§ BAD GIRL leads China down Japan’s ‘toon path:

Time was when Chinese cartoons were childish retellings of traditional tales or propaganda images peopled by rosy-cheeked peasant women, muscle-bound ironworkers and strong-jawed soldiers celebrating the Communist ethos.

Little P, the hero of Song Yang’s Bad Girl comic book, is more likely to be celebrating her new low-slung jeans, complaining about her tough mother, or her latest mobile phone.

Reflecting China’s changing social realities, particularly in cities, Little P wants to be China’s first successful cartoon icon. Bad Girl is playing a lead role in transforming Chinese cartoons from poor-quality kids’ stuff or dull propaganda to something far hipper, as the country competes with Japanese manga and Korean manhwa.

 42688969 Starwarsbox 203300Ap§ Meanwhile, in America, mailboxes shaped like R2-D2 are on their way:

Post boxes across the US are to be dressed up as Star Wars robot R2-D2 to celebrate 30 years since the release of the sci-fi series’ first outing. Some 400 boxes will get the new look, including outside Hollywood’s Grauman Chinese Theatre, one of first cinemas to screen the film in 1977. The makeover is part of a post office campaign for the announcement of a surprise stamp on 28 March. The public have been urged not to tamper with the droid mail collectors.

§ This story is a kind of confusing following up to the story of the Red Sox pitcher whostarted his own video game development company with Todd McFarlane and others. The main idea is that by changing the name of his company from GREEN MONSTER GAMES to 38 STUDIOS, pitching ace Curt Schilling might be indicating that he someday won’t be a Red Sox, which would probably be quite upsetting if you were a Boston fan. We don’t know, we just think the idea of a pro athlete starting a video game development company is funny.

Green Monster Games looked at one time to be the perfect name for Schilling’s game development firm. But Close said Schilling and company hope to be much more than a game development company. So, for a name, “we needed something that reflects a larger vision as an entertainment company. We reserve the right to be more than just a game company.” Indeed, Schilling’s endeavor has attracted some big names. R.A. Salvatore, a Leominster native and science fiction novelist, is the company’s “creator of worlds,” or creative director. Todd McFarlane, the creator of the Spawn comic book series, also works for 38 Studios.

§ Jerry Beck didn’t much care for the AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE movie:

AQUA TEEN HUNGER FORCE (COLON): MOVIE FILM FOR THEATRES is, without question, the worst animated film of the year. It may be the worst film (of any type) I’ve ever seen. A text book example of an unfunny comedy, with poor production values; no craft, no art, no laughs, period. I’ve only seen one episode of the TV series, so I’m clearly not the intended audience for this. But who is? High School drop-outs on pot? I suspect there may be 7 year old out there who may think this is the funniest film they’ve ever seen. If so, I’d be worried about that 7-year-old.


  1. Re: 38 Studios—Not sure what’s so funny about a pro athlete branching out into video games. Schilling is a videogame fanatic himself, like a lot of other people with too much free time. Athletes generally are paid to think strategically, and Schilling (judging by his blog) thinks a lot about the mechanics of play. Game design seems like a natural outlet for his interests.

    As to speculation that Schilling might soon be hanging up his Red Sox uniform: it’s no secret that he’s near the end of his professional career, full stop. He’s said he wants to go out on top, and it’s widely speculated that this season or next will be his last.

    To me, the real WTF moment of the 38 Studios story is the involvement of the dude who writes those DUNGEONS & DRAGONS novels.

  2. Curt Schilling is a huge gaming fanatic. He was such an avid fan of the WW2 tactical board game ADVANCED SQUAD LEADER that when the company Avalon Hill folded, he started a company that secured the rights to the game.

  3. Ah, but is the R2-D2 mailbox as impressive as Nikko’s new R2-D2 Mobile entertainment System?

    It’s a half-size, fully mobile replica of the droid with a Millenium Falcon-shaped remote control, incorporating an 80-inch image projector; DVD player; iPod dock; FM radio; stereo speakers and a memory-card slot.



  4. Ha! It ALSO has a USB lightsaber phone and a Skype webcam!!

    How can I *ahem* possibly resist spending £1700 on it?

  5. Somewhere, someplace, there must be a photo of some Star Wars fan dressed as Pricess Leia, depositing something into one of these mailboxes like in the first (or fourth, depending on how you chose to count) movie…

  6. I saw one of those R2-D2 mailboxes on Sunday. It’s in the inner harbor of Baltimore, between the world trade center building and ESPN Zone.