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Xtranormal gets X'ed out

Xtranormal (previously on Metafilter) is the animation website that launched with the slogan, "If you can type, you can make movies." Millions of cartoons were produced, and a few of them were very popular. The software was even used to create animation for TV shows (such as a recurring segment on Fox's Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld) and commercials. But in recent months, the company made a series of controversial decisions and began showing clear signs of trouble. They stopped allowing users to monetize their videos on Youtube. They stopped posting new assets, shut down their user forum and blog, and frustrated users by becoming increasingly non-communicative. The site was hit with serious technical problems that made publishing movies almost impossible, and these issues went unfixed for months. Finally, on June 28th, the company announced that it was shutting down the site. "As of July 31, 2013," reads an announcement on the company's Facebook page, "Xtranormal will be discontinuing current subscriptions, points plans and existing services. Please use your existing XP points and publish and download your movies before that date." Strangely, there has been very little coverage of the site's imminent demise. [more inside]
posted by Ursula Hitler on Jul 30, 2013 - 54 comments

World's Finest

DC has uploaded tons of DC Nation animated shorts to YouTube Including My Little Pony creator Lauren Faust's Super Best Friends Forever (previously). Not yet included: Robert Valley's super awesome 70s Wonder Woman.
posted by Artw on Jul 15, 2013 - 24 comments

"Never, ever, think outside the box."

New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff picks his 11 favourite cartoons.
posted by anothermug on Jul 12, 2013 - 134 comments

The Car Built For Homer.

"All my life, I have searched for a car that feels a certain way ... powerful like a gorilla, yet soft and yielding like a Nerf ball ... now at last I have found it." -- 22 years later, "The Homer" is now a reality. [more inside]
posted by Strange Interlude on Jun 29, 2013 - 28 comments

"He’s also on PCP, FYI."

The Open Key: comics inspired by the endless stream of weirdness that is the Chicago Police and Fire scanner. (And if you prefer your scanner feed with evocative ambient music, You Are Listening to ___ has a new site.)
posted by theodolite on Jun 14, 2013 - 2 comments

Journey into Mystery

Why the Venture Bros. creators want you to know nothing about Season 5. Not sure what happened in the last 4 seasons? The story so far (video).
posted by Artw on May 31, 2013 - 181 comments

Happiness is having your own library card

Do you like libraries? Do you like comics? Then Library Cartoons, Comics and Drawings is relevant to your interests. Need more? There's always Libraries in Pop Culture. Not satisfied yet? Unshelved is the internet's longest running librarian comic, previously featured for its pimped out bookcarts contest, but also worth visiting for the regular Friday bookclub.
posted by MartinWisse on May 28, 2013 - 5 comments

Cartoon fables with strange reversals

Holy hotdogs, Spanish surrealist illustrator Joan Cornellà, just what the heck is going on?
posted by cortex on Apr 28, 2013 - 14 comments

Talking about the Simpsons

Conan O'Brien recently reunited with some of the other writers of The Simpsons who he worked with during his tenure on the show. The panel touches on "... how Jub-Jub became the name of Selma's iguana, how Tracy Ullman always hated the cartoon, and how Conan was the only person in the show's history to have three episode ideas accepted in one story idea day."
posted by codacorolla on Apr 18, 2013 - 20 comments

Chinese landscape painting animation of the 1960s

During the 1960s, the Shanghai Animation Studio (perhaps most famous for their classic interpretation of the Monkey King story, 大闹天宫 "Uproar in Heaven", also called "Havoc in Heaven") produced some beautiful, lyrical short films in a traditional Chinese ink painting style. Mostly wordless and featuring a mix of Western and traditional Chinese music, many of the films are available on YouTube: [more inside]
posted by jiawen on Apr 6, 2013 - 11 comments

365 Days of the Black Hero

Last year, freelance cartoonist and illustrator Wardell "War" Brown drew a daily sketch of a different Black hero, both fictional and real life, starting with Storm and ending with Muhammad Ali. For those clever clogs who'd now like to point out 2012 was a leap year, he got you covered.
posted by MartinWisse on Feb 16, 2013 - 7 comments

Select pictures to color and candy to eat

This year, cartoonist Lynda Barry is Artist in Residence at the Arts Institute of the University of Wisconsin, and her class "The Unthinkable Mind" starts today. This is the poster. This is the introduction to the class. This is the first handout.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jan 23, 2013 - 57 comments

Car-toons, with the emphasis on 'Car'

Cartoon Brew's animation historian Amid Amidi posted an almost-definitive collection of Automobile-themed cartoons from the 1950s and 1960s. [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop on Jan 17, 2013 - 6 comments

The Twelve Months, Lolo the Penguin, and other Soviet winter animation.

Today is, of course, December 31st, the new year's eve. And tomorrow will be December 32nd, the day after — December 33rd, and so on, until someone brings me a basket of blooming snowdrops. [more inside]
posted by Nomyte on Jan 13, 2013 - 11 comments

No high fives!

A surprisingly comprehensive animator's guide to King of the Hill. Including: drawing mouths, scenery, lighting, shot composition and other minutiae.
posted by codacorolla on Jan 6, 2013 - 61 comments

My father didn't fight in the Clone Wars. He was a navigator on a spice freighter.

The Best Of Star Wars: Clone Wars - The CGI Star Wars spin off that made the franchise fun again for young and old reached it's 100th episode today.
posted by Artw on Jan 5, 2013 - 35 comments

"it's not my existence that is the problem here"

Dr. Carmella's Guide to Understanding the Introverted! drawn by Schroeder Veidt. See also Explaining the Transgender Experience (made after this first attempt) and Circles of Acceptance (in easy-to-read cartoon form). [more inside]
posted by flex on Dec 3, 2012 - 166 comments

RIP, Lucille Bliss: Voice of Smurfette and Crusader Rabbit

'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]
posted by zarq on Nov 15, 2012 - 18 comments

Hamish Steele!

Hamish Steele! Be moved by his brief-yet-poignant award-winning animated film The Right Time. Be charmed by his commissioned portraits of couples and their pets. Be inspired by his loose and fresh superheroes (Batman, Phoenix, Hawkeye)! And it wouldn't be Tumblr without an appearance by Sherlock Holmes (not that one).
posted by overeducated_alligator on Nov 13, 2012 - 4 comments

Captain Pronin Superstar!

Captain Pronin! An early '90s Russian parody of '80s American action heroes. [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Oct 9, 2012 - 13 comments

Ashley Spinelli - Art major by day, roller derby star by night.

Celeste doodles grown-up versions of characters from Hey Arnold, Rugrats, and Recess - most of them going into the arts, alt lifestyles, or hipsterdom.
posted by divabat on Sep 25, 2012 - 24 comments

Male nipples are OK, female nipple bulges are not

Nipplegate: Why the New Yorker Cartoon Department is About to be Banned from Facebook [more inside]
posted by asnider on Sep 11, 2012 - 124 comments

"resistance and fighting for life is meaningful"

Chris Hedges interviewed by Bill Moyers is profound, insightful and inspiring. In one of the most pointed, sweeping and personal public conversations about Chris Hedges' life and work yet, Bill Moyers speaks with the journalist after the release of "Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt," the book Hedges co-authored with fellow reporter and artist Joe Sacco. The 50-minute conversation is followed by a segment on Sacco, who talks about the thinking and experiences that moved him to become a "comics journalist." Previously and previously.
posted by nickyskye on Sep 2, 2012 - 20 comments

"Iwerks is Screwy spelled backwards" -- Chuck Jones

"Over the years in animation, there have been a lot of great animators. Ub Iwerks was one of those people. We know his work, but we don't necessarily know the man." The Hand Behind the Mouse: The Ub Iwerks Story (in 5 parts on DailyMotion: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5) tells of the life of Ubbe Eert Iwerks, from the formation of the friendship with Walt Disney when they met at advertisement studio in Kansas City, their artistic collaborations and Ub's 20 years of animation, to Iwerk's technical creations that kept Disney animated pictures ahead of other studios. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 31, 2012 - 14 comments

Get ready for adventure, in the exciting stories of Colonel Bleep!

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).
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 27, 2012 - 20 comments

Cripes!

The Economist on the decline of British boy's comics as The Dandy ceases print publication. As it circles oblivion it risks joining the ranks of Whizzer and Chips, Buster, The Beezer and subversive late entry to the genre Oink. The days of the Great British girl's comic are sadly long passed. 
posted by Artw on Aug 17, 2012 - 70 comments

Watch with one eye, hear with one ear, hand-made celluloid films!

A tale from Van Phuc village is a short film by Tibetan filmmaker Tsering Tashi Gyalthang. Half-fiction/half-documentary, this short shows the singular craft of Nguyen Van Long, who spent several decades entertaining children in the Thu Le park in Hanoi, Vietnam by playing his hand-made flipbook cartoons or 5-min celluloid movies on a Soviet projector.
posted by elgilito on Aug 5, 2012 - 3 comments

People of the internet... this is the best day!

Kid President gives Pen Ward the first Medal of Awesome! Ward is the creator of Adventure Time! (Previously &)
posted by dobbs on Jul 30, 2012 - 51 comments

Andy Capp: The Full Story.

Andy Capp: The Full Story. [via mefi projects]
posted by xingcat on Jul 26, 2012 - 50 comments

Harlem 1927

In 1927 Miguel Covarrubias published Negro Drawings ( nsfw ).
Here are some of his cartoons for Vanity Fair and other publications.
posted by adamvasco on Jul 7, 2012 - 8 comments

"June Foray isn't the female Mel Blanc. Mel Blanc is the male June Foray."

Voice actress June Foray won her first Emmy award this year at age 94. [more inside]
posted by xingcat on Jun 25, 2012 - 24 comments

Rosemary Mosco - naturalist & cartoonist

Rosemary Mosco is a field naturalist who draws bird & nature comics: "bird and moon" (previously), "ghosts of the northeast woods", "bird sound mnemonics", "birds are gross", "evolution sucks". Her bi-weekly comic strip Wild Toronto ("It cleverly observed and taught us about the animals and plants that live in our city") ran on Torontoist for some months in 2008; she has an illustrated collection of 55-word stories as well (previously mentioned). Her website, flickr, & tumblr.
posted by flex on Jun 15, 2012 - 12 comments

Tuesday. Africa. Lion o'clock.

Every child comes equipped with
(Whether it's a boy or girl)
A big serving of explosives
Might be up to half a pound
They must be in constant motion
Push, and kick, and flail, and shout
If they can't, they just explode
Bang! Kaboom! Your luck's run out. [includes Soviet animation and baby monkeys] [more inside]
posted by Nomyte on May 26, 2012 - 9 comments

The themes of "The Marvel Super Heroes"

When Captain America throws his mighty shield, all those who chose to oppose his shield must yield. Doc Bruce Banner, pelted by gamma rays, turns into The Hulk; ain't he unglamorous? Tony Stark makes you feel; he's a cool exec with a heart of steel. Cross the Rainbow Bridge of Asgard, where the booming heavens roar, you'll behold in breathless wonder the god of Thunder, mighty Thor. Stronger than a whale, he can swim anywhere; he can breathe underwater and go flying through the air. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on May 17, 2012 - 61 comments

Peasant culture and Russian folklore in Soviet animation.

Peasant culture and Russian folklore in Soviet animation (~400 minutes whereof): Soviet animation abounds in fantasies about the natural, wholesome lives of honorable, strong-willed Russian peasants and folk heroes and their struggles against villainy and adversity. Decorated with splendid folk art motifs that verge on horror vacui, these cel-animated cartoons are excellent aids for learning about (popular conceptions of) Russian folk material culture: decoration, architecture, dress, weaponry, textiles, domestic culture, manners, and so on. [more inside]
posted by Nomyte on May 4, 2012 - 13 comments

Wonder Woman means so much more to me than Hera or Aphrodite.

Comics author Grant Morrison talked to Playboy about the Super Psyches of some of his favorite superhero characters. (Clean interview, NSFW website)
posted by The Whelk on Apr 26, 2012 - 41 comments

Rich people are fat and wear waistcoats, poor people look sad

"If you study all of the recent Pulitzer winners in the cartooning category, you’ll see that single-panel editorial cartoons are an increasingly timeworn form. Even the best ones traffic in blunt, one-dimensional jokes, rarely exhibiting nuance, irony, or subtext." Farhad Manjoo argues that the Pulitzer should honor "infographics and interactive visualizations... [which] derive their power from real, often surprising data that’s presented, ideally, in a simple, understandable way."
posted by The corpse in the library on Apr 21, 2012 - 35 comments

“We don’t want everything for free. We just want everything.”

Animator & copyleft activist Nina Paley sat down with a group of teenagers and asked them how they would prefer to support the artists they liked.
posted by overeducated_alligator on Mar 26, 2012 - 67 comments

What's up, Doc?

Chuck Jones draws and discusses Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote and Pepe le Pew and Warner Bros. and the producer Eddie Selzer (MLYT) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Mar 20, 2012 - 14 comments

Super Best Friends Forever

My Little Pony’s Lauren Faust on how Super Best Friends Forever will make you love Batgirl and Supergirl all over again. The short animations will be part of Cartoon Networks DC Nation block, alongside Beware The Batman, the replacement for the late lamented Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
posted by Artw on Feb 21, 2012 - 28 comments

I've decided to bring in a few ringers, professional baseballers

The Making of "Homer At The Bat"
posted by holdkris99 on Feb 20, 2012 - 84 comments

RIP Ronald Searle

Ronald Searle, creator of St. Trinian's, dies at 91.
posted by Ideefixe on Jan 3, 2012 - 36 comments

Christmas? What's that? An Earth holiday?

Because Christmas wasn't painful enough: He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special, in five parts — 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
posted by Nomyte on Dec 22, 2011 - 19 comments

Aaaand.. pause.

What happens when you stop time in a cartoon universe? You get animation smears. (single-serving Tumblr)
posted by theodolite on Nov 28, 2011 - 24 comments

And the florist says, "White lily."

This one time in Edo Japan, Bashō got together with a bunch of his rich friends from Nagoya to make up a set of interlocking poems (renku) — 36 of them, to be exact (a format called kasen). Then, 320 years later, the complete cycle was animated by a diverse international team of artists. [more inside]
posted by Nomyte on Nov 14, 2011 - 26 comments

17 Hours of Russian Animation

MISSING: One elephant. Striped. Big. Polite and good-natured. Loves cod liver oil. [more inside]
posted by Nomyte on Nov 2, 2011 - 30 comments

"Cute 'n cuddly, boys, cute 'n cuddly."

The Penguins of Madagascar is a funny, fast-paced, and family-friendly cartoon series that you may not be watching... yet. [more inside]
posted by flex on Oct 9, 2011 - 34 comments

Octopi Wall Street

Octopi Wall Street
posted by KokuRyu on Oct 7, 2011 - 33 comments

Mickey Mouse Job

The Ropes at Disney's - 1943 Employee Handbook. The good old days when women got twice as much sick leave, the Penthouse club was accessible by "men only! - sorry gals...", and a violation of the U.S. Espionage Act could get you fired.
posted by madamjujujive on Sep 26, 2011 - 52 comments

Nevarforgetathon, Part MMMDCL: The Funnies

"Imagine a day where most newspaper comics are Funky Winkerbean. That’s what’s happening this Sunday." Tomorrow, the funnies will be anything but as 93 US newspaper comic strips will be devoted to remembrances of 9-11. Profound or profane?
posted by ocherdraco on Sep 10, 2011 - 123 comments

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