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An animated Neil Gaiman to guest star on Arthur

An animated Neil Gaiman on "Arthur"

Neil Gaiman’s book tour will swing through Elwood City on Oct. 25 as the award-winning comics writer and novelist gets animated for an episode of the educational television series Arthur.

Produced by WGBH Boston and the Cookie Jar Group, the cartoon adaptation of Marc Brown’s children’s books centers on Arthur Read, an 8-year-old anthropomorphic aardvark, and his friends and family.

Gaiman will appear in an episode called “Falafelosophy,” in which he inspires one of Arthur’s friends who’s trying to make a graphic novel. According to Wired.com’s GeekDad, it’s paired with related story, “Tales of the Grotesquely Grim Bunny,” about changes on the shelves at the Elwood City comic store.

Arthur kicks off its 14th season on Oct. 1.

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5 Comments

For some reason this made me really want to see Neil Gaiman guest on Space Ghost: Coast to Coast. Ah well. One can dream.

This reminds me of the Arthur episode where they mention Jack Kirby: the whole point was, oddly enough, that Arthur should create his own characters rather than fanboy about existing ones. That’s not TOO bad, but then there was the episode where Arthur stopped reading Dark Bunny comics because he was disappointed the character was used to sell energy drinks that weren’t actually healthy (not bad for you, just not terribly good. He acted like the character had lied to him, instead of being just a symbol exploited by a company.) The vibe I get from the show seems to be against kid reading comics, not in their favor. Let’s see how this one turns out…

For what it’s worth, as a dad and a longtime Arthur-watcher, the show has ALWAYS had an incredible “pro-reading” message, including comic books. That said, they do also emphasize creativity and originality and learning real-life lessons alongside the joy of reading. (Example: Arthur loved his “Illinois Jack” comic books, but learned first-hand that the stereotypes they sometimes portrayed didn’t reflect the deeper reality.)

Just because a kid is encouraged to make his own characters is anti-comics?

Just because he, like many other kids, believed their hero, no matter how unreal is truly looking out for them is anti-comics?

Those are actually good, relatable lessons that kids can learn from.

This is pure awesomeness.

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