PHINEAS AND FERB BRING IMBALANCE TO THE FORCE IN NEW DISNEY TV/STAR WARS MASHUP
By Andy Khouri
Just about one year to the day since Disney Television Animation’s Phineas and Ferb enjoyed a visit from the heroes of Marvel Comics — or an epic crossover event, if you like — Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh’ critically acclaimed and very popular musical comedy series will be the first to mashup with Star Wars since creator George Lucas’ company was acquired by Disney last year.
Premiering next Saturday, July 26, on Disney XD, Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars takes place in what the studio actually terms “an alternate universe” in which the title characters and their supporting players inhabit the iconic roles of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
For those of you unfamiliar with the harrowing legend of Phineas and Ferb, the series is one of the most unconventionally structured and idiosyncratically directed of Disney TV Animation’s current slate — which includes Gravity Falls, so that’s saying something. Each episode typically follows step-brothers Phineas and Ferb on some kind of adorably outlandish adventure — like constructing the most dangerous roller coaster in history in their back yard — while the bros themselves remain eminently chill throughout. Their older sister Candace is something of a narc, always trying to get them busted for not obeying the rules and generally panicking and freaking out constantly. But while all that goes on — and this is where it gets really weird — the boys’ pet… platypus… who is called Perry, sneaks off to pursue his true nature as… an undercover spy… working to bring down a mad scientist Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz (think Dexter from Dexter’s Lab all grown up and hilariously inept) … in a subplot that has nothing to do with what Phineas and Ferb are even doing… until they crash into each other in the end in such a way that nullifies all evidence of whatever Phineas and Ferb were doing and make Candance look insane to their mom.
Like I said, it’s wild.
MONDO TO RELEASE ‘BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES’ MUSIC ON LIMITED EDITION VINYL
By Andy Khouri
The boutique merchandise division of the Alamo Drafthouse known for limited edition posters by some of today’s coolest illustrators, Mondo has been expanding its interests into the realm of collectible vinyl music, releasing limited editions of soundtracks for Oblivion, Gravity, Jurassic Park and other films with particularly memorable and cool scores. Mondo’s about to level up with its most ambitious music plan yet: a series of vinyl-only releases of Danny Elfman’s music from Batman: The Animated Series.
Coming to Comic-Con next week, the first selection of music will be available in no fewer than five different designs by five different artists, each with their own distinctive illustration created especially for the 7” vinyl record format. Revealed for the first time by ComicsAlliance, this fabulous Harley Quinn piece by Matt Taylor speaks right to the heart of what’s cool about this project: high style and high fidelity, with palpable affection for the material that’s made the animated series — and Elfman’s thremes in particular — so beloved even 20 years later.
BEST COSPLAY EVER (THIS WEEK): THE ROCKETEER, KATE BISHOP, KEN & BARBIE, HIM AND MORE
Compiled by Betty Felon
Although cosplay has been present for decades within the comics, anime, and sci-fi/fantasy fandoms, social media has played an integral role in the thriving communities of costuming that exist, such as Cosplay.com and the Superhero Costuming Forum. Over the years, the cosplay community has evolved into a creative outlet for many fans to establish and showcase some impressive feats of homemade disguise, craftsmanship, and sartorial superheroics at conventions. In honor of the caped crusaders of the convention scene, ComicsAlliance has created Best Cosplay Ever (This Week), an ongoing collection of some of the most impeccable, creative, and clever costumes that we’ve discovered and assembled into a super-showcase of pure fan-devoted talent.
Ms. Marvel cosplay photographed by Ron Gejon Photography.
THE X-MEN EPISODE GUIDE 4×11: ‘BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL, PART 4′
By Chris Sims
The early ’90s were spoiled for choice when it came to comic book adaptations. Not only was Batman: The Animated Series on the air, but X-Men led Marvel’s push to get on the small screen, diving right into the often convoluted continuity of everyone’s favorite mutants, luring in a generation of fans, and paving the way for cartoons to follow. That’s why we’ve set out to review every single episode of the ’90s X-Men animated series.
This week, it’s the finale of “Beyond Good And Evil,” and honestly, your guess is as good as mine.
BOB HASTINGS, THE VOICE OF COMMISSIONER GORDON ON ‘BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES,’ DIES AT 89
For a certain generation of TV viewers, Bob Hastings will always be Lt. Elroy Carpenter from McHale’s Navy. For another generation, he’ll forever be the voice of Police Commissioner Gordon. We may not have known his name or even thought about who was providing Gordon’s voice on Batman: The Animated Series, but for our entire lives, his voice will be the voice we hear in our heads when we read a comic with Gordon in it.
Hastings died Monday after a long battle with prostate cancer, according to the Burbank Leader. He was 89.
Commissioner Gordon wasn’t the first DC Comics character Hastings voiced. In the 1960s, he provided the voice for Superboy and Clark Kent in various animated projects, including The New Adventures of Superman and The Batman/Superman Hour. Hastings made one guest appearance on the 1966 Batman TV series as the character Major Beasley, and did voiceover work on the 1970s Spider-Man and Super Friends cartoons.
Nonetheless, his wonderful performance as Commissioner Gordon is what will be his masterwork for many comics and animation fans. Hastings could make even the smallest scenes feel like big moments. Take, for instance, the above scene in which Gordon meets Batman for coffee just after the New Year rings in.
SHE’S A PROBLEM SOLVER: ANIMATOR BRIANNE DROUHARD TALKS DC NATION’S ‘AMETHYST: PRINCESS OF GEMWORLD’
By Chris Sims
Warner Bros. Animation’s DC Nation shorts produced some pretty fantastic material and shined a mass media spotlight on a lot of obscure DC Comics characters. But my favorite, hands down — and that of many viewers — was the animated reimagining of Dan Mishkin, Gary Cohn and Ernie Colon’s Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld. Over the course of seven 75-second shorts produced, directed and designed by artist and animator Brianne Drouhard, Amy Winston was upgraded from an ’80s straight-faced sword-and-sworcery concept to a a synthesis of gamer culture and magical girl anime, starring a contemporary young woman pulled into a funny and dangerous video game world where she’s a princess of destiny set on a quest to battle skeletons, slay dragons and save the world.
With the series of shorts concluded and available to watch online, we spoke to Drouhard about how she pitched the fan-favorite story, the trials of adapting her illustrating style for animation, and why it was important for Amethyst to have video games in her life. We also got plenty of gorgeous Amethyst art from Drouhard in the process.
Brianne Drouhard: I grew up in the ’80s, I was a kid then, and we got Robotech and all that stuff. Disney Channel used to show the Sanrio movies, like Unico. I really like that. I really like that aesthetic already, so looking at the ’80s comic, the art is really gorgeous. It might be dated because of the time, but to me, I can see what I like in this older comics style.
With Amethyst, one of the reasons that I ended up putting the video game part of the story in goes back to trying to figure out what the character’s arc is going to be. I wanted her to have something she was into on Earth. I wanted her to be a modern girl.
Her magic power is purple, there are magical stones, she’s a princess, so I can’t get around making her girly, but there’s nothing wrong with being that way either so I went ahead and embraced that. Everything she has is pink and purple, but I wanted her to have a hobby or something creative to do, because the amethyst is supposed to be a creative stone and she’s already supposed to be a problem solver. I tried to think of something that would be more gender-neutral that she would be into, that boys and girls both do, that everyone can like and it’s not really a negative thing. Growing up, my brother and I used to play a lot of video games together, and a lot of them were RPGs.
ANIMATED ‘RAT QUEENS’ COULD BE ON THE WAY TO YOUR TV
The foul-mouthed, booze-fueled adventurers of Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch’s Image Comics series Rat Queens probably wouldn’t be welcome on The Disney Channel or Cartoon Network (maybe Adult Swim), but that isn’t stopping the Weta Workshop’s Pukeko Pictures and the Heavy Metal brand from developing it into an animated series.
The two production companies, which jointly acquired the rights to the series, are hard at work developing a half-hour animated version of the exploits of Betty (thief), Hannah (mage), Dee (cleric) and Violet (fighter). They’re planning to pitch it to networks soon.
‘ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN’ SEASON THREE WILL BE FULL OF SPIDER-PEOPLE
If there wasn’t already a TV show called Spider-Man Unlimited, this would be the time to break out that title.
Marvel has released details about the newest season of Ultimate Spider-Man on Disney XD, which premieres August 31. Not only does the show have a new subtitle for its third season, “Web Warriors,” but it’s also going to feature a whole bunch of Spider-People in its episodes. Miles Morales, Agent Venom (presumably Flash Thompson), and a new Iron Spider — who is none other than former Hulk and Hercules compatriot Amadeus Cho — will all appear, and from the looks of it, Spider-Girl, Spider-Ham, Spider-Man Noir and Spider-Man 2099 will be in the mix, too.
CASEY KASEM, LEGENDARY BROADCASTER AND VOICE OF SHAGGY, ROBIN AND MORE, R.I.P.
Radio host Casey Kasem, known to generations as the voice of pop music countdown shows for close to four decades, passed away early Sunday morning at a hospital outside Seattle, according to a Facebook post by his daughter Kerri.
Kasem provided voices for a number of well-loved cartoon characters. His most celebrated role was Shaggy in various Scooby-Doo cartoons, starting with Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! in 1969. He was also the voice of Robin in Hanna-Barbera’s cartoons based on DC superheroes, and the voice of Mark in Battle of the Planets, the U.S. adaptation of the anime series Science Ninja Team Gatchaman.
TEEN TITANS GO! EPISODE 52 “MR. BUTT” PREVIEW
Blackfire pays a surprise visit to her sister Starfire, saying she wants to spend some quality time with her. The other Titans think that Blackfire is playing another trick, but Starfire is sure that this time Blackfire is serious about reviving their sisterly love.
Airs Thursday, June 12
6:00/5:00c on Cartoon Network