Small Snippet of August

Small Snippet Aug

mashofthetitanscoverMash of the Titans Volume 7

I’ve previously talked about how much I love mashup music (see my Robin Skouteris post) and Mash of the Titans #7 does not disappoint. I feel that every track on this compilation is on point and amazing.

I cannot stop listening to, My My My! (I’m Curious), Havana Lovers, Love is Cure, and I Want You To Sing Me A Lullaby.

If you’re not too sure what is/or if you’ll like mashup music, I really encourage you to click some links, watch some videos, and download the album. Not only is it good music, but it’s damned catchy!

final spaceFinal Space

I devoured Final Space in two days. The ten episode series is a funny, but brutal, sci-fi animation from the mind of Olan Rogers.

The show has only just recently become available through Netflix Australia and I cannot stress how much you need to watch this show!

The main character, Gary, is just so hard to describe. At first he can come off as annoying, too big a character, but keep going. Get the feel of the show. Then love him!

The voice acting talents of the whole cast are amazing. Tom Kenny is the hilarious backbone of the show, with Rogers, Tika Sumpter, David Tennant, Steven Yeun and Coty Galloway shining through. 

The humour of the show is just so on point. It was like the show was designed to make me laugh. One of my favourite moments is when HUE the space ship’s AI just casually refers to the bad guys as dickheads. Made me explode with laughter. So if that sounds like something you would enjoy, give it a go! Right now!!

Final Space needs a second season and you need to watch the first!

Long Lost Reviews IconLong Lost Reviews

I’ve gone ahead and created another feature post for the blog. Next month will see the first post of my new ‘Long Lost Reviews’ feature. The general idea around these posts is to get people looking back at books or things that they’re always been meaning to review but for one reason or another haven’t gotten around to writing.

A lot of the times I’ll see book reviews on Goodreads that are made up of the one sentence, ‘review to come.’ When I have a quick look at the date, often it’s been two years and no review has been added 😛 Long Lost Reviews is a chance to go back to those books and actually write something. Whether or not it is an in depth discussion or simply a paragraph of all that you can remember, it doesn’t matter as long as your getting something out about the item 🙂

My first selection for the very first post is a book that had a big affect on me, however I cannot remember any of the plot. All I remember is how it affected me and how I feel when I think of the book. If you’re interested in jumping on the Long Lost Review train, leave a comment and let me know 🙂


Small Snippet comment

Currently Consuming: The Awesomes

Small Currentrly consuming

the-awesomesWhat The Avengers could never be… or would want to be.

About: The Hulu original, The Awesomes, is an animated show that follows the lives of a rag-tag group of superheros. The main protagonist, Professor Dr. Jeremy Awesome or ‘Prock’, is the son of world famous superhero, Mr. Awesome.

After Mr. Awesome retires, Prock decides to take over and run the superhero team, the Awesomes. However things don’t go as planned as after Prock takes over, all the competent heroes leave the group. The show follows Prock and his best friend Harry Strong (Muscleman) as they try and find other supers to join the team and stay relevant.

Created and produced by Seth Myer and Mike Shoemaker, the show is very well written, very funny and an original spin on the superhero genre.

Why: I have caught a few snippets of the show on The Comedy Channel and wanted to watch from the beginning.

Best bits: The villain of the show, Dr. Giuseppe Malocchio, is a big draw for me. Bill Hader shines in this role of the charismatic and odd bad guy.

The show is also very self-referential. With characters often drawing attention to certain plot points and commenting on them. Once again, the show is very well written with the whole series following a main story arch that is glimpsed in the first episode and concludes in the last.

Thoughts so far: I have just finished the first season and I am eager to watch more. Bring on season two!

Bee and PuppyCat

Hans_Tseng_logoThe original creation of Natasha Allegri, Bee and PuppyCat is a short animated cartoon. The show follows the adventures of twenty-something Bee, and the mysterious PuppyCat (Is he a puppy? A cat? Or both?) as they traverse both the reality of Bee and her lack of work, and that of PuppyCat and the fantastical realm where the pair pick up temp work.

Released by Cartoon Hangover, a branch of Channel Frederator, the show got its start through a Kickstarter campaign. Indeed the crowd funded campaign is the most successful animated Kickstarter, which I am proud to say I was a contributing member.

The show, which went into production shortly after the successful Kickstarter, is realised by Cartoon Hangover on its YouTube channel. Similar to the other Cartoon Hangover show, Bravest Warrior, the episodes lengths run at around six minutes. Due to the stretch goals reached by Kickstarter backers, the show is set to have has nine episodes in the season.

The art style of Bee and PuppyCat is similar to that of Allegri’s previous work, with the show having a very cutesy, curvy and charming aesthetic. The writing as well, is indicative of Allegri’s style with it being equal parts funny, awkward, and endearing. The show is a perfect blend of cutesy humour, engaging mystery and peculiar world creation that will make waiting for each new episode a breeze.

With episodes just starting to be released, Bee and PuppyCat is a show which will have you eagerly anticipating each new episode. If you have a spare ten minutes, why not head over to Cartoon Hangover’s Youtube channel and check out the two part pilot of Bee and PuppyCat – I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Top Five Contemporary Cartoons

Rather than having a grand sweeping list of the best cartoons, which would be an incredibly difficult endeavour, the cartoons in this list are representative of what I consider the best of the new and current cartoons available on television at the moment.

Admittedly the shows included on this list are not only contemporary but they’re arguably adult in nature. While certainly some are aimed at children or younger audiences, the content and sub-textual value that can be taken away from adult viewers provide the shows with a refreshing depth that places them so high on this list.

gumball

This Cartoon Network produced, British-American show is not only visually stunning but it is genuinely funny. Following the antics of Gumball (a cat) and Darwin (an evolved pet goldfish who was welcomed into the family) the show is one that explores the pairs school and home life. While Gumball may be the name sake of the show, his family, school friends and teachers nevertheless play important parts in the narrative.

What makes The Amazing World of Gumball stand out from other contemporary cartoons is the visual style of the show. Gumball and his family are animated in a 2D style, while other members of the community are created using special stylised 3D, realistic 3D and even stop motion techniques. This diversity of animation styles coupled with the photo realistic backgrounds make this show such an incredible visual pleasure.

Similar to shows such as Malcolm in the Middle and The Middle, The Amazing World of Gumball is one that paints a more realistic, yet hopeful picture of the lower income family. One issue that has proven to be an annoyance is the amount of material that has been censored for Australian audiences. While no drastic changes have taken place, moments such a same-sex chaste kiss and small violent incidents have been cut from the show; the necessity of such changes is, I feel, questionable. However, relatable yet still incredibly imaginative story lines mixed with genuine belly laughs are what make this cartoon stand out from the crowd.

archer-post1Putting Archer in fourth place does in no way do the show justice. The show, that focuses on the exploits of ISIS (International Secret Intelligence Service), is not only action packed and story driven but it is down right, hilarious.

Protagonist and name sake of the show, Sterling Malory Archer, is a secret agent whose blasé proficiency and hilariously deep-seeded mother issues drive the whole show. This show cannot be discussed without mentioning the cohesion and hilarity that the rest of the cast provide. From a bitter and alcoholic mother Malory, a rich yet insane Cheryl, to a even more insane mad-scientist Krieger and (a particular favourite) human resource manager and all around arse-kicker Pam, this ensemble of characters is one that continues to grow, evolve and keep audiences watching.

Coupled with this amazing cast of characters, blockbuster story-lines and (as is the production companies want) numerous narrative turns, Archer is a show that cannot be slowed down. Entering into its fifth season Archer is one that only grows and develops as it continues. Although, while the show can by no means be said to be ‘maturing,’ it nevertheless keeps producing top notch entertainment.

regular-show-8

Contrary to what the title suggests, this show is anything but regular. Set in a town park, Mordecai (a Bluejay) and Rigby (a Racoon) are groundskeepers who spend most of their time slacking off . The format of the show is similar to that seen on Cartoon Network, with the episodes being broken down into two eleven minutes slots, however the show follows an almost set formula. That is, while the show may start off in ‘normal’ terrain it slowly sinks into deeper and more outrageous ground before somehow righting itself and the ‘regular’ park.

Regular Show has many more adult jokes that are either blatantly obvious to older audiences or buried in sub-text, than any other Cartoon Network show. Even without these sly little nods to the adult viewers, Regular Show is one that still manages to entertain. Similar to The Amazing World of Gumball, there are moments that have been cut out of episodes screened in Australia. However this does not effect the impact of the show, rather it merely cuts out some of the more adult or violent moments.

The sheer quotability of the show will have moments re-playing in your head and the elongated ‘Ohh’ will no doubt be included in many a vocabulary. The sheer diversity of the narratives coupled with the engaging side characters are what makes Regular Show so great.

ventureThis show stands out above the rest with the sheer wit and amazingly complex storylines at work across all four (soon to be five) seasons. Following Doctor ‘Rusty’ Venture, his two sons Hank and Dean, and bodyguard Brock, The Venture Brothers tells of the second generation and almost repercussions of living in the shadow of a Johnny Quest father figure. Once a young adventurer now ‘Rusty’ Venture is a middle aged, two-bit super-scientist who lives off the remains of his fathers work, all the while going on numerous ‘adventures.’ His two sons, Hank and Dean, who are reminiscent of the Hardy Boys, coupled with their shared relationship with the ultra-violent Brock make this show both engaging and warm.

One of the numerous side characters who over the series have played more of a part, is the Monarch. This evil super-villain who has a monarch butterfly theme, his wife (Dr. Mrs. The Monarch) and his band of loyal Henchmen are the self-proclaimed arch-nemesis of the Ventures. Numerous storyline revolve around this ‘henching’ with the involvements and back stories of the characters becoming increasingly intermingled. The brilliant way in which the story has progressed and evolved is almost like watching a fossil being uncovered. All the hints are there, numerous moments of foreshadowing are present throughout the series and yet they still remain a mind blowing surprise when they happen. Creators Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick demonstrate episode after episode, pop culture reference after reference, their collective genius.

Despite the complexity of the storyline, The Venture Brothers in a surprisingly easy show to watch. The back story and connected relationships, while present remain in the background with hints and off hand comments only connecting them. This is not a show that you have to watch religiously from the beginning as any episode is one that can be watched out of context and still enjoyed. Although for people who want to get right into the new fifth season here is an 8 minute run-down of the four previous seasons. The hilarity and multitude of hidden references of The Venture Brothers are ones that will have you returning over and over again to the show.

bobs-burgers-17What separates Bob’s Burgers from the others in this list is not the humour or the characters but the sheer re-watchability. The premise of Bob’s Burgers is one that follows Bob Belcher and his family as they struggle to run a burger restaurant. This underrated show is one that consistently deliverers great laughs as well as narratives. The Belcher children are an almost endless source of humour with their personalities and relationships with each other providing numerous moments of hilarity.

Despite having seen each episode numerous times, I still find myself laughing, smiling and enjoying the show. It is this freshness that keeps me coming back for more and what makes Bob’s Burgers number one.

To anyone out there who thinks Cartoons aren’t a legitimate or good source of entertainment, I submit to you this list.The shows featured on here and in the honourable mentions are ones that call out to the child in us all, while some speak more to the adult than others, the enjoyment that the animation genre provides should not be devalued, rather, it should be celebrated.

Honourable mentions: Adventure Time, Daria, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, Frisky Dingo, Gravity Falls and Robot Chicken.