Boom Kids! becomes “kaboom!,” releases a Peanuts graphic novel

Boom Kids!, the all-ages imprint of Boom! Studios, has now renamed itself “kaboom!” Kaboom! will continue to publish child-friendly titles, including the non-Pixar Disney comics line (the Pixar comics have moved to Disney-owned Marvel Comics). One of kaboom!’s new titles is a graphic novel adaptation of a new “Peanuts” animated special, “Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown.” This special debuts on DVD March 29, and is based on a series of 1960s era “Peanuts” strips. To that end, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, etc. in…

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Liferea article to appear in newest issue of Ubuntu User magazine

I’ve got another article appearing in the latest issue of “Ubuntu User” magazine, the magazine dedicated to the popular Linux distribution. While the article isn’t available online, issue #8 will be available on newsstands March 11 in North America and April 11 in Australia. Meanwhile, it’s been available for several weeks in Europe. The article I wrote is about Liferea, an RSS newsreader written for GNOME, the desktop environment used for Ubuntu. I’m pleased to see more of my writing in print! Of course, I’m…

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The metric system in animation

The metric system, the measurement system used by the entire world save the United States (and Myanmar/Burma and Liberia) saw a short-lived promotion in the US during the 70s, as the government made an unsuccessful attempt at converting the country to the metric system. Unfortunately, the conversion efforts didn’t succeed; my guesses why America never went metric: Businesses balked at the cost of converting equipment, etc. to metric. Reagan’s rise to power in the 80s (and the accompanying deregulation craze he brought) killed off government…

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Black animated and comic characters: Wyatt Williams (“6Teen”)

Heading back north of the border for today’s entry, we come to Canadian animated character Wyatt Williams, from Teletoon’s 2000s animated series “6Teen,” a show about a group of six friends and their hijinks at a Mall of America-sized shopping mall. Wyatt, an African-Canadian youth with a near-addiction to drinking coffee, is portrayed as the group’s most mild-mannered member. With interests including arthouse films, reading, and pursuing his amateur music career (as a guitarist), Wyatt sticks out compared to his male cohorts Jonesy (the egoistical…

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RIP Dwayne McDuffie

I and the rest of the comics/animation enthusiast world was surprised today by the news that Dwayne McDuffie has died, due to complications from a surgical procedure. Comic Book Resources has this nice summary of McDuffie’s career. I was introduced to McDuffie’s work through reading the Milestone Comics line of characters when I was in high school, though I preferred Icon and Rocket over Static, not suspecting the latter would become the line’s most successful character. When “Static Shock” came to television, I enjoyed watching…

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Washington’s Birthday/Presidents’ Day (and George Washington) in cartoons

(Updated 2/17/13) Today in these United States is Washington’s Birthday, or “Presidents’ Day” as it’s increasingly called (thanks to advertisers/possibly a push to combine Lincoln’s and Washington’s birthdays into one generic, days-off-minimizing holiday?). In honor of the country’s first president, mail isn’t delivered, banks are closed, and so forth. Cartoons don’t seem to make much note of Washington’s Birthday/Presidents’ Day, but there are some instances of it being used as a setting: Here Comes Peter Cottontail The early 70s Rankin-Bass special “Here Comes Peter Cottontail”…

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Black animated and comic characters: The Falcon

(Updated 7/16/14) Today’s entry is Marvel hero the Falcon (real name Sam Wilson). The Falcon is noteworthy as American comics’ first African-American superhero (Marvel’s earlier Black Panther is from Africa), and the first one without “Black” in his name. The Falcon first appeared in “Captain America” #117 in 1969, and was created by Stan Lee and Gene Colan. His origin: a social worker raised in New York, Sam found himself stranded on a deserted island along with Captain America, and wound up being trained by him in…

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Comic review: Darkwing Duck #9

Darkwing Duck #9 Written by: Ian Brill Art by: James Silvani This issue starts off by picking up the previous storyline’s plot about Darkwing’s reputation being ruined by the alternate-universe Darkwings running amok. With Launchpad’s help, DW attempts to improve his image. It isn’t long, however, before the main new plot begins: old Darkwing enemy Steelbeak (of sinister spy agency F.O.W.L.) needs Darkwing’s help to stop Steelbeak’s bosses from unleashing upon the Earth the evil threat of… “Duckthulhu.” Yep, Lovecraft references in a comic with…

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Comic review: Tiny Titans #37

Tiny Titans #37 Written by: Art Baltazar and Franco Art by: Art Baltazar This month’s issue features the “Shazam Family” (or “(Captain) Marvel Family” of course, if it weren’t for Marvel Comics trademarking the use of “Marvel” on a comic book cover). The overall story features Mr. Talky Tawny, the talking tiger, serving as a substitute teacher at the Titans’ school. There’s also various jokes about how the Marvels change into their identities via their magic words, which gets Psimon involved. We also get to…

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Black animated and comic characters: John Stewart (“Green Lantern”)

Moving on in this series (and in time for the upcoming movie this summer), we come to John Stewart, one of Earth’s several Green Lanterns. John Stewart first appeared in “Green Lantern” (vol. 2) #87 in December 1971/January 1972, and was created by Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams. Stewart (no relation to “The Daily Show” host) was originally selected by the Guardians of Oa as a backup/secondary Green Lantern of Earth, and served as such for years. Stewart’s also been featured on occasion as the…

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