You know what we love? Cartoons. Surprise, surprise, sure - the comic artists love cartoons. So, maybe it’s no big shock, but still. It’s possible to do in a great cartoon what just couldn’t be done in live-action (even with an endless budget). You can create characters that transcend their actors, stories that have no boundaries, any effect you can imagine, any time, any place. When they’re good, cartoons can be really really good.
Of course, when they’re bad they REALLY suck, but what can you do?
A couple of our faves are Avatar and Samurai Champloo. Avatar is a show about a little boy named Aang who is destined to save the world from the cruel, despotic rule of the Fire Lord. The beauty of this show, though, is how it transcends archetypes. The lead characters are still young kids, but while they never feel older than their years, they also feel perfectly capable of going on the quest the show follows. The ‘comic relief’ character (Sokka) is also the strategist, and a capable, competent warrior and idea-man, as opposed to just being ‘the guy that screws up in funny ways.’ The two female leads (Katara and Toph) are deep, interesting characters, and every bit the equal of the males, and the titular character, Aang the Avatar, is cute and silly, but never crosses the line into annoying.
It’s so rare to find a ‘kid’s show’ that actually entertains with enough wit and charm to keep adults interested and excited. As of now, it’s our pick for the best current animated show on television. And who’d have thunk it’d be a Nickelodeon show? Guess everybody gets lucky once in a blue moon.
Samurai Champloo is a mash-up of Edo-period Japanese martial arts and modern-day urban culture. It’s samurai sword-fighting with a hip-hop flair. Very episodic, you can sit down for pretty much any one of its 26 installments and just have a good time. It’s got comedy, it’s got drama, and it’s got butt-loads of action (that’s the metric butt-load, not the American standard, for the sake of our European friends). Just a great show, and it still plays on Cartoon Network from time to time. Check local listings!
For fun, we’ve done some doodles, with Adam tackling Avatar and Comfort sketching the Champloo leads. We enjoyed this so much, we’ll be doing bigger, nicer drawings (with color!) once we’ve got the time. But there’s the rub, isn’t it?
Anyway, new comics tomorrow!
Adam & Comfort