Greg and Myles McLeod must be two very happy animators
They currently have two Children's BAFTA nominations
this year's shortlists (see previous
post). But on top of that, they've
just won an animation competition run by the NHS...
Choices/Creative Review Health Animation Compeition had
a mealy-mouthed title for what was actually an
brief. The idea was to design a cartoon character,
to help convey health information on YouTube and
the NHS Choices
web site. The McLeods came up with The Tokkels,
and their film
was one of six shortlisted creations. Here are
those Tokkels in action:
Good stuff, eh?
Greg and Myles have now been awarded a six-month
contract to develop
the concept and their first animations will appear
within a few months.
By which time, they might just be a pair of BAFTA-winning
The clocks have gone back, the nights have drawn
in, and the trees are
shaking off their foliage for another year...
Which means just one thing...
Awards Season is here!
Yes, t'is the season once more. And as usual,
BAFTa are first out of the
gate with the announcement of their Children's
award shortlists. So
without further ado, here are this year's nominees
of note to Toonhound:
The Production Team
(The Brothers McLeod / Tate)
CHOP SOCKY CHOOKS
Lock, Christine Ponzevera, Sergio Delfino
(Aardman Animations / Cartoon Network)
HORRID HENRY Lucinda Whiteley,
(Novel Entertainment Ltd / CiTV)
LOST AND FOUND
Sue Goffe, Philip Hunt
(Studio AKA/Contender Entertainment/E1
Entertainment Group/Channel 4)
BEN AND HOLLY'S LITTLE KINGDOM
Phil Davies, Neville Astley, Mark
(Astley Baker Davies/Rubber
Duck Entertainmen/E1 Kids/ Nick Jr)
Wheeler, Neil Fitzgibbon
(King Rollo/Rubber Duck Entertainment/Nick
LITTLE PRINCESS: A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS
Iain Harvey, Edward Foster
(The Illuminated Film Company/Channel
Phil Davies, Neville Astley,
(Astley Baker Davies/E1 Kids
Production/Channel Five/Nick Jr)
ASTLEY BAKER DAVIES are nominated in the
And PHIL HALL, NEVILLE ASTLEY and MARK BAKER
are also given a
nod in the "Writing" category,
for their work on PEPPA PIG...
TATE KIDS from The Development Team (Tate/GRDD/The
is nominated in the "Learning Primary"
And that viral phenomenom LOG JAM from Peter
Cleland, Alexei Alexeev (Studio Baestarts/Nickelodeon
UK) is included
in the "Short Form" shortlist...
So there you have it. There's a whole lot
of love for Astley
this year. They've got four nominations.
And The Brothers
two. As for guessing the winners, well,
The Hound has come unstuck far
too many times to go speculating again!
You'll find the full list of nominations
And stay tooned for
Awards Night on Sunday 29 November...
Wow. Britain's favourite top-shelf toon title
Viz is now thirty years
Who would have thunk it?
Viz #190 - the celebratory birthday issue - is
in stores now, and Lew
Stringer gives us a fine guide to it and his contribution
(Pathetic Sharks - Yay!) on his fab and informative
But hold your sharks, there's more. You see, there's
a rather spiffy Viz
exhibition coming to London's Cartoon
Museum in Little Russell Street, WC1. 30 Years of Viz - an exhibition of original artwork
will be open for your
viewing pleasure from 4th November 2009 to 24th
January 2010. And it
does exactly what it says, in that it presents
us with more than eighty
pieces of original artwork from the cock-eyed
filthy-fun-phenomenon that Chris and Simon
Donald first concocted in
their Newcastle bedroom, way back in November
Meanwhile, this year's Viz annual The
(both by Dennis Publishing) are in stores now,
and there are Viz folks
a-plenty currently on a jolly signing tour around the
UK (dates are here)
Yes, it has an American director. Yes, it has
And, yes, it's identified as an American production
on the IMDB.
But Wes Anderson's film of "Fantastic Mr
Fox" has The Hound asking,
just how "british" does a film have
to be before we can finally pin a
Union Jack to its flanks and add its credits and
There's Roald Dahl, of course, and he and his
estate are all-pervading.
There's also a bunch of Brits supplying the
human voices (Michael
Gambon, Brian Cox, Helen McCrory, etc). More importantly,
whole darned movie was filmed in the UK, with a large
Brits putting it all together.
So does it qualify? I don't really know. It's
another of those production
conundrums to ponder. Many of the folks on this
film also put together
"The Corpse Bride" which was filmed
at the same UK studio, yet, that
one somehow feels less British in nature...
It's an ongoing problem, of course. You
can go on back to those
Amblimation movies of the 90's, where many
Brits cut their cartoon
teeth. Before that, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit"
had most of its
live-action scenes shot at Elstree Studios,
and the majority of its
animated scenes brought to life in Camden Town,
NW1. Oh, and
let's not forget all those Euro-pudding tv
series of recent years,
with mini teams from a variety of countries contributing
And thinking back further, we had a whole bunch
of work for US
and Euro-toon films and series farmed out
to Halas & Batchelor
and its ilk.
So where should the line be drawn, exactly?
- The Hound honestly
just doesn't know. By and large, this site
has stuck to series and
films produced here and identified as UK
toons by that old Internet
Movie Database, but the line is shifting all
the time, and ju-u-u-st
maybe Mr Fox has stolen into the woods with
a red, white and
blue flag wrapped around his haul....
The Frankfurt Book Fair is currently in full swing,
and there are press
releases a-plenty winging their way around the
web, as deals are struck
and big books are announced from the various publishers
But in the midst of the hullaballo is some fab
news for fans of David Fickling's
far-too-short-lived weekly comic The
DFC. Now the thing is, it was always
mooted that a number of the strips featured in
those weekly editions were
going to eventually be pulled into standalone graphic
novels. But everything
went rather quiet when the comic closed
down. So it's great to see that,
lo and behold, there in the midst of the various
Frrankfurt news splashes,
is an announcement that the first three volumes
in The DFC Library are
officially on the cards, and going down splendidly
well with the folks
at the festival, it seems.
The first three DFC Library editions are going
These standalone works will compile all the weekly
strips, in colour,
and they are going to be published by David Fickling
Books in March,
April and May 2010. Which is bloomin' good news, because
- well - it's
so exciting to see such a highflying and respected
UK publisher going
out on a limb like this again. We've got oodles of
terrific comic strip
talent out there, creating tirelessly, but with very
few outlets for their brilliant
endeavours. Occassionally, one or two might break the
Small Press ranks
and forge their own book deal, as has been the case
acquisition of Garen Ewing's utterly brilliant Rainbow
Orchid. But that's a rare
flower indeed. You can't help but let your imagination
run riot... To think
there might now be a regular mainstream showcase
for these top talents...
oh!... let's hope that it's a resounding success
for all involved!
And don't forget, you can keep up to date with
most of the artists and
writers who contributed to The DFC on their all-singing
Super Comics Adventure Squad!
of a birthday (11.10.09)
Lots of folks have been in touch over the weekend
to remind us all that
this week marks what would have been the 40th
birthday for that most
famous of Fleetway fun comics, Whizzer
Lew Stringer takes us through an excellent first-issue
guide on his
essential blog, whilst over on Fleetway St, Yours Truly presents his own li'l guide
to some of the best strips of those Fleetway fun days.
I reckon it's time I added a few more to the index,
Remember those animated 2000ad strips which were
announced last Spring? Well,
the first of them now has a Vimeo
preview for us
to drool over. It's
a teaser for the ABC Warriors - and by "teaser",
we really do mean just a smidgeon of a snippet
of action - but it looks
completely fab. Why, those atomic, bacterial and
look like they've just stepped right out of the comic:
The toons are being produced for Rebellion via
and by the
look of things, they're going to be completely
brilliant. Let's hope there's
more to see soon!...
Now here's one for your next Pub Quiz. Apparently,
there was a real-life
inspiration for that most famous of stripe-topped menaces,
Dennis the Menace.
Step forward Robert Fair, a 62 year old chap currently
New Zealand. According to the
BBC, his family used to lived in Dundee,
when he was a lad, and they were friends with
Beano artist Davey Law.
And it seems Law based his Dennis design upon young
he never told him. Mr Fair admits that he could be
a bit of a rascal, at times,
back in his youth, though he never sported spikey
or a striped sweater.
The connection was recently revealed by Davey
Rosemary Moffat, who has her own claim to
DC Thomson fame to
celebrate too, because she was the inspiration for
Topper comic star,
Beryl the Peril!
Methinks those DC Thomson artists had a habit
of basing folks on
real-life counterparts. If you recall, Oor Wullie's
PC Murdoch was also exposed a wee while
If you're a regular visitor here (and I think
there might still be at least one),
you'll probably have noticed a slowing down of additions
and updates on
the site, over the Summer and into Autumn, for
which I must apologise.
But you see, I've been indulging in a little "me"
time of late, and it's
distracted me somewhat from the day-to-day business
So what have I been up to? Well, it's my very
own, very small, comic project.
Smaller than Small Press, I'd say. If you've found
me on Facebook, or
stopped by my
blog, you'll have already caught up with its development.
It's called BLIP, and I've set myself a
goal of getting the first 48-page tale
drawn, inked, and coloured, ready for self-publication
by the end of the year.
I'm using it to scratch an ever-growing itch to
be creative, and to prove to
myself that I have the ability to see a comic project
through to completion.
You see, I've been far too distracted in the past,
and there are umpteen
half-finished endeavours scattered around my old
attic. There's also been
the little matter of Toonhound and its neverending
need to be fed new toons
and news. This place has been online ten whole
years now. That's a long
time, in web terms, and it feels a whole lot longer
to me. I seem to have
been chained to my PC for an eternity, and whilst
I've been tapping away
on my keyboard, my old drawing pad has been left
to gather dust.
Oh, but look, there's no need to panic. You might
think I'm about to abandon
Toonhound to the four winds. No, no, no. And once
more, no. I've no such
intentions. I'm just saying that I am a tad distracted
right now and there may
be a period between here and the end of the year
in which the updates and
the news stories don't get online quite as quickly,
or with quite as much
regularity. But these are "mights" and
nothing more. I've broken the back
of my comic tale as you read this, so I should
be able to divide my time
a bit more evenly between pad and keyboard.
Which all means that,
with luck, you won't even see the join and this editorial
I've keeping a running commentary on my progress
with BLIP, over on my
blog, if anyone's interested. And if you're not, well, yah-boo to
'cos I'm continuing with it regardless!