Monthly Archives: May 2012

DC, Marvel comic book artist Ernie Chan dead at 71

Ernie Chan

Ernie Chan

Filipino-born comic book artist Ernie Chan, who worked on several episodes of Hanna-Barbera’s Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures, died Thursday night from cancer. He was 71.

Chan was a clean-up artist on the episodes DNA Doomsday (1996) and The Bangalore Falcon (1997), and handled props on The Haunted Sonata (1997).

Born Ernie Chua on July 27, 1940, he was inadvertently renamed Ernie Chan as the result of a passport mix-up. He changed his name legally when he became a United States citizen in 1976.

At, 20 he began doing comics in his native Philippines. He migrated to America when he turned 30 in 1970.

At DC Comics, he got the break doing mystery short stories, then got assigned to penciling Batman for two years. Chan also did many covers, aside from working on such other characters as Claw, Sandman, Swampthing and Jonah Hex.

“Work by Filipino illustrators filled DC’s ghost, war and Western comics [in the 1970s],” comic book historian Mark Evanier recalled Friday. “Time and again, DC tried those artists out on Superman, Batman or other such features, and the result was usually unsatisfactory. Ernie Chan… was a rare exception.

“Ernie ‘got’ the style that was wanted. In fact, he did it so well that when he relocated to the United States — for personal reasons and to earn American rates — he wound up doing hundreds of covers for DC and drawing the Batman feature for several years.”

At Marvel Comics, he worked on Dr. Strange, Dracula, Daredevil, Doc Savage, Thor, Fantastic Four, Hulk, Powerman and Iron Fist, King Kull, John Carter of Mars and others, but his longest stint, on Conan, is where he was best known.

“Readers… knew him for his long association with Conan the Barbarian at Marvel, finishing the pencil work of John Buscema and sometimes drawing stories on his own. He was fast and dependable and very much in demand,” Evanier said.

In the 1990s, Chan dabbled in computer designs and TV and movie animation. He retired in 2002, but kept himself busy doing art he liked, selling them online and at comic conventions. He also accepted art commissions.

“He travels often to China, where he finds tranquility and contentment,” said his personal Web site. However, financial pressure led him to work on a softcore porn Web comic, The Vat, for Dark Brain.

Chan was a special guest at last year’s San Diego Comic Con.

Mouse For Sale (1955) – Tom and Jerry Cartoon Series

Mouse For Sale

Mouse For Sale

#CotD: A much more mature Tom and Jerry meet again in “Mouse For Sale” from 1955.

Mouse For Sale (1955) – Tom and Jerry Cartoon Series

White mice being all the rage, Tom paints Jerry white with the idea of selling him for a tidy profit.

Come see “Mouse For Sale” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase

Apple Andy (1946) – Andy Panda Cartoon Series

Apple Andy

Apple Andy

#CotD: Want to see Andy Panda go to hell? Watch “Apple Andy” to see a strange twist on the good vs. evil cartoon.

Apple Andy (1946) – Andy Panda Cartoon Series

Andy Panda, walking down a country lane, is tempted to steal an apple. Falling asleep under an apple tree, Andy Panda dreams of his good and bad self.

His evil self appears and persuades him to go ahead and eat one, in spite of objections from his better self. His angel tells him what to do to battle the little devil who’s steering him in the wrong direction. Andy gives into his evil side to steal apples, but he finds out too late that he has gorged himself on green apples and falls out of the tree, feeling very sick. The apple cores dance around him, and the devil panda tempts him again, causing him to fall down a hole into the lower regions, where he’s stuffed with apples, apple sauce and cider.

Andy’s better self finally comes to his rescue, knocks his evil self silly, and leads Andy away over the hill.

Come see “Apple Andy” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase

Rabbit Fire (1951) – Looney Tunes Cartoon Series

Rabbit Fire

Rabbit Fire

#CotD: The first of three cartoons in which Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck debate whether it is rabbit season or duck season was “Rabbit Fire” by Chuck Jones.

Rabbit Fire (1951) – Looney Tunes Cartoon Series

Daffy leaves rabbit tracks to Bugs’ hole for Elmer to follow, and the debate over who is in season begins.

Come see “Rabbit Fire” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase

NFB’s “Wild Life” short piles up 3 Alberta awards

Wild Life

Wild Life

The Oscar-nominated “Wild Life,” a 13 and a half-minute film directed by Western Canadian animation duo Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis, won three honors Saturday at the 38th Annual Alberta Film and Television Awards in Calgary, including the Rosie for Best Short.

Forbis and Tilby also won the Rosie for Best Animator(s) or Motion Graphic Artist(s), while the award for Best Overall Sound – Drama went to Wild Life creative crew David J. Taylor and Pat Butler.

The film tells how in 1909, a dapper young remittance man is sent from England to Alberta to attempt ranching. However, his affection for badminton, bird watching and liquor leaves him little time for wrangling cattle. It soon becomes clear that nothing in his refined upbringing has prepared him for the harsh conditions of the New World. This animated short is about the beauty of the prairie, the pang of being homesick and the folly of living dangerously out of context.

Last month, Wild Life won the award for Best Animation at the Reel to Real International Film Festival for Youth and Families in Vancouver.

Queen of Disco Donna Summer, 63, dies of cancer

Donna Summer

Donna Summer

Dance music icon Donna Summer, known as the Queen of Disco, died Thursday morning in Florida after a battle with cancer, sources told TMZ. She was 63.

The five-time Grammy winner was trying not to disclose the extent of her illness, sources added.

“Someone who was with Summer a couple of weeks ago… says she didn’t seem too bad,” according to TMZ. “In fact, we’re told she was focused on trying to finish up an album she had been working on.”

Summer guested on the 1984 CBS special Donald Duck’s 50th Birthday, which was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program. Her “The Power of One” was heard on the soundtrack of Pokémon 2000: The Movie.

As well, she was heard on two episodes of The Simpsons: “She Works Hard For the Money” was on Guess Who’s Coming To Criticize Dinner (1999), while “Last Dance” was on Today, I Am A Klown (2003). Her performance of “Love to Love You Baby” was on the soundtrack of “Duel of the Dead,” a 2006 episode of the spoof show Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series.

Born LaDonna Adrian Gaines on December 31, 1948 in Boston, she was raised in the city’s Dorchester neighborhood.

The Englewood, Florida resident became a huge star in the ’70s with such hits as “Last Dance,” “Hot Stuff” and “Bad Girls.” In the 1980s, she stayed on the charts with “She Works Hard for the Money” and “This Time I Know It’s for Real.”

With producer Giorgio Moroder, she defined the 1970s dance music era, leading such acts as Duran Duran and David Bowie to enter the dance-music scene.

Donna Summer’s surname — slightly changed — came from her first husband, Helmuth Sommer, to whom she was married from 1971 until their 1976 divorce. They had one child.

In 1980, she married Brooklyn Dreams singer Bruce Sudano. They had two daughters together. She is also survived by four grandchildren.

“Rated A For Awesome” nominated for 6 Leo Awards

Leo Awards

Leo Awards

Nerd Corps Entertainment’s “Rated A For Awesome” has received six nominations for the Leo Awards, which celebrate excellence in British Columbia film and television.

The series was nominated for Best Direction in an Animation Program or Series for the episode “Lost in Character.” Sebastian Brodin, Steve Sacks, Tim Packford and Marcus Werner were singled out for recognition.

For the same episode, Sam Vincent and Colin Murdock were nominated separately for Best Performance in an Animation Program or Series. Chiara Zanni received a nod in the same category for the Rated A For Awesome episode “Scary Go Round.”

A nomination for Best Overall Sound in an Animation Program or Series went to Gordon Sproule, Jeff Davis, Johnny Ludgate and Dean Giammarco for the Rated A For Awesome episode “Go Away Day.” And for the episode “Les’ Song of Doom,” Hal Foxton Beckett was nominated for Best Musical Score in an Animation Program or Series.

Max Steel: Makino’s Revenge, from Rainmaker Entertainment, received four nominations, including Best Animation Program or Series (Sharan Wood, Kim Dent Wilder and Greg Richardson, Producers). Other nominations were for Best Direction in an Animation Program or Series (Richardson), Best Overall Sound in an Animation Program or Series (Gord Hillier, Miguel Nunes, James Fonnyadt and James Wallace) and Best Musical Score in an Animation Program or Series (Brian Jeffrey Carson).

The Basketball Game, released by the National Film Board of Canada, has four nominations as well. It’s up for Best Animation Program or Series (Yves Ma, Producer), Best Direction in an Animation Program or Series (Hart Snider and Sean Covernton), Best Screenwriting in an Animation Program or Series (Snider) and Best Performance in an Animation Program or Series (Snider yet again).

Also an NFB release, the short CMYK received three nominations. It received nods for Best Animation Program or Series (Martin Rose and Tracey Friesen, Producers), Best Direction in an Animation Program or Series (Marv Newland and Kunal Sen) and Best Musical Score in an Animation Program or Series (Lisa Cay Miller).

The Big Bad Boo Studios series 1001 Nights also has three nominations. Nods are for Best Animation Program or Series (Aly Jetha and Shabnam Rezaei, Producers), Best Screenwriting in an Animation Program or Series (Rezaei, for the episode “Sinbad And The Black Diamond“) and Best Overall Sound in an Animation Program or Series (Jeff Jackman, Greg Stewart, Angelo Nicoloyannis and Rick Senechal, for the episode “Abu Hassan’s Legendary Wedding”).

Another TV series, Studio B Productions’ My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, received three noms as well. It’s up for Best Animation Program or Series (Sarah Wall, Chris Bartleman, Blair Peters and Kirsten Newlands, Producers), Best Direction in an Animation Program or Series (Jayson Thiessen and James Wootton, for the episode “Party of One“) and Best Overall Sound in an Animation Program or Series (Marcel Duperreault, Todd Araki, Jason Fredrickson and Adam McGhie, for the episode “Read it and Weep“).

Rainmaker Entertainment’s Barbie in A Mermaid Tale 2 was nominated for Best Overall Sound in an Animation Program or Series (Kelly Cole, Bill Mellow, Ryan Thompson and Ryan Nowak) and Best Performance in an Animation Program or Series (Kelly Sheridan, the voice of Merliah).

NickToons’ Voltron Force was nominated for Best Musical Score in an Animation Program or Series (Hal Foxton Beckett and Steffan Andrews).

This year’s Leos will be presented during a celebration awards ceremony Friday, May 25 and a gala awards ceremony Saturday, May 26, both at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.

Actors Amanda Tapping and Robin Dunne are co-hosts of this year’s gala awards ceremony. The celebration awards ceremony is hosted by playwright and Second City alumnus Gary Jones.

The Leo Awards are presented by the Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Foundation of British Columbia, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to celebrate and promote the achievements of the British Columbia film and TV industry through the presentation of an annual awards program.

Shrek (2001) – National Film and Television School

Shrek

Shrek

#CotD: Named Best Animated Feature in 2002, “Shrek” is also the first animated film nominated for an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay.

Shrek (2001) – National Film and Television School

Hideous green monster Shrek just wants to be left alone. He has his own swamp, and is quite happy there, thank you very much. But when Lord Farquaad’s policies force other fantasy creatures into the swamp, Shrek must make a deal with the devil. So he sets out on a quest to find Lord Farquaad’s perfect wife and terrifies everyone he meets during his adventures.

Come see “Shrek” on video at Big Cartoon DataBase

Three animated films win Student Academy Awards

Oscar Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Oscar Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Three films have been selected as winners in the Animation category of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 39th Annual Student Academy Awards competition, the Academy announced Tuesday morning.

The winners are Eyrie, by David Wolter of the California Institute of the Arts; The Jockstrap Raiders, by Mark Nelson of the University of California, Los Angeles; and My Little Friend, by Eric Prah of Ringling College of Art and Design.

In Eyrie, a young boy must learn to defend his sheep from an eagle. Once he is capable of defending himself, he is given wings and freedom.

The Jockstrap Raiders, a 19-minute CG-animated short, took five years (part-time) to complete. It takes place during the First World War in Leeds, England, where a group of underdog misfits are excluded from the war due to various abnormalities. Through a hilarious turn of events, the group must learn to become a team and overcome their deficiencies in order to save Britain.

The three students are among among 10 from nine United States colleges and universities who were selected. To reach this stage, U.S. students competed in one of three regional competitions. Each region is permitted to send to the Academy up to three finalists in each of the four categories.

Earlier, Academy members selected students from Germany and the United Kingdom as finalists in the Foreign Film category.

Former Student Academy Award winners include Pixar’s John Lasseter and South Park creator Trey Parker.

This year’s awards ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 9 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in the Academy’s Beverly Hills, California headquarters, where the placements in each category will be announced. Although tickets are free to the public, they must be obtained in advance from the Academy at www.oscars.org or (313) 247-3600.

Solo sex in the city removed from Ottawa exhibit

Sex: A Tell-All Exhibition

Sex: A Tell-All Exhibition

After a public outcry, an animated video showing a boy and girl masturbating has been removed from Canada’s federal science museum, just in time for a sex exhibit to open.

The Canada Science and Technology Museum will open the Sex: A Tell-all Exhibition on Thursday as scheduled despite harsh criticism from Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore.

The center has decided to remove the video. It’s also raising to 16 from 12 years the minimum age for unaccompanied children to tour the exhibit, which was designed to answer questions youth have about sexuality.

“The museum has received a higher than expected amount of expressions of concerns from the public,” said spokesman Yves St-Onge.

“We take the feedback of our community seriously, and so we have carefully considered their suggestions, and taken appropriate action that we believe will best serve our audiences.”

About 50 complaints were received from parents who disagree that the show is educational in nature.

Canada’s Sun newspaper chain described a “climax room” showing animations of aroused genitals, accompanying by a voiceover of a man describing an orgasm.

James Maunder, a spokesman for Moore, said it was obvious that the exhibit fell outside the museum’s mandate of assisting scientific and technological literacy: “This content cannot be defended, and is insulting to taxpayers.”

Replied St-Onge: “The exhibition is designed to present information in a scientific, frank and accessible manner, an approach that the Canada Science and Technology Museum supports.”

The exhibit is on loan from Montreal.

The Web site of the Saskatchewan Science Centre, where the exhibit will also open Thursday, says: “Decidedly modern in its approach, the exhibition will rely on video, computer animation, real-life photography, interactive electronic platforms, and surprisingly realistic models, and on advice from experts to communicate its message.”

The museum said it’s gone a step beyond the recommended 12-and-up age limit.

Said another museum spokesman, Luc Founier: “The exhibition does not promote sex at all, the exhibition promotes sexual awareness and sexual education. In our case, we’ve decided (ages) 16 and over gain access unaccompanied but anyone under 16 must be accompanied by a parent or adult.”

Sexuality PhD student Jocelyn Wentland said she took a group of teens to see the exhibit. She recommends that others see it themselves and make up their own minds.

“The best thing would be as teens to walk around it with your parents, split up and then talk about what surprised you and what you liked,” she said. “It’s all about having those conversations and they should be taking place at home first.”

Sex: A Tell-All Exhibition runs until January. The exhibit won’t be a part of summer camps or school programs, the museum said.