Tomorrow, Cartoon Network will premiere Teen Titans Go!, a new series that’s somewhat unusual in the world of kids’ animation. On the one hand, it’s a revival of the Teen Titans series that premiered in 2003, with the same characters and voice cast. On the other, it’s got a completely different format and animation style, with the goal of being a little less action-y and a little more funny, though the previous series had some of both, and this one will, too.
In anticipation of the show joining the DC Nation block, ComicsAlliance had a phone chat with Tara Strong, the voice of Raven, about the show and the many, many other iconic characters she has voiced over the years, including one very popular pony.
ComicsAlliance: You are Twilight Sparkle.
Tara Strong: I am Twilight Sparkle.
CA: A friend of mine by the name of Chris Sims who also writes for ComicsAlliance certainly self-identifies as a brony, and I have to imagine that you have many thoughts about the brony community. How unprepared were you for that?
TS: Completely. Completely unprepared. I’ve never seen a fanbase like the bronies in my entire life. They are so hilarious and so supportive. They’re just the greatest ever.
The roles I’ve had have been such iconic, classic legacy characters. You’d think, wow, being Batgirl or being Harley [Quinn] or Raven would have these incredibly verbal fans. But there’s never been anything like the bronies. I embrace them. They’re adorable. They’re totally nerdy. They’re totally hip.
It just runs the gamut. There are kids that are 14, and I get letters from doctors in their forties. I just think they’re all so wonderful, and the fact that they can come out and say, “Hey, we like this show and we don’t really care if you like us.” I just love their bravery and how, for the most part, the community is just so sweet, so supportive and loving of each other.
There are these Army bronies that paint Pinkie Pie on their tanks and sing songs to feel good. If it’s making people feel good, we’ve all done something right. I really, genuinely love the bronies.
By Andy Khouri
In 2009 the Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie gave a TED Talk on the dangers of what she called “The Single Story.” Put simply, the Single Story is the conventional understanding of a people, culture or situation that’s informed by stereotypes in literature and the media — stereotypes that aren’t necessarily untrue, but that are necessarily incomplete. For example, it was the Single Story of her middle class family’s young servant that his family was incredibly poor — not “incredibly poor and incredibly hard working.” It was the Single Story of Africa as a “catastrophe” that prompted Adichie’s American roommate in college to remark upon how well Adichie spoke, how impressed she was that Adichie could use appliances like stoves, and how surprising it was that Adichie listened to Mariah Carey instead of “tribal music.”
Adichie’s remarks struck a chord with indie comics creators John and Charles Agbaje, who observed that one chapter largely missing from the story of Africa in the west was that of the hero — more specifically, the heroine. To that end, the brothers took to Kickstarter to fund the production of Spider Stories, an 11-minute animated pilot inspired by Nigerian folk tales and modern hero epics like Avatar: The Last Airbender, with a view to selling the project as a proper animated series. With three days remaining to pledge, the Agbaje brothers have already raised the $25,000 needed to produce the short, which I think demonstrates that a western audience is keen to see something new in animation and improve its understanding of the African story.
I can announce this now. I made an OFFICIAL BRAVEST WARRIORS RAP SONG, and it’s now up on Cartoon Hangover! whooo! go listen to them funky fresh rhymes, y’all.
By Chris Sims
Good news for fans of the Teen Titans cartoon: After the success of the shorts on the DC Nation block, Cartoon Network has announced that the half-hour Teen Titans Go! will premiere on April 27.
Like the shorts, the half hour show promises to skew a little more towards comedy than the previous Teen Titans cartoon, which occasionally got pretty dark once Deathstroke (AKA Slade) showed up and tried to murder a bunch of children. But, you know, that tends to happen in teenage superheroics.