Saturday, 18 August 2012

Virtual /Cartoon Bands through history The Californian Raisins

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Virtual /Cartoon Bands through history The Californian Raisins
The California Raisins were a fictional rhythm and blues musical group as well as advertising and merchandising characters composed of anthropomorphized raisins based on black caricatures. Lead vocals were sung by musician Buddy Miles. The California Raisins concept experienced high popularity in the mid-to-late 1980s principally through claymation TV commercials and animated specials, winning an Emmy Award and one nomination

The concept was originally created for a 1986 commercial on behalf of the California Raisin Advisory Board when one of the writers (Seth Werner, at the time with the advertising firm Foote, Cone & Belding, and now with big) came up with an idea for the new raisin commercial, saying, "We have tried everything but dancing raisins singing 'I Heard It Through the Grapevine'" (the 1968 song popularized by Marvin Gaye).[4] To their surprise, the commercial became wildly popular, paving the way for several future commercials–one of which featuring Ray Charles and another with a raisinized incarnation of Michael Jackson–and opportunities through other media. The unique presentation was thanks to Vinton Studios' famed claymation with character designs by Michael Brunsfeld. The following year, the Raisins appeared in the Emmy Award-winning Claymation Christmas Celebration, singing the classic Christmas carol, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."
The California Raisins thoroughly explored a musical avenue under Priority Records. Four studio albums were released through 1987 to 1988, and their signature song, "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," landed on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at 84. However, the Raisins would continue to make their strongest impression through animated endeavors.
On November 4, 1988, CBS aired a primetime special entitled Meet the Raisins!. The musical mockumentary was again created by Vinton Studios and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award. It also provided the band members more personality and individual names: A.C., Beebop (drums), Stretch (bass), and Red (guitar/piano). A Saturday morning cartoon series, The California Raisin Show, debuted the following year but lasted merely 13 episodes. While cel animated by Murakami-Wolf-Swenson, it maintained Will Vinton's creative direction. A sequel to the original CBS special aired in 1990 under the title Raisins: Sold Out!: The California Raisins II. This special saw the Raisins hiring a new manager with the goal of making a comeback.

Source Wikipedia


Saturday, 11 August 2012

The Chronicles of Jack The Axe

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Death of a Troll


Jack was delayed when he discovered that he had to find a new barge, to get to the island. Both it and the goblin guards were absent and there would be hell to pay if he ever found them.
Now with a new barge a couple of goats and a team of guards following him in a small boat he made his way towards the hidden island.
The guards in the rear boat were all surprised that they never knew this part of the Palace existed.
Jack thought as much.
A mysterious consultant known only to the King had brokered the deal between the King and the Troll because it was suggested that if you ever needed the perfect guard dog get a Troll. Jack was also aware how much a secret the Golden Goose was. If the Troll didn’t have it’s contractual obligations met by the Palace then it would kill the Goose.
The island was also aplace of great misery for Jack, mot only for the slain giant but it reminded him of the missing Pinocchio, a brave little boy puppet who surely lost his life in the pursuit of the goose.
Jack had made his own special secret memorial on the island in his honour.
Poor Charming had so much to learn.
As Jack approached the Jetty the answer to the missing barge became evident and Jack’s senses went into overdrive.
There was either someone very brave or very stupid on the island and if they weren’t already dead he would threaten it to find how they discovered the secret it held.
Alighting from the barge and unloading the goats, Jack signaled to the guards not to come an inch further unless he gave notice.
Jack tentatively moved down the wooden pier , being cautious but not quiet, the goats had made sure that was impossible. Jack was half expecting the angry Troll to ambush him as punishment for late delivery, though the contract did allow for this.
Jack also helped draft the contract.
The island had become quite a paradise since Jack was last here and the Troll had done a marvelous job with his shrubberies and gardens. Evidence of the remains of the Giant’s body was really only noticeable to those who knew it was there.
Sadly Jack was one of those people, no matter how much this place was beautified to Jack it was still a graveyard.
Jack tied the goats to a sapling and decided to look further up the path himself where he came upon a very angry but weak Troll bleeding out in the middle of the path.
“You” It screamed at Jack “You broke contract”
The Troll scrambled towards Jack using its strong arms to drag it along Jack had noticed the beast’s legs were much shorter than normal.
What kind of thing could do this to a Troll? He thought as he easily dodged the scampering Troll. The Troll kept slashing its talons at Jack screaming legal anomalies with the contract and Jack kept dodging, after nearly a minute of this then sliced his axe right through the beasts skull. Separating its brain hemispheres.
Obviously he could next to no sense from the poor beast and it wouldn’t answer his questions of who did this to it.
Finally Jack decided that the Troll could no longer physically keep up it part of the deal and terminated the contract.
This at least gave him a chance to find the Golden Goose.
Since the Troll had changed the landscape some much with secret gardens and blind turns Jack wasn’t exactly sure where the Gooses pen was anymore. Thankfully a loud HONK to his left sorted that problem out.
Moving as quickly as he could in the direction of the sound Jack suddenly came face to face with what was to be one of stranger sights in his life, again featuring a large egg.

Standing in an open chook pen stood the Market Controller Humpty Dumpty. But Jack knew it was no longer the Fairy creature that he once was.
In one hand he held a book in the other he held the Golden Goose by its neck causing it great discomfort.
The egg seemed to be chanting something and just as Jack was to announce himself the egg took the goose and bit its head off.
An involuntary NO burst from Jack and the egg turned to face him.
It’s blood stained mouth opened wide across its cracked dome into a wicked smile.
It spat the gooses’ head at Jack, picked up the book and ran jumping over a small hedge into the river.
Jack scurried after it but had too many obstacles to even get near it.
When Jack finally made it to the edge of the island all he saw of Humpty was it’s large body floated down stream, a book in one hand the lifeless body of the Golden Goose in the other.

Many days later humpty was far away in a room in a place no one would find him.
In the middle of the room sat the book opened with ancient script writing itself upon its pages.
Humpty was in one corner the headless remains of the Golden Goose nestled on a pile of eggs. It’s body some how still functioning despite the inconvenience of no head.
Suddenly Humpty noticed the eggs under the goose shake and roll. The eggs were a grayish blue in colour almost the same tones as brain matter. Simultaneously three eggs cracked and small arms protruded. Humpty started clapping and laughing as three perfect replicas of itself scurried about the floor looking for food.
Humpty knew exactly were to find some, he’d just wait a little longer so more of his new children could join him.

Jack predicted bad things for the Kingdom.
With no visible financial security, a novice King, a population now totally distrustful and openly hostile towards Fairy folk. Anarchy wasn’t far away.
It all turned to hell when the Zombie egg army marched on the town.

To be continued.......In some form of printed version in the future Stay tuned.............

Edited by Cathie Tranent, art by Simon Sherry

Saturday, 4 August 2012

The Chronicles of Jack The Axe

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The Post Master's House


Jack’s suspicions wore founded when he arrived at the Post Master’s residence. The scene had changed little since the Post Master was there less than 48 hours earlier.
This included the note written in charcoal. On studying the scene Jack found small, very small pieces of egg shell, he made a mental note to check the door of the King’s chamber on his return. He had no doubt he would find more if looked hard enough.
Jack had an uneasy feeling about his snippets of information.
The egg was a problem. If he hadn’t seen it himself in the forest, he would never even consider it. The Market Controller was definitely dead, a market full of witness’ watching him smash into lots of small pieces testified to that. He must have be reanimated. A Zombie he thought they called it . Something Jack was aware of but thought was a ghost story mother’s scared their children with. Or did until all these goblins, gnomes and talking pigs and puppets showed up.
All these things didn’t add up.
What was the Post Master’s involvement?
Why did the King want him and who wrote the very un-Regal summons?
Zombies as far a legend goes, move very slowly and their brains function slower. The Egg in the forest could never get to the Kingdom that fast.
Plus if it did, it would be no contest for the King’s guard, why they could give the King’s troll a run for his money.
Then a terrible thought crossed Jack’s mind.
Jack rushed back to the Palace with his guard running confused behind him; Jack just burst out of the Post Master’s house in a sprint and didn’t stop till he found Charming
“Sire, do you know of the goose on the island?” he asked
Charming looked back at him blankly “I’m sorry?”
Jack was worried this might be the case.
“ O.K, where is the Financial Controller, even better yet, the Grand Vizier”
“Both were in the room with Father at the time of the incident” the new King said.
Jack grabbed the young regent with both hands on his shoulders. “Sire, when I come back we need to have some serious talks . OK?”
Charming nodded still confused to what Jack was talking about.
Jack fixed his axe onto his back quickly pointed to the biggest and meanest looking guards of high rank and ordered them to follow him.

Contract Matters


The Troll was tending his vegetables, slowly and steadily working himself into a fury,
The goats had not been delivered last night. This was a major breech of contract.
In contract was it not true; give them an inch they will take a mile.
Trolls, never ones to take disappointment well where even worse at accepting minor or safety clauses may have to played out in contracts.
The troll had already reread his contract twice and there was an allowance for late delivery under certain circumstances and a list was given under that clause that was acceptable to all parties. The first of these being the King’s death, the least being the boat was stolen. Still the Troll took it personally. Even though it was the first ever transgression in the history of the contract, the Troll felt slighted and intended on letting his grievances and displeasure known via the complaints clause that also existed in the contract.
While the Troll was thinking of reading the contract again he heard the familiar thump of wood hitting the jetty.
Are they going to get an earful. He fumed and moved to greet the King, something he rarely did.
You could imagine the Trolls surprise when he came face to face with the largest and angriest egg he had ever seen in his long life.

It took the Troll a split second to distinguish between a King proxy and an intruder.
Intruders don’t bring goats and the Troll attacked.
Breech of item one of the contract:
No one but the King or an authorized representative bearing goats may enter the island. All others will be assumed trespassers.

Trolls have an undeniable belief in their own abilities to beat or kill everything the fight against, this is probably their greatest failing and their greatest weakness.
The Troll move on Humpty was fast and furious but Humpty was faster and the Troll underestimating of the skinny arms sticking out the side of his domed body was also a mistake. Humpty surprised the Troll with the sheer strength he used to pick the Troll up and throw him into the river in one fluid movement.
Humpty then removed the Book from a pouch tied around his middle and began talking directly to it.

It’s over here down this path, yes , keep going The voice in Humpty’s head said now totally realizing that the Book had been his new friend from the beginning. It was now his master. A great master at that, who had told him the wonders of the world and had promised Humpty power greater than any King. All he had to do was follow.
Humpty’s belief in the Book was absolute and did its every bidding.
Ahh, there it….BEHIND YOU! The Book/voice in his head suddenly yelled.
The Troll burst through the shrubberies and with it’s powerful jaws and claws clasped on to Humpty’s lower body and leg.
Humpty threw the Book clear.
“AGGHHH, It hurts, it hurts” cried Humpty.
This had been Humpty’s real first challenge and he was unaware he could still feel pain like this.
You are stronger and you will beat him Said the Book, not as encouragement but as an order.
Humpty reached out took the Trolls torso in his hands and swung the lock jawed beast’s legs into his mouth where his powerful teeth chewed off the Troll’s legs below the knees.
The Troll let out a horrifying scream and Humpty used this opportunity to escape its jaws. Humpty collected the Book and continued to follow its directions.

To be continued.......

Edited by Cathie Tranent, art by Simon Sherry