Friday, June 20, 2014

Rubie's Masquerade unveiled as EMEA dress up licensee for DC Comics' Hello Kitty

Warner Bros. Consumer Products EMEA (WBCP EMEA) and DC Entertainment in association with Sanrio, the owner of theHello Kitty brand, recently unveiled Rubie’s Masquerade as the EMEA dress-up licensee for DC Comics’ Hello Kitty.
WBCP EMEA EVP and GM Pilar Zulueta said in a statement: “We’re delighted to unveil Rubie’s as the dress-up licensee for DC Comics Hello Kitty.  They perfectly fit with our strategy to work with a small number of the highest calibre licensing and retail partners who share our vision of delivering ‘must have’ products that will drive innovation in licensing.”
Building upon an outstanding commercial relationship that spans more than 15 years, the costume giant will produce an inspiring and empowering range of costumes for girls that combine the cute and fashionable characteristics of Hello Kittywith the power, attitude and edginess of the iconic DC Comics Super Heroes BatgirlSupergirl and Wonder Woman.
Rubie’s EMEA and Australia VP Chris Isitt added: “We’re thrilled to be collaborating with WBCP and Sanrio on this special project.  DC Comics characters account for some of our best performing lines and our Hello Kitty costumes sell well across Europe.”
Products will be available across the EMEA region from the end of 2014, and this unique consumer proposition will benefit from Warner Bros’ continual investment in the DC Comics franchise.
Source:-animationxpress

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Donald Duck Celebrates 80th Birthday

Donald Duck Celebrates 80th Birthday Today 0

Donald Duck, one of Walt Disney Animation's most enduring characters, turns 80 years old today, according to the company's official accounting.
On June 9th, 1934, Donald Duck make his big debut in the Silly Symphony animated short “The Wise Little Hen,” and it wasn't long before he took his place beside Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Pluto as one of Disney's premier animated characters, named in TV Guide's list of the 50 greatest cartoon characters of all time in 2002.
His distinctive, semi-intelligible voice was created by Clarence Nash, who performed the role for 50 years.
After The Wise Little Hen, it was his second appearance inOrphan's Benefit which introduced him as a grumpy and easily-excitable foil to the always-kind Mickey Mouse. Over the next two decades Donald appeared in over 150 theatrical films, several of which were recognized at the Academy Awards. In the early days of his animation career, Donald typically appeared as part of a comic trio with Mickey and Goofy.
Starting with Don Donald, he was given his own film series in 1937, which introduced Donald's girlfriend Daisy Duck and sometimes featured his three nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie.
Animated shorts featuring Disney characters are much rarer now, of course, and most of their animated features don't go to cinema. The last time Donald Duck appeared on the big screen was in Fantasia 2000.
Of all the Disney characters, Donald Duck has one of the more notable careers in comics, both in newspaper strips and comic books.
Donald and his Uncle Scrooge appeared in hundreds of comic stories for decades, most famously drawn by Al Taliaferro, Carl Barks, and Don Rosa. Barks in particular created a number of new supporting characters, including Donald's maternal uncle Scrooge McDuck, who would go on to star in his own successful comics and eventually serve in one of the lead roles in the popular DuckTales cartoon.
Donald remains a wildly popular character with a best-selling weekly magazine in Europe. In the U.S., he appears regularly on The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse animated series. At left, you can see Donald celebrating his fiftieth birthday in a 1984 parade at Walt Disney World.
Source:-comicbook.com

Donald Duck turns 80

Donald Duck, one of Walt Disney Animation’s most enduring characters, turned 80 years old on 9 June, according to the company’s official accounting.
On June 9th, 1934, the ‘squeaky duck’ made his big debut in the Silly Symphony animated short “The Wise Little Hen,” and it wasn’t long before he made his space alongside Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Pluto as one of Disney’s premier animated characters, named in TV Guide‘s list of the 50 greatest cartoon characters of all time in 2002.
His distinctive, semi-intelligible voice was created by Clarence Nash, who performed the role for 50 years.
It was only in his second appearance in Orphan’s Benefit that introduced him as a grumpy quacking duck. Over the next two decades Donald appeared in over 150 theatrical films, several of which were recognized at the Academy Awards. In the early days of his animation career, Donald typically appeared as part of a comic trio with Mickey and Goofy.
Starting with Don Donald, he was given his own film series in 1937, which introduced Donald’s girlfriend Daisy Duck and sometimes featured his three nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie.
The last time Donald Duck appeared on the big screen was in Fantasia 2000.
Of all the Disney characters, Donald Duck has one of the more notable careers in comics, both in newspaper strips and comic books.
Donald remains a wildly popular character with a best-selling weekly magazine in Europe. In US, he appears regularly on The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse animated series.
source:-animationxpress

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Ramayana retold, in black & white

Rakesh Khanna | June 08, 2014
 
 Flamboyant colour palettes, the art in Simian is stark, almost exclusively black and white. (Photo: DC)
Flamboyant colour palettes, the art in Simian is stark, almost exclusively black and white. (Photo: DC)
It seems to happen every few months now, with much fanfare and fancy blurbage, the release of yet another graphic novel adaptation of the Ramayana is announced. My standard reaction is to yawn.
Sure, I understand the appeal. Comics are cool. English-speaking Indians grow up inundated with Archie and Tintin and Batman and X-Men and the Avengers, and while just about everybody loves those characters, their foreignness can get to you after a while. If you’re a proud and patriotic Indian and you like comics, it’s natural to want a stylish graphic novel that celebrates (ta-daa! splash page with giant extruded font!), Indian Culture.
But why does it seem like Indian Culture has become defined so narrowly that this one epic is our only source? I realise that the variations and retellings are part of what makes the Ramayana so beloved, but come now. In the last 10 years we’ve had Sanjay Patel’s Divine Loophole, Deepak Chopra & Shekhar Kapur’s Ramayan 3392 A.D., Saraswati Nagpal’s Sita, Daughter of Earth, the graphic adaptation of Ashok Banker’s Prince of Ayodhya, Moyna Chitrakar’s Sita’s Ramayana (the story from Sita’s perspective), Holy Cow Entertainment’s Ravanayan (the story from Ravan’s perspective), and Devdutt Pattanaik’s Hanuman’s Ramayan (the story from Hanuman’s perspective).
In addition to these graphic novels we’ve had Zubaan’s short story anthology Breaking the Bow: Speculative Fiction Inspired by the Ramayana, Samhita Arni’s novelisation The Missing Queen, Anand Neelakantan’s Asura: Tale of Vanquished, the animated children’s feature Hanuman, the computer-animated film Ramayana: The Epic, Mani Ratnam’s Raavan, Nina Paley’s Sita Sings the Blues, and not one but two distinct television serial remakes of the 1980’s Doordarshan series.
Is it blasphemous to suggest that we may already be far past a Ramayana saturation point? I’ve got nothing against repackaging classical literature in shiny new formats, but if Amar Chitra Katha could make such a huge range of mythology available as comics in the 1970s, why does our generation seem stuck on one story? Where are the modern graphic adaptations of the Tamil epics Silapathikaram and Manimegalai, Manipuri epics like Khamba Thoibi Sheireng, the 7th century Sanskrit novel Kadambari, Kalidasa’s Kumarasambhavam, the Hamzanama, the Devi Mahatmyam?
But I suppose the market demands what the market demands. And so here we have Vikram Balagopal’s Simian, another version of the Ramayana told from the point of view of Hanuman. (The publication currently under review is Volume 1, containing the first two books of what promises to be a trilogy.)
Balagopal has a background in cinema and in cartooning, but this book is his debut effort as a graphic novelist. This made me even more sceptical than I already was: I don’t think it’s advisable for a first-timer to take on a project this weighty.
Riffing on a sacred text seems like something one ought to do late in one’s career. Robert Crumb waited until he had 40 years of experience and hundreds of published comics before he brought out his version of Genesis. Even then, he used a classic Bible translation rather than try to write his own text.
Simian gets off to a wobbly start. It’s hard to follow the action in the opening section as the writing is sometimes clunky and stilted, and the lettering is amateurish and perfunctory. But, to my surprise, after a few pages, I got drawn in.
While most graphic Ramayana retellings have used loud, flamboyant colour palettes, the art in Simian is stark, almost exclusively black and white , reminiscent of Frank Miller’s Sin City, without seeming derivative. This is a refreshing departure, and it works well most of the time. Balagopal is good at serving up unsettling moods and eerie atmosphere.
His rare splashes of colour, the thousand golden eyes of Indra, the purple flower in the hair of the guardian of Lanka are used tastefully. While his human characters can seem a bit uninspired, the monkeys and various other creatures are vibrant and richly drawn. The best sections are the ones where humans are absent: the Vanars’ journey to Lanka, the meeting with Sampati, Hanuman’s jump across the sea, and the encounter with Sinhika the Shadow-Catcher who is visualised here as a wonderfully creepy-looking giant cephalopod.
Women tend to get treated badly in the Ramayana, and one of the first things I look for in a modern adaptation is an awareness of gender politics, a stance against the glamourisation of misogyny. While Simian isn’t as offensively dude broish as some other recent efforts, it’s still disappointing in this regard.
Surpanakha gets her nose gorily hacked off before she’s had a chance to utter a line of dialogue, and when Ravan later produces her disfigured face to prove to the captive Hanuman that his human allies are jerks, she still doesn’t get to talk. Meanwhile, Sita does some lolling around in distress showing us the sides of her breasts, and Ravan’s naked harem girls seem like adolescent fantasy decorations.
Still, Vikram Balagopal is an artist with talent. He’s worked hard on this book, and parts of it are really good. I’m hoping that next time around he’ll hook up with a better writer and a better letterer, and that they’ll choose a less well-trodden path or maybe even try to blaze a brand new one.
Source:-deccanchronicle.com