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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 7, 2012 |
"Sheriff" John Rovick, the beloved Los Angeles children's TV show host whose gentle, fatherly persona made him a welcome guest in homes throughout the 1950s and '60s, died Saturday morning. He was 93. Rovick died in his sleep at a nursing facility in Boise, Idaho, said his wife, Jacqueline. A Toledo, Ohio, native who launched his broadcasting career in radio, Rovick was a newly hired staff announcer at KTTV-TV (Channel 11) when the Los Angeles station first went on the air in 1949.
September 26, 2012 |
The turtles are being unleashed in the nick of time. On Saturday morning, Nickelodeon will take the lid off a slicker, hipper version of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. " The armed reptiles, a hugely popular cartoon franchise in the '80s and '90s, are the latest effort by the children's network to combat a dramatic ratings plunge. Over the past year, Nickelodeon has lost 28% of its young audience, according to ratings firm Nielsen. The network's signature programming, "SpongeBob SquarePants" and tween sensation "iCarly," have lost cache with kids who are turning to other channels and other entertainment such as video games.
September 20, 2012 |
Ayn Rand, the favorite author of many geeky teenage boys (who generally grow out of it) and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (who didn't), combines an extreme libertarian capitalist message with a high-Soviet-propaganda literary style. This makes parody fairly easy. Still, it would be hard to top Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee. His Ayn Rand imitation in remarks at a private fundraiser last May, caught on video and posted on the Web by Mother Jones, is pitch-perfect.
September 8, 2012 |
In "How to Train Your Dragon," the 2010 film from DreamWorks Animation, a skinny viking teen named Hiccup discovers that dragons can be taught and tamed, a lot like dogs, except that these dogs are 30 feet across and breathe fire. By the end of the film, vikings and dragons, who began the movie trying to brain each other, are best pals. As with so many other stories of star-crossed, interspecies pairings, from "The Adventures of Milo and Otis" to "Avatar," one wonders just where this relationship will go. That question is answered in the new animated series "Dragons: Riders of Berk," which is being produced by DreamWorks Animation for Cartoon Network.
September 5, 2012 |
If this whole football thing doesn't work out, Drew Brees may have a second career as a cartoon character. The Saints quarterback is among the National Football League stars who are lending their voices to "Rush Zone: Season of the Guardians," an animated series that will debut on Viacom's kids cartoon channel Nicktoons on Nov. 30. Already the most popular sport in the nation, the NFL takes nothing for granted and knows it needs to get kids...
September 3, 2012 |
First it was the penguins of "Madagascar" and then the animal warriors of "Kung Fu Panda" on Nickelodeon, now it's the cast of DreamWorks' "How to Train Your Dragon" on Cartoon Network. "Dragons: Riders of Berk," which premieres Tuesday, is the latest small-screen incarnation of a successful animated film to retain both the personality and production value of its progenitor. But unlike its predecessors, it plays more like sequel than spinoff. (Although a cinematic sequel is also in the works.)
July 31, 2012 |
After the coffee. Before learning how to score gymnastics. The Skinny: Lots of gripes about how NBC is covering the Olympics (see below). My favorite complaint is that NBC has a "monopoly" on the games. Well, they outbid Fox and ESPN for that "monopoly. " No one handed them the Games and said "go to town. " Tuesday's headlines include the above-mentioned Olympic coverage complaints, a look at how much money Warner Bros. pumps into the local economy and a new Disney Channel cartoon is a hit with African Americans. Daily Dose: Fox Business Network continues to make gains on CNBC.
July 11, 2012 |
Maybe they just decided to go to Comic-Con. After 11 years, the leaders of New York's Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art have shuttered their venue. The abrupt closure came Monday, with museum officials saying they will move out of the current space by the end of July, according to reports. Admittedly, the museum is a small one, occupying the fourth floor of a building in the SoHo neighborhood of New York. The organization, known somewhat humorously as MoCCA, devoted itself to exhibitions on the world of comics.