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§ Gossip column All The Rage has a new writer, John Vouleris, as Blair Marnell has decided to take a much-deserved break after writing 100 columns.

§ Chris Tamarri colors an entire issue of NEXT WAVE. With crayons. The results will stun you!

§ Director Terry Zwigoff is moving on from adapting graphic novels to actual novels: His next film will be based on the French novel translated as “Happy Days”. He’ll co-write the script with Jerry Stahl.

§ NPR examines a trend they like to call Rejuveniles: grown-ups who take kid stuff very, very seriously, hypothesizing various social conditions—including an overabundance of discretionary income and worries about the future—as the causes:

Most obviously, the rejuvenile is a product of affluence and abundance. It’s hard to nurture your inner child when you’re struggling to keep food on the table. While a surplus of discretionary income has certainly given adults the means to more fully realize their aspirations, that doesn’t explain why other, more mature pursuits — bridge, anyone? — have simultaneously fallen from favor. Rejuveniles themselves say their attraction to kiddie culture is at least in part a response to uncertain, anxious times — the terrorist attacks of 2001, followed by infectious disease scares, a convulsing stock market, war overseas, and natural calamities at home have generated a strain of free-floating anxiety that seems uniquely sated by childlike comforts. As explained by Cyma Zarghami, general manager of the children’s network Nickelodeon, whose flagship cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants emerged after the 9-11 terrorist attacks as a totem of chaotic playfulness for kids and adults (a full 26 percent of SpongeBob’s audience in 2003 was over eighteen), we are simply seeking comfort in jittery times: “Especially around 9-11 and the war, we’re all attracted to someone who’s ridiculously optimistic,” says Zarghami. “I can’t see how that’s a bad thing.”

§ A new anime company is on the horizon, as three former FUNimation exec have formed Illumitoon:

Formed in January 2006 in Fort Worth, Texas, the company focuses on acquiring exciting anime from Japan, with the emphasis on making them relatable for an American audience.[snip]

Illumitoon has acquired a number of titles, and is looking forward to launching DVD releases as early as January 2007. Its first major acquisition is a 78-episode series from Toei Animation, BEET THE VANDEL BUSTER (Japanese Title: BOUKEN OH BEET).

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