Wednesday, July 27, 2016

What Other Shows Were We Watching in 1993?

Saturday mornings weren't the only time to watch animation on the networks back in the early '90s.  Remember racing home from school to catch your favorite shows on weekday afternoons?  This Parent's Guide to Children's Entertainment Issue article lists some well-loved classics like "Batman the Animated Series", "Reading Rainbow", and even "Mystery Science Theater 3,000".  Honestly, there aren't too many duds in this list, just shows that I remember being very popular at the time that have since been forgotten.  Let's get that "Avonlea" nostalgia train rollin', girls!

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Art of the Day

5.31.16 - More Mermaids for MerMay!

The perils of posting art week-by-week is that art I made for MerMay and JuneFae is finally appearing here in the middle of... AngeLy?  Ah well.  That's a pretty rad cliff I painted, IMO.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

What Were we Watching on Saturday Mornings in 1993?

Saturday Morning Cartoons were still a thing back in 1993, which is worth noting in itself.  According to TV Guide's Summer 1993 Parent's Guide to Children's Entertainment Issue, the shows available ranged from tried and true classics (Looney Tunes compilations), updates of classics ("Tiny Tunes", of course, but also the... less fondly remembered "Tom and Jerry Kids"), attempts at recreating the success of the Ninja Turtles (the insane "C.O.W. Boys of Moo Mesa"; honestly, I'll never get used to minotaurs riding horses), and mostly forgotten oddities like the "Super Dave" cartoon.  And a cartoon with Scooby Doo in it because there has always been a cartoon with Scooby Doo in it.

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Draw of the Day

5.21.16 - "She ran callin' (or screaming?)..."

On an ill-advised nostalgia kick, I watched a few episodes of the all-but-forgotten 1986 Hanna-Barbera series "Wildfire" and it is... something else.  Starring magnificent monstrosities meant to be magical talking horses, droopy-winged fairies, Maleficent-with-the-copyright-cropped-off, and a really boring protagonist.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

What Were We Listening To and Playing in 1993?

TV Guide's Summer 1993 Parent's Guide to Children's Entertainment Issue had some... interesting recommendations as far as what kids would be jamming out to in the summer of 1993.  Speaking for myself, I'm pretty sure I was still wearing out "Rhythm Nation" and my New Kids on the Block tapes back then.  I didn't really start geeking out on music until a year or two later, then became disillusioned with current popular music shortly after graduating college.  That's when I really started liking the mentioned bands I grew up with like Van Halen and Duran Duran but they just weren't on my preteen girl radar back in '93 (even though this article is weirdly insistent that we dug those bands because they were cute, to which I can only say "Euw, they're so old!")  Of course now, I really want to track down that Coverdale/Page record.  I also wonder what happened to all these kid-led bands...

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You know what entertainment writers really had a hard time writing about back in the day was video games.  This article emphasizes the potential educational value of games, which is fine; parents really did need to be assured that this new media that they did not understand and that their children were obsessed with wouldn't rot their brains.  It also suggests that the big hit games of the summer would be "Bubsy" and "Mario Is Missing".  Um...

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Draw of the Day

5.24.16 - Little Miss Dinosaur

This was from the day we all learned about Tyco's short-lived (and I cannot for the life of me imagine why) Little Miss Dinosaur toys...

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Celebrity Parents! What Are They Concerned About? Are They Concerned Parents? Let's Find Out!

Moving along in TV Guide's Summer 1993 Parent's Guide to Children's Entertainment Issue, we've an article about the big stars (of 1993) talking about what their kids enjoy watching on television.  And it turns out celebrity parents are just like us!  They are concerned about what their children watch, flip out when their babies catch something inappropriate, and debate when to introduce their work to their kids.  And because it's 1993, they also have a hard time playing video games and will pitch a fit if they have to encounter "Barney and Friends" again.

(I'm not ashamed, I would watch Bart Simpson's version of "Dr. Quinn".)

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Draw of the Day

5.19.16 - Tenwrecked

This was from the day we all learned about Tenrecs on Twitter!  How is this even a real animal?  I'm very upset right now!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

And Now, Pop Culture in 1993!

I really have saved the best for last.

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Oh boy.  This cover is a good place to begin with this treasure trove, with a visibly uncomfortable Arnold Schwarzenegger hanging with some kids, and noted iconic characters of the early 90's like Barney, Wolverine, and -eh- Dennis the Menace?

That's the fun thing when reading these old preview-style magazines from a specific year.  There's a good chance they'll cover every bit of media with equal fervor, since they don't have the benefit of hindsight that we do and can only make educated guesses on what the big hits will be. Hence, "Dennis the Menace" getting a spot on the cover and Arnold rhapsodizing about his surefire hit "The Last Action Hero".  Oof.

First, here's what TV Guide considered the cream of the crop in kid's entertainment, circa 1993:

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Dispersed throughout the issue are interviews with children asking what they like as far as books, movies, etc. go.  Turns out Berenstain Bears are as timeless as the Beatles (but we knew that already).  "Saved by the Bell" was once a realistic, down to Earth show.  And I can all too easily imagine a Disney executive at the time losing it at this one article quoting a group of 8-year-olds complaining that their animated musicals were "ucky". Thanks, random kids and Disney exec.

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Draw of the Day!

4.27 - Sketchbook Page

Friday, June 17, 2016

Let's Read a Weird Preview of Barlowe's Expedition!

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Current Science was one of the many, many magazines passed out in classrooms during the 80's and 90's, most of which were spin-offs of Weekly Reader.  This one specialized in science (of course), but would occasionally give some attention to speculative fiction.  There were issues with reader-submitted science fiction stories and an issue (which I have lamentably lost) that previewed the book Jurassic Park.  And there's this preview of Wayne D. Barlowe's Expedition.

This is, in fact, how I learned about Barlowe as an artist and where it finally clicked that fantastic creatures in film, books, games, and so on had to have been designed by an artist - a creature designer if you will.  Sadly, in hindsight, the article itself isn't very good.  The illustrations are, of course, unbeatable, but I'm not keen on how the residents of Darwin 4 are presented as a puzzle to be solved.  I do like that prompt for fanart at the end though...

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Next week, I'm taking a mental health break and then...

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...we finally start in on this feast.


Draw of the Day!

Here's a Barlowey critter I drew a while ago.  I figure something has to be swimming in that river...

7.24.08 Wayne D. Barlowe Type Thing

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Let's Update Our Knowledge of Dinosaurs... in 1993!

Oh boy. This one is a doozie.

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June 11, 1993 was the premier date of the original "Jurassic Park" movie, which means that today is it's 23'rd birthday.  To celebrate, let's take a look back at this Time Magazine cover story meant to not only get us hyped for the movie, but also to bring people up to speed about dinosaurs.  It's all old news to us (woah, dude, birds are a kind of dinosaur?!?) but the illustrations are quite lovely.

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There's also a neat article about "Jurassic Park" where we're reminded that the special effects team was kind of terrified that their creatures wouldn't be convincing, that paleontologists were on the whole very enthusiastic about the film, and that poor Tianchisaurus (nee Jurassosaurus) might have the most ghastly species name of any animal, extinct or extant.

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Art of the Day!

Last month was Mer-May! Here's a cute Mer-Fay and her nymph buddy.

5.17 - "Watch What I Can Do!"