zombie Lazy Smurf goes on a smurf tail biting rampage and starts turning the entire village into purple smurfs.  Papa starts freaking the f**k out as all of his precious smurfs are getting smurfed into zombies.

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At first, Papa Smurf is able to identify the problem; the “purple fly” biting Lazy Smurf.  But it’s been so long since this has been a problem that he can’t remember the solution (what?!). So Papa gets a team to go out into the woods to find this “purple fly”. It’s unclear whether this “purple fly” is only 1 fly or a whole species of fly.  However, if there were a bunch of these things flying around the forest you’d think they would have been a problem in more recent memory and Papa would know what to goddam do about this situation.  But he doesn’t so he has to improvise.

So Papa and his “purple fly retrieval team” go to the EXACT spot in the forest that happens to contain this rare zombie creating fly. He then captures it with a net that has holes that are clearly big enough for the fly to escape, but doesn’t for some reason.

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Papa starts experimenting on the fly but can’t seem to figure out a cure for the purple zombie smurfs. And these zombie smurfs are getting worse. They are spreading like wildfire and they have become incredibly smart. Zombie Hefty Smurf actually steals some blue paint and paints himself to look like a regular smurf so he can move around and bite smurf asses covertly. Like a ninja. A zombie smurf ass biting ninja.

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Not sure how or why the heart tattoo on Hefty’s right arm isn’t painted over with blue. I don’t think paint works like that.

So eventually, while fighting the purple smurfs, all of the smurfs are transformed into zombies except Papa Smurf. And, of course, he’s surrounded.

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He manages to escape that ring of purple smurf zombie death (check out zombie Smurfette in the upper left) and gets to his little hut where he keeps the cure. But not before he gets bitten and turned himself. Just as his hut catches on fire. The Smurfs are DOOOOOOOOOMED!!

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What happens? Tune in next time, same smurf time, same smurf channel.

Honestly, this is a fun episode. I enjoyed the purple smurf shenanigans. It had much of the zombie tropes you’d see in low budget horror movies of the 80s.  And surprisingly, this entire cartoon story is based on a storyline that appeared in the original Smurf French comic strips back in 1959 (a full NINE YEARS before Romero’s Night of the Living Dead).

Check out this episode if you have a chance.  It’s easily found online.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

Nerd Lunch Episode 100 – 1: Expendables of Other Genres II

Posted in cartoons, movies, podcast, pop culture, TV shows with tags , , , , on August 20, 2013 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

Welcome to Nerd Lunch Episode 100 Eve. We are all so excited about reaching the century milestone that we completely and totally half ass this episode (unlike other episodes, am I right?). However, our guest, longtime show favorite, Jay from Sexy Armpit, brings his A-Game to bust the curve created by your lazy ass hosts. Case in point, the amazing Nerd Lunch rap that Jay drops in our laps at the beginning of the episode. This entire show has been worth it (all 99 episodes) if nothing else than we get that rap. We may as well stop recording now.

Jay is here this week after a long absence (which we apologize profusely for) to do a topic that has become a host favorite despite the fact we’ve only done it once before (Episode 22), Expendables of Other Genres. This time the genres we are discussing are Nerds/Hackers and Cartoon Voice Actors. However, in true Nerd Lunch fashion, the show turns into a Rick Moranis love fest in which we ponder whether the little seen actor is actually retired from acting, or just “not acting”.

Missing Rick Moranis

However, expect to hear several actors who have played classic nerd/hackers like Matthew Broderick (War Games), Val Kilmer (Real Genius), Curtis Anderson (Revenge of the Nerds) and Mr Eddie Deezen (every movie he’s ever been in EVER).  On the cartoon voice actor front expect the usual suspects with Peter Cullen, Frank Welker and Billy West but we throw in a lot of surprises you’re going to want to hear.  Expect me to bring up yet again the Teen Wolf cartoon.  Our Nerd-To-Dos become dominated by a Firehouse Subs discussion.

It’s epic podcasting at its most epic.

Download this episode from iTunes or listen to it on Feedburner.