§ Terry Moore’s own picture-heavy report on the STRANGERS IN PARADISE wrap party.
§ A content-heavy interview with ADV’s John Ledford at ANN . As you may recall, ADV was once a category leader in manga, but cut way back, proving that printing manga is not a license to print money. They are back with more limited offerings:
ADV Manga—the manga market, like anime, is saturated and/or matured, so we’re going to be very selective about the manga titles we do in the future. We will continue to buy good manga properties whenever and wherever it makes sense—where there’s strategy, whether it’s tied to home video, or it’s just a good manga. But we’re not going to take any B or C titles. Everything has to be A+. It’s quality over quantity.
Onto Hollywood, and the demise of Warner Bros. Animation studio. Well, technically the animation division will continue on in a reduced capacity at another location, but this week WB Corporate shuttered its large building in Sherman Oaks. The studio was started in 1989 at the Sherman Oaks Galleria, where it produced such hits as ANIMANIACS, TINY TOON ADVENTURES, PINKY & THE BRAIN, BATMAN, JUSTICE LEAGUE and many others. In WB Animation 2000 moved to a bigger facility across the Galleria Courtyard, and while the studio briefly flourished in its new home, a creeping six year malaise set in that gradually withered the place like a dying vineyard. The reasons for the studio’s demise were many. The most crucial, from a simple economic reason, the money to produce such series as TTA and ANIMANIACS simply no longer exists. In the early 90’s, licensing fees were high for syndicated cartoons. Today they are next to nothing. There are too many channels showing cartoons. It doesn’t matter if they are new series, or reruns or crudely-dubbed Asian imports. If you’re only receiving X amount of dollars for commercial time on your program, then your program had better be cheap. Who cares if “Yakko’s World” was nicely animated, if more kids are watching POKEMON, then the business edict is clear — buy more POKEMON.
§ Early STARDUST review from pals of Neil Gaiman’s.
§ At UGO, Daniel Robert Epstein gets director Sylvain White to talk RONIN:
UGO: I know that you are set to direct the film adaptation of Frank Miller’s Ronin, when did you first read that book?
SW: I probably first read the graphic novel in 1987, when I lived in France, where I was born and raised. I grew up reading a lot of European graphic novels. I didn’t really like American superhero comic books. But fortunately Frank Miller’s work, specifically on Ronin, had more of a European sensibility and was very dark and very cerebral. I liked that very much. I probably read it a second time when I was in college and then it came to me as a project set up by the producers.