Category Archives: Animation Analysis

Bands I Useta Like: The Unofficial Soundtrack, Vol. I & II

Imagine if you will, a world parallel to our own, identical in many ways, disparate in others. Long story short, in this mirror universe, Bands I Useta Like was optioned by a major independent film studio, and made into a hit movie. It combined animation and live action, and because the producers had deep pockets, licensing songs for a decent soundtrack wasn’t a problem.

Whether I allowed the film to be produced at all was contingent upon the quality of the music choices. If they balked at a crucial song, or refused to include it, I would walk off the project. Which I did, and they replaced me on-screen with a real actor. Like I said, the movie was a hit.

The 2-disc soundtrack sold out of stores overnight. Even though it came packed in that shitty double jewel-box, which just winds up broken, on the floor of a car.

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Filed under Animation Analysis, Bad Influences, Comix Classic & Current, Don't Know Don't Care, Faint Signals, Movies You Missed, Thousand Listen Club

Arm’s Length

I won’t lie to you; I’m a conceited guy. I probably possess an overabundance of confidence in my own skills. As I grow older, I try to temper this arrogance, because I’ve seen how it can drive others away; friends, loved ones, fans. But you must understand the importance of this feature (not a bug). In today’s world, you have to be crazy to get anything accomplished.

I have a “Messiah complex”, for which I blame no one but myself. My endless vitriol directed at the entertainment universe springs from the concrete belief that I can do better for you. I can give you what you really want. 

I can save you.

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Filed under Animation Analysis, Bad Influences, Comix Classic & Current, Faint Signals, Idiot's Delight, Late To The Party, Movies You Missed, Saturday Movie Matinee

In The Beginning

Set the Wayback Machine for 1998. I was at Kinko’s, in the middle of the night, running off copies of Mike The Pod Comix #4 (the blue one).

Those aren’t fonts. I didn’t have a computer. They’re typefaces copied from a book of antique alphabets, then literally cut and pasted. The rest is my own lettering.

The fourth issue was a transitional one. Drop Dead, my “90’s comic book“, concluded in its pages, in lieu of a seventh issue. I reprinted the Liquid Paper Pirates and Squeeky Wheel Gets The Grease strips from FINK, as well as For Whom The Beef Jerks. 

Oh, and for the first time ever, I did full frontal, stark raving nudity. (NSFW!!!)

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Filed under Animation Analysis, Bad Influences, Comix Classic & Current, Faint Signals, Girls of BIUL, Magazine Rack, Movies You Missed, Thousand Listen Club

Cheap Trick

Whatever happened to all this season’s
Losers of the year
Every time I got to thinking
Where’d they disappear

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Filed under Animation Analysis, Bad Influences, Comix Classic & Current, Idiot's Delight, Movies You Missed, Nostalgic Obsessions, Saturday Movie Matinee, Thousand Listen Club, Unfairly Maligned, Worst Of All

Mad Doctors of the Late 20th Century

Mad medicine was everywhere in the 80s and 90s. There were toys and playsets endorsed by mad doctors, for use by kids. Every time you watched cartoons, you saw a skinny dude with crazy hair in a white lab coat, maniacally mixing chemicals and potions for some nefarious purpose. Under the influence of this, I created my own mad medicine man; Dr. Kill-Everybody.

Dr. K (no hair), with Fronkin Steen and Psuto Moto.

Either the trope became shopworn around 2001, or something happened that discouraged children from playing with chemicals. You don’t see mad doctors and scientists like you used to. Maybe this is a good thing; maybe the concept was subconsciously driving impressionable kids away from lucrative STEM-field careers. I don’t know.

What I do know is this. Mad doctors once flourished in our society, even though they were annoying, and generally sucked.

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Filed under Animation Analysis, Bad Influences, Comix Classic & Current, Faint Signals, Idiot's Delight, Nostalgic Obsessions, Robot Toy Fetish, Saturday Movie Matinee, Worst Of All

The Pink Panther Problem

In the 1970s, children’s television was heavily occupied by a presence that’s nearly forgotten today; an artifact from the opening credits of a slapstick detective franchise, called the Pink Panther.

Like Bugs Bunny, the Pink Panther was a former smoker. Many cartoon animals smoked in the 20th century.

If you were a kid in the 1980s, the sight of that character reminded you of a piece of Henry Mancini’s distinctive score. This is the Pink Panther Problem.

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Filed under Animation Analysis, Bad Influences, Faint Signals, Saturday Movie Matinee, Thousand Listen Club

The Shnoz of Charles de Gaulle

Ahh, the French!

adore them. Their art, their culture, their contributions to the enlightenment of our world. Hate me all you want, but I never felt prouder of Donald Trump than I did when he refused to shake Angela Merkel’s hand for a photo op. Trump didn’t want to get France’s blood all over his hand, and Merkel’s mitts are positively oozing with the spilt plasma of Europe.

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Filed under Animation Analysis, Eatable Things, Faint Signals, Thousand Listen Club, Unfairly Maligned

Gridbug Chasers

In the 1982 science-fiction fantasy TRON, there comes a moment inside the computer world where the protagonists are imperiled by “gridbugs”.

gridbug1

Clearly a threat.

The danger is underlined by dialogue spoken by Cindy Morgan, as the shapely input/output program Yori:

“This isn’t going to be easy. If those gridbugs get us, we’ve had it.”

The gridbugs in question get a ten-second interlude, complete with a unique and rather corny soundtrack cue, and then go on to never affect anything or even be mentioned in passing again. Continue reading

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Filed under Animation Analysis, Don't Know Don't Care, Faint Signals, Idiot's Delight, Movies You Missed, Nostalgic Obsessions, Robot Toy Fetish, Saturday Movie Matinee, Unfairly Maligned, Worst Of All

Career Immolation: A User’s Guide

They say there is no such thing as bad publicity. Of course there is, when the public asks;

“Whatever happened to that guy?”

And then the public remembers, “Oh yeah. That happened.”

(l-r:) Glenn Humplik and Tom Green, with one of Canada's accursed "milk bags". Hopefully I won't be legally pressured to remove this photo.

(l-r:) Glenn Humplik and Tom Green, with one of Canada’s accursed “milk bags”. Hopefully I won’t be legally pressured to remove this photo.

In the late 1990s, MTV gave Canadian public access personality Tom Green his own show. It was a raucous, prank-filled half-hour wherein Green literally abused and humiliated every single person he encountered, while affecting an oblivious, addled mien. It was for the most part very funny. Continue reading

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Filed under Animation Analysis, Bad Influences, Don't Know Don't Care, Faint Signals, Idiot's Delight, Late To The Party, Nostalgic Obsessions, Saturday Movie Matinee, Worst Of All

Animation Analysis: Heavy Metal

When analyzing or criticizing animated feature films, it’s important to keep three factors in mind:

  1. The talent
  2. The resources
  3. The date of production and release
Production designer: the late great Michael Gross, who gave you National Lampoon Comics and the Ghostbusters logo (for a movie Ivan Reitman directed that you might have heard of).

Production designer: the late great Michael Gross, who gave you National Lampoon Comics and the Ghostbusters logo (for a movie Ivan Reitman directed that you might have heard of).

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Filed under Animation Analysis, Faint Signals, Girls of BIUL, Movies You Missed, Nostalgic Obsessions, O'Shloktoberfest, Saturday Movie Matinee, Thousand Listen Club, Unfairly Maligned