Published on April 15th, 2013 | by David Chandler7
Hindsight Mondays: Cartoons and Calm Before the E3 Storm
I haven’t had much time for video games this week. Why? Well I’m glad you asked. It’s because Netflix was hit with a metric buttload of Cartoon Network/Adult Swim shows. It’s certainly made my time writing and researching more bearable, but I haven’t been playing so much during the last seven days due to cartoons. Speaking of which, why the hell didn’t anyone tell me that Adventure Time is a brilliant piece of surrealist fantasy? It’s like Dalí met my childhood imagination and took mushrooms together.
Anyway, some news happened last week, but none of it was a real avalanche of gaming information. I find that we’re in the news doldrums that precede the E3 maelstrom–or pre-E3 maelstrom if last year is any indication of how the games will be leaked. Now some may say that I’m jumping the gun a bit by bringing up E3, that I’m suffering from a bit of premature anticipation (which affects one out of every ten gamers over the age of 17). But to those I say, “Eat me.” It’s almost May, and by the time May rolls around, it’ll be almost June. In the meantime, we deal with small bits of news until the storm clouds of E3 start to break. In the meantime, we should remain guarded against the numerous trailers that will soon grace our computer screens.
But enough about my apocalyptic visions of media saturation and god-awful floor shows. Let’s look to what happened this last week. Since I’ve been tuning into my toons (and I’m watching Batman Beyond right now), I figured I may as well offer recommendations from the pool of cartoons I’ve been watching recently based on which news bit interests you much. Shut up, I need a gimmick.
The first one is easy. If Fraser’s write-up about newly-announced, questionably-named Batman: Arkham Origins is your idea of great news, then you should clearly be watching Batman Beyond or Justice League. Both are great, but I really prefer Justice League. However, I would really recommend Batman: The Animated Series, arguably the best Warner Bros. cartoon to come out of the 90′s. There are few shows that will but you in the boots of the Caped Crusader. As a long-time Batman fan, I’ll be keeping a close eye on this new entry with cautious optimism.
This week has also seen some interesting news on the business side of things with EA’s “winning” the Worst Company in America award and the departure of Microsoft’s creative director Adam Orth after telling everyone in the twitterverse to “deal with it” when news leaked of a possible DRM feature for the new Xbox. For perspective, I think we should all watch The Boondocks, a show focused on brutally deconstructing societal bullshit regarding (cheifly) race, politics, and economics. In the words of show’s protagonist Huey Freeman, “Act like you got some goddamn sense, people!”
On the more personal side of game journalism, Darik shares his experience with bullying and how games helped him through it. As a companion cartoon, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends is a show about coping with the harder parts of growing up. It balances humor and heart quite well, and, like Darik’s article, reminds us what it’s like to look back on younger days with a bit of nostalgic honesty.
In other news, Andy reviews The Cave and Fraser explores a distant planet. As for me, I’ve been watching Adventure Time, a fitting animated counterpart to any adventurous type who likes wacky cave shenanigans and extraterrestrial feces (both of which, I’m fairly sure, show up in the TV show). If horror is more your game, Andy has some good news regarding Paranormal, one of those idie horror games that all the cool kids are playing, and its expansion, The Town. If it’s half as scary as Courage the Cowardly Dog, I may need to play it with the lights on.
Finally, we have news of a more violent nature as Camelot Unchained and Death Inc. mix equal parts death and destruction with impressive art styles. Naturally, I can’t help but see its proxy in Samurai Jack, a hyper-violent beautifully created show about killing robots by using a samurai sword in the most brutal way possible. I’m pretty excited about Death Inc. because, really, who hasn’t wanted to play with plagues?
Anyway, that’s some stuff that went down while I was in my underwear and eating breakfast cereal while pretending that every afternoon and evening was a Saturday morning. Cartoons can do that to you, but pretty soon, the exciting shadow of E3 news will break me out of my animation fascination–at least for a while. Until then, I’ll be fending off E3 leaks with pillow forts and Fruity Pebbles.