Brianne Drouhard's Amethyst: Princess of Gemworld animation shorts are easily one of our favorite DC Comics media projects of the past few years. The serial is exciting, it's got great action, and it's an incredibly interesting spin on Dan Mishkin, Gary Cohn and Ernie Colon's original idea, sending Amy Winston into a video game fantasy world where she has to level up and fight the bad guys to get home. And it's also an incredibly beautiful series.
The character and monster designs are fantastic, but the backgrounds are breathtaking, which is why I was excited to see that background painter Mari Hosaka had posted a bunch of them at her Tumblr. Check 'em out below to take a trip through Gemworld's forests, volcanoes and caves -- and, if you're me, get frustrated that you can't actually take a vacation there.
A few weeks ago, we covered the announcement that Warner Bros. Animation and Bruce Timm were working on creating a virtual reality Batcave (and, to a lesser extent, the announcement that I would be moving to the Matrix in order to live in it full time), but what we didn't know then was that it was part of a larger project in the works at WB. Today, that project has a name: Blue Ribbon Content, a "short-form digital division, which will develop and produce live-action and animated series for digital platforms."
Along with creators like Akiva Goldsman (the writer of Batman Forever and Batman and Robin, among other things) and Reginald Hudlin (of Marvel's Black Panther), Blue Ribbon has already announced that they'll be focusing on DC comics properties, most notably the VR Batcave and a live-action version of Static, the Milestone Media/DC Comics superhero created by Dwayne McDuffie, Robert L. Washington III and John Paul Leon.
The trailer premiere for the animated movie 'Justice League: Throne of Atlantis' has emerged, and with it comes our first look at the sequel to DC's 'Justice League: War.' Hey, it's no 'Batman vs. Superman' or the live-action 'Justi
Beware the Batman and Young Justice are two examples of animated shows that haven't exactly been treated well. Both Warner Bros. series were unceremoniously pulled from Cartoon Network, only to return to burn off episodes, sometimes in the middle of the night.
Treatment like that would seemingly indicated little commitment to release the series on home video, but never fear, fans. Warner Archive announced this week that it will release the second part of Beware the Batman's first season and the complete first season of Young Justice on Blu-Ray. Along with those, the company will also offer the full second season of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and the classic 1960s Aquaman animated series will be available through Warner Archive's streaming service.
This is something of a golden age for pop culture-themed art books. It seems like every week, a new volume comes on the market that illuminates some aspect of the history of popular art. In fact, there's so many great titles out there right now that it can be tough to figure out which are worth your time -- so we figured it would be a good idea to shine the ComicsAlliance spotlight on a few of the best things we've recently read.
The Noble Approach: Maurice Noble And The Zen Of Animation Design is a sweeping retrospective of Maurice Noble's art and legacy. It also offers a thought-provoking treatise on principles of animation design, compiled by author Tod Polson from Noble's notes.
A superhero sitcom inspired by the characters created and/or popularized by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, Teen Titans Go! is one of the best ever DC Comics series to come out of Warner Bros. Animation, which is saying something considering the prestigious history of that association. The series has been characterized by a virtually flawless balance of character-based superhero situation comedy and hilarious absurdism, with multiple episodes dedicated to dance parties, romantic rivalries, food-based melodrama, characters actually dying (only to be resurrected inexplicably in the next), and now, selling their souls to the Devil.
Over the past 20 years, the music of Batman: The Animated Series, composed by a team led by the amazing Shirley Walker, has been praised to the high heavens. There's a good reason for that, too, since it's basically amazing, but one of the side effects is that it's overshadowed the music of Warner Bros Animation's other shows based on the DC Comics supheroes. Now, two of them are finally getting their due in the form of a special edition release from La-La Land Records.
Released this week, the four-disc soundtrack album for the classic 1990s Superman: The Animated Seriesand a two-disc set for contemporary favorite Batman: The Brave and the Bold are now shipping from La-La Land, with selections from the best episodes of each series, comprising hours of audio alongside in-depth liner notes.
Like it or not, Grant Morrison's run on Batman was one of the longest and most definitive runs on a character in the past decade. So it makes perfect sense that Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment would look to it as inspiration for one of its animated features.
The new Son of Batmanmovie appears to loosely adapt Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert's "Batman and Son," the first arc of Morrison's seven-year Batman run. It introduces Damian, but also throws Deathstroke into the mix, something that was never part of the story in the comics. Check out the first trailer for the movie after the jump.
Over the past few months, Warner Bros. Animation has been taking toInstagram 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.
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 Steelparody 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.
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