Aye.

Tower Prep update

First off, let me say how grateful I am to the hundreds of Tower Prep fans who have continued to contact me in the years since the series finished its original run on Cartoon Network. I'm thrilled that the show was enjoyed by so many and I also am sorry that Cartoon Network has chosen to never renew it, nor release a DVD set of the first, and only season episodes. Many people have asked me about petitions, e-mail campaigns and the like to keep the show going. I'm not sure what attention they would be paid at this point, though of all of the options, an e-mail campaign would have the least effect. Actual posted (stamped and mailed)letters are what most networks respond to, though keep in mind Cartoon Network is unique in they program what they want, cancel what they want, and are not known for paying much attention to fan protests. Their biggest hits now are animated comedy shows, and they most likely will continue to concentrate on producing them for the near future.

As for me selling the show to another network, while I was the series creator, Cartoon Network (and Dolphin Entertainment, their co-producer on the project) own the rights to the show, not me. It's Cartoon Net's decision not to run or renew the show, and, as it cost a lot of money to produce and did not immediately deliver the big ratings smash they wanted, they yanked it. Ironically now that fans all over the world have seen Tower, and many more have watched via download, the ratings for first run broadcast would arguably be much better, but CN remains resolute in their decision not to order new episodes. The same with forbidding comics or books that continue the characters stories. I wish it were different, but they make the decisions, not me.

However, lots of people have asked where they can send their letters of support or protest, so I have included the address below. As always, the letters should be polite and never hurtful. After all, these are the nice folks who took a chance on producing the show in the first place. Let 'em know you like it, you miss it, and who knows? Let's see what happens.

Mr. Stuart Snyder
President
Cartoon Network
1050 Techwood Drive NW
Atlanta GA 30318

Thanks, guys. Hugs from Sr. Guapo and me.

Paul
Aye.

On Bullying...

Okay, this one goes out to any kid who was ever tripped in a school hallway, punched on a bus, threatened in a school yard, humiliated on line, or called a variety of hateful names that I don’t need to specify here. I guess that’s pretty much everybody. For what it’s worth you have my sympathy gang, because while some of the details may be different, I have been exactly where many of you are right now.

As a kid, I was bullied in every level of my school experience, from the grade school jackass who sat behind me on the bus every day for the express purpose of slapping my ears, to the dick stoners in high school who routinely beat me up for not getting high. And don’t get me started on the parade of Star-Bellied Sneetches that made up my college comedy club. It seems every school year brought a series of new shots to my soul, new disappointments I had to choke down and the miserable feeling that just as in years before, I had to gather what was left of my broken spirit and try to survive until June. And I’m not even talking about girls here – I’ll save the dating horror stories for later.

The thing is, somewhere deep inside of me, I had this crazy, impossible little feeling that things might somehow work out all right for me. Even when things were at their worst, I forced myself to trust that feeling. It felt like a little light inside me, and sometimes I was even angry it was there. Why such a pathetic, weak little flicker? I wanted a confident, inextinguishable bonfire. But that weak little flicker is all most of us get at first, and in time, the more we trust it, the brighter it shines. Some days that flicker was all I had to keep me going. And when I felt especially hurt or frustrated, or just so damn lost and lonely, I’d take my sketch book and draw up some little character (in my case a rat) doing something funny, or I’d write a story about idiot gangsters, or superheroes, or I’d find an animation festival playing cartoons by Chuck Jones, John Hubley, Tex Avery or the early Disney crew and watch them over and over. And the more I did things like that, the more I felt, “I’m happy here. I think I want to do this all the time.” And so my refuge eventually became my career. Granted, the ways I dealt with my teen-age trials were not the same way everyone else does, but each person finds their way through the maze of life on their own path. Maybe yours is drama, or mechanics, or sports or taxidermy or whatever. I’m pretty sure everyone has a true path, and you may even need to wander down a few and double back before you find yours. But if you make the effort, you will find it.

So if you’re reading this and you’ve enjoyed one of my comics, or a game I worked on, or a cartoon I had some hand in, I want you to do me a favor. Should you find yourself feeling like the world is set against you and there’s no way to find peace other than by hurting yourself or someone else, calm down, take a breath, and trust that little feeling inside you that things will be okay. And if you’ve searched for it and can’t find it, tell a relative, friend, doctor or caretaker how you feel. Emotional pain clouds reality, and the reality is you matter to a lot more people than you might think. Don’t let the insults shouted by cruel peers drown out the words “I want to help” that are spoken by your true friends. School years are brief compared to the rest of your life. Yeah, they may seem like an eternity, but more than likely, the confident, happy and successful man or woman you will be a decade from now will look back on those frustrating, stupid teen years, laugh and say “What the hell, huh?”

Forgive me if I’ve gone a bit preachy. Years ago I used to write those morality speeches at the end of He-Man episodes and I tend to rattle on. Stay well, kids.
  • Current Music
    "There's a Blue Sky Way Out Yonder" - Riders In The Sky
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The Batman games

So here's what's what with the Batman games as far as they relate to me:

The last talk I had with Warner Interactive about future games was while I was doing promotion for Arkham City last September. Naturally as there was such a rush of interest about Arkham City, everyone was asking me about a third game, and frankly, I had been wondering about that myself. When I asked about the possibility of working on a third game I was told that as Rocksteady had just finished wrapping the second one, it would be a while before everyone was ready to sit down and discuss future plans. That said, it was intimated that for future games, Warner and Rocksteady might not be looking as much to freelance writers, the message being, that if I had something else interesting coming my way, I might want to take it.

When I later read their subsequent announcements about the Harley Quinn's Revenge game expansion and the rumored Arkham prequel/JLA game, I figured they had filled their writer needs. I had long before taken WI's advice and booked my schedule with a number of other projects, leaving me unavailable to take on anything new until 2013. It was fun working with Warners and Rocksteady on the first two Arkham games and I am grateful to them both for a tremendous experience. Rocksteady has a great crew of artists and storytellers, and it was exciting and enlightening for me to be part of that team. If we wind up working together again at some point, that would be cool, too.
Aye.

Cartoon Network address

Just posting this again for people who want to contact Cartoon Network by mail.


Mr. Stuart Snyder
President
Cartoon Network
1050 Techwood Drive NW
Atlanta GA 30318


And yes, CN ONLY responds to written letters. For the most part, e-mails are deleted unread.
Aye.

Thoughts on Comic Con 2012

I had a real good time in San Diego this year. Entire con was very mellow and low key for me. I had no big announcements, though I did do some business and lay the groundwork for some exciting stuff to come next year. Mainly I just took it easy.

One of the reasons it went so well was that this time I wised up and made dinner plans and restaurant reservations well in advance. Each night I had a table waiting at a nice place, with nice folks to join me. It was great dining with Chip Kidd, Bruce Timm, Flint Dille, Spike Brandt, Tony Cervone, Charles & Rachel Kochman, Alan Burnett, Bill and Kayre Morrison and Sergio Aragones (among many others) over the nights I was in town.

Wednesday, as soon as the doors to the dealer's room opened, I went right to the publishers' tables and stocked up on everything I had been putting off buying for the last couple months - the Carl Barks "Only A poor Old Man" collection, volume three of Floyd Gottfredson's "Mickey Mouse" strips, the collected cartoons of Flannery O'Connor (!) and many others. That way I could retire to my hotel rooms for days at a time and do nothing but read (which I did).

I noticed a surprisingly less number of superhero costumes this year and a surprising increase in Princess costumes -- for men. This year I counted two Supermen, one Batman, and at least twenty guys in full-on tiaras and royal gowns. Anything goes during comic con, I guess. Saw about five Harley Quinns (all girls, I think) and everyone else was the dorky bunny-head kid from "Adventure Time."

I spent most of an afternoon at Trickster, the alternative display and social space founded by Scott Morse and a group of Pixar artists. The setting was nice and relaxed and it was great chatting again with current and former Pixar creators like Jeff Pigeon, Ken Mitcherony and Ronnie Del Carmen.

I played the ukelele a lot. Always good.

I was initially denied a Polly Pocket Harley Quinn doll by the Mattel booth wardens (they refused to sell them to pros, even creator pros), though our podcast wizard Ezra came through like gangbusters and scored me a set.

Best moment of all was seeing my love Misty take part in Mark Evanier's Cartoon Voice panel alongside such talents as Gregg Berger, Fred Tatasciore, Dee Bradley Baker, Audrey Wasilewski and Rob Paulson. Congratulations, love. I couldn't be happier.

I may have missed a few things, but I'll fill them in on our weekly Radio Rashy podcast. I actually had such a good time this year I'm considering not going back next year, and letting the memory of this last one linger a while.
  • Current Music
    The Song Has Ended (But the Memory Lingers On) - Frank Sinatra
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Comic Con 2012 Schedule

It's almost San Diego Comic Con time. I'm not a guest and I'm doing no signings this year. However, I WILL be sitting in on two very cool panels:


FRIDAY, JULY 13th

10:00-11:00 Remembering Jerry Robinson and Joe Simon— Jerry Robinson was a key artist on Batman in the 1940s, the co-creator of The Joker, and later an accomplished newspaper strip artist and political cartoonist. Joe Simon was half of the legendary team of Simon and [Jack] Kirby, the co-creator of Captain America and other Simon-Kirby classics, and later the creator/editor of Sick magazine. We've recently lost both of these legendary figures in comics, so let's pause to remember them along with Paul Levitz, Michael Uslan, Anthony Tollin, Marv Wolfman, Paul Dini, Batton Lash, and moderator Mark Evanier. Room 9
Tags: Cartooning and Comic Strips | Comic-Con Special Guest Spotlights & Appearances | Comics | Tributes


SUNDAY, JULY 15th

10:00-11:00 The Annual Jack Kirby Tribute Panel— There might not be comic book industry were it not for Jack Kirby...and if you don't know who that is, you really don't belong at this convention. Each year, his friends and co-workers gather to talk about Jack and his work and to marvel (no pun intended) at the length and breadth of his influence, not just on comics but on TV, movies, and all the arts. This year, the dais will include Herb Trimpe (Incredible Hulk), Stan Goldberg (Marvel colorist), Paul Dini (Batman), and Charles Hatfield (Hand of Fire), all chatting with moderator Mark Evanier (Kirby: King of Comics). Room 5AB
Tags: Comic-Con Special Guest Spotlights & Appearances | Comics | Superheroes | Tributes

Other than that, I'm purely a fan this year, getting sketches for my magic girls sketchbook, hanging out at Trickster, seeing old friends, and maybe talking a bit of business. See you there.
  • Current Music
    "It's My Lazy Day" - Smiley Burnette
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On the subject of Tower Prep...

First off, let me say how grateful I am to the hundreds of Tower Prep fans who have contacted me in the year since the series finished its original run on Cartoon Network. I'm thrilled that the show was enjoyed by so many and I also am sorry that Cartoon Network has chosen not to renew it. Many people have asked me about petitions, e-mail campaigns and the like to keep the show going. I'm not sure what attention they would be paid at this point, though of all of the options, an e-mail campaign would have the least effect. Actual posted (stamped and mailed)letters are what most networks respond to. I once heard Seth McFarlane say that after Family Guy was cancelled the first time, Fox was ready to reconsider after they received something like only 200 letters. I'm not saying the same thing could happen with Cartoon Network, but a show of letters from kid viewers, and, just as important, parents who have watched and enjoyed the show with their kids, might show the Network that the series is missed. This is especially important now that Tower Prep has started showing around the world and is making fans in Australia, Africa and South America, among other countries.

Anyway, lots of people have asked where they can send their letters, so I have included the address below. As always, the letters should be polite and never hurtful. After all, these are the nice folks who took a chance on producing the show in the first place. Let 'em know you like it, you miss it, and who knows? Let's see what happens.

Mr. Stuart Snyder
President
Cartoon Network
1050 Techwood Drive NW
Atlanta GA 30318

Thanks, guys. Hugs from Sr. Guapo and me.

Paul
  • Current Music
    "Unstoppable" by Foxy Shazam
Aye.

Halloween cartoon party

A few of my favorite creepy cartoons. Enjoy.

Donald Duck at his assholiest. A Disney classic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skdVouumMk4


Fox & Crow - not exactly a horror cartoon, but it has some freaky magic in it, and I loves me the freaky magicians.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDtEngKKs5s


Jasper in the Haunted House. Yeah, it's "of it's day," meaning racist, but the music and animation is great. If offended, accept my apologies and give it a pass.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Onhqu36AEPY


UPA's "Tell-Tale Heart." Just brilliant.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJb150JRqpQ


Primus - The Devil Went Down To Georgia. Can't have too much Satan this time of year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9uk9IcoQ0w


It mystifies me why H-B never sold a Mr. & Mrs. J. Evil Scientist series. Maybe because they were a too obvious rip-off of the Chas. Addams New Yorker cartoons. Anyway, as a kid I liked them. Here they are with Snagglepuss, not exactly a Halloween icon, but kinda creepy for other reasons.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vv7kI81pek


Betty Boop's Halloween Party. Surprisingly, kind of tame for Betty, but still fun.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyLINozyD14


Bugs Bunny, with June Foray returning as a slightly different Witch Hazel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCg8OiCjNWI&feature=related


Tim Burton's "Vincent." I've loved this since I first saw it, what, almost 30 years ago? Man, where does the time go?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hD8uQzu0IL0


Happy Halloween!
  • Current Music
    Mr. Ghost Goes to Town - Louis Prima
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October 18th

Yes!

Remember that date, October 18th, 2011.

Just one week from today!

Lots of cool stuff written by me being released that day. Here's the run-down:

BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY

This is the big one, kids. The new game I developed and wrote with the team at Rocksteady. More Gotham, more bad guys, MORE BATMAN! Even if you've been following all the advance press on the game, I guarantee you are still in for loads of surprises. If you liked 2009's Arkham Asylum, you will definitely want this. Available at game stores, toy stores, big box stores (Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target) amazon.com and just about everyplace else.

BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY - THE GRAPHIC NOVEL

Wanna learn how Gotham became a walled-in mega-prison? This book has the complete story. Contains all five print issues and five digital-only chapters from the comic book prequel to the Arkham City game. Available at amazon.com, select game, toy and book stores, Barnes & Noble on line only, and at your local comic book store.

BATMAN: YEAR ONE DVD

No, I didn't work on the ultra-cool animated adaptation of the classic Batman story, though I DID script a fifteen minute bonus CATWOMAN short included in the package. I just saw the finished piece for the first time last night. It's quite amazing.

Whew! That's it for October, but look for a new Jingle Belle issue, GIFT WRAPPED, out December 7th from Top Cow! What better way to celebrate Pearl Harbor Day than with a return visit from everyone's favorite flirty Christmas elf?
  • Current Mood
    anxious anxious