Dec 30, 2007

The Leno Situation: Solved By Me

The late night shows come back on this week, so, I'm pushing up an article I had a week or so ago up to make it feel a little more "relevant."

Jeff Zucker, Fred Silverman, all you high muckity-mucks at NBC Universal, I have single-handedly solved "the Leno situation." It would involve a lot of sacrifices, but, in effect, it will not only keep Leno in the NBC Universal family but will also help cement the network's future for at least another decade or so.

To recap the "situation" for those that aren't aware, about four years ago, Jay Leno announced that he was leaving The Tonight Show and NBC named Conan O'Brien as the successor beginning in fall 2009. At the time, everything seemed cool. 2009 seemed like it was far away, and perhaps Leno felt that he'd be running out of steam by the time 2009 got here. Now, 2009 is practically next year. Leno is still getting high ratings on The Tonight Show and, though not directly, feeling as if he's being pushed out of his job for no reason (ah, karma is such a beast, ain't it?). Meanwhile, Conan still brings in the younger demographics that NBC hopes will come to The Tonight Show in 2009. Americans that aren't on either coast (some call them "flyover states" and others see them as "permanently red") aren't exactly gravitating to the antics of the younger, Harvard-educated, northerner. They see Leno as a nightcap, a perfect, safe end to an eventful day and Conan as a baffoon, a clown not worthy of sitting in Johnny Carson's throne, currently occupied by Leno.

I'm going to do something that a lot of people aren't doing. I'm going to defend Conan O'Brien. Conan is a talented comedy writer that has created a persona that is a combination of pure geekiness and intelligence. Yeah, Conan's smart. Harvard isn't exactly known as a party school, you know. Those that only see the self-depricating, clownish side of Conan don't see the talented individual that not only acknowledges the history and legacy of NBC late-night programming, but honors and respects it. Remember, NBC asked HIM, not Leno, to host the special celebrating NBC late-night programming a couple of years ago. Conan knows that he has a legacy to live up to, and I feel that he will. Truth be told, I think NBC was grooming Conan to be the Tonight Show successor about six years into his run on Late Night when he began to mature as a host.

People are always going to compare whoever the Tonight Show host is to Johnny Carson. Now, you may think of this as sacrilegious on my part, but I feel that Conan O'Brien is the heir apparent to the legacy of Johnny Carson. There are three hands in that aspect. Jay Leno is the physical successor to Johnny Carson. He was the man who currently sits where Johnny once sat. Does that mean that he should have? Absolutely not. Yes, he's good at hosting the Tonight Show, but he's not the one who should have been there in the first place. That distinction goes to David Letterman, host of Late Show and the true spiritual successor to the legacy of Johnny Carson. Letterman has not only cemented himself as a fixture on late-night progamming for almost three decades, but he has commanded the respect of generations of comedians and comedy writers, including the guy who's currently hosting his older show, Conan O'Brien.

Now, preventing any tragedy, digital television transition nightmare, or end-of-the-world scenario, Conan O'Brien will become the host of The Tonight Show in fall 2009. NBC wants to keep Jay Leno around because he still has a large audience and is still a marketable name. Plus, they don't want to lose him to Fox, who hasn't thought about late-night programming since the cancellation of The Chevy Chase Show. They know a game show would be an insult, though in his parodies of Jeopardy and Jaywalking All-Stars competitions prove he can hang with the best of them. And the thinking is that there's no space on the NBC lineup for any kind of nightly programming.

Of course, like most network executives, they're wrong, and I'm going to tell them WHY they're wrong.

You know that much ballyhooed fourth hour of The Today Show? It can go. It's not necessary and it's just a wasted, unnecessary hour. They've stretched a two-hour show farther than they should have, and it shows. Here's a plan. NBC could still own that hour, but that hour doesn't have to be in the morning. In fact, I have a perfect place for the NBC-owned hour:


It's a perfect bridge between the Nightly News and the Primetime lineup that I'm surprised networks haven't used in recent years. Syndication, or at least the remnants of what was a great syndication era, currently fills the slot with game shows, news shows, recent sitcoms, and court shows. They're fine and all, but perhaps the time is right for something old to return. A talk/variety show taking a cue from Merv Griffin and Mike Douglas that has celebrities, politicians, and extraordinary individuals as well as celebrating the everyday world in comedic fashion. In short, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

But make it live on the East Coast (well, "live" in the 21st century, meaning a five-second delay in case people be too real for the censors). And don't call it The Tonight Show. Call it . . . I don't know, Leno Live or The Live Show With Jay Leno. That'd be about four in the East and the day is pretty much over and everybody's settling in at home. Yeah, Leno would have to work harder and a little faster to get a live program ready, but he is a professional, and if anybody could pull it off, he could. Keep all the sketches from The Tonight Show intact (Headlines and Jaywalking, among others). In short, it'd be his old show in a new environment and with a more wide-awake audience seguing into NBC's primetime lineup, a lineup that would only grow with this addition to programming. Plus, the network could easily repurpose Leno's new show either on USA at 11 PM for those who want to see Leno in late nights or in the post-Last Call slot on NBC.

Leno would continue doing a talk show on NBC. Conan could do The Tonight Show his way. The only problem NBC should have now in regards to the late-night programming situation in 2009 would be who will fill the seat vacated by Conan. I have my own theories, but that's for another time.

Dec 16, 2007

Face of a Killer

Iconic Image of the Centauri by ~nemalki on deviantART

I did that? Hmm . . . perhaps I should take a break from the insanity of the internet more often.

Dec 12, 2007

And For That, I Smile

To my friends and acquaintances at Toon Zone as well as those that posted here at Thoughtnami. I thank you for your thoughts and prayers. I know I don't deserve that much praise, but I'm thankful for that and for you all for dealing with me in this brief episode of self-doubt. My grandfather isn't 100% by any stretch, but he's better today than he was at Thanksgiving. Life is still frustrating, but it's going alright for me, and I have no right to complain.

To Patrick. Patrick, Patrick, Patrick Okeke. Ronin, Ronixis, Novid, whatever. I thank you for your thoughts as well. You're everything I strive not to be, and you've pretty much reawakened me, and I thank you.


Because in your own fashion, you succeeded in showing who you really are, and for that, I smile. You've pretty much knocked me down when I was already at my lowest point. I apologized for what I've done to you for the umpteenth time, and what did you do Patrick?

You act like the southern end of a northward bound moose. You spit out diatribes like they were sunflower seed shells, and they're just as disgusting to look at. You're full of self-hate, self-loathing, and self-disgust. Me? I'm full of self-doubt, but the more I look at myself, what I have done in my nearly three decades in this existance, I've accomplished a lot. It took me a while to see that, but I can see that, and for that, I smile.

Patrick, unlike yourself, I don't hate my race, or, in my case, the race that determined my pigmentation (my paternal side is the decendants of Africans, Greeks, Powhattan, Dutch, and German while my maternal side, which includes my grandfather, is decended from English, West Indians, West African, Irish, Seminole, and Scots). They are who they are, and I am who I am. Although I am aware of the past (I am a descendant of slaves AND slaveowners), I am not guilted nor locked by it. I've formed my own path, walked along many directions, crossed many bridges, and discovered many things along the way.

I am human. I make good decisions and bad ones. I've made a lot of good choices. I've made a lot of bad ones as well. I trusted too many people (I even trusted you a lifetime ago, I truly did, but you used an alias to publicly call me a half-breed and other derogatory names and continue to hide behind monikers to make libelous statements about me and the individuals I associate with; I grew up and stop hiding behind false names a long time ago) and made just as many foes as acquaintances. I've earned the respect of many individuals over the years, including Mr. Beck AND Mr. Amidi, who you've name-dropped in your post, Patrick. I'm not a name-dropper, but I do have a number of animation icons in my address book that could fill a who's who in animation.

I'm not a slave to anybody. I have the right and freedom to talk about anybody I can. Nobody's my boss, as you've claimed. I've made my own path and will continue to do so. I've lived a good, honest life and never got on anybody's bad side. I believe in the golden rule and I live a good life as a result. I've sacrificed a lot in this life, and I know God sees this and He appreciates this. Have you ever sacrificed anything, Patrick? I've sacrificed over five years of my life taking care of my grandfather when no one else would. The careworkers of America are the most underappreciated individuals though they truly do a lot. You know how you can repay your country? SERVE IT IN THE MILITARY!

I apologize for past actions that I regret because I am ashamed that I've done that. I don't apologize because I'm hoping to get an acceptance, because in your case, Patrick, acceptance will never come.

I have started a legacy, as people have already pointed out. Patrick, I think that, in the end, you hate me (let's face it, you hate me for petty, childish reasons, and that's okay. I don't hate you. I never had, and I never will).

And here are some of the reasons why you hate me.

I've created a community of like-minded fans with the help of my friends which became a part of a larger community I've helped build. I've created a pair of sites that some people say is inspiring to them. I just write down what I'm thinking, and if people agree with it, so be it. I've earned a loyal group of readers who understand what I'm going through and will likely stick around long enough to see what happens next. I've helped create a group that educated the world about an then-underappreciated block of shows created by our generation. Yes, I know Toonami has suffered lately, but we've done our part. It's time to remind them we're still around. One day, I'll create a legacy, settling down, create a family, and truly grow up. I've grown a lot over the years, but these last couple of weeks have been taxing on me. But I know who I am. I know what I have to do. I know what I'm going to do. You don't have that confidence nor sense of certainty about yourself, which is why you constantly berate me, try to humiliate me, and try to knock me down, even when I thought I was already out.

In the end, I win. I've already won. I could disappear from the internet forever, but I've already won. I've done more in the last ten years than many folks do in a lifetime. I'm not proud of everything I've done, but there are moments I look and say, wow, I did that. I could look back at 99% of what I've done with pride.

And for that, I smile. And I will be back sooner than I thought.

Nov 27, 2007

Good-Bye (For Now)

I'm leaving Thoughtnami, The X Bridge, and the forums for a while.

I'll be back, but I need to take some time out for a while. Probably next year or so. It doesn't matter. I don't think I'll be missed around these parts. And if I am, they'll get over it.

I've undergoing many emotions now. I'm having problems at home. My grandfather's health has taken a turn for the worse. His already small frame continues to deteriorate from his cancer, almost turning him skeletal. Now, he's at the point that he can't really eat much and just lays down all day long. I'm seeing my grandfather die right before my eyes, and the sad thing is waiting for the end. I've been his primary caregiver ever since I graduated from college. I know my family said I could do but so much, but I feel I could have done more for him. It's almost like I'm failing my grandfather every day.

I'm depressed and lacking focus on just about everything. At times, it feels like I'm only being negative. The last couple of posts I've made around here have either been complaining about the state of the world or wishing what I wanted to see but will never be, thus depressing me all over again. Must be a masochist or something. But seriously, the only thing that comes from complaining is more complaining. When change does come, it only occurs when there's a universal consensus that it must come, and that's rarer than a green cardinal.

There's a time when you have to look back and see what you've done, see how people see you, see who your real friends are, see what kind of impact and legacy you'll leave behind. I've done that. Some things I'm very proud of. I'm proud of Thoughtnami and The X Bridge and some of the things I've brought to the forefront. Some things I'm not very proud of. I know I could have handled the Revolution Board situation better, even though part of that was completely out of my hand, and the fact that I've ruined a couple of friendships and alliances still bugs me to this day (and if I haven't said it enough, I'm still sorry about what went down, SC and Patrick).

Some people see me as a good guy, but I'm no saint. Some people see me as the devil incarnate, but I'm not that bad. People tend to think I'm blind to whenever people use my name in a pejorative state. There's an ass who even posed as me on the Adult Swim boards making it seem like I'm posting moronic things there. People see me as a joke, and I'm sick of it.

I have a few people I try to contact online, but I don't have any real friends. Acquaintances, yes, but no friends. Not in the real world either. I'm supposed to be a part of a team at Toon Zone. I love them all, but sometimes, I feel like I'm still by myself. Maybe it's my own doing, being so cold and distant, but sometimes, I feel like my input isn't necessary to the overall scheme. I doubt that I left a significant impact there or my own sites, and my legacy is basically me whining and complaining about stuff I have no control over, and those that do have control over them don't want any part of me at all. Not really nothing I'd like to be remembered for.

I need to do something with my life. I want to create something that lasts longer than I do. This website is nice, but I don't want my obituary to just say "he was a webmaster of a once-popular fansite." I want to find a real place in this world, not a virtual place which I have done. I want to find myself doing something that means something. Some people find what I've done here has impacted a few, but I don't want The X Bridge or Thoughtnami to define me, my legacy, and who I am.

That's why I have to take some time off for a while. I'll return one day. Don't know when that day will be, but it'll be sooner rather than later. I need to find myself, clear my head of doubt, frustration, and uncertainty. I need to spend more time with my grandfather while I still can. The world changes, and I feel I need to change with it. I need to see if I could find a creative side that isn't limited to rantings on a webpage. I need to grow up. I want to find love, start a family, become a dad, teach my kids everything I know and every lesson I learned in life the hard way. That could be my legacy.

I'll be back. This isn't the end by any shot. This is only good-bye for now. Thank you so much for letting me be a small part of your travels on this web.

Nov 6, 2007

Support ALL Creators

I guess you've heard about the Writers' Strike that is just beginning to affect the entire entertainment industry (don't worry, otaku, you'll still be getting translated dubs on the air; you won't like them, but you'll get them). No, friends, NBC isn't recycling episodes of Leno, Conan, nor Carson as part of their companywide Green is Universal campaign. They're the first of many to be impacted immediately from the strike. No writers mean no new shows.

But let me present the Comic Creators' Bill of Rights. It's almost two decades old familiar to about .5% of the readership of Thoughtnami and completely relevant to the second half of the article. If you've never read them, well, here's your first time:

For the survival and health of comics, we recognize that no single system of commerce and no single type of agreement between creator and publisher can or should be instituted. However, the rights and dignity of creators everywhere are equally vital. Our rights, as we perceive them to be and intend to preserve them, are:

1. The right to full ownership of what we fully create.
2. The right to full control over the creative execution of that which we fully own.
3. The right of approval over the reproduction and format of our creative property.
4. The right of approval over the methods by which our creative property is distributed.
5. The right to free movement of ourselves and our creative property to and from publishers.
6. The right to employ legal counsel in any and all business transactions.
7. The right to offer a proposal to more than one publisher at a time.
8. The right to prompt payment of a fair and equitable share of profits derived from all of our creative work.
9. The right to full and accurate accounting of any and all income and disbursements relative to our work.
10. The right to prompt and complete return of our artwork in its original condition.
11. The right to full control over the licensing of our creative property.
12. The right to promote and the right of approval over any and all promotion of ourselves and our creative property.

I don't know what it is about new media that makes entertainment companies squirm. New media provides new opportunities for business endeavors. DVDs pretty much saved the anime industry in North America, not to mention created a cheap, yet convenient format to collect older shows, movie series, and classic shorts without taking up massive bookshelves. The internet virtually eliminated the need for shelf space, but you'll probably need a bigger hard drive. With access to the interweb available on the go, you could take shows and movies with you.

You'd think that the creators and writers who help create the films and shows we watch would be the ones benefiting the most from the advent of new media in the public arena, but they're not. In fact, unless you have direct ownership in the show (or have a preexisting deal when they sold the concept to a studio), writers will only get a residual of $.04 per disc (not per episode they worked on, but per DISC) sold and NO residuals per download. This means that for every 100,000 discs sold for a an average retail price of $30 per disc, a writer can get a residual of only $4,000. Where the rest of the $3 million goes is anybody's guess. Now, these creators/writers feel that they should get a little more than that, about $.08 per disc and per download.

Media companies feel otherwise. That shouldn't be surprising to anyone. After all, if there's anybody who can emphasize with the screenwriters of America, it's comic creators. They've been denied their dues (literally and figuratively) many, many, many times over. Not surprisingly, the comics and entertainment industry is intertwined (comic adaptations are all over the television and big screens while film and television creators are also creating many of today's popular comics). Creators of comics tend to have a brotherhood when it comes to defending the medium as well as each other. That spirit of brotherhood (and sisterhood) was the inspiration behind the Creator's Bill of Rights, ideals and things they believe each comic creator is entitled.

Articles Two, Three, Eight, and Nine of the Comic Creators' Bill of Rights are almost echoes what the Writers' Guild want and the fact that they're not getting those rights is exactly what the strike is all about. I know my brothers and sisters at Toon Zone aren't taking an official stand on the strike, but as a creator and a writer, I'm supporting the Writers' Guild and I hope they're successful in their stance.

Oct 18, 2007

Three Movies That Defined My Generation

A recent thread at the mothership convinced me to write this, so here goes:

I'm young (29), but some things make me feel like an old-ass man, especially a lot of shows and movies that have come out as of late.

But if I had to choose three movies that defines MY generation . . . that's kind of tough, especially since I have to pick just three. I know it's a magic number, but it's kind of limited, you know?

I guess I'll start with Ferris Bueller's Day Off. I was a little kid when this movie initially came out in theaters, but as a young teen, this movie spoke to me like no other movie had before at the time. A recent conversation a lot of us mods had in the super extra secret room we have around here really made me appreciate the movie even more. The protagonist wasn't a label, that is, he wasn't a nerd, a geek, a jock, a preppy, a goth, a class clown, a slacker, a drama student, et. al. He was simply Ferris, a guy who pretty much has his life together, or at least had the semblance to realize what life is supposed to be. He doesn't worry, he doesn't panic. He's not trying to get laid or find a girlfriend because, well, he already has a girlfriend. He knew that if you took life too seriously, you'll spend all your time worrying. Good advice, and something that stuck to me to this day.

Another movie that I felt defined my generation is Clerks. Dante is literally stuck in hell, or in this case, a convenience store and has problems from the word go. He has to work a shift on his day off and has to deal with strange customers ranging from an anti-smoking advocate and a guy searching for the perfect dozen of eggs to a pot-smoking duo and a guy "walking the lizard" and dying in a bathroom, a girlfriend who loves him but confesses something that makes him uncomfortable, an ex-girlfriend who recently broke up with her boyfriend, and his best friend Randall, who goes out of his way to distract Dante from the day at hand. In essence, it's kind of the reverse of Ferris Bueller's Day Off. A "Dante Hicks' Day In" if you will. Considering Kevin Smith was a fan of those John Hughes films, I wouldn't be surprised if he had even considered that title. The message in this film is essentially the same as in Ferris, only you see what happens when people, in this case Dante, worry.

If you ever get the chance, watch both films back to back one day, and you'll see what I mean.

I think the final film that defines my generation is The Matrix. This film is pretty much the one that connects my generation to the 21st century, presenting something that is true today: we're all connected to computers, and the lives we presently live on the internet is only an illusion. Anybody that makes a presence on the internet, whether it's forums, websites, blogs and vlogs, and other forms of the new medium could attest and adhere to that general message. It also had the message that we shouldn't truly depend on our connection to computers all the time because the machine could one day turn its back on us. Okay, that's out there, but still, people still don't completely trust their computers.

What three movies defined your generation? No, I'm not asking what are your three favorite movies, but rather which ones defined you and your generation.

Oct 17, 2007

Someone Please Explain This To Me

G4 (you know, the channel that killed TechTV a couple of years ago that has nearly zero viewers) has acquired broadcast rights to two of the 21st century's most iconic series so far, ABC's Lost and NBC's Heroes. The Comcast-owned network has rights to strip Heroes and Lost daily in a few years, but Heroes premieres in a few weeks on the channel.

Cartoon Network, which is one of the most watched channels on cable (currently number seven) is investing funds in developing new live-action properties as well as spending money to acquire older shows.

Comcast is giving G4 a ton of money, which allows them to make eye-opening purchases like that. Time Warner gives Cartoon Network a very limited amount of money, since they do generate ad revenue on their own, which is used for proudctions and on their own third-party acquisitions.

I'm not saying I wanted Heroes or Lost to air on Cartoon Network (because I really don't), but the deal does show that Comcast is willing to provide funds to acquire something that would definitely bring in the audiences while Time Warner seems to be moving in the opposite direction. Now, someone please explain something to me. Does Comcast like their network more or does Time Warner like their network less? Is it that Comcast feels more confident about the direction of G4 than Time Warner feels about Cartoon Network or does Time Warner believe in tough love and that they have to survive on their own?

Is Comcast that much better or is this just another reason why Time Warner is still THE MOST POORLY RAN ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY ON THE PLANET?

Oct 9, 2007

Six Things I Miss About Cable

I haven't had cable for six months now, but strangely, I'm not missing it. No extra-high bill for limited programming choices. No clatter of talking heads talking about nothing. And best of all, no dents in my walls from the idiotic changes at . . . you know where.

However, in the light of tonight's season premiere of The Boondocks on Adult Swim tonight, I feel that I need to talk about the things I do miss about cable, in no particular order:

- Adult Swim: Well, there's a stretch. Adult animation with humor and action. Uncut Family Guy (compared to the abomination in syndication right now, ugh), Venture Brothers, Robot Chicken, The Boondocks, Frisky Dingo, and others made my week complete.

- Doctor Who on Sci-Fi and Torchwood on BBC America: I missed the entire third season of the Doctor's adventures through time and dimensions and the first season of the raunchier, darker spinoff on BBC America.

- USA Network's original programs: Monk, Psych, The 4400, and The Dead Zone. I missed them all.

- Good Eats: The best cooking show on television. Period.

- BBC America: I actually heard a rumor that, including Torchwood, BBC America has actually gotten better in recent years. I haven't had digital cable since June 2006, so I couldn't witness the metamorphosis first hand. But from what I read, whoa!

- Avatar: Nick's best show just started Book Three a couple of weeks ago, and considering the saga last season was, I'm missing this series most of all.

That's all I miss. Fortunately, I could find those shows on DVD in the coming months. Yeah, it'll cost more, but hey, no commercials nor interrupting graphics during the series.

Oct 8, 2007

Still A Champion (Despite The Actions of a Cheater)



State champion.

National champion.

Hall of famer.

Olympic gold metalist.

Until last week, LaTasha Colander was all of these. She won a gold metal in the 4X400 Meter Relay at the Sydney Olympics of 2000. And she was fast. She was always fast as long as I knew her. We weren't friends in the traditional sense. We had common friends at Wilson High, but we rarely came across each other in the halls. She was a year ahead of me as well. But my school and my city was proud of her and her efforts. In 2000, the city gave here a homecoming parade to celebrate her Olympic victory. My then three-year old cousin even posed with her and wore the gold metal around his neck (I would have shared this photo with you, but some bastard stole my photography portfolio, which included the photo AND the negatives, that semester). It was a proud moment for Woodrow Wilson High School (where Perry Ellis held his first ever fashion show and where Missy Elliott first performed) and a grander moment for Portsmouth, VA, which had began its transformation into a world-class city.

Last week's announcement from Marion Jones stating she had used steroids during the Sydney games came as a shock to a lot of people. The International Olympic Committee's decision to strip her of her metals also came as no surprise. However, one of those metals that was stripped from her was the one she won for the 4X400 M Relay.

The one that Tasha won.

Needless to say, this decision has been frustrating to me, not just because I know Tasha, but because the actions of one will affect two other deserving athletes as well. My love for Marion Jones wasn't tarnished from last week's announcement. No, that occurred during the Athens games in 2004 when I felt she purposely dropped the baton in the 4X400 M relay. Tasha was a part of that team as well.

I don't know if she'll compete next year in China, which is a shame. After a stellar high-school and collegiate career, Latasha Colander has done what so many had dreamed of. It's unfair that the act of one will cost others their metals as well. Regardless, she'll still be a champion to me.

Oct 7, 2007

Coming Soon To Thoughtnami - Near Daily Updates?

I'm not really sure.

I don't even know what kind of site Thoughtnami is supposed to be. I know it's a freer locale where I could be myself, but I think there needs to be something else here.

Maybe not.

However, I want to bring something to Thoughtnami, but I don't know what. I'm thinking I could try a monthly podcast or something here, or maybe a comic strip.

Maybe I'll just post more updates a day. I mean, for one whole week, I actually posted something here, but that's probably because I was so frustrated that a very terrible company is taking over a block that was the last broadcast bastion of a once legendary animation studio.

Maybe there's a reason for this newfound . . . opinion-making state of mind. Fun times.

Oct 6, 2007

It's Hot

It was unbearably hot today. Almost sticky hot. Remainder of the week likely to be just as hot.

Today's weather got me to thinking . . . isn't Christmas and the holiday season just a mere two months away? I know it is because, it is October, and stores are already stocking Christmas products in the stores. Lights, stockings, wrapping paper, garland, wreaths. They're in stores right now. Thought that people were supposed to be "declaring a war on Christmas." At least, that's what I heard from egotistical, smug folks on talk radio.

Something I urge you not to do. Listen to talk radio.

Speaking of people talking and yet saying nothing, why do people with webpages still post under pseudonyms? Are they ashamed of who they are or are they just afraid to reveal themselves? I know I was guilty of hiding behind a comic book character's name for a number of years online, at least on forums. Of course, nowadays, I post freely. I'm proud of what I write, for the most part. And I refuse to hide myself anymore. If you're afraid to reveal yourself, why bother even writing? Do you think people will think less of you if you say who you are?

Or do they hide because they could just write blatant lies and libel about others?

I know this guy who keeps on referring to me as the antichrist and the people I associate myself with as evil folks who ruined animation, wants to take over Cartoon Network, uncreative, don't know anybody in the animation industry, and just not to be trusted. I can't speak for my friends (though I can say my friend Brian doesn't work for Nickelodeon), but I can speak for myself. I'm not in any power to ruin anything. I want nothing to do with Cartoon Network or any other network or company for that matter. I'm creative, but I've been doing things offline (I've been doing commissions for design work and paintings; right now, I'm sketching for a painting of the Rapture for this church). My online comic work will be revealed in full in the spring. I know plenty of people in the industry, both the creative side and the business side and have their e-mail addresses in my address book (my real world one, not a digital book), and people know of me and my work (check out some comments around these pages sometimes. I think I could be trusted. People trust me.

I haven't hid behind an anonymous name in my writings for years. I don't need to. I think any real professional would do likewise. Unless you're afraid.

If people like me, they like me. If they don't, they don't. They say if you're hated though, people are somewhat envious of you. If you're not hated, then you're not doing scat.

In the meantime, I'm going to grab something to drink. It's still hot.

Oct 5, 2007

To The CW: Sucker!

Remember that Looney Tunes cartoon with a mouse tormenting this cat throughout it, and the mouse kept on calling the cat "Sucker!"? Well, I'm going to reenact a scene, sort of.

Playing the role of the cat, The CW Television Network, who handed over control to their lucrative Saturday morning block to a competitor, 4Kids Entertainment, who is, again for the uninitiated, THE WORST ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY ON THE PLANET.

And playing the role of the mouse, moi.

Say, "cat," have you seen the latest ratings reports? Yeah, I know, ratings are a generally a joke, but this week, the joke's on you.

Presenting, this weekend's ratings for ages 6 - 11.

Kids' WB vs. 4KidsTV

8 AM (all times Eastern):
KWB: Tom and Jerry Tales 1.4/7
4KT: Adrenaline Project 0.4/4

8:30 AM:
KWB: Tom and Jerry Tales 1.8/8
4KT: Yu-Gi-Oh! GX 0.7/3

9 AM:
KWB: Skunk Fu! 1.6/7
4KT: Chaotic 1.2/5

9:30 AM:
KWB: Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get A Clue - 1.6/7
4KT: Fast Forward - 1.3/6

10 AM:
KWB: Eon Kid - 1.6/7
4KT: Fast Forward - 1.5/6

10:30 AM:
KWB: Johnny Test - 1.5/7
4KT: Dinosaur King - 1.6/7

11 AM:
KWB: Legion of Super Heroes - 1.7/9
4KT: Viva Pinata - 1.1/5

11:30 AM:
KWB: The Batman - 1.3/7
4KT: Sonic X - 1.1/5

As you can see, in direct competition, Kids' WB beats 4KidsTV 7-1, with their highest rated show being Tom and Jerry Tales. Yes, their highest rated show comes on at 8:30 AM. And number two's Legion of Super Heroes.

Oh, but none of that matters. Even though Kids' WB regularly beats 4KidsTV week after week, they pretty much threw in the towel declaring 4KidsTV the winner.


Oct 4, 2007

Breaking Down Warner's "Quote" Talking About the Death of Kids' WB

As you've probably heard by now, 4Kids Entertainment, again, The WORST ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY IN THE WORLD, is now going to control 2/5 of Saturday morning programming on broadcast television after The CW handed them control of their Saturday morning block currently housed by Kids' WB. 4Kids is managing all aspects of both The CW and Fox in the 2008-09 season.

Now, Bruce Rosenblum, president of Warner Bros. Television, gave a statement yesterday to Variety Magazine essentially spinning the story of his division's apparent laziness and lack of confidence. He didn't say so much, but I broke down what he said for those that refuse to pay attention.

His words are quoted. My translations aren't.

"Clearly, this was an issue that we examined closely with our partners at CBS."

The same CBS Paramount Television that has access to a library of characters, including classic properties like TerryToons and television properties that could have been adapted to animated form easily like Star Trek, to develop new series for the CW's Saturday morning block, but didn't.

"We fully believe it makes the most business sense for The CW in this broadcast marketplace."

Yes, by handing over control of our lucrative, successful programming block, which has more viewers than our own primetime lineup, to our competitors, who've we've been beating for almost a decade in both the Fox Kids and 4KidsTV incarnations, we're making perfect sense with our decision to shut it down.

"That being said, Warner Bros. has a long, successful track record in the animation business and we absolutely intend to stay true to our heritage by producing world-class animated entertainment for the children's market be it for cable, direct-to-DVD, broadband, wireless and platforms of the future."

Because broadcast television is an albatross and a fool's game. Never mind the fact that there are still television viewers with no access to broadband, DVD, or cable television. They don't have money anyway, so why bother with them? Never mind the fact that within two years, we could have launched a stand-alone Kids' WB digital broadcast channel given the vast, untapped digital spectrum that's just around the corner. Does this mean we're going to give Cartoon Network the time of day now? Hell no. Don't be ridiculous. They're going in a more live-action direction and we have no need to partner with them now. That means we have to make shows, and our arms hurt.

"This is an important business that touches many of the Warner Bros. divisions and we have confidence that Lisa Judson and her team at Warner Bros. Animation will continue to build towards future opportunities."

Yes, by removing one of the few outlets where Warner Bros. Animation can be found, and the last broadcast television outlet at that, we have the utmost confidence in Ms. Judson and Warner Bros. Animation. Now, don't let the door hit you where the dog should have bit you.

Oct 3, 2007

Could Kids' WB's Death Be Cartoon Network's Rebirth?

I'm sure you've heard by now that 4Kids Entertainment, the WORST COMPANY IN THE WORLD (not to be confused with the MOST POORLY RAN ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY IN THE WORLD, which is still Time Warner), has a new knotch in its belt. Starting in the fall of 2008, 4Kids will program the Saturday morning block on The CW.

That's right, Kids' WB is about to go the way of Fox Kids, literally. And they're going to continue to program Fox's Saturday morning block at the same time which begs the question whether this is legal.

But something popped in my head a few moments ago, so excuse me if it's not totally coherent:

What if Time Warner is about to turn Cartoon Network into Kids' WB?

I mean, the Kids' WB name and brand, like the Cartoon Network name and brand, are valuable assets to Time Warner, and since the KWB name isn't going to be used on the Saturday morning block on The CW after next season, they, meaning the idiots at Time Warner, might attach the name to Cartoon Network, which is currently undergoing an identity crisis.

It wouldn't totally surprise me if that's indeed what they're doing. By "starting over," Kids' WB would be a 17-hour a day network dedicated to children's programming rather than just a five-hour weekly block. And at this rate, they wouldn't have to change a thing. Everything is intact, except the name. Everything, from Foster's and Billy and Mandy to Toonami and Adult Swim (which would continue untouched), will remain.

Now, that might be where the whole rumor of Cartoon Network shutting down may have started. Perhaps they, meaning the creators, knew in advance of the Kids' WB/4Kids deal and knew everything behind it. In essence, "Cartoon Network" would be shut down in favor of "Kids' WB" in the channel space. It'd likely remain as is (complete with Toonami on Saturday nights and Adult Swim after 11 PM Mondays through Saturdays and after 10 PM on Sundays [which makes sense in a way, Kids from 6 AM to 11 PM and Adult from 11 PM to 6 AM]).

The Cartoon Network name wouldn't go away either. It could live on either in Boomerang's space or a new network altogether. With Boomerang currently becoming a pseudo-Cartoon Network 2 in the first place, I think Boomerang (the brand) would become a casualty for now while Cartoon Network could be reborn as a 24-hour animation channel without the need to "compete" with Nick and Disney. Boomerang could be reborn later on as a true classic-animation network, but for now, Boomerang could become the new Cartoon Network, a 24-hour outlet with nothing but animation.

I'd be pissed, but I wouldn't be surprised. It almost makes sense. Then again Time Warner is still the Most Poorly Ran Entertainment Company in the World and hasn't made sense in almost a decade.

Oct 1, 2007

The Spirit of Cartoon Network Lives In Canada

Remember what Cartoon Network and Boomerang promos used to look like before they got stupid? I found out where the spirit that guided Cartoon Network for nine of its 15 years went to.

It's in Canada.

Today, ironically 15 years after ol' checkerboard launched, Teletoon launched their own classic animation station, Teletoon RETRO.

Oh, and here's the promo:

As you can see, it's very much like Cartoon Network pre-Time-Warner. Cheap but fun. And boy, is that fun. It launched at 6 PM today, and I wish it much luck in the future. Wish I could see it.

Pissing On The Birthday Cake: CN Turns 15

It's hard to believe it's been 15 years since Droopy pushed the Acme dynamite plunger launching the world's first all-animation channel called Cartoon Network. Twenty-four hours of cartoons was a radical concept back in 1992. Fifteen years later, it seems to be an even more radical concept since there are only a handful of all-animation channels on the air worldwide. Cartoon Network isn't one of them anymore. Since 2005, Cartoon Network has been pushing an agenda of live-action to gain viewers. The network that has been the exclusive home of Looney Tunes and the home of Dexter's Laboratory, The Powerpuff Girls, Toonami, Adult Swim, Samurai Jack, Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends, and other cartoons is now the home of live-action properties like Out of Jimmy's Head and Goosebumps, not to mention older movies with very little connection to animation.

I remember my first time looking at Cartoon Network. I remember my last time looking at Cartoon Network. So, forgive me for giving you guys a "Lucky thought" of sorts.

I have the first hour of Cartoon Network on videotape. I also have a stand-alone VCR that I could watch said tape on, and I didn't have to search the ruins of the old Earth to find one either, unlike Spike and Jet on the "Speak Like A Child" episode of Cowboy Bebop. When I looked at the tape today, and I don't even remember myself laughing out loud like that to anything on the air today. Pure comedy gold from Freleng, Clampett, and Avery. Those names sound alien to today's audiences, but they're the icons of my youth here in the Seven Cities. I looked at that hour of video tape that I recorded on TBS back in 1992 with much enjoyment. This was the first hour of Cartoon Network. I knew that I was looking at something historical. Cartoons from the best studios in America, all day long at my disposal. I wouldn't actually get Cartoon Network until three years later around Memorial Day weekend in 1995.

Since that day, I've seen the network evolve and grow. I watched the first generation of What A Cartoons! when they were brand new on a Sunday night. I watched Cartoon Theater when it was still under the management of Mr. Spim. I remember when Super Adventures evolved into Afternoon Adventures and Power Zone before transforming itself into Toonami. I remember when a prop comedian actually did a decent job at network continuity before they handed the reigns to a great comedian who died way too soon. I remember Toonapalooza, Hootnanny, Mystery Inc., Super Chunk, It Came From The Vault, 70s Super Explosion, and Boomerang. The block, not the network. I remember when Chris Rock played an insect sidekick to Bobcat Gothwait. I remember when they actually advertised something rated TV-PG in the daytime that was a cartoon. I also remember a time when you actually looked at Cartoon Network and didn't see one kid in a classroom environment for almost an entire day.

About five years ago, back when Cartoon Network quietly turned 10, the change began. Sure, they still showed cartoons, but a shift was taking place though, at the time, many didn't pay attention. Cartoon Network's new overboss at Turner was Jamie Kellner. For those that had been under a rock, Mr. Kellner was also the co-creator and the head of The WB Television Network, home of Kids' WB. Kellner brought The WB into the Turner fold where he virtually united Kids' WB with Cartoon Network. The results, needless to say, weren't pretty. The two were seen as one unit now and often presented programming together. Toonami, Cartoon Network's action block, was now the uniform name of the Kids' WB weekday afternoon block with very little change from what was present there a year before. As a result of that rebranding, Cartoon Network moved their Toonami block an hour later to 5 PM. That disasterous collaboration lasted almost a year. Also under that new Turner order was the mandate to make Cartoon Network more "kid-friendly" to viewers and advertisers. In 2002, many shows aimed towards older viewers, specifically the Looney Tunes, MGM shorts, and Popeye shorts as well as the historical shows like Toonheads and The Tex Avery Show, were moved exclusively to Boomerang making room for more kid-oriented programming, specifically more of the whole "Hey, kids like school, so let's make shows with kids in school!" genre.

A year later, Cartoon Network revamped its Cartoon Cartoon Fridays lineup into Cartoon Network Fridays, a weekly show hosted by live-action hosts and musical guests. Tommy, Nzinga, and Tara. I remember talking to my friend Jon, telling him in an "American Photojournalist" kind of way, that Fridays was just the beginning of the end. He laughed it off thinking I was being a little paranoid.

Cue to the last time I watched Cartoon Network. It was April of 2007. It had been over two years since Cartoon Network began to air live-action movies that had nothing to do with animation. The cartoons airing on the network, aside from a handful, have become formulaic and insulting to viewers. Of course, I was no longer the target audience for the network anymore. They want Nickelodeon and Disney Channel viewers to leave that channel to come to Cartoon Network. And they're doing that with programming that just screams of desperation and looks like also-rans that never made it to Nick or Disney. When Cartoon Network announced plans for a handful of live-action properties, including Fried Dynamite, a live-action Ben 10 movie, and the airings of several older properties, including Goosebumps, which will air in a 20-hour marathon in October, I had enough. The Cartoon Network I admired back in 1992, heck, in 2002, had died.

In April, I let go of cable and, in essence, Cartoon Network.

Fifteen years ago, a great network was born. A network that had one agenda, one purpose, and one mission: to be the home of the best cartoons on the planet, and sure enough, over the years, they've done just that. That was Cartoon Network. Everybody that made Cartoon Network is pretty much gone with the exception of Mike Lazzo, but he's at Adult Swim now. And Cartoon Network goes out of its way to say that Adult Swim is a separate network disconnected from Cartoon Network other than sharing channel space.

Today's Cartoon Network is nothing like it was back in 1992, and that's good AND bad. The good is that they've become a more diversified home for foreign and third-party acquisitions as well as being home to blocks not afraid to experiment like Toonami and Adult Swim. The bad is that they're abandoning their core mission more and more each week with the addition of more live-action programming, and that's a shame.

Now, here's something I won't say at the Zone because, well, I promised to be good there. I respect and have nothing but love for Toon Zone, but I don't want to create any bad blood between TZ and CN. After all, I'm expendable. I don't the mothership to get in any trouble for anything I say there.

I want to see Cartoon Network make it to its 20th anniversary because I still believe they're capable of some good. I want to believe that they're not completely idiotic at Techwood Drive. Recent decisions have proven otherwise. I mean, just when I thought they couldn't get stupid, they manage to impress me with the lengths of stupidity they're achieving. There has actually been some rumblings within the animation industry saying that Cartoon Network will be gone within two or three years. I think the rumors are nonsense, but if CN does go the way of the Dodo and The WB, well, I think they really need clean house at the network. Not just one or two high-profile people, but rather a bloodbath. A cleansing that will purge every idiotic exec in charge of not only Cartoon Network, but Turner Broadcasting as well because they have done a piss-poor job these last five years.

"But Jeff, Toonami and Adult Swim are still doing fine, so get off your high horse."

They're doing okay, but Toonami and Adult Swim are pretty much seen by the network as one-show-ponies. Take Naruto and Family Guy from both blocks, and CN wouldn't give a damn about the future of those blocks. Hell, Naruto is already sticking out like a diamond in mud on the primetime lineup and Family Guy is in heavy rotation on TBS as well as its recent syndication launch. Both blocks need to strengthen their lineups in the worse kind of way or else Techwood will begin purging the branding from the network. Toonami is more vulnerable now than ever since they still don't use the block's name on-air anymore, which is sad.

In the meantime, happy birthday Cartoon Network. I wish you all the best. Seriously, you're so much more than what you present yourself as. I just want you to become better.

Sep 30, 2007

On Retainer and Still Animated (Unlike A Certain Network)

Still around.

Been working for a living. Apparently, I'm on retainer as a web designer for this photography site. I designed the look and feel of the site. Got paid a small amount (which everybody tells me), but on the bright side, I'll get paid for my future services for the forthcoming months. It's four figures per assignment, so needless to say, it's a job.

I'm also working on the four IK Comics titles. Since I finally got a scanner, now I could post images here and there. Right now, a couple of teaser images are at my deviantART page. It's so fun.

Also, it's been five years since I've been thrashing Cartoon Network. Five glorious years after being such a yes-man for an entity that has, more or less, acknowledged my works and existance but wants absolutely nothing to do with me. That whole (twice) failed network in the UK was probably the last straw, and I began looking closely at them and criticizing them more openly ever since. Criticizing CN before it became vogue. What fun.

Now, Network is turning 15 in a few hours. Notice I didn't say celebrating because, in case you didn't hear, they're premiering reruns of a 10-year old show responsible for influencing the current television ratings system into existing (seriously, the intitial airings had a disclaimer saying the show is GB-7 a few years before the TV-Y7 was even thought of) in primetime and planning a 20-hour marathon later in October. So, for 20 hours in one weekend, no animation will be seen at all on Cartoon Network.

Yup, tis a golden age we're living in. An age where people are opening up about their feelings about Checkerboard. For the first time in ages, anime fans, classic animation fans, cartoon fans, and adult animation fans are united in their disdain towards one outlet. The network doesn't care, but perhaps a rising should begin.

And in the end, there should be a bloodbath in its wake. Not one or two people losing their high positions, but truckloads of people should go.

Enough of that. I'm still around, but not as much as I'd like to be.

Aug 29, 2007

NBC Universal Buys Into KidsCo

Okay, for starters, I know that this is something that would have been posted at The X Bridge, but, that site resumes normal programming on September 10, 2007. A lot of stuff on that end coming down the pike. I'll reveal it then.

Second, I'm kind of interested in this story as someone looking for something different from the normal.

Remember KidsCo? Let me refresh your memory if you don't.

A consortium of entertainment companies (DiC Entertainment, Corus Entertainment, and Sparrowhawk) got together earlier in the year and announced plans to launch a "fourth voice in children's entertainment," a joint venture that would lead to the creation of international channels worldwide with the exception of North America. That's when I stopped giving them any credence because, well, how could you compete against the other three voices (Disney, Nickelodeon, and that channel that I refuse to talk about based in Atlanta) if you don't do it on their home turf?

But something came up yesterday.

NBC Universal annuonced plans to acquire the company that makes up a third of KidsCo, Sparrowhawk Media, which also owns international Hallmark Channels, Movies 24, Diva TV , a broadcast facility in Denver, and international distribution rights to more than 580 titles in the Sparrowhawk International Library.

Now, here's something interesting to note. NBC Universal and Corus are partners in a pair of endeavors now, the aforementioned KidsCo joint venture and, along with Scholastic, Entertainment Rights/Classic Media, and ION, the qubo programming brand, which also includes a digital channel.

Now that NBC Universal has become a partner in the KidsCo endeavor, would they seriously take on the role of being a "fourth voice" AND be brave enough to take on the big three on their home turf? When it was just DiC, Corus, and Sparrowhawk, they weren't, but now with the increasingly growing monster conglomerate with the body of a planet and the head of a peacock joining them (not to mention a company willing to expand globally and create more programming outlets worldwide, including in the US), they might seriously consider launching a Stateside channel/outlet in the future.

Interesting times we're living in, aren't they?

Aug 23, 2007

Let Me See if I've Got This Straight

Cartoon Network is scheduling a live-action hour-long reality special during Toonami next Saturday. Right?

Toon Disney is premiering Superman and Batman on Jetix in October. Right?

Disney Channel's High School Musical 2 was the most watched program in the history of cable. Right?

Nickelodeon is actually getting a lot of press for next month's upcoming premiere of Avatar. Right?


Dear Cartoon Network:

You lose.

The Disney Channel.

Nickelodeon, Toon Disney, and the Unacknowledged.

Cartoon Network, Time-Warner's mistreatment of the network . . . you know something, I'm not even going to blame Time-Warner for Cartoon Network's lack of direction anymore. It was bad when Time-Warner didn't give a damn about Cartoon Network. Now that The Network doesn't give a damn about itself, why in the hell should I or anybody else?

As of this moment, I will no longer promote anything that airs or is a part of Cartoon Network in any shape or form. I won't plug anything on Toonami (I'll acknowledge the past on the site, but the present is of no importance to me anymore). Adult Swim isn't Cartoon Network, as The Network repeatedly tells us, so, they're not a part of my "ban." Cartoon Network has been a disappointment and will continue to be one for the forseeable future.

In the meantime, I'm just awaiting the day when we call can "be different."

Aug 8, 2007

Hey, A Jonny Quest Movie!

Remember a couple of months ago when I wrote about why they haven't considered making a Jonny Quest live-action movie? Well, apparently somebody must've read my thoughts about the subject.

Yesterday, Warner Bros. announced that producers Adrian Askarieh and Daniel Alter are bringing the classic animated series to the big screen. They say they're using "Raiders of the Lost Ark" as the model and the recent "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies as the edge. And they want Race Bannon to be a former agent akin to Jason Bourne. Actually sounds promising, and considering the producers are echoing some of the same points I made here two months ago, I'm actually curious about how the franchise will be handled and if Warner Bros. Animation will actually reignite Jonny, Hadji, Race, Benton, and Bandit back in animated form.

Oh, what a time to be a JQ fan.

Jul 15, 2007

I Left "The Lot" And Never Looked Back

I'm a fan of Steven Spielberg. I've seen nearly all of his work, and I feel that he's the epitome of the classic filmmaker (not a modern filmmaker, mind you; as much of a fan I am, I think the directors of A Band Apart are what I'd like to be if I was a director). I know he has been a producer for . . . ever, but some things I wonder if Spielberg just signed on for a paycheck only.

On The Lot is one of those occasions.

Filmmakers competing for a chance for a $1 million-dollar contract with Dreamworks, the studio Mr. Spielberg co-founded and sold to Viacom, who already owned Paramount Pictures (but that's a whole other story). At first, it seemed like a grand experiment. Then, all of a sudden, it transformed into a nerdy "American Idol" for film geeks. Hoping to see the show improve, it, alas, didn't. Fox pared down the airings from two episodes a week to one, and effectively killed the show, though the show is still on.

I can't totally blame Spielberg for the lacklusterness of On The Lot. Like Tiny Toons and Animaniacs before it, Spielberg's only the executive producer and has little to do with the series, and Mark Burnett, well, everything he does is scat.

Survivor (which he didn't create but acquired American rights to) wore thin after the second season, as did The Apprentice (but that wasn't totally Burnett's fault but rather the arrogant bastard who runs the show, you know, a man so vile he personifies six of the seven deadly sins (save sloth).

Needless to say, the first episodes of On The Lot intrigued the latent film geek in me, the former Dawson Leery within that wrote stories and the like back in grade school imagining them on the screen (I still do that, but with comics and novels only though). Then, they turned the series into "Filmmaker Idol," and it just ruined everything. In lesser hands, it probably would have been a better concept. Cross the initial episodes of On The Lot with a Project Greenlight-like environment without the audience participation, and it would have been a great series, not to mention a successful one. But alas, it was not meant to be.

The last time I felt this way was when I heard about and then saw NBC's "Fame" reality show a couple of years ago. The producers only used the "Fame" movie brand, but essentially made it into "Young America Can Dance and Sing." Nobody remembers it, and why should they? It was an abysmal series that only existed to capitalize on Idol's success. Again, in lesser hands, it could have been a great series.

I would have gone the same route as the original movie did, making it a four-year project at the same New York School of the Arts as in the movie chronicling several students as they evolve from freshmen to seniors. But that would take patience, and television execs don't have patience for anything. They want a show concept right now, which is why a lot of shows on the air seem rushed and unappealing.

Kind of like "On The Lot."

Jul 4, 2007

Transformers, Chipmunks, and That JJ Abrams . . .


Action, comedy, romance, intrigue, man, that completely blew away my expectations. Wonder why they couldn't do that kind of a movie back in the 80s? Oh, yeah, technology has advanced. I think you could do a movie like the original Toy Story on a home computer now. I didn't want Transformers to end, and there's going to be a sequel. So, if you haven't, GO SEE TRANSFORMERS!!!!! I'll review it in full on the main site in the coming days. Wait for it.

Second, when I left the movie, I saw a poster for the Alvin and the Chipmunks movie. Without seeing a scene, I can safely say "No." No, no, no, no, NO!! Not another ill-concieved cartoon-to-live-action project. As if Underdog was bad enough, now we have . . . okay, realistic-looking chipmunks wearing the trademark colors, but not the trademark attire. Alvin . . . in a hoodie. I'll say no more.

Third, that JJ Abrams-produced movie trailer was probably the best movie trailer I've seen since the original Spider-Man trailer back in 2001. Twenty-somethings throwing a party for a friend named Rob and sharing their thoughts on their friend via videotape. All of a sudden, a loud screech followed by what is thought to be an earthquake rocks the city, briefly causing a blackout. Moments later, a series of explosions is seen deep in the city, almost as if the explosion is alive. Chaos erupts in the streets and the rolling head of the Statue of Liberty is seen.

From Producer JJ Abrams. 1-18-08. End trailer.

What is this movie about? What is the title? Why can't I get it out of my head? That's how you promote yourself. Keep the audiences excited, curious, and, in the end, hanging. This is the most interesting theatrical promo I've seen in a long time, and I'm already getting ready for the long weekend (partially because my 30th birthday concludes it that Monday).

Happy Independence Day

To the American readers of this site, happy Independence Day, the day a bunch of rich White slaveowners declared they didn't want to have anything to do with the British monarchy anymore, announced they were no longer British, and considered themselves (but not the slaves they owned) free. Of course, we celebrate this great day with explosions, cookouts, and other activities.

As a descendant of West Indian slaves, Creoles, Britons, Scots, Irish, and the Powhattan tribe, not really sure what to make of Independence Day myself, but since I am an American, I celebrate my country's 231st birthday this day.

To celebrate, here's a YouTube video celebrating two of America's greatest contributions to the world: Latin American music and television promos.

Enjoy, and happy Independence Day:

Jul 2, 2007

Happy Canada Day (observed)

Although yesterday was the actual day of celebrating the greatness that is Canada, today is the official observation date.

Oh, Canada. A beautiful country filled with creative minds, diverse viewpoints, and talented individuals. The home of YTV and Teletoon, not to mention several of my favorite animation studios like Nelvana, Mainframe, and Nerd Corps. Americans don't really give Canada its due, which is unfortunate.

So, on this day of days, celebrate the greatness that is Canada. Check out Storm Hawks on Cartoon Network. Go to iTunes and pick up a few tunes from Alanis, Nickelback, Avril, and Barenaked Ladies. Buy a couple of ReBoot titles if you can find them (or at least check out the awesome Art of ReBoot book in a bookstore near you). Watch a few episodes of Kids in the Hall, You Can't Do That on Television, DeGrassi, Eek! The Cat, DaVinci's Inquest, and Ed, Edd, and Eddy if you can.

Or check this out, a third of an episode of Class of the Titans straight from the show's official YouTube page (you can catch the remaining 2/3s there later). Class of the Titans. Interesting and fun show that, for the life of me, isn't on in the States in any form. Season two's coming up this fall, more than a year after the last season was completed. They take their time and much pride in their show.


Jul 1, 2007

Happy Canada Day

It's July 1, 2007, so I would like to wish all my Canadian readers a Happy Canada Day. Canada has given the world so much in the world of entertain - - what?

It's celebrated tomorrow? Oh! Well, I had a small post to say . . . guess I'll make it tomorrow. In the meantime, enjoy this small clip from Class of the Titans, a series Americans have yet to witness, and it's a bloody shame:

Jun 27, 2007

Purging The Cable Infection

I haven't had cable in two months, and I have mixed emotions about it.

I miss the variety cable has to offer as well as a clearer signal of broadcast television. However, in the absence of cable, I've realized one strange fact.

Cable is very toxic.

I'm not being metaphotical either. Cable television often made me physically ill, and I didn't realize it until it was gone.

Cable news is the worse offenders and the most toxic element of cable television. Fox News is so one sided when it comes to their primetime lineup and certain news stories as well as having obnoxious, arrogant, smug personalities shouting at and talking on top of their guests, even cutting off their mikes mid-interview, and the other three major cable news channels wanted to emulate them. Headline News has this guy that is so xenophobic, sexist, and racist anchoring the night followed by a woman who lacks grace when it comes to . . . anything. MSNBC and CNN are no better. They put emphasis on turning certain local murder stories national, especially if it involves young, Caucasian females. Then again, broadcast news tend to do the same thing, which is utterly disappointing.

That's probably why I tend to phase out on news broadcast, relying on the internet print rather than video.

Also, Cartoon Network has become toxic to me. Anybody who read my regular site or see my posts at Toon Zone probably realized that. In the two months without cable, I've become somewhat relaxed. Stress levels and blood pressure are way down, which is kind of shocking. Think I lost some weight as well. Maybe it's just utter disappointment in them that caused me to lose faith in them. I have gotten to the point that even talking about Cartoon Network made me violently ill. But now, I just have a little indigestion when I do talk about them.

I know I haven't spoke kindly on broadcast television, but that's because they don't really live up to their potential. In the months that I didn't have cable, I've realized that broadcast television has completely given up on Saturday nights and rely way too much on courtroom dramas, paternity/cheating situations, and advice gurus. Broadcast television should be more than that. That's probably why I like cable more than television.

It's toxic and probably killing me, but I kind of miss it. Some things I don't miss, but the good things I certainly do.

Jun 26, 2007

Frederator Goes Indy - Among First Projects: "Samurai Jack" Film

In light of the sad, tragic events that occurred over the weekend involving one of my favorite wrestlers of all time, I'm just glad to read something good to lighten the mood.

Scratch that, not something good. Something GREAT!

According to Variety, Fred Seibert (creator of the MTV logo, the architect of the imaging and packaging Nickelodeon uses to this day, former president of Hanna-Barbera, founder of Frederator Studios, and the most underappreciated guy in the animation industry today) and a pair of entertainment executives announced plans to launch a new independent animation movie company, Frederator Films.

Their mission is a great one: To create 2D and genre-based animated films aimed towards young men with a low, but workable budget.

Here's the text (caution - Varietyspeak is in abundance in this piece):

A trio of toon veterans are launching Frederator Films as an indie feature film company with a mission to produce 2-D animated genre movies budgeted below $20 million.

Fred Seibert's partnered with Kevin Kolde and Eric Gardner, with all three acting as producers on the projects. Seibert's the former president of Hanna-Barbera and longtime producer via Frederator Studios, which debuted a decade ago with "Oh Yeah! Cartoons" for Cartoon Network; that show spun off "Cow & Chicken," "Powerpuff Girls" and "Dexter's Laboratory," and Frederator followed with "The Fairly OddParents," "ChalkZone" and "My Life as a Teenage Robot" for Nickelodeon.

Kolde ran Spumco, the banner of John Kricfalusi ("Ren & Stimpy"), for more than a decade, while Gardner is the topper at Panacea Entertainment, a talent management and production company with clients including Donny Osmond, Richard Belzer, Paul Shaffer, the Sex Pistols, Elvira and members of the Rolling Stones.

Seibert told Daily Variety that the new banner can take advantage of 21st century technology to develop offbeat content into feature films.

"Fred is the master at identifying voids in the marketplace and filling them with paradigm-shifting content," Gardner said. "There has been a dearth of both 2-D and genre animated feature product, which Frederator Films will be rectifying." Pics will be aimed at young males.

First projects from the shingle:

"Samurai Jack," a feature version of the Cartoon Network skein. The creator, Genndy Tartakovsky, is attached to write and direct.

"The Neverhood," a claymation feature based on the DreamWorks videogame of the same name. Doug TenNapel, who created the game, is aboard to write and direct.

"The Seven Deadly Sins," a hip-hop project with Don King hired as the first voice actor.

Yes, your eyes did not deceive you. Frederator's making a Samurai Jack animated movie. Let me be the first to say THANK YOU FREDERATOR! One of the greatest animated series of all time always had a place in my heart, and I'm glad to see it at least resuming with Genndy back at the helm of his creation in the form where it was first developed instead of being live-action. Ugh. I'm surprised that they're developing a Neverhood movie. I've always been a fan of Doug TenNapel's works (Earthworm Jim, Project, and Catscratch). Not his politics, mind you, just his works, which is why I'm looking forward to a return to the Neverhood. I'm cautiously curious about Seven Deadly Sins mostly because of the casting of the most crooked boxing promoter I've ever seen, but I'm sure he's the biggest part of the movie.

Still, talent drives this brand, and I look forward to see what Frederator Films has to offer in the years ahead.

Jun 7, 2007

Quack, Quack

Things I Can Strike Out on a list for Things I Thought I'd Never See:

- A professional team originally named after a movie starring Emilio Estévez or inspired an animated series winning a professional championship.

Congratulations to the Anaheim (Mighty) Ducks, your 2006-07 NHL Stanley Cup Champions!

Quack, quack.

Jun 6, 2007

Hey, How About A Jonny Quest Movie


I've realized why Cartoon Network and Warner Bros. aren't interested in animation anymore.

They're turning them all into live-action movies.

Over the past couple of weeks, the following films have been greenlit for production:

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

Teen Titans


Adding the Speed Racer movie still in production as well as the Voltron and Johnny Bravo movies still in production hell, a lot of animated titles are becoming fleshed out. Originality is no longer needed in Hollywood, and whatever makes a better toyetic franchise, the more likely it'll be made. They still haven't officially announced the new ThunderCats series (coming in fall 2008 to either CN or the CW), but hey, there's officially going to be a live-action version coming soon. Still, any excuse for Mattel to make new MOTU action figures (and ThunderCats since Mattel's the master toymaker for all things Warner Bros), the better.

But, how about creating something that could interesting?

How about Warner Bros. making a Jonny Quest movie?

Seriously, Warner Bros. needs a strong kidcentric movie franchise since, well, Harry Potter has three movies left (Order of the Phoenix, The Half-Blood Prince, and The Deadly Hallows), and they need to develop a franchise with a strong child hero. Paramount's planning Avatar movies with that M. Night Shayma . . . Shmy . . . Shylama . . . that guy who did The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable helming it. Dreamworks is planning Tintin, though the reporter technically isn't a kid (and it's all mocap, pissing off animation elites everywhere). Jonny Quest is not only a child hero, but it has all the makings of a film franchise.

- Familiar, excellent characters that have made an impact for over 40 years.

- A built-in audience.

- A mythology that is expansive and can evolve with every film.

If placed in the right hands, a Jonny Quest film could not only become the next big thing, but could become a movie franchise that Warner Bros. could mature in the years to come. In the meantime, I'll wait for Thundercats.

Jun 2, 2007

I Don't Want MyNTV

Why does My Network TV continue to exist?

Seriously, why does Fox continue to prove that they cannot operate a second broadcast network? MNT's a failure.

A miserable, tactless failure that needs to go the way of DuMont and PTEN.

The telenovella format bombed. The lineup is now filled with old movies, failed reality shows, celebrity news "documentaries," and an MMA league that's not UFC nor Pride. The new lineup looks the same as well. And poor affiliates that aren't owned by Fox have to suffer with limited acquisitions, no Saturday morning lineup, and little support from Fox themselves. All because they wanted to be affiliated by a network since UPN and The WB merged into The CW. Of course, the reason why they did that is because, well, if they didn't, Fox would have killed UPN in September 2006 by dropping the network affiliation from top markets.

MNT barely registers on the consciousness of Americans. Even The CW has created a niche in its year of existance. Still, The CW has more to offer than MNT, at least the ones not owned by Fox. The existance of MNT helped bury a syndication market that really needed a jolt. Free airwaves could have brought a reinaissance in syndication programming, but Fox felt the world needed another network. The execution was a failure, and it's still a failure.

Nobody watches MNT. It's saddled with a terrible brand name. It basically turned some networks into informercial wastelands on Saturday mornings. I won't say it ruined television because a lot of people didn't know it existed.

So, the question remains. Why does My Network TV continue to exist?

Just a thought.

Jun 1, 2007

Step One: Fix Up The Front Page and Add New Blogs

Front page is fixed up a little. To my surprise, Blogger added a few new toys to play around with. So, say aloha to the old look and the retirement of the Thoughtnami: Animated Thoughts name/logo, and say aloha to an evolving look and the site's newish name: Jeff Harris' Thoughtnami.

Speaking of new arrivals, I've posted links to The American Roadtrip Sessions, Richard Mage's Search, and The Hangar. Keen-eyed readers will notice that these new links share the names of three IK Comics titles, coming in 2008. You don't suppose that . . . nah, I'm not that clever or smart, am I? Well, these blogs will entertain you until the actual comics arrive and are written in character.

I'm not crazy, just a little unwell.

Next week, I think I'm going to test out the audio component of this site.

Yes, audio. It'll probably be fun as well as bad for your health. I'll talk about that later.

May 29, 2007

Changes Are Coming To Thoughtnami

Dudes and ladies, it's been a while since I've posted here.

Read the title?

Expect something to happen within the week.

Also, expect more than just monthly posts around these parts (really sorry about that; life got hectic these last couple of months working on the main site, articles for the mothership, and working on Frost Bros, Centauri, Zu Helix, Bridget Hex, and DiGB).

More details when I'm a little more coherent in the morning (it's 3:21 AM when I typed this).

So, read between the letters, and have sweet ones . . .

Apr 19, 2007

Go Hokies

I've been numb since Monday morning, but the reality of it all didn't really hit me until Tuesday afternoon.

On Monday, April 16, 2007, a sad, dangerous madman with his own agenda killed 32 students, instructors, and professors at Virginia Polytechnical Institute within hours before turning the gun on himself.

For those that don't know, I live in Virginia. I live in the southeastern end of the commonwealth while Blacksburg is many miles away in the northwestern end of the commonwealth, so needless to say, over here, the Virginia Tech tragedy has hit hard around these parts. I didn't attend Virginia Tech (I went to ODU), but I know people that did. I didn't personally know anybody who was killed, but I do feel the same kind of remorse their love ones feel today.

Of course, as a result of the events of 4/16, some folks feel many kind of emotions. Parents hug their children a little more these days, though some of them fear them going away for college as a result. Fear is an emotion that can be stop only if you let it go, and we shouldn't have fear now. The world is dangerous, but if you let the fear consume you, then you've already lost.

And then you have the usual opportunists. Self-righteous asshats that have their own racist, xenophobic reasons to blame the race of the killer and the fact that he was from another country for the reasons behind the tragedy. Not to mention the usual crop of bastards who love to blame video games, television, movies, and music for "inspiring and condoning" the behavior of the killer. To those people, I have two words:

Fuck you.

Yes, it's blunt, and please forgive me for using that kind of language. Everybody knows I'm not a profane guy, but that's how I feel now. I'm sick of these same idiots blaming things aside from the true reasons for tragic events.

I've been depressed for a couple of days now, and I felt like I needed to write out these thoughts as a cathartic exercise, so please forgive me for that.

Living in Virginia all my life, I never knew what a Hokie was. This week, the whole world felt the Hokie pride as one.

We are Virginia Tech.

Go Hokies.

Mar 9, 2007

Rated T/S for Television Sucks

Yeah, I'm posting articles around here at Thoughtnami, a break of sorts from what I'm doing at The X Bridge. Toonami turns 10 next Saturday, but I needed to take a breather on that. Plus, I hate Cartoon Network, which kind of puts a crimp in my love for the block. Talk about moral dilemma. Anyway, I looked around here and decided to finish up an article I made but never published. New articles coming here and the flipside of The X Bridge, BXT, in the weeks to come, so, enjoy this little nugget for now:

I watched a rerun of Beakman's World the other morning. I was surprised that Sony brought it back to television, but it was a pleasant surprise. Beakman is one of those cool educational shows from back in the day that didn't insult the viewer's intelligence, up there with Mr. Wizard, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and The Electric Company. But I digress. Aside from the fact that the show is apparently, yet foolishly rated TV-PG (oh, in case you never read TXB, TV-PG is nothing more than TV-Y7 for non-kids programming . . . it just SEEMS edgier compared to others), I couldn't help but notice the glaring E/I banner in the upper right corner throughout the episode.

During the entire episode, the stupid E/I banner, which stands for Educational/Information programming, remained, all static, all humungous. It's bad enough that they have to explain what the E/I banner is for EVERY TIME before the show begins, but to have it throughout the episode is just pointless clutter for the screen. In an era when every angle is bombarded with images that have nothing to do with the television show, it seems that the E/I banner is just one more distraction.

Then I wondered something. Why stop there? Programming for kids are always the first to try out new ratings. Heck, the first show in this country to be "rated" was Goosebumps, which had their own GB-7 rating before every episode. Meanwhile, shows aimed towards older audiences are left alone.

But let's imagine if the television industry treated adult fare in a similar fashion, putting pointless ratings in the corner. What would they be?

Let's take a look:

R/N: Reality/Non-scripted programming. Usually shows that are cheap to produce and drawing in easily-manipulated viewers with catchphrases, cruel folks, public humiliation, and pretty people to vote for. See American Idol, Survivor, Deal or No Deal, or any non-music program on a Viacom-owned music network (which is 9/10 of the shows).

C/M: Crime/Medicine programming. If a show has a focus on police coroners and has "Crime," "Scene," "Investigation," or any combination of the initials, this label will be placed here. In short, a CBS-exclusive rating.

M/S: Mindscrew programming. Those ensemble shows with multiple flashbacks, multiple twists and turns, and events that could potentially make your head explode if you watch too much of it. Like Lost, Jericho, Heroes, or similar programming.

S/S: Suburban/Situation programming. Shows that place in a suburban, homogenized environment with very little contact with a diverse world like ours. Again, a CBS-exclusive, only on Monday nights.

U/S: Urban/Situation programming. The reverse of the S/S rating. A CW-exclusive rating only on Monday nights.

O/A: Overrated Athletics. Any sports programming that isn't Pardon The Interruption. Damn, I love that show.

Needless to say, television's stupid. Adults are just as stupid as kids in this country when it comes to television. However, kids do realize that there's always something else on television and not easily fooled.

Feb 22, 2007

The Duelity of Life

We know our time is not promised on this world, which is why we live each day like it's our last.

We were born under a strange moon in a world that now knows nothing but fear and uncertainty. We learned early in our lives that a world without hope is a world that will not last. Quite frankly, we're pretty used to this world of ours, so we have to reclaim it from those that inspire fear and uncertainty, the evil in our world.

When we fall, we fall face first, enjoying the breeze, and reveling in the fact that this is not the end of anything, but rather, a time to just relax. We fall at incredible speeds from heights once thought unimaginable by man, and though people tell us we shouldn't, we do. When we fall, we display nor have no fear.

If you accept fear into your lives, then you die.

We know our time is not promised on this world, which is why we live each day like it's our last.

We're just doing it wearing a black and white mask.


Feb 20, 2007

XM and Sirius Merging?

Isn't this kind of illegal? I mean, there are only two subscription-based satellite radio services in the US, and the fact that they're merging may be a boon for the industry or a sign of media consolidation run amok yet again.

Oh, I know the Time Warner blokes wish that Levin and Case never embraced with a hug on a public stage.

I mean, if XM and Sirius merged, what's next? Will we expect Pepsico and The Coca-Cola Company making a similar stock-swap deal to form the world's biggest soft-drink company and stripping certain brands while keeping others? How about MTV and MuchMusic burying the hatchet and actually getting along creating a global music network?

As the gas and airline companies proved, consolidation in a single industry is never a good thing, and I fear that if XM and Sirius's merger becomes a reality, what will happen?

It doesn't matter to me, I don't really listen to much radio (terrestrial or satellite) these days anyway. Much of the scat that's on the airwaves, whether it's the smug blowhards on those talk radio stations or those stations that play edited, preselected, mandatory music without much heart and soul, warps the mind.

Then again, so does television, but, that's a conversation for another time.

Feb 3, 2007

Tears of The Wingless Angel

The world doesn't need people like me anymore.

At least, that what it seems like.

The world doesn't need guys that care too much nor people who are, to say the least, well-versed. The world looks at guys like me as weak, unimportant, and unnecessary. To care about anything shows weakness, so you have to be coldhearted to survive in this world, and I can't be that way.

I walk this world alone. No friends, no distractions. No anything. I hurt from loneliness, and I'm just looking to be loved, or something. I follow the same coda every single day and get no respect nor love from anybody. People like what I have to have to say, but they don't really care about the messenger. They nod and feel happy about themselves, but they move on with their lives and only see me as a weekly distration from reality.

At times, people take advantage of me, and they don't care about my feelings. I'm just there. There's a person behind these words.

My birthday came and went. Perhaps I'm just too old to matter anymore or something.

Last weekend, I've been in pain and I grew tired. I hurt so bad.

Life is frustrating to me, doing the same old thing, going the same old places week after week. I would cry, but I ran out of tears eight years ago. Life is too fragile, but I can't give up.

Perhaps, the flame within me will burn brightly, inspiring me to fly higher than I could even imagine. Perhaps the destiny I'm supposed to live will finally become a reality. Until then, I look on at these charred surroundings of mine and wonder what tomorrow will bring.


Jan 9, 2007

New She-Ra Animated Series?

Let me see if I read this news article from Cynopsis Kids right:

Genius Products (GNPI), a DVD producer/licensor/distributor, and The Weinstein Company (TWC) have inked a long-term pact with Entertainment Rights and Classic Media for the distribution, co-production and co-financing of a range of home video and videogame productions for the family, kids and teen markets. Under the terms of the deal GNPI has the exclusive North American distribution rights for home video and certain digital media distribution rights for Classic and ER's catalogs (e.g. Lassie, Fat Albert, Postman Pat, Rupert Bear, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and VeggieTales), as well as for ER, Classic and TWC new co-productions and co-financed slate of kid-targeted new animated productions (e.g. The Lone Ranger, Gumby, and She Ra and Kung Fu Magoo). In addition, GNPI will have North American distribution rights for a slate of up to 12 new videogames it will produce and finance based on titles in the ER and Filmation catalogs. ER will handle the international distribution of home video and co-productions. Eric Robinson, VP/Production and Development, TWC will manage the productions. ER is in the process of acquiring Classic Media.

That's the article in full. But here's the news item that kind of caught my eye:

Under the terms of the deal GNPI has the exclusive North American distribution rights for home video and certain digital media distribution rights for Classic and ER's catalogs (e.g. Lassie, Fat Albert, Postman Pat, Rupert Bear, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and VeggieTales), as well as for ER, Classic and TWC new co-productions and co-financed slate of kid-targeted new animated productions (e.g. The Lone Ranger, Gumby, and She Ra and Kung Fu Magoo).

So, in other words, has the Genius and Weinstein announced that Classic Media/Entertainment Rights are making new animated series based on The Lone Ranger, Gumby, She-Ra, and Mr. Magoo? Obviously Kung Fu Magoo is a new series that I haven't heard much about (I knew TV Land was going to have a new Mr. Magoo series, but I have no idea if this is it or they decided to go the martial arts parody route just for kids?). The Lone Ranger isn't all that surprising. Gumby's back in comics form in twisted, but brilliant tales. But She-Ra? After the so-called "failure" of the 2003 He-Man revamp, is Mattel really considering a revival of the girl-based spinoff? It's an interesting development to say the least.

Also, it is nice to see Classic Media and Entertainment Rights get along after their merger. Of all the mergers that occurred in 2006, this is the one that actually made the most sense.

ComicSpace > MySpace

MySpace is a place where all sorts of characters congregate to talk about themselves. ComicSpace is a place where comic creators, critics, and fans can talk about themselves, comic book fandom, and the independent spirit.

I've only been on ComicSpace for about four days, and I enjoy the experience many times more than the months I spent on MySpace. So, my MySpace section may be operational, but I like the company at ComicSpace much better, and when I'm not here, ToonZone, my homebase, Wikipedia, or searching for news, you'll find me under the name IKComics.

What is IK Comics? I've explained it at ComicSpace first (click the link) and will describe it in full in March. I have a lot of work to do between now and then.

Jan 1, 2007

Happy New Year From Thoughtnami

Well, another year over and another has just begun. Hope you all have a safe and happy new year, and if the fates allow, we'll do this all again . . . much later in the year.