Sunday, November 21, 2004

Saturday night I went to bed at around 2am, feeling absolutely wiped out after having worked on Boschen and Nesuko almost non-stop from 9am Friday until 1am (I stopped once for lunch, once for coffee, and once to watch half a movie with my aunt). I was doing the last four pages which, because I'd been sick or something and sleeping bad most of the week, I'd been steadily putting off. And look at those last four pages. Hardly anything happens in them. But I guess mountains are made one mole hill at a time . . .

I woke up at around 8am on Saturday, feeling peculiarly happy. For some reason, I got to thinking about Saturday morning cartoons, and trying to remember watching them as a kid. I actually don't remember specific shows very well, but I remember loving the state of being in Saturday morning and having a cartoony vista to dwell in for hours. It was more an environment than a series of shows to watch. Particularly because I remember not liking several of them. But I'd keep it on while building with my Construx--I think that's what they were called. It was a bunch of toy building components, sorta like Leggos, I guess. I remember once trying to build a lemonade stand out of them and ending up with a large, wobbly, useless thing . . .

I can't remember the exact day I decided to stop watching Saturday morning cartoons. I don't remember it as being so much an issue of me being too old for them as it was an issue of me having other things I'd rather be doing--better just to have music going or something while I'm drawing.

So yesterday I found myself in the mood to see what passes for the Saturday morning cartoons experience these days. Most of the shows, like Pokemon and the miserably written Teen Titans, were shows I normally see on Cartoon Network. ABC featured shows that I regularly see on the Disney Channel and Cartoon Disney.

But this was the first opportunity I had to see the new Batman series (called The Batman). Unfortunately, while not being as poorly written as Teen Titans, it was still pretty bad. The episode featured a villain calling himself "The Cluemaster", a large, supposedly brilliant man taking revenge on people who were involved with a trivia game show he lost a long winning streak on when he was a kid.

It's a kids show, yes, so I'm not upset so much that they kept Cluemaster's identity "secret" long after it was perfectly obvious who he was, or that one of his trivia show's supposedly enormously difficult questions was "What is pi?" Some kids are slow. No, what bothered me was that after someone is kidnapped from a sparsely populated centre of an arena while hundreds of people are watching, no police follow the running midget kidnappers into a room where only the Batman dares to show up and fight them. There’s a line between keeping in mind a child’s relatively low intelligence and taking advantage of it, and it was crossed. It also bothered me that Alfred is apparently a big fan of game shows and that, by the end of the episode, Bruce Wayne realises the importance of playing checkers and not being so gloomy all the time. Why fuck with the characters, people?

The show features decent animation and art design that says "Well, sure, the early 90s Batman was good, but it would have been better if it had been more homogenous". Which is to say that The Batman isn't significantly different from Jackie Chan Adventures or Totally Spies.

Well now. It's just after 9am. I woke up at 2am. So now I'll . . . go get a sandwich!

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