Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!
Via io9: "The first nine Superman cartoons produced by Fleischer Studios from 1941 to 1942 are a wonder of animated retrofuturism, giving us a peek into a world that not only had a flying superstrong protector, but also filled viewers' heads with dreams of autonomous robots, comet-controlling telescopes, and machines that could shake the Earth. These films are in the public domain and have been available on the Internet Archive," but now Warner Bros. is releasing them (remastered) on YouTube. The first short, "Superman" (also known as "The Mad Scientist,") was nominated for an Academy Award. Also see: The Super Guide to the Fleischer Superman Cartoons. Find links to all nine episodes and more inside. [more inside]
'TV historians will tell you that “Felix the Cat” was one of the first images ever broadcast on television (when RCA broadcast a Felix doll in 1928 on experimental station W2XBS) — but it wasn’t until the late ’40s that the first animated character was created expressly for TV. Crusader Rabbit appeared for the very first time on KNBH (Los Angeles) on August 1, 1950, and featured a Don Quixote-like title character aided by his friend Ragland T. “Rags” Tiger as they pursued adventures in serial (i.e. cliffhanger) installments.' On November 8th, the voice of Crusader Rabbit, Lucille Bliss, passed away at the age of 96. Ms. Bliss may be more familiar to younger fans as the voice of Smurfette, from The Smurfs, or as Ms. Bitters on Invader ZIM. [more inside]
BRAVEST WARRIORS!!! From Pendleton 'Adventure Time' Ward, it's a new, somewhat more adult (mild profanity & alien relationships) sci-fi cartoon about Second Generation Heroes who are kind-of-dorks. Here's an earlier version he did for Nickelodeon's Random Cartoons, but the new series is made for Fred 'Frederator' Seibert's Cartoon Hangover YouTube Channel. If that wasn't edgy or NSFW enough for you, check out "Peepshow Therapy with Carmen Geddit" or just wait for the debut of James 'American Elf' Kochalka's "Super F***ers"
Every year, Animation Magazine holds a pitch party, where, for the low-low price of $375, you can send a 2 inch by 5 inch card to represent your idea for a cartoon, and get judged by a panel of professionals. The actual results are a near-endless parade of bad ideas, bad art, and a liberal use of comic sans. (4chan archive, NSFW ads)
Initiate salutation cascade, star-citizens! Seven years ago tonight, Stephen Colbert introduced Tek Jansen to the world. Originally a one-off parody of vanity fiction by media blowhards, the "super-awesome spectacular ultraspy" became the center of a small universe of comics, cartoons, and books, his exploits satirizing awful pulp sci-fi, rampant
Mary Sue "Marty Sue" syndrome, and the cheesy melodrama of 1970s Hanna-Barbera. Look inside for US/Canadian links to both animated seasons along with other content available on the web. [more inside]
"Mountain of Dinosaurs" (1967) A Russian cartoon, directed by Rasa Strautmane. WARNING: things don't end well for the Dinosaurs. [via]
Willy Bum Bum. Not safe for anything, really (cartoon willies and bums).
The first color cartoon came out in 1957, from the Miami, Florida studio Soundac, beating out LA-based Hanna-Barbera's The Ruff & Reddy Show by a few months. Soundac's Colonel Bleep was styled after space-age design ideas of the era, featured in three to six-minute long segments with limited animation, designed for syndication into local kids shows with live hosts. Of the 104 episodes, less than half survive, as most of that and other Soundac material was stolen from a studio van in the ’70s, when the studio was closing. Luckily, episodes have been found in the collections and archives of various TV studios, so Col. Bleep and his side-kicks Squeek and Scratch are available online (YT), some clips on Archive.org, and more on YouTube (playlist with 43 clips).
The scarily honest animated facts of life for teens A disturbingly blunt and beautifully animated short film about the horrifying changes brought about by puberty. Part of the "Teen Facts" exhibit at the NEMO Science Center in Amsterdam. (via everlasting blort)
The Counting Song (SLYT), a cute, animated ditty for kids that may be too educational. From Adam Buxton (previously here)
This Toon Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us SLYToon) officially authorized by the original artists, those wacky guys.
The Dark Knight Rises trailers, Batman The Animated Series style: Teaser, Trailer 2, Trailer 3, Trailer 4. Side by side of Trailer 3.
The Frog's Bollocks (and Other Assorted Bollocks) NSFW. Not Shown To Scale. Not Narrated by Richard Attenborough. NOT related to this story (I hope). Blame Drawn.
Fatman on Batman, Kevin Smith's new podcast on all things Batman, so far featuring excellent interviews with Batman: The Animated Series alumni Paul Dini and Mark Hamill. (WARNING: Contains Kevin Smith. But he is knowlegable about the subject, asks goods questions and shuts up and listens to the answers. Yes I am as suprised as you are. Also you probably want to mash forwards hard for the ads at the begining. Also maybe some stuff at the end of his conversation with Paul Dini... shudder. And dear god! That picture! What the hell? Is he... is he? I don't want to think about it. But seriously, very good.)
Isle of Spagg... On the other side of the Vertic Sea where things are distinctly fishier, lives the proud fisherman Inger and his half-mermaid (but not the half you'd expect) daughter Herring. When the least respected old character on the island dies, conflict ensues and a favorite garment is ruined. Meanwhile two haberdashers with a checkered past deal with their own loss. Can Dr. Beez or one of the Oracles help? Can the Isle's 15 minstrels make music to make things better? And what about little Claude? It all happens in a 30 minute cartoon from the Brothers McLeod, Greg and Myles, who have also animated (scroll down for video clips) Fuggy Fuggy for MTV, Pablo and Frankensheep and Quiff and Boot for the BBC, Billy for the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Existential Pleading of the Inner Heart for anybody who wants it and other very random stuff.
Not content with having re-imagined the Justice League, Cartoonist Dresden Codak reboots the X-Men with stranger mutations and more sci-fi backstory.
"Usavich" (Season One video) is a series of 90-second CGI cartoons made for MTV Japan about two Russian rabbits. It begins in a Soviet-era prison where Kirenenko*, a mob boss sentenced to death is sharing a cell with Putin (yes, that's his name), a common worker imprisoned on a trumped-up charge and counting the days until his release. And then it gets weird. (contains extreme cartoon violence, scatological gags, Russian stereotypes, transvestite chickens and shoe fetishes) [more inside]
Eveready Harton in Buried Treasure, from 1928, is considered to be one of the first pornographic cartoons. It is certainly one of the strangest (NSFW)
On June 7th, the Disney XD channel will premiere a new, 10-part miniseries: Tron Uprising. The series, which will feature the voices of Elijah Wood, Lance Henriksen, Bruce Boxleitner (reprising his role as 'Tron',) Mandy Moore and Paul Reubens, will combine 2D and CGI animation styles, and is set between the events of the first and second Tron movies. Trailers: 1, 2. 2011 ComicCon Preview. Disney released a full-length "prelude episode" yesterday evening (US Only): Beck's Beginning. (Via) [more inside]
Flipnote Studio lets you create animations with a stylus on Nintendo's DSi handheld console. Nintendo had a contest to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Zelda, and the quality of submissions was high (higher than this, anyway). Personal favorite: Michi from Japan's Duck Amuck homage. [more inside]
Sombody once said,
"There is a beast with such succulent meat, it melts all over your tongue. There is a bubbling spring flowing with tastes of countless fruit juices, such as sweet musk melons and ripened mangoes."It is the Gourmet Era. The era in which one will search for undiscovered tastes. [Hulu link for US-based viewers] [more inside]
The workers at Manhattan's famous Strand Bookstore are currently in conflict with management over a severe new contract that radically reduces benefits. Bookstore employee and cartoonist Greg Farrell has decided to explain the conflicts and background of the problem via comic book.
A visually inventive, super-stylized, 27 minute Soviet cartoon telling of The Little Mermaid / Rusalochka from 1968.
Young Edd Gould always enjoyed drawing comics of himself and his friends. Growing up in the internet age, his doodles evolved into Flash animations of increasing complexity, and in time Edd and pals Tom Ridgewell and Matt Hargreaves teamed up to produce an "Eddsworld" series of online webtoons and comics. At first crude and halting, the group's "eddisodes" progressed from surreal shorts and one-shots into full-fledged productions that pushed the boundaries of amateur web animation, with expressive characters, full soundtracks, complex effects, and a fast-paced, off-kilter sense of humor: MovieMakers - Spares - WTFuture - Rock Bottom - Hammer & Fail (2). At its height, the college co-op was producing shorts for Mitchell & Webb and the UN Climate Change Conference, fielding offers from Paramount and Cartoon Network, and racking up millions of hits on YouTube. Work slowed, however, when Gould was diagnosed with leukemia -- a relatively survivable form, though, and Gould carried on working gamely through his hospital stays. So it came as a shock last week when Matt and Tom announced that Edd had passed away, prompting an outpouring of grief and gratitude from all the fans he'd entertained and inspired in his short 23 years.
"From days of long ago... from uncharted regions of the universe, comes a legend: the legend of Voltron, Defender of the Universe!" [more inside]
The Legend of Korra - the sequel series to Avatar: the Last Airbender - is set to premiere on April 14. This weekend you can watch the first two episodes at Korra Nation.
Nick Sousanis has been approved to write and submit what may be the first ever Ph.D. dissertation in comic book form. See here (PDF) for a taste of the style and content.
The mid 1980's marked the zenith of popularity for Erno Rubik's amazing cube (previously on the blue). But how magic was it? To find out, Ruby-Spears Productions gave the toy a face, legs and some clever, albeit grammatically incorrect dialogue, and in 1983 Rubik the Amazing Cube was born! [more inside]
Do you like Adventure Time? (previously) Do you like 8-Bit Game intros? Then you'll like the 8-bit Adventure Time Video Game Intro.
"Rescue Pet" a comic about the effects of horrible mutating mimic blobs on a strained romantic relationship.
Canada's Exclaim magazine former cartoonist Fiona Symth's new art. CHEEZ was originally a monthly comic/drawing published in Canada's Exclaim Magazine over a ten year period from 1992 to 2002. There were no editorial restrictions on the work apart from the monthly deadline and the colour restrictions of the paper (the art work had to be black and white). Each strip was created shortly before the deadline and numbered in chronological order. This CHEEZ will be drawn weekly and will continue with the same numbering sequence and restrictive palette. A collection of the first one hundred strips was published as CHEEZ 100 by Pedlar Press in 2001.
Space Stallions! A 2012 bachelor film project from The Animation Workshop. More epic than epic. More 80s than the 80s ever were. (slyt)
What were you raised by wolves? by Vera Brosgol. Cartoonist Vera Brosgol has posted her startling, wordless mini-comic online. [Previously] [Previously]
In 1999 MTV launched Downtown, an animated slice of life show about young people in Manhattan's Lower East Side based on interviews with non-actors (Pilot part 2 part 3 ) created by animator Chris Prynoski (Daria, Beavis And Butt-head, Metalocalypse). Despite an Emmy nomination, the show was cancelled after one season (with one unaired episode). Like so many MTV shows, licensing complications prevented it from reaching DVD, meaning the only way to watch the show was to e-mail Chris directly. Until someone uploaded the entire series to Youtube.
Here is Super President. Super President foils the villain by ringing a bell. 60s Batman got his deduction skills from Super President. Jerry Beck on Super President. From his accurately-named website, Worst Cartoons Ever.
Here is the pilot episode of Les Mondes Engloutis (Part 2), a French animated sci-fi/fantasy televison series from 1985. Here is its iconic theme song. In English it translates into "The Sunken Worlds," but English-speakers know it better as Spartakus and the Sun Beneath the Sea. More information can be found on Tripod fansite The Lost Archives of Arkadia. [more inside]
In which a young girl creates a giant radish spaceship, becomes its captain, then returns two years later in a bunny outfit with super powers.
Here is the opening anime from the 20th Japan Science Fiction Convention, Daicon III (1981). And here is the follow-up anime for the 22nd convention, Daicon IV (1983). Both are loaded with pop culture references, and are (I hear) famous among Japanese anime fans. Here's some more information on them. The student animators of these shorts went on to found the anime studio GAINAX, which you may have heard of. GAINAX previously: one two
Here is the classic story "Batboy and Rubin" from Mad Magazine #8. (Another source.) And here is the story adapted to animation 57 years later on Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
Franz Sedlacek (1891 – 1945) was an Austrian painter who belonged to the tradition known as "New Objectivity" ("neue Sachlichkeit"), an artistic movement similar to Magical Realism. At the end of the Second World War he "disappeared" as a soldier of the Wehrmacht somewhere in Poland.
D. on Ice, in honor of the 110th birthday of Walt Disney, kinda.