Samurai Jack

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Ok, it's a cartoon not a comic, BUT

a) It borrows heavily from the visual language of comics, what with the split-screens, heavy use of stylisation and bold colour palate.

b) It's absolutely fucking beautiful.

c) I want to discuss it somewhere, and ILE seems to have more trolls than regular posters these days.

Um, if you want a way to make it more relevant, what other animations, or indeed live action shows or movies, make heavy use of comic book tropes or methods?

chap who would dare to kill all the threads (chap), Thursday, 13 October 2005 16:09 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

from what i've seen i LOVE the use of varying aspect ratios

s1ocki (slutsky), Thursday, 13 October 2005 16:40 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, it's fantastic, I've never really seen that done before.

chap who would dare to kill all the threads (chap), Thursday, 13 October 2005 16:46 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I've only seen one episode, but it was effin' brilliant, and as such I'm afraid to watch anymore just in case that one episode was a fluke. It was basically just one long chase, with very little dialogue. But visually arresting at every second.
Please tell me that this was just a weirdo one-off and that the regular cartoon series features S. Jack mentoring a team of multi-abled and multi-cultural kids about important life skills so that I can feel better about not watching it.

Huk-L (Huk-L), Thursday, 13 October 2005 18:04 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Huk, there are more effin' brilliant episodes than you've read Geoff Johns comics.

chap who would dare to kill all the threads (chap), Thursday, 13 October 2005 18:16 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

It's the same team what did the Clone Wars, no?

Huk-L (Huk-L), Thursday, 13 October 2005 18:19 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, led by Genndy Tartovsky. They also did Dexter's Laboratory.

chap who would dare to kill all the threads (chap), Thursday, 13 October 2005 18:27 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Is Tartovsky or McCracken responsible for Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends?

The Ghost of Black Elegance (Dan Perry), Thursday, 13 October 2005 18:32 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I've never seen it, but from the trailers it looks a bit too cutesy for Tartovsky.

chap who would dare to kill all the threads (chap), Thursday, 13 October 2005 18:36 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Too cutesy for the guy who did Dexter's Lab????????????

(It is McCracken, BTW, I checked.)

The Ghost of Black Elegance (Dan Perry), Thursday, 13 October 2005 18:38 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Dexter's Lab was HARDCORE!

David R. (popshots75`), Thursday, 13 October 2005 18:40 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah... HARDCORE TWEE.

The Ghost of Black Elegance (Dan Perry), Thursday, 13 October 2005 18:42 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

PHWOAAAAAARGH Ami Yumi

David R. (popshots75`), Thursday, 13 October 2005 18:44 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

samurai jack has possibly the best sound design EVAH - the dialogue-free episode w/the archers on the tower, where he blindfolds himself . . . perfect.

it's weird . . . I can't stand dexter's lab, but I (heart) this to bits & pieces.

etc, Thursday, 13 October 2005 19:49 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

It's probably the aforementioned tweeness that puts you off of Dexter. I saw one episode of DL that was allegedly plotted and storyboarded by Tartovsky's 5-year-old nephew complete with narration from the 5-year-old. I wanted to repeatedly stab myself in the face for sitting through it.

The Ghost of Black Elegance (Dan Perry), Thursday, 13 October 2005 19:52 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I saw that one! It was awesome!
The woman who does Dexter's voice (hey, is this the source of dEx!?) was awesome on Viva Variety. It still pains me to see the Viva Variety cast being decidedly less awesome in various other things, but no one has fallen further than Johnny Bluejeans.

Huk-L (Huk-L), Thursday, 13 October 2005 20:05 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Dude, you are talking undeserved smack about 2 parts of the cast of Reno 911!, which is unstoppable! Gimme your ring - you're outta the Corps.

David R. (popshots75`), Thursday, 13 October 2005 20:09 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Reno 911 is no Viva Variety, dude. Though, um, okay. It's pretty good. Who died and made you Booster Gold?

Huk-L (Huk-L), Thursday, 13 October 2005 20:12 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, but Reno 911 is better than that last year of Viva Variety when it was a giant stage show in Vegas. What was that all about?

The Yellow Kid, Thursday, 13 October 2005 20:27 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Oh man, that one didn't make it to late night TV in Canada. Or maybe the fact that I got a real dayjob about that time is the real reason I stopped watching a show that came on at 3 a.m.

Huk-L (Huk-L), Thursday, 13 October 2005 20:29 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

And while we're at it, Kerri Kenney didn't do any voices on Dexter's Laboratory!

The Yellow Kid, Thursday, 13 October 2005 20:31 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

(hey, is this the source of dEx!?)

NO. deX! first appeared in 1985.

The Ghost of Black Elegance (Dan Perry), Thursday, 13 October 2005 20:31 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

And while we're at it, Kerri Kenney didn't do any voices on Dexter's Laboratory!

Really? But Dexter sounds JUST LIKE the Former Mrs. Laupin! Eerie.

Huk-L (Huk-L), Thursday, 13 October 2005 20:38 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Dexter = http://imdb.com/name/nm0004815/

Huk-L (Huk-L), Thursday, 13 October 2005 20:41 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Samurai Jack is incredible. Makes me wonder if its wasted on little kids. Do any little kids watch it?

I love the amount of references - to comics, film, sci-fi, tv shows.... - that litter the series.

David N (David N.), Thursday, 13 October 2005 23:46 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i think the kid who wrote that DL episode was a competition winner of some kind rather than a nephew, but i could be wrong. i have all but about 10 of the original run, i think. and a cel from one of the episodes, somewhere. and 4 t-shirts. i'll stop now... 8) i like the monkey.

SJ is also great from what i've seen but i've seen a lot less. the blind rabbits are great. him and the female riding, riding, riding also great, like Crouching Tiger in cartoon form. other bits, less great.

CW suffers from originally being 3 minute episodes. but that one of Mace Windu chopping up bots in the desert is stunning.

koogs (koogs), Friday, 14 October 2005 10:24 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

What do we jave to say about the "Ronin" connection?

Daniel_Rf (Daniel_Rf), Friday, 14 October 2005 14:35 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

As in the Frank Miller comic? What's the connection, apart from the samurai thing?

chap who would dare to kill all the threads (chap), Friday, 14 October 2005 14:59 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Oh, and they both get sent forward in time to fight a demon.

chap who would dare to kill all the threads (chap), Friday, 14 October 2005 15:34 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, that's about it. I think "samurais sent forward in time to fight demons" is a most worthy sub-genre.

Daniel_Rf (Daniel_Rf), Friday, 14 October 2005 15:50 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I Love Samurais Who Are Sent Forward in Time to Fight Demons.

Let's start a board!

chap who would dare to kill all the threads (chap), Friday, 14 October 2005 15:55 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

RE the little kids thing mentioned upthread: I think SJ is very much written and designed with adults in mind. It seems to be insufficently hyperactive for a kiddie cartoon these days.

"Do any little kids watch it?"

In the UK at least practically no-one watches it, as it's ghettoised on a digital channel with little or no promotion. A real shame, it should have a slot on terrestrial. Maybe Channel 4, just before The Simpsons.

chap who would dare to kill all the threads (chap), Friday, 14 October 2005 16:06 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I own the first season on DVD, it is pretty flawless.

Does anyone have any personal preferences when it comes to choosing between the po-faced action episodes vs the more comedic stuff?

I wonder how Samurai Jack fits into the Po Faced Absurdity aesthetic, anyway. It is very frequently absolutley preposterous, and on paper some of it almost reads like "2000 AD" (the episode I just watched, for instance, features an angry scottsman with a machine gun for a leg and a gang of redeneck robot alligators, all of this delivered without a hint of self-awareness), but I suppose it's very different from both old style american comic mentalism and "2000 AD" stuff because it lacks a certain taste for shoddyness (i.e. the preposterous parts are in the characters and the general premise of the show, never in the structure of the plot); I guess it's not Punk, basically?

The theme song is one of the all-time greatest non-Neptunes Neptunes tracks ever (even though it was made by a Bl*ck Ey*d P*a)

Daniel_Rf (Daniel_Rf), Friday, 14 October 2005 17:28 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Was it? Holy shit!

chap who would dare to kill all the threads (chap), Friday, 14 October 2005 17:29 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

In that case it's far and away my favourite Bl*ck Ey*d P*a tune.

By the way, I'd take issue with you about the lack of self awareness thing. SJ so well designed to target the plesure spots of a certain type of twenty/thirty something male (ie the descerning geek) that it could almost be described as supremely arch.

chap who would dare to kill all the threads (chap), Friday, 14 October 2005 17:33 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, saying that Samurai Jack isn't self-aware is kind of like saying that the X-Men isn't an angsty soap opera.

The Ghost of Black Elegance (Dan Perry), Friday, 14 October 2005 17:46 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Ok, maybe self-aware isn't the right word. A better way of explaining what I mean: with 90% of the cartoons around right now, if they tried to pull any of the shit Samurai Jack does on a regular basis, they'd probably have to have some character wittily allude to the absurdity of the situation or something like that. There'd be a great big "YEAH, WE KNOW THIS IS ABSURD" sign planted in there - with SJ, everything's just handled very naturally, like "yes OF COURSE Jack has just been adopted by a gigantic blue bunny creature, what of it?".

Daniel_Rf (Daniel_Rf), Friday, 14 October 2005 17:55 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Like, one of the worst developments in cartoons I think was when suddenly everyone *had to* go all meta and reference the absurdity of the situations they're in, the predictability of the plotlines, etc etc etc, which is ok for classic Warner Brothers cartoons but the way it's been used in so many of the shows I've seen just feels like they're trying to transcend the crappyness of their own work by alluding to it themselves, which is just so self-loathing and swarmy and nofun. "Samurai Jack" feels like a total antidote to that - no matter HOW silly things get, you're allowed to take them seriously, if you want to.

Daniel_Rf (Daniel_Rf), Friday, 14 October 2005 18:00 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Before I take immediate action on this, someone please confirm that the Samurai Jack comic was the piece of shit that I think it was.

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Friday, 14 October 2005 22:11 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I didn't even know there was one, but this page doesn't bode well:

ihttp://comics.toonzone.net/other/pages/samuraijack1-page3.jpg

chap who would dare to violate the least amount of laws of physics (chap), Friday, 14 October 2005 22:17 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

three years pass...

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51YLeLbOFQL._SS500_.jpg
stoked; tht's my sunday sorted

challops in sheep's clothing (cozwn), Sunday, 14 December 2008 12:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

Ha, congrats - fantastic show.

Nhex, Sunday, 14 December 2008 20:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

Still not available in Region 2 as far as I can tell, bah.

chap, Tuesday, 16 December 2008 11:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

Probably my favourite episode:
http://www.peteava.ro/video/material/30272

chap, Tuesday, 16 December 2008 11:49 (nine years ago) Permalink

I netflixed a bunch of these and then sent half of them back thinking I should wait until I have a kid or something

TOMBOT, Tuesday, 16 December 2008 11:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

Wasted on kids. I think the pacing of most episodes suggests it's concieved mainly for adults anyway.

chap, Tuesday, 16 December 2008 11:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

SJ is gold. Wish they'd hurry on Region 2.

I don't think this is for children, I believe they would find it a bit boring...

hyggeligt, Tuesday, 16 December 2008 13:09 (nine years ago) Permalink

SJ meet LEGO, LEGO meet SJ

hyggeligt, Friday, 19 December 2008 12:49 (nine years ago) Permalink

This is definitely one of the shows that worked on both levels. Goofy characters and laughs with fun, very well directed action (Tartakofsky said he wanted to outdo the stuff he'd done on Powerpuff Girls) was for the kids - even the pilot episode I think had a reference to Two Stupid Dogs. The comedy was in the vein of previous Cartoon Networks shows of that previous decade, like PPG and Dexter's, though it was probably one of CN's first attempts at an original property, non-sitcom adventure show.

The often incredibly dry, other times Chaplinesque humor and copious film and pop culture references were definitely for adults (especially comics fans, manga and Frank Miller fans in particular). I missed probably about 1/4 to 1/3 of the series in broadcast, it's on my "inevitable apocalypse future to-do list" to get those DVDs and watch the whole series straight through. But don't be like me, don't wait for kids, watch that shit!

To be fair, I think it is more suited for kids of that day than today (due to it following PPG and Dexter) compared to most cable kids cartoons, but Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends was a hit - I think if they like that, Samurai Jack would appeal to many. The shame is that the ratings were never that great, but they kept it alive for four seasons anyway, which is pretty commendable (even if they didn't give us a actual ending which is sad as all hell). It was nice that it did at least get some Emmys and critical acclaim.

Nhex, Saturday, 20 December 2008 06:05 (nine years ago) Permalink

I just watched season one, Aku's Fairy Tales is loooooolll.

sister s (ledge), Sunday, 21 December 2008 22:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Almost surprised there isn't an existing Cartoon Network thread, but I'm curious about Tartakovsky's upcoming SYM-BIONIC TITAN!
http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/2231/symbionicpromo01.jpg
http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/7356/symbionictitan.jpg
Couldn't find any promo art for the upcoming Firebreather directed by Peter Chung, unfortunately.

Nhex, Sunday, 25 April 2010 02:18 (eight years ago) Permalink

five years pass...
one year passes...

get. hype
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSrv_n4tw7w

Nhex, Tuesday, 7 February 2017 05:14 (one year ago) Permalink

Looks sick.

chap, Tuesday, 7 February 2017 14:23 (one year ago) Permalink

three months pass...

ok i was not really ready to hear the word "penis" on samurai jack 💀💀

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Tuesday, 9 May 2017 21:46 (one year ago) Permalink

Was this the episode in the crash-landed prison ship? Somehow I missed the penis.

20-lol pileup (WilliamC), Tuesday, 9 May 2017 21:57 (one year ago) Permalink

it was in the throwback ep with scaramouche and demongo

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Tuesday, 9 May 2017 22:16 (one year ago) Permalink

one year passes...

I finally watched the final season. It was amazing.
The accomplishment alone of bringing it back from 12 years was great enough, but they really took it further. It looks outstanding newly digitally produced in the HD widescreen aspect ratio and the themes were much deeper and darker than they could get away with in its original run. Disturbing and touching in many parts, very surprising in so many ways. Always beautiful.
And they actually ended it right. I loved it.

Nhex, Monday, 25 June 2018 05:44 (five months ago) Permalink

Yes, it was really great

He said captain, I said wot (FlopsyDuck), Monday, 25 June 2018 11:26 (five months ago) Permalink

I had a bad trip watching this when I was younger. Still curious.

Chuck_Tatum, Monday, 25 June 2018 12:36 (five months ago) Permalink


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