Sunday, August 2, 2009
A while back my buddy Derek Charm and I were having a conversation about children's entertainment. Specifically, cartoons on the television. Now I hope I'm not losing the interest of anyone right off, I know this blog is primarily to be about books, but I promise I'll get there.
I'm not highly familiar with a lot of the cartoons aimed for young audiences today. I don't catch Nickelodeon as much as I'd like. It seems to me though, that kids have it pretty low impact compared to the weird stuff that I was growing up on. I was born in 1983, my friend Derek in '82. This means that by the time we were around eight or nine there were basically two fields that our viewing interests fell in-
a) The by that time dated Hanna-Barbera cartoons, full of references way over our heads. ( as a kid I remember watching an episode of Scooby-Doo guest starring Jonathan Winters and puzzling over who the heck he was the whole episode).
b) The then emerging cartoon programming directed towards adults, i.e. The Simpsons, Ren & Stimpy, etc.
So what is my point? Well, what my pal and I came to conclude is that during this period of time, while adults were trying to figure out just what was appropriate for an animated character to be doing on public television, we were in the midst of an important artistic gestation. We started drawing comics, writing, and without really realizing it were equally influenced by both the dated styles of the 60s and 70s (sorry if that makes anyone feel old), and the "twisted" modern cartoons and comics of the time. And of course we weren't the only ones. The current hit show The Venture Brothers (a Green Apple staff favorite, and a personal recommendation of my own) is a perfect example of the marriage of those two concepts.
I take cartooning very seriously, as does Derek Charm. It's not only is it a challenging medium to master, but it is still very young. Keeping one's work fresh and exciting, while still hailing back to a number of established, "functional" styles can prove to be difficult indeed. That being said I am proud to present that Green Apple Books will now be carrying Derek Charm's ACTION PACK. The book is 36 pages of comics and activities, printed in handy digest size and genuinely quite funny. Here is a quick preview of what you're in for: