(Review) The 2016 Pilot of Cartoon Network’s Upcoming Series ‘Summer Camp Island’

You often find an original pilot of a series that is set to be shown on TV screens near you. I find it as a way to prepare ourselves and get a taste of what a series has to offer. Of course, series creators usually do some tweaking and changing to their program and you will most likely always see something different between the pilot and the final product.

Today, we’re looking at Summer Camp Island, which may be exactly what it sounds and much more. This cartoon was created by former animator and writer from Adventure Time, Julia Pott, and was greenlit and set to air on Cartoon Network in Summer 2018. Above anything, Julia is known for her unique animated shorts that can be found on YouTube. I must say that she has done a good job at creating her own style, so much that you can spot a series created by her from a mile away.

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So what has Pott unleashed on us with her 2016 pilot of Summer Camp Island exactly? How about a Summer camp full of bizarre and unusual situations? The camp counselors are popular girls who know magic (aka WITCHES), talking pajamas, monsters under the bed that are nosey and more oddities that you just don’t find at a normal Summer camp. Not to mention it’s all on an island. All of these strange happenings seems to overwhelm a fourteen-year-old anthropomorphic Elephant named Oscar, who misses his normal life outside of camp, so he plans a sleepover for himself and his best friend Hedgehog, who he also happens to have a crush on. Bad news for Oscar, because Hedgehog invites some others to the party including Max, an anthropomorphic badger who plays the role of the typical careless and jerk-ish teenage boy in a backwards hat and hoodie. Max is clearly the apple of Hedgehog’s eye and she gives him all of her undivided attention, which infuriates Oscar and ruins his original sleepover plans.

Just like the overall series itself, the world inside of Summer Camp Island is a roller coaster ride of strange and peculiar emotions. You can’t help but empathize with main character Oscar and feeling like a third wheel when someone you’re crushing over is all over someone THEY are crushing over. The series did a great job of totally spinning a kid’s usual experience at a Summer Camp into something out of a trippy dream. Trippy, as in almost everything was coming to life, including a pair of pajamas and a slice of pizza. Although, I do have to say that for a teenager, Oscar is a bit too child-like. So much that if his mother didn’t reveal his age in the beginning, you wouldn’t put him past ten years old. The same goes for Hedgehog, who I think shows her more mature side when Max is around. I’m not implying that they should act reckless, ride skateboards or drink coffee just because they’re teenagers, but the sleepover activities kind of screamed fifth grade.

With all of that being said, my B- rating does not change the fact that I 100% still want to see this show happen on Cartoon Network this Summer. I have to admit that the “nice guys finish last” lesson that came in plain sight at the end of the episode really surprised me. I was expecting the typical “good guys finish first” followed by a monologue from Hedgehog about how she doesn’t really like Max and that Oscar is the one she loved all along. Or Max ends up screwing things up with Hedgehog and her feeling magically bounce to Oscar. Really relieved that things weren’t so predictable with this one, but poor Oscar. The animation is something that is unique, but it’s going to take some getting used to of course. It’s definitely a different style from the series airing on Cartoon Network at the moment, so it makes me wonder whether the series will fit or not. We’ll just have to wait and see! We’ll keep you updated for an official release date for Summer Camp Island.

Fun Fact: Summer Camp Island is set to be the second series in Cartoon Network history to be solely created by a woman.

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The Music of Adventure Time: Interview with Composer Tim Kiefer

Just as Cartoon Network’s hit series Adventure Time is on its final countdown before the epic finale, what a better way say our goodbyes than taking the time to appreciate the best aspects of the series. Adventure Time took place in the mystical land of Ooo where many fascinating oddities galore. Jake the dog and Finn the human, the inseparable duo found themselves in an endless number of adventures along with other characters such as Princess Bubblegum, Beemo, Lumpy Space Princess, Marceline the Vampire Queen, Ice King and more. Adventure Time is something that you would think came straight out of a magical, colorful, unique daydream. If you’re pleased with the visuals, then you’ve definitely heard the music behind the show.

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The story lines and adventures that came about in this series was everything, but the musical composition behind those scenes made it all tie together in a perfect knot. Think of a mystical and enchanting, followed by epic, and you’ll get the music from Adventure Time. Since the beginning, there has been some musical masterminds behind the soundtrack of this show, and I am honored to have a chance to speak with one of them. Upon the ending of Adventure Time, I am honored to have had the chance to interview composer Tim Kiefer about his favorite musical moments and best memories from working on the past 10 seasons of Adventure Time.

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Cartoon Buzz: Hi Tim! Thanks for taking the time to talk with me. So you have been working on Adventure Time as a composer for a majority of the episodes. Tell me a bit about the process it takes to compose a track for the adventurous & mystical series.

Tim Kiefer: Hey! Yeah, it’s been a long time and a lot of episodes. For the most part Pen/Adam would relay the mood and timing of what they wanted, then let me choose my own musical palette. That freedom meant I could mess around with all my favorite musical influences – Scandinavian skweee, Southside Chicago juke or footwork, 8bit nostalgia, or braindance – so long as I was expressive and earnest. I’d have as much as 2 weeks for some episodes and as little as 4 days for others, so some would be super intricate and polished while others were raw and edgy. Either way there was a beauty to how each came together.

Cartoon Buzz: So you collaborated with creator Pendleton Ward throughout the series. What are some moments that you’ll never forget while working with the man behind the show?

Tim Kiefer: Most of all, developing a sound with Casey around Pen’s “buddy music” concept, in which bros are just relaxed, comfortable and imaginative. It was at the very least grounding, if not meditative.
Cartoon Buzz: When composing music for the show, did you often envision viewers like me listening to it? How did you want us to feel or react?
Tim Kiefer: I wanted to paint vivid sound paintings that brought viewers deeeep into the Adventure Time universe as they watched. And most importantly, keep everyone happily on their toes – mashing up esoteric music movements with familiar pop sounds, finding weird ways to play normal instruments, you name it. Just constantly reinforcing how unique and magical the alternate reality of Ooo was.

Cartoon Buzz: How did you get into being a composer? Is it something that you always saw yourself doing or did you become inspired along the way?

Tim Kiefer: Well, I have this eerily accurate epitaph I made as a little kid for school or something, it reads: “Here lies Tim. He made millions of people happy with his music.” I guess it was just always the plan.
Cartoon Buzz: What was it like working on the series early on compared to working on the last episode?

Tim Kiefer: The whole Adventure Time universe was simpler back in the old days, and so was the music. The characters didn’t have much to worry about so there was a lot of chill “buddy music” or party tunes. After 8 years, the series ends on a pretty serious note and you can really feel the weight and complexity of the characters’ journey embedded in the music. I can’t help but tear up when I watch through the finale, it’s so emotionally loaded.
Cartoon Buzz: What are your favorite musical moments from the past 10 seasons?
Tim Kiefer: A few: Fionna & Prince Gumball talking about butts in “Fionna & Cake”, Bananaman’s workout music in “The New Frontier”, Oh What A Good Boy Am I montage in “Five More Short Graybles”, Megamush battle in “Mama Said”.

Cartoon Buzz: I’ll regret not asking this later if I don’t, and this may be a toughie, but who is your all time favorite character on Adventure Time?

Tim Kiefer: I’m a Tree Trunks guy!

Cartoon Buzz: If you could describe Adventure Time in FIVE words, what would they be?

Tim Kiefer: The Hero’s Journey Meets Spongebob

Cartoon Buzz: Many fans are heartbroken that Adventure Time is ending. Is there anything you would like to say to them?

Tim Kiefer: Keep it going in your own way.. it’s everyone’s story to finish.

 

And that’s the end folks! I want to thank Tim Kiefer for taking the time to chat with me!

A Preview of Adventure Time: ‘BMO Bonanza’ One-Shot Comic Special

It’s springtime in the land of Ooo and KaBOOM, an imprint of BOOM! Studios would like to introduce you to an Adventure Time comic book special starring the lovable gaming system character Beemo, otherwise known as BMO. ‘BMO Bonanza’ is a special one-shot that features six short stories surrounding BMO: Garden Therapy, Dad Dance, BMO’s Trip, BMO Noire, Ms. Qino, & Treehouse M.D.

In Garden Therapy, Jake and Finn come upon BMO doing some gardening. BMO claims he read that gardening reduces stress. Jake asks if BMO wants to talk about why he’s stressed, but BMO declares that it is a preemptive strike. In Dad Dance, Jake and Finn once again come across BMO doing a different activity this time, which is some groovy dancing. They find it strange and out of the ordinary though. In BMO Noire, just when Beemo thought he was out, they pulled him back in. And in Treehouse M.D., BMO comes across a rock named Robert with a crack in it, who he assumes it got from “the war”. No worries, because Treehouse M.D. has got it covered!

BMO Bonanza was written by Laura Langston, Cynthia Cheng, Nicole Mannino, Boya Sun, Ian Moore, and Shirley Chan, who are also the artists on the team. Warren Montgomery served as the letterer, Meredith McClaren as the main cover artist and Nina Yoshida as the Incentive cover artist. Don’t miss out on the short adventures of Beemo. BMO Bonanza is set to be released on March 28, 2018 at the price of $7.99. Scroll down below for a preview of the comic special!

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Steven Universe #14 Preview: Greg Universe’s Musical Comeback

Get a sneak peek of what’s next up in the Steven Universe comic book series, published by kaBOOM, an imprint of BOOM! Studios. Steven Universe #14 is all about the mission to help Mr. Universe and put together his musical comeback concert! Steven spends the day helping his dad out with some car washing, when he trips over a box and discovers some interesting findings in it. Some of Mr. Universe’s old CDs. Steven then watches his father emotionally talk about the good ol days when he used to sing and perform. And that’s when an idea struck over Steven, but he’ll need the help of the rest of the Crystal Gems.

Steven Universe #14 was written by Grace Kraft. Rii Abrego serves at the artist, Whitney Cogar as the colorist, Mike Fiorentino as the letterer, Missy Peña as the main cover artist, and Eleonora Bruni as the subscription cover artist. This issue will go on sale March 21, 2018 for $3.99. Get a preview of the comic book below!

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The Regular Show Returns 25 Years Later in New Comic Book Series

Discover The Future of Mordecai, Rigby & More from BOOM! Studios in June 2018

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BOOM! Studios and Cartoon Network are proud to announce REGULAR SHOW: 25 YEARS LATER #1, the first chapter of an all-new six-issue limited comic book series inspired by the Emmy® Award-winning animated series arriving in stores June 2018. After the stunning conclusion to the landmark Regular Show on Cartoon Network in January 2017 featuring an epic battle between Pops and Anti-Pops, fans have been wondering what’s next for Mordecai, Rigby, and the rest of the park –  and now BOOM! Studios has the answer! Journey 25 years into the future with acclaimed writer Christopher Hastings (Deadpool) and the debut of artist Anna Johnstone, as Mordecai and Rigby have a lot to learn about how things never stay the same…

REGULAR SHOW: 25 YEARS LATER #1 features a main cover by JK Phan, with variant covers by Cole Closser (Adventure Time Comics) and Noelle Stevenson (Lumberjanes).

“I love the relative elegance of a Regular Show story. Start with a mundane problem, try to weasel out of it, and then plunge into madness,” said writer Christopher Hastings. “The characters are completely grounded, have real relationships with each other, and then you take them and stick them in the most bonkers, surreal, fantasy/sci-fi/horror/everything impossible scenarios you can think of. It’s a simple combo, but it gives you room for a countless amount of new stories. The tricky part was figuring out how to get the older and MUCH more mature Mordecai and Rigby to jump into that dance again. They’ve traded their insane adventures for family and career. Seeing how these wiser old pals handle the temptations of adventure will be a big part of the fun of this series, not to mention just catching up with all the other characters, seeing what’s changed in their lives, or what’s stayed the same.”

“When I got asked to work on the new Regular Show comic series I was super excited to meet the challenge,” said artist Anna Johnstone. “The show has a great sense of humour and as a fan I can’t wait to see what kinds of weird stuff they get up to ’25 years later’… plus the best part, I get to draw it!”

REGULAR SHOW: 25 YEARS LATER is the latest release from BOOM! Studios’ critically acclaimed KaBOOM! imprint, publisher of world-class licensed series such as Steven Universe, Over the Garden Wall, Peanuts, and Garfield, along with original series like Brave Chef Brianna by Sam Sykes and Selina Espiritu, and The Deep by Tom Taylor and James Brouwer.

“We are excited about this chance to tell the next chapter of Regular Show in comic book form at BOOM! Studios,” said Whitey Leopard, Editor, BOOM! Studios. “REGULAR SHOW: 25 YEARS LATER is a must-read for any fan of the show, bringing all the humor, absurdity and irreverence that’s made it so beloved worldwide.”

Print copies of REGULAR SHOW: 25 YEARS LATER #1 will be available for sale in June 2018 at local comic book shops (use comicshoplocator.com to find the nearest one) or at the BOOM! Studios webstore. Digital copies can be purchased from content providers, including comiXology, iBooks, Google Play, and the BOOM! Studios app.

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Cartoon Network’s ‘Infinity Train’ to Premiere in 2019

It’s happening friends. It seems like it was just yesterday when I published my review on Cartoon Network’s minisode ‘Infinity Train’. I mainly reiterated how extraordinary and amazing the series looked and why it wasn’t greenlit by now. I was dying to see more and learn more about the mysteries behind the whole synopsis. Created by Owen Dennis, the short minisode was uploaded to Cartoon Network’s YouTube page on November 2, 2016 and so far has been viewed 3.2 million times. The story surrounds a girl named Tulip, who’s stuck on a continuously running train that seems to be going nowhere. She’s is accompanied by her robot companion One-One, who can seperate into two different robots Glad-One and Sad-One. When she enters numerous train cars, it takes her to different worlds. One train car eventually leads her to Corginia, the land of Corgis, where she must king Atticus save the kingdom from a shadowy monster in the sky. What’s even more bizarre is that Tulip has a glowing number on the back of her hand and she has no idea where it came from.

There are so many bizarre secrets to unlock from this series, and luckily we will be seeing more of Tulip and the mysterious infinity train in 2019! Get a load of the newly published page for Infinity Train on the Cartoon Network website.

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There you have it folks! Stay tuned for more info.

Preview of the New Interactive ‘Adventure Time #74’ Comic

It’s up to YOU to save Ooo from being a dull black and white land forever in this new creative and interactive Adventure Time comic. Magic Man is causing The Land of Ooo to lose its color! Only the brave hero holding this book has the power to bring color that Magic Man has sucked up back to Ooo and set everything right before Finn, Jake, and everyone else is in black-and-white forever! Special coloring book issue! I’m sure this issue will bring you back to your childhood days of coloring books and a lot of free time on your hands. Out March 7!

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Adventure Time #74 is published by KaBOOM!, an imprint of BOOM! Studios and written by Conor McCreery. The artistry is done by Jorge Monlongo while Maarta Laiho (& YOU) serves as the colorist and Mike Fiorentino is the letterer. Shelli Paroline & Braden Lamb are the main cover artists while Emei Burrell is the subscription artist.

New Adventure Time Comic Book Series ‘Beginning Of The End’ Announced

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LOS ANGELES, CA (February 26, 2018) – BOOM! Studios and Cartoon Network Enterprises are proud to debut ADVENTURE TIME: BEGINNING OF THE END #1, the first issue of a new three issue limited comic book series set in a world separate from but inspired by the Emmy® Award-winning Cartoon Network animated series Adventure Time, in May 2018. When Finn breaks a promise he can’t remember making, Chronologius Rex, the Lord of Hours and All Time, confronts him. Ted Anderson (My Little Pony) and Marina Julia (Lumberjanes, SLAM! The Next Jam) set Finn on a journey to confront the ghosts of his past selves, the alternate selves of his present, and all his possible futures, while Jake gathers help from all of Ooo and beyond. Together, they must save Finn before he goes beyond the Vanishing Point and is erased from every reality!

ADVENTURE TIME: BEGINNING OF THE END #1 features a wraparound main cover by Victoria Maderna (Adventure Time), along with variant covers by Diigii Daguna (Adventure Time Comics) and Corey Booth (Over The Garden Wall).

Adventure Time is a show that holds a special place in my heart—it’s so big, so weird, so beautiful, and it never goes where you expect it to,” said Ted Anderson. “This series is my tribute to the characters and that special world, focusing on what makes Finn and Jake’s adventures so special.”

“I’m excited to be working on BEGINNING OF THE END—I’ve definitely been a fan of Adventure Time for a while!” said Marina Julia. “It’s a really great creative show and it’s gone in so many different directions and done so many different things over the years, and that’s really fun to get to dive into.”

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ADVENTURE TIME: BEGINNING OF THE END is the latest release from BOOM! Studios’ critically acclaimed KaBOOM! imprint, publisher of world-class licensed series such as Steven UniverseOver the Garden WallPeanuts, and Garfield, along with original series like Brave Chef Brianna by Sam Sykes and Selina Espiritu and The Deep by Tom Taylor and James Brouwer.

ADVENTURE TIME: BEGINNING OF THE END is a celebration of the show and of the comic,” said Whitney Leopard, Editor, BOOM! Studios. “Every page will be a wild ride filled with exciting moments for our two best pals, Finn and Jake. Ted and Marina are a perfect team and you won’t want to miss their love letter to the series.”

Print copies of ADVENTURE TIME: BEGINNING OF THE END #1 will be available for sale in May 2018 at local comic book shops (use comicshoplocator.com to find the nearest one) or at the BOOM! Studios webstore. Digital copies can be purchased from content providers, including comiXology, iBooks, Google Play, and the BOOM! Studios app.

For more on ADVENTURE TIME: BEGINNING OF THE END and other projects from BOOM! Studios, please visit www.boom-studios.com and follow @boomstudioson Twitter.

Apple & Onion Gives a Familiar yet Uplifting Theme

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Just a budding friendship comedy coming through. Cartoon Network has released quite a few slice-of-life series in its day, but I have to say Apple & Onion is something fresh. It’s definitely not the usual series that is filled with animated humans or animals. I think creator George Gendi really thought outside of the box with this one. Think of those cliche yet funny dancing anthropomorphic food characters that you used to see in the movie theater previews, but think bigger, vibrant and more modern. I have to say the series is so well organized and put together following the theme of every character being a type of food.

Though the overall character theme of the series is pretty unique, the main moral of the story is no stranger to television. Apple & Onion takes place in the big city where food comes to life and so do lessons. Main characters Apple and Onion are off to live in the real world without their parents and must take on the challenge of being an adult. Too bad they can’t seem to let go of their childhood most of the time. Though Onion seems to be a bit more mature, as in the first episode he got to his destination and job right away, Apple is more on the goofball side. Onion also serves as they cliche dorky character who wears glasses, so he has to be the more mature one right?

A duo with contrasting yet similar personalities definitely gives a familiar tune, but I can’t knock this series at all. Apple & Onion is uplifting with a side comedy and it’s one of those shows that sort of has the ability to make you feel good while watching it. Although, I can’t kick the fact that there’s a strange yet very funny theme happening on the show and it’s a dilemma of mine and maybe for some other viewers as well. This series consists of characters that are all types of foods – meat, vegetables, desserts & drinks. So excuse me if I can’t help but find it rather strange that they eat meat, vegetables, desserts & drinks. Another case of Carnivore Confusion! Of course, what else are they suppose to eat right?

Apple & Onion is reportedly a limited-series, only planning to consist of ten episodes that will be running for five weeks. I guess like the pilot episode, the series is still be on the testing stage. I wouldn’t mind if Apple & Onion ended up becoming a full time series in the future, but it is smart of Cartoon Network to see how it would do.  Apple & Onion is bubbly, humorous & gives off a nice “moral of the story” lesson of being yourself and taking things one step at a time. Especially if it seems like your parents are sort of fed up with your childlike antics and throw you on a bus to fend for yourself in a big city because I think that is the most important theme of all in this show – growing up.

4.5/5

Cartoon Network & iam8bit Releases Steven Universe Volume 1 Vinyl Set

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Being one of Cartoon Network’s most epic shows, Steven Universe has made a name for itself by not only the everlasting adventures and story lines that the show plays out. The music that is featured on the show is quite compelling and irresistible. So much that the soundtrack album released in 2017 went to No. 22 on the Billboard 200 and No.2 on the Soundtracks chart. Well, what was already amazing has just became even more amazing.

iam8bit and Cartoon Network has just unleashed a four disk Vinyl set for Steven Universe’s Volume 1 soundtrack. The Steven Universe vinyl set features 37 tracks spanning across four 10″ translucent colored records representing the Crystal Gems (Garnet, Amethyst, Pearl and Steven), which is demonstrated in iam8bit’s latest unboxing video.

If you aren’t amazed enough by now, see the Vinyl records in action with this exclusive unboxing video.

Steven Universe Vol. 1 is a one-of-a-kind animated opus, fusing musical celebration with storytelling in a way that inspires nothing short of spectacular smiling. Its songs are lively, jubilant and often emotional works of aural art, spreading a sensation of total glee to all ears within listening distance.
Designed in close collaboration with series creator, Rebecca Sugar, and illustration auteurs Chromosphere, this is a vinyl package made with true love. Orders can be made on iam8bit.com for $49.99.
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