“Shrek 2” – Review

I didn’t like Shrek. There. I said it and I’m glad.

I thought the story was so-so, Eddie Murphy grated on me after about five minutes, and if I want that much bathroom humor I’ll draw cartoons on the john.

That said, oddly enough, I really liked Shrek 2!

The story seemed to me to be more complete and fuller somehow. I know we didn’t have to worry about exposition and all that, but that doesn’t fully account for it.

It really felt like the Shrek crew rolled up their sleeves after the wild success of the first one and set about topping themselves and creating something not only popular, but clever too.

John Cleese and Julie Andrews were about as perfect a casting job as you can imagine for Fiona’s parents. And Antonio Banderas as the vicous/disarmingly adorable Puss in Boots had me in stitches. (The hairball coughing and licking scenes in particular had me howling.)

The animation and direction is wonderful, the music is a ton of fun (“Funkytown” for entering Far Far Away was inspired), and even the slew of pop culture references seems more ably placed than the original.

So, yeah, I really liked Shrek 2! (Maybe I need to go back and give Shrek another looksie?)

Jen Sorensen – Inside the Cartoonist’s Studio

Fresh off our humble little cartoon blog’s mention in Editor & Publisher, this week we welcome Slowpoke‘s Jen Sorensen to Inside the Cartoonist’s Studio!

This blog will self-destruct in five seconds…

1) If you were to cast a movie entirely with cartoon characters, what movie would it be and who would star in it?

How about a remake of “Last Tango in Paris” starring Matt Groening’s Binky (from “Life in Hell”) as Marlon Brando, and Basil Wolverton’s Lena the Hyena as Maria Schneider?

2) You’re a syndicate editor launching a new comic strip. What’s the worst possible title you can think of?

One Big Happy Pickle

3) A light bulb over a cartoon’s head signifies an idea, while a string of random characters denotes swearing. Invent a new cartooning icon and what it means.

A bran muffin appearing over a character’s head indicates that the character is in need of dietary fiber.

What’s this bran muffin doin above my head?!

Anyway, thanks Jen for playing along! And please check out Slowpoke online and in papers near you, and be sure to pick up one, if not all, of her books!

Andertoons Blog Featured in Editor & Publisher!

Our humble little cartoon blog was recently featured by Editor and Publisher!

You’ll need a subscription to read the article, but check under Syndicates for November 24, 2004 and you’ll see it listed as “Cartoon Blog Asks Funny Questions”.

Dave Astor was kind enough to pen a lovely mention of the Andertoons Blog and its recurring feature, Inside the Cartoonist’s Studio.

Check it out if you get a second!

“Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” – Review

I’ve never been a huge Batman fan (I’m more of a Spiderman guy), but on the recommendation of another blogger (bloggist? Anyone know the correct term here?) I gave Batman: The Dark Knight Returns a read during my continuing “Let’s Give Graphic Novels a Chance” read-a-thon, and here’s what I’ve come up with.


It’s not bad, but it’s not great either.

While I loved Miller’s art (honestly, it’s just breathtaking), sometimes the story sorta crapped out one me. I very much enjoyed the notion of an older Batman with aches and pains, but Robin the girl wonder grated on me pretty quickly. I liked the more complex story and plot, but got really tired of the Reagan stuff. The graphic realism and grittiness was a lot of fun and a welcome change, but then the banter of the Mutants and the Sons of Batman bored me.

And pretty much that’s how the book went for me. Every time I found something I really liked, I found something soon after that balanced the equation again.

I know most of your comic book, I’m sorry, graphic novel aficionados see this volume as one of the best examples of the genre, but to me, Mr. Casual Reader, it’s a mixed bag.

I wanted to really love this, but if I’m to be completely honest with myself, it’s not something I’d pick up again. And yet I’m not giving up on the genre. I got a pile of stuff from the library this morning and I’m looking forward to digging in.

And I guess, in that way, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns was a success.