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Toonhound presents...






Peppa Pig art for sale at The Animation Art Gallery!

      Feb/March 2009
 Extra! Extra! - Read all the Toon News!

The DFC in trouble
The DFC put up for sale...

    It must be Loaf
Two more awards for
   Wallace & Gromit...

    Hello, Moreau
 The High School of Dr Moreau...

 Farewell to The DFC
The DFC is cut off in its prime...

 Cracking times
Wallace & Gromit are everywhere!...

Beautiful bear
A fantastic new Paddington print...

    Chill out
One eskimO take flight...

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

   news archive »     interviews »      giveaways »

    Hello, Moreau    

    Curtis Jobling's a busy boy these days, with projects seemingly here,
    there and everywhere. As some of you may know, the designer of Bob the
    Builder has something of a penchant for Things That Go Bump In The Night.
    Hence his first, fully-fledged, self-created tv series Frankenstein's Cat, which
    The Hound really must get round to indexing soon. And those brilliant,
    bongo-bashing Biteneck Beatniks.

     The High School of Doctor Moreau - coming soon?

    Well now Curtis has done it again. His new toon project "The High School of
    Doctor Moreau" is out there, in the Big Creative Whirlpool, seeking funds
    lest it's sucked down into a silty Development Hell. But that's surely
    not going to happen, because this is a top toon idea. Curtis has been
    collaborating on it with Eric Shaw, of "Spongebob Squarepants" fame.
    Doctor Moreau has a High School wherein are taught all manner of
    cooky spooky kids. Oh, and in keeping with the theme of the thing,
    Moreau has cloned himself so he can teach the different classes... only...
    his cloning hasn't worked too well and, in reality, he's just donning
    different disguises as he takes each lesson!

    Sounds fab, eh? Let's hope the folks at thise year's MIP TV think the
    same, 'cos Curtis will be down there in Cannes very soon, waving this
    maniacal wonder in front of potential investors...

                                                                    More: badablinthing


    Farwell to The DFC    (28.03.09)

    So The DFC is no more. A buyer for this Random House title could
    not be found within the time limit, meaning this week's issue - #43, for those
    who keep a tally of these things - is officially the last of the current run.

    But, hold up. What's this "current" thingy? Well, there appears to be
    a slim chance that the title might yet make comeback, somewhere in
    the future, in the same format or some other guise. And let's hope that
    it does because the general consensus is that The DFC was a hit, with
    critics, artists and its readership. It's just that the latter of these didn't
    number enough to keep it alive in these crunchy, credit-wrought times...

    Super Comics Adventure Squad

    Whilst we wait and hope for the return of Vern and Lettuce, and
    the Crab Lane Crew and their friends we can at least take comfort
    from this rather jolly new blog. The Super Comics Adventure Squad
    blog takes its title from James Turner's DFC strip, "Super Animal
    Adventure Squad", and its an online collection of doodles and news
    from the folks who previously drew and wrote The DFC, so's
    we can keep up with their daily endeavours. All the gang are there,
    and they're already contributing away like mad.

    Meanwhile, the team at DFC HQ have left their readership with at
    least a sliver of good news, because they've kindly posted the
    concluding episodes of "Monkey Nuts", "Bodkin and the Bear",
    "Donny Digits" and "Spider Moon" on their web site - bless 'em...


    Cracking times    (27.03.09)

    Goodness, Wallace and Gromit seem to be everywhere right now.
    But there's good reason for this, you see, it's their 20th anniversary
    this year.

    So what's first on the list? Well, their BAFTA-winning Xmas smash
    has just arrived on DVD. "A Matter of Loaf and Death" features lots
    of extras, including a Nick Park commentary and the lowdown on
    last year's Harvey Nichols ad campaign....

    Wallace by Robert Harrop Designs  Gromit by Robert Harrop Designs  The Cooker by Robert Harrop Designs

    Then there are some fab new collectable figures from Robert Harrop
    Designs. Four are from "A Grand Day Out". Wallace and Gromit both
    feature in their "early" design, as befits this step back in time. There's
    also that strange skiing cooker-thing they encounter on their moon trip,
    and a wonderful wind-up Rocket Music Box - turn the key to hear
    that famous tune!

     The Rocket Music Box  by Robert Harrop Designs  Good Citizen Gromit by Robert Harrop Designs

    In addition to these, Gromit gets his very own Good Citizen Dog Scheme
    figure, because - what do you know - he's the poster pup for the new
    Kennel Club scheme which is encouraging proper training for dogs
    and their owners in the UK.

    All five figures are restricted to just 1000 editions. And there's lots more
    on the cards from the Harrop team in the near future, beginning with
    figures from "A Matter of Loaf and Death" - how dough-lightful...

    You want more?

    Well, how about our dynamic duo, starring in an all-new ad campaign
    for nPower, in print, and on tv? - Here's a little taster:


    But, if all that's still not enough for you, you can always try taking the family
    down to London's Science Museum where - for a limited time - you can
    view and interact in person with Wallace & Gromit's very own, real-life
    World of Cracking Ideas. Yep. This brand new exhibition looks at the
    wonders of West Wallaby Street and encourages little geniuses to
    get suitably inspired.

    Sadly, The Hound is too far away to visit this cheese-tastic sounding
    exhibition. But The Guardian have been, and they and their young guests
    seemed to like it...

    Ee... it's all goin' on, i'n't it?


    Beautiful bear     

    Oh. Oh. Look what's just arrived at London's Animation Art Gallery.
It's a Paddington print... in 3D!

    Paddington... in 3D! - from The Animation Art Gallery

    Seriously, folks, this is terrific. This little beauty reproduces a scene
    from our favourite tv incarnation, with Paddington standing in the doorway
    of No.32 Windsor Gardens, in a kind of decoupage form, in keeping with
    that classic FilmFair design. There are three handcrafted layers to this
    wonderous thing. The 20"x20" piece is also signed by Paddington
    creator Michael Bond. And what's more, it's restricted to just
    75 editions.

    Yep. That's right. 75.

    Add all that up and you can understand why it also carries a noticable
    price tag. But if you can afford it... if the little bear from Darkest Peru looms
    large in your life... well... it's a "must-have", is it not?

The Animation Art Gallery

   Chill out 

    Here's something a little different. One eskimO are a four-piece band,
    headed up by Kristian Leontiou and produced by Rollo - formerly of
    Faithless fame. But they're not just a band. Oh no. You see, they've
    gone down a similar path to Damon Alburn and company. In other
    words, they've transformed themselves into a rather intriguing,
    animated quartet...

    Together, eskimO and his pals, the giraffe, monkey and penguin, have
    taken off on 10 animated musical adventures. Here's the press blurb:

   "The eskimo, the giraffe, monkey and penguin decided that
    they would all head out and travel above the seas, past the
    moon and the planets and venture out through the stars.
    They would travel together on the eskimO's special ark.
    For this was no ordinary ark, this was a dream arků"

   Here's a sample for you:


    Now there's another Gorillaz connection here, in the fact that
    the band's adventures have been animated by the same company,
    namely, Passion Pictures
. And if you were involved with, or viewed
    the Public Choice films for last year's BAA Awards, you might recall
    that the band's first video - "Hometime" - was a winning entrant.
    You can view that fine film on the band's official site, as it happens,
    and there's a whole lot more there besides...

     "kandi" from One eskimO - out now!

    So why are we plugging One eskimO now, a year after their debut?
    Well, as that clip above tells you, they finally released their first official
    single a few days back, (23rd February). "Kandi" is available to listen,
    view and download right now. And the album it comes from, "All Balloons"
    will be with us in May. And this concept, and the little films which 
    accompany the tracks are really quite dreamy, and fab... So there.

One eskimO


    The DFC in trouble   

    Could it be that Britain's brightest comic weekly, The DFC is on the
    verge of closure, after less than a year of existence? Well, sadly, it is.
    The comic's parent company, Random House, has decided to put the
    title up for sale, with immediate effect, and if no buyer is forthcoming
    it will cease publication on March 27th.

    The DFC - better hold on to that first issue!

    What cold, hard reading this makes. It must be devastating for the
    artists and writers who have have been working on this exciting venture
    for the last ten months (or more, of course, given the work that must have
    been done in advance of its launch). But facts is facts, and the toughest fact
    of all is that The DFC was simply not making enough money for its
    backers. Of course, a subscription-based comic was always going to
    have a mountain to climb, but the current economic woes must have
    piled on the pressure over the last few months.

    The Internet is currently buzzing with commentary on this news from
    DFC contributors and the UK comics community at large. And where
    ever you turn, the consenus seems to be overwhelmingly positive.
    The DFC has been a real shot in the arm for the UK comics scene.
    Yes, there have been problems with its subscription-only model,
    but the drive and commitment from the folks involved is being widely
    applauded. Its readership has been exposed to a huge breadth of
    comic stylings, with serial adventures, Manga-esque sci-fi, full-on
    comic capers and flights of whimsical brilliance all rubbing shoulders
    together between its weekly covers - with ne'er an advert in sight.

    As for this reader, he's so very grateful to David Fickling and his
    comic for having introduced him to the joys of Sarah McIntyre
    and Jim Medway, and The Etherington Brothers, and so many
    more exciting and talented folks. Oh, if only a brave, bold buyer
    could step forward...

                                                                        More: The DFC

    It must be Loaf  

     Goodness, there's currently a whole lot of "loaf" out there for Wallace
     and Gromit, because the duo's latest star vehicle - A Matter of Loaf
     and Death - has recently picked up two more prestigious films awards,
     in the shape of an Annie and a BAFTA.

     The Annie arrived late last month, of course, on a night when all the talk
     focused on the feud between a high-kicking Panda and a robot in lurv.
     (that's "Kung Fu Panda" and "Wall-e", of course). Loaf won the Best
     Animated Short Subject award, and director Nick Park was also
     presented with a rather desirable Winsor McCay Award for his
     contribution to the art of animation...

     As for that BAFTA, well, we saw it coming, didn't we? BAFTA just
     love our West Wallaby St. duo, so it was no surprise to see Nick
     Park and the Aardman team collecting their trophy last night
     (8th Feb). Wallace and Gromit have had four BAFTA wins now,
     don't you know...

                                                         More: The Annies  BAFTA

   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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