Monthly Archives: May 2011

Know Thy History: Rex the Wonder Dog

I mentioned in a previous Know Thy History that Green Lantern’s canine pal, Streak the Wonder Dog, was a precursor to the more popular Rex The Wonder Dog. Then it dawned on me … is it possible that some of my readers don’t know who Rex is? He hasn’t been in comics for a good long while, after all. What you ask, makes him so gosh darned wonderful?

Rex the Wonder Dog had his own comic book that ran from 1952 to 1959. He was created by Robert Kanigher (who had previously written Wonder Woman) and Alex Toth (who created the Super Friends, Birdman, and Space Ghost cartoons). His adventures were written and drawn by a number of creators, including comic legend Gil Kane (co-creator of the Hal Jordan Green Lantern). Quite the pedigree, Rex!

Rex is a white German Shepherd. He spent his earlier years in the Army K-9 Corps alongside his brother, Pooch. Much like fellow WWII vet Steve Rogers, Rex was given an injection of super soldier serum to boost his strength, speed, stamina, and intelligence. Pooch didn’t receive the super soldier treatment, but did faithfully serve his country. He was wounded several times and eventually reached the rank of Sergeant. Fun fact: there are at least nearly a dozen dogs who are also ranked officers currently serving in the US Armed Forces.

Rex fought in the Italian campaign and earned a Silver Star after saving a camp of POWs. Then he went on to fight in the Pacific Theatre in Japan and Korea. After the war, he got adopted by his handler, Major Dennis, and, like all vets he had to get used to the civilian life.

In Rex’s case, that meant being TOTALLY AWESOME.


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One Punch Reviews #46: The Continentals

If there’s one thing I hate about Darryl Hughes and Monica McNaughton’s The Continentals, it’s Lady Fiona Fiziwigg’s stupid looking hat. Alright, to be fair, her entire outfit is completely ridiculous… and when she’s standing next to her partner, Jeffrey Tiffen Smythe, the ridiculousness goes up exponentially. It’s half Zatanna, half equestrian riding outfit. I’m tempted to say that she’s cross dressing because she’s a woman playing in a man’s world. It wouldn’t really be unheard of, since Gilbert & Sullivan, the Trey Stone and Matt Parker of the Victorian era, once mocked “the lady from the provinces who dresses like a guy.

I wish that Lady Fiziwigg dressed more typical to the ladies of the era, though. If she had to be eccentric, I’d tend more toward Mary Poppins than Annie Lennox. Because, shockingly, no one ever calls her out on her outfit. You figure if this is Victorian England, she’d get sneers and snide remarks everywhere she went. But no, this crossdressing strumpet is never really brought up in conversation. Hence, Fiziwigg’s fashion sense becomes a very unnecessary and distracting detail.

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The Webcomic Overlook #167: Yehuda Moon And The Kickstand Cyclery

Winter ended two months ago. In Seattle, that means that it rains less than it normally does. (Like, six days a week instead of seven.) Around the time between spring and fall, I get a little eco-conscious, take my bike out of the corner of the garage, and try to bike to work for at least three out of the five work days. I was riding an old Diamondback earlier this year, one that I’d modified for road use.

On my way to work one day, I had to stop at a red light where I had to turn left. Trying to show some courtesy to the cars behind me, I pulled off to the side of the road to let them pass, after which I would follow from behind. Wouldn’t you know it, as soon as I’d pulled off to the side of the road, the guy driving the car behind me pulled right next, honked the horn angrily, and then flipped the bird before peeling off.

Now, if you’ve ever ridding a bike on city streets, I’m sure that, at this point, you’re nodding your head and commiserating.

There is no love lost between cyclists and auto drivers here in the fair city of Seattle. Mayor McGinn in an active advocate of biking, and it’s been causing friction on all sides. A recent hiring for a bike advocacy position caused a huge stir in the media. A recent piece in the Seattle PI on replacing storm grates hazardous to cyclists drew several angry comments that the money could have been put to better use if the Mayor wasn’t such a … if you pardon the expression … such a cyclist.

And then there’s the democratic response. There are plenty of blogs out there that defend the pro-cycling position. What you might not know is there’s a cycling webcomic out there, too. Today, I’m reviewing Rick Smith’s “slice of cycling life” webcomic, Yehuda Moon and the Kickstand Cyclery.

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The last days of PC Weenies

Robot 6 is reporting that Krishna Sadasivam’s PC Weenies webcomic has come to an end after 13 years. From the site:

I just need a break. It’s been a great run, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my comics. A few factors over the last few months have precipitated this decision – one which I didn’t make lightly:

1) I want to focus more efforts on my illustration.

2) The audience for the strip has reached a plateau that has been consistent for the past two years. It’s frustrating, and I know I could have done more to promote the strip, but in the end, there’s really nobody to blame but myself. I take full responsibility for this.

3) 13 years is pretty long for anything. I’m happy with what I’ve been able to accomplish, which is a body of work that spans well over a decade.

4) I want to make digital collected editions of my work to date and offer them up for sale.

…and the biggie:

5) Bills. I gotta pay ‘em, and lately they’ve been crushing me alive. We’ve had a few emergency setbacks recently (two huge car repairs, a crazy water bill from hell, etc.) that are putting the squeeze on us financially. Big time.

The time I spend on making the comic could be better spent on other income-generating areas, and right now I have to do what’s best for my family. (You could help and buy a book. And if you have, thank you. I really do appreciate it.)

At some point, I’ll resume the current storyline – but again – priorities of life are kicking in. I know that some of you might be upset at what on the surface seems like an abrupt decision. I hope you understand.

In the meantime, why not check out my new Tumblr site, where I’ll be posting ALL the early PC Weenies toons from 1998 all the way up to 2007. So one way or another, you’ll be seeing more PC Weenies stuff.

Thanks for your support,

-Krishna

This is the appropriate way to use a Dick Wolf in your comic

Yes, that’s TV’s Christopher Meloni, star of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He’s holding up a panel from A. K. Tettenborn’s webcomic, Twice Shy. From ComicsAlliance:

The comic was read by SVU co-star Ice T and passed on to Meloni, whose assistant contacted Tettenborn about producing some signed copies of the humorous strip. The copies were framed and given to Meloni, Ice-T and co-star Mariska Hargitay, as well as producers Dick Wolf and Neal Baer.

For her part, Tettenborn was pleased.

HOLY SH*T, YOU GUYS. Christopher Meloni owns a signed copy of my comic. Oh, and he gave the other framed copies to Ice T, Mariska Hargitay, and executive producers Dick Wolf and Neal Baer. YEAH. THAT HAPPENED.

I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say this is the COOLEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED. (“What about the Renaissance?” This is cooler.) Christopher Meloni, you are the most awesome mothereffer I’ve ever been in contact with (and your assistant is awesome!). Thanks for liking my comic and not sending me a cease-and-desist order.

CHUNG CHUNG!

Meloni, by the way, is a bit of a comic fan. He’s developed the comic AvaTom for Ape Entertainment. He’s also the voice of animated Hal Jordan in Green Lantern: First Flight.

Plus … ANYTHING looks incredible when it’s being held in the hands of none other than Detective Eliot Stabler.

Teletoon responds to the LICD discussion

Heather, who describes herself as a Social Media Specialist, chimed in on the LICD Toon discussion yesterday to give us TELETOON’s side of the “Did LICD get ripped off?” debate. I thought I’d post it in full for the sake of fairness:

Hi, my name is Heather and I’m the Social Media Specialist here at TELETOON. I just wanted to jump in here and clarify a few things for everyone here. Great, funny animation is our passion at TELETOON, and mine personally, so naturally I was alarmed when this allegation popped up on our radar. I’ve taken steps to look into the history of The Dating Guy and Least I Could Do and I wanted to share that with you here.

First, TELETOON, doesn’t actually make cartoons, we broadcast them. Usually that means we buy the rights to broadcast them from production companies. Sometimes companies pitch cartoons to us before they’ve been produced, and then we give the creators some feedback and funding. That’s how The Dating Guy came to be.

Way back in 2006, TELETOON began to discuss the development of The Dating Guy with marblemedia, which is based on the life and dating experiences of marblemedia partner Mark Bishop.

A year later, in 2007, Ryan Sohmer pitched TELETOON with a proposed production of Least I Could Do. Sohmer then connected with another production company to develop the idea further. Because The Dating Guy had a related, though not identical premise, TELETOON ensured at this time that Ryan Sohmer and the other producer were informed that The Dating Guy had already been greenlit for production. The conversations between TELETOON and the company representing Least I Could Do were short lived and development was never completed.

The two projects came to TELETOON through different production companies and are based on different inspirations entirely. The end result is that The Dating Guy, which came to us for development consideration first, is a funny cartoon about dating in the city that bears no meaningful resemblance to Least I Could Do.

Thanks,
Heather from TELETOON

Now, I have no idea if marblemedia.com swiped Sohmer’s concept and deSouza’s art style directly from the LICD webcomic. On one hand, the whole prevy guy with fawning friends scenario is such a common one that it wouldn’t be out of the question if Mark Bishop developed it independently.

On the other hand, Tim Buckley said pretty much the same thing about Ctrl+Alt+Del.

In either case, thank you for chiming in with your side of the story, Heather!

UPDATE: Ryan Sohmer has posted a rebuttal in the comments section. I would include a copy of his text in this post, but I imagine that this is going to get pretty long before the day is done.

New frontiers in webcomic merchandising

Ryan Sohmer wants you to help make an LICD cartoon a reality!

I read this on Fleen the other day. Canadian studio Teletoons has released a series called The Dating Guy. Here’s a program description as listed on the site:

“The Dating Guy” is a half-hour animated comedy about the single life of twenty-somethings in the city.

Meet Mark, Woody, Sam, and VJ. They live in a sort of in-between world. They’ve finished school and are living on their own, but they haven’t settled down yet or even accrued much of a bank account. They’re essentially living life day to day. Kind of broke. Kind of directionless.

Each week, one or more of them find themselves exploring the dating world in one way or another. Sometimes it’s twins, sometimes it’s conjoined twins (which is way less awesome than it sounds) and sometimes it’s a shameful night at home with the palm twins.

Ryan Sohmer is calling foul, saying that the Teletoons has been ripping off the content and style of his webcomic:

Sohmer’s relating the story of a meeting with Canada’s Teletoon network, wherein Sohmer was privy to the pitch for something called The Dating Guy that became, after the meeting, a wholesale appropriation of Sohmer’s character designs (on casual inspection, it is rather similar to Sohmer’s own Least I Could Do).

How is Sohmer responding? Reader algeya has pointed me to his site, where he’s asking for donations to create an LICD animated pilot:

For going on 4 years, I have been working hard to bring LICD to the small screen, via a traditionally 2D animated series. Working with Teletoon (the Canadian version of the Cartoon Network), everything was in place to get the series off the ground.

And that’s about the time things went to shite.

Could Noel be of African American descent? Maybe Mick should be middle eastern. How do you feel about setting the series in Toronto? Issa should be a native. All of the friends should live together? Rayne’s neice, Ashley, shouldn’t be in the show. Instead of sleeping with women, could Rayne date them casually? We’d like one of the characters to smoke a great deal of pot.

The list goes on.

Suffice it to say, I wasn’t about to let this series get bastardized into a watered-down shell of its former self. Thanking everyone for their time, I walked away from the deal and waited until the contract expired.

Cut to recently. It was brought to my attention that the kind folks at Teletoon took a lot of our hard work, both intellectual and art, and used it in one of their new series. Not only that, but they took our hard work and made a shitty series.

Rather than let the rage consume me, I would turn this into something positive, something good for LICD and its readers. Rather than let anyone dictate what we can or can’t do, we will make our own pilot. With your help.

I will put my money where my mouth is, and match the pledges dollar for dollar. I wouldn’t ask you for something that I don’t believe in myself.

With your help, we will produce a 22-minute animated LICD pilot, making it as it should be.

Once that is done, we will have a finished episode to shop around to various outlets and do our best to get a full series made.

We need your help. More importantly, we want the community to be a part of this. Please head on over to the Kickstarter page for more info.

Help us bring Rayne and the gang to the screen, as they were meant to be.

This is probably the most mature and constructive way to address intellectual theft: get your own product off the ground and directly compete. It has also seemed to be Sohmer’s ambition to break into animation (his Blind Ferret Studios IS the one behind the Ctrl+Alt+Del animated series, after all). I can’t fault the guy for following his dreams.

Still, the prospect of an LICD cartoon on the airwaves?

Brrrrr.

BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

May God have mercy on your souls, Canada.

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