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Posts Tagged ‘animation’

Here’s my latest submission to the Sketch Lottery website. Last week’s character was Cleo. Cleo was RiffRaff’s girlfriend from the animated cartoon show Heathcliff and The Catillac Cats.

CleoMWitchipooCROP

Crop of Cleo, from Heathcliff and The Catillac Cats. From Sketch Lottery.  Feb. 2016. Sketch by Michele Witchipoo.

 You check out the sketch here by clicking on the link here.

 

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Memories of a ridiculous debate.

Back in the ’90’s, I had this part-time job. It was pretty much a slacker gig, doing telephone surveys at night. Yeah, I was that person interrupting dinner with those annoying phone calls. That job was perfect cause it meant no stupid office dress code. Anyway one night it was kinda slow, and someone mentions Hanna Barbera animation.

What started out as nostalgia turned into a heated debate about who was better – Penelope Pitstop or Josie and The Pussycats.

Seriously.

I took the position of Josie and her crew against someone who thought Penelope was better solely based on her looks and sexual appeal. The person defending Penelope the most – wait for it – was a man…yeah, it gets predictable from here. The man was Australian, and to be honest, I found him kind of arrogant. Had he been American, most likely today he would’ve been a Trump supporter.

My stance regarding Penelope was “Well yeah, but why would someone want to be a victim all the time?” Penelope always found herself in helpless peril, dependent on a man to save her. Meanwhile Josie and The Pussycats a) played their own instruments, b) according to the story line, was a successful pop band c) hold their own as they traveled through space, and finally d) still looked good while doing it. I mean, who wouldn’t want that?

Nope. According to the Penelope fan, Penelope was the prettier one, and due to that, she gets the prize. I disagreed. Long story short, the guy who was so into Penelope somehow got insulted. As this debate continued, he started to get a bit angry. No matter how I counter-acted with Josie’s merits, he stood firm. His only reasoning being this; Penelope was sexier. 

When the guy’s voice raised, the supervisor had to break it up. I remained calm, but remember thinking ‘WTF?’

It’s a good thing this happened during the early ’90’s. Had this been posted online, all the seventh-wave internet feminists would’ve pounded him.

Unless you’re into bondage, I just can’t imagine siding with Penelope Pitstop.

That I believe, was my first encounter with geek sexism. You can laugh, or you can cry. It all depends on interpretation. 

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Smarter than the average bear. Here’s my rendition of Yogi Bear on Sketch Lottery.

Yogi Bear # 9 on Sketch Lottery, drawn by Michele Witchipoo. March 2015.

Yogi Bear # 9 on Sketch Lottery, drawn by Michele Witchipoo. March 2015.

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I’ve been attending the New York Comic Con every year since it’s first inception back in 2006. Since then it’s moved into a powerful second place right next to the San Diego Comic Con. Just like with SDCC, the NYCC has developed into mass marketed con going across the board with not just comics, but with film, television, toys, videogames, cosplay, fashion, etc. Pretty much anything and everything, really.

The NYCC of 2013 was no exception. One good thing the NYCC did was to make the artist alley section bigger, locating that part to the other side of the Jacob Javits Center. Smart move. Back when I had exhibited in 2010, artist alley and the rest of the con was all on one floor, just separated by sections. Making it hard for fans to locate artists, get sketches, etc. While some indie comicbook publishers, organizations and artists can still be found on the main floor, the artist alley department can be easily reached now. So thanks to NYCC for making the smart move in 2012. The result has made artist alley a lot more calmer and successful.

I’ll get back to Artist Alley 2013 in another post.

The NYCC 2013 overall seemed to focus on media, like with television. Luckily one of my current favorite shows is Bob Burgers, and some of the key players associated with Bob’s Burgers was having a panel.

A fan waiting to ask a question at the Bob's Burgers panel at NYCC 2013. Many were dressed like the characters Louise and Tina. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Oct. 2013.

A fan waiting to ask a question at the Bob’s Burgers panel at NYCC 2013. Many were dressed like the characters Louise and Tina. Photo by Michele Witchipoo, Oct. 2013.

Safe to say, the two most popular characters from Bob’s Burgers are the two daughters. There’s Louise, the cynical and defiant yet charismatic youngest daughter. The oldest daughter Tina is the melancholy lovesick misfit who likes to write fan fiction. On line there were quite a number of Louise clones, but fans dressed like Tina could also been seen.

On the panel was the show’s creator, Loren Bouchard along with H. Jon Benjamin who not only does the voice of Bob Belcher, but also of Archer, another animated program. Representing Tina Belcher was Dan Mintz, whose regular speaking voice sounds just like Tina. Unfortunately the actress who does the voice of Louise couldn’t make it, as with the case of comedian Eugene Mirman who voices middle brother Gene. However John Roberts was on Linda Belcher’s behalf. Filling out the rest of the panel was Larry Murphy who does both voices of Mort the funeral director, and Teddy Francisco the diner’s loyal and sometimes only customer.

A rough clip of an upcoming Christmas episode was shown. The true highlight was when a fan who dressed and walked exactly like Tina requested that someone one the panel read her “Erotic Friendfiction.” Dan Mintz was happy to oblige, as he read the fantasy of the panel being so impressed, that they paid off the person’s college loan. Yes…le sigh…if only it was that easy.

Fan rush to get Dan Mintz's autograph after panel ends. Mintz does the voice of Tina Belcher, one of the most popular characters from the television show Bob's Burgers. Photo taken by Michele Witchipoo, NYCC, Oct. 2013.

Fan rush to get Dan Mintz’s autograph after panel ends. Mintz does the voice of Tina Belcher, one of the most popular characters from the television show Bob’s Burgers. Photo taken by Michele Witchipoo, NYCC, Oct. 2013.

Bob's Burger creator Loren Bouchard after the NYCC Panel Oct. 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

Bob’s Burger creator Loren Bouchard after the NYCC Panel Oct. 2013. Photo by Michele Witchipoo.

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Continuing with my cartoon theme on this blog. I mean, who needs more commentary about the dwindling economy, the gulf oil spill, etc., when I can just go on about cartoons?

Anywho…now that you’ve heard my sarcasm drip more than melting ice cream on a hot summer day, onto today’s posting.

Cartoon dads. Was reading a comment someone had posted on Facebook, in regards to my last blog post. The comment was about Harry Boyle, the dad from ‘Wait Until Your Father Gets Home.’ I quote: “I remember that series…no, the dad was not dumb either, he was more average joe..and tom bosley did his voice….”

This got me thinking…no, Harry Boyle was not dumb at all. He was a working class kinda guy, at odds with the changes of the 1970s generation. Come to think of it, neither was the other cartoon dads, like Fred Flintstone, George Jetson, etc. If anything, the concept of having a really, really stupid dad is a recent phenomenon. Perhaps it began with ‘The Simpsons.’ The Simpson brought back animation sitcoms to prime time television, but quite possibly introduced us to the unintelligent dad. When the focus turned away from smartass Bart to hopeless Homer, a new concept began. The fact that Homer Simpson despite his low I.Q., was able to hold down a job at a nuclear power plant…it’s not all that unlikely. Meanwhile, Marge went above and beyond her blue beehive keeping her yellow clan together. Then came along ‘Family Guy’ and the ultimate idiot of them all, Peter Griffin.

Let’s go down the list of a few animated fathers. We’ll start with Fred Flintstone.

The Flintstones, featuring Fred.

Fred Flintstone was an average guy, working an average job down at the Quarry. Fred didn’t start out as a father until Pebbles’ arrival. Fred wasn’t the sharpest stone in the cave. His get rich schemes never panned out, and was a bit of a hot head. However, his loving devotion to his more intelligent wife Wilma, his family (except for the mother in law) and his friends more than outweighed the Brontosaurus burgers.

Ack-acka-dak, dack-dacka-ack

Then again…if anything, Fred might’ve downplayed his intelligence. Why? More than likely, Fred Flintstone was a Freemason. When you’re sworn into a lodge, there’s secrets to keep. Fred was an initiate of Bedrock’s Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes (Lodge No. 26). Ack-acka-dak, dack-dacka-ack.

Meet George Jetson

Go retro-futuristic with The Jetsons

Hanna Barbera soon blasted off into the future with another animated prime time sitcom. The Jetsons. The head of that family was computer engineer George Jetson. This time the family was slightly more white collar than its stone-age counterparts, but just as loving. George Jetson had lapses in judgment, leading to many of the show’s predicaments. However, George was no slouch in the brain department. If anything, George was merely overburdened and overworked. This was despite the fact that George only worked 9 hours per week at Spacely Space Sprockets. His overbearing boss, Mr. Spacey added to George’s bouts of mild anxiety. Over 45 years later, perhaps many working Americans can relate to George’s dilemma. Nowadays Americans have the internet, DVRs, cellphones, remote controls, GPS devices, and many more mod cons. Even with less work hours and modern conveniences, many Americans are more stressed out than ever before. That is, if you even have a job. You can almost hear George Jetson faintly in the distance: “I told you so!”

Wait Until Harry Boyle Gets Home…

Hey Harry; if you think the ecomony was bad in 1972, you should try 2010...

In 1972, Hanna Barbera tried its hand again with another animated prime time cartoon. Titled ‘Wait Until Your Father Gets Home.’ The times were a-changing, and this show reflected this. In the Hanna Barbera universe, its not as well known as The Flintstones or The Jetsons. Even the art style was different, compared to the other two cartoons. Harry Boyle was the head of this household. Nah, he wasn’t dumb either. If anything, he was just bewildered by the social changes taking place.

Steal This Blog Post!

Present day, August 2010:

Welcome to the second wave of animated shows to hit prime time. It started again in 1989, beginning with ‘The Simpsons.’

The Simpsons. Here's where animated dads start to get dumber than dumber.

Still going strong after twenty years, ‘The Simpsons’ is the longest running sitcom in American television history. When the series first started, the main focus was Bart Simpson. Along the way, the focus turned onto dim-witted Homer Simpson.

Here’s when animated dads start to become moronic. Fred Flintstone, George Jetson, etc.,…they might’ve been bungling, but never stupid. With the arrival of Homer Simpson, animated TV dads ceased to think. Why is this? One possible reason is the shift in the all-American family image. Back when The Flintstones first aired, the concept of the ‘nuclear family’ was considered idea. This was back in the 1960s. By the time 1989 rolled around, divorce statistics were up. More families were being raised by single moms. The nuclear family image was slowly giving way to (somewhat) honest realizations that many families are actually dysfunctional. Therefore, today’s animated TV dads have become beyond simpleminded.

King Of The Hill Family

The only exception might be Hank Hill from ‘King of The Hill.’ As with Fred and George, Hank might be a bit naive. Yet Hank loves his family to no end. Having a heart as big as Texas, Hank always tries to do the right thing.

Which leads us to the dumber than dumber….the dumbest dad of them all: Peter Griffin.

Family Guy. The rudest, crudest animated prime time show on today. Actually, South Park is pretty rude too. Which leads us to the burning inquiry…which show is worst: South Park or Family Guy. It’s kinda hard to tell, so its more a matter of personal preference. Personally, I like Family Guy. Who doesn’t love an alcoholic dog and some old man pedophile. Bet you if Herbert the pervert moved into your ‘hood, you’ll be calling the cops in a milli-second. Since Family Guy is beyond bad taste, Herbert fits.

Family Guy. Meet Peter Griffin, quite possibly the worst father around.

Peter Griffin. Possibly the worst father in animation history, ever. He has shit for brains, and maybe a bigger drinking problem than Brian the dog. What does Lois see in Peter? Then again, every once in a while, Lois had a bit a cruel streak (read: bitch). Supposedly Peter is an Irish-American catholic who likes to drink. How about it for those annoying stereotypes.

But you know, its all in good fun. After all, The Flintstones was originally a slight parody of The Honeymooners, Wait Until Your Father Gets Home was a slight parody of All In The Family, and Family Guy is an abrupt parody of everyone and everything.

Being a father in real life isn’t easy. Many good dads work hard at being exactly that: being a good father to their children. Yet pop culture is a small refection on society at that particular time. So the question is really this: is it that we’re tired of that perfect family image, or, have we just been more honest about how dysfunctional families truly are? Perhaps cartoon dads were always laughable, they only get more extreme as time goes by. By watching these shows, we’re only laughing at ourselves.

Just a thought…

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Don’t know why or how this popped into my head today. Thought about this animated television series from the early 1970s. Slightly similar to ‘All In The Family,’ it dealt with the social issues of its time. It was titled ‘Wait Until Your Father Gets Home.’ The Hanna Barbera studio was behind this sitcom. Television in the 70s was in the Norman Lear era; so perhaps it was only natural to have an animated prime time show about a conservative dad at odds with the younger generation.

Checked to see if ‘Wait Until Your Father Gets Home’ was on DVD, and sure enough it was. Season one was released for the home market in 2005, but season two and three were nowhere to be found. As I poked around online for this bit of useless info, I took note of others observations. Some folks say the dad from this show predated the Peter Griffin character from today’s ‘Family Guy.’ It could be a coincidence, but I don’t think Harry Boyle was stupid. Peter yes, but not Harry.

http://www.toontracker.com/waittil/waittil.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wait_Till_Your_Father_Gets_Home

http://tv.blinkx.com/show/wait-till-your-father-gets-home/2-V5LJTFfx6pHbWD

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Yesterday claymation/animator Art Clokey died. I loved Clokey’s shows; even Davey and Goliath.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/herocomplex/2010/01/art-clokey-the-creator-of-the-whimsical-clay-figure-gumby-died-in-his-sleep-friday-at-his-home-in-los-osos-calif-after-b.html

Immediately after hearing the news, I thought about the Eddie Murphy skit from Saturday Night Live. The one where Murphy played a bitter cigar chomping character…”I’m Gumby dammit!” So of course I hit YouTube for clip, but no avail. So I found this:

After Art and Ruth Clokey found success with Gumby, the Lutheran Church in America came a-calling. Somehow this religious organization had $1 million to fund Christian propaganda aimed at America’s youth. Each episode had Davey and his talking dog Goliath involved in a series of dilemmas. However, as long as these two put their faith in God, a happy ending would be bestowed upon them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davey_and_Goliath

Still it would be strange that such a nice Christian boy wouldn’t question on how or why his pet dog had the ability to talk. Davey wasn’t the only one with a talking dog. Didn’t David Berkowitz have the same problem? Supposedly serial killer Son of Sam dealt with a similar situation. Someone should introduce these two; imagine the conversations they would have together, about canines, mass media and the bible. (Berkowitz became a born-again Christian after he was incarcerated.) Check that Moral Orel!

Seriously though…despite the Christian overtones, it managed to be entertaining without prophesizing too much. I remember fondly watching reruns on syndication during my wee kiddie years on a local NYC television station. Within the past ten years I’ve even considered getting Davey and Goliath action figures. Quite sure these collector items would make a great addition to my home.

So before this post ends, I will leave you with the original opening credits to the Gumby show:

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