Clarence is one of my favorite shows on TV. That’s favorite shows, not just cartoons. I’ve been anticipating a skateboarding episode since the show premiered. In the second season it’s finally happened with episode 9 titled “Skater Sumo.” Ryan “Sumo” Sumozski is Clarence’s friend, not a Japanese wrestler. When some girls from school show up with new skateboards he flips out with envy. Sumo’s large family is cash strapped, so he has to make his own. Clarence has his own issues, and sticks to rollerblading. Will Sumo leave his best friend behind? This is the best portrayal of skateboarding in a cartoon that I’ve ever seen. It captures the pure joy of being young on a skateboard for the first time, and at the same time it’s aware of skateboarding culture in today’s world. You can catch a couple previews over at Cartoon Network. If you don’t get Cartoon Network you should resist to the urge to watch the bootleg clips on Youtube because none of them are complete and they will ruin the experience of watching the entire episode unfold organically. Try to find a way to watch this intact if you can. There’s bunch of stills after the jump.
It’s Wile. E Coyote on a Pepsi promotional drinking glass from 1976. He’s got a sail and an electric fan on his skateboard, but that rascally Road Runner has pulled the electric chord on him mid-canyon. This seems like exactly the sort of thing that would have been in one of these cartoons, but I can’t recall seeing it animated. Maybe that’s because I aways rooted for the Coyote to catch Road Runner.
I was trying to track down a better picture of some Hanna Barbera saftey cards from 1965 because one of them has the hapless Magilla Gorilla pulling a classic wilson. In the process I found Magilla skating in an uncredited image that looks like a still from a cartoon. Casting the net wider turned up a coloring book with Huckleberry Hound and Quickdraw McGraw doubling up on a longboard.
In Stan Lee Presents – The Condor, Tony Valdez loses his parents and the use of his legs. Then, with the help of robotic legs and nanobots from the family business, he turns from professional skateboarder into the skateboarding crimefighter known as the Condor. The reviews for this straight to DVD release are not good. It already aired on Cartoon Network at least once, but you can watch it for free on Hulu while it lasts or rent it from YouTube. It’s horrible, unintentionally funny, and the main character is almost totally unlikeable. 10 minutes into the plot, the publisher of the “biggest extreme sports magazine” invites Tony to spend the night so she can make him a superstar. There’s quite a bit of PG-13 sexual innuendo, micro short skirts and heaving cleavage, but the overall quality of the animation, story and voice acting is so poor that it’s only going to appeal to a much younger, somewhat confused audience.
Two comics that were originally sent to me as fuzzy low light photographs by MC. They’ve both turned up online. At the top is Baby Blues, from January, 2013. The second Calvin and Hobbes strip originally ran May 2nd, 1987. Bill waters has a new book out and unfortunately, a bunch of dead links on his website.
Bow before my arcane knowledge of useless skateboard related information. This Valterra Rad-isaurus looks suspiciously similar to Denver the Last Dinosaur. Both appear to be released in 1988, although I can’t tell for sure about the Valterra board, the copyright is hard to read. They both appear to be the similar species, and they both wear mohawks and sunglasses, but only the Rad-isaurus has pants. Denver is obscene! Won’t someone please think of the children? Follow me dear readers, and we will tackle the question that archeologists have been pondering for decades: “What happens when a group of pop-a-wheely, BMXer, fun-loving, skateboarding, and rock-music-listening contemporary kids open an ancient dinosaur egg?”
Oggy and the Cockroaches is a French cartoon that sometimes airs on the Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network channel here in the US. It’s not very good from a writing/directing standpoint but it occasionally has a good gag. There’s an episode called “Skate Fever” from season 4 that features what may be the first ever appearance of fnigerboarding in a cartoon. The cockroaches have glued the cat onto a skateboard, and are following him around as he crashes into things. They make a quick detour into a toy store to pick up cockroach sized skateboards from a giant pile of fingerboards on display. As a whole, the cartoon is pretty heavy handed, lots of gratuitous TNT and slapstick cartoon violence that isn’t set up very well, but there are a few good gags and the art direction is occasionally interesting. The first episode supposedly aired in 1998, so that would date Skate Fever (episode 54) to about 2002 or so. The skateboard that Oggy finds belongs to a pro named “Roller Dude,” and it features a nose bone, which is interesting, at least if you’re the kind of skate nerd who is used to visiting Skate and Annoy… Check out a couple stills and watch the whole episode after the jump.