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TESTT (Durham): April 12th

The New Adelphi (Hull): April 15th

Workshop Theatre (Leeds): April 17th

Hydra Bookshop (Bristol): April 18th

Derby Theatre: April 20th

Harrogate Theatre: April 24-25th

Ovalhouse (London): April 26-28th


London Book Launch at Ovalhouse, April 26th

York Book Launch at All Saints Church, April 29th

Small Fry DIY, Warrington, 2nd May

Spoken Weird, Halifax: 3rd May

Born Lippy, Newcastle 9th May

Shaken In Sheep Town, Skipton: 10th May

Find The Right Words, Leicester : 16th May

Queenie’s Coffee Nights, Huddersfield: 21st May

Gong Fu Poets, Coxhoe: 31st May

Verse Matters, Sheffield: 7th June

Slam Dunk, Hastings: 28th June

Word Club, Leeds: 29th June

Poetry Jam, Durham: 4th October

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

20.16 Blog #3: The Greatest Cartoon Ever

The Greatest Cartoon Ever

Hey.  Get ready to tear me apart.  Get ready to rip me limb-from-limb as I declare a statement that will shock the very foundations of the zeitgeist to it’s core.

Adventure Time is over-rated.

BOOM.  There.  Said.  *drops mic*

*Picks up mic again*

OK, so let me unpack that.  Adventure Time is brilliant.  It’s masterful and funny and full of fantastic characters and story and marvellous inventive.  But it’s everywhere.  It’s on t-shirts and hats and pencil cases and games and I really love it.  I haven’t seen every single episode (there’s a lot) but it’s not struck the chord with me that it has with so many other people, and many of my friends.  I don’t consider it the *fanfare* Greatest cartoon Ever.

So why is it that this cartoon has magically captured children and adults?  And why is it that so many of the queer community love it so much too?

Because to those fans, Adventure Time is the greatest cartoon ever.  Everyone has their favourite songs, poems, stories, films etc.  Adventure Time is dear to many people’s hearts.

Me and my housemate recently watched a few Count Duckulas, which are incredibly pun-heavy surreal nuggets of British eccentricity.  Much more nutty than Dangermouse, with some great set pieces that lead to a zaniness only 80s cartoons could provide.  The puns drove me quackers.

I’ve also been caning a lot inordinate amount of the Batman The Animated Podcast which is a gushing source of fan nostalgia waterfalling from my iPad.  Check it out, I never watched much Batman TAS cos it wasn’t on UK telly as much (Batman Of The Future was though, or Batman ‘Beyond’ to you ‘Americans’), but the Podcast is very funny, well-made and goes into great detail of the show, which I love, cos I love analysing and details (could ya guess?)

Retro cartoons are back, or at the least they have a marketability.  You can slap a 80s or 90s cartoon onto anything and it’ll sell.  But how much do people revisit these cartoons?

You know I love Pokémon.  But I don’t even think the Pokémon cartoon is the best thing in the world EVER.  It holds a heap of nostalgia for me, and I’d watch it gleefully, but that would be rooted in the memory how much it mattered when I was 11.

On the flip side, I devoured Gravity Falls.  Such a well-crafted collection of stories.  Twin peaks meets Hey Arnold.  Not only were the jokes spot-on, but the characters were 3-dimensional (which is ironic considering one was a nightmare 2-D space demon), including strong female characters, gay characters and quite possibly a Trans* character.  I couldn’t watch the finale for fear of it ending, like the apocalypse.  But end it did, and marvellous so.  With salty tears running down my cheeks, as Dipper and Mabel bid farewell to Gravity Falls, and part of their childhood, I too said goodbye to a cartoon which PROVES to me that cartoons are still high quality.

Well, actually, it doesn’t.  Because it’s all subjective.  Just as one person adores Adventure Time for its fresh take on the adventure genre, another person will argue “cartoons aren’t as good as they used to be” while rocking their He-Man t-shirt.

But compare this whole comparison with other genres.  We hold Citizen Kane up to be one of the greatest films of all time, just like we declare Shakespeare, Dickins and Tolstoy to be our greatest writers.  The greatest musicians include Bob Dylan, The Beatles and Presley.  I’m not saying I much rate these assumptions but that is the general structure of our western culture.

But no one really holds up a cartoon as the greatest ever.  Because kids don’t care about that.  They just love sitting after school and watching something silly, exciting and/or funny.  They’ll watch reruns, they’ll watch the latest show, as long as they enjoy it, they enjoy it.  If you enjoy something, you enjoy it.  I’ll analyse it for hours and hours and hours, but at the end of the day you love something because you love it, and the rest is silence.

Oh, and for the record the Greatest Cartoon Ever is Legends Of Treasure Island.  Without doubt.

Goodnight out there, whatever you are….

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