Futurama

August 2009
"Never make predictions, especially about the 'Futurama.' "
Posted on August 31, 2009 by Tim
That's a line from an article about Futurama on newsday.com that FMMB moderator marloc clownface ran across. The article starts out talking about the renaissance of Futurama and ends up comparing and contrasting it to it's “sister show” The Simpsons. In the middle, it slips in a little tidbit that questions whether or not there will be 26 episodes - and I quoteth: Like the "42" in Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the meaning of "26" is open to interpretation. "It will be up to 26," specifies executive producer David X. Cohen, who, with Groening, is credited as "developer" of the series. "I can't guarantee it will be 26," he says by phone, en route to the L.A. studio where the cast is recording the second new episode. "But I think there's a pretty good chance it'll be exactly 26. Fox has been a little bit cagey about it, even internally.
"But nobody's too concerned," he adds cheerily. "We're plunging ahead."
Be that as it may, my handy rotative, gyroscopic stabilized repetitive motion predictor device suggests that there will be 26 episodes if there aren't more or less.


Now here is a prediction that is safe to make - regardless of whether or not you are a shipper, by the end of this Fan Fiction you'll be screaming "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" at your screen (so here's a helpful hint - don't read this at your place of employment while you're supposed to be on the clock unless you have a door you can close and a "chewing out in progress" sign you can switch on - don't akx me how I know this ). It's called Leela's Choice and it was written by Flounder, who describes this story succinctly as “shipper kryptonite”, and that isn't too far off. It's a simple story - Leela has a choice to make, marry Fry, or marry Zapp Brannigan. The surprise ending packs a real one-two punch, in more ways than one.
Oh, hey look, I write too!
Posted on August 29, 2009 by Tim
So said Leela+Fry when she sent me her first ever Fan Fiction, and here it is. Suppose, just for a moment, that a bunch of fangirls came to the future and hunted down the object of their affections, who in this case just happens to me Dr. Zoidberg. Ok, I'm just yanking your chelae, they're really after Fry in Attack of the Fangirls and I'm pretty sure I know whose house they drag him to.

Speaking of Zoidberg, interesting trivia factoid - there really is a type of ten legged crab called a decapods.

And speaking of Leela+Fry, she also sent in some more of her Fan Art, including her first one in color. There's also one of Leela that was inspired by Harry Potter and one of Fry with a hat, just 'cause.




Good news, everyone! I've had a couple of status updates about Rebx 1-X from Ralph Snart in the last twenty four hours and things are looking up. Ralph says “the kind thoughts have worked wonders. She's in a Rehab Facility now ... by Wednesday she was able to sit up for a short time and talk almost perfectly.” Huzzahs! She'll be in rehab for three weeks and probably won't have access to e-mail, but if you'd like to pick up the phone and say Hi, shoot Ralph an email and he'll give you her phone number. It's ralphsnart(at)comcast(dot)net


Last thing - over in Poems and Song Parodies, DSS has a new one of the latter - it's called Something's In Her Eye. It's set to Something in Your Mouth by Nickelback. And before Graham spills his tea on his crumpets, I better mention that DSS toned down the song and “somewhat changed the subject matter” so it wouldn't corrode the fixtures here in the Madhouse.
Sometimes those pesky characters just won't do what you want them too
Posted on August 27, 2009 by Tim
You'd think it would be easy being an author or artist, but no, sometimes you just can't get those silly fictional characters to act the way you want them too. And that's sorta what we gots going on here. DSS says that this pic is Leela in a good mood. He also feels that the pic somewhat resembles the Mona Lisa for some reason that he, the drawer, can't quite understand. The other pic he sent is Leela and Fry as hippies promoting environmental causes except in this one Leela isn't wearing pink camouflage pants.



A while back, we were awash with Fan Fiction and there wasn't a scrap of Fan Art to be seen. Lately, it's been the other way around. Finally some fic is starting to roll in again, so we'll lead off with this one by Flounder. It's called Leela and Fry's Journals and the best way to explain it is to let Flounder tell it: “Lo these many years ago, when dinosaurs walked the earth and I was in high school a writing teacher told me that a good way for creative writers to build skill is to take a story already written and adapt it to different circumstances. This is what I've done with Leela and Fry's Journals. (I leave it to you, gentle reader, to decide if I've built any skill at all.) It is completely ripped off from loosely based on a short story by that well-known American author of the late 19th century, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, a/k/a Mark Twain; and the story it's based on is The Diaries of Adam and Eve. Even if you're not a religious sort of person, it's a touching, poignant love story, shot through and through with Twain's timeless humor.“ And Flounder's fic is much the same way.
Futurama Rocks
Posted on August 26, 2009 by Tim
But then you already knew that, unless you're here as the result of an errant web search, in which case you've learned something new, so the day hasn't been a total loss. But anyway, the second I saw this photo that Rush send in, I just knew right off what today's headline was gonna be. It's a little hard to see in the small pic, but Rush spelled Futurama in limestone on limestone. Isn't that just about the cheesiest thing you ever saw to get your "picture in the paper"? Well, it worked.

Rush also made a video; it's a little parody related to the whole voice actor recasting fiasco but difficulties in sending the file and my being gone have conspired to render it less timely than it should have been. If you want a chuckle though, you can check it out on photobucket - it's called Voices Recast: (Not) Futurama Team Fortress Style.


Guardian Talon says that he hasn't seen much done with the reference to Leela's elbow talons from The Beast With A Billion Backs and he wanted to explore what it would be like if she let them grow. I don't know whether it's cause or effect, but she's looking a little worse for wear.




And now for something completely different. A while back, DSS sent in a poem entitled Leela In My Dreams. So DSS was snooping around on the How To Submit Stuff page the other day and ran across the bit about sending in audio recordings of same. Now frankly, I never expected that anyone would actually read that, but here it is. So, if you'd like to hear DSS reciting his poem, go to the Poetry and Song Parodies page, scroll down to DSS' poem, and look for the audio link. You know what to do from there.


Sad, sad, terrible, gruesome news about our colleague, Reba 1-X aka Kelly (pictured here in a Fan Art by Sarah - Kelly is the one with two eyes). We've mentioned before that Kelly suffers from advanced Multiple Sclerosis. Her husband, Thomas aka Ralph Snart writes with an update, and the news is not good: “Kelly was hospitalized last Friday with urosepsis and a non-healing wound. She had a small stroke Saturday night that has affected her speech and balance. She can't sit up at this point and gets frustrated when people can't understand her when she speaks. She's being treated aggressively but is in pretty bad condition. She's being transferred to a Rehab Facility today - the Neurologist told me that she'll be at the Rehab Facility for at least a month with the chance she may have to be placed in a Nursing Home. She can really use some good wishes.” Kelly's e-mail address is calliope_1 (at) comcast (dot) net. Please drop her a note or send an e-card - knowing someone out there is thinking of you can go a long way towards making a bad situation a little more bearable. Kelly and Thomas, our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Ten and One Half ways not to screw up the return of Futurama which starts June 2010
Posted on August 25, 2009 by Tim
Yep, that's right. We have it on good authority that the first new season of Futurama will air beginning in June of next year. And that sets the stage nicely for a guest editorial entitled Ten and One Half ways not to screw up the return of Futurama. It was written by Dom, who has contributed newsy tidbits to these pages a few times. I might have referred to him as Dominik on those occasions 'cause he hadn't got round to telling me that no one he knows calls him Dominik. So anyway, here it is, Dom's ideas on how not to screw up the return of Futurama in ten and a half easy lessons:

Futurama is a great show - a really great show and its vocal fans have played a direct role in its miraculous return from the dead. Such a rare resurrection only happens when something is truly special. But if we fans are honest, all of us have had at least some (often differing) qualms now and then with the directions taken in certain episodes or the recent straight-to-DVD movies. And for all our hopes about the return of Futurama, many fans have also expressed just a tiny little bit of apprehension that the series’ quality can be maintained. So what are the common gripes and how can we make sure the new season lives up to expectations? Here’s a top ten list (OK, actually top eleven) of how Futurama’s writers and producers, with the greatest of respect and deference, can avoid screwing things up:

10. Remember the show is set in the future. That may seem obvious, but on occasion this has been somewhat forgotten. Fry awakens in a weird and mysterious world with suicide booths, talking robots and all manner of weirdness. Remember Blernsball? The first time this game was introduced, it was an incomprehensibly and wonderfully weird game that just highlighted how lost Fry was in this strange futuristic world. In subsequent episodes, the game started making more and more sense, increasingly resembling baseball. It worked better when it was a really weird game – it just helped to remind us that we are in the year 3000. Similarly, one can argue that the rare moments in the series where there seemed to be no real difference with the present day Earth – rock concerts with contemporary musicians, driving around in old VW vans etc. - worked to undermine the magic of this strange futuristic utopian dystopia. The episodes simply didn’t work as well. So the lesson is: keep it futuristic. Remember that Fry is a fish out of water and remember to have him keep marveling at this strange new world every now and again. He’s the only character there who is one of us, after all!

9. Only iconic guest stars in jars. Picking up slightly from the previous point: It is one thing having Al Gore, Steven Hawking or the Star Trek cast lending their voices to those heads in jars, but what often seemed to work far less in some previous episodes were the random and far less iconic celebrities in jars that we barely remember now, never mind a thousand years from now. Do we really need to be doing C-list pop-groups any favors by sticking them in jars and having our characters going to their concerts? That just seems like a silly stunt and not entirely believable. And again it undermines Fry’s sense that he is a fish out of water in the future. Is this a weird futuristic world or not? Besides, is there any evidence that these cameos actually helped bring in viewers? Unlikely. So use these unexplained (we still don’t know how that part works) revived heads sparingly. Try to use iconic names that at least have a chance of being remembered a thousand years from now and if you don’t, then who but Fry should be able to remember them?

8. Don’t forget the sci-fi. Deep down, Futurama stirs our imaginations in that inexplicable way that the original Star Trek series did. And there is a reason that like its spiritual predecessor, Futurama has built up a loyal following and simply refused to die. Part of that has to do with the science-fiction part. Great stories told with a great sci-fi twist. Perhaps one of the most beautiful episodes that Futurama ever did was “The Sting”. It was Futurama at its best: Great storytelling, great character interplay and told in a way that only Futurama or Star Trek could – with a sci-fi sprinkling of surprisingly moving magic. The same with another great episode: “Godfellas”. We are out there floating amidst the wonder of space pondering the nature of God – wow! With today’s CGI-laden Hollywood movies, it is so easy to forget the nuances and colors and mysteries that stimulate our imaginations, where less is so often more. Futurama’s great strength is how it is able to do that, meaning the sci-fi part, so well. And within this framework, the scope has been limitless, even managing to do thoroughly entertaining commentaries on garbage and global warming. It would be a shame to underplay that component and just sit around going to celeb head-in-jars rock concerts instead.

7. Don’t forget the strange new worlds. And while we’re on the subject, the strange new worlds part has always worked really well too. Remember those weird blue water people in “My Three Suns”? That was such an incredibly iconic and aesthetically memorable episode and that planet was so incredibly designed. As was “A Bicyclops Built for Two” where Leela thinks she has finally found another member of “her species”. First, the weird computer world and then that weird planet. And who can forget the “Near Death Star” where Farnsworth ends up being sent into forced retirement? These strange new worlds are part of what has made Futurama so iconic. Let’s explore. Let’s get in that ship and see more of this kind of weirdness, whether it is weird giant sex-starved women or a planet with windy shrimps (brilliant)! Hollywood has by and large given up on the concept of exploration in movies, its senses largely rotted away by “anything goes” CGI overload – so Futurama is really one of the only shows out there able to take us into the realms of wonder and imagination in a way that stimulates rather than shuts down our senses. More please!

7-1/2. Fry and Leela. How far can the rubber band be stretched without snapping? There is an interesting lesson to be learned from the 1980s comedy series “Cheers”. For its first four seasons, there was so much electricity in the “will-they-won’t-they?” Sam and Dianne relationship, that the stories sizzled and practically wrote themselves. Then in the fifth season, the rubber band snapped. Believability and credibility in the two leading characters was lost (Dianne became stupidly lovesick and Sam became angry) and the only logical thing to do was to either marry them or get one of them out of there forever. So how much longer can we stretch Fry and Leela without risking credibility? We know the basic premise. Fry loves Leela. But Leela will only love Fry once he stops being such a slovenly immature child, which he still loves being. Fortunately for Futurama, not every episode centers on this relationship. And in the past, we got little nuggets; an episode now and then that teased the situation along. Maybe that is the key. Keep it slow; don’t overplay the hand; tease us and don’t do anything you might regret! Messing this kind of thing up is a primary reason why so many shows have “jumped the shark”. Wouldn’t it be funny to reverse things just once? Leela finally likes Fry but suddenly Leela’s excessive orderliness annoys him. There are still a few stories to be told before the two of them finally get it together – which we want one day (surely), but not just yet!

6. Don’t cheapen your characters. That is standard writer’s advice at all times, admittedly, but in a comedy show, the line can be very fine. Only a few times has the show arguably made this mistake. Most noticeably, in the DVD film “The Beast with a Billion Backs” where suddenly all the emotions between Fry and Leela from the previous movie have gone and without much explanation. Fry suddenly has a new girlfriend. What happened? When you take story-telling short-cuts, you cheapen your characters and you disrespect your audience. Why does the ship’s computer suddenly and inexplicably have a female personality in “Love and Rocket”? Because credibility was stretched in order to make a concept work. Not good. We love the work of the Futurama writers, but please don’t ever insult our intelligence.

5. Don’t stop caring! This isn’t supposed to be said out loud too much, but a lot of people think that Futurama’s sister-show The Simpsons lost its edge years ago. Why? Because it started to run on autopilot. Its early stories about small things having big emotional consequences morphed into big stories having little emotional consequence. Suddenly Homer was becoming a submarine pilot or an astronaut and that small family struggling to make ends meet vanished. Thankfully, Futurama’s scope is much bigger, but those early stories, like when Fry and Bender search for an apartment are a great example of small stories with big emotions told well. Don’t forget that. One of the great things that DVD commentaries do is force the creatives that work on series to look at the early episodes of their shows. If in doubt, and if you feel a tendency towards big stunts, cheap gags and all the other signs of creative ennui, go back to the beginning and find inspiration there. And there is so much inspiration in Futurama’s early shows. Interestingly, in four seasons and four DVD movies, we still haven’t properly explored the apartment block where Bender and Fry live. They reside amongst a bunch of robots. Fry is the only human. Surely there are some stories there. And what about those tubes that everyone travels round New New York in? They haven’t been properly explored either. Oddly enough, Futurama’s crisis-ridden history may help to keep it fresh. But we fans dread the day where this show drags on for fifteen seasons and no-one seems to give a damn anymore. Let’s pray that never happens.

4. Seek out new ideas. Futurama’s more limited sixth season writing pot (reportedly induced by a lower budget) could present problems. While the talent is unquestionable, a sci-fi comedy series of this nature should always have its feelers out for great writers out there able to submit new ideas. That is what Star Trek had to do in order to even be able to manage churning out 26 episodes a season and that is what the original run of Futurama did too. There are writers out there who will bring you an unexpected classic that you never thought of, which will serve as a springboard for even more new ideas. There is a danger, as was evidenced in the DVD movies somewhat, of always re-visiting old faces and ideas purely for the sake of it. We love the huge Futurama tapestry of recurring characters, but new ideas are where freshness lies. Find a way with the budget you have to occasionally farm out a story beyond your permanent writing staff; maybe even institute the kind of open submissions policy that the revived Star Trek franchise had allowing anyone who signs a release form to pitch a story; it is a great way to prevent stagnation.

3. Respect your aesthetics. Futurama has one of the most vibrant, vivid and iconic palettes out there. That is undeniably part of its charm and appeal. The music; the designs; the colors – the show is a wonder to simply look at and listen to. Fortunately, of all the fears one can have about the revived Futurama, this one is likely the least valid. For now, there is no reason that the aesthetics of Futurama should become stale. The animation has always been wonderful; the music great; the special-effects, although largely computer-based, have always had the correct respect for the creative role of the human hand. If only other shows and other movies understood that balance the way Futurama has with this still relatively new technology. But as with the writing, fresh risks and new stylistic ideas will make sure the new show doesn’t feel like a rehash of the old one. Keep up your great designs, great effects and great work. Be inspired. Thankfully, the atmosphere under producers David X. Cohen and Matt Groening appears to foster rather than stifle creativity. Great!

2. Respect the formula. Looking across the internet for some consensus as to least-liked Futurama episodes is pretty tough. Almost every time someone names an episode, you’ll find someone else that says “What? I loved that one!” But based solely on some quick web surfing for recurring selections of least-favorite episodes, the titles “That's Lobstertainment”, “A Leela Of Her Own”, “A Taste of Freedom”, “Where The Buggalo Roam”, “The Honking” and “Bendin' In the Wind” seem to pop up quite often in discussions. Are there any lessons to be learned here? Indeed there are. All of these episodes, bar none, can be accused of straying too far from the Futurama formula.

“Bendin in the Wind” is far, far too contemporary with its VW vans and rock concerts. “That's Lobstertainment” isn’t really sci-fi comedy at all – it seems to be in an entirely different genre and is again far too contemporary. “The Honking” strays so far outside formula into horror as to almost be insulting the viewer with its morphing Bender. “A Leela Of Her Own” is yet again far too contemporary, what with the baseball and everything. “A Taste of Freedom” stretches credibility for the sake of making a strained episode concept work and “Where The Buggalo Roam” makes the magic of Mars just seem like the comparatively boring Wild West (and why wouldn’t Fry be disappointed at that the way he was at the moon being commercialized?). The two common threads in these weaker episodes are easy to spot. Making shows too contemporary (i.e. forgetting that the show is set in the future) and stretching the formula beyond credibility into something else, the latter an oft-stated weakness of the DVD fantasy and not sci-fi movie “Bender’s Game”. In any series, it is a tough proposition to both maintain the formula and know how to stretch it creatively. But often, the stretching comes when creative ennui sets in and Fonzie begins starting up his jet-skis, ready to make that big stunt leaping over that shark in order liven things up again…you know the story. It rarely works. Sure, an episode can be about Bender floating in space, or about multiple universes. That’s what we expect. Those aren’t limitations, just the framework that holds up the show. When you start doing genre takeoffs just to do stories that would make no sense otherwise – the Futurama episode as 1940s film noir, for example - we’ll know you’re running out of ideas.

1. Stay proud to be alternative. If ever a network suit comes and demands changes to “increase appeal and attract a wider audience” tell them “Bite my shiny metal ass!” If ever a network suit says “Bender shouldn’t steal and drink so much. This should be a family show. Can’t he be fueled by Dr Pepper instead?” Again say, with even more force: “Bite my shiny metal ass!” (or the diplomatically acceptable equivalent). We don’t need Futurama Happy Meals at McDonalds, or all the kind of stuff that goes with the mass-marketing of popular commercial media product these days. And Futurama is never going to be, nor should it be, prime-time family entertainment. The networks never understood the show anyway. The first time around, instead of presenting it as a late-night reliable treat to be stumbled upon and savored, they tried to sell it as an early evening staple, then mercilessly shifted it around the schedules before finally letting it die. Futurama is a treat where part of the joy is in the discovery (it may not even belong on the big screen). If the networks fail to understand Futurama again, then there will be yet more trouble. Remain proud to be an alternative little show with a dedicated and loyal following – at least Comedy Central seems to understand that part. Maybe the burger-chain sponsorships will be fewer, but your consciences will be clearer and your creative freedoms will be unrestricted and your viewers will be there. The fans can take pride in helping bring this thing back to life and the work of the Futurama team has mostly been outstanding. That is the basis for a great relationship. Let’s not mess that up. Godspeed and here’s to the return of Futurama!

Discuss this article on our Forum.
Brain slugs
Posted on August 24, 2009 by Tim
Ah yes, brain slugs, one of the truly great and under-appreciated inventions of the Futuramaverse. And once again Fry is starving one of these cute fuzzy wuzzy little creatures, at least in this new Fan Art by cordarya.




And at long last we have the conclusion to Frosty's Fan Fiction A Mark, A Mission, A Scar, A Brand in which Fry (without brain slugs but with perhaps a few slugs to the brain) flees from Leela and her ex-troubles, only to start having second thoughts before he's even back to NNY. Promo artwork by CosmicF.
"In the game of chess, you can never let your adversary see your pieces."
Posted on August 23, 2009 by Tim
Good news everyone. We have a tidbit, however small it may be (which seems appropriate considering todays subject ), about the second new Futurama episode, tentatively called 6ACV02 by the fan community (that's us). The Infosphere is reporting that a table reading was held on 20 August, 2009 and that Maurice LaMarche, voice of Kif, Calculon, Morbo, and a whole host of other characters, has revealed that the episode will center around Zapp Brannigan. Fans are speculating that this could be the episode with Zapp and Leela alone on a planet that was mentioned at Comic-Con.



FryGuy not only spotted and took a photo of this real world Futurama sighting, he also had lunch there. Brannigans restaurant is in downtown Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and FryGuy and some others ate there one day. He says “They all got sick, but I, on the other hand, quite enjoyed the pancakes there.”



Before anyone screams “THE HORROR”, yeah, Sofía turned Zapp into a woman (though it looks more like a transvestite... but it's a woman) because, she says, she was inspired by the drawings of Graham Dawson. She liked his version of Fry as a woman and Leela as a man and said "Why not? Only Zapp is missing" and so here's her version. And while you're at it, she's got eight, count 'em, eight other new drawings on her Fan Art page as well so be sure the check them all out.
It sounded like something only a madman would dream up*
Posted on August 20, 2009 by Tim
If I were twittering my day today, the most recent entry would be a whiny bitch list of trials and tribulations involving being far from home and access to all of my usual tools and software, and about how stupid I was for not copying a few handy files to my USB drive before I left, and about trying to improvise with other peoples stuff. But hey, I haven't got sucked into the twitter thing yet, so we won't go there. Instead, let's just look at the end result of the Frankenstein's monster I lashed up - first off, some Fan Art. This is a pic of the Robot Devil from Sofíe about which she says “Robot Devil..siempre quisse dibujarlo..fue mi 1er intento y me gusto como salio” - which Leandro tells me translates to “Robot Devil, I always wanted to draw him. This was my first try and I like how it came out.”. I like how it came out too.


Sofíe and I weren't the only ones who liked how it came out, MissusPatches did to - she thought it was very cute - so she (with Sof's permission of course) colo(u)red it.




MissusPatches also sent along another fan art contribution, and since it amounted to a one page comic, I put it in the Fans Comics section. It about what happens when Mom crashes her son's slumber party. Pretty scary.




Leela+Fry broke out the drawing pencils and whipped up some new art - four of 'em to be exact. The thumbnails are a little hard to see, but they're there. If her thumbnails looked like mine do, they'd be a lot easier to see, but then, you probably wouldn't want to see them.



*with apologies to La Belle Leela
Let's try this again
Posted on August 17, 2009 by Tim
So the big Futurama panel at Comic-Con last month was kind of a wash what with the little voice actor pay dispute going on at the time. Now that that's all cleaned up, maybe we'll get a second chance at the Animation Supercon coming up in a couple of months as several of the 'rama voice actors are slated to be there. And since I'm on vacation and feeling lazy today, I'll just be lazier (if that's even possible) and let you plow through the press release. Leandro says that's boring, but he was even lazier 'cause he forwarded it to me. So here ya go:

For immediate release
Press Contact
Animation Supercon
Mike Broder 954.882.2950 mike@floridasupercon.com

ANIMATION SUPERCON 2009
announced for Oct. 2-4, 2009
Featuring cast reunions from Futurama and Pinky & The Brain


Miami, FL – Anime Supercon (ASC) is now Animation Supercon, as it returns for a 4th year to an all new, bigger & better location; the Doubletree Miami Airport Hotel and Convention Center. Animation Supercon will replace Anime Supercon as the shows focus shifts to encompass the entire animation world, and not just Japanese anime. Set for October 2-4, Animation Supercon is a three day festival and convention dedicated to Animation, Cartoons, Anime, Comic Books and Video Games.

Animation Supercon will feature celebrity guests, artists, animators, writers, vendors, Q&A’s, parties, costume contests, anime programming, cosplay, panels, photo shoots, live music, video games and more as it takes over 100,000+ square feet of the Doubletree Miami Airport Hotel and Convention Center. This years event will also host the inaugural Supercon International Animation Film Festival (SIAFF) which will feature animated films and shorts from across the globe. The event kicks off at 3:30PM, Friday, October 2 and the fun continues almost around the clock until 6:00PM, Sunday, October 4.

Over the weekend-long event, attendees will have a chance to meet and converse with celebrity guests and artists from all corners of the industry. Our initial guest list includes two very special cast reunions from Futurama and Pinky & The Brain. Our first round of guests includes:

Billy West: Star of Futurama (Philip J. Fry, Professor Farnsworth, Zapp Brannigan, Dr. Zoidberg), Ren and Stimpy (Ren and Stimpy), Looney Tunes (Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd), Doug (Doug) and The Woody Woodpecker Show (Woody Woodpecker).

John DiMaggio: Star of Futurama (Bender, Flexo, Elzar), Gears of War (Marcus Fenix), Chowder (Shnitzel), Final Fantasy XII (Gilgamesh, Migelo), Samurai Jack (The Scotsman) and Princess Mononoke (Gonza).

Phil LaMarr: Star of Futurama (Hermes Conrad, Rev. Lionel Preacherbot), Samurai Jack (Samurai Jack), Family Guy (Ollie Williams, The Judge), Transformers: Animated (Jazz, Omega Supreme, Jetstorm), Mad TV, Justice League (Green Lantern), Static Shock (Static) and Final Fantasy XII (Reddas).

Maurice LaMarche: Star of Futurama (Kif, Morbo, Calculon, Lrr, Donbot, Hedonist Bot), Pinky and The Brain (The Brain), Tripping the Rift (Gus), Xiaolin Showdown (Master Fung), Inspector Gadget (Inspector Gadget), Tiny Toon Adventures (Dizzy Devil), Transformers (Six Gun) and The Critic (Jeremy Hawke).

Rob Paulsen: Star of Pinky and The Brain (Pinky), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Raphael), The Tick (Arthur), Animaniacs (Yakko), Transformers (Air Raid, Slingshot), GI Joe (Snowjob, Tripwire) and Fraggle Rock (Boober, Sprocket).

Bill Morrison: Concept Artist of Futurama and Co-Founder / Creative Director for Bongo Comics. Bill's artist credits, as artist/writer/editor for Bongo Comics include Futurama Comics, Bartman Comics, Bongo Comics, Radioactive Man, Itchy and Scratchy, Simpsons Comics, Bart Simpson and Treehouse of Horror. In addition, Bill was the writer/artist for Captain Carrot and The Final Ark (DC Comics) and poster artist for Disney's The Little Mermaid.

Allen Bellman: Golden Age Comic Book artist for Timely / Marvel and Lev Gleason. Mr. Bellman's credits include Captain America, The Patriot, Let's Play Detective, The Human Torch, The Sub-Mariner, All Select Comics, Marvel Mystery Comics and All Winners Comics.

Richard Green: Richard is and artist and animator, who has extensive animation credits with Disney Studios. His work can be seen in Beauty and the Beast (asst. animator for Lumiere), Rescuers Down Under, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Goofy and Mickey Mouse.

Terry Cronin and Pat Martin: Representing 3Boys Productions, Terry and Pat are the creators of independent comic book Students of The Unusual.

Austin Janowsky: Austin is a veteran artist and inker, whose credits include Iron Man: The End, Stanley The Snowman, Judo Girl, Cracked Magazine, X-Men Unlimited, Witch Girl Tales, Tomb Raider and Bubba The Redneck Werewolf.

Nakia Mann: Comic Book Artist of Zoom Suit and Codename: Power.

Other guests include: Manny Aguilera (artist), Wendy Lo (designer / writer), Kill Miss Pretty (musical guests), Deleon Walters (artist) and Joel Estrada (artist). More guests will be announced shortly.

For more information and updates visit: www.animationsupercon.com

The convention hours of operation are:
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2: 3:30PM – 2:00AM
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 3: 11:00AM - 2:00AM
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4: 11:00AM - 6:00PM

Tickets are currently available online and at select vendors.

General Admission (3) Day Weekend Pass:
$30 if reserved between July 26 and August 31, 2009

$35 if reserved between September 1 and September 30, 2009
General Admission at the door is $40 for a weekend pass. Single day passes will be $20 for Friday or Sunday and $25 for Saturday. Children under 10 receive free admission. Parents, Police officers, Fire Fighters and Military receive a $10 discount.

Special V.I.P. tickets are available as well.

The Double Tree Miami Airport Hotel & convention center is located at 711 NW 72nd Ave, Miami, FL 33126. The Double Tree has over 100,000 square feet of total convention space to accommodate the growing attendance of Animation Supercon. Discounted room rates for convention are available. See our website www.animationsupercon.com for details.
Hats off to Bender
Posted on August 15, 2009 by Tim
I mentioned yesterday that we were up to our shiny metal hats in Fan Art, so here's some more. gbow is back with another one of Fry and Bender in a drinking contest. And since Bender runs on alcohol, me thinks this is a loosing proposition for Fry. You'd think he'd learn. Oh, wait, this is Fry.



So here's a real interesting concept - Bender getting into Heaven. I know, it doesn't sound likely, but Imilianikus asked the question “what would Bender do in Heaven?” and from the looks of things, he'd do about the same things he does on Earth (and all of the other planets he visits).



Speaking of hats, I mentioned a few days ago that Crystalmask had a Bender fleece hat made by Lilineko. Well CM sends a pic of a Nibbler hat that Lilineko also made. You might be able to get one of your own by giving Lilineko a shout on DA.
Who's your momma?
Posted on August 14, 2009 by Tim
Who's the worst mother of all time? We Futurama fans know the answer to that, don't we? Well, don't we? We sure do. It's Mom, the world's most huggable industrialist, who holds trademarks on the words "Mom," "Love," and "Screen Door", does charity work for "knocked-up teenage sluts", and regularly beats the snot out of her three sons. This is all very funny of course but the important point is that it now has received official recognition in the form of an article by Time called The Best & Worst Moms Ever and guess who's number one! Thanks to Dingsda for the find.







We're up to our Bender Juniors in Fan Art right now so I'd better deliver a little of that. So first up are two pics by Vytas_Wolf. This one is Leela, Bender, and Fry as mages. The other one (the one whos thumbnail doesn't show up very well) is of “Milton”, Fry's pet from a fan fic called I Keeping It that V_W is writing - it's on FMMB as he hasn't submitted it to me yet.



And speaking of thumbnails that don't show up very well, here's three more by DSS. There's Leela as Marge Simpson from The Simpsons, and Leela as Lois Griffin from Family Guy, and of Leela flying around on a hover-scooter.
There's no rest for the weary when you moonlight at the Madhouse
Posted on August 12, 2009 by Tim
Gone for two weeks? Who said I would be gone for two weeks? Oh, wait, I sort of did didn't I? Well, I am gone - on vacation (holiday for those of you across the pond) from the day job but, like the headline says, there's no rest for the weary when you moonlight at the Madhouse. Plus I figured out how to get a decent network connection up here finally so its on with the show, and that show is all Fan Art today (see fan art people, you're not out of luck after all ) - first up is this pic of Fry spiffing himself up for his date with Colleen from The Beast With A Billion Backs. It's by gbow in his first contribution to FM/TLZ.


Another first timer here is Jodes with this pic called Leela Shock. Jodes didn't say what Leela was shocked about, although it looks like Fry is a little worse for wear, but no worse then a week of binge drinking or five minutes on a cell phone.




And lastly bur not the least leastly, one last one from Futurama_Freak1 that asks the musical question “What-If Leela didn't trim her elbow talons, coated them with electromatter, and helped Bender fight Yivo?“. I say “one last” because FF1 is on a self-imposed Fan Art ban until he finishes his comic, which, when I asked him if he would have it finished by tomorrow, all he did was laugh.
Analysis: Why two production seasons are better than one
Posted on August 9, 2009 by Svip
With Tim gone for a couple of weeks, I'd like to take over posting stuff here. Unfortunately for the fanart people out there, there won't be any of that when I'm in charge. Mainly because you don't send it to me, anyway. I make analysis. That's all I'm programmed to do.

But let's start out with something may not have been considering, well, might, but only with the recent news that FOX may be considering Futurama back. Very interesting. Of course, FOX keeps itself out of any commitments by making such claims as having to see how it goes on Comedy Central, before making a decision.

And then at the same time, we have the whole "season technicality". Comedy Central have ordered 26 episodes. No where in that press release did it mention the number of seasons for these episodes. Because that production technicality is up to 20th Century Fox (not to be confused with FOX, the network).

Now why is this distinction important? Because if they are split up into two production seasons, both of 13 episodes (you rarely make production seasons of less than 13 episodes, when it is 22 minute episodes), that means if FOX changes their mind, the second production season (as I'd call it "season 7") will be on a higher budget, because now it is not a cable production but a network production.

What will that mean? More writers, more time for animation and maybe even more orchestra. You want more Christopher Tyng, right? But I guess you are pondering then, "will the first 13 episodes of these 26 suck then?" Not necessarily, but writers may run out of material for 26 episodes, so more writers would help a lot for the latter 13 episodes.

And what do we know? So far; we know that it will split into two broadcast seasons, but as production go, I am still assuming 1 season. Though I am hoping my assumption is wrong.

Furthermore, I think Carthage must be destroyed.
Sun, sand, dinosaur poop, and hats.
Posted on August 9, 2009 by Tim
I love Summer. And it's summer right now where I am, 90°F (32°C) and humidity to match. So in addition to sitting in the basement with a fan going and and iced drink at hand, my thoughts naturally turn to ... fleece hats. Has the heat addled my brain you wonder? No doubt it has. Or maybe it was the aforementioned iced drink. Or maybe a little of both. But in any case, I do want to talk about fleece hats. Like this really cool Bender one that Crystalmask got. It seem that a very talented individual who goes by the name of lilineko on deviantart makes them. Crystalmask says “You send her an email (or a message at her deviantart account) asking for a specific hat (bender, calculon, nibbler, etc etc). She'll respond and tell you if she can do it and then the buyer and her will discuss the price.”


Ok, Fan Fiction fans, polish up your dinosaur trivia 'cause you're gonna need it. The fic is called Nanotyrannus and it's by DSS. It seems that after Leela discovers the remains of the rare and controversial dinosaur called Nanotyrannus underneath Planet Express, she becomes a paleontologist. Leela hopes to prove that the creature is it's own species and not a baby T-Rex; it won't be easy but with science on her side, she might crack open the mystery. The fic features special guest star appearances by “Dinosaur George” Blasing and Jack Horner.



DSS, the man with infinite time apparently, has also cranked out another Video Clip. This one's called The Terminator Mutant: The Mrs. Fry Chronicles. You've probably already figured out that it's based on the promo trailer of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. He says it was hard to make because there aren't all that many frame grabs of Fry's mom.



Things are going to be a little sporadic on the FM/TLZ update front here for the next couple of weeks 'cause like Fry here I'm headed for the beach (not nude) in the land the internet forgot. So while I'm out at the far end of a tenuous 19k dial up link, feel free to spam my mailbox with all kinds of wonderful megapixel creations. After all, I've got to have something to do when I get back. Meanwhile, so long, coffin stuffers.
Nerds and news
Posted on August 8, 2009 by Tim
Every male worthy of the gender goes through this rather uncomfortable period in their lives called “adolescence”. This challenging time generally lasts from roughly the onset of puberty until about thirty minutes after clinical death, longer if it's a warm day. And since MG and most of the artists involved in the creation of Futurama are male, and also geeky nerdlingers, it's no wonder Leela looks like she does. And because DSS also fits those aforementioned molds, he's prone to draw Fan Art featuring himself, in a blazer, dancing with Leela. Better hope the Zapper doesn't see you.


DSS has also put together a neat little Video Clip and no, it does not feature himself and Leela. Nope, this one is called Futurama Fight Club. It takes the audio track of the TV spot for Jurassic Fight Club's premiere and mated it with some of the more pugilistic scenes from our favorite show.



And in general news - there's lots of interesting things going on out there right now. FMMB member Basil found this interview with Katey Sagal about the recent salary negotiations and the recasting rumors. She says “it would be very hard to find five people to replace us. I think that it would have been a very different show. The fanbase for Futurama is so fiercely loyal; that's why we're back, because of the fanbase. And I think they were upset, really upset that the voices would be different.” You go, girl, and Huzzahs to us! Tell us what you think about it on our forum.


And FMMBer LarsFilmore2012 ran across a survey from Universal Orlando Resort asking the question “If Universal Orlando were to open a new themed area, which of the following themes would be most appealing to you?”, and one of the choices ... Futurama. Check it out and see for yourself on FMMB.


Lastly, Svip found this article in which FOX execs discuss the possibility of Futurama returning to their airwaves. According to the article, the new episodes will “"do its run on Comedy Central first and we'll see what happens. If we see a renaissance of that show, sure. It's not out of the question." But right now, there are no talks to air it on Fox.“. I'm not hearing a no.
Reboot? What reboot?
Posted on August 5, 2009 by Svip
Yeah, you too, as a fan, have probably heard the worrying tales of a possible - stand clear for gasp - reboot of the series.

The reboot talks was original fuel by Matt Groening's comments about looking to J.J. Adams' Star Trek as an inspiration for how to reboot a franchise. David X. Cohen, however, later rebuttal it. Though, unfortunately, not in the clear way fans had hoped.

But all was cleared up at the San Diego Comic-Con Futurama panel (so at least we got something out of that panel!), with David X. Cohen assuring there would be continuation of where Into the Wild Green Yonder left off. Of course, some where concerned with Matt Groening's intend to simply ignore it and move on. But hey, at least David X. Cohen seems to be in charge of the continuity work.

However, something seems to have labelled a lot of news articles in the cycle lately with the word "reboot" somewhere. You might as an unsuspecting fan fear they might actually be doing a reboot.

However, the word "reboot" really first appeared in this Variety article, which was also later quoted as the source for Futurama's voice actors returning.

But there is nothing to fear. David X. Cohen ensured the fans that the first episode will start with a "literal rebirth", and deal with the Fry+Leela story arc and a later episode will deal with the actual events of the ending of Into the Wild Green Yonder. You know, stuff like Nibbler's shadow.
Let us stand and salute the Futurama flag, raised high in the name of her creators, Matt Groening and David X. Cohen!
Posted on August 5, 2009 by Tim
Well, that's pretty much what we do here anyway, but when I saw that line in the beginning of this Fan Fiction I thought why not say it out loud. Also, I'm lazy. So anyway, said fan fic is none other than part 6 of James Prospect's Leela's Story. So brush up on your Leela trivia (you're gonna need it) and dig in. At seventy-some pages and over 20,000 words, this chapter is longer than most entire fics.



Invaders, possibly from space. That's the name of a Futurama based Space Invaders Game that Shinobi is working on. It's based on based on “Anthology of Interest II” and you can check out the demo video on youtube. Hopefully someday soon you'll be able to down load a version of it. Meanwhile, increase speed, drop down, and reverse direction!




And a day wouldn't be complete without another picture from Futurama_Freak1. I don't know what Zoidberg did - maybe he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time - but that's gotta hurt. Anyway, FF1 claims to be working on a big whoop comic and he said to me tonight “I'm banning myself from making any more fan creations until my comic is done. Do not accept any submissions from me no matter how much I tell you I was kidding before.”. Oh, this is going to be fun. I remember seeing a comic once where a guy was tied to a chair trying to quit smoking using the same technique.
Is it done yet?
Posted on August 4, 2009 by Tim
That's the question Leela is asking in part 2 of Futurama_Freak1's comic Yet Another Test Comic. Although she's really happy to have her voice back, I think Leela is starting to get annoyed that FF1 is frogging around playing with test comics instead of working on the real one 'cause this one started life as a one page comic, but now it's grown a new appendage, something FF1 will address in a upcoming Fan Art.


But not this particular Fan Art. This one is just Leela flying through the air with her futuristic rocket packs, with Fry in tow. Fry better hang on tight. Normally that's something he'd like to do, but me thinks he'd make an exception in this case.
Looking forward, and look out
Posted on August 3, 2009 by Tim
Now that the little issue with the voices of Futurama has apparently been resolved (Now THAT was Good News Everyone ) we can look forward to a better yesterday. By which I mean tomorrow. Or several tomorrows. Like Futurama reaching the magical and much vaunted 100th episode which DSS celebrates (albeit prematurely) with one of his many new pieces of Fan Art. Seeing as how that won't happen for a year or two yet (the 100th episode that is) I should probably have saved this for then, but I'm not sure I would have remembered it that long. Anyway, DSS has a bunch more new stuff you can paw through.



Leela kicking butt is one of the cornerstones of Futurama, even if "butt" is usually someone's head. Does that make them a butt-head? If so, does that make this the wrong genre? Am I so tired after five days of playing in the sun that this actually makes sense to me? Could be. If so, then this is just a self-explanatory new Fan Art from Futurama_Freak1.
Oh and, the cast is back
Posted on August 1, 2009 by Svip
Just, F.Y.I., according to the Toronto Star and Maurice LaMarche (on his Facebook page), the original voice actors of Futurama will be returning with season 6.

In case you missed all of this, you can read about it on the Infosphere as well as on Voice Actors in the News.

I am filling in for the rest of the the Madhouse staff, as none of them are available to post what I assume is most exciting news. I am so excited, I am unable to feel it.
Buddies