Sunday, June 26, 2011

My Little Improved Pony

My Little Pony is nothing new. The toys and cartoons have been around for a long time.

   The show, to me at least, was pretty typical 80's fodder. Chatty, constant background music, and it seemed to lack enthusiasm. The characters all sounded bored. And with the strange fad lately of reviving 80's cartoons, the new show is...well, it's actually a lot better! Take a look at some of the characters. These are ones that were both in the old cartoon and the new cartoon.

 Applejack the pony.

Applejack in 2010. Notice the hat and the simplified apples on the flank.

80's era Spike the dragon didn't seem to serve much purpose, but neither did the ponies. They all mostly talked. And talked.
2010 Spike the dragon, after being hit with an extreme cuteness beam. He alternates between helping out the pony Twilight Sparkle and making fun of her.

The new show also has no fear of giving the characters silly expressions. Interestingly enough, this show seems to serve the exact same purpose as the old one--sell a hundred billion toys a day. But it's approached differently. Expressions and cuteness aside, the show is not afraid to show female characters having personality. The fashion-centered character isn't a shallow enemy like in a lot of girls' shows.  The girls can be brave, they can take care of themselves...but they can also be cowardly, need assistance, or just be jerks now and then. There isn't much point in me going on because there's stuff about this show all over the internet. It's widely popular among men in their early 20's, of all people.

So maybe 80's cartoons, and toy-driven cartoons can be good. We just need people like Lauren Faust behind them!

Cuddles and Dimples

Here's something fun--a kind of splash page of the characters Cuddles and Dimples. They were two badly behaved babies in a UK comic called The Dandy. They had a cat and parrot who were always trying to kill each other.

From a 1993 Dandy annual. I believe the artist might be Barrie Appleby, if I can go by Wikipedia correctly. If I'm wrong, please tell me. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fantastic Mr Fox

I loved Roald Dahl books as a child, and this was one of my favourites. From what I can tell, there were  three different illustrators for the book. So depending on the edition, you will get different illustrations.

All three artists are great.

Donald Chaffin goes with the cute route

As does Jill Bennett.

Quentin Blake doesn't quite go down the cute route, but the pictures are a lot of fun.

What I don't get is the movie

I can't speak for Wes Anderson's direction, because I haven't watched the movie. I know, I know, whining on about a movie you haven't seen, right? Well, the truth is, I can't watch it. Simply because of the design. Look at it! They just look...dead.

I'm a bit odd about movies. I'm okay with pretty much anything as long as it doesn't have excessive use of handheld camera (I doubt the theatre workers would appreciate the massive amounts of vomit I'd produce) or uncanny valley. Which is what the foxes are. And for that matter, the blue people in Avatar. I swear I've handled pure gore movies more easily than just looking at this picture!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Louis Darling's cute animals

Louis Darling is an underrated book illustrator, who drew for several of Beverley Cleary's fantastic stories. These are from The Mouse and the Motorcycle

I like the toy motorcycle, too. Hope I can add more soon--computer seems to be slowly readying itself to leave this world, so we'll see.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Town at the Edge of the End

Walt Kelly, but this one does not involve Pogo!

I have to apologize for the quality of the presentation in advance. I difficulty cramming the book in the scanner, so I resorted to photographing it.

The story is basically a retelling of the Pied Piper story. But instead of rats...

It's monsters!

Now, you can't have a town full of monsters. You need someone to get rid of them.

Oh, good.

This is a very nice Piper. Instead of money, he asks the mayor to keep the town cheery and nice. That's easier said than done. People start gossiping, arguing over things such as what the Piper looked like (nobody can quite remember. Unlike the readers, they can't flip back the pages). There begins to be a lot of unease, and children get disciplined for no reason. The adults are drawn in a very strange fashion as the story goes on.

The Piper doesn't like this.

"We had a deal, dammit!"

The Piper saves the day by taking the children off, presumably to a happier place.
All is well, or as well as this weird little tale can take us.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The strange world of Americans, according to the British

Desperate Dan is a comic in the Dandy that has been running before any of you were born. He is American.

Even though  the comic takes place in modern times, they have very old trains in the U.S.

They also have mayors who wear this:
Is this an American thing or a British thing?
I'll have to grab some more Americans from U.K comics some time. Fact: American men wear big hats, and the women have lots of jewelry.