Monday, October 31, 2011
Young Richie Evans and his turtle-duck experience a day filled with cupcakes, the lost isle of Anomoxie, and a mysterious creature in Lake Deep. Let your youngster discover more in the pages of Rich Aron's new book written and illustrated by the veteran animator. (And an old Warner Bros. chum.)
A day of spooks and kooks only slightly different than most days in Los Angeles. Last night on Hollywood Boulevard 100 people in costume duked it out. They'll probably do the same next week. A pleasant Halloween to all!
Monday, October 24, 2011
Via The Village Voice, South Park creators Parker and Stone were investigated five years back by the Church of Scientology. Private eyes spied on the pair and searched public records—as well as trash— for anything incriminating that might be used against the duo in retaliation for a South Park episode mocking Scientology beliefs.
Never a dull moment with the Hubbardites.
Never a dull moment with the Hubbardites.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
An NYT article mentions Warner chum Tom Sheppard as The Annoying Orange prepares to roll from Web to TV pilot to potential series. (Would it be wrong to say this proves Glee won't be the only televised home for fruit?)
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Tom Ruegger reminds us who got the Emmy ball rolling at the WB.
Also, Amazon offers the Kindle edition of R. Scott McCoy's Necrotic Tissue Best of Anthology containing my short tale, "Dagon and Jill."
So there's all kind of news.
There's no tech like Robotech. This '80s hit animated TV series introduced anime to America where it's taken root and grown ever since. And no one made that happen more than the late Carl Macek. Felled by a heart attack in 2010, Macek was honored last night in a documentary at Harmony Gold Theater on Sunset Blvd. (And because my wife works occasionally with the film's associate producer, we attended.)
Culled from the 25th Anniversary DVD and originally intended as a series of podcasts, the doc featured Robotech voice actors such as Tony Oliver, Richard Epcar and Reba West. From the the insane production schedule that had actors pulling overnights, to scripts being rewritten in studio, to the undreamed of success that greeted the series, to its staying power over decades, Keith H. Maxwell's documentary described producer/ story editor Macek as the turbine that kept the Robotech machinery spinning.
In addition, Macek founded Streamline Pictures with Jerry Beck and theatrically released anime giant Akira. (I've always been strangely drawn to films featuring a gang of evil clowns.) Macek also helped John Kricfalusi establish Spumco.
Following the screening, I spoke briefly with David Keith Riddick, who produced the U.S. versions of the Robotech soundtrack. (On RECORD ALBUMS—round vinyl things with music inside that came out when you stuck them with a needle.) Riddick recalled that Macek loved anime with its more adult themes, carefully crafted animation, and cinematic staging.
Clearly Macek's love grew into a drive for perfection and character depth that flowed into a series that has lived on, spawned sequels and now sits poised at Warner Bros. waiting to become a live-action feature.
Prior to last night, I knew a bit about Robotech but very little about Carl Macek. Today, I salute the guy. He had a monster career, cut a bit short, but pretty darn rich any way you slice it. Rest in anime peace, sir.
Image: Robotech.com and Robotechnology
Monday, October 17, 2011
Not necessarily me, but my short story "Dagon and Jill" will be featured in the Best of Necrotic Tissue Anthology to be released next week. I'll provide more info soon so that those inclined to purchase a copy may indeed do so.
I'm woefully behind in sending material out for publication because of recent disclosures in the John P. McCann writing archives. Busy closing up a storage unit, I've come across a great pile of unfinished novels, young adult books, a screenplay, a social history of the Vietnam War and a travel book on my adventures in Southeast Asia working for the State Department and Warner Bros.
Leafing through the stuff, I realize it doesn't all stink as much as I originally thought. There is material to salvage. In addition, I've uncovered over eleven years of original TV animation ideas that the industry passed on. These can be retooled into other formats.
But my first writing priority—aside from earning money—will be Tomorrow Bear. First pitched in 2007, it was shot down by Nick, Disney and Cartoon Network. Reworked with art from Valerie Tidwell, the show was pitched again last spring and I can't recall who passed on it.
But Valerie and I are slogging away in fits and starts crafting an ebook. She has sent me some very funny sketches and I have delivered her several firm promises to finish up a draft.
So I'm in the hole and need to produce and produce I shall. Next finished fiction project will be a Tomorrow Bear adventure involving ursine crime solving and California police cars that have replaced their sirens with electronic whale calls.
I may interrupt TBear to rewrite and submit "Unreasonable Doubt," my non-fiction piece on jury duty. But other that that, it's TBear or hibernation.
Friday, October 07, 2011
Cleaning out a storage facility last week, I found a box containing my old Mac Classic just in time for the passing of Steve Jobs. Back in 1991, M.D. Sweeney accompanied me to the Westwood Mac store and negotiated on my behalf for the computer and a printer. Sweeney is a phenomenal dealer with a deadpan expression like an Olmec mask. Sales reps flash their easy smiles, grow uncomfortable and sometimes offer things at a lower price. (They didn't this time, but even A-Rod strikes out occasionally.) On that computer I wrote many Acme Comedy Theatre sketches as well as my first Animaniacs script, "Dracu-lee, Dracu-la." But it's doing no one any good anymore and is destined for the green waste facility. Farewell, Mac Classic and rest in piece, Mr. Jobs. And if you're ever in Los Angeles, stop by Amalfi Restaurant and see if you can talk the owner (Sweeney) into a free dessert. Let me know how it goes.
Image: antique trader