Pepper Ann Visits a Comic Book Shop

The comic book page below is one that I stumbled across on Tumblr (now brought to you by Yahoo!). Pepper Ann is sadly a bit of a forgotten TV show. Not because it was terrible, or the animation wasn’t up to scratch, but mostly because it’s been somewhat erased from any TV schedule and has never had a home media release.

The show was often not afraid to undertake social or personal themes and in that regard it remains a bit of a trailblazer. It also had a very unique lead protagonist (being not only female, but also an almost- teenager replete with all the usual almost-teenage problems). Although I’m not as familiar with the comic as with the show, the page below highlights not only some of the scenarios that Pepper Ann faced, but also how the show decided to tackle many serious social issues. In this instance, the relative insularity of a comic book shop.

pepper ann_comic book shop

The Wonderful Mr. Warburton

Since I’m on my honeymoon this week, enjoy some of the finer stuff I’ve collected on my tumblelog over the last 4 years or so.

As a member of ASIFA-East, I met the fantastically charming Mr. Warburton, which was a thrill in and of itself seeing as he is the genius behind Codename: Kids Next Door. However after following his blog, a few posts appeared that gave a bit more backstory to him that meant I was actually far more familiar with his work than I thought I was.

Readers of a certain age will instantly recognise the character below. Irish readers of a certain age will also associate him with the old 2FM ‘Beat on the Street’ concerts that never once came to a town close to me.

Yes, it is Fido Dido, the iconic mascot for 7Up for years. Now while Tom didn’t create him, he did draw him for a time.

That’s not all though, he also worked on this character:

Yup, I remember watching that show when I was young too.

So there you go. All those years growing up in the remote north-west of Ireland, I never, ever thought I would meet the people behind such characters. However opportunities arise, and I’m pleased to say that’s put me in a position to meet such wonderful people.

Character Sundays: Pepper Ann

Via: Brad Goodchild’s Postfolio Site

Today’s character is Pepper Ann, star of her eponymous TV show that aired on Disney/ABC from 1997 to 2001.

Pepper Ann is a 12 year-old who has a bit of a runaway imagination. Akin to a bit of a dreamer, she imagines scenarios developing in seemingly bizarre and fantastical ways. Despite this, the series is very much grounded in reality, with Pepper’s friends Milo and Nicky acting as her rock throughout the series.

Strong characters were the hallmark of a series that was the first to bring in some of the more complex aspects of life into Disney entertainment. Case in point is Pepper’s absent father, whom she hopes will someday come home, but with the realities of divorce, that is unlikely to happen. This article from the New York Times in 1997 provides a good overview of the series.

Such an unfortunate situation could have easily been pawned off by the creators but instead it is made a main tenant of the show and gives kids watching a sense that characters can also have complex lives.

Pepper Ann is generally very easy going, but displays a steely determination to solve problems and dilemmas. In that regard she consults her conscience, who often appears out of nowhere and whose advice is mostly (?) correct.

As a show, Pepper Ann remains somewhat unique in the realm of animated TV. The show features a lead female protagonist but at the same time is surprisingly gender-neutral. Even though Pepper Ann is a girl, we rarely see her engage in all the stereotypes of one, or act as a tween for that matter. While this is certainly welcome, it is also unfortunately surprising, especially in this day and age, when 12 year olds are practically treated as adults.

Although a bit dated by the use of late-90s slang, and most definitely an American show from that period, Pepper Ann remains a great show with a fantastic lead.

Fun fact: A certain Mr. Warburton worked on the show, and random stuff has been known to pop up over on his blog.