August 17, 2013

FFGtGR: Looney Tunes and Samurai Pizza Cats!

From Friendly Ghosts to Gamma Rays

From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays, No. 157

Welcome one and all back to our all-ages comics column here: From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays! Ah, the end of summer is rolling in. I always know because my fiance has informed me it is time for our annual visit to the yearly county fair. Now aside from getting to eat strange foods at the fair, like the time I had a burger that used a donut as a roll, or the time I ate alligator there, the fair here in Western New York always has some good nerd stuff. From Japan to America, I seem to find it all, like 10 years back I scored an English-subtitled DVD of the 70s animated Mazinger vs. Devil Man film, or a few years back I picked up a mint condition first printing of Marvel’s Star Wars¬†#1, so I am pretty pumped to go! To note ahead of time for our regular readers, there will be no column at the end of this month on August 30th, for I will be married that day (so cut a guy a break, reader), and for our new comers to the column, please read though our older columns, we have some great stuff, like this interview we did with Scott Gross of Scooby-Doo and Looney Tunes last week (click here)! Speaking of Scott’s work, here we are again with our first review this week:

looneyt214Looney Tunes #214
Publisher: DC Comics
Story: Scott Gross and Frank Strom
Art: Scott Gross, Mike Decarlo and Walter Carzon

Issue 214 of Looney Tunes just hit stands this past week, presenting us with an epic Daffy and Porky issue that is sure to please fans of those two characters to boot.

The issue features three tales, the first “The Great Houducky” with story and art by Scott Gross, which gives us a hysterical Daffy tale in which he goes on a variety of Houdini-like exploits with Porky as his assistant. Within the few pages Gross constructs a smart back story and parallel to the life of the great Houdini. In “Liquid Dumber” by Strom with art by Decarlo, Porky is having trouble with a bathtub clog and Daffy shows up as a plumber from hell. Finally in “Motezuma’s Revenge”, story also by Gross but here with art by Carzon, a trip to see Speedy at his taco place leads Daffy to eating the danger salsa, which sends him into a most adventurous day dream.

The overall rating is that Looney Tunes #214 is a solid issue, especially if you are a fan of the Daffy-Porky dynamic. The most solid of the bunch, “The Great Houducky,” leads off the issue, having plenty of charm due to its parallels mixed in with some solid layouts. Gross who wrote and drew that tale, also provided a killer cool cover.

DC seems to be becoming more aggressive with a push for Looney Tunes suddenly, it being one of the few new titles next to MAD Magazine that they will allow for unsold issues to be returned to them (a big deal for comic shops, which is a play to hope more shops will start to carry). The timing for a push with their all-ages stuff has never been better, with the perfect storm of some really solid issues coming out of the titles on their line lately, combined with a resurgence in all-ages titles in North American comics.

Looney Tunes #214 is out on stands now from DC Comics!


SamuraiPizzaCats_CompleteSamurai Pizza Cats Complete TV Series
Publisher: Discotek Media
English Version By: Saban Entertainment

This week it dawned on me that it has been a really long time since I have given you a “something to watch,” and I decided there was no better time to write about the one, the only: Samurai Pizza Cats! With the whole series being released on DVD a few weeks back, there is no better time to re-visit this TV gem which all these years later 100% holds up!

Originally airing in Japan from 1990 to 1991 under the title Kyatto Ninden Teyandee, Saban picked it up to cash in on the mutant-action craze of early 90s America, dubbing it as Samurai Pizza Cats. The show follows Speedy, Polly, and Guido, three cats who work in a pizza place in Little Tokyo (a mecha-meets-feudal city populated by all anthropomorphic characters) and transform into the all powerful Samurai Pizza Cats to fight off the evil forces of the Big Cheese!

However, more than the design, the real charm of the show actually comes with the English dub, a rare case indeed as fans know. Turns out Saban never received translation scripts from studio Tatsunoko, and so the writers had to make it up on the spot. Suddenly the whole show became a complete tongue-in-cheek comedy, packed with pop culture references, with almost every character breaking the 4th wall and being very much aware they were characters in a cartoon (but as they keep saying, if they play their cards right they might get a spin-off).

The show is funny, funny, and funny, and as mentioned one of the very few cases where the dub is considered superior to the original. 100% worth checking out. Discotek Media released all 52 episodes in one set, which you can check out here!


That’s it for this week, see you next!

Drew McCabe



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