Today is a short post, because I spent all day yesterday putting together some new furniture (hence no post) and this morning, I have to get a craigslist ad out for the piece they replace. Seriously, if you live in Baltimore and want a TV entertainment centre, check out the ad and get in touch, mention this blog and get it for free!
Below, is something that caught my eye last week and this seems like as good a time as any to post it. The dense layers of artistic skills in Adventure Time continue to stun the mind of viewers and fans alike, and the title cards are no exception.
So much so, that Fred Seibert has put out a whole book on the art of the title card (from his own series’ of course) and brings to attention how they have been criminally overlooked by historians over the years. It is available on Amazon and there is a preview available on Fred’s blog.
It is therefore satisfying to see that the title card I am sharing today is also a Frederator production. It’s a mysterious piece and a bit of a play on the usual situation. Instead of Finn hiding in the background, it is Princess Bubblegum that is the one in the dark. There’s a great sense of foreboding about the whole thing, and one can’t help but wonder what terrors await Finn and Jake when they take up the scissors for the job at hand.
The episode premieres, uh, tonight (January 10th), at sometime in the evening on Cartoon Network. Check it out and report back please, I still have to re-arrange all the furniture I messed up yesterday!
The show has proven to be immensely popular and successful. For starters, just look at the viewing figures, every single demographic is up for the Cartoon Network. Of course, they were so low to begin with, there wasn’t many other ways it could go, but that is not the point. The point is that Adventure Time is proof that content is king when it comes to consumers.
How do we know that these aren’t just random pieces of fan-art? Take a look at some of the album covers fans recreated using characters from the show. Some are absolutely fantastic and are a sign of true dedication from fans.
Which leads us to this coming Monday, when season two will premiere. Why it is happening so soon I don’t know (heck, if Eric doesn’t know, there’s no way I can either). I doubt it is a case of striking while the iron is hot. Adventure Time seems to be holding up quite well in re-runs. I’d say the reason is that with the recent premiere of J. G. Quintel’sRegular Show, the network simply wants to keep the momentum up.
Nonetheless, I think we can safely look forward to even more wacky adventures with Finn and Jake. 🙂
By now you should be familiar with Adventure Time, heck, I’ve mentioned it more than a few times here and even write a post about it. If you don’t know what Adventure Time is (and what rock were you living under by the way), it’s the brainchild of Pendelton Ward that was in limbo, well, YouTube actually, for a couple of years after appearing on Random! Cartoons on Nickelodeon before getting picked up by the Cartoon Network.
The show already has an extremely devoted fanbase which was in place even before the show premiered. Was this an accident? Absolutely not! Despite the fact the the original pilot ran up views on YouTube well into the millions, the show itself is a masterpiece onto itself. Pen’s whimsical designs, very strong characters (yeah, I like Princess Bubblegum, so what?) and absurd plots are quite unique among TV shows today, even cartoons!
The shows creators have excelled in a few areas that I would not consider traditional marketing techniques, indeed, they have managed to create a dedicated community around the show, starting with ye olde blog. The good folks over at Frederator have been running their blogs for what seems like forever and have built up a solid reputation for being some of the best in the animation business when it comes to blogging. The show has a dedicated blog that during the production process featured countless backgrounds, character models, colour models, storyboards, scripts, animatics, you name it! This was (and still is) a fantastic insight into the production of an animated show that has been unmatched by any other, save for Fanboy & ChumChum (another Frederator production, naturally). The blog has been a tremendous source for info on the show and has been the source of many answers to questions that fans have had. It is a fantastic interactive portal between the studio and its customers.
On a related note to the blog has been the Tumblelog, hosted on Tumblr (where I also have a tumblelog). In the beginning it was merely a repository for the artwork posted on the main blog, but since the shows debut, it has become a steady (and prolific) stream of fanart. The quality does vary quite a bit, but that is unimportant. What is important is that the number of fans who’ve made artwork is phenomenal. In fact, even the fanart has taken on a lofe of its own. The latest craze is to take album covers and remodel them using Adventure Time characters. So far I’ve got a great kick out of seeing some fantastic takes on both great albums and the shows characters.
Perhaps the most striking development of the shows popularity has been the Finn Hats. These are indeed the hat worn by Finn the Human in the show. Things kicked off when a few promotional hats were made by Cartoon Network. Not long after, instructions were posted on how to make your own Finn hat. Since then the internet has exploded with self-portraits of fans in their very own hats. A few have even gone the whole hog and dressed up for the conventions.
Last but not least has been the usual social networking stalwarts such as facebook and twitter. Pen has his own twitter feed where he tweets just about everything, from late nights in the studio to how things are going at Comic-Con. He gives fans a direct link to the creator of their favourite show and has wll over 4,000 followers at present.
Of course, all of this may not have come to pass if the original post hadn’t appeared on YouTube, where it went viral in the first place and racked up so many views.
Adventure Time could have stood on its merits as a cartoon even without all the above effort, but with all the above effort, the show is even more popular than it could have been. The important thing to note is that the efforts were mostly by the fans, with a little help from the production team. There is nothing I hate more than some marketing department trying to hype up a show by creating an artificial “community” that is so sterile it almost turns me off the show in question. With Adventure Time, it was a case of planting the seeds and watching the community grow naturally as word of mouth and anticipation took hold.
Any show should be similar, after all, it is the fans that support it and make it a worthwhile endevour for the studio and network. At the same time, if all shows were as good as Adventure Time, this wouldn’t require too much effort. Here’s to a bright future in the land of Oooo. 🙂
First things first: an apology. Saying I was going to begin blogging daily should clearly not have been said they day before I was going to leave for a weekation (weekend vacation), but we all live and learn so I don’t plan on doing the same thing again.
Anyway, onto today’s post. I happen to love animation so it is no surprise that I am verrrry excited to see that Adventure Time will be premièring on Cartoon Network tonight at 8pm EST (?).
This is a rare event, seeing as Cartoon Network has decided to shift their market focus to live-action in a vain attempt to “compete” with Nickelodeon and Disney. Pen Ward deserves a heck of a lot of credit for his very unique concept of a show and judging by the artwork that’s been filtering out of the studio over the last year or so, this should be a fantastic show with some truly great stories.
If anything it is vindication that the Oh Yeah! and Random! Cartoons shorts programmes are hit-producers. It is regrettable that Cartoon Network had to go to a competitor’s product to try and find a hit show, but we should be thankful that they even did so at all.
Some have said it is a show of Spongebob proportions, but history has told us that Cartoon Network is atrocious when it comes to marketing their shows, so I don’t expect anything to change.
All I can hope for is that it gets a longer run than the last show that showed as much promise: Chowder.