Sunday, September 27, 2015

Wabbit Airs on Cartoon Network

Newcomer Squeaks the Squirrel antics with Bugs in an episode of "Wabbit."

Set to Air on Boomerang in October

Roger Eschbacher reminded me that brand shiny new Bugs Bunny episodes have begun showing on Cartoon Network. Basic info is here, and I've included the tropes you may expect to view, including Denser and Wackier and Vitriolic Best Buds.

As a note, Roger's episode "Now and Zen" aired in the first show. I wrote a pair of these back in 2014, but have yet to see the series due to book fever as well as assorted paying employment. However, I shall remedy that.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Quarter Century of Tiny Toon Adventures

The cast puts on their best Hollywood Happy Face.

Tom Ruegger Has the Visuals to Prove It

Over at Cartoonatics, Producer Tom Ruegger posts back-in-the-day images related to TV animation hit Tiny Toon Adventures, now 25 years old.

Two months after its September debut, I started writing for Warner Bros. on a spin-off that would feature Elmyra. Our little crew consisted of Peter Hastings, Deanna Oliver, M.D. Sweeney and myself working free-lance, plus Nick Hollander who was on the Tiny Toons' staff. TT story editor Sherri Stoner headed up the project.

And while Elmyra would have to wait eight years for a break-out show, I wrote my first animated TV script, "Take Elmyra, Please," (along with Sweeney and Hollander) which ended up airing on "Tiny Toons."

Today I write animated educational videos and horror novels. Also Wanted Posters when money runs short.

Elmyra escaping from a large, colorful hot plate. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Recalling 9/11

K called from Florida, "Planes crashed into the World Trade Center and one of the towers just fell." Unemployed in Los Angeles and half asleep at 7:30 AM, I shuffled downstairs to the TV, past Joy as she prepared for work. At first, all I saw was a dirty cloud obscuring southern Manhattan. Then a stunned announcer said the second tower had just collapsed. Joy joined me, work forgotten as we learned of the attack.

Other friends phoned throughout the day. Paul Rugg speculated about the pilots of the doomed aircraft, certain they weren't Americans forced to crash. TJ, a Vietnam vet, was incensed at the footage of jubilant Palestinians with their candy and AK-47s. He wished he could gift them with a nice buttering of napalm. In a grim mood, I agreed.

Watching TV and power-chewing Nicorette, I mostly felt numb — except when the subject was jumpers. Then I felt horror. Go to work, sip coffee, joke with your pals, then decide whether you'll suffocate, burn alive, or leap a quarter mile to certain death. Questions of etiquette arise: jump solo or hold hands with a co-worker? Perhaps several of you link arms and form a chain, finding courage in numbers. Or do you clutch a table cloth and step into the air, desperately hoping it slows your fall?

The journey takes ten seconds.

Air velocity rips away your shoes.

You explode on impact.

I will always be haunted by the jumpers of 9/11.

Oceans of paper were blasted from the towers, filling the New York sky like the Devil's ticker tape. Invoices and wedding invitations floated down to gray sidewalks.

My friend Cathy, who worked in D.C., reported chaos as the government sent everyone home at once following the Pentagon attack. One jammed intersection turned scary as a man leaped out of an SUV brandishing a pistol and attempting to direct traffic.

Being murdered is not a heroic act, though it can be. Flight 93 passengers fought back and died, saving many more in their sacrifice. North Tower Port Authority employees rescued over 70 people before perishing.

There were many heroes that day.

My sister Mary Pat and I had dinner at a coffee shop. She was passing through town, leaving a job in Mountain View, CA to return to Phoenix. Depressed by the day's events, our meal was not jolly.

Later, Joy tried to give blood, but the hospital was overwhelmed with donations and refused.

Vulnerability, grief, dismay, anger.

Such a beautiful morning with a sky so blue.

(Photos from: Little Green Footballs.)

Repost: Sept. 11, 2008

Update: Strange to reread this. TJ died in 2009 and K passed away just over a year ago. My wife, Joy, and I are doing well, as is Paul Rugg who now rides the train

Repost: Sept. 11, 2013

Update: I had cancer surgery last year, but recovered. My wife is doing well and my sister battles her own health woes. I have not heard from my friend Cathy in a few years.  Paul Rugg continues riding the train in addition to being a voice over machine.

Tom Ruegger Remembers Pinky and the Brain

Pinky and the Brain attempt to find the State Department.
A generation ago . . . 

Yes, a crisp twenty years have passed since Pinky and the Brain took to the airwaves in their own Sunday night show. Producer Tom Ruegger recalls it well over at Cartoonatics.

My own contribution was Episode 6, "Brainania" where P&B hoped to build a colossal clothes dryer and render the world helpless with static cling. But to fund the project, they must first create their own nation, then bilk the United States out of foreign aid. This plan, by all accounts, should have worked.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Building Author Platforms

ILTWMT: Above is a Swedish author platform that also pumps substantial amounts of oil. 

What Makes a Good Indi Author Platform?

In the shifting world of publishing, independent authors must bust through the great wall of choices consumers face and discover ways to connect with their readers. Emmanuel Nataf breaks down indi author obstacles:

"There are a handful of sites that might help a new author get discovered, but none of these options is without significant flaws. Wattled is great if you're a hobbyist publishing non-edited fiction, but it doesn't do much to distinguish or reward quality.

Is Goodreads the answer? It could be, but there's no easy way to transform commenters into fans who will follow your progress, read your newsletters and, most importantly, buy your books.

Is it Tablo, Inkitt or any other social discovery platform for books? Unfortunately, those aren't the solution either, since Wattled copycats don't have the community strength to bring you quality readers in your genre."

But then Nataf offers solutions based on what has been working as of late. Read on and find out all the things I'm either not doing, or doing haphazardly.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Books From the Future

Lightless by C.A. Higgins (Del Rey)
Courtesy of i09, who have compiled a list of sci-fi and fantasy books for your fall reading enjoyment. Choose among an autobiography of James T. Kirk, or peruse the fictional musings of authors such as Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood. Plenty to occupy your non on-line time including hard science fiction (where some element of real science must be integral to the plot), dystopian realms, and dragons. A couple of dragons, actually. They're a real evergreen in the fantasy genre. Read on.

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John P. McCann Sizzle Page

'Twas suggested I post a few episodes of my work in a pleasant spot. I've chosen here. Sadly, not everything I've written has y...