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November 21, 2003

"Family Guy" Returns to TV?

This Comics and Cartoons article was posted by Keith at 9:42 PM

I mentioned in a previous post that Seth McFarlane has been discussing a possible straight-to-DVD movie of the Family Guy. Apparantly, the renewed interest in this cartoon has inspired more than just the one-time reprise.

USA Today reports that Family Guy may actually return for a new season in January 2005.

Here's the whole article:

'Family Guy' may return
By Gary Levin, USA TODAY
Posted 11/18/2003 8:30 PM, Updated 11/18/2003 8:30 PM
In a sign of the growing importance of DVD sales to Hollywood, 20th Century Fox is considering a plan to resume production of Family Guy, a sometimes crude animated comedy that the Fox network took off the air more than 18 months ago.
As many as 35 new episodes could return in January 2005, marking the first time that a canceled series has been revived based on strong DVD demand and ratings in syndication.
Fox Television Entertainment Group chairman Sandy Grushow said a decision is expected soon and called the series a late-blooming phenomenon that may have aired before its time.
A DVD set of the show's first 28 episodes released in April has sold nearly 1 million copies, making it this year's top-selling TV show and the No. 4 television title ever, according to Video Store magazine. A second collection, of 22 episodes, has sold 520,000 copies. And the series is Cartoon Network's most popular among adults.
Family Guy premiered with a big audience -- 22 million viewers -- and some controversy after Fox's 1999 Super Bowl telecast. In the pilot episode, Stewie, a talking toddler with a clipped British accent, was openly contemptuous of his loutish dad and bent on killing his sweet-natured mother in a quest for world domination.
Creator Seth MacFarlane, then 24, wrote scripts, drew characters, provided voices and infused the show with rapid-fire sight gags, a nod to The Simpsons. But ratings faded, and the show ended with a whimper early last year.
The relatively short network run may have helped DVD sales, Video Store's Judith McCourt says. "It really speaks to something that had a following, was cut off network TV, and people said, 'What did I miss?'"
DVD and cable viewers have "created kind of a groundswell that could lead to better ratings" on Fox, Grushow says, although new episodes could end up going directly to Cartoon Network.
A decision to restart the show suggests a reversal from the old TV business model, in which a network hit predicts a profit windfall in syndication. This time, the promise of DVD and syndication gold could justify a show's return even if low network ratings didn't.
But canceled favorites aren't likely to rise from the grave en masse. Family Guy has one major advantage: With no actors and no sets, it can simply be drawn back into existence.
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October 3, 2003

Comic Book hits #20 on NY Times Best Seller List

This Comics and Cartoons article was posted by Keith at 1:40 PM

Susan pointed out a Digital Webbing article that introduced a DC Comics press release.

Here's the rest of the article/press release:

(October 1, 2003 - Burbank, CA) - DC Comics ' Vertigo graphic novel "The Sandman: Endless Nights" by Neil Gaiman has debuted at number 20 for hardcover fiction on the New York Times Best Sellers List, marking the first time ever an American comic book publisher has earned a spot on the prestigious list.
The fast-selling original graphic novel, which was released on September 17, is a collection of seven dark and beautiful short stories - one each for the Endless siblings: Death, Desire, Despair, Delirium, Destruction, Destiny and Dream. Seven of the world's top artists have illustrated these stories of literature's most dysfunctional family, showcasing not only the amazingly diverse and individual style of each artist, but also Gaiman's magnificent story telling.
"We are extremely proud to have this extraordinary graphic novel mark the growing importance of the category to book buyers across the country and congratulate Neil and join him in thanking his readers," said Paul Levitz, President & Publisher, DC Comics.
Graphic novels are a growing category in bookstores and comic shops. In the English-speaking world, "The Sandman: Endless Nights" has been recognized as a turning point for the genre by sources from The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly to USA Today and Publishers Weekly.
"What Gaiman has created for DC is a comics masterpiece ..." - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
DC Comics is the leading publisher of original graphic novels and is committed to a strong slate of upcoming titles, including Brian Azzarello and Joe Kubert's "Sgt. Rock: Between Hell and a Hard Place" from Vertigo scheduled for release on November 5.
DC Comics, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, is the largest English-language publisher of comics in the world and home to such iconic characters as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the Sandman. These DC super heroes and others have starred in comic books, movies, television series (both animated and live-action) and cyberspace, thrilling audiences of all ages for generations. DC Comics' Web site is located at www.dccomics.com.
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September 16, 2003

Family Guy Movie

This Comics and Cartoons article was posted by Keith at 9:48 AM

Family Guy is one hi-lar-i-ous show. It was originally created for and shown on FOX, but it didn't do so well. Recently, Cartoon Network picked it up for reruns, and it's been doing great. The problem for us fans is that only three seasons were made.

Then today Susan sends me a link to a Cinescape article about a new Family Guy movie!

Here's the whole Cinescape article:

EXCLUSIVE: FAMILY GUY - The Movie!
Creator Seth McFarlane has good news for his fans!
Dateline: Friday, September 5, 2003
By: PATRICK SAURIOL
By: News Editor
Source: Seth McFarlane
In an exclusive interview with Coming Attractions at Cinescape, FAMILY GUY creator Seth McFarlane told us that the rumor about the possible return of his TV show is about to become a reality. A deal is imminent for McFarlane to continue creating new animated adventures of Quahog's nuttiest, funniest dysfunctional family, the Griffins.
"It's all come down to the budget right now. We're hashing it out," McFarlane tells CA. "It would be a direct-to-DVD project."
While the feature length FAMILY GUY will be developed at Fox, it will be at a different division and not through the company's television arm. And as for when we might be able to see new FAMILY GUY goodness:
"Timeframe, you're probably looking at a year, a year-and-a-half down the line. It will take a while to make. If we could do it within a year it would be very exciting."
With tremendous sales of the first DVD volume of FAMILY GUY (the second set goes on sale starting next week) and ratings on Cartoon Network climbing high, McFarlane's now-cancelled series is proving to be more popular in its afterlife than it was when it was in active production on Fox. Expect all the TV series cast members to reprise their roles for the movie.
Look for my exclusive 10 questions interview with Seth McFarlane next week here on Cinescape. Find out more about the origins of the show, the developing FAMILY GUY movie and what storyline McFarlane has got in mind for it!
Related link »

September 14, 2003

RIP Harry "Captain Murphy" Goz

This Comics and Cartoons article was posted by Keith at 11:46 PM

Harry Goz was a voice actor on one of my favorite cartoons, Sealab 2021. Sealab is part of the Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim" lineup. Goz played the voice of Sealab's "Captain Murphy," one of my favorite characters. Apparently he passed away on September 5th.

TiVo records every episode of Sealab 2021 for me. I flipped it on tonight to watch the most recent episode, and saw the following note beforehand:

Harry Goz, the voice of Captain Murphy, passed away on September 5, 2003.
In a career spanning five decades,
Harry starred on Broadway, in movies, and on television.
Everything from "Kojak" to "Fiddler on the Roof."
To us, he was a show-business legend.
And a good friend.
We miss him dearly.
Thank you, Harry.

Saddened, I went looking for some more information on the Web, and found this article by Digitial Archive Project:

RIP Harry "Captain Murphy" Goz Posted by: Arben on Sep 12, 2003 - 09:26 AM
From the Adult Swim News message board:
"Harry Goz, the voice of Captain Murphy, passed away this week. A message from Adam Reed and Matt Thompson, co-creators of "Sealab 2021," follows:
"We are devastated by the loss of our good friend, Harry Goz. Working with him was always sheer joy, and his talent was beyond compare. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, and we shall all miss him dearly." "
Another post by an editor of the show mentions that he succumbed to cancer.
No word just yet on how/if Sealab continues, but a replacement actor would not likely be well-received by the show's fans.
This is this actual announcement, free registration required.

I don't really know Harry outside of his work on Sealab -- or, at least, I don't think I did. It's hard to connect the voice with any other roles I may have seen him in. Anyway, I like what he did with Sealab 2021 a lot, and a big part of why it's currently my favorite show is because of him.

In tribute to Harry Goz's work on Sealab 2021, I'm going to ask everyone to take this quiz I found: "Which Sealab 2021 character are you?" My quiz result? Here it is:

Murph
You are Captain Murphy.
You've lost your mind,
but you have more fun without it.

Which Sealab 2021 character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

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May 5, 2003

National Cartoonists Day

This Comics and Cartoons article was posted by Keith at 9:31 AM

Today is apparently National Cartoonists Day, according to a press release from the National Cartoonists Society. The NCS says today coincides with the 50th anniversary of the group. I think we're all supposed to go out and hug a cartoonist. :]

The NCS was established in 1946 with a small group of cartonists, and nowadays their membership is over 600.

This year they will present the Reuben Awards (named after Rube Goldberg, their first president) at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City on Saturday, May 18th.

Read more about the National Cartoonists Society on the web page at www.reuben.org/.

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May 3, 2003

Today is Free Comic Book Day!

This Comics and Cartoons article was posted by Keith at 12:28 PM

That's right, today is Free Comic Book Day! And I bet you didn't even know such a thing existed.

Free Comic Book Day, held for the first time last year, is a short & simple plan to help do a small bit to revitalize the comic book industry. Its intent is to introduce new friends, or reintroduce old ones, to all the wonder and entertainment inherent in the art & literature that is the comic book industry.

Not every comic retailer will participate, but many direct sales comic book shops jumped in last year, and most of them and more will probably do so this year. And not every comic is free, but don't think that the free ones are the junk ones that the shops can't seem to sell. They're current books, or semi-popular recent ones, that have been set aside for today's event.

In some comic shops, comic book creators will make special appearances. The Free Comic Book Day site has a listing of some here, but since I'm from New York and living in Texas, I'll recreate those two listings right here:

  • New York appearances
    • New York: Dan Slott, Myatt Murphy, Scott Dalrymple, Stuart Moore, Dean Haspiel, Josh Neufeld, Nick Bertozzi, Matt Madden, Leela Corman, & Paul Sizer @ Jim Hanley's Universe
    • New York: Ken Knudtsen @ Forbidden Planet
    • Cortland: Chris Yambar @ Cortland Comic Fair
    • North Syracuse: Tom Peyer @ The Comix Zone from 11:00am - 3:00pm
  • Texas appearances
    • Dallas: Scott Kurtz, Jaime Mendoza, J.E. Smith, Nick Derrington, Cal Slayton, & Michael Lark @ Titan Comics from 2:00pm - 5:00pm
    • Austin: Bill Williams @ First Federal Comics

Read more about Free Comic Book Day at the official site: www.freecomicbookday.com

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