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Toonhound presents...






Peppa Pig art for sale at The Animation Art Gallery!

      July 2009
 Extra! Extra! - Read all the Toon News!

    XL-ent release
Fireball XL5 gets remastered...

 John Ryan
Pugwash creator passes on...

 Engines of Enchantment
A Rowland Emett exhibition...

    Menacing prints
John Patrick Reynolds' screenprints...

    Top fluff
Fluffy Gardens is coming to GMTV...

    Reprints a-go-go
Bear Alley Books is launched... 

    Here's to The DFC
   Let's celebrate an inspiring comic... more »

   news archive »     interviews »      giveaways »

    XL-ent release     (26.07.09)

    Wow. Network have surpassed even themselves with their recent
    DVD release. Now before we go any further, the series in question
    has been out on disc before, but frankly, as soon as you clap eyes
    on Network's version you'll want to consign your previous purchase
    to an eBay dumpbin. So without any further ado, ladies and gentleman,
    boys and girls, feast your eyes upon the unbounding, intergalactic joys
    of the Fireball XL5 special edition DVD box-set.

     Fireball XL5 - new from Network!

    Network have remastered and restored all 39 classic black and white
    episodes of Gerry Anderson's hit series. And they've wrapped them up
    in a package that resembles those equally memorable Anderson annuals
    and mags of the period. Plus, they've gone that extra mile to bring us a
    spaceship load of extras which include two very informative documentaries,
    tv ads and promos, and behind the scenes footage of TV Comic artist Bill Melvin
    hard at work on his strip version. There's also a rather dandy little booklet
    written by tv historian Andrew Pixley. But, but, but.. best of all... there's a
    one-off inclusion that will blow your strings off. It's a colourised edition
    of the episode "A Day in the Life of a Space General". And it's
    just stunning. Seeing Steve Zodiac and co. blasting off in vivid
    technicolour... well.. it makes you cry for what might have been...
    still could be, even, if the desire and money is out there somewhere
    in Sector 25...


                                                                                More: Network


    John Ryan     (25.07.09)

    Oh, this is terrible news. John Ryan has died. Finding the right
    words to say here is so very difficult... John brought us the caption-filled
    joys of Captain Pugwash, Sir Prancelot and Mary, Mungo and Midge,
    of course. But let's not forget Harris Tweed from Eagle, and those
    Crockle and Tiger-Pig storybooks, and those Ark Stories... and...
    and... Oh, stuttering starfish, this is so sad...

    If, like The Hound, you grew up in the 70's, John Ryan's tv treats are
    etched indeliby upon your mind. Those cardboard creations, talking in
    "real" time. They may have been ridiculously simple by design, but the
    results were just so immediate and beguiling. Why, this was the kind
    of animation you could do at home. Yes, it was cheap. But it was
    inspiring. It was brilliant.

    John Ryan on scren in "The Ark Stories" (Trident/Yorkshire Tv - 1981)

    In the early 80's we got to see the genial face behind these fabulous
    creations. And what a lovely man he was. A Tony Hart-type. A cosy
    father-figure to look up to and admire. It's no wonder that, when those
    ridiculous Urban Myths began to surface, John took great offence.
    It was a cheap shot across the bow of a man who evidently wouldn't
    hurt a fly. Indeed, as the Ark Stories showed us, he was a very religious
    man. He drew picture stories about David & Goliath and Daniel and
    continued to draw cartoons for the likes of "The Catholic Herald",
    well into his old age.

    Okay, so The Hound just isn't very good at this obituary stuff. It's so
    hard to separate one's emotions from proceedings. And others can
    put the words together so very much better. So let's just pause
    and reflect for a while, as we savour the joys of The Hound's favourite
    John Ryan gem. "The Adventures of Sir Prancelot" just had that
    snazzy, jazzy something that made it fabulous. It's the show that
    most casual cartoon fans seem to overlook, but this young viewer
    lapped it up. He bought the little tie-in picturebooks, the annuals
    and the puzzles and he's often heard asking why-oh-why the show
    hasn't had a proper DVD release... But there you are... Sir Prancelot
    encapsulates all the themes of John's work. It's witty, and features
    some topical titters as it attacks the castle bureaucracy, and John's
    faith is to the fore, as Sir Prancelot and his entourage embark on their
    rambling Crusade across the Continent...


   Engines of Enchantment  

    The Cartoon Museum are staging a phantasmagorical exhibition this
    Summer. "Engines of Enchantment: The Machines and Cartoons of
    Rowland Emett" does exactly what it says in its title, and shines a
    spotlight on the incredible and inspired designs, illustrations and
    contraptions of Frederick Rowland Emett (1906-1990). There will be
    lots of artwork on show, naturally, but better still, alongside the
    pictures there will be:
    "..five fantastic whirring winking machines, including
   three created for the classic children’s film Chitty
   Chitty Bang Bang, in 1968..."

    "Engines of Enchantment: The Machines and Cartoons of Rowland Emett" now on at  The Cartoon Museum

    Emett engines, in real life? - That's fab, that is. His designs are
    just plain bonkers and brilliant. They're spidery things, all struts and
    fretwork and peddles and propellers that feel like the offspring of a union
    between Heath Robinson and Ronald Searle. Emett's admirers include
    Matt Groening, who chose "The Cartoons of Rowland Emett" as one of
    his top 100 things in the world. And Wilf Lunn must surely be a fan, too.

    The exhibition runs from 28th July to 1st November 2009, at The Cartoon
    Museum, 35 Little Russell Street, London - just round the corner from
    the British Museum...
The Cartoon Museum

    Menacing prints  

     John Patrick Reynolds has been creating some very desirable
     and very, very limited edition DC Thomson screenprints over the last
     couple of years, reproducing some classic Beano, Dandy and
     Commando characters and panel art from the past as vibrant
     colour prints. They look simply fabulous, framed and

     Dennis the Menace screenprint by John Patrick Reynolds

     ...And it seems that David Sutherland concurs, because he's just
     put his signature to a small selection of editions featuring his Beano
     artwork. He's signed screenprints featuring Dennis the Menace, the
     Bash Street Kids, Teacher and Biffo the Bear, including that
     Warhol-like homage, above, in which John has taken one of his
     Dennis heads and multiplied it into something very striking indeed.

     There's something so compelling about all these prints, there really is.
     When those panels are blown up and isolated from the rest of their
     original strips they take on a whole new meaning. This one of
     Desperate Dan is The Hound's favourite:

     Desperate Dan screenprint by John Patrick Reynolds

     You can purchase these direct from John's web site, as well as a
     selection of fine art emporiums...

                                                           More: Comic Art Web Site 


    Top fluff    (06.07.09)

     Time now for a fluffy fanfare, because Jason Tammemagi wants to
     let the world know that Fluffy Gardens, the series he created and directed
     via Monster Animation is finally going to get a terrestrial airing, here
     in the UK. It's aired before, of course, on Cartoonito. But now all
     40 of the original episodes have been bought for GMTV's morning
     block, on ITV, which means that all those fluffy stories about
     Paolo the cat, Mavis the pony, Tooty, Wee Reg and the gang
     will soon be seen by lots more little people!

Fluffy Gardens from Jason Tammemagi and Monster Animation

     Better still, Jason tells us he and Monster Animation are now
     putting together 40 more stories for a brand-spanking new second
     series. And that's fab and fluffy news indeed. As you might know,
     The Hound has a huge soft spot for this one. Fluffy Gardens just has
     that indefinable magic quality about it that makes it feel so very
     precious and special...

Fluffy Gardens  Monster Animation

   Here's to The DFC  

    How sad it is to witness the demise of The DFC - in its current guise,
    at least. It appears to have been a victim of these uncertain times,
    more than anything else. But undoubtedly, it's been a huge jolt in
    the arm for the UK comics scene, and it's brought a wealth of cartoon
    talent out of the small press woodwork and into the mainsteam.
    Which is something to celebrate. Why, even The Hound has been
    inspired enough to dust down his old drawing board. And if The Hound's
    been inspired, well, you can bet a whole bunch of those DFC subscribers
    have also got themselves worked up enough to pick up a pen...

    If you think back to the giddy heydays of DC Thomson and IPC/Fleetway,
    those top weeklys stuck quite religiously to a house "style" throughout
    their strips. But The DFC has bravely presented an array of styles and
    tones to its readership. Each strip has had its own voice. That's been
    so exciting for this reader to see. And inspiring, because it encourages
    folks to think outside the box, as it were... Look at this... Look what you
    can do... The possibilities are endless...

    Who knows, maybe a whole new generation of cartoonists
    will look back upon those 43 issues of The DFC as being the  
    birth-point of their career...

    How exciting is that?
    Till next time!

        Pooch says 'Stay tooned!'

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