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Toonhound presents...






Peppa Pig art for sale at The Animation Art Gallery!

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

   Whizzer of a birthday

   40 years of Whizzer & Chips...

   ABC video

   ABC Warriors get animated...

   Real-life Menace
Beano star had a real-life

    Up in the McLeods
NHS success for the Brothers McLeod....

  BAFTA time
And the Children's nominees are....

Happy Viz-day!
   Viz turns thirty...

Fantastic... and British?
   Is Fantastic Mr Fox a British film?...

   The DFC Library

   David Fickling's graphic novels...

    A bit distracted
   The Hound's been busy...
more »

   news archive »     interviews »      giveaways »

    Up in the McLeods  

    Greg and Myles McLeod must be two very happy animators right now.
    They currently have two Children's BAFTA nominations sitting on
    this year's shortlists (see previous post). But on top of that, they've
    just won an animation competition run by the NHS...

    The NHS Choices/Creative Review Health Animation Compeition had
    a mealy-mouthed title for what was actually an inspired competition
    brief. The idea was to design a cartoon character, or characters,
    to help convey health information on YouTube and the NHS Choices
    web site. The McLeods came up with The Tokkels, and their film
    was one of six shortlisted creations. Here are those Tokkels in action:


Good stuff, eh?

    Greg and Myles have now been awarded a six-month contract to develop
    the concept and their first animations will appear within a few months.
    By which time, they might just be a pair of BAFTA-winning Brothers, too!

The Brothers McLeod  NHS Choices


    BAFTA time    

    The clocks have gone back, the nights have drawn in, and the trees are
    shaking off their foliage for another year... Which means just one thing...
    Awards Season is here!

    Yes, t'is the season once more. And as usual, BAFTa are first out of the
    gate with the announcement of their Children's award shortlists. So
    without further ado, here are this year's nominees of note to Toonhound:

     Best Animation:

       The Production Team
       (The Brothers McLeod / Tate)

Ben Lock, Christine Ponzevera, Sergio Delfino
       (Aardman Animations / Cartoon Network)

       Lucinda Whiteley, Dave Unwin
       (Novel Entertainment Ltd / CiTV)

       Sue Goffe, Philip Hunt
       (Studio AKA/Contender Entertainment/E1 Entertainment Group/Channel 4)

     Pre-school Animation:

       Phil Davies, Neville Astley, Mark Baker
       (Astley Baker Davies/Rubber Duck Entertainmen/E1 Kids/ Nick Jr)

Alexi Wheeler, Neil Fitzgibbon
       (King Rollo/Rubber Duck Entertainment/Nick Jr)

       Iain Harvey, Edward Foster
       (The Illuminated Film Company/Channel Five)

       Phil Davies, Neville Astley, Mark Baker
       (Astley Baker Davies/E1 Kids Production/Channel Five/Nick Jr)

     In addition:

     ASTLEY BAKER DAVIES are nominated in the "Independent Production
     Company" category...

     And PHIL HALL, NEVILLE ASTLEY and MARK BAKER are also given a
     nod in the "Writing" category, for their work on PEPPA PIG...

     TATE KIDS from The Development Team (Tate/GRDD/The Brothers McLeod)
     is nominated in the "Learning Primary" category...

     And that viral phenomenom LOG JAM from Peter Drake, Tracey
     Cleland, Alexei Alexeev (Studio Baestarts/Nickelodeon UK) is included
     in the "Short Form" shortlist...

     So there you have it. There's a whole lot of love for Astley Baker Davies
     this year. They've got four nominations. And The Brothers McLeod have
     two. As for guessing the winners, well, The Hound has come unstuck far
     too many times to go speculating again!

     You'll find the full list of nominations here. And stay tooned for
     Awards Night on Sunday 29 November...

                                                                                      More: BAFTA


    Happy Viz-day!   

    Wow. Britain's favourite top-shelf toon title Viz is now thirty years old.
    Who would have thunk it?

    Viz issue 190 - 3oth birthday issue!

    Viz #190 - the celebratory birthday issue - is in stores now, and
    Lew Stringer gives us a fine guide to it and his contribution
    (Pathetic Sharks - Yay!) on his fab and informative blog.

    But hold your sharks, there's more. You see, there's a rather spiffy Viz
    exhibition coming to London's Cartoon Museum in Little Russell Street, WC1.
    30 Years of Viz - an exhibition of original artwork will be open for your
    viewing pleasure from 4th November 2009 to 24th January 2010. And it
    does exactly what it says, in that it presents us with more than eighty
    pieces of original artwork from the cock-eyed fanzine-turned-comic-turned
    filthy-fun-phenomenon that Chris and Simon Donald first concocted in
    their Newcastle bedroom, way back in November 1979.

    Meanwhile, this year's Viz annual The Council Gritter and The Magna Fartlet
    (both by Dennis Publishing) are in stores now, and there are Viz folks
    a-plenty currently on a jolly signing tour around the UK (dates are here)

Viz  The Cartoon Museum


    Fantastic... and British?   

    Yes, it has an American director. Yes, it has American backing.
    And, yes, it's identified as an American production on the IMDB.
    But Wes Anderson's film of "Fantastic Mr Fox" has The Hound asking,
    just how "british" does a film have to be before we can finally pin a
    Union Jack to its flanks and add its credits and info to
    Toonhound's Movietoon index?

    There's Roald Dahl, of course, and he and his estate are all-pervading.
    There's also a bunch of Brits supplying the human voices (Michael
    Gambon, Brian Cox, Helen McCrory, etc). More importantly, the
    whole darned movie was filmed in the UK, with a large staff of
    Brits putting it all together.

    So does it qualify? I don't really know. It's another of those production
    conundrums to ponder. Many of the folks on this film also put together
    "The Corpse Bride" which was filmed at the same UK studio, yet, that
    one somehow feels less British in nature...


     It's an ongoing problem, of course. You can go on back to those
     Amblimation movies of the 90's, where many Brits cut their cartoon
     teeth. Before that, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" had most of its
     live-action scenes shot at Elstree Studios, and the majority of its
     animated scenes brought to life in Camden Town, NW1. Oh, and
     let's not forget all those Euro-pudding tv series of recent years,
     with mini teams from a variety of countries contributing material.
     And thinking back further, we had a whole bunch of work for US
     and Euro-toon films and series farmed out to Halas & Batchelor
     and its ilk.

     So where should the line be drawn, exactly? - The Hound honestly
     just doesn't know. By and large, this site has stuck to series and
     films produced here and identified as UK toons by that old Internet
     Movie Database, but the line is shifting all the time, and ju-u-u-st
     maybe Mr Fox has stolen into the woods with a red, white and
     blue flag wrapped around his haul....
Fantastic Mr Fox


    The DFC Library    

    The Frankfurt Book Fair is currently in full swing, and there are press
    releases a-plenty winging their way around the web, as deals are struck
    and big books are announced from the various publishers and agents
    in attendance.

    The original DFC - issue one cover

    But in the midst of the hullaballo is some fab news for fans of David Fickling's
    far-too-short-lived weekly comic The DFC. Now the thing is, it was always
    mooted that a number of the strips featured in those weekly editions were
    going to eventually be pulled into standalone graphic novels. But everything
    went rather quiet when the comic closed down. So it's great to see that,
    lo and behold, there in the midst of the various Frrankfurt news splashes,
    is an announcement that the first three volumes in The DFC Library are
    officially on the cards, and going down splendidly well with the folks
    at the festival, it seems.

    The first three DFC Library editions are going to be:

   by Adam Brockbank and Ben Haggarty

   Good Dog, Bad Dog
   by Dave Shelton
   Spider Moon
   by Kate Brown

    These standalone works will compile all the weekly strips, in colour,
    and they are going to be published by David Fickling Books in March,
    April and May 2010. Which is bloomin' good news, because - well - it's
    so exciting to see such a highflying and respected UK publisher going
    out on a limb like this again. We've got oodles of terrific comic strip
    talent out there, creating tirelessly, but with very few outlets for their brilliant
    endeavours. Occassionally, one or two might break the Small Press ranks 
    and forge their own book deal, as has been the case with Egmont's
    acquisition of Garen Ewing's utterly brilliant Rainbow Orchid. But that's a rare
    flower indeed. You can't help but let your imagination run riot... To think
    there might now be a regular mainstream showcase for these top talents...
    oh!... let's hope that it's a resounding success for all involved!

    And don't forget, you can keep up to date with most of the artists and
    writers who contributed to The DFC on their all-singing blog:
    The Super Comics Adventure Squad!


    Whizzer of a birthday     

    Lots of folks have been in touch over the weekend to remind us all that
    this week marks what would have been the 40th birthday for that most
    famous of Fleetway fun comics, Whizzer & Chips.

     Which Whizzer was best?  - The changing face of Whizzer & Chips

    Oh, yes, the gleeful delights of Sid and Slippy and Shiner, with their
    two rival comics-that-weren't-separate-comics-at-all dueling through the
    weeks. Sweet Tooth, Wear-'Em-Out Wilf, Odd Ball, Harry's Haunted House
    and far-too-many more fun folks, who came and went with the years and
    the title mergers with Knockout and Krazy and Whoopee!
    What comic bliss it all was...
    Lew Stringer takes us through an excellent first-issue guide on
    his essential blog, whilst over on Fleetway St, Yours Truly presents
    his own li'l guide to some of the best strips of those Fleetway fun days.
    I reckon it's time I added a few more to the index, don't you?


    ABC video     

    Remember those animated 2000ad strips which were announced
    last Spring? Well, the first of them now has a Vimeo preview for us
    to drool over.
It's a teaser  for the ABC Warriors - and by "teaser",
    we really do mean just a smidgeon of a snippet of action - but it looks
    completely fab. Why, those atomic, bacterial and chemical creations
    look like they've just stepped right out of the comic:


    The toons are being produced for Rebellion via Firestep, and by the
    look of things, they're going to be completely brilliant. Let's hope there's
    more to see soon!...
                                                                        More:  Firestep  2000ad


    Real-life Menace    

    Now here's one for your next Pub Quiz. Apparently, there was a real-life
    inspiration for that most famous of stripe-topped menaces, DC Thomson's
    Dennis the Menace.

    Step forward Robert Fair, a 62 year old chap currently residing in
    New Zealand. According to the BBC, his family used to lived in Dundee,
    when he was a lad, and they were friends with Beano artist Davey Law.
    And it seems Law based his Dennis design upon young Robert, although
    he never told him. Mr Fair admits that he could be a bit of a rascal, at times,
    back in his youth, though he never sported spikey black hair,
    or a striped sweater.

     Dennis = Robert Fair

    The connection was recently revealed by Davey Law's daughter
    Rosemary Moffat,  who has her own claim to DC Thomson fame to
    celebrate too, because she was the inspiration for Topper comic star,
    Beryl the Peril!

    Methinks those DC Thomson artists had a habit of basing folks on
    real-life counterparts. If you recall, Oor Wullie's PC Murdoch was also
    exposed a wee while back...

                                                                               More: The Beano


    A bit distracted     

    If you're a regular visitor here (and I think there might still be at least one),
    you'll probably have noticed a slowing down of additions and updates on
    the site, over the Summer and into Autumn, for which I must apologise.
    But you see, I've been indulging in a little "me" time of late, and it's
    distracted me somewhat from the day-to-day business of Toonhound.

    So what have I been up to? Well, it's my very own, very small, comic project.
    Smaller than Small Press, I'd say. If you've found me on Facebook, or you've
    stopped by my blog, you'll have already caught up with its development.
    It's called BLIP, and I've set myself a goal of getting the first 48-page tale
    drawn, inked, and coloured, ready for self-publication by the end of the year.

    BLIP by F - coming soon!

    I'm using it to scratch an ever-growing itch to be creative, and to prove to
    myself that I have the ability to see a comic project through to completion.
    You see, I've been far too distracted in the past, and there are umpteen
    half-finished endeavours scattered around my old attic. There's also been
    the little matter of Toonhound and its neverending need to be fed new toons
    and news. This place has been online ten whole years now. That's a long
    time, in web terms, and it feels a whole lot longer to me. I seem to have
    been chained to my PC for an eternity, and whilst I've been tapping away
    on my keyboard, my old drawing pad has been left to gather dust.
    Oh, but look, there's no need to panic. You might think I'm about to abandon
    Toonhound to the four winds. No, no, no. And once more, no. I've no such
    intentions. I'm just saying that I am a tad distracted right now and there may
    be a period between here and the end of the year in which the updates and
    the news stories don't get online quite as quickly, or with quite as much
    regularity. But these are "mights" and nothing more. I've broken the back
    of my comic tale as you read this, so I should be able to divide my time
    a bit more  evenly between pad and keyboard. Which all means that,
    with luck, you won't even see the join and this editorial ramble
    becomes redundant.

    I've keeping a running commentary on my progress with BLIP, over on
    my blog, if anyone's interested. And if you're not, well, yah-boo to you,
    'cos I'm continuing with it regardless!

    Till next time!

        Pooch says 'Stay tooned!'

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