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The Venture Brothers cartoon show/religion has been off the airwaves for a long time, with the last new episode airing on July 21, 2013. But the long drought is about to end, with an hourlong premiere for season six on January 19th, 2015 at midnight ET/PT. The Beat ran into co-creator Jackson Publick on one of his very, very rare forays out of his studio at New York Comic-Con, and he confirmed that he and Doc Hammer had been slaving away for the last two years.
And now the wait is over.
And just to tide you over those last few perilous weeks, Adult Swim is selling a sert of Venture Brother sheets.
Venture Brothers SHEETS. In 300-thread count comfort.
Tragically they are only available in QUEEN SIZE, which for NYC apartment dwellers who huddle entire families into tiny twin-sized bunk beds is a sad sad thing. Maybe we can just buy a set and make a dress out of them. The sheets go for a merer $50.
Whether you dream about Brock Samson, Molotov Cocktease or just seeing a new episode of the Venture Brothers, these sheets are sure to swaddle you to slumber.
UPDATE: Although the FAQ confirms that these sheets are 300 thread count, it is not known if they are 100% cotton or the dreaded “percale” polyester blend. The Beat only sleeps in 100% pure cotton, so this is troubling.
Beloved 80s cartoon icons Jem and the Holograms are coming back big time, with a Honda ad (below), a movie in the works for the end of next year starring Aubrey Peeples, and a new comics from IDW, to be written by Kelly Thompson (Storykiller, The Girl Who Would Be King) and drawn by Ross Campbell (Glory, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). Sub covers will be by Sara Richard (My Little Pony, Kitty and Dino).
Thompson is also a long running columnist for CBG (She Has No Head) that The Beta has quoted many times, so congrats on netting such a great gig!
It’s the 21st century, and Jem and The Holograms are 21st century girls! Meet Jerrica Benton, the gifted singer of The Holograms, a band that has the right look and the right sound… But one thing is holding them back—Jerrica’s crippling stage fright. Luckily, Jerrica is about to find help in the most unlikely of places when she discovers a forgotten present left by her father. And what she finds is truly outrageous!
“As a kid I was a huge fan of the original 80’s JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS cartoon and so the chance to breathe new life into it for a savvy modern audience, not to mention to work with Ross, an artist practically destined to draw this book, is really a dream come true,” said series writer, Kelly Thompson.
Don’t miss the chance to get the five stunning rainbow foil covers that will be available for Issue One—one for each Hologram by artist Amy Mebberson (My Little Pony, Pocket Princesses), plus the whole band by series artist Ross Campbell—in a deluxe rainbow foil and hologram collectible box. A second box set for Issue two will feature another set of four covers by Mebberson and a group shot by Campbell—this time starring Jem’s greatest nemeses, The Misfits!
“Getting a JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS comic going was a top priority for me when I started at IDW,” says Senior Editor John Barber. “It took three years, but Kelly and Ross came in with a style and attitude that really got Jem. They understand Jem’s appeal—I can’t overstate the impact Jem has had on generations of fans and readers.”
February 3rd will see the release of three Studio Ghibli films on BluRay for the first time. Porco Rosso, the tale of a World War I flying ace, is a beloved Hayao Miyazaki classic. The other two are by other Studio Ghibli directors—Isao Takahata’s environmental saga PomPoko, and Tales from Earthsea, Goro Myazakis take on the Ursula K. Leguin fantasy The Farthest Shore. Good viewing!
Synopsis: POM POKO
Studio Ghibli presents a film about the clash between modern civilization and the natural world from acclaimed director Isao Takahata. The raccoons of the Tama Hills are being forced from their homes by the rapid development of houses and shopping malls. As it becomes harder to find food and shelter, they decide to band together and fight back. The raccoons practice and perfect the ancient art of transformation until they are even able to appear as humans. In often hilarious ways, the raccoons use their powers to try to scare off the advance of civilization. But will it be enough? Or will the raccoons learn how to live in balance with the modern world? Celebrate the magic of the forest and the beauty of the creatures who live among us in “Pom Poko”—now on Disney Blu-ray for the first time ever.
Take flight with “Porco Rosso,” a valiant World War I flying ace! From tropical Adriatic settings to dazzling aerial maneuvers, this action-adventure from world-renowned animator Hayao Miyazaki is full of humor, courage and chivalry. When “Porco”—whose face has been trans- formed into that of a pig by a mysterious spell—infuriates a band of sky pirates with his aerial heroics, the pirates hire Curtis, a rival pilot, to get rid of him. On the ground, the two pilots compete for the affections of the beautiful Gina. But it’s in the air where the true battles are waged. Will our hero be victorious? For the first time ever on Disney Blu-ray, “Porco Rosso” is a thrilling ride you’ll never forget!
TALES FROM EARTHSEA
An epic animated adventure directed by Goro Miyazaki, “Tales From Earthsea” features the voices of Timothy Dalton, Willem Dafoe, Cheech Marin and Mariska Hargitay. Based on the classic “Earthsea” fantasy book series by Ursula K. Le Guin, “Tales From Earthsea” is set in a mythical world filled with magic and bewitchment. In the land of Earthsea, crops are dwindling, dragons have reappeared and humanity is giving way to chaos. Journey with Lord Archmage Sparrowhawk, a master wizard, and Arren, a troubled young prince, on a tale of redemption and self-discovery as they search for the force behind the mysterious imbalance that threatens to destroy their world. Featuring a timeless story and magnificent hand-drawn animation, “Tales From Earthsea” is now available for the first time ever on Disney Blu-ray.
US Cast: POM POKO – Clancy Brown (“The Shawshank Redemption,” “Starship Troopers”) as Gonta, J.K. Simmons(“Spider-Man,” “The Closer”) as Seizaemon, Jonathan Taylor Thomas (“The Lion King,” “Home Improvement”) as Shokichi, John DiMaggio (“Futurama,” “Adventure Time”) as Ryûtarô and Olivia d’Abo (“The Wonder Years,” “Conan the Destroyer”) as Koharu.
PORCO ROSSO – Michael Keaton (“Batman,” “Toy Story 3”) as Porco Rosso, Cary Elwes (“The Princess Bride,” “Saw”) as Curtis,Kimberly Williams-Paisley (“According to Jim,” “Father of the Bride”) as Fio, Susan Egan (“Hercules,” “13 Going on 30”) as Gina, David Ogden Stiers (“Beauty and the Beast,” “Pocahontas,” and TV’s “M*A*S*H”) as Grandpa Piccolo and Brad Garrett (TV’s “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Ratatouille,” “Finding Nemo”) as Mamma Aiuto Boss.
TALES FROM EARTHSEA – Mariska Hargitay (“Law and Order: Special Victims,” “Leaving Las Vegas”) as Tenar, Willem Dafoe (“Spider-Man,” “Finding Nemo”) as Cob, Timothy Dalton (“The Living Daylights,” “License to Kill”) as Ged, Cheech Marin (“The Lion King,” “Nash Bridger”) as Hare.
Directors: POM POKO – Isao Takahata (“Grave of the Fireflies”, “Heidi: A Girl of the Alps”)
PORCO ROSSO – Hayao Miyazaki (“Spirited Away,” “Princess Mononoke”)
TALES FROM EARTHSEA – Goro Miyazaki (“From Up on Poppy Hill”)
Original Story and POM POKO – Isao Takahata (“Grave of the Fireflies,” “Heidi: A Girl of the Alps”)
Screenplay: PORCO ROSSO – Hayao Miyazaki (Concept)
TALES FROM EARTHSEA – Based on the “Earthsea” series by Ursula K. Le Guin (Novel), Inspired by “Shuna’s Journey” by Hayao Miyazaki (Concept), Screenplay by Goro Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa (“The Secret World of Arrietty,” “From Up on Poppy Hill”).
Producers: POM POKO – Ned Lott (“My Neighbor Totoro,” Howl’s Moving Castle”), Toshio Suzuki (“Spirited Away”, “Princess Mononoke”)
PORCO ROSSO – Rick Dempsey (“Howl’s Moving Castle”, The Real Ghost Busters”) and Toshio Suzuki (“Spirited Away”, “Princess Mononoke”)
TALES FROM EARTHSEA – Steve Alpert (“Spirited Away,” Princess Mononoke”), Javier Ponton (“Malachance,” “Souvenir Views”) and Toshio Suzuki (“Spirited Away”, “Princess Mononoke”)
Release Date: February 3, 2015
Bonus Features: POM POKO – Original Japanese Storyboards, Original Japanese Trailers
PORCO ROSSO – Original Japanese Storyboards, Original Japanese Trailer, Interview with Toshio Suzuki, Behind the Microphone
TALES FROM EARTHSEA – Original Japanese Storyboards, Original Japanese Trailers & TV Spots, the Birth of the Film Soundtrack, Origins of Earthsea
While I may play running shoe favorites, you get the idea. Get running and in any shoe that meets your fancy…cuz ‘stopping’ just aint all it’s cracked up to be.
More RUNNING MOTIVATION
#SweatsintheCity Runnerchick Chic
By: Leslie Ann Clark,
Blog: Leslie Ann Clark's Skye Blue Blog
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Being an illustrator is great fun. Why? Because you can use your imagination to go places you’ve never been and do things you’ve never done. For instance, I have always wanted a log cabin up in the mountains. As a teen, I used to imagine having a studio up a flight of wooden steps to a big room. It would have rafter ceilings and a window seat for me to look out of. It would be warm and cozy and I could sit and do my art all day long near a roaring fire in the wood stove.
When I began thinking of places for my character Burl the bear to live in, I made it just like “I” wanted it! Warm and inviting! When you walk through the doorway of my story, you will find a home that lives in my imagination. It will be a place that I love and I will revisit it many times as the story progresses. I must be passionate about what I draw or it becomes listless and boring. This process is what makes a story believable.
My experience tells me that children notice the tiniest of details. I did a school visit after Peepsqueak was published by Harper Collins Publisher. I read the book to the children and then we talked. Through out the story there was another story going on in the book. It was a little tiny mouse who appeared on many of the pages. The children did not miss it. They even commented on the mouse as I read to them. I let them in on a little secret. I named the mouse Elliot. When I told them his name they all squealed with delight and pointed to the cutest little boy in their classroom who was named Elliot! He was beaming. Suddenly he became part of the story. He was so happy!
These are the things that make a story magical in the eyes of children and adults alike. Its also why I continue creating images. I love seeing characters develop. I love finding their voices. .. what they are like… what they like to do. It does not stop when I leave the studio. I think about them all the time, until I finally know how they would react in any given situation. That way they become very believable creations and loved by all.
Stay posted, Burl and Briley are growing on my heart daily. I can hardly wait to illustrate the books that are in my mind!
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Insiders have been whispering that Hasbro the toy making giant, may buy Dreamworks Animation. The two companies would definitely find some of what they’re missing in one another.
A combination of the two companies could accelerate efforts at each to move beyond their core businesses. DreamWorks Animation has expanded into consumer products in recent years but lags behind Walt Disney Co. , and Hasbro had just changed tack on its entertainment business, selling off some of its stake in the Hub cable network withDiscovery Communications Inc. Hasbro, which has been contemplating such a deal for years, has clout with big retailers that DreamWorks could benefit from too, the person familiar with the talks said.
Hasbro has been pretty heavily involved in animation, despite the Discovery/Hub sell-off, so you can see why they’d want a full fledged animation studio. They just launched Allspark Pictures, a film division, which is already working on Jem and the Holograms ad My Little POny movies. Dreamworks Animation has been trying to get acquired, and a deal with Japanese telecom SoftBank Corp. fell apart just weeks ago.
Now its obvious what Hasbro brings to the deal: G.I. Joe, Transformers and My Little Pony. But Dreamworks has its own huge portfolio of characters: the Classic Media library which it purchased two years ago, including all the Harvey Comics characters, including Casper the Friendly Ghost, the Lone Ranger, Lassie, He-Man and She-Ra, Gumby, Voltron, AND all the Gold Key heroes, currently licensed to Dynamite. A huge list of characters, many of them still ripe for reboots, something HAsbro would probably be eager to do.
Scott Mendelsson at Forbes, has an interesting analysis of the move, pointing out that DreamWorks has been the victim of a lot of sky is falling reporting. As soon as one of their movies open at a mere $60 million, reporters say it’s a bomb even if it is a worldwide hit:
This has been a pattern for the animation giant. They have had a major film that opened perhaps somewhat below expectations or below unrealistic expectations which caused analysts to proclaim failure and DWA stock to take a hit, with few mea culpas being offered when said films went on to worldwide box office glory after the fact.
Shrek Forever After was written off as a stunning disappointment after it opened to “only” $70 million in May of 2010. Yes, that was far below the $122m debut of the third Shrek film, and that time I was absolutely among the guilty in presuming an eventual financial disappointment. Shrek Forever After displayed strong legs over the summer and eventually earned $238m domestic (still larger than any non-Shrek DWA feature) and $752m worldwide (DWA’s third biggest global grosser and 55% larger than the $484m worldwide cume of the original Shrek). Kung Fu Panda 2 was written off over Memorial Day 2011 when it “only” debuted with $66m over its Thurs-Mon debut (Kung Fu Panda opened with $60m over its Fri-Sun debut in 2008). Yet even as the film earned $165m domestic, well-below the $215m cume of the first film, it went on to earn $665m worldwide, above the $631m cume of Kung Fu Panda and still DreamWorks’ second-biggest non-Shrek film after 2012′s Madagascar: Europe’s Most Wanted ($746m).
So yeah, maybe a little Disney whispering there. If Hasbro does buy Dreamworks Animation, this could possibly jeopardize their deal with Disney/Marvel to make toys, as Disney and Dreamworks are rivals, with Dreamworks having been founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg after he stormed away from Disney in a huff long ago.
Obviously this is all still in the talking stages. Dreamworks stock is up, Hasbro is down since rumors surfaced; consider this a REAL life version of Convergence/Secret Wars!
by Zachary Clemente
The number of Puppycats is how excited I am.
FREDERATOR STUDIOS DEBUTS PREMIERE SEASON OF EAGERLY ANTICIPATED ANIMATION HIT: BEE & PUPPYCAT
Created by Adventure Time Artist Natasha Allegri, Most Successfully Funded Animation Project in Kickstarter History, Premieres November 6 on Cartoon Hangover YouTube Channel
Now, this is super-exciting news! When the first two episodes (collected here) of Bee & Puppycat first hit Cartoon Hangover’s channel, people literally dropped on the floor and rolled around out of sheer glee with how good it was. I’m definitely not speaking from personal experience with this, I swear. After a ridiculously successful Kickstarter campaign, netting supporters (at least) 9 more episodes of the magical girl cartoon, it’s been in rapid production with only soft release dates promised, but now we have a date. IT’S TOMORROW 8PM EST.
It’s finally here! Following the breakout success of its pilot that sparked a record breaking Kickstarter campaign with nearly $900,000 raised to fund new episodes, the first season of the hugely original Bee & PuppyCat will debut November 6 on Channel Frederator’s Cartoon Hangover YouTube channel. Created by Adventure Time artist Natasha Allegri, one of the freshest new voices in animation, and produced by Frederator Studios, the studio headed by animation icon Fred Seibert (Adventure Time, The Fairly OddParents, Powerpuff Girls), Bee & PuppyCat originally debuted on Cartoon Hangover in July 2013 as a 2-part 10-minute short and became an immediate hit, amassing more than 4 million views.
Bee & PuppyCat follows Bee, an out-of-work twenty-something, who has a life-changing collision with a mysterious creature that she refers to as PuppyCat, because she is not sure if it is a dog, cat, or both. Between space and time, Bee & PuppyCat take intergalactic babysitting gigs to pay another month’s rent, and embark on adventures that include betrayal, intrigue, and magical transformations. As a “traditionally animated” series, all elements of Bee & PuppyCat are drawn by hand. The new season will feature 10 six-minute episodes with several animation and YouTube stars providing guest voices including Hannah Hart (My Drunk Kitchen, I Heart Harto), Stephen Root (The Office, Finding Nemo), Kent Osborne (Adventure Time, SpongeBob SquarePants).
With its distinct look and feel, stylistically unlike anything currently seen on the animation landscape, and outlandishly original characters and storytelling, Bee & PuppyCat is poised to become the series that defines a new breed of animation. The initial short struck a chord outside the traditional animation fanbase, with a huge female audience gravitating to the content along with a strong male demographic. The appeal has also sparked an avid fan following of Bee & PuppyCat cosplayers who show up in droves at comic conventions, and drive sold-out merchandising lines of t-shirts, comic books and plush. Amazing for a property that to date exists as just a 2-part 10-minute short!
Fred Seibert, head of Frederator Studios, said, “Bee & PuppyCat is one of those series that comes along only once in a long while. It’s such a singular vision and we couldn’t be more proud of the direction its taken. Natasha is a distinctive voice in animation and we can’t wait for fans to see what she’s done with this first season of episodes. There is no doubt in my mind that Bee & PuppyCat will establish itself as a true defining moment in animation.”
Natasha Allegri added, “I’m super excited to finally put more Bee & PuppyCat out in the world. The response from fans has already been so humbling and inspiring. I just hope this series satisfies them as much as it does me.”
Bee & PuppyCat debuts on Cartoon Hangover, Channel Frederator Network’s flagship channel, which boasts more than 430 million views and 11.6 million subscribers who tune in for such signature franchises as Bravest Warriors, Simon’s Cat, and David Firth’s Salad Fingers.
Frederator Studios raised $872,133 in funding from a Kickstarter campaign backed by more than 18,000 people to produce the first season of episodes. The campaign exceeded its goal of $600,000 and now ranks as Kickstarters’s most funded animation project and the fourth biggest Video and Film campaigns to date – alongside the Veronica Mars movie, projects from Spike Lee and Zach Braff, and ahead of the digital sensation Video Game High School 2.
CARTOON HANGOVER YOUTUBE CHANNEL
You guys! You guy! Ohmigod! Cartoonist Tony Millionaire and animator Matt Danner are trying to make a hybrid CGI/live action movie based on Millionaire’s Sock Monkey books. Danner—WWE Slam City, Hotwheels—has penned a script and the duo re attempting to line up financing for the film.
Sock Monkey is the star of several children’s books by Millionaire, the most recent, Sock Monkey Into The Deep Woods,
co-written by Danner, is a pilot for the film. All of them feature Millionaire’s intricate retro artwork and hauntingly wistful, sad and eerie stories that suggest loss and sorrow even when things seem to be going well. Just like all great kids books. And if you watch the test above, you can see that tone is lovingly captured—and good call on the Saint-Saens clip from “The Aquarium.”
Story follows stuffed hero Uncle Gabby as he and his doll pals venture across sea, land, and air to save their human, Ann-Louise, whom they fear has been kidnapped by a vicious monster. The Sock Monkey project was initially envisioned as a film, but when Danner wrote the treatment as a children’s book, Millionaire’s publisher Fantagraphics caught wind of it and agreed to publish it in print form first. The book hits shelves November 16.
Danner and Millionaire are going out to studios and financiers with the script and teaser, which Danner shot on his own over the course of one day with a small crew. Using five different “digi-nette” puppets on a practical set, they shot live-action footage which was later blended with CG to create a surreal look and feel.
Deadline suggests the film would have a “Coraline” feel to it—a nice log line for Hollywood.
Millionaire’s comic strip Maakies was previously adapted into the more raucous and alcohol-fueled Drinky Crow Show which aired on Adult Swim for a couple seasons.
Let me see, we kind of left off last week’s parade of Marvel event teasers, as it was beginning to get a little same-old, same-old, but here’s one that got hearts pounding on a Monday morning, a call back to the 1992 animated show that—along with Batman: The Animated Seris—helped start the whole of the comics industry. Or as Comicbook.com wrote:
Marvel has released their latest teaser image exclusively to Comicbook.com, offering the possible return of the early 90’s-era X-Men team. Anchored by Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, Jubilee, Beast, Jean Grey, and lots (and lots) of pouches, the X-Men of the early 90s were one of the franchise’s most prevalent in pop culture. X-Men #1, published in 1991, still holds the world record for the highest-selling comic with almost four million copies sold, and X-Men the animated series, which ran from 1992 to 1997, still remains a fan-favorite take on the characters.
I’m sure you can hear the theme music now¯ esp. that”Whoop whoop whoop” at the end.
Last week MArvel released several other past event teasers, calling back to One More Day, Age of Apocalypse, Future IMperfect and even AvX, which is barely dry in our minds eye.
As you may recall, all of this is believed to be a teaser for next summer’s Secret Wars event which will bring back various Marvel universes to battle one another, just as DC’s newly announced Convergence event is expected to present THEIR multiverses in the arena.
Secret Wars vs Convergence — which side are YOU on?
Wow, time flies. We’re already into our second week of #Inktober and I’ve seen some really amazing art out there. I’ve been a little bummed that my deadlines have kept me from fully diving into the fray. I figured I’d try and post at least a couple of drawings for the #Inktobers so I don’t feel like a total spectator. It’s looking like I’ll probably have to go the 5k route with the nondigital stuff this year. In case you have no idea what I’m talking about here’s a link that will tell you ever thing you need to know about #INKTOBER. Oh and by the way, make sure you check out the galleries from previous years on Mr. Jake Parker’s site. You’ll be glad you did, his work is amazing.
If on the other hand if you’re into Illustrator and digital inking I’ve got some fun stuff to show you. I’ve been working on putting together some new classes for the BobTeachesArt.com site and the first one is going to focus on how to create great line art using Photoshop and Illustrator, the main focus being on illustrator of course. This will be a soup to nuts course starting right from the beginning and working our way through all the tools you’ll need to know to make things happen. This is one I’ve been planning to get out there for some time now and have had many requests for it. If you think you might be interested or know someone else who is here’s your link!
Ok Inktober fans that’s it for now see you all again next week.
The post #Inktober and New Illustrator Courses appeared first on Bob Ostrom Studio - 919-809-6178.
With the cancellation of CW’s Vortexx cartoon block, broadcast television has ceased showing cartoons on Saturday Morning.
With it, a cherished memory and ritual vanishes, as technology, economics, and regulations force changes to a way of life.
The decline of Saturday Morning television began in 1992, when NBC began airing a Saturday edition of Today, followed by live action shows aimed at teens.
In 1990, after years of politicking by Action for Children’s Television, Congress passed the Children’s Television Act of 1990, requiring television stations to broadcast three hours of “educational and informational” children’s programming per week. (Here’s a listing of what is replacing Vortexx this Fall.)
With that requirement, and the rise of niche cable channels which are exempt from the E/I bug, Saturday Morning programming slowly withered over the next two decades.
Wikipedia lists several causes:
- The rise of first-run syndicated animated programs…
- Increasing regulation of children’s programming content … [see above]
- Station owners that owned a large number of network affiliates…
- The over reliance on common tropes and clichés. [TV Tropes has the lowdown.]
- The rise of cable television networks like Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network …
- The entrance of more adult-oriented cartoons into the mainstream…
- Concurrent with their film successes, Walt Disney Television Animation and Warner Bros. Animation also began producing content for television in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Both companies invested far more money into their productions than Saturday morning cartoons had done up until that point, raising the standards much higher than most television animation companies were able to reach.
- Increased awareness of childhood obesity and lethargy; advocates often targeted Saturday morning cartoons as the culprit.
- The proliferation of commercial toyline-oriented animated programs in the 1980s also led to advocacy group backlash and a decline in such programming…
- The increased availability of VHS tapes and later DVDs, Blu-rays, iTunes and videos on the World Wide Web, which, like cable, allowed children to watch their favorite cartoons at any given time.
- The development and rapid improvement in quality of video games…
- An increase in children’s participation in Saturday activities outside the home.
- A 1984 decision legalizing infomercials on American television; profits from Saturday morning infomercials were potentially much more than those from children’s programming. …
- The 1984 Supreme Court ruling in NCAA v. Board of Regents of Univ. of Oklahoma, which greatly expanded opportunities for college football on television. …
- Television networks becoming part of larger corporations. These networks included ABC (purchased by the The Walt Disney Company in 1996), CBS (purchased by Viacom in 1999, before splitting in 2005) and The WB (created by Time Warner in 1995, before merging with UPN in 2006 to create The CW). Since the parent companies already owned television animation studios, the networks preferred to air shows from these companies with programming blocks such as “Disney’s One Saturday Morning”, “Nick on CBS” and “Kids’ WB” rather than contracting out independent television animation companies.
- Many of the same networks that often showed Saturday morning cartoons began airing similar programs on weekday afternoons…
- The success of live action teen sitcoms, starting with NBC’s Saved by the Bell, which led to the rapid development of more live-action teen programming, with networks slowly squeezing out the cartoons.
- The gradual loss of most of the American companies which were, at one point, iconic and prolific producers of animated children’s shows. …
- The 2005 to 2009 decisions by breakfast cereal companies and fast food restaurants to reduce their advertising towards children. …
Some links from across the web:
Mark Evanier recollects his experience as both a viewer and employee of Saturday Morning cartoons, explaining the lucrative economics of early series, how toy companies
That was often cost-effective and deficit-financing became even more the norm for syndicated shows. Toy companies found it paid off to underwrite the cost of a series that promoted their products. A Mattel or Hasbro could easily sink a few million up front into a show about characters they were marketing to make those characters more famous. Not every time but often enough, having the show out there, five days a week in syndication, would boost toy sales enough to make that a good investment.
With such shows siphoning viewers away from networks, the networks did the logical thing: They stopped paying high license fees for Saturday morning programming. Thereafter, if you wanted to get your production on in one of those time slots on a broadcast network, you had to give it to them for a very low price and make up the rest of your costs elsewhere. Selling it cheap usually meant doing it cheap and there was a change in priorities.
No longer was it all about doing a show that would be a hit on Saturday morning because that alone was no longer enough to make a profit. It was just a way to pay part of the cost of production. You had to have your eye on foreign sales and merchandising. I wasn’t approached a lot to work on such shows because, well, I wasn’t the cheapest talent available. But the times I was asked, the producers made it clear they didn’t care that much if show drew an audience on Saturday morning. That was no longer where the game was.
And of course, since airing cartoons on Saturday mornings became a lot less lucrative, one by one the networks stopped doing it. Which got us to where they are today: They don’t do it at all anymore.
TV Party has a great rundown of the many seasons of Saturday Morning cartoons!
NPR offers an elegy.
Some memories, slightly sugar-coated…
- In The News, quick two-minute news bites on CBS.
- School House Rock (My Hero Zero)
- Electra Woman and Dyna Girl (and the rest of the Kroft Super Show!)
- Thundarr the Barbarian (Gerber, Kirby, Toth, Pasko!)
- Land of the Lost (A perpetual schedule filler, usually in the summer, along with Super Friends.)
- Galaxy High (Aimee Brightower, *SIGH*)
- Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (afterwards, I’d hike two miles, uphill, both ways, sometimes in the snow, to buy comics).
- Too young to remember the Banana Splits, but wondering who they were as I saw vague images here and there, like a light-switch cover in the late 70s at Montgomery Wards. Which…I can’t find on Google.
- Also, one-season wonders, which only exist now in Gold Key comics, or the rare lunch box. Like this…
- Shazam! (I owned a pair of socks when I was six…) (…and the cartoon was pretty good, too!)
- Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures; Don’t Touch That Dial (A great satire of American and Japanese animation!)
So, cartoons on television continue, mostly on Cartoon Network and Disney XD. There’s YouTube and Warner Archives, and streaming and downloads. Gone is the joy of uncertain discovery, and unspoilt wonder. But it does make it easier to share!
Part of me wonders if kids will find other distractions, like shown in the satirical and prophetic “Itchy & Scratchy & Marge” from 1990?
And part of me knows that kids will seek out the stuff that’s cool and fun and bad in large quantities, like pre-sweetened breakfast cereal. They’ll laugh uncontrollably, and some of them… well, they’ll make their own cartoons!
For those who want one last sample of just how special Saturdays were when I was younger and life was unscheduled…
We’ll be right back after these messages…
By: Leslie Ann Clark,
Blog: Leslie Ann Clark's Skye Blue Blog
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Do you ever have those days when nothing goes right? When everything you try does not work? That was my day today, accompanied by a doozer of a headache. Photoshop just quit on me. I could not open CS5 or CS6. Finally at the end of the day the Adobe Twitter Support came through! Hooray! It works!!
While I was waiting for support to write me back I was able to begin writing my stories for Burt ad Briley, my new characters. Their conversations made me smile. All’s well that ends well. I will post another picture soon.
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Last week may have been New York Fashion Week, but the 2014 track season was Maggie Vessey’s Fashion statement.
No need to say more.
Vessey took the opportunity of being a ‘free agent’ to prove she’s got the creative talents to match her performance prowess on the track.
“I do want to draw attention to the sport and maybe give people who aren’t necessarily interested in track and field a reason to be interested,” Vessey told Runner’s World. “But it is a very authentic expression of who I am, and I now have this opportunity to be able to put that out there, be bold, and take a risk.”
To all those eating her fashionably savvy dust, heed the words: look good, feel good.
Excellent read on Maggie Vessey in New York Magazine
Oiselle was representing runners at New York Fashion Week, I caught up with Founder and CEO, Sally Bergesen
My story on Kate Grace, professional runner for Oiselle.
Runner Fashion is All the Rage: Legs to Crush a Runway
My own (expanding) line of running apparel: Ezzere
Let’s be honest, running may not solve EVERY single problem, but I’ve yet to find myself in a situation where a good run doesn’t at least help.
More MORNING MOTIVATION HERE
More TRAINING TIPS HERE
I’ve had quite a few new articles published on RunBlogRun and Competitor as of late so be sure to check out my WRITING PAGE HERE
Follow Cait Chock on Instagram: @caitchock
Here’s is a nice story on how actor Donald Glover has been cast as the voice of Miles Morales in an episode of Ultimate Spider-Man.
USA Today reports the actor will voice the character next year in an episode of Disney XD’s animated “Ultimate Spider-Man,” which in its upcoming third season carries the subtitle “Web Warriors.” In the “Spider-Verse” story arc, a dimension-hopping Peter Parker (voiced by Drake Bell) tries to prevent the Green Goblin from collecting the DNA of Spider-Men from parallel universes, including Iron Spider, Spider-Man 2099, the Amazing Spider-Girl and Miles Morales.
Glover at one time campaigned to play the regular live-action Spider-Man, leading Community’s producer Dan Harmon to put a sequence in the show of Glover waking up in Spider-Man pajamas. This in turn inspired Brian Bendis to create Miles Morales as the Ultimate universe Spidey, and now…the circle is complete.
Fxx is showing EVERY EPISODE OF THE SIMPSONS ever in order, a 12-day marathon that started yesterday. The event is to celebrate theFxx getting the rebroadcast rights to every Simpsons episode, for about $1 billion. Meaning Fxx will basically be the Simpsons channell…and that’s a great idea!
We caught some Season Three classics last night, and the effect of seeing “One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish”, “The Way We Was”, “Homer vs. Lisa and the 8th”, and “Principal Charming” in order as they were when last we viewed them 20+ years ago…well time passes quickly when you quote Simpsons episodes. Also mind bggling to think the couch gag and the blackboard gag were in place right from the start.
Vulture has a veiwing guide and suggests that tonight is the nihgt for an all nighter with Season Four and Five:
You’re not as young as used to be. You used to rock and roll all night, and party every day. Then it was every other day. Now you’re lucky to find half an hour a week to get caught up with your DVR before you fall asleep on the couch. But party like it’s 1993 from Saturday evening until Sunday morning. That’s when season four turns into season five, and if you’re fast asleep, you’ll miss such classics as “Rosebud,” “Homer’s Barbershop Quartet,” and freaking “Cape Feare” — you don’t want to miss “Cape Feare.” Sunday night into Monday morning is also incredible, but, again, you’re not as young as you used to be. None of us are.
Yeah we’d go along with that one. Also although they say now to drool over teh Cnan O’Brien episodes, he wrote “New Kid Ont The Block” where Bart falls in love and dreams his heart is ripped out and thrown against the wall by the girl he loves who says, “Guess you won’t be needing that any more.” So yeah, Conan O’Brien.
For more info, here’s the actual schedule of episodes and some old intervews from NPR.
It’s no lie…sometimes you just gotta take a cue from the Turtles.
Fancy that, another train of familiar characters getting their run on…sorta reminds me of THESE LADIES!!
More Morning Running Motivation Posts And Art
1) Who here is also a real runnerd and Turtles fan too?
2) What were you chasing this weekend?
Blog: Bob Ostrom Studio
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Johnny Appleseed Childrens Book Illustration.
This one was from a recent series of books I worked on last year. I’ve tried this look before once or twice using traditional art and a scanner but it was always a tedious process to get the lines bold enough. The Cintiq has helped make creating bold pencil lines very easy. My next goal is to start working on a more natural watercolor look.
The post Johnny Appleseed Childrens Book Illustration appeared first on Illustration.
By: Heidi MacDonald
Blog: PW -The Beat
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Clickhole, the Onion’s answer to Buzzfeed and Clickhole, has posted an audacious NSFW video parody, “If You Grew Up With ‘Calvin and Hobbes,’ You Need to Watch This Now.” Spoilers below for those of you who
aren’t already in custody haven’t seen it yet:
Clickhole’s video of Calvin and Hobbes having sex pretty much nukes anything an art critic has ever described as transgressive, but in so doing it also raises a serious legal concern. As you may recall, under 18 U.S. Code Sec. 1466A, U.S. law banning child pornography is not limited to visual depictions of real children. This has already led to prosecutions for possession of comics or cartoons – in fact, animated child sex is reportedly being used as, well, clickbait by law enforcement.
Could watching the Clickhole Calvin and Hobbes video get you sent to jail?
Let’s go exploring!
One key aspect of current U.S. law — setting aside other countries that may have more expansive prohibitions – is that it reflects an adaptive response to the Supreme Court’s conclusion that earlier versions were too broad in ways that violated the First Amendment. As a result Section 1466A only bans non-realistic visual depictions such as the Calvin and Hobbes video if they are obscene or lack serious artistic, literary, political or scientific value.
Here, in brief, is why Congress went with that language. In a series of decisions several decades ago, the Supreme Court came up with a standard for obscenity that, it believes, passes constitutional muster. The standard is known as the Miller test for determining obscenity, and it has three key components: the material appeals to prurient interest, is patently offensive and lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value. By echoing this language, Congress hoped – and so far has mostly succeeded – in establishing a standard for visual depictions of minors in drawings, cartoons, sculptures or paintings that would survive a constitutional challenge.
1466A(a)(2) and (b)(2) ban, among other things, graphic images of a minor engaging in actual or simulated bestiality that lack serious artistic, literary, political or scientific value. Before we get to the question of value, it’s worth noting that the statute goes on to define “graphic” to refer to images in which “a viewer can observe any part of the genitals or pubic area of any depicted person or animal.” In essence, these sections take a shortcut past the prurient and patently offensive elements of the obscenity test, which are determined by community standards, by providing an absolute bright-line standard.
Watch the Clickhole Calvin and Hobbes video carefully and you’ll see that it arguably does not portray the genitals or pubic area of either character – the very sort of thing that a strategic company lawyer might tell a company producing such a video to do if it was determined to post it. That’s not a slam-dunk conclusion, though. Calvin is drawn in a way that resembles the iconic “Love Is …” one-panel cartoon, the product of a time before contemporary anti-child-porn laws as well as a strip that does not depict minors in sexual situations, at least in authorized versions.
Section 1466A(a)(1) and (b)(1) are somewhat more expansive. These provisions prohibit an obscene depiction of sexually explicit conduct, which extends to simulated bestiality and other sexual activity whether or not the genitals or pubic area appear.
What makes determining whether material is obscene particularly hard to determine is that the test looks to community standards – technically in regard to determining whether material appeals to the prurient interest or is patently offensive, but the community sensibility also tends to come into play in assessing whether a reasonable person would find that the material lacks socially redeeming value. This applies not only to a federal statute such as Section 1466A, but any state anti-obscenity or anti-child pornography laws under which the Calvin and Hobbes cartoon could be assessed.
This reliance on community standards has had the effect of balkanizing U.S. obscenity law. What is obscene in one jurisdiction can be perfectly legal in another. Case in point: the Christopher Handley case, which involved a manga collector. The Iowa district judge in that case concluded that 1466(a)(2) and (b)(2) are unconstitutional, but the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which covers Florida, Georgia, and Alabama, expressly disagreed.
In short, if the science of law is, to quote Oliver Wendell Holmes, an art of prediction, the current constitutional definition of obscenity is a Magic 8 Ball.
Which also brings us to 18 USC 2252C, a related provision that prohibits knowingly embedding words or digital images into the source code of a website with the intent (a) to deceive a person into viewing material constituting obscenity or (b) to deceive a minor into viewing material harmful to minors on the Internet. If one is dealing with a judge or jury likely to conclude that the Calvin and Hobbes cartoon is obscene, there is an equally significant risk of being found guilty of using misleading words (the clickbait headline) and images (the still frame before playing) to trick either an adult or a minor into clicking play.
So to answer the question of whether Clickhole’s Calvin and Hobbes Cartoon is illegal, I’d have to say it depends – on the jurisdiction, on the prosecutor, the judge, the jury and the case presented by the defendant’s lawyers. And again, the rest of the world is not bound by our First Amendment jurisprudence and its definition of obscene, so there could be a greater risk elsewhere. There’s a substantial possibility, of course, that nothing will ever happen to Clickhole or any viewers of this video, but it’s not a risk that many lawyers would want their clients to take.
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The Blue Sky Folder
Deep in the archives of my computer there is a small beacon of light that shines brightly through the darkness. It’s called the Blue Sky Folder. Inside is a collection of sketches, experiments, new styles, new techniques, story concepts and a bunch of projects in various stages of completion. This folder is basically a resting place for all the ideas that rattle around inside my head long enough for me to get them down on paper or into various stages of digital completion. Like many other artists I’m always restless to try new things and this is my outlet.
This is a Blue Sky piece I began almost 3 years ago. I wasn’t quite sure where I was headed with it at the time so I put it in hold to work on other things. I had totally forgotten about it until I was leafing through the the folder recently and it caught my eye. One of the main reasons I had put this one on hold was that the techniques I’d used to create it were very time consuming and a bit unrefined. Looking at the piece again I realized that the solution was sitting right in front of me. I didn’t have my Cintiq tablet when I started so any digital freehand drawing was pretty much out of the question? As I popped the file up on my screen I realized that was no longer an obstacle. It only took me a few hours to finish the piece and I’m psyched because now I finally have a great way to save time and paint right on the computer.
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Big Hero 6 is this fall’s Disney big animated movie, so it’s hardly wanting for marketing and publicity, however, it is based on a VERY obscure Marvel Comics characters, and that has led to some head scratching. The film is being directed by Don Hall (Winnie the Pooh) and Chris Williams (Bolt) with a script by a bunch o’ folks including Robert L. Baird, Daniel Gerson, Hall, and Jordan Roberts. The story concerns robotic whiz Hiro Hamada who builds a robot named Baymax; the duo is then recruited to a super team to save the city of San Fransokyo. And yes this is an homage to the tradition of mecha and anime (which as proven by Transformers 4′s stellar box office, is still of some interest to the movie going public.)
Big Hero 6 originally appeared in Alpha FLight #17 as created by Steven Seagle and Duncan Rouleau. Because of scheduling, the team actually appeared first in a mini-series called Sunfire and Big Hero 6 by Scott Lobdell and Gus Vazquez in September 1998, with a subsequent mini by Chris Claremont and David Nakayama in 2008.
Of note in the above account is that Seagle and Rouloeau would go on to form the collective Man of Action where they would co-create such similarly boy-themed properties as Ben 10 and Generator Rex, and story editing Marvel shows like Ultimate Spider-Man. So they have a track record.
It was because of, not despite Big Hero 6′s obscurity that Hall was interested in adapting it to cartoon form.
For Hall, the absence of a detail-obsessed fan base for the series was part of its appeal, as it left every character and setting open to interpretation.
“I was looking for something on the obscure side, something that would mesh well with what we do,” Hall said. “The idea of a kid and a robot story with a strong brother element, it’s very Disney.”
Hall, a lifelong comic book fan who started at Disney Animation in 1995, was in the midst of directing “Winnie the Pooh” when Disney acquired Marvel in 2009. He found “Big Hero 6″ while digging through Marvel’s library for ideas and pitched it to Disney’s chief creative officer, John Lasseter, in 2011.
The film is now headed for a November release date, with voices by Maya Rudolph and TJ Miller. AND things are just getting rolling with a trailer:
And a bunch of character posters:
July & August are quiet months with no appearances or events scheduled. But there are still fun things to chat about:
July is the last month of my sabbatical in Paris, France, drawing and doodling.
You can check out my experiments over at
Universal U-Click for a comic-strip-doodle-thingie called PARIS DOODLES . The strip runs drawings, dining room dinner doodles, and photos
The close-knit LA animation community has been rocked this week by trouble at Cartoon Network’s show Clarence, where creator and show runner Skyler Page has been removed from his duties following an assault on an Adventure Time staffer and what friends are calling a mental breakdown.
The public uproar began earlier in the week when Adventure Time storyboard revisionist Emily Partridge posted some oblique tweets about mental illness not excusing bad behavior. Then illustrator Maré Odomo posted this on Monday:
This created a lot of hubbub. Soon after, Partridge confirmed that she was the victim:
This was supported by many others in the industry, including Adventure Time’s Pendleton Ward, Ryan Pequin, and Steven Universe (and cartoonist) Lamar Abrams who wrote:
As this escalated on Twitter, Partridge confirmed that Cartoon Network was aware of the situation and was dealing with it. Matters became far more public yesterday when Cartoon Brew wrote a story that confirmed that Page had been removed as showrunner from Clarence. While his behavior against Partridge was the last straw, it seems that he had been acting very erratically due to mental health issues for a long time, with reports he had been hospitalized earlier in the year for the same issues. A friend of his named Jeff Rowe has written much more about Page’s mental state:
Skyler is currently in the hospital receiving treatment for mental illness. Specifically a form of Bipolar 1 that results in prolonged psychotic episodes, not sleeping for days, and erratic, sometimes frightening behavior that mimics schizophrenia. On the same day the assault happened, Skyler also walked through the streets shirtless screaming at cops. I saw him try to smoke cigarettes through his nose and drink days old olive juice. He popped in and out of different characters, and answered questions with riddles. And the next day, when me and another close friend drove him to the hospital to get him treatment, I sat with him for hours in the Emergency Room as he sat strapped to a bed singing They Might Be Giants songs and talking like a cowboy. I don’t know if he was cognizant enough to see that I was crying. It was one of the saddest things I’d ever seen. Here in front of me, was a guy I had known extremely well, but was obviously “not home”. When I talked to the doctor and learned more about his specific illness, and that he would be coping with it for the rest of his life, it broke my heart. Again, here was someone who was like a brother to me, and I just got told he may never be the same again.
And Emily Quinn, another Adventure Time staffer has confirmed all this
As someone who has dealt with mental illness both in myself and with members of my family, and as someone who has been watching Skyler continuously dig himself into a hole, I’m glad this is being talked about. I know people will be upset, but the goal of this is not to be stigmatizing for other people with mental illnesses. There are thousands of people with mental illnesses who would never hurt a fly. However, just like you can’t generalize that EVERYONE with a mental illness assaults other people (sexually or otherwise), you also can’t generalize that everyone with mental illnesses do not. Some people do shitty things regardless of a mental illness.
I’m not using his illness as an excuse, I’m not minimizing his actions in any way shape or form. It’s still a despicable thing that Skyler did (both this time and times before). However, people need to know what else has been going on. Skyler was put in a position of having his own show, let the power go to his head, and was completely unable to emotionally handle the pressure. He has had episode after episode, and the studio did not know how to handle it. They eventually took him off most creative aspects of the show, but not entirely. The first time he was hospitalized, hardly anything was changed when he came back. They just assumed that since he was out of the hospital, that it meant he was “cured.” I was LIVID. No mental illness magically gets “cured.” But because there is such a stigma around mental disorders, nobody higher up knew how to deal with it. That’s a problem.
While this kind of thing—a showrunner falling to mental breakdown—is unusual, it isn’t the first time it has happened. Hwoever, it is probably the first time that this kind of scenario has played out in the extremely close knit and PUBLIC forum of Twitter and Tumblr used by artists and animators in this age group. While Cartoon Brew used the word “exclusive” the while thing had been playing out on both those platforms for days before Page’s ouster was reported on. The extremely frank tumblr posts are another thing you would not have seen in past scandals.
For the moment, it seems as if the attack on Partridge has been dealt with in the only way they could at Cartoon Network. And she seems to have a powerful and supportive network of friends to prevent her being ostracized for what was clearly not her problem. Let’s ope it stays that way. N the meantime, here’s some artwork by the very talented Partridge via her Tumblr.
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I had a fun dialogue with a friend and editor the other day:
“‘How to Train for a Marathon in 5 Minutes a Week’ and ‘Eat 20 Apples a Day to PR’ (clear exaggeration but you get the point). I know a lot of people like those types of articles but over the years I’ve have my fill.”
“Thank goodness you hate the ‘fluff crap’ kinda articles too. I die a little inside every time I’m asked to do one, writing that stuff makes my brain numb.”
There were more little barbs in there and witticisms but you get the picture. The ‘fluff’ crap; it’s all over the web and even in the magazines and websites ‘we’ us ‘real runners’ read and subscribe to. We can’t escape it and let’s be honest the masses are looking for a kind of ‘quick fix’. So, the headlines screaming BIG rewards LITTLE work draws people in. It sells. Websites and magazines are businesses after all, so even though I’m sure it kills a few editors and writers every.single.time they must do a ‘fluff crap’ article, they do it. Gotta put food on that table.
The thing is though, which ‘we’ ‘real runners’ know is:
* there’s no magic bullet
* no super secret way to getting better and stay fit
* eating an apple at 3:19pm to drop 30 seconds off your 5k PR aint gonna do it
Most people don’t want to hear that it takes:
* a h*ll of a lot of hard work
* motivation even when you aren’t motivated
* pushing yourself
* hurting in workouts and races
The sufferfest that is training and racing…that probably wouldn’t be a magazine the general public would just LOVE reading about. Better to think that a protein smoothie with chia seeds is all that’s required and will do the trick. Training and all that stuff, well…that’s second tier, right?
The ‘training fluff crap’ I think actually parallels what writer, coach, sports nutritionist, and athlete Matt Fitzgerald, writes about in his latest book DIET CULTS. I literally devoured that read in two days so do check it out, I think most fitness minded folks will relate to a lot of what he’s saying and laugh because as athletes we’re able to ‘sniff out’ lots of the ‘diet fluff crap’ mainstream media and individuals try to get us to buy into. I will revisit this book later because I’ve got both an article on RunBlogRun coming out and after that is published do a review on this blog. So hold tight, but in the mean time check out DIET CULTS.
Getting back to the fitness and running ‘fluff’, I find that it really is only doing a disservice to the individuals who really are motivated or the ones just starting out in the sport. Coming to the realization that it’s hard work over really anything else is a learning curve all runners go through. Experience teaches us that.
Every single runner has their own journey, the progression of getting
crazier and crazier more experienced and for lack of a better term ‘hardcore into’ our sport. That journey makes each runner who they are and it’s important to learn lots of those lessons yourself. At the same time, it’s a shame that falling into the misconception that certain foods or cramming 4 months of training into 2 weeks doing a run only every other Tuesday WILL make you a better runner. Because by hiding the truth you’re only stunting the progress of the runner who really does want to be their best.
Certainly the ‘fluff’ sells and the driven, self-motivated folks who are ‘real’ runners [I only define 'real' runners not based on speed at all, but in spirit and how motivated they are...if you're a runner you know it in your bones.] are the minority. But the numbers of runners are growing and it proves there are eager, motivated people looking to embark on their running journey.
Welcome to crazy town.
So here’s some straight shooting for you:
* It’s going to hurt.
* There’s no ‘secret’ to getting faster and staying fit.
* Motivation is your weapon, consistency reigns supreme.
* Patience sucks but it’s required.
* Learn that unnecessary suffering
isn’t going to make you better. Oh running, filled with all those fine lines we must tread.
But here’s the BEST part:
* There’s a sick sort of high and remarkable afterglow to that hurt when you’ve pushed through it.
* Nothing is more rewarding than watching yourself get faster and more fit.
* Realizing your body can DO things you never dreamed possible is far more satisfying than any pack of abs or what your vehicle of performance looks like.
* Running will effect, and improve you in all areas of life.
* Runners are tough as s*t.
It’s important to realize that clearly certain foods and a healthy diet will help your training, lifestyle adjustments (hello more sleep!) will too. But even a healthy diet with 10 hours a sleep at night is useless sans training. Take your ‘fluff’ and shove it. #run
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