Get ready to be ‘Static Shock’ with the release of the complete third season of the beloved animated series. The two-disc package is available on wb.com/warnerarchive and online retailers. It’s a great series that I watched back in the 2000’s and perfect to revisit or introduce to new fans aka kids or new to the geek world before seeing Black Panther <grrr>
“In the third season, everything sort of got spruced up,” recalls LaMarr, known far and wide for his voice performances in Samurai Jack, Futurama and Family Guy, and his live-action roles for MADtv and Pulp Fiction. “The writing was just as good as ever, but they really raised the stakes. Static’s costume went from homemade to a legitimate super hero costume, Richie became his own super hero in Gear, and that meant there was less sitting back at headquarters – we started going on a lot more duo-action adventures.”
Static Shock – Toys in the Hood (S3 E9)
“Moreover, it was so great to finally have a black super hero who didn’t have ‘black’ in his name. I could relate to him. Here’s a kid who is smart, who’s trying to do the right thing, dealing with relatable problems whether it was family or school or friendships. Despite that fact that it was a cartoon that revolved around super heroes, it felt real to me.”
Phil LaMarr starred as Virgil Hawkins/Static for the entire series run and the release of the third season saw a major shift in the show with important guest appearances, upgrade to his tech and integration in the overall universe. Static got a new costume, Richie his BFF/partner-in-crime-fighting became the super hero Gear and the duo fought crime with some major baddies. All of this feels like a direct line to the upcoming Black Panther since Static ‘returned to Africa’ to find his roots, teamed up with the Justice League and Superman. LaMarr & Marsden worked together on the Disney animated series ‘The Weekenders’ which really made enriched their chemistry as friends IRL and animation!
Static Shock & Gear
“Static Shock provided a second opportunity to play partners and best friends – which was great because we were already good friends,” LaMarr says. “Our friendship on the show was authentic. And there’s nothing better than getting paid every week to work with your friend.”
LaMarr’s connection to Static appealed to him in so many ways as a fan and as someone who was once a black teenage boy. “As a comic book guy, Static was a dream come true – a character who really felt real to me,” LaMarr says. “I always thought Static would be what I would be if I got powers as a teenager. I loved Spidey and Bats, but I never wanted to be them. There are tortured souls, and everything they do is informed by that guilt. For Static, the worst problem was having to do his homework.
Static Shock: The Complete Third Season featured numerous guest performances from actors as acclaimed and diverse as four-time Emmy Award winner Alfre Woodard (Miss Evers’ Boys, Desperate Housewives, Hill Street Blues), Emmy Award winner Roscoe Lee Browne (Logan’s Run, The Cowboys), Brock Peters (To Kill A Mockingbird, Soylent Green), Golden Globe winner Terence Stamp (Billy Budd, Superman), three-time Emmy Award winner Jean Smart (24, Garden State), Bud Court (Harold & Maude, M*A*S*H), Dennis Haysbert (24, Major League), Golden Globe winner Ron Perlman (Hellboy), Michael Jai White (Black Dynamite, The Dark Knight), T’Keyah Crystal Keymah (In Living Color, That’s So Raven), Danica McKeller (The Wonder Years), Phil Morris (Smallville), Charles Rocket (Moonlighting), Sean Patrick Thomas (The District), Kimberly Brooks (Mass Effect), Bumper Robinson (The Game), David Faustino (Married With Children), Nicolette Sheridan (Desperate Housewives), David Arquette (Cougar Town), Tia Texada (Third Watch) and rapper Romeo Miller.
Also performing guest roles during Static Shock: The Complete Third Season are the voices of Warner Bros. Animation’s core group of DC Super Heroes, including actors from Batman: The Animated Series (Kevin Conroy, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Arleen Sorkin, Robert Hastings) and Justice League/Justice League Unlimited (George Newbern, Carl Lumbly, Maria Canals Barrera, Michael Rosenbaum), as well as Phil LaMarr himself as the voice of Green Lantern/John Stewart.
Static Shock, Gear & the Justice League
“The crossover episodes with the Justice League were so much fun for me – it was great to feel like Static Shock was part of the legacy of the super hero entertainment that I grew up watching and reading,” LaMarr says. “Associating Static with the Justice League sort of legitimized our little show, putting Static on the same level as supers like Batman, Green Lantern and all the rest. Plus getting to act again alongside my Justice League acting pals – Maria Canals Barrera, Susan Eisenberg, Carl Lumbly, Michael Rosenbaum, George Newbern, Kevin Conroy – was a blast, especially because now they were coming to MY house. It was actually a little weird because we were sitting in the same chairs as we always did when recording Justice League – but now I had more lines. Of course, I had two different characters – Static and Green Lantern John Stewart.”
LaMarr said the dual role – which put him in the unusual position of recording two characters talking to each other – was the first time he encountered that situation in his career.
“I thought the writers wrote those scenes as a challenge for me,” LaMarr recalls. “At least they didn’t have them singing harmony or something crazy like that!”
Static Shock: The Complete Third Season features an all-star lineup of writers behind the scripts: Paul Dini, Dwayne McDuffie, Len Uhley, Ernie Altbacker, John Semper, Courtney Lilly and Adam Beechen. For the Static-Superman team-up episode entitled “Toys in the Hood,” Semper crafted a story that was written by Academy Award winner John Ridley (12 Years a Slave).
An episode entitled “Static in Africa” saw the Hawkins family on vacation in Ghana, where Static teams with a legendary African folk hero to combat a group of bandits. The episode was particularly important to LaMarr.
Static in Africa
“Static in Africa was a blast for so many reasons,” LaMarr recalls. “It was a thrill to work for the first time with Michael Jai White and Roscoe Lee Browne, as well as my Justice League castmate Carl Lumbly. Carl and Roscoe are guys whose work I’d seen growing up, and to share a studio with them was fantastic.
“Moreover, it was really cool to be able to explore our roots in a Saturday morning cartoon. I had never seen contemporary Africa on Saturday morning – an Africa that was not unlike our own world. We have super heroes, they have super heroes. Africa wasn’t showed as exotica – it was a world where people like us live. And to me, that was a great part of Static Shock. It wasn’t about that Static was black; but he was black. His life, his world – those were real. And that kind of normalization is what’s key to true diversity.”
The Static Shock: The Complete Third Season two-disc set includes the following animated episodes:
Hard As Nails
Static in Africa
The Usual Suspect
A League Of Their Own, Part 1
A League Of Their Own, Part 2
Romeo in the Mix
Toys In The Hood
The Parent Trap
Blast From The Past
Disc Two also includes the Superman: The Animated Series episode entitled “Obsession” (Season 3, Episode 4), which ultimately served as a prequel to the Static Shock episode, “Toys in the Hood” and spotlighted the first meeting of Superman and Static, featuring the voices of Tim Daly (Superman), Nancy Travis (Darci Mason), Bud Cort (The Toyman) and Joely Fisher (Lana Lang).
Warner Archive Collection (WAC) continues to serve as host to some of the most beloved films, television series and animated entertainment in history – and many are now available on Blu-ray. WAC’s canon runs the gamut from restored and remastered Blu-ray classics such as The Americanization of Emily, The Big Sleep, The Great Race, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Victor/Victoria and Yankee Doodle Dandy to adored TV offerings such as Longmire (on Blu-ray), Alice and Family Matters (on DVD) to feature-length animated films, including the recent Blu-ray release of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, to animated TV series headed by recent Blu-ray releases such as Justice League Unlimited, Teen Titans, Batman: The Brave and the Bold and Young Justice, as well as a wealth of classic animated series on DVD including dozens of Hanna-Barbera classics. WAC offerings can be found via wb.com/warnerarchive and your favorite online retailer.
I was a HUGE fan of this series and am so happy it will now be available for me to fangirl as well as introduce to my young relatives. Leave a comment below on your favorite episode and whom you plan to introduce to Static!
Posted in Animated, art, Comic Books, Geek Fun, Geek Gift, geek tv Tagged with: 12 Years a Slave, 24, Adam Beechen, Alfre Woodard, Animation, Arleen Sorkin, Batman: The Animated Series, Billy Budd, Black Dynamite, Blerd, Brock Peters, Bud Court, Bumper Robinson, Carl Lumbly, Cartoon, Charles Rocket, Cherry the Geek, CherryGeek, Cougar Town, Courtney Lilly, Danica McKeller, David Arquette, David Faustino, DC Comics, Dennis Haysbert, Desperate Housewives, Dwayne McDuffie, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Ernie Altbacker, Family Guy, fan boy, fan girl, Futurama, Garden State, Geekette, George Newbern, Ghana, Green Lantern, Harold & Maude, Hellboy, Hill Street Blues, In Living Color, Jason Marsden, Jean Smart, John Ridley, John Semper, John Stewart, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, Kevin Conroy, Kimberly Brooks, Len Uhley, Logan’s Run, M*A*S*H, MADtv, Major League, Maria Canals Barrera, Married With Children, Mass Effect, Michael Jai White, Michael Rosenbaum, Miss Evers’ Boys, Moonlighting, Nicolette Sheridan, Paul Dini, Phil LaMarr, Phil Morris, Pulp Fiction Gear, Richie/Gear, Robert Hastings, Romeo Miller, Ron Perlman, Roscoe Lee Browne, Samurai Jack, Science Fiction, Sean Patrick Thomas, Smallville, Soylent Green, Static Shock, super hero, Superhero, Superman, Susan Eisenberg, T’Keyah Crystal Keymah, Terence Stamp, That’s So Raven, The Cowboys, The Dark Knight, The District, The Game, The Weekenders, The Wonder Years, Third Watch, Tia Texada, to kill a mockingbird, Toon Life, Virgil Hawkins, Warner Archive, WB, Young Justice
I can’t believe it’s been 25 years since Cartoon Network burst into my life. The first all animated channel and it’s still going strong with new series and reboots of beloved favorites! If you are a fan of CN that this is the best holiday season EVER! The Paley Center in NYC and LA welcomes CN with an exhibition that has panels, screenings, fun experiences for kids and people who love the art form. See below details for schedule of panels with CN artists who created and worked on popular series.
Cartoon Network: 25 Years of Drawing on Creativity
FREE Exhibit and Screenings
Los Angeles: October 14 to November 19, 2017
Wednesdays to Sundays 12:00 to 5:00 pm. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
New York: This exhibit ran at the Paley Center in New York: September 16 to October 8, 2017.
Twenty-five years ago, the way we enjoyed cartoons changed forever when Cartoon Network launched as the very first twenty-four-hour network dedicated to animation.
Join us at the Paley Center to celebrate twenty-five years of drawing on creativity! Visitors will experience the creative process from sketch to screen and beyond with an in-depth look at Steven Universe, enjoy special exhibits including stop-motion sets from Adventure Time, and have photo ops with sculptures from The Powerpuff Girls and Cartoon Network’s newest hit OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes!
Let the celebration begin!
The Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles
465 N. Beverly Drive, at S. Santa Monica Blvd.
More information about visiting the Paley Center in Los Angeles.
The Paley Center for Media in New York
25 West 52 Street, New York, NY 10019
More information about visiting the Paley Center in New York.
In Los Angeles:
Free Drop-In Animation Activities for Kids
Saturday, October 14, 2017; noon to 3:30 pm
You be the animator! Through arts and crafts projects from the Paley Education Department, children (ages 5-15) and families will have the opportunity to try out simple animation techniques and gain a better understanding of process behind some of their most beloved Cartoon Network programs.
Storyboarding (ages 5-7)
Using blank storyboard templates, children will be able to map out a scene of their own design. This activity will give children a chance to try their hand at drawing their favorite Cartoon Network characters and then using their creativity, imagination, and literacy skills to fill in the dialogue and action boxes for a complete scene.
Flip Books, Thaumatropes, and Phenakistoscopes (ages 8-15)
One of the best ways of understanding how animation comes to life is to do it yourself. Children will be given the opportunity to create their own simple animation toys like flip books, thaumatropes, and phenakistoscopes that show how small changes over multiple images make for exciting results!
Cartoon Network on the Big Screen
LA: Weekends, October 14 to November 19, 2017
Starting at 12:15 and 2:15 pm
NY: Weekends, September 16 to October 8, 2017
Join us in the theater to enjoy a taste of the Cartoon Network programming that is featured in the exhibit.
Cartoon Network Sampler: One hour screening of episodes featured in our exhibit including Ben 10, Steven Universe, Adventure Time, OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes!, and The Powerpuff Girls.
Steven Universe: One hour screening focusing on Steven Universe, including episodes, behind-the-scenes clips, music videos, other special Steven Universe content.
Weekends: Oct. 14 to Nov. 19
12:15 pm & 2:15 pm
In Los Angeles:
Panel: Cartoon Network Presents: The Creator’s Journey
Saturday, October 21, 2017; 12:00 pm
Our Cartoon Network 25th Anniversary Celebration continues with a special free panel event, The Creator’s Journey. Join creators Rebecca Sugar, Ian Jones-Quartey, and Julia Pott for a behind-the-scenes look at Cartoon Network’s hit series Steven Universe, OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes, and the upcoming Summer Camp Island.
RSVP for FREE!
Rebecca Sugar, Creator, Steven Universe
Ian Jones-Quartey, Creator, OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes
Julia Pott, Creator, Summer Camp Island
Moderator: Michael Schneider, Executive Editor, IndieWire; Editor At Large, Variety
In New York:
Panel: Art of the Hero
Saturday, October 7, 2017; 11:00 am
Join creators and artists from Cartoon Network’s most heroic shows to talk about how they have the most epic jobs on the planet! Learn how they got into animation, what advice they have for young artists, and maybe a few secrets about your favorite heroes. In person: Ian Jones-Quartey (Creator, OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes!) and John Fang (Producer, Ben 10). FREE!
Fun Facts about Cartoon Network
An entire cable channel devoted to cartoons? Twenty-five years ago, the concept was revolutionary, yet here we are celebrating the anniversary of the October 1, 1992, launch of Cartoon Network, an industry titan that has played a crucial role in redefining children’s television, entertaining and inspiring generations of youths and animators. Like Samurai Jack, Cartoon Network has traveled far and wide in twenty-five years, finding a magical place to fulfill its destiny.
Initially, Cartoon Network provided its parent company, Turner Broadcasting, with a platform to leverage a formidable library of classic animation, including programming from Hanna-Barbera, MGM, UA, and Fleischer Studios—so, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Scooby Doo Where Are You!, Tom and Jerry, Popeye, and numerous other iconic shows. But the following year CN began offering original programming—The Moxy Show was first, followed by Space Ghost Coast to Coast (combining old and new footage) and an incubator initiative, spearheaded by John Kricfalusi and Fred Seibert, that produced such shows as Dexter’s Laboratory, Johnny Bravo, and The Powerpuff Girls. In no time at all, Cartoon had demonstrated its commitment to experimentation and innovation, nurturing independent up-and-comers like Genndy Tartakovsky, Craig McCracken, and Van Partible.
Turner’s 1996 merger with Time Warner opened new doors, resulting in the arrival of animated adaptations of such Warner properties as Justice League, Teen Titans, Acquaman, and the many permutations of Batman. In 1997 Cartoon launched Sean Atkins and Jason DeMarco’s Toonami, a programming block showcasing action anime.
The list of successful CN shows over the last twenty-five years is way too long to present here, but just to whet your appetite: Adventure Time; Steven Universe; The Amazing World of Gumball; Ben 10; Ed, Edd, and Eddy; Samurai Jack; Grim & Evil; The Grim Adventures of Bill & Mandy; Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends; Regular Show; and, from 2003–05, three seasons of Tartakovsky’s Star Wars: Clone Wars—perhaps you’ve heard of some of them?
What do the next twenty-five years hold in store for Cartoon Network? “Everything ahead of us is totally unknown,” says Jake, Jr., in Adventure Time, one of CN’s most beloved shows. But like Old Tart Toter says in the same show, we’ll “still be here tomorrow to high five you yesterday.”
-David Bushman, Curator, Television
The Paley Center for Media
Posted in Animated, art, free, Geek Fun, geek tv, Los Angeles Tagged with: Adventure Time, Ben 10, Cartoon Network, Ed Edd and Eddy, Family fun, Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, fun things to do in LA, Fun things to do in NYC, Grim & Evil, NYC, OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes!, Paley Center, Regular Show, Samurai Jack, Steven Universe, The Amazing World of Gumball, The Grim Adventures of Bill & Mandy, The Powerpuff Girls