Over the past few months, Warner Bros. Animation has been taking to Instagram to give fans a speedy look at the skills of the folks working behind the scenes on Cartoon Network shows like MAD. Today, CA's been given a first-look at WBA's latest "WBA Quick Draw" video that sees Teen Titans Go! Producer Aaron Horvath jam on a fun Robin sketch based on the character design by Dan Hipp. The timelapse-y nature of the clip makes it easy to observe one of our favorite talents in animation at his drawing board (or, in this case, Cintiq). See Horvath in action after the cut.
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It's hard to work out how Robot Chicken creative director and increasingly busy comic book writer Kevin Shinick found the time to complete 100 episodes of Mad for Warner Bros. Animation, but he did it, and it's an accomplishment he and the studio are celebrating with a double-sized anniversary show tonight on Cartoon Network. Perhaps most enticingly for ComicsAlliance readers, the episode's centerpiece is what's surely to be a biting Man of Steel parody starring "Weird Al" Yankovic as Superman and Henry Winkler as Jor-El.
Devised and written by (and usually starring) Shinick, the Mad cartoon is, in his words, the magazine brought to life in animation. It's a bold statement but honestly Shinick isn't wrong. Besides just being very funny, Mad translates the venerable humor magazine's signature irreverence, silliness and other naughtiness for television, segueing from one sketch to another with animated page tears and everything. The series actually employs some of the cartoonists who continue to define the voice of Mad, including Sergio Aragonés, who contributes all-new in-the-margins strips that find their way into every episode, as do topical film and television parodies, fake commercials and, of course, Spy vs. Spy. In every case, sketches are presented in visual styles reminiscent of Mad masters like Don Martin, Mort Drucker and Al Jaffee, and by way of different animation techniques such as Flash, stop-motion and puppets, to further honor the stylistic diversity of the magazine. But the series updates the magazine's scope for the extremely memetic world of today, going all-in on mashups (the ThunderLOLcats comes immediately to mind) and other highly bloggable jokes.
That any contemporary animated series makes it to 100 episodes is remarkable, but Mad has the additional distinction of being explicitly based on a comics magazine -- and with the help of that comics magazine's current contributors like Aragones and Tom Richmond -- makes the Emmy-nominated series that much more interesting. It's obvious from talking to Shinick (who's also writing Superior Carnage for Marvel) that the mantle of Mad is hugely important to him. In the following interview you'll find out why that is, as well as an inside look at Mad's impressive production workflow, Shinick's philosophy about comedic content for children, and what else to expect from tonight's 100th episode.
As part of the ongoing celebration of the 75th anniversary of Superman, Warner Bros. Animation's Bruce Timm and Man of Steel director Zack Snyder collaborated on a two-minute film that observes some of Superman's more memorable adventures. The animation includes homages to original creators Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster to contemporary artists like Jim Lee, with stops along the way that give props to Curt Swan, Dan Jurgens, Neal Adams, Andy Warhol, Fleisher Studios, Alex Ross, the Smallville television series, Christopher Reeve, George Reeves, Henry Cavil and Timm's own work on Superman: The Animated Series.
Debuting Saturday morning on Cartoon Network's DC Nation block, "Deadman" is the latest superhero short from Warner Bros. Animation. Based on the character created by Arnold Drake and Carmine Infantino, the Deadman short comes courtesy of cartoonist C.H. Greenblatt, probably best known to ComicsAlliance readers as the creator of Chowder and to animation buffs as a storyboard artist for SpongeBob Squarepants. Also known as Boston Brand, Deadman is given voice by actor Matt Jones (Breaking Bad's Badger, Beware The Batman's Humpty Dumpty).
What artist Robert Valley did with his four-minute Wonder Woman short for Warner Bros. Animation's DC Nation campaign was much more than simply express the powerful essence of the iconic superheroine. In just a few precious seconds, Valley defies every expectation absolutely anyone would have about what Wonder Woman could be, from the most hardcore fan to entertainment executives who've been endlessly vexed by how to depict the Amazon princess Diana in motion. But how it works is not simple; it's not easy to articulate. But its success is totally manifest, and that quality is part of what defines the work of a great artist; someone with vision.
It is also inescapably f***ing cool, and demonstrates in vivid terms the versatility of her character.
'Superman: The Animated Series' star Dana Delany goes in-depth with CA's Andy Khouri about her time voicing Lois Lane on the beloved cartoon from Warner Bros. Animation, including her favorite moments, collaborators and early fondness for Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster's iconic feminist hero.
So, this is cute. You know those enormous over-the-shoulder bags that Warner Bros. gives out every year at Comic-Con International in San Diego? The ones that you see and go, "Why would anyone need such an enormous bag!?" until you do your last minute shopping on Sunday and go, "Ohhhhhh thank goodness I have this enormous bag!!" The ones industrious fangirls have customized into wearable dresses? Well, this year WB anticipated the bags-as-fashion trend and have prepared a new bag ready-made to be worn. Besides being fashioned as a backpack, this year's swag bags -- featuring images from Teen Titans Go! and Beware the Batman -- come with a built-in cape.
If you've cocked an eyebrow at the preview material that's been floating around the Internet in advance of Beware the Batman's premiere this Saturday at 10 a.m. ET on Cartoon Network, thinking it doesn't match your conception of what a Batman cartoon typically looks like, then Warner Bros. Animation producers Glen Murakami and Mitch Watson have got you right where they want you. The look, the music, the fact that very few villains who have appeared on Batman TV shows before now, it's all intentional.
With that in mind, ComicsAlliance spent some time talking with the two producers over the phone about how they conceived the show, their influences, and what the benefits are to taking some big risks.
As made plain in the stunning and stylish title sequence that we first glimpsed earlier this week, one of the most exciting things about Warner Bros. Animation's forthcoming Beware The Batman series is its art direction and design. Really, that's always one of the most exciting dimensions of all the DC Comics superhero cartoons that come out of the venerable Burbank, CA studio, but I'm particularly eager to see Beware The Batman in action because of the contributions of Shane Glines.