Postman Pat's back
on our screens this week, in his brand new
shiny series. And for once, The Hound guessed
because "Postman Pat: Special Delivery
Service" (SDS for short)
sees our favourite rural postie moving to the busy,
town of Pencaster. Pat's now frequenting a
brand new SDS Sorting
Office, with lots of high-tech machinery. He's
got a motorbike and
sidecar to aid his his speedy deliveries,
and an even bigger and shinier
helicopter for those extra-important items...
And it's not just Pat who's had an upgrade.
Pencaster is within
easy commuting distance of Greendale, which
means we'll still be
seeing the likes of his pal Ajay Baines, who
can often be found in
control of a speeding express train known
as the Pencaster Flyer.
Ted Glen, too, is a regular face about town
because he's now
opened a new tip-top garage. Oh, and then there
are lots of new
faces for us. There's the Taylor family. Mum
Lauren is the new
teacher in Grendale, and her daughter
Lizzie is a new pupil there.
And Dad, Ben, just happens to be the General Manager
SDS Sorting Office. We'll also be meeting Michael
runs a mobile shop and library...
So it's all go for Pat, then, with his new
motto "Anything, Anytime,
Anywhere!" But what does The Hound think?
Well, Pat's had an
upgrade before before, of course, and he passed
that with flying
colours, and there's little doubt that Entertainment
the team at Cosgrove Hall have put a
lot of work into this venture.
Hells bells, there's a lot riding on this new show,
given Pat's worldwide
popularity. Let's just hope that Pat's special
rural charm has survived
the makeover. You see, the original concept worked
it was so rooted in the everyday. Greendale
always felt like a real town,
with a real rural population doing real jobs.
Now of course, the world has
moved on, and Pat should certainly move with it.
But there are ways
of intergrating the new with the old. ER's
companion toon Little Red Tractor
is a showcase example, with Stan and friends operating big
shiny new machinery and gadgets in a quintessentially
farm environment (darn it, it's a great
little series). This viewer is
ever-so-slightly alarmed when he sees Pat and
Jess entering an elevator
that pings them into the cockpit of their SDS helicopter like
out of International Rescue, or a Wallace and Gromit adventure.
Why can't they just climb on board?
Ah, but that's just a teeny-tiny moan. Everything
else looks super.
And frankly, this viewer can't wait to visit
Pencaster and see what's
what. There's something so wonderfully soap-like
about Pat, and the
way the characters and places have developed
(his biggest rival has
built up his world brilliantly too). But you
can judge for yourself,
can't you? "Postman Pat: Special Delivery
Service" starts on
29th September on BBC2, at 8:30am...
Rick Random of the Interplanetary Bureau of
Investigation is getting his
very own anthology, from Prion Books. Which
is grand news, indeed,
because now we can savour a big fat run of
Ron Turner's classic 50's artwork
(10 of the Best Space Adventure Picture Library
Comic Books, as it
happens) in one standalone volume. Look out
Random: Space Detective
in stores from 6th October...
You know, it's great to see more and more
British classics resurfacing
at bookstores in this way. But it's also got
The Hound thinking. How about
some fun strip compilations, much like those
Imagine a complete run of Faceache strips, or Frankie
Stein, or even an
anthology focusing on the best of those "munster"
strips (monsters + fun
= munsters). Oh yes... That would hit the spot!...
is back (20.09.08)
Poor Jim Bloggs has been away for some time.
Or should I say, his titular book has been
But he's back now, because Jonathan Cape have
just republished Gentleman
by Raymond Briggs. Does Mr Briggs
introduction here? As you might know, The
Hound has been a longtime
fan. And "Gentleman Jim" is a marvellous
milestone in his career
(it was first published back in 1980). It's
a story that reaches out to
children and adults alike. This reader was
hooked when he first read
it as a twelve year old, and now, as an adult
he can see even more
depth to this scathing tale of a Working Class
Hero rallying against
the world. Bumbling Jim Bloggs faces off against
tyrants in Authority, and inbetween his failed
endeavours, his soft
focus dreams spill across pages...
It's brilliant stuff. And of course, it's
even more heartbreaking to
read this in retrospect, knowing that Jim
and his wife will go on to
experience the nuclear horrors of When
the Wind Blows...
Ouch. Couldn't resist that headline. And neither
can this old dawg
resist the paintings in what is a fabulously
funky art show from Curtis
Jobling. As you may know, Curtis is the creator/designer for
that spookily good tv series "Frankenstein's
Cat", starring Nine, the
cat from a kit, who's a tvtoon hit on CBBC...
Well, Curtis has just put the last dab of
paint on an appropriate
selection of nine funky artworks featuring our
crosstitched cat and
his pals. And they're the backbone to a little
art show that's going
on display at the Richard
Goodall Gallery in Manchester, in October,
where the originals, prints, and even
some "Biteneck Beatniks" artwork
will all be available for sale. What's more, the
art show will be moving
to London and the Animation
Art Gallery in December...
Ah, this is grand stuff. Nine looks divine
in these purr-fect prints.
And those Beatniks are - like - so groovy,
man (see more of them here).
But if you can't make it to the show, you
can still surely make
it to Curtis'
blog, where you can see all nine Nine prints online.
Oh, and if all this talk of artwork and prints
has got you jazzed
for the original toon, you'll be dead chuffed
to find that the series
at the tail-end of October - Meow!...
Oh. Oh. Start saving your pennies, folks,
'cos our fine friends
Harrop Designs have started work on their newest line
of figures, ready for launch in 2009. This
time, they're turning their
hand to those Aardman wonders, Wallace and
Gromit, and - oh -
these could be better than cracking, given
the success of their
In recent years, Robert Harrop have amazed
and delighted us with their
figures and limited editions based on the
likes of Mr Benn, The Clangers,
The Beano, Bagpuss, Stingray, Thunderbirds
and most recently, Paddington
and Ivor the Engine. And just look how
far they've gone with their Trumptonshire
range. They've brought us music boxes, buildings,
vehicles and scenes,
and this Summer we've even had celebratory monochrome
The company's newst introductions are Willo
the Wisp and his pals
from Doyley Woods. Don't they look great?
So what goodies await us in the Wallace &
Gromit range? - The
Harrop folks aren't saying, just yet. But
you can bet this Hound
will be posting details here, just as soon as he
gets them. And
he'll bepurchasing one of everything
In what must be one of the most surprising
of advertising team-ups in
recent years, that most fashionable of stores,
Harvey Nichols has
teamed up with Messrs Wallace and Gromit to
promote the opening
of their new Bristol store...
Now hang on... Wallace, with his preference
for knitted tank-tops,
and a somewhat cheesy cologne... promoting haute
As it happens, the teaming works stupendously
well. DDB London
have generated a trio of terrific images of
Aardman's finest, posing
for the ad campaign (you
can view them here). Oh, those models
are just exquisitely dressed. The Hound particularly
additional inclusion of Lady Tottington, dolled
up to the nines -
what a great framed print that would make.
In fact, limited edition
prints of all three campaign photos would
go down a treat...
But whilst we're waiting and wishing, here's
a super little promo
film in which the the folks involved discuss
campaign and how it all came together:
Why so quiet? (02.09.08)
Er. Well. It's like this... July and August
were tough. As you might
have noted, Toonhound went on something of
a wild ride as the site
was transferred to a new hosting package.
The old pages were erased
completely from their original server, before being
put back online, and
during the interim period - nigh on five days,
I believe - there were
missing pages, and dropped images on the site
you looked. In other words, that upgrade was
And it also got the me looking at the site
again, in totality, and
everywhere I looked I saw errors and glitches
Missing information, like series credits and
episode details. And
dead links aplenty. It started with the comics
section - a collection
of pages so poorly handled, thus far. I thought
I'd better spruce
up what I had; dust them down, so that I'd
be ready to finally start
expanding the selection. But when I'd finished
that not altogether
small task, I realised how many of the
TvToons pages were also
in decline... and the number of series and
films I still had to index...
You can see how it all snowballed. Toonhound
is very much a
work in progress. And oftentimes over the
last eight years, that
work has transformed into a heavy, heavy millstone
to bear. It eats
up time like you wouldn't believe - and thank
you for your patience
thus far, because I'm finally getting to the crux
of this posting - because
I soon realised I'd have to make a bit of
a sacrifice last month, in order
to carry out some of those essential repairs.
I'd have to skip a month
of toon news.
See, the thing about this news page is, each
incoming story leapfrogs
to the top of my "to do" list. The
news demands my immediate attention,
dragging me away from the index pages, the upgrades,
elsewhere. And when I'm done with it, the
needs of the Real World quickly
lead me away for another day. After all, Toonhound
is really nothing
more than an old dawg's hobby site. It's not
a career. Sure, it brings
in a few casual pennies that are very gratefully
received (especially in
these crunchy times). And sure, I'm striving
for it to eventually become a
database of news and info that no cartoon convert
can be without.
But it's not a career job, and I can't work
on it 24/7. I have a
mortgage to pay, after all...
So there you go. The news items slipped off
the agenda. They had to.
But they're back on now. And thank you for
asking, but here in September,
The Hound is feeling as if he's back on top
of the site. There's still an
awful lot of work to do here - a ridiculous
amount - but the worst of
the current backlog has, I think, been breached.
Which means that
a normal news service can now resume...