"Rejoice, my son, for thou hast chosen the Amulet of Right o'er the Sword of Might! Therefore, let there be beauty and strength--power and compassion--honour and humility, mirth and reverence--within you... Be one with thy brothers of the Round Table--with Arthur and Lancelot, Gawain and Galahad, with them all... Be thou what they were--a hero! Strive forever to maintain the rule of right--of law and justice--against those who live and rule by might."


Chris Claremont, "From the Holocaust--A Hero!" Captain Britain No. 2 (20 Oct. 1976)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cuddles, A Flapper in King Arthur's Court?

A 2004 post by John Adcock on the Platinum Age Comics discussion list introduced me to an (apparently) obscure strip called Cuddles, A Flapper at King Arthur's Court or Cuddles, An American Flapper in King Arthur's Court (1929-?) distributed by Kay Features, Inc. There are almost no references online, just at the Stripper's Guide blog (as far as I can determine), to the strip, and very few references to the cartoonist, Charles H. Forbell. I append an image of three strips (the first two and a third from later [?] in the narrative) that was linked to Adcock's post in the hopes that someone might have further information on the series.


I assume the use of Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court as a source of inspiration was inspired by either Emmet J. Flynn's silent film from 1921 or Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart's 1927 Broadway musical.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Return of the Smurfs

According to an extensive article on the Papercutz website, Belgian cartoonist Peyo's The Smurfs (originally Les Schtroumpfs), a comics series set in a medieval-like world, will return to American comics this year in a one-shot comic book, reprinting the story that introduced the Smurf's nemeses Gargamel and Azrael, and line of graphic novels based on the original European comics. The second of the two graphic novels, The Smurf and the Magic Flute, will present the first Smurf adventure from 1958. Computer-animated versions of the Smurfs are also set to feature in a live action film currently set to be released in August 2011.

For Arthurian enthusiasts, the Smurfs have had at least one adventure in Camelot, when, in the aptly named "The Smurf of the Round Table" (1989), they help Merlin and Lancelot save Camelot from the evil of Morgan le Fay. The episode can be viewed online at http://v.youku.com/v_playlist/f3697804o1p510.html.

Avalon High the Movie


The Disney Channel is now filming a live-action adaptation of Meg Cabot's young-adult novel Avalon High. No word on whether or not this production will incorporate material from the three-part manga sequel Avalon High: Coronation. Details from a press release about the film can be found on various web sites including the following from The Futon Critic:
[05.03.10 - 10:50 AM]
PRODUCTION HAS BEGUN IN NEW ZEALAND ON "AVALON HIGH," A DISNEY CHANNEL ORIGINAL MOVIE THAT BRINGS ARTHURIAN LEGEND ALIVE AT A CONTEMPORARY HIGH SCHOOL
Released by Discovery
[NOTE: The following article is a press release issued by the aforementioned network and/or company. Any errors, typos, etc. are attributed to the original author. The release is reproduced solely for the dissemination of the enclosed information.]

PRODUCTION HAS BEGUN IN NEW ZEALAND ON "AVALON HIGH," A DISNEY CHANNEL ORIGINAL MOVIE THAT BRINGS ARTHURIAN LEGEND ALIVE AT A CONTEMPORARY HIGH SCHOOL

Production has begun in New Zealand on "Avalon High," a fantasy-filled Disney Channel Original Movie starring Britt Robertson ("Life Unexpected") and Gregg Sulkin ("Wizards of Waverly Place," Disney Channel UK's "As the Bell Rings"). Based on the award-winning novel by best-selling author Meg Cabot ("The Princess Diaries"), the movie follows Allie Pennington, a new student to Avalon High who is shocked to discover that her new classmates are reincarnations of King Arthur and his Court. "Avalon High" is slated to premiere in fall 2010.

In "Avalon High," Allie is ecstatic when her parents, traveling professors who specialize in King Arthur's legend, tell her she will be staying at Avalon High until she graduates. She can finally join the track team, make new friends and be a normal high school student. But shortly after arriving, Allie discovers that something strange may be afoot. While researching a term paper on King Arthur's legacy, she begins to notice some interesting parallels between the past and the present - from handsome quarterback Will, his cheerleader girlfriend, Jen, and their best friend, Lance, to Will's brooding step-brother, Marco, a quirky kid named Miles and football players who act like knights of the roundtable. The deeper Allie searches, the more convinced she is that her school is a contemporary Camelot, and it's up to her to solve of the mystery of Avalon High before notorious traitor Mordred wins again.

Starring are: Britt Robertson as Allie Pennington, Gregg Sulkin as Will Wagner, Joey Pollari (Disney XD's "Skyrunners") as Miles, Devon Graye ("Dexter") as Marco, Molly Quinn ("Castle") as Jen, Christopher Tavarez ("Big Momma's House 2") as Lance, and Steve Valentine ("I'm in the Band," "Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie," "Crossing Jordan") as Mr. Moore.

The teleplay, based on the book by Meg Cabot, was written by Julie Sherman Wolfe ("Jonas," "Phil of the Future") and is directed by Stuart Gillard (Disney Channel's "Hatching Pete," "90210"). "Avalon High" is a production of Sudden Motion Productions, Inc. and Ranger Productions Ltd.

Disney Channel is a 24-hour kid-driven, family inclusive television network that taps into the world of kids and families through original series and movies. Currently available on basic cable in over 99 million U.S. homes and to millions of other viewers on Disney Channels around the world, Disney Channel is part of the Disney/ABC Television Group.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Frank Cammuso's Obama Hood!

Frank Cammuso, political cartoonist and creator of the Arthurian-inspired Knights of the Lunch Table series for young readers, has recently posted a Robin-Hood-themed cartoon at http://blog.syracuse.com/cammuso/2010/05/not-so_merry_men.html.

I've attached a copy below.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Kalamazoo Papers of Interest

The following papers of relevance to the topic of medieval comics are included in the program for this week's International Congress on Medieval Studies held at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

THURSDAY, 13 MAY 2010
1:30-3:00 PM

SESSION 88: SCHNEIDER 1255
Global Progeny
Sponsor: Scholarly Community for the Globalization of the Middle Ages (SCGMA)
Organizer: Gabriel Gryffyn, Univ. of Minnesota–Twin Cities
Presider: Maria Cecire, Univ. of Chicago/Univ. of Oxford
PAPER 2OF 2: The Percival Complex: Understanding the Role of the Imperfect Hero in the Global Popularity of Juvenile Manga Series
Lorna Wolcott Cooper, Lubbock Christian Univ.



SATURDAY, 15 MAY 2010
3:30-5:00 PM

SESSION 521: SCHNEIDER 1360
Medievalism in Music and the Fine Arts
Sponsor: Studies in Medievalism
Organizer: Richard Utz, Western Michigan Univ.
Presider: Kirsten Yri, Wilfrid Laurier Univ.
PAPER 4 OF 4: Jeff Smith’s “Bone”: Revising Tolkien and Lewis’s Antimodernist Fantasies
Andrew Taylor, Western Michigan Univ.