§ This story from the New York Times on the diminishing appeal of animated films has been getting a lot of links, but it actually came out last week — hurry up and read it before it goes behind the firewall. Briefly, a flood of similar looking and sounding films about funny little critters who talk like the happy hour crowd at Chumley’s is sinking fast:

In 2005, the domestic box office fell by half, to $640 million. Then Pixar did not release a feature film that year, and DreamWorks’ “Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit�? was a flop.

Through mid-September 2006, the domestic box office for animated films was $928 million. But there also has been a rise in the number of films — filmmakers plan to release 17 animated movies in 2006, compared with 11 in 2005.

[snip]The main criticism of animated movies within the industry and among consumers is that they are beginning to look alike. And the recent crop looks a lot like a zoo.

Natalie Ward, 13, who was out shopping with her grandmother, Bonnie Ward, in Hollywood recently, was unimpressed with the latest offerings. “There are so many movies with animals,�? she said, pursing lips tinged blue by the icy neon drink in her hand. “The ones about cows are too, like, I don’t know — boring.�?

§ A nice essay on the appeal of comics from The Press Republican traces comics as forbidden fruit:

For reasons that were never very clear to me, adults — especially my mother — were worried that reading comics would do some damage. Maybe they thought the pictures would diminish our reading skill, or that we would be exposed to dangerous ideas. I do remember that the jet pilot Blackhawk group was made up of various nationalities — Swedish, French, Dutch, etc. It was more like a United Nations peacekeeping force than the U.S. Marines, and Mom did not like the U.N.

Whatever the objection, it made the comics more attractive.

§ A brief story on THE 99 that was widely syndicated throughout the Middle East.

§ Ripley’s Believe It or Not has a hideous new Flash-based website but you can see a few cartoons there if you are really, really patient.

§ An interesting account of the origin of the KRYPTO comic:

Krypto the Superdog the comic book came into print because of Fran & Kevin McGarry’s insistence at a DC Comics retailer meeting last year. “DC flew us up to Montreal last November to meet with them and 50 other top retailers from around the world.” Fran McGarry said. “While we were having lunch with BobWayne, vice president of sales for DC, we told him that we needed a Krypto comic book to sell. The Krypto cartoon was a huge hit on Cartoon Network and we had parents asking for Krypto comic books for their kids to read. Bob has told us that they did not have any plans to do a Krypto book, but we were free to bring up the idea at one of the group meetings.”

“When we brought it up in front of the group of retailers and the executives at DC Comics, we were very surprised that not only did all of the retailers agree that a Krypto comic needed to be printed but that it was one that they thought would sell well. The president and publisher of DC Comics, Paul Levitz, turned to Jesse and told him to have a proposal for Krypto on his desk by Monday.

§ John Layman’s “IM” with Mark Foley

Maf54 (7:39:32 PM): tahts good when wil new stuff be solicited for

Layman(7:41:57 PM): fuck if I know. Jan or feb, probaly

Maf54 (7:39:32 PM): you need a massage

Layman(7:41:57 PM): tomorrow i have to start a new script

Maf54 (7:42:27 PM): love to read that

Maf54 (7:43:54 PM): youll be way hot then

Layman(7:44:01 PM): haha…hopefully


  1. All joking aside, my kids were ecstatic when they saw the Krypto comic. It’s pitched right at their level (okay, maybe a little higher, since they can’t read yet) it’s funny and it’s not scary. My only complaint is that it’s episodes from the show re-told, something even my kids noticed. “Hey, we’ve seen this story already!” Certainly it can’t be that hard to think up new Krypto stories, can it?