It's a big month for anniversaries. Doctor Who has turned 50. Mystery Science Theater 3000 is 25. One anniversary that doesn't seem to be getting as much attention is the one that might make all of us feel the oldest. The Powerpuff Girls have officially been around for 15 years, debuting on Cartoon Network on November 18, 1998. If fans count creator Craig McCracken's original "Whoopass Girls" concept that he created while in college at CalArts and debuted in 1992 as "Whoopass Stew!," though, the team is old enough to drink.
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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.
Longtime MAD Magazine artist Sergio Aragones is well known for how much stuff he can get on a page -- he's been filling the magazine's margins for decades. So just imagine what he could do with a gigantic pullout poster!
Well, you don't have to imagine it. Aragones has condensed more than 60 years of MAD history in one big image for Entertainment Weekly.
With Rebecca Sugar's new animated series Steven Universe set to debut on Cartoon Network on November 4th (and a free downloadable preview currently online), Boom! Studios has officially announced its accompanying ongoing comic book series. Starring a happy-go-lucky young boy on a team of much more mature cosmic heroines, the new series follows Steven as he learns to tap his full potential as a Crystal Gem... by eating ice cream and administering sick burns, among other things. A special four-page preview of his comic adventures written by Sugar, penciled by Lamar Abrams, inked by Danny Hynes, and colored and lettered by Jeremy Sorese will debut tomorrow in the pages of Adventure Time: 2013 Spoooktacular #1. The official regular creative team for Steven Universe #1 hasn't been announced just yet, but should manifest closer to the issue's debut in early 2014. Check out our exclusive first look at the preview from Boom!, after the jump.
Cartoon Network has pulled Beware the Batman off the air, even though it's only been part of its Saturday morning schedule since mid-July. The next episode, which was scheduled for this Saturday, won't be running.
Fans can hold out a little hope, though: Anthony Ruivivar, the actor who voices Batman on the show, Tweeted that it may return in January.
Suiting his speedy nature, Sonic the Hedgehog is never far from a new video game, having starred in more than 70 since his debut in Sega Genesis in 1991. But animation? Despite a starring in a flurry of shows in the 1990s including two simultaneous (but tonally different) cartoons circa 1994, an original animated video from Japan in 1996, the rock and roll themed Sonic Underground in 1999 and finally Sonic X in 2003-2004, it's been almost a decade since Sonic and friends squared off with Dr. Eggman in a proper animated series. That's set to change in the fall of 2014, with a new CG animated series with the working title Sonic Boom set to debut on Cartoon Network.
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).
Cartoon Network's version of the Teen Titans is coming back to DC Comics this December, and the new digital-first series will share the same comedic backbone as the Teen Titans Go! cartoon, according to the writers.
Like the cartoon, the comic will be about "the interaction between the characters," said writer Merrill Hagan, who will alternate arcs with Sholly Fisch.
Regular Show's super strong immortal sage (who just so happens to be voiced by Mark Hamill) is about to step into the comic book spotlight. This November Boom! Studios will roll out Regular Show: Skips #1, written and illustrated by Mad Rupert (Saskana, Adventure Time). Set to show the RS world from Skips' point of view, the story sees Pops reward Mordecai, Rigby and the rest of the crew with a mini-vacation for all their hard work at the park. Thanks to the antics of his coworkers, though, Skips probably won't quite get the rest and relaxation he deserves for bailing his buds out of trouble time and time again. ComicsAlliance got in touch with Rupert to learn more about what readers can expect in the issue, how the artist got into Regular Show, and just how much she loves pugs.