Thursday, December 24, 2015

shorts SHORT Review: A Kidnapped Santa Claus

A Kidnapped Santa Claus
By L. Frank Baum
Adapted by Alex Robinson (Writer & Illustrator)
itbooks, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Welcome to another shorts SHORT Review for the winter season where we look at the odd life and times of Father Christmas. Santa Claus bounces back and fourth between this being of distress and a hero (sometimes villain). It's interesting to see him as these different lives. Especially the tales that have him being helped by a hero that he'd know about, but didn't know of the evil that would attack him. This is seen in the films Nightmare Before Christmas and Santa Claus Vs the Martians, both films intended to steal Santa away and keep Christmas for themselves. And this is the theme of the comic A Kidnapped Santa Claus, a tale about dæmons that want children to walk their caves, so they can enjoy their specific and individual suffering, plot in a nutshell, though there's so much more to it than this little summary.

Santa Claus in this story is an impossibly tall man, though this is because of the helpers and workers that invest their time and desire to give back to the world. We follow over the shoulder of Wisk a Fairy that works side by side with the Jolly Red Man himself. The Workshop has more than Elves, since this is a L. Frank Baum story, and this is a 1900's story, so the fey have a wide interpretation, since the elf is a broad term. It's more defined today, though it was a general expression for magical creatures, mostly humanoid, but not always. There's a lot of helpers in the Workshop at Santa's, but these are the main ones. We have Faries (who work in the office and hand in hand with the Knooks) that help in all departments,  there's Pixies (which are like boy fairies, though without wings, closer to Brownies) that help in the stable, Ryls (the one's who make the toys, gift wrap, and pack) a bit grumpy and goat-headed, and Knooks (they are literal pug faced beings, so adorable) who tailor and organize the workshop. It feels a bit like a Role Playing Game's Bestiarium, since they talk about each dæmon's too. It's a wonderful introduction of all the characters in the book, within 5 pages, all the information that's needed to complete the comic. The plot is a joy, personally an improvement to the original work, though this is with help to the author and his contemporary writing.

Professor Steeping, Gom, and Tea Steeping all trading gifts and warm thoughts.

Speaking of contemporary skills, from the character designs to the inking, adept talent was spread through out this short story. I loved Wisk's design and the warmth I felt from Santa, even though he's a drawing, it felt like the man was beaming with positivity. Also the dæmons' human forms to trick Santa into their specific trait was wonderfully executed. Subtle uses of weight within the hair and clothes, also the wonderful expression of negative space and pacing was excellently projected. The expression of emotion and visual emotion is amazing, poses and panel use was superb and immersive.

My favorite part is the classic L. Frank Baum, where someone gets their head lobed off and it's reconnected later. I love that about his stories, it's interesting that weapons aren't deathly, though they're still dangerous. One of my favorite missing head moments of L. Frank Baum is The Magical Monarch of Mo, that mischievous purple dragon and his appetite for kings' crowns. Don't worry the King is fine, though it's just annoying more then the end for him (and I think a few other characters in that story). Anyhow, Alex Robinson is an alumni of the School of Visual Arts and has made a wonderfully illustrated tale of the Flying Postman and his airborne platoon. If you're like me and love heavy use of ink and full detailed shorts then you're in for a treat of a visual tale.

I trust you enjoyed the inspection, thank you for reading.
Support the creator, check out the links and read the short.
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Keep well and Stay well.

shorts SHORT Review: Manga Claus, The Blade of Kringle

Manga Claus: The Blade of Kringle
Written by Nathaniel Marunas
Illustrations by Erik Craddock
Razorbill (I'm really not sure who they are, but it's a word in the description page)
Published by Penguin Group - Penguin Young Readers Group

Welcome to another shorts SHORT Review, let's keep in the Winter Theme and venture further into the weird world of Santa Claus, this time we're joined with a Samurai Santa, well another Samurai Santa. I guess this would be more of a Ronin Jolly Red Man, House of the Flying Postman? Mostly this is the type of story that makes me happy by title alone, but the interior art creates a different joy. Since the style reminds me of PvP (Player verse Player) by Scott Kurtz or his action RPG webcomic Table Titans. Though this is where things go wrong, it plays more with drama, then the comedic, the writing has the full intent of a horror movie, but the art of that for a jape on the genre.

With title in mind and the cover as the introduction of the short, I'm excited, though I noticed a few problems. Not for a lack of trying I looked to see if there was a designer, though couldn't find a name. I found three colorist Erik Craddock (the Illustrator), Marion Vitus (the Letterer), and John Green, though other then legal mumbo jumbo no one designed this book. Unless it was Illustrated and designed by Erik Craddock, but why wasn't he credited? I mean, it's not like he wasn't credited when doing other jobs in the comic, it just feels weird that a book has no editor or designer apart of the novel. I enjoy the creative design of the covers and the page layouts, I hope that the person who was in-charge of this portion of the book knows they did a great job of creating curiosity and a strong idea of what to expect within it's pages and how it's format helps the story it's self.

Tea Steeping ready with her sword for the coming battle, or just a chance to flaunt.

If you excuse the pandering and misuse of Manga and Japanese Culture, this is really a great comic and a well paced/designed story. I will burn it at the stake for being not at all "Manga" and not even trying to be "Manga", but I will stand by it being an amazing B-Movie plot and wonderful illustrations by a skilled cartoonist. For the most part it is giving the reader a taste of things that are Japanese culture and historical figures, though at the same time it's just pushing the idea of stereotypes and whitewashing culture.

Gom showing off the battle stick Tea made him, reindeer wasn't excited about making it though.

This was a fun plot, it's your basic Cheesy B-Movie plot for instance Chucky or Gingerdead Man or Sorcerer's Apprentice (either the poem by Goethe or from the Disney movie Fantasia), though there's things that bother me. Here's the few things that I felt could have been explored better. We see Santa getting a gift from his master, but nothing beyond that, just a hand off of important swords that show tradition and respect between master and student, then nothing, no reason beyond, though in the story it means everything to Santa.

Greatest part of this whole book is from page 66 till page 72, I would wallpaper my body with these pages, with ink or actual paper and glue.

Another was the origin of the "evil" elf's magic, it seemed immoral in nature, though Santa was totally okay with it in his workshop, though implores no magic user other then that one elf. Lastly, the Elf wants the nutcracker to be a ninja, just commands it to be so, since he knew the word. Howard Beckerman, a respectable man in the animation business, my instructor of many animation courses while attending the school of Visual Arts, and the man that's literally wrote the book on Animation History, told me (I'm horrible at quoting, so I'm gonna paraphrase) "Don't have magic solve your story, if there's a problem, good, solve it, don't just have it wished away." which is a point I'd want to make here. Since magic seems to have been a way to make the problem appear without a reason. Like the elf could have asked for any fighter, that would make the story even more interesting, it could have been the spirit of the rival of Santa's Master that then called an army to fight along side him while trying to kill the apprentice, Santa Claus.

Anyhow beyond this I had a great time with the designs and the over all talented individuals that took part in creating this wonderful piece. It was a fun time and masterful in expression and color design. I've said in another review that Warrior Santa Claus is my favorite, so this was an instant hit with me, though with it's bad movie premise and creative artistic style I found a charm to the comic that made it's rough superficial beginnings desirable for future creations.

I trust you enjoyed the inspection, thank you for reading.
Support the creator, check out the links and read the short.
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Keep well and Stay well.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

shorts SHORT Review: Super Santa, Episode 04 - Vegetation

Super Santa
Episode 04 - Vegetation

Created by Mike Bell
Directed by Mike Bell
Written by Mike Bell
Santa was voiced by Mike Bell

Originally aired on Oh Yeah! Cartoons
Series created by Fred Seibert
Production Companies:
Nationally Distributed by Paramount Domestic Television
Internationally Distributed by Nelvana Limited

Our stout Santa has his last ride in this finale to the spectacular Super Santa shorts series, though this was not the intended last episode. Originally there was one last pitched and approved episode to Super Santa's adventures, titled appropriately The End. As mentioned in Episode 01: Jingle Bell Justice's review Oh Yeah! Cartoons had five unaired episodes, though I've found credits, it's either never aired or never created. It's hard to say with most television series how many have those "lost episodes" or pitches that didn't quite make it. I'd love to see the true last short of Super Santa, even in animatic form, but for the time being we'll see the last crusade of Father Christmas.

This is the last episode that the backgrounds will be designed by Miles Thompson. The theme music is completely gone, there's no Christmas music, instead it's replaced with something that one would think of when thoughts from the 1940's and Brazil's Carnival come to mind. Straight into the short we come to Santa's workshop, his mail box filled impossibly full, he's busy checking his list, once again. This perspective of the scene versus the perspective of the character, it's interesting, since it expands the room, though makes it feel less needed in the episode. Mrs. Claus comes in the room, Emma tells Santa that all the veggies in the world are gone. Not really sure how they'd know that, though it's making the people of the world unset, though it doesn't really seem like a problem that should be Santa centered.

Then an alarm goes off in the workshop and the narrator tells the Claus' what's happening instead of seeing what happened. This is something everyone in animation has done before, though when it's a show that has many drafts, it's hard for a mistake like this to slip through, I guess that knowledge of the show being canceled allowed a few mistakes into the series. It's the first time that the Claus' have encountered something other than people or magical toys or Christmas themed antagonist, it's interesting that there's not much dialogue for this short, though the action doesn't keep the interest of the episode, this really feels like the weakest of the four.

Professor Steeping and Gom watch on as Master Reindeer Champion Tea Steeping takes out the fearsome E.G.G.N.O.G. of Cnidaria, an annual evil group that only attacks during the winter holiday season.

Moving on, we come to the Island of genetically altered veggies and fruits, as the villain tells his story and rallies the troops, it's a block of text and a lot of static shots. That's right the villain's army is giant chemically altered fruits and veggies. It's a bit interesting, though there could have been many more holiday choices or enemies that could have taken his place. This feels more like a throw away character, something just to meet a deadline. The whole plan is to steal fruits and veggies from all over the world, instead of growing it themselves on the uninhabited island. Billy West, the potato, fires a missile at Santa, who takes the sucker head on, protecting his reindeer. Santa and Emma then surrender and are taken to the main villain, he backstories giving more plot, though it's not much and it doesn't make sense why he wants to rule the world.

The best fight scene in all of the episode takes place, Santa and Emma tossing this salad of evil plants. Then the Claus' do something that doesn't make sense, they allow the bad guy to win, capturing Santa and allowing Emma to escape, since they figured out how to stop the growth formula off screen. By spraying the produce army with gas that makes all the fruit and veggies adorable and small, though they return all of the plants from once they came, it makes me wonder if they were still sentient plants.

 Above is all that needs to be said about this, it was a called in episode. It had the passion of making ramen noodles, though wonderful animation, the story felt like it would be found in a Nick Jr. pilot. I apriciapte that they loved the character enough to produce more cartoons, but this wasn't the way I wanted to see this hero go. I only hope next time I see a truly fun Santa that's lampooning spies and 1970 superhero cartoons it will end with better taste.

I trust you enjoyed the inspection, thank you for reading.
Support the creator, check out the links and watch the short.
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Keep well and Stay well.

shorts SHORT Review: Super Santa, Episode 03 - Naughty

Super Santa
Episode 03 - Naughty

Created by Mike Bell
Directed by Mike Bell
Written by Mike Bell
Santa was voiced by Mike Bell

Originally aired on Oh Yeah! Cartoons
Series created by Fred Seibert
Production Companies:
Nationally Distributed by Paramount Domestic Television
Internationally Distributed by Nelvana Limited

This might be the most suggestive title for the four shorts, though at the same time this is the first thought I think of when someone hints to the Jolly Red Man. By title alone it sounds like the cat suit that Mrs. Claus is now appropriate for this short, since Emma would be Santa's Catwoman to his Batman. Though I feel that a lot of the choices for her design and actor is because of the Avengers film and series. Not many know about the Avengers, oh I'm not talking about Steven and his friendly followers, I'm talking about the UK series of two spies a man with a bowler and umbrella with his conspirator a beautiful high kicking woman in a leather clade outfit. Again this Santa is more like a Dwarf from D&D or Middle-Earth, an adventurer in body and soul.

In the next two episodes Miles Thompson will be designing the backgrounds, he does a great job at designing the mansion and the various locations of the world. The theme music has changed to something more gritty, less of it's holiday cheer, more like a tune from the many Batman movies. The song is currently Jolly Old Saint Nicholas, a wonderful tune, though with it's dramatic take it makes me wonder about the content of this short.

We join Santa's workshop, seeing all the elves are colored green it makes me worry about the state of affairs for Santa's little workers. Santa seems fine, checking his list, keeping his mind occupied. The Children of the world seem to be misbehaving, Santa is feeling all the naughty children… again it's weird to hear this, though again it's usually applied to Santa when people are talking about misbehaving kids. Mrs. Claus comes to Santa's aid as he falls to the ground in pain. Emma asks him if he's picking up anything that could be making the world become more hateful and naughty. This is weird, since Santa would only be able to know what the naughty and nice children are doing, not adults or animals or minerals or vegetables (He's not a modern Major-General). There's an overpowering Naughty nature in the world and this isn't sitting well in Santa's lap.

Our Heroes pose once more, Gom taking center stage in his Avenging Elf outfit
Tea Steeping in her Master Reindeer Champion onesie and her uncle Professor Steeping as Super Santa

We meet our villain for the episode, it's the Son of Ebenezer Scrooge, it's a cute nod to the famous story, though Bill Murray will be my favorite Scrooge. He's the richest person in the world (or in the episode), there hasn't been much expansion in the world of Super Santa, it's one City and the North Pole. Still I'm glad we did get to see more from the Workshop, but the scope of where all the villains are produced are outside of Santa's Workshop, still it's a short so time restraints and all. Plan is simple, though it's hard to make sense, he bought all the "Bad Chemicals" and threw "Bad Gas" on only the children, though it shows that the distribution of the gas was everywhere, like this should be a scene out of a dystopian suburb ruins, not kids in an alley being mean to a cat. And when you think about it, poisoning a City, then convincing the civilians of the world to be bad or he'll do the same to their City, would have been a better choice. Or putting the "Bad Chemical" in school food, since only the kids were the targets and some teachers would be effected.

We pop back to Santa's Coal mine where all the elves are hard at work getting coal ready instead of toys for the good little boys and girls. Santa looks a mess, it seems the Jolly Red Man wasn't ready for the horrors of the world to come, where an Earth of only the worst live and breath. Emma showing her amazing talent as the tech wizard she is, the most intelligent person on the planet, based off of the last two episodes (spoiler the fourth episode she's  better than a genetic scientist in his own field). Also for the most part their relationship is platonic, a few kisses here and there, but it seems that Santa is more interested in his work than his wife. Yes, the show is centered around action, but hugging or good natured ribbing with his spouse, his best friend in the world, the person he'd be lost without, and the show shows nothing of the two being intimate in any romantic sort.

I think I found the inspiration of the "Bad Gas" and this episode, it's a good passing joke, though a long build up.

Emma has found the cause and Santa jumps to action, ready to help the world once more. After another "Bad Gas" joke and the backstory to why the villain is attacking Santa, we're joined in a fray between a giant coal powered robot and the Claus'. Then Emma flies into battle as Santa's knocked out. She lunges into the bout, ready to take the gigantic metal Cyclops down, when she's stopped by it's hard steel skin and goo~ed to a wall. Again this doesn't help that the title of this short is Naughty. Her struggle arouses Santa and he attacks the giant coal powered robot. The inner workings of the machine are two butlers, who come to their senses and stop Scrooge, also they quit. With all the "Bad Gas" gone, life went back to normal, it seems that money doesn't have the same effect in this world, since Scrooge is in jail, though this is a world where Santa exists and maybe magic. We end with Santa going over his list as the world drifts off into the hopeful starry sky.

This is their peak, this is the top of the mountain, this is where everything starts to crumble and show that this was the best idea in the series, though not the best execution. Again a lot of this is based on time, each short has an allotted amount of time for them to tell a story within. Still I felt that somethings could have been cut or changed to make the episode more full. In short, this is the marker that shows how this could have been a series, or annual special, but they were fishing for plots at this point. If you liked the first two episodes, then I'd suggest you keep following to this point, it would totally be worth the trip deeper into the Super Santa Lore.

I trust you enjoyed the inspection, thank you for reading.
Support the creator, check out the links and watch the short.
If you want to stay up to date on my reviews, subscribe to this page.
Keep well and Stay well.

shorts SHORT Review: Super Santa, Episode 02 - South Pole Joe

Super Santa
Episode 02 - South Pole Joe

Created by Mike Bell
Directed by Mike Bell
Written by Mike Bell
Santa was voiced by Mike Bell

Originally aired on Oh Yeah! Cartoons
Series created by Fred Seibert
Production Companies:
Nationally Distributed by Paramount Domestic Television
Internationally Distributed by Nelvana Limited

Great thing about an anthology series is the desire to keep producing popular material. Thous they make more and more from creators that got a good amount of ratings and/or great pitches for another episode. Honestly you have a good idea and can produce what they need, then you have half of everything right there. After that it's all about presentation and if it's in the budget, also the people that approve. I'm always glad to see a good and fun idea growing and continuing, so Super Santa made his return!

For the next three shorts the backgrounds will all be designed by Miles Thompson, who does an amazing job from going extremely detailed to simplified. One thing I didn't mention in the last review is the theme song, it's a beautiful splash into the weird world of Batman from the 1966 TV series. Fast paced and fun, something about the Nutcracker Suite in this trumpet march that really makes me happy. Anyhow, a giant gingerbread man starts destroying the City, the gingerbread man becomes frustrated by the appearance of Santa and Mrs. Claus that he hurls the bus in hand full of children at the sleigh of eight reindeer.

Tea Steeping gets too into character, while the others enjoy a needed rest and treat.

Santa evades the bus, though the children in the public transit vehicle start falling to Earth, Santa uses his amazing powers to fall straight into a chimney, after jumping out of his sleigh and the sky. Running to the destined decent location of the bus to stop the crying civilians before a calamity continues. Then Emma (Mrs. Claus) suggests the milk truck to take on the criminal cookie crumbling the City. The Claus' start blasting the milk at the monster baked good as it screams in horror and melts away into "ginger bread pudding" (it's poop, it's shaped like poop, it's brown like poop, though it was a gingerbread man so it's poop with frosting), then all the kids on the bus eat the pudding, just really cover themselves in it… Then we see our titular villain, South Pole Joe, at the South Pole complaining about Santa Claus, it seems that South Pole Joe wants to be loved and wants to be the Hero of another holiday. We go through a comparison between South Pole Joe and Santa Claus. How one has the tools and know how and the other just has the passion or the envy of a mad man trying to win the love and hearts of the world. His idea is in the right place, making life better for the people of the Earth, though his excision it's stellar.

There's a penguin milking joke.
(I'm just going to let that settle in)

He wants to take on Valentine's Day as his crusade in the joy of humanity. On his travel from the South Pole to -- City and misses his marked Day. Joe pulls into City on February 15th a day short of Valentine's day and tries to give joy to frustrated tax crunching civilians. All his gifts seem to put a bad taste in the civilians collective mouths, then Joe starts to attack the City in frustration of not being as good as Super Santa.

Emma and Santa put down their taxes and head South to take on the problem of South Pole Joe. After a quick fight between Santa and Joe they realize that the civilians can't get their individual taxes mailed since the fight is at the City's only mail box. Like no one thought about just going to the post office or emailing the IRS. Though it's the 90's so this wasn't really something that happened yet, email was still a thing that wasn't used beyond private connections, also wasn't readily available except if you had dial up, the mail was a lot faster. Anyhow, they stop their fight and the Claus' finish their taxes as Joe grabs the City's mail and delivers it to the mail box before the postman arrives (who never collects the mail in scene). Saving tax day… even though he was part of the problem to start with…
Ending the show with our villain being stopped, though winning the tolerance of the City, then South Pole Joe finds out through Shadowy Government suit wearing men that he has never paid his taxes and was promptly arrested (even though he lives in a part of the world that's a literal desert and off the continent that he's supposed to be paying taxes on, since this is the first time standing on their soil).

Surprisingly there are less mistakes in this short, a feat that doesn't happen often with shorts. Still a lot of problems within the short, but that's only the fault of the mundane problem that is resolved as fast as it is aggressive. This is my favorite in the Life and Times of the Super Santa shorts, a task that shows his humanity and love for all. If you're the type of person that wants a little less action and more about retrospective thinking, then this is the treat for you.

I trust you enjoyed the inspection, thank you for reading.
Support the creator, check out the links and watch the short.
If you want to stay up to date on my reviews, subscribe to this page.
Keep well and Stay well.

shorts SHORT Review: Super Santa, Episode 01 - Jingle Bell Justice

Super Santa
Episode 01 - Jingle Bell Justice

Created by Mike Bell
Directed by Mike Bell
Written by Mike Bell
Santa was voiced by Mike Bell

Originally aired on Oh Yeah! Cartoons
Series created by Fred Seibert
Production Companies:
Nationally Distributed by Paramount Domestic Television
Internationally Distributed by Nelvana Limited

In the 90's they were trying to get the lightning that Hanna Barbara caught in a bottle, there was a series on every channel that was looking for the next big cartoon. Animation and Anthology really do go well, hand-in-hand with art and making cartoon series. One of those series Oh Yeah! Cartoons, filled with various shorts, found a ton of cartoons that made up a lot of my childhood and a lot of many others who share my love and passion for cartoons. Something I enjoyed the most was tuning in (yes, I'm that old) and hoping to see a returning short that was interesting or an amazing concept once again, hoping that it made the cut in the eyes of the producers of the show. About 4 shows seemed to please them (My Life As a Teenage Robot, Mina and the Count, Fairly OddParents, and ChalkZone), but also Super Santa, a Christmas themed hero and his wonderful wife.

In Honor of Super Santa Professor Steeping takes the titular mantle
Gom is his avenging Elf, and his Niece Tea Steeping as the Master Reindeer Champion.

Designs for all the backgrounds are flat, I like how it's a separate plane from the characters. The angle doesn't reflect the plane that they're standing on, though that's something I love from a lot of UPA (United Productions of America) cartoons. Background Designs were by Tom McGrath, this was the only Super Santa cartoon he worked on from backgrounds. The character designs aren't too interesting though the fun part is what the characters can do rather than their superficial exterior. Plot is neat, Toys are coming to life and commit crime, it's great to see all the dolls impossibly attacking the City. Somehow the police were helpless, as were the national guard, it seems all the toys have super strength while attacking everyone and stealing everything.

Santa Senses are tingling!

The one thing I enjoy the most is the narrator, it's an amazing idea and my favorite parody used in a lot of Superhero lampoons. Their introduction of the sleigh, this majestic vehicle, and the Claus' is with a Superman parody "Look, up in the Sky, it's…" then the City's people start naming all the reindeer. It's cute and takes the show back to the older superhero cartoons where a hero was announced rather then surprising the villain. Emma is the tech expert in this show, also English, not the first time for there to be an English Claus, Arthur Christmas being of note. Tom Kenny does an amazing job, playing most of the characters, as a side note.

The Reveal of the villain is expected that it's a toy doing bad and forcing other toys to do bad, by… shooting it with a "bad laser", I'm never a fan of "Item X" does a thing that couldn't plausibly do desired effect. Anyhow, the bad bunny, Benny beefs-up, whipping off a curtain to a robot body, a tall exosuit that dwarfs the stout Santa. Bad Benny blares bogus blaster at Santa, tearing his shirt, which shows the Doc Savage like physique of Father Christmas. The Battle ensues, both stronger than the other thought, Benny's henchmen are stronger than Santa anticipated. Though Emma stops the toy ray, making all the toys bad, and now conciliatory allowing the Flying Postman to bear-hug the bad bunny till Mrs. Claus pops back into the picture to help out. Mind you this was from across town now she's here, she booted off a bear's head, then went straight to the warehouse without the sleigh in seconds. Anyhow, Benny the Bunny escapes, though Santa snuck a gift that blows up the escape pod over a jail, where a large inmate thanks Santa for the cute Bunny, in his best Lenny voice. Oh, Of Mice and Men, you'll always have a place in culture, even during a romp in the odd life and times of Santa Claus.

Super Santa is the equivalent of what this month is all about. The Strange and bizarre life of Father Christmas saving the day for all the good boys and girls, though in the process giving the gift of world peace. It's a great shorts that has problems, though have a fun way around them in each episode. If you like odd little adventures of the Jolly Red Man, then this is a moving image you'll want to see.

I trust you enjoyed the inspection, thank you for reading.
Support the creator, check out the links and watch the short.
If you want to stay up to date on my reviews, subscribe to this page.
Keep well and Stay well.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

shorts SHORT Rreview: Samurai Santa

Samurai Santa: A very Ninja Christmas
Illustrated and Written by Rubin Pingk
Jacket design by Chloë Foglia
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Welcome to the shorts SHORT Review for the month of December, during this time I like to think about Santa Claus and all that he does for us. Mind you it varies from person to person and plot to plot, though in the short and long he give us hope and magic, but he wants family and peace. In this month we'll be looking at the different types of the Jolly Postman and his Flying Saucer, so get ready to feel the different life and times of Father Christmas.

This is my favorite type of Santa, the Warrior Santa, the brute, the big bad jolly man handing out presents and fists. For some reason I enjoy this version of Santa Claus the most and if there's one thing in my heart of hearts it's Santa leading an army of his own design into a fray, sword pointing toward the threat and blood boiling in his veins. The only peace on Earth will be those that rest in it, under six feet of soil or snow, yeah, it's a dark Santa, but a lovely tale.

Gom and Tea Steeping have a bout in the snow
Who will win? Snow or Sword!

Similar to this dream the plot talks about a desire for an epic snowball fight between young Shinobi and Samurai Santa. It's an interesting choice for Santa, since the natural enemy (and for the most part the martial training of a ninja is to kill) of the Ninja is the Samurai. Though this is a story about peace and they all seem like a more modern group of children, since they all know that Santa exists and want to be good. I've never known a snowball fight to not get rowdy, though with the proper objective and supervision the event could be a very fun way to pass the time, so I understand why Yukio (our protagonist/antagonist) would want to have an amazing winter celebration with friends in the snow.

Gom and Tea Steeping enjoy a nice snowball fight with a favorite treat of the group.

The level of detail that was put into this Children's Illustrated Novel was very well researched and taken into account for this book. It not only allows the reader to see what Shinobi would do to blend well into their surroundings (Yukio, and his white outfit), but it also gave the feeling that this was a place that not many traveled. The use of negative space really put the perspective of the World, that ninja are secret from the world, they are hidden from sight and will finish their target no matter what, if not for just the release of leaving their home. Also that there is fields of snow, all ready for packing into that perfect snowball and hurling it (playfully) at friends. Everything feel so cut from fabric, though soft and rounds, it's a great touch to the mood and characters.

Best thing about Samurai Santa was the plot didn't feel out of place, it felt like there wasn't any talking down, that Yukio was a capable ninja and able to stop a grown man and give his friends an amazing snow battle to remember. Though we find out that Yukio didn't want to take from his friends, but have them play and enjoy life, lucky for him Santa agreed. Everything about this screams fun and takes on elements of Japanese Culture, like Santa's red War paint (since it reminds me of Kabuki or a Tengu mask or Oni designs to scare soldiers in battle), the house's alarm gong (which seemed to be influenced from theater and less on ninja history, though I wouldn't put it past them to just some sort of alarm system simular), and the Shinai (bamboo sword). This is a great book to get one into the spirit of family and into the odd antics of Santa Claus. If you're a person that wants to teach a bit of culture (in a broad form) to children and have said kids want to have good wishes come true to their loved ones, then take a look at this wonderful Children's Illustrated Novel, if not for that then for the amazing artistic talent that put it all together.

I trust you enjoyed the inspection, thank you for reading.
Support the creator, check out the links and read the book.
If you want to stay up to date on my reviews, subscribe to this page.
Keep well and Stay well.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Arthur Christmas

Hello, hello, hello or better yet, Ho, Ho, Ho, that's the right spirit of things. This is not about religion, just gonna set that in stone, but about a fictitious character and his adventures as an icon. Some might not like the idea of Christmas, though I love mythology and bringing people together, also B-Movies. So with December being Christmas heavy and full of tongue in cheek Santas, let's dive into the wonderful hokey world of Father Christmas.

The initial response to the cover/poster of the film is interest. Everything is set up and shows completely what's going to happen in the film without much going on, since it's a static image. It's a Family of Santa Claus, seems that one of them and a child are trying to get Christmas back into the Christmas that we once knew, hope and magic. Cute concept though that's something that's been done to death, still there's new features being produced to make them. Personally I like them, though mostly as TV specials, but features like this are rare so it's a joy to see a Santa Movie that's about family and the odd inner workings of the North Pole. The Part I like the most about this is it doesn't seem like a pandering film, like a movie that's trying to be something that it isn't, it's a feature that's trying to show the world that this character can be fun and maybe a little less about the religion and more about the magic and adventure, it's more about the selfless being.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Shorts SHORT Review: Get A Job

Get A Job

Brad Caslor
Directed, Animated, Produced, Written, Backgrounds
Jay Brazeau
Music and Written 
Al Simmons
Bob Dog
National Film Board (NFB)
Produced and Distributed

This Canadian short was made in 1985, it's relevant to a lot of the post-college crowd, though this was made more than 30 years ago. It's interesting how the mind of an artist perceives life and the experience of being one within a system that doesn't hirer those with the skills to do said job. Like the short shows the main character, Bob Dog, is an anthropomorphic dog that wants to work. A lot of the places in his City have signs for said employment, but don't take him up on the offer that he'll be loyal and trained to preform that action within the best of his abilities. With a montage of the most beautiful, fluid, and bouncy animation Bob Dog heads back home to try a new plan for getting a job. Resume in hand, and dressing the part, he's hitting the pavement with a new attitude toward finding a paycheck at the end of the rainbow/triathlon of interviews.

Tea asks her Uncle Professor Steeping for his advice on her resume.

That's the one side of the mini-movie I like, its dark tone, it shows him within a nightmare world. A place of empty slots to fill, but he's not the coin for the trick. It's a surreal thing, though the music lightens the mood of the over all fraction feature. While still keeping the pace of the horrors of how getting a job can feel like, or at the very least how the interview portion can take a toll on one's self-esteem. Though just wanting to find work isn't enough, but having positivity and preservation is helpful to finding any job.

The style of the short reminds me of Bob Clampett and Milton Knight, here and there I can see a lot of Ralph Bakshi in the mix. With such amazing influences and contemporary inspirations the film took seven years to complete. The song that inspired the film and the title was Get a Job by the Silhouettes (1956), which inspired a lot of other doo-wop singers and groups. Get A Job, the animation, received Best Animated Short at the 8th Genie Awards, Canadian Screen Awards (Les prix Écrans canadiens) for Television & Film.

Gom getting into TV a little too much, take a step away from the set little automaton.

In short, this was a stunning animation and a wonderful musical festival to celebrate the turmoil and challenges of getting employment. The designs and acting were spot on or over the top giving the fraction feature a dream quality, a stress dream, but still something that we've all had once or twice in a life time. Well worth the ten minutes and change to see this, especially if you need a little encouragement to get a job.

I trust you enjoyed the inspection, thank you for reading.
Support the creator, check out and watch the short.
If you want to stay up to date on my reviews, subscribe to this page.
Keep well and Stay well.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Astro Boy: Film VS Cartoon

At the beginning of this month was the birth of the greatest man to Animation and Manga, Osamu Tezuka. With celebration of this amazing individual we'll take a look at his creation the Mighty Atom or better known in America Astro Boy. As any great artist and proud father of their work he's taken parodies and had his creations interpreted by others in different ways. Imagi Animation Studios has taken on productions with established fans and continuity before like the TMNT movie. Though the difference between Astro Boy and TMNT is the obvious starting point for each film. TMNT went from where the director and writer thought the natural direction of the series would go from the point that they had interest, the character's all established from other media and the original plot not too out of place for the world that the Turtles are accustom to live within. Then there's Astro Boy, the production company has my attention, since I really like the character and the lore and I'm interested in seeing from what point they'll be introducing the character. To my disappointment it's from the beginning, I'm not a fan of origin stories, though there has been exceptions to the rule, this was not one of them. Though the original cartoon series did an origin story too, following the manga, the main difference was their focus wasn't on the creation of the character, but the creation of the hero. I'll break into this further, in a different article, for now we're going on a comparison journey through Astro Boy; past and present.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Interview with Frank Gibson for Muscle Temple

Salutations kith and welcome Mister Frank Gibson! I am Mr. Forte, as you know your host for the event presented before you. It's always a pleasure to have fellow wanderers of the weird world of wresting and writing. As any writer you know the rules for these bouts of the mind as we wrestle our thoughts and settle this skirmish and consultation. Though before we draw our verbal sabers and draw lines in the sand, let's reveal some ghosts of the past.

You might know Mr. Gibson and his Fiancée Ms. Becky Dreistadt from their Webcomic Tiny Kitten Teeth as I did when I followed their adventures straight to MoCCA (Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art), where we all met for the first time. This was back when they were traveling from New Zealand to the States, it was an impressive journey for a small press convention. From this point on both members of this team have been a welcomed and friendly face for all conventions. Though you might know their work best from the comic and cartoon Bee & PuppyCat from Cartoon Hangover. Today we'll be talking about our passion for wrestling, wrestlers, and the anthology comic that's being printed titled Muscle Temple. Before we truly start I want to give a statement, thank you. Thank you for having this conversation with me today and for creating amazing forms of art through words and speech. I'm indebted to your stimulation of art, comics, and animation, again thank you for this interview.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Interview: Meredith Nolan

Hey, Hello kith and welcome Ms. Nolan, Meredith Nolan! As always I am Mr. Forte your host for these interviews and there was totally no form of dark magic nor corrupt science used to persuade you to this location to talk about your career and details of your life. Most would know you from your two award winning animations, though you also have a webcomic that's currently being updated as we speak. We knew each other way back in our first year at SVA, back when crying wasn't in baseball, though there was plenty in animation.

A theme that seems to pop into both our work is the noir, mystery stories about protagonists taking on personal complications. Pulp heroes diving into the world with only a guiding thought and a direction to follow, in a way it reflects the path that all artists take. Though our conversations through the years have diverged and followed the absurd on many occasions as well as dour. Walking with the undead has to be a high point in my life, I'm glad you joined me within this yearly journey through the City. Before we initiate the interrogation, conference, dialogue, yeah, dialogue, I'd like to thank you for your support and agreeing to this interview. It means a lot to me that you gave your time and the readers your words to treasure and inspire, your support is invaluable, again thank you.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Tales From Halloweentown: The Witch's Amulet

Hello and welcome to Eldritch October, this is the end of the Month, though through this time we've been reviewing media with a spooky theme. Films, comics, and books alike featuring eerie tales. This year I've chosen the Disney TV movie series Halloweentown, but with all the movies reviewed there was one piece of work that's left, rare, and an equal to it's visual contributors. That's right, a book will be the final review for this Eldritch time of the year. Keep your wits about you, as we creep closer to All Hallow Even.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Return to Halloweentown

Hello and welcome to Eldritch October, all this Month will be media with a spooky theme. Films, comics, and books alike featuring eerie tales. This year I've chosen the Disney TV movie series Halloweentown, where we'll be reviewing each film. That's right, a feature a week for this Eldritch time of the year. Keep your wits about you, as we creep closer to All Hallow Even.

First off, the Starring role of the Oldest Daughter (Kimberly J. Brown) will be played by a new actress (Sara Paxton), so I'll be giving her the name Pari X. Though with this ridiculous name (that I spend more time then I should've on making it) the actress was very good and felt natural in the "teen written by people who haven't been teens for a decade or two". I always find that interesting, how many people it takes to write a teen character for TV, though a lot of Young Adult writers work alone and get it right and convincing.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Halloweentown High

Hello and welcome to Eldritch Month, all of October will be media with a spooky theme. Films and comics and books alike featuring eerie tales. This year I've chosen the Disney TV movie series Halloweentown, where we'll be reviewing each film. That's right, a feature a week for this Eldritch time of the year. Keep your wits about you, as we creep closer to All Hallow Even.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Halloweentown 2: Kalabar's Revenge

Hello and welcome to the Eldritch Month, all of October will be media with a spooky theme. Films and Comics and Books alike featuring eerie tales. This year I've chosen the Disney TV movie series Halloweentown, where we'll be reviewing each film. That's right a feature a week for this Eldritch time of the year. Keep your wits about you as we creep closer to All Hallow Even.

Thursday, October 1, 2015


Hello and welcome to the Eldritch Month, all of October will be media with a spooky theme. Films and comics and book alike featuring eerie tales. This year I've chosen the Disney TV movie series Halloweentown, where we'll be reviewing each film. That's right a feature a week for this Eldritch time of the year. Keep your wits about you as we creepy closer to All Hallow Even.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Shorts SHORT Review: Pug Davis

Pug Davis
by Rebecca Sugar
Published by Albatross Exploding Funny Books

Welcome to the shorts SHORT Review, today we'll be talking about Pug Davis.
This was an original webcomic made by the ever talented Rebecca Sugar. A Space Opera and Galactic Adventure of two wondering souls, two men from Earth that found more peace in a rocket hurled through space then living on the Third Rock from the Sun. Though I'm getting ahead of myself, and behind, since I only read the webcomic when it was still active. Since the story is something you have to read for yourself, hold it and look at the beautifully designed work. One thing I haven't done was get the volume when I could, but if I could go back in time I know that I would have got a whole mess of comics from the past (RPG World… it was in my hands). Anyhow, let's get away from lamenting of the past and focus on the galaxy escapades of these men searching around the Universe for… reasons.

It's either my mind is a bit fuzzy or it was never truly said why they were flying around other than the assumption of finding Earth. Pug has every reason since the intergalactic travel would mean the Earth would be older and maybe more scientific, which would cure his canine appearance. Though the relationship of Blouse and Pug show that there are more reasons to travel the stars than stay in one spot. If you know Ms. Sugar's work, you'd know that she's a craftsmen of emotion, that she could get you to break down and cry or have you care about the living arrangement of a mayo sandwich eating being. This again is one of those times that I turned on a character that I didn't care about then wanted to know more. Blouse became more than a weak positive seeking character and as a reader we found out more on his past, his reasons to leave home and advance into the unknown. By the end of the series I learned about a strong man that I thought had no depth, and wanted with my heart another volume.

Now I just read the webcomic version, I know there was a published edition of the comic collected and a cover drawn by the amazing Eric Powell. (Here's a link to the cover and if you thumb through the photos you might see some of the pages from the book too.)

Honestly this webcomic, from start to finish felt like it was walking to running. It was really fun to see what was on the next page, I'm not saying that the writing and the art were weak, it was just the opposite. Every page was interesting and had a different way of seeing the characters in artistic forms and in different adventures. While wandering around the characters and the world, it feels that Ms. Sugar was creating everything from nothing, everything from organic space, and for the most part figured out what made a great story.

Professor Steeping, his niece Tea Steeping, and Gom his robotic protégé
pose for their space adventure, ever ready for action and excitement.

The plot is simple and complexed, let me explain, in the beginning of the series it was doodles, ideas, thoughts about ray guns and planets. Pug Davis is the idea of Flash Gordon or bits of John Carter and a little Lobo in theme and homage, it was a perfect modernization of the Space Adventure. Since it was less focused on the crusade and more on the adventurers, like the weird things were expected by both the reader and characters.

Now everything I'm talking about is from nostalgia (start that nostalgic engine on those evocative goggles), I hope to one day grab a volume in physical form, though that's the hardest part about this series. Trying to find something from the past, like Ian Jones-Quartey's comic RPG Wold, I've had a lot of comics that are rare to find today within my hands or feet away from me. So with his webcomic and her webcomic I've only been able to see them digitally and not in a form that settles in hand. Though I've held both volumes once in my life, but was in a position unable to purchase.

In short if this is your type of genre or the creator is someone that you've seen to find excitement over their work, you're totally going to enjoy this comic. I wish you luck on this hunt in the cosmos for this delightful treasure, though I'd suggest her other little macrocosm Steven Universe.

I trust you enjoyed the inspection, thank you for reading.
Support the creator, check out the TPB Comic and Show.
If you want to stay up to date on my reviews, subscribe to this page.
Keep well and Stay well.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness

Right off the bat, I'm gonna say it, I'm a Scooby-Doo fan. I have liked for years, now heading toward decades, this character and his friends, my favorite hokey series of this character has been A Pup Named Scooby-Doo. Then there was a shift in power, Scooby wasn't the character he was anymore, this shift is where I became a Shaggy fan, now I'm going towards Velma, it's a weird evolution, but this is the current state of things for the characters. The people responsible for their development are forgetting the spirit of the characters and grouping the Mystery Gang together as one being, it happens with long series, though I'm glad they keep reinventing what makes each member special, not only toward solving mysteries, but to each other. With this recent film for the series, let's see what made Scooby-Doo in Space better than the other cartoons that Hanna-Barbera shot into space or is Warner Brothers following in the footsteps of their predecessors when it comes to making an old idea new?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Shorts SHORT Review: Hulk VS Wolverine

Hulk VS: Wolverine
Directed by Frank Paur
Designs by Jeff Matsuda
Distributed by Loinsgate

Welcome to the shorts SHORT Review, today will be a treat for all, since we'll be talking about three important individuals in my favorite media type. Animated fighting between Wolverine, Deadpool, and the Hulk, this is gonna be a fun one!

Hulk Vs. was intended to be a series, though due to unknown reasons (unknown to me) the idea of a 30 minute presentations of the Hulk rampaging within the Marvel Universe was scraped. Though later they did make a TV series with She-Hulk, Red Hulk, and The Hulk… I know Rick is in the series too, but I really liked him as Captain Marvel with the gauntlets. Still just about every series that Marvel puts out with the Hulk in it, it automatically gets not only their money back, but the fans become the Hulk's own PR team. So why did this popular short film, soon to be short film series, get pulled?

Tea Steeping (niece), Professor Steeping, and Gom enjoying Canada, the Logan way.

My initial response to the idea of the Hulk fighting every bruiser in the Marvel Animated Universe was nothing, but delight. Pure energy and jubilation was my face, especially after I found out that each DVD would be filled with two episodes. Back to back, 30-minutes of Hulk fighting action! Then before the DVD even came out the other film rumors were canceled, though my mind was in a different place, since I came across the cast… DEADPOOL.

Okay, let's calm down, yes Deadpool is in the film, though let's not get too bias with this review, we need to have focus. So now you know, I like Deadpool, I'm one of the classic fans, way back when Wade didn't like to show his face. This was when his mask was what he considered his face. He was a beautiful monster, though during his ongoing series they softened him up, but that's not totally true. The character through all of his series grew to respect himself, skin and all, so by the time Daniel Way got to throw him into the mainstream and video game world, he was a well adjusted anti-hero, unlike his black comedic villainy roots.

Anyhow, we get to see a visual origin story of Wolverine, this is the best I've seen, since I'm not a fan of origin stories. They take up a lot of time if not told in an interesting way. This clip show of memories and implicated future events, is done well, the staff of this film should be over joyed and awarded for their skill in making something so tight into a Hulk story as the origin of Wolverine, and had it fit into the plot. Since the Weapon X program has been hunting the Hulk this origin progresses the villains as a group not each character. This way of getting the core emotion from the viewer is succeeded since we all know, either based on design or alliance, that the five members of the Weapon X program are bad and that Hulk has the heart of a good person, though this feels more like a "Wolverine Versus" story than a "Hulk Versus" film.

We get to see the pain that Banner has felt, that the death of the people of the town, are his responsibility and his fear of hurting those around him. It's for a moment, though it's character development that was literal seconds and showed how both forms of the same man felt. Subtle points are placed through the film, from the acting to words being dropped here and there. It was a playground for people that focus on the films, almost to the threshold of neurosis, though only to the point of finding every hidden gem within the minutes the film played.

Gom in his Omega Red Cosplay

One thing that bugs me is it felt like "Skipping Leg Day" the musical, no one has mass on their shanks and everyone has a screaming solo. Oh, and Lady Deathstrike's "enjoyment" is a bit much, though it's interesting that they made a character that gets aroused by giving others pain. And there really wasn't any payoff for that, no explanation that killing him was a personal pleasure or why she needed to be the one hand deep murdering our Canadian friend.

Animation is the main part of all of this, it's beautiful and well made. There are moments that I feel the CGI wasn't great, though the character cast/voice casting, character/background design, and pacing/storytelling outweigh the bad.

The end with the two title characters in a still frame, on the path toward each other's fist still evenly matched duking it out, is so B-Movie that it's the perfect ending. Especially for this over the top one shot short. Though this is what makes a weak ending in my opinion, since the resolution of Wolverine taking Hulk (or Banner) back to the states isn't resolved, though the Weapon X program has been destroyed and won't make anymore weapons (for this film). It's a nice grey area of no one truly wins, though there is a side that gains from the result.

All in all the casting was perfect, the designs were lovely, and the animation was a pure joy. If you love well made animated films, perfectly executed black comedy and physical humor, with characters that you've been wanting to see duke it out in a film that's "Not Rated" then you have the correct DVD in your hands. Though if you were looking for plot, well resolutions aren't totally here, but that's not to say all the strings are needed. This movie achieved it's goal of making something that's enjoyable and rewatchable, for all the good reasons and everyone of the bad.

I trust you enjoyed the inspection, thank you for reading.
Support the creators, check out the Double-Feature and the Comics.
If you want to stay up to date on my reviews, subscribe to this page.
Keep well and Stay well.

Thursday, September 3, 2015


Rest In Peace Department

My first thought about this movie was interest, I'm interested with death and the afterlife, ever since Beetlejuice and the Halloween Tree. Though as any person that's seen Men In Black (M.I.B.) will tell you R.I.P.D. shares many similarities of the 90's film. The obvious points would be the car, the hidden police motif, and the new guy with the seasoned older partner. This doesn't bother me since all of these things are expected from action films of this type of genre. It's a Buddy Cop movie with a SciFi filling, though (in both media) they glazed over the fact that this whole story is based in Christian lore. As a framing device for the story it's great since it's not heavy on preaching, which is incredibly appreciated, though it's interesting that we know there's a God in this film, but never see an Angel. Since a lot of the subject matter revolves around virtuous characters like those aspiring to be an Angel and malevolent characters that are Demons from Hell, though that's only in the comic, in the film they're corrupted souls that have escaped or made a deal to stay away from Hell at all costs. It brings up the question, is Constantine a better film than this? Since he's a questionable cop-like character in Christian lore who also fights/bargains with the Devil directly. Roll that over a little, though let's dig a bit deeper into this film and comic series.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Shorts SHORT Review: Zombie in Love

Zombie in Love
by Kelly DiPucchio and Scott Campbell

Book Design by Sonia Chaghatzbanian
Published by Atheneum Books For Young Readers
An imprint of Simon and Schuster

Welcome to the shorts SHORT Review, today we'll be talking about Zombie In Love (you can check out it's sequel here). The simplest story you could see a mile away, boy meets girl, then a quickstep to the altar. Though by the end of the book you'd want no one else in his life then the woman that found him.

In life there's a lot of radical ideas that we make up, like the abstract thought of time. Though in this Children's Illustrated Novel we join the adventures of love. That all inspiring and crushing emotion, even after death we're bound by our hearts. This is a beautiful telling of a person looking to find love in another. The best part about the main character being a Zombie is that this represents that person, their life style, their personal grooming habits, even what type of entertainment they enjoy. Majority of existence, we find people the most attractive when certain ideas mix, I'm not saying there's a "one" though in this story our main character has tried many methods and relations before she found him. Remember the plot isn't thick, our Zombie protagonist meets a Zomberella, then they get married. This is a lovely story of someone that believes there's another like them, it's literal since they're both decomposing stiffs. It would be great (in the real World) to have a literary device that would allow you to know that people in your life (romantically) would be compatible.

One of the most trivialized things about a book is the design, Children's Illustrated Novels especially. It's maybe the number one thing that I look at is the design. Designers are the ones that create the presented experience and this is what fabricates a hold on the reader from start to finish, since it will be what takes the emergence of the story and the art.

The Water-color and the design of the characters are fantastic, though water colors and Zombies, are the most cliche for contemporary books. It works so well for decay, and making situations more awkward since a corpse is making romantic advances, and creating a jouissance space that feels clammy. The character acting was well composed, which is common place for a lot of Children's Illustrated Novels, though not so fully realized in a first novel, which is a surprise to find in this book. Scott Campbell made the characters move and flow, but as an idea of motion within inaction. Though it was the background characters (extras) that stole scenes, a spectacular job of reacting to the insanity of Mortimer (our protagonist). One thing I really love are running gags, in the story the joke is an extreme closeup of the Zombie and/or the Zomberella smiling. It's such a good poke at a lot of kid's books and it gives (in a way) a homage to the Loony Tunes cartoons when needing to point out something that demanded full concentration or was incredibly grotesque.

All in all this was a wonderful story, with a more contemporary way of finding love. Since most stories rely on the characters to just happen on each other, rather than putting in effort and trying to improve or signal another's heart toward their own. In short, if you get this for the plot you will be not be challenged, though if you over think the story and enjoy the details and wonderfully water-colored pages, then you've made a fantastic addition to your collection.

I trust you enjoyed the inspection, thank you for reading.
Support the creator, check out the book.
If you want to stay up to date on my reviews, subscribe to this page.
Keep well and Stay well.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Cowboys VS Aliens

The Film was great, the Comic was horrible, that's the short and long of a lot of media translations, either one will be better than the other or both weren't good in the first place. Most of the time it's the film that does poorly compared to the written material, though there are exceptions to the rule based on the source material either being too great in length or poorly conceptualized. My first thoughts of the film by poster and trailer were excitement, even with the cover to the comic's collected volume made me interested in the tale, since Science Fiction and Westerns are two of my favorite genres.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Shorts SHORT Review: PokeMonster Hunter

PokeMonster Hunter: Mash Up featuring the Game Grumps
Presented by Polaris

Sarah MoonSmoothie-

Welcome to the shorts SHORT Review, today we'll be talking about the Polaris Mash-up Animation of PokeMon and Monster Hunter. I'm surprised that there aren't more of these gags made within the community of either franchise, though at the same time I'm thankful, since this was an enjoyable short. Over saturation or competing ideas could have ruined the punchline joke, though I do enjoy the imaginative fanart from creative artists of both collectives. To brake it down to the basics, this is a limited animation collaboration between three animators and eight voice actors. The pacing to the story was made clear and was clever even to those that don't know either series. There's not many problems with the short feature and the style choice makes the other parts of the animation stronger, even the opening parallax is wonderfully presented. The background is beautifully flat, though with the minor details of implied floral and rural life spring the effect of a multiple layered landscape. One of the most enjoyable parts of the three minute short was the final fight with Charizard. The music had elements of the PokeMon series and the battling Game Grumps felt perfectly at home with the slaughter of monsters. In short, the acting visually and vocally was well casted and directed, the design and animation choices were well executed within time limitation. This really showed a lot of passion for PokeMon, Monster Hunter, Octopimp - Blacksmith, and Game Grumps, I hope to see more from these creative individuals.

I trust you enjoyed the inspection, thank you for reading.
Support the creator, check out the links above and watch the short.
If you want to stay up to date on my reviews, subscribe to this page.
Keep well and Stay well.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Avengers: Present, Future, Past

(Editor: This was written after seeing Avengers: Age of Ultron)

The Avengers, this is an old franchise that I've enjoyed off and on with different forms of media. My main interaction was with comics, they were like how S.H.I.E.L.D. currently is, an organization that takes down what everyone else can't stop. Groups were popular in the 80's and 90's, though this could have been due to gangs and clubs being popular during these generations, everyone wanted to feel like they belonged somewhere. Personally I liked the idea of teams, DC tried to do the same thing, though a lot of the groupings felt forced, Marvel did a pretty good job. Though the Avengers were the main catalyst for most supers (in the Marvel universe) finding their hope and desire to be of use to the community, which was inspiring to fans, writers, and artists in our reality.

Justice League War: Part Two, Characters

Postscript Analytical:
I think it would just be easier to go through the characters briefly, since the majority of the plot revolves around certain characters, so I'd want to burn though the nostalgic bias and talk about problems or the admirable job they did in the film with the characters.

Justice League War: Part One, the review

Let me get this out of the way, I'm an old school fan of DC Comics, though I understand cinematic versions and updated versions (new 52) of the characters are out there and applied to modern adaptions, but their spirit should be placed into all media. What I'm saying is when my memory of the past comes into place I'll give you my nostalgia, then my understanding of the character within the film. Again most creative teams want to make their version of the characters or use their dream team or their favorite characters from their favorite creative team. This can be seen as successful with the TV series X-Men from 1992 and Teen Titans from 2003, so I can't blame them for being ambitious in trying to have lightning strike twice.

Problem Thoughts

One thing to remember about all films and books, there's a certain amount of control that most pieces of media have. In today's world creative teams only have so much power over the product that they are in-charge of, though take on all the blame for its failure or success. With most animation productions the storyboard team become the writers of the film or TV series, though approval goes through many channels, as does anything live-action. Meaning that either the outline wasn't written well for the storyboard artists to understand the points to hit, the revisionist can't make a story out of the mess, the director is professionally immature, or some last minute detail had to be shoehorned into the idea to make things fit a demographic. It's a common thing that happens with most shows, time, budget, and approval / politics get in the way of what gets presented to the masses.

For those familiar with Kevin Smith, he mentioned in "An Evening with Kevin Smith" that he was paid to write a story for a Superman film. And what person (that's been reading comics) doesn't want to be able to involve comics into their life. He wrote a script (which I'd love to read sometime) though was asked to put one specific thing into the film, a giant spider. I don't think there was a moment in any Superman comic that he fought a spider, let alone a giant spider, nor a mechanical spider. The closest thing was Spder-Man, it was a special in 1981 and again there was a whole crossover thing in the 90's, I'll get into that with a review later. I'm getting off topic, in the lecture series Kevin Smith mentions that he was commissioned to have Superman duke it out with a giant spider, well like he thought the company passed on the script. Now he left it open ended if it was or wasn't what the studio was looking for as a Superman film or if it was the giant spider. Since later that year (by the same producer [Jon Peters] that suggested the idea to him) there was a giant mechanical spider in the film "Wild Wild West".

This is the hardest part about making something in entertainment, studios / creators have an idea of what they want, so in the long and short of things it's all about the pitch. So the idea might be amazing, though the execution doesn't always match the details on paper. What all this means is we, as viewers, have to take everything with a grain of salt. I'm not saying we should look away on something that doesn't fit the world that was created, though we shouldn't throw total blame on one party member. As one of the best episodes (The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show) of "The Simpsons" series shows, characters and plots are sometimes inspired or pressured by individuals for better or worse. Fans forget the power they have over the movement of what is popular or what they want to see, more or less these pleasures are created, not always the intent that was wanted.

We need to take our ego out of what we expect and try to live within the world of the entertainment we're enjoying. It's sometimes hard, since characters can be close to us, though this is why we converse about all these different forms of media and have websites dedicated to pointing out these problems or congratulating those that made something excessively well. I hope this clears up some of my opinion points for media that tried to take on something ambitious and didn't quite succeed. Taking one's personal bias out of things sometimes help the enjoyment, though I will point out problems that should have been seen nonetheless.

In short, a lot of heart and vitality went into a lot of entertainment media, this is a review blog, but I'm not going to be crushing, just critical. There's a lot of books and movies and cartoons to just about replace every person in North America, so let's explore these multitudes of forms and probe the unknown with a positive mind.


My knowledge of Carrie before reading the book or watching the films was limited to parodies and homages. Though the posters advertising the films and peer evaluations on each media kept me wanting to learn more about the featured character. All I knew about the film was it's a horror movie and the writer was a skilled horror author, I was surprised by how skilled Stephen King was at writing a consuming tale. I grew up with more fear of scary movies than education of what makes a scary movie or story. Over the last 7 years I've become more openminded with the genre of entertainment that comes my way, this has become an amazing journey.

A Bit about Cartoon Cyborg Cinema

Hello, hello! This is Cartoon Cyborg Cinema the multiple media analytical review blog.

My name is Mister Forte and these are my anthropomorphic counter parts, Professor Steeping and his creation Gom (Vägra att Gom, is it's full name). They will be helping me look over (primarily) Feature length Animations and Animated Shorts with Books, Comics, and Live-Action Films in the mix. If you like critical eyes and spoilers of some of the best and worst of the entertainment world, then you've found your favorite editorial illustration and review blog.

So let's start exploring like the amateur detectives we are and think like the novice historians that we want to be.