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Your favourite cartoon!

by Nomad Sun Jun 14th, 2009 at 03:20:00 AM EST

The enthusiasm about cartoons yesterday deserves a bit of its own niche!

So: what is your favourite cartoon??

Speaking for myself, I grew up with a veritable wealth of cartoons - in the eighties, cartoons had already become big business. Even when I was eight, I found this annoying - there was too much to read, and too little time, and too much other fun to be had outside books! Probably the cartoons that drew me in most significantly, were from the hand of Belgium's Willy VanderSteen: the adventurous duo "Suske en Wiske" (in English known as "Spike and Suzy" and in French "Bob et Bobbette"):


Sunday morning cartoons - afew


Of course I knew little then about the history how the cartoon took form nor did I know how VanderSteen, in his youth during the depression, began entertaining his compatriots by making drawings with chalk on the pavement. When, his career established, VanderSteen was invited for contributions in the (bilingual) cartoon magazine Tintin/Kuifje - Hergé protested - for artistic reasons, not for personal reasons. Hergé and VanderSteen knew amiable relations and Hergé had called VanderSteen "the Breughel of the cartoons" (quote from this interview with Raymond Leblanc), but his drawings were too folksy for the realistic style Hergé envisioned for the magazine.

However, VanderSteen wanted to join Tintin so much that he re-created Suske en Wiske entirely, situating them in historic adventures, and shedding a large part of the comical veneer that popularised his characters. VanderSteen finished a total of 8 of these adventures meant for Tintin, but never finished the ninth, clashing with Hergé this time.

Although even today new albums are released, VanderSteen stopped drawing Suske en Wiske already in 1974. Floating in the wake of VanderSteen's success, the originality has long gone (in my opinion!), notwithstanding the occasional spark. Which meant that I, during my fanaticism to collect the series, finally decided on a cut-off point - and stopped collecting without further qualms.  

But almost doubtlessly, VanderSteen's best work, both technically and creatively, came together in those 8 stories designed for Tintin magazine. They are also known as the "Blue Series", recognizable because of their blue cover. My personal favourite happens to be the one that most fans pick as the best album: "De schat van Beersel" (The treasure of Beersel).

 

The setting of this story is situated in the castle of Beersel, south of Brussels. The story romanticizes a siege during the rebellion against Maximilian of Habsburg but it sure was a fun way to get introduced with this history! Using folklore or historic events would become a guiding line for albums created after VanderSteen's quit working for Tintin.

What's the cartoon that still inspires you??

Display:
It's a close tie between this and a slightly strange remix.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 10:28:00 AM EST
I did follow the stories of Bob et Bobette, with Lambique and Jérome... But had the false idea it was drawn by Bob de Moor (who did help VanderSteen somtimes, as he helped Edgar.P. Jacob in his Blake and Mortimer series)!

I started reading with Christophe's four books, "La famille Fenouillard, Le sapeur Camembert, Le savant Cosinus, les facéties de Plick et Plock...)

The "Fenouillard family" is maybe the best example of the roots of the French vs Anglo-saxon misunderstandings ... :-) While being in 1889 one of the first illustrated stories, with incredible sequences that will be later used in the first movies...!

Then, after such a beginning, I read almost all of those "comics". In India, there was a guy coming to each door with a bale on his back full of new and used comics... For a few annas, and after a healthy discussion, I could exchange my comics with new ones I hadn't yet read... So I went also through the whole bunch of the "Justice League of America" (Green Lantern, Aquaman, etc.) as the "Annie" or "Archie"...

A bit later I started surmising the intricacies of US politics with "Pogo" !

Today, if I'm asked which I prefer, I would hesitate between Will Eisner's "Spirit"

and Edgar.P. Jacob's "Blake and Mortimer" !

Even if I do favor Baron François Schuiten's work who would be the third on this illustrious podium :-)



"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman

by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 11:21:17 AM EST
Despite my Donald Duck tirade, I'm not really very into cartoons.  Not on tv and not on comic books (or graphic novels).  That is, I would never go out of my way to watch or read them.  There are some strips I appreciate, like xkcd or Life in hell.  But I really do live Lynda Barry, who writes "Ernie Pook."  Her main characters are Marlys, a messed up little girl who lives in a disfunctional family and run-down neighborhood, and Fred Milton, a poodle who writes beat poetry.  

Here is a selection of Ernie Pook comics.  These used to run in my local paper.  I think she is from Chicago.

Here is perhaps the most famous comic.  I used to have this on my fridge 0 don't know what happened to it...

Here is an example of Fred Milton's beat poetry:

And here is one of her books.  
 

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 12:08:34 PM EST
I have Poodle with a Mohawk poster up in my office here at Juvenile Hall.

"I said, 'Wait a minute, Chester, You know I'm a peaceful man...'" Robbie Robertson
by NearlyNormal on Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 03:11:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ernie Pook is awesome.
by Nomad (Bjinse) on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 06:20:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's a difference between graphic novels and cartoons. My favorite graphic novels at the moment are Marjane Satrapi's stories of Iran and Guy Delisle's travel stories. My favorite cartoon is either Mutts or xkcd.

You have a normal feeling for a moment, then it passes. --More--
by tzt (tzt) on Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 02:58:53 PM EST
I just go with what I like - had no idea about these distinctions!
by Nomad (Bjinse) on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 06:37:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Get Fuzzy is another good comic.  

The most recent one:


"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 03:12:17 PM EST
Of the printed variety, I have a love of The Bojeffries saga, A council estate Adams family

http://www.internationalhero.co.uk/b/bojeffriesaga.htm

The Bojeffries are a family of eccentric monsters trying to live a quiet life on a council estate. Unfortunately for them, quirks such as not having paid the rent since Queen Victoria was on the throne combined with the "Little Britain" attitude of the people they tend to encounter (who suspect them of being foreigners - "Polish people, I think. Or Irishmen."), means that their lives aren't as undisturbed as the Bojeffries would like.


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 04:30:06 PM EST
Cartoons...

I think the first ones I met were the 2x2 pages in my grandmother's weekly crossword puzzle magazine. Usually the graphic adaptations of literary works. As it happens, the creator of most was a highschool good friend of my other grandfather.

As for others... I recall one of American origin and four of French origin: Tarzan, Pif le chien, Rahan, Lucky Luke and Asterix. These spread across school by borrowing. I particularly loved the last three, but can recall only one with story: Asterix at the Olympics. I also recall that at one time in first or second class, I wanted to form a 'detachment' [pupils were to organise in groups smaller than a class in a pre level of pioneers] named for Pif.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 04:42:23 PM EST
Pif le chien, Rahan,

What one learns from Wikipedia...

Pif gadget - Wikipedia

Created as an outlet of the French Communist Party, it was initially entitled Le Jeune Patriote, published 1944-1945, which was succeeded by Vaillant, Le Jeune Patriote in 1945.[1] The title was moderated in 1946 to read simply Vaillant, with the tag, "le journal le plus captivant" (The Most Captivating Magazine). For the April issue of 1965, the title was changed to Vaillant, le journal de Pif, in honour of the prominently featured Pif le chien, a dog character created by José Cabrero Arnal. ...

Pif Gadget gathered interest through its determination to publish only "complete stories" (i.e.: unserialized). Its featured comics included:

...The paper also benefitted from being able to reach the newly industrialized countries, and was one of the select few Western magazines to be allowed circulation behind the Iron Curtain due to its left-wing credentials.

Ah. As for Rahan:

Rahan (comics) - Wikipedia

Rahan is a French comics series about an intelligent prehistoric man, that appeared first as part of Pif gadget, then published in albums of 2 to 4 complete stories. It was initially written by Roger Lecureux, and after his death in 1999, by his son, Jean-François Lecureux. Most of the artwork is drawn by Andre Cheret, as well as some other artists (Enrique Romero, Zam, DeHuescar).

Character

After the destruction of his tribe in a volcano eruption, Rahan moves from land to land and tribe to tribe while spreading goodwill among those-who-walk-on-two-feet, and a powerful ethic of cooperation. With his open altruism often at odds with his powerful will to survive, Rahan's ethic is encompassed by the qualities represented by the bear-claw necklace he received from his dying adoptive father, Crao: courage, loyalty, generosity, resilience, wisdom. Also, after he gets married, he receives a sixth claw, the claw of curiosity. That is well deserved, since in every one of the more than 100 stories spread over 30 years and 3300 pages of illustration (as of June 2005), Rahan uses the scientific method to pick up some bit of knowledge from nature and spin it to some useful purpose - for himself, for some human tribe or even to help some animals in distress. He comes up with the catapult, the net, the fishing pole, the lens, diverts water for use in drinking and agriculture, flies on wings of leather, uses concave mirrors to concentrate the rays of the sun to heat caves and fight rampaging animals,.... Every adventure combines the positive social attitude of a true leader with the inventiveness of a true scientist.

This recalled my memories of the first story: a fight for survival alone ending with the climatic scene of seeing another human.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 05:59:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I too remember reading those as a kid. I never was much a fan of Tintin, but Astérix has always been my favourite (tu sais ce qu'ils te disent, mes poissons?), followed by Les Tuniques Bleues, Gaston Lagaffe and Lucky Luke.

--
$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$
by martingale on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 06:34:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For strip cartoons, I would vote for the Moomins family and their weird friends... I still have those strips I patiently cut everyday in my father's newspaper :-)



"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman

by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 06:03:27 PM EST
Vaughn Bode

the patron saint of graffiti artists, and a serial cartoonist

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 07:12:18 PM EST
Ah yes.

His "War Lizard" series was absolutely freaking brilliant.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Jun 10th, 2009 at 09:39:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Since you speak of growing up...

The comic I was allowed when I was a kid was Eagle, which had the right kind of tone, having been founded by a clergyman and all. The main story was Dan Dare, intrepid (British, of course) space pilot:

Just look at that Eagle logo and you know it's the right stuff. Dan Dare's enemy was good, though: the Mekon:

Other kids were allowed to have "trashy" comics like the Dandy and the Beano, and I don't know why but I wanted those comics too, I must have been depraved or something. Anyway I read them at friends' houses. Here are some of the trashy characters:

Desperate Dan, the cowboy (this is from before my time but it's real Desperate Dan stuff):

Here he is having his favourite meal:

Here's somebody who could have run rings round Dan, Minnie the Minx:

And here's the real Dennis the Menace (not that effete American kid):

And how I enjoyed the Bash Street Kids and their daily adventures with school and Teacher:

But there was more. There were comic books that came from America and were really kind of thrillingly forbidden (not even many of my friends had these), DC Comics first:

But that was intellectual compared to the real goods, which were Marvel Comics:

FANTASY AS YOU LIKE IT. Oh boy!

And so I slid down the greasy slope from the clean and noble to the degenerate. Is it surprising that it was only a short step further to this?

Children, listen to your parents. Terrible things can happen to you if you don't.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 03:28:33 AM EST
Aaah... Crumb! Not surprisingly, I think he lives in France :-)

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman
by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 03:42:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the Cévennes.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 05:55:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Crumb and Leo Baxendale in one answer! Brilliant.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 10:02:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was a big Beano fan.  But Minnie the Minx looks like an old woman in weird clothes and disturbed me a bit.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 10:12:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well she didn't disturb me at all, if you see what I mean.

Some of the girls at school did.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 10:21:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I find that strange that Minnie the Minx  disturbed you, how could any little girl not want to be her?

Baxendale Bulletin Board

And you'll notice that these aren't cheap laughs, at other people's expense. Here's what the artist himself says about some of his characters:

`In creating Fatty, I was aware of how fat boys had been treated in comics - either as greedy (Hungry Horace, in The Dandy) or as greedy and the butt of jokes (Billy Bunter in The Magnet's Greyfriars series).
I wasn't having any of that. Fatty of Bash Street...though of equable temperament ...was a war elephant.'

and -

`I made an abrupt decision to create Minnie the Minx, not a naughty girl, as Dennis was a naughty boy, but as a girl of boundless ambition, and an Amazonian warrior to boot.'

This is the profound thought that lies behind Leo Baxendale's work. I found it tucked modestly away at the back of his splendid book The Beano Room: wise, tender, funny



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 10:24:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wanted to be her but the way she looked really freaked me!
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sun Jun 14th, 2009 at 02:28:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
nobody has mentioned xkcd yet!

And Calvin & Hobbes!

And Non sequitur!

And the Far Side...

And Thorgal. And Gaston Lagaffe.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 06:17:46 AM EST
I cannot believe nobody has mentioned xkcd yet!

I did way up thread.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 10:38:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
sorry I missed it.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 03:18:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And me. First post.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Jun 14th, 2009 at 09:00:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My first thought on seeing the word cartoon was TV cartoons. During the 80s in France, there were lots of cartoons on wednesdays. I grew up on a steady dose of science fiction cartoons: Albator, Goldorak, Cobra, Ulysse 31, Il était une fois..., Capitaine Flam, etc.

Most of those were either Japanese or French/Japanese coproductions actually, with elaborate story arcs. American style WB or Disney cartoons were quite rare in that decade.

--
$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$

by martingale on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 06:43:23 AM EST
Ah, animated cartoons. I saw too many to count, so I have group even those I mention geographically. Let's start with the shortest list, for Western Europe.

  • Il était une fois... l'homme was an absolute favourite of mine as a kid. Also liked Il était une fois... la vie. I wasn't aware of the other seasons until recently, but did not like those. (For the uninitiated: this is an educative series with recurring characters; for example, the first one follows human history.)

  • Around the World with Willy Fog was another childhood top fav. This Spanish adaptation of Verne (which I saw before reading the original) turned the main characters into animals.

  • There is the unique and unbeatable La Linea: animated shorts made in Italy, consisting of just a contour. The main character is a walking man, whom the drawer always gets into trouble, with some misfortune befalling him at the end. (Thinking about it, its popularity around here comes from fitting with that Central European loser mentality perfectly.)

  • Jamie and the Magic Torch: an Alice in Wonderland-ish British(!) animation about a boy who opens a hole into another world from his bedroom every night, using a magic lamp.

  • The Smurfs, of course. But that wasn't a favourite, just so-so.

  • Astérix, of course. (Though I'm not sure an animated movie can be mentioned -- at least, this one was a series.) My favourite was and remains Asterix in Britain; I must have seen it a dozen times.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 09:51:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Il était une fois... l'homme was great: I used to watch it every night when I was a kid; we've bought it for the kids and they enjoy it too these days.

La linea is also a great



In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 03:22:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I remember La Linea too :) Didn't they used to show this during ad breaks? Another fun one (for kids) during the ad breaks was the Antenne 2 animation with a big A and 2 snakes, I can't find a link right now.

--
$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$
by martingale on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 06:29:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There was a Simpsons episode in which the cartoon-in-cartoon, Itchy & Scratchy, is taken off the air, and the TV station shows a cartoon from the former Eastern Bloc instead -- which is total crap.

Well, this was a bit of arrogant ignorance. In the real Eastern Bloc, there was a plethora of animated productions for children (including not only drawn ones of all kind but stop-and-go photography of puppets or plasticine); as well as TV productions for children in general. This was partly due to the censorship: this outlet of creativity remained for many indexed artists. But also because of a more child-friendly policy than today.

I have seen too many to list, in fact too many to remember. A selection in no particular order (and I don't know the original title for some):

  • Mole was a Czechoslovak series. An episode that triggered my early proto-Green sensibilities showed the clearcutting of a forest and subsequent construction of a concreted-over city from the viewpoint of the mole & friends.

  • Vuk is the adaptation of a novel from Hungary, about a fox pup who takes revenge on the hunter who killed his parents. (I liked it, but the book much better, which is for an older readership, without the cuteness factor).

  • Water Spider - Wonder Spider from Hungary has a diving bell spider as its hero, who is a 'new neighbor moving in', who miraculously doesn't capture and feed on his best friend beetles...

  • Enchanted Pencil came from Poland. Its hero was a boy who solved the problems of various people by using his magic pencil to draw machines and animals that came to life.

  • Bolek and Lolek is about the adventures and misadventures of two rather different brothers. I find that in English, the cartoon was distributed as Jym & Jam or Bennie and Lennie.

  • Rumcajs from Czechoslovakia was about a folk tale hero from today's Czech-Polish border region, a robber in the mountain woods who made a fool out of the Habsburg lords down in the city.

  • Tales about King Mathias adapted folk tales about the Renaissance King of Hungary Matthias Corvinus (1458-1490), who posthumously got the image of just king who often mingled under people in disguise.

  • Adventures of Captain Vrungel was an around-the-world-in-80-days-ish Soviet adventure mini-series with crazy sailor characters; a big childhood favourite.

  • Hungarian folk tales was an adaptation of folk tales with special animation: lots of morphing, and over-frequent use of organic motives frequent in the stitching art of Southeastern Hungary.

  • Stories from the Tree Stump Cottage of Křemílek and Vochomůrka is a crazy Czechoslovak series about two grumpy tree elves.

  • Pom Pom from Hungary was about an intelligent talking pom-pon who normally camouflaged himself as the hat of a girl; and who got a bunch of equally absurd friends.

  • Nu, pogodi! was the most-shown Soviet cartoon. A Tom & Jerry clone, it had a wolf chasing a hare who failed whatever he tried.

  • Three Kossacks was an irregular Soviet series. The one episode I saw and loved was a parody of the (Football) World Cup.

  • Leo & Fred was a work of (mostly) Bulgariasn animators working in Budapest. It stars a choleric pair lion trainer and lion in a decrepit wandering circus. It is almost an anti-cartoon in its slowness and subdued action, but the main characters are lovely. (Favourite episode: both Leo &Fred got ticks, but both pretend to the other that they don't, and try tro pass on their own to the other.)

I could go on...

At least in Hungary, there were some cartoons made for adult audiences (too).

  • The Mézga Family (which I saw even on Dutch satellite channels -- I wonder if anyone saw it) is about a standard middle-class family, the father in which got in contact with a descendant in a far-away future. The descendant always sends back in time various inventions that are supposed to solve all the problems of the Mézga family, but things never work out quite as intended... more like disasters. (Again very much in line with the Central European loser view of life.)

  • Doktor Bubó 'stars' an owl who is the doctor in a forest populated by humanoid animals. All stories of sick animals are parables of human failings, with some absurdities added using the traits of the animals (say predators' drive to eat other animals).


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 11:18:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hm. Thinking about it, maybe what Matt Groenig saw was Stories from the Tree Stump Cottage of Křemílek and Vochomůrka: the style of that animation carried some resemblance to the Simpsons spoof.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 11:25:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Soviets were brilliant at animation.  

When I was younger, a family from Czechoslovakia moved into our neighborhood.  He was studying to be a filmmaker, doing animation.  We shot a little film in his garage using these amazing puppets he'd brought with him.  He had stacks and stacks of tapes of Czech and other Soviet animated shorts and even feature length movies.  I'm at a loss to name even one of them, but they were all very fascinating.  Dark, or just touching.  With a very distinct style uncommon in the States, at least at that time.

Not sure where "cartoon" ends and "animation" begins, but I simply adore this little Russian film:

Yozhik v tumane:


"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 11:50:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I remember you posted that once before, but it is amazing on second watch, too.

In return, here is The Fly:

Czech and other Soviet

Is this some pun!? ;-)

We shot a little film in his garage using these amazing puppets he'd brought with him.

In terms of stop-and-go puppet animation, I think the far and wide best was the Czechoslovak series Pat & Mat - ...and it's done!. Cultural background: particularly in the Shortage Economy of the seventies-eighties, do-it-yourself was very in in the Eastern Bloc. So in this series, in every episode, the two neighbour heroes find some task to solve -- and go on ruining the entire house in their bold but totally unqualified attempts, until in the end they manage to put together something that's good for something (even if not for the original goal).

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 01:12:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm sorry.  I don't understand the pun.  Can you explain?  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 01:19:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean the last sentence? It is not a hidden reference. It's just that what the two cobblers end up with, usually doesn't look like anything properly made or designed, and isn't good for the task it was originally made for, just for some lesser task -- but the two guys can declare, as in the title, "...and it's done!".

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 01:41:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I mean

Czech and other Soviet

Is this some pun!? ;-)



"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 01:43:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think he wants to point out that Czech was not Soviet.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Tue Jun 16th, 2009 at 03:44:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, sorry. Forgot I was reading an old thread and missed the conversation continuing further down. Nevermind.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Tue Jun 16th, 2009 at 03:46:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A cobbler is a shoemaker. You want to call the A je to! characters "builders" - at least in British usage.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buiter
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 01:53:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But they're not professionals - in reality they're just "handymen" (for low values of "handy").

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buiter
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 01:58:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
cobbler - definition of cobbler by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.
1. One who mends or makes boots and shoes.2. Archaic One who is clumsy at work; a bungler.

I meant to use it in the bungler sense.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 03:17:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Okay, you got me there :P

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buiter
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 03:21:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It says the bungler use is archaic, so I may have been off anyway. (I picked it as alternative from a dictionary because "bungler" somehow didn't feel right.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 03:24:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's the expression "to cobble together".

I'd say the best description of the A je to characters might be hapless handymen.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buiter

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 03:26:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, no, you probably ask me about

Czech and other Soviet

Is this some pun!? ;-)

When you say Czech and other Soviet, you make Czechoslovakia part of the Soviet Union. Which, I thought, might have been some intentional pun I didn't get.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 01:47:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Does one have to be formally a member of the USSR to qualify as Soviet?  I mean, that may be.  I don't know.  I thought that being under Soviet control made you Soviet.  But I obviously have no idea what I am talking about.  What is the official term for all of those countries in central and eastern Europe and Eurasia and in that general part of the world who were under Communist rule and blocked off from the rest of the world during the Cold War in the mid to late 20th Century?

If Soviet Bloc is wrong because they were not in the USSR, and Eastern Bloc is wrong, since you like to point out that several of the countries are not in Eastern but Central Europe, and Communist Bloc is unhelpful because some Communist countries are not included (China, for example) in the thing we are talking about ... what is the proper term, please?

From wikipedia:

The terms Eastern Bloc, Communist Bloc or Soviet Bloc were used to refer to the former Communist states of Eastern and Central Europe, including the countries of the Warsaw Pact, along with Yugoslavia and Albania,[1][2] which were not aligned with the Soviet Union after 1948 and 1960 respectively.[3][4]

If this is a stupid exercise in PN, I'm not hanging around, but if there is a politically, geographically correct designation I should use, I'd like to know about it.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 02:46:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Soviet bloc" is not the same as "Soviet".

Call it a stupid exercise in PN if you must.

The brainless should not be in banking. — Willem Buiter

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 03:06:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the clarification - it's honestly not a common distinction in my experience.  Why are they distinct?

And what is the adjective I should use?

And I said, if.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 03:09:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Soviet as an adjective would refer to things from the country (Soviet Union). So I'd have said, spontaneously, "Czech and other Soviet bloc cartoons", or "Czech and other Eastern European cartoons"

Eastern was used then; I think DoDo doesn't want it to be used now, because it had a political reality rather than a geographic one, and thus, as the political reality no longer exists, the expression should make no sense today.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 03:17:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No; my point is [Eastern] Bloc <> [Eastern] Europe.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 03:21:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So the issue is that I took the "bloc" to be inferred.  Ok.  

FWIW, Soviet is -wrongly or rightly- often used in reference to an aesthetic or culture or other intangibles and not simply in reference to a political entity.  Which is why I don't "spontaneously" differentiate between the bloc and the Union when talking about aesthetic or culture or other intangibles.  

Dodo doesn't like Eastern because it is technically in Central Europe.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 03:33:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It can be a very sensitive issue.

I try to tread very carefully when using the word Soviet to describe...well...the countries formerly in the Soviet bloc, because I have a Polish sister in law who regards the Soviet period as a period of occupation. She is in her 50's now, and though I can empathise with some of the individual incidents she has related, it's hard for me even to imagine the cumulative effect of the atmosphere in which she grew up. It is extremely painful for her to hear Poland, to her ears, lumped in with the USSR.

You're right, we could use a less clumsy term for "countries that used to be in the former Soviet bloc with varying degrees of oppression and enthusiasm and aren't in the former Soviet bloc any more."

But in using Soviet as a geographical term, you're rubbing up against some fairly fresh historical wounds.  I'm not telling you you can't (as if I'd dare), but it is a word that has the potential to carry a lot more emotional meaning for your reader than it does for you (or me).

by Sassafras on Sun Jun 14th, 2009 at 04:36:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There can be that, but there is a much more basic and non-emotional problem: there should be a way to differentiate when you want to qualify something as "coming from the Soviet Bloc" and when you want to qualify it as "coming from the Soviet Union". (Methinks adding 'bloc' suffices.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jun 14th, 2009 at 07:20:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the Soviet Bloc was denoted Soviet the same way the Bush admin was Bush: named after its leader. John Ashcroft was not a Bush.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 03:19:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This comment doesn't make sense to me.

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 03:33:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Does one have to be formally a member of the USSR to qualify as Soviet?

Well, there was a Hungarian Soviet, and some shorter-lived ones further West; but that was at the end of WWI. In theory (and if I am not mistaken, in the Russian meaning of the word), a Soviet is a Council Democracy. (As for practice...) However, the de facto Soviet-controlled states in the Warshaw Pact were usually called People's Republics.

What is the official term for all of those countries in central and eastern Europe and Eurasia and in that general part of the world who were under Communist rule and blocked off from the rest of the world during the Cold War in the mid to late 20th Century?

Those aligned with the Soviet Union (rather than China or going it alone) were officially the Warshaw Pact. Or, alternatively, in the economic sense, the Comecon. As an inofficial euphemism, it was also commonly called "Peace Camp" (in line with the rhetoric of the Imperialist Capitalist West being the war-drivers, see Korea and Vietnam). But I realise that in the West, in addition to "Eastern Bloc" and "Communist Bloc", there was "Soviet Bloc", too.

Eastern Bloc is wrong

No, I have a problem only with a mis-identification of Eastern Europe. As you can see upthread, I used Eastern Bloc myself!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 03:14:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Warsaw Pact is used when discussing a political entity, and Comecon when discussing the economic entity.  If I were talking about policy, I would have used one of these terms.  

I was talking about cartoons.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.

by poemless on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 03:41:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, you asked about an "official term" -- there is no official term to cover all that was produced in different countries; though commonly the "Socialist" qualifier was used.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 03:48:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See, someone should invent a word for it.  :)

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 03:53:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
By the way, I just find that:

Hedgehog in the Fog - Wikipedia

2003--Tokyo All time animation best 150 in Japan and Worldwide: Hedgehog in the Fog "№1 Animated film of all the time"


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jun 14th, 2009 at 07:21:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is something newer - At the Ends of the Earth (1999) by Konstantin Brozit:

LOL!

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Jun 14th, 2009 at 07:54:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I remember during my childhood, the BBC used to showEastern european cartoons, So I have fond memories of Mole too.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Jun 14th, 2009 at 05:44:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure most of Japanese anikmation fits into the "cartoon" bin, but here it is.

* The first animes I saw were adaptations of European childrens' literature: Nils Holgersson and Heidi. (These did npot capture me that much as a child -- I think I saw at most 2-3 episode of both in full.)

Since I rediscovered anime recently, I saw that anime creators are in love with European settings, even more than with American ones: the (in Japan, apparently very positive) myth of Britishness, French castles, the chivalric age, the Industrial Revolution, churches and Christian imagery and manicheanism, vampires, and so on.

  • There are of course the imaginative tales of Hayao Miyazaki. Like most Westerners who heard of him, I saw Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away) was first, then I saw most others when public TV here ran them in series in an evening segment. Again, lots of European-inspired stuff -- like Laputa: Castle in the Sky.

  • I wrote a whole diary on an anime from the Read or Die franchise, R.O.D the TV: about a couple of bookworms who can wield paper as weapon; or, is it really, a dark tale about power, identity, and family bonds.

  • Western animation in focused on smaller children. In contrast, I discovered anime to be more diverse, it having sub-genres for all ages and sexes. However, since then I found some plot elements/settings to be too ubiquitous: humanoid robots, endless duelling, death gods (Shinigami; actually another European influence but one barely resembling any of its origins), and, above all: highschool life. It's not just in the dominant genres for adolescents (shounen for boys, shoujo for girls), but even in those for adults -- it's as if highschool life is the only happy period in life in Japan.
    At any rate, I found I am rather bored by some the most popular animes my channel brought, such as YuYu Hakusho (shinigami, endless duels, highschool), Bleach (shinigami, endless duels, highschool), Naruto (endless duels, semi-highschool), Full Metal Panic! (mecha, highschool). CRAP!

  • One exception is Spiral. Though the drawing is not exceptional (except for the intro), and set in a highschool, the series is all about mind-games: the hero basically has to reason his way out of elaborate traps set by detractors with unknown motives. A story that keeps the viewer on the edge despite almost no action.

  • Another is Death Note, in the superbly drawn anime version (they must have had a big budget). The start of the story is not so special: a bored genius just ending high school gets a magic book from an equually bored shinigami, with which he can kill anyone by writing his/her name. He sets out to create a just society by killing all criminals -- but also anyone who gets in his way. It gets interesting when he finds his match in the person of a genius detective, who takes on him without any supernatural abilities, just his wits. From there on, it's an escalating mental duel between the two. Which I found great -- though then the story was drawn out too long, and not so good after the detective was out of the story; and the writers omitted to explore some of the moral issues presented.

Now for some classics without the standard settings.

  • Cowboy Bebop is a science fiction series set in the middle of this century, when humans colonise the Solar System in the wake of a disaster ruining most of Earth. All the colonies resemble some existing culture/era in style. But that's the background; the heroes are a group of always broke loser headhunters. Or is it the other way: does the odyssey of the heroes only sere to explore these worlds and styles? Or is it all only to visualise the jazz and blues music score...

  • Fullmetal Alchemist is set in a parallel-history Europe at the time we had WWI, in a world where alchemy is an advanced science while physics isn't (well, except for steam locos). A pair of brothers who paid a heavy price for some forbidden experiments look for the Philosophers' Stone, and discover instead some dark secrets they didn't want to know.
    The series was lauded on every forum, but the infantile first episode did not impress me at all. But upon the n-th re-run on my anime channel, I catched a scene with the intriguing character Scar. Soon I discovered that the characters developed surprising depths, the drawing became more spectacular and darker, and the story became grandiose -- it had all the qualities of a tragic grand opera (with many of thecharacters suffering operatic demises), rather than some Chaplin-meets-wizards-and-dragons slapstick.

  • There is of course the cyberpunk classic Ghost in the Shell franchise (Matrix stole a lot from it). Here are what are among the best scenes, the "Hong Kong" resp. "Festival" segments from the middle of the in the two movies, which feature dream-like street scenery and... music:

  • Neon Genesis Evangelion starts out as a standard giant human-controlled robot / giant monsters / post-apocalyptic story. A particularly spectacular one. Then goes off... in a completely different direction: psychology. All the main characters have some standard psychological problems, that get ever worse. Then the last two episodes are non-standard psychedelic animation, taking place in the head of the characters. In-between, there is an extreme amound of symbolic references.


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Jun 14th, 2009 at 07:10:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Miyazaki is great.

Oops for Evangelion in the last pic! Here's one:

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 14th, 2009 at 08:37:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed you're right about the wider reader/viewership, but wouldn't you say this is so for many international cartoon genres?

A good deal of francophone BD is written for older teenagers or even adults. Even American cartoons such as Red Hot Riding Hood were not really for children either, for that matter.

Incidentally, the animes I mentioned are listed on the Récré A2 wikipedia entry (*). The English names are somewhat different, but the links lead to pages which have an English version, eg

  • Albator -> Captain Harlock, a Space Pirate. I don't follow anime much, but apparently this has become quite a cult series with several sequels/reboots.
  • Captain Future. This Japanese anime was an adaptation of a series of American science fiction stories published in the 1940s pulp magazines.

(*) The presenter, Dorothée, was a towering figure in French kids (**) television for a long time.

(**) British ET readers may find it helpful (or not) to think of Sarah Jane Honeywell.

--
$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$

by martingale on Sun Jun 14th, 2009 at 10:03:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
that this is an awesome thread already, and too much for one person to reply to! Plenty of cartoons I had forgotten about, or simply didn't even know about. Nice!
by Nomad (Bjinse) on Thu Jun 11th, 2009 at 06:53:43 AM EST
I didn't have much access to comics as a child.  Some of that was my own doing-I hated to "waste" one of my choices from a library trip, or spend my pocket money on anything that wouldn't take me at least a couple of hours to read.  And girls' comics were awful.  I did have a weekly delivery of Bunty for a while (chosen by my parents) and it was so bland that even looking at the link, I can't remember a single thing I ever read within its pages.

But I did sneak into my brother's room to borrow Asterix. And I wanted to be Tintin, the young reporter who took on the villains of the world armed with nothing but unlimited financial resources, an international network of scientists and celebrities, a now-apparent sense of racial superiority his wits and a remarkable resistance to concussion.

In fact, though nobody ever notices, my suitable beige umbrella:

betrays my secret:

;)

by Sassafras on Sun Jun 14th, 2009 at 05:25:00 AM EST
I remember my sister getting Bunty for a year or so. It was inexistant, as you say.  
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Jun 14th, 2009 at 08:30:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I memorized the Pogo strips from my father's complete collection of Walt Kelly books...

by asdf on Mon Jun 15th, 2009 at 12:39:38 AM EST


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