This week that galactic great "2000AD"
is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
Issue number one poppped up with its free Space
Spinner towards the end
of February 1977. Notice the vagueness there. That's
because there's been
a little debate about the actual anniversary date
Whilst officially it's billed as being 26th February
1977, the first issue
actually went on sale a week before, on February
But let's not wrangle over dates. The fact is "2000AD"
has been perched
at the top of Britain's comic tree for three whole
decades and there's
been a glut
of articles hitting the web in celebration of this top publication.
"2000AD" flew into shops on the back
of the "Star Wars" craze, and
although it was originally aimed at a younger audience,
readership quickly picked up on its political sideswipes
sci-fi twists. Over the years, its stand out stars
have included the
likes of "Rogue Trooper", "Halo
Jones", "The ABC Warriors",
and "Nemesis the Warlock", and a
certain Mr Dredd...
Ah yes. Judge Dredd. The biggest, baddest Judge
in Mega-City One.
Dredd's been a comic book star, crossover star,
computer games star
and failed movie star. He's a Brit-comic icon all on
his own. Although
it must be said, he didn't appear until issue two,
and that old stalwart
"Dan Dare" grabbed the first issue centre-spead
all for himself. That
means Dredd's anniversary is still seven days
away... Except those
dates are wrong... So it's his birthday today...?
Start saving your pocket money , folks, because
March is going to be
a very busy month for DVD releases.
First out of the block are our friends at
Media. They have
9 new FilmFair DVDs on their slate, to be
released under their Tempo
TV Classics banner. The titles follow on from
last year's launch range,
so we're getting another giddy mixture of
stop-motion and 2D classics
from what was formerly one of the UK's very
brightest production outfits.
These new titles join Paddington
Hits the Jackpot,
which hit stores
back in January. It's a release that slipped
under the Toonhound radar,
but really mustn't be overlooked. FilmFair's
adaptation is surely the
definitive take on the character. There's
such a unique design to
the show, and magnificent narration from sir
You know, last year's releases
were met with a mixed reaction from the
folks who visit this site. Many muttered about
the lack of genuine extras on
the discs, and the fact that Abbey seemed
to be tailoring the releases
to a younger audience. And they're quite right.
These series have an
informed older audience out there, too. It
would have been great to
have a word or two from some of the FilmFair folks
who made these
classic shows, or a look at their place in
the animated world, and their
impact on our teatime scheduling. But let's not
look a gift horse in
the mouth. We're finally getting to see a
whole raft of series which have
been languishing on the shelf for far too
long. And what's more, we can
get them at a very affordable price, which
means we're not having to pick
and choose our way through the collection. Moschops,
Huxley Pig, Portland
Bill - these really
are top toons on anyone's list, regardless
of their format or presentation. The
Dreamstone still has an avid
fan base. And let's not forget those wonderful
Yes, The Hound will have one of each, if you please...
Well, that's Toonhound's tuppence, at least.
And believe me, you'll
be needing every tuppence you can get your
paws on when you find
out what else is due very soon!
If you're in Central London on 27th February,
you might want to
don a fancy dress costume and make for the
Animation Art Gallery
in Great Castle Street, W1. That's because
Mr Benn himself,
David McKee and longtime toon partner Clive
Juster will be putting
in an appearance at the gallery, from 6.00pm,
to chat about their
bowler hatted friend, and to sign some
of the wonderful limited
edition giclee prints the gallery has for
Seriously, folks, these are terrific prints.
The Hound recently
acquired the "Festive Road" piece,
and it's a beauty. It's one of
four signed pieces The
Animation Art Gallery have been selling.
They measure 22" x 19" and each
has been limited to just
50 editions. What's more, next Tuesday's event
will herald the
unveiling of an exciting fifth print, as yet unseen
outside the gallery. And needless to say, The Hound
already poised to make another order!
There's something just so appealing in Mr
Benn and his farflung
has been a huge hit with the folks who visit
Toonhound. Similarly, that fantastic range
of Robert Harrop
figures and special editions (you can buy
those from Boojog).
The Gallery tell me the "Festive Road"
piece has already
sold out, so don't hang around. These really
collectables for fans, and Tuesday's bash should
many more pieces sold...
If you've been watching BBC1 recently, you'll hopefully
the rather splendid promos produced for the
new series of "Life on Mars".
That's the live-action series about the cop
in a coma, set in a make-believe
70s England, with Chopper bikes, Spacehoppers,
T-Rex and Garibaldis.
Even the title takes its cue from David Bowie's
Well lookee here, Trumptonshire has just been added
to the mix in the form
of an animated parody of "Camberwick
Green". Our hero (Sam Tyler) is now
a Murrayesque character in a leather jacket,
who's seen atop a musical
box, waving to camera, before we cut to his pal Gene,
beating up a guy
in an alleyway. The parody was put together
by Geoff Walker and
HOT Animation, of Bob
the Builder fame, and it's the company's first
"adult" commission. Their footage
forms the intro to one of the
"Life on Mars" episodes (episode 5, it's mooted), but of
the Beeb couldn't resist letting this little
snippet play as a teaser.
And it's certainlty done its job, judging by the
number of emails
The Hound has received about it!
You can catch up with this short sharp promo
Of course, you could argue that the three
Trumptonshire series arrived
in the 1960s. But just as many folks recall
the plethora of Watch With
Mother repeats and the tie-in goodies that
hit the market in the
early 70s... And... Well, enough with the nitpcking.
short-but-great little promo!
"Life on Mars" begins its new run
on BBC1, 13th February, at 9.00pm.
Prize rats (12.02.07)
On Saturday, ASIFA-Hollywood held their 3th
known to you and I as the Annie Awards, in Glendale
And lo and behold, Aardman and DreamWorks
collected five of
their shiny trophies for "Flushed Away".
The film won prizes for Animated Effects,
Feature Character Animation,
and Feature Production Design, Ian McKellen
was trumpeted for Best
Feature Voice Acting, and the film's script
by Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais,
Christopher Lloyd, Joe Keenan and Will Davies
was given the Feature
Writing Prize. On top of that, a sixth prize
went to "Flushed Away the
Game," from D3 Publisher of America, which was
animated video game.
In the end, "Flushed Away" sailed off
with more trophies than any
of the other nominees, including Pixar's "Cars",
which won the Best
Animated Feature prize. And that's two years
in a row that
Aardman/DreamWorks have dominated the animation
big awards night (last year, "Were-Rabbit" stormed
How ironic that this big-hitting duo have
now gone their separate
Mind you, Roddy and friends missed out over
here. In last night's
BAFTA ceremony, "Happy Feet" collected
the golden face mask
for Animated Feature Film. And yet again,
The Hound has cursed
a favoured toon, because Joanna Quinn was
beaten to the Short
Animation prize by Ian Gouldstone and his
"Guy 101". Well done, Ian.
And well done to those rats, who must be simply
That super series The
Secret Show returns to our tv screens
next week. It's a central plank in the new
Saturday morning line-up
on CBBC, and it begins its run at 10:45am,
17th February on BBC2.
Series Two kicks off with the classic episode "Lucky
Stephen Fry guest-starring as the titular villain.
You might recall
this one was actually the series pilot, right back
at the start of things.
Well it's been given a makeover since then, so
that we lucky viewers
can watch an even funnier encounter between
Victor and Anita
and the luckiest man alive. And even luckier, there's
release to accompany Leo's arrival:
Leo was born with a ‘lucky gene’ and is the
luckiest man in the world. Luck has brought him
riches, without even trying. Now he’s winning all
world’s elections, simply because he’s entered
Can secret agents Victor Volt and Anita Knight
Lucky Leo taking over the world through sheer luck?
There’s just 24 hours to find out…"
"Lucky Leo" launches us into a run
of 26 all-new action-packed
episodes, courtesy of Tony Collingwood and
the team at Collingwood
O'Hare. This top toon is also supported by
a bloomin' good web
which The Hound trumpeted back
in November, and is - I'm told - the
largest site ever created to accompany
the launch of a British
Let's hope Lady Luck continues to shine
of the show so that
W.E. can get to see even more of T.H.E.M.
and U.Z.Z. at play...
So how was it for you? - Christmas, I mean.
If you're still feeling
bloated and elated from the New Year festivities,
then I'm delighted
for you, I really am. Just don't ask me about
Let's step back in time a few weeks. On December
5th, whilst surfing
the wonders of the web, my not-so-super PC
casually inquired if I'd like
to download the latest upgrades from Microsoft.
Symantec advised me that my Norton subscription
was about to expire.
Would I like to upgrade to Norton 2007?
Unfortunately, I said "yes" to both
and the result sent my PC spiralling
into microchip oblivion. Thus, I was offline
for the better part of two weeks,
and this here web site was devoid of updates
until my all-singing, all-dancing
New Machine showed up. But alas, just as I'd
safely transferred a whole
heap of files and software to this shiny new machine,
function decided to pack in.
That was the cue for another week of frustration
as I firstly attempted
to resolve the problem before latterly reverted
to a complete reformatting
of what was obviously a not-so-super new computer
after all. And in
between the two PCs a stack of contacts, info,
downloads and details
were lost to that great microchip in the sky.
Plus, of course, this here
site was set adrift, alone and neglected over
the Holiday period.
So please don't ask me about Christmas or
New Year. Ask me about
the future. What does 2007 have in store for
Toonhound? Well, plenty.
Lots more indexed series and films, for starters,
and lots more news
and some big surprises are on their way...