CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 20, 2013 |
Charles McKay makes a detailed spreadsheet of the authors he wants to hear during the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, typing in his first and second choices and getting tickets ahead of time. Jerry Oborn, from San Diego, said she goes about it another way: "I just wander around. " But McKay and Oborn both said they finish the festival the same way - with a long list of new books to read. "It takes us months to get through all these books by authors who inspired us," said McKay, who lives in the South Bay. McKay and Oborn were among the 150,000 people expected to attend The Times' 18th annual book festival, being held this weekend at USC. In clear, hot weather Saturday, visitors listened to poetry, watched cooking sessions, danced to local bands and shopped at dozens of makeshift bookstores.
April 18, 2013 |
Justin Bieber made the hearts of Beliebers worldwide pitter-patter on overdrive when he posted a racy cartoon picture of himself, shirtless, embracing a topless brown-haired girl in bed. The girl was labeled a "Belieber. " Talk about throwing red meat to the masses. Sigh. The "Baby" singer has been scrutinized since the weekend he visited the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and left a 20-word note in the museum's guest book. He said Frank, who died of typhus while imprisoned at a Nazi concentration camp, was a "great girl.
March 8, 2013 |
President Obama's date with a dozen Republican senators has so caught my imagination that I cannot quite let it go. The idea of the president picking up the tab for dinner in a swanky Washington restaurant for 12 of his most staunch political foes sounds like an improbable plot twist straight out of “The West Wing.” But, as I learned long ago, political reality is almost always more weird and fascinating than political fiction. In my mind, it's easy to visualize the film version of the dinner.
February 22, 2013 |
"Out There," which premieres Friday on IFC, is a rather lovely coming-of-age cartoon series from Ryan Quincy, who spent 14 years on "South Park. " It is nothing like that. Coming-of-age stories tend to be told by the misfits and weirdos and refuseniks of Normal Life, and this is no different. Our heroes are Chad (voiced by Quincy himself, whose slightly flat, unaffected delivery works well for this) and his strange new pal Chris (Justin Roiland), "the kind of friend who would shove you into the abyss and then jump right in after you. " Invisible to their peers except as occasional targets of mockery, they spend their days "off to the side, riding a wave of obscurity, observing the tableaux of teenage bliss.
February 16, 2013 |
Seth Green slumps on a bench seat in a 1970s Winnebago that's parked inside of Stoopid Buddy Stoodios in Burbank. A nasty case of strep throat has him feeling low. But the fact that "Robot Chicken," the off-color stop-motion animated series Green created with Matthew Senreich was renewed for a seventh season, perks him up a bit. "We thought it was the same generation as us who grew up watching the same TV shows and eating the same cereal," says...
February 7, 2013 |
Let us consider Nick Cannon, who is never long out of sight but busy out of sight as well. He may currently be seen as a version of himself on Kevin Hart's BET reality-show parody, "The Real Husbands of Hollywood," and when it's in season, as the host of NBC's "America's Got Talent. " He co-hosted ABC's "Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade" special in December; a revival of his MTV improv-games series "Wild N Out" is currently in production; and simply by virtue of being married to Mariah Carey and the father of their twins, he remains more or less constantly in the public eye. Now Cannon has created "The Incredible Crew" - not for Nickelodeon this time but Cartoon Network - a single-camera sketch comedy already in progress.
January 9, 2013 |
Pop music + cartoon animation + pubescent audiences + sugary breakfast cereal ads = hit entertainment. In the 1960s and '70s, that equation briefly produced a string of clever, endearing animated feature films and Saturday morning TV serials that still give today's frenetic, hyper-edited animated flicks a run for their money. Some were instant classics, like "Yellow Submarine," with the Fab Four's music set to Heinz Edelmann's memorable designs. Others, like the Jackson 5 cartoon serial that originally ran on Saturday mornings on ABC from September 1971 to October 1972, slowly sank into the post-syndication ether, leaving barely a trace.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 15, 2012 |
Lucille Bliss, who provided the voice of the cartoon character Crusader Rabbit in the early days of television and gained recognition a generation later as the voice of Smurfette in the 1980s television hit "The Smurfs," has died. She was 96. Bliss died Nov. 8 from natural causes at an assisted living center in Costa Mesa, according to the Orange County coroner. Bliss parlayed a childhood love of radio theater into a career as an animation voice actress that stretched more than 60 years.
November 7, 2012
The cartoon on the Nov. 6 Op-Ed page asks, "Which is the most powerful place in America?," and selects the voting booth from among four choices, including Capitol Hill, the Pentagon and the White House. The cartoon reflects a quaint, naive view of contemporary American politics. A truer view is reflected in the diagram elsewhere in the same paper that shows the flow of money into the campaigns for California's ballot initiatives. The "most powerful places" are now corporate boardrooms or the offices of the Koch brothers, who pour tens of millions of dollars into races to get results that increase their profits.
October 29, 2012 |
Dan Harmon is headed back to the small screen with a new animated series, "Rick and Morty," which just got picked up for 10 episodes by Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. According to reports, Harmon's new series, co-created with "Fish Hooks" animation writer Justin Roiland, will join the Adult Swim lineup sometime in 2014. The series reportedly follows the adventures of a genius inventor and his less-than-genius grandson. Harmon has had a long-standing love of animation. Even before he worked stop-motion and traditional animation into his otherwise live-action NBC series "Community," he was known as co-writer of the computer animated feature film "Monster House.