July 28, 2005 17:14Love Is Funny
She's cute, she's cuddly.
She's ten years old and she'll kick your ass.
This is the phenomenon that is Pucca.
Not since the mighty merchandising industry that was (and remains) Hello Kitty has Asia produced such a juggernaut of wallet-emptying pre-pubescent appeal. Adorning the clothing, accessories and toy shelves of many a Pacific Rim kiddie, Pucca is now poised to invade the Western mindset.
She's already forged inroads here. Take a bus ride down to your local Chinatown and ask for something, anything Pucca-related at one of the gift shops. You'll be inundated with a broad spectrum of trinkets, the variety and kitchiness of which haven't been seen since the days when Fonzie was the pop cultural touchstone of children everywhere.
Don't know what I'm talking about? You will. Like her Hello Kitty precursor, Pucca will be infiltrating our airwaves every bit as aggressively as she pursues her ninja paramour, Garu. Jetix, in the U.K., is the first broadcaster on board, but I'm sure it won't be long before some North American network, hungry for product-product-product as they all are, will hop onboard and start beaming images of this adorable little kung-fu powerhouse into the heads of your offspring.
I'm frightened and I don't even have kids to bug me to buy them Pucca crap.
This is what I'm writing these days. The format for the first season is twenty-six episodes made up of three seven-minute cartoons each. I'm doing the Michael Maltese thing, writing a bunch of these shorts to fit the "Funny Love" theme.
The story so far, if you haven't been following the series of flash animation films out there on the web, is this: Pucca loves Garu. Garu is a ninja who's always getting into fights with his many enemies. But when the fighting interferes with her romantic agenda, Pucca beats the hell out of anybody who gets in her way. Meanwhile, Garu, being a little boy, thinks girls are icky. But since Pucca is infinitely powerful, he doesn't have much choice but to be victimized by her unwanted affection.
There's a cast of supporting characters and plenty of locales along for the ride. These have been generated by the Vooz Character System which, it seems, operates as something of a mill for iconic figures that look good on a t-shirt or tote bag. Their website for Pucca used to be filled with all sorts of goodies like cartoons, desktop backgrounds, broken English and screensavers. Now, of course, just when I want to direct you there, the site seems to be undergoing some major revamping and all you can do is play with the homepage colour scheme.
I'll let you know when something more substantial comes back up. Then you too can wallow in the Funny Love universe as I've been doing every day for weeks now.
Wallow! I command you! Wallow in the cuteness!
July 12, 2005 16:30Serving Breakfast After Eleven
I've been so busy working on new projects, I've had no time to tell all of you what they are. Word will be coming shortly, but until then let's put my last show to bed once and for all.
Complaints about YTV's decision to halt production of further Fries With That? episodes continues to trickle in here at Eyestrain Productions. If I, who can do absolutely nothing about the fate of the show, am getting letters from disgruntled fans, I imagine YTV itself might actually be getting a few too. Not that this will change a damn thing, but it's nice to let them know someone cares. It may skew them to the idea that all the people who worked on the show did a decent job of it.
From one disappointed fan comes this email:
Way to be the bearer of bad news :(
I won't shoot the messenger *writes a letter to YTV and Corus*, so instead I'll just thank you for the work you did on Fries with That? I watch almost no TV, but since the show stole my soul a few months ago, I've been watching it every time slot it's on. Well, not at 4 in the morning, but I tape that instead. ;) The desire to be able to be a part of such a thing was part of what finally pushed me to transfer into Drama at the University of Calgary this fall, so you can pat yourself on the back that you may have totally shifted the focus in the life of somebody. :)
While Supplies Last was a work of art, and it was totally something I could relate to. Being one of the geeks turned... well, just not-so-geek, I guess, I found it simply wonderful. By far my favorite episode.
One last thing before I leave you alone again, do you know where the Bulky's uniforms were produced? I think it'd be a kick to get my hands on one, even if I have to get it made myself...
Super work with the series - you and all the other writers deserve total props, and after Radio Active and Fries with That?, I totally look forward to seeing what you do next.
Enough from me. Feel free to show the co-workers and get the restraining order, I'll still hunt you down. Little Jimmy told me to. Marissa is telling me not to though, so we'll see. ;)
Looks like we missed out on some of that sweet, sweet merchandising cash. For the record, no, I don't know where you can score any Fries props. I was present for the last day of shooting on Radio Active when we knew we were wrapping for good. I got to see the feeding frenzy as the cast and crew dismantled the set and claimed entire chunks of it as their own. Melissa Galianos, for one, bought the famed ante room couch for five bucks (a piece of furniture notable for being so comfortable, everyone involved in the show fell asleep on it at least once, myself included). The situation with Fries, however, was different since no one knew for sure if we were closing for business. I imagine much of Bulky's remains in storage somewhere.
Finding merchandise for my next show won't be nearly as difficult. In fact, once it makes its North American debut, you may have a hard time avoiding it. It's already a marketing phenomenon in distant lands. I don't want to tip my hand as to what it is yet (and you've probably never heard of it anyway), but let me give you a taste in the form of fashionable footwear.