June 11, 2010

From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays: Avatar, Little Vampire, Rin Tin Tin and Rex The Wonder Horse!

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Written by: Drew
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Aloha, my friends and welcome back to From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays! Just a reminder today kicks off the greatest sport on Earth: World Cup Soccer! Get your soccer on, readers! Now moving on, this week we have some superphantastisch items for ya’ll! First up, a killer-diller art collection from our friends at Dark Horse, from the uber popular animated series Avatar: The Last Air Bender on Nickelodeon. Followed  next by the ridiculously wonderful comic Little Vampire by Joann Sfar. Then lastly, a blast from the past to glue those little olives in your sockets to, the movie serial The Adventures of Rex and Rinty, starring the archetype for all superhero animals out there, Rin Tin Tin and Rex, the Wonder Horse! Let’s get started shall we? Class begin:

Art-book of Awesomeness: Avatar: The Last Airbender- The Art of the Animated Series
Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino
Artists: Bryan Konietzko, Michael Dante DiMartino and Various

The good people at Dark Horse have provided us with 184 pages of goodness for anyone who is a fan of the hit animated series Avatar: The Last Air Bender. Since it debut in 2005, the show has been a huge hit with children and adults alike, and now even has a live action film adaptation coming out at the end of summer from director M.Night Shayamalan!

This is a cool book and you’ll enjoy it ten-fold if you’re a fan of the show. From some of the early sketches all the way into story boards and into the animation, we are taken on a journey of the Airbender’s creation right into the show’s run itself; all with great narration and stories by Bryan Konietzko and Micheal Dante DiMartino, the masterminds behind it. The art that is showcased is really great to look at and is the focal point of this collection. From sketches to full color beauties, we get it all from the Airbender-universe.

I love books like this and have always found them a  bit fascinating, from behind the scenes books at Disney to those on Japanese Studios like Tatsunoko, it’s really fascinating to see a project go from art to animation- which I think most comic book fans can appreciate. If you have some time, put your money down on this worthwhile book.

Coolest Little Comic On The Block: Little Vampire
Publisher: First Second
Written ad Drawn By: Joann Sfar

Little Vampire is an incredibly awesome comic created by French comic book artist/film director Joann Sfar. The comics are fun-loving and illustrate a wonderful tale of friendship, as we we are delighted with Sfar’s wickedly cool art filled will ghouls, goblins and phantoms, and excellent story telling! Little Vampire collects 3 tales: Little Vampire Goes To School, Little Vampire Does Kung-Fu and Little Vampire and the Canine Defenders Club. Each tale illustrates a story between Little Vampire and his human friend Michael, as they deal with school, bullies and dogs.

There’s plenty of monsters (along with a few humorous toilet-humor jokes) in these pages in glorious full-color that appeal to children and adults alike. Sfar is supposedly a big deal in France (I don’t know, I’m writing here stateside so I’m just going to say he is like everything I find online about his background and body of work tells me) and I can see why, this art work rocks. The guy knows how to tell his stories spot on with a feeling that’s all his own. Check it out now!

Something To Watch: The Adventures of Rex and Rinty

So we here at the From Friendly Ghosts To Gamma Rays column love old movie serials. Hands down, these things were awesome. They are cheap to find on DVD now-a-days and a great source of 12-15 episode entertainment for everyone, with laughs, thrills and more! Back in the day we had two animal figures that blew folks out of the water. The first was Rin Tin Tin, everyone’s favorite dog who saves the day. Not only would he be the inspiration for Lassie, Benji and other animal stars of film, but also the archetype to animal heroes we find in comics today: Krypto The Superdog, Ace the Bathound, Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers, the list goes on. Also at the time was a huge horse who starred in films as an animal hero named Rex, the wonder horse (maybe the inspiration for Supergirl’s horse or Casper’s Nightmare?). Even back in the serial days, if there was a good excuse to market something they did it, and they decided to get these two animal heroes together in the same serial, hence The Adventures Of Rex and Rinty was born.

The Adventures of Rex and Rinty was produced by Mascot Serials in 1935. Mascot knew what they were doing with their serials, and was one of the few companies that transitioned from producing silent serials to talking serials. It tells the tale of a few gangsters who kidnap Rex, who is being worshiped as a horse good in the country of Suajn, and bring him here to the States, where Rin Tin Tin catches onto the villains and busts them up (with a little human help along the way). It’s just plan old fun, movie serial style. Available on DVD from multiple distributors, it can easily be tracked down for your viewing pleasure this week! also if you like serials, check out Captain Marvel or The Green Hornet too!

That’s it for now! See you in 2 weeks! As for me, I have to get back to some soccer!

Drew McCabe



  1. Ok, LITTLE VAMPIRE looks way cool. I’d definitely give that one a whirl!

  2. The Last AIrbender looks great and I really liked the show. It’s no surprise this book is out right before the movie’s debut next month.

  3. Billy

    Good stuff Drew!

  4. […] Sfar, the creator behind such French comics as The Little Vampire, is having his comic The Rabbi’s Cat become a major animated motion picture, coming out in […]

  5. […] when the events took place. We’re also given a couple of bonus stories and a preview to the Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Art of the Animated Series, which looks great I might […]

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