Review – Cereal:Geek Issue 4

Horror in 80s Animation?

 

Cereal Geek is a brilliant idea. It’s a self-published (yet professional looking) quarterly magazine about the animation of the 1980s. Contributers include some excellent artists, fans of the shows and some of the creators of the shows themselves.

Who’s it by: Editor – James “Busta Toons” Eatock.

Busta Who? For those who don’t know, this is the guy who in my opinion kept Masters of the Universe alive on the internet with the “He-Man and She-Ra Episode Guide” and more recently He-Man.org. The guy knows his 80s cartoons. If there’s any doubt, he’s the chap doing the commentaries on the UK releases of the He-Man DVDs (Vols 1-9), contributed to the USA Box sets and was over in LA recently helping put together content for the forthcoming “Real Ghostbusters” box set.

What’s it about? Each issue has a theme, this quarter (quite reasonably considering it’s October!) the theme is Horror in the 1980s. This may seem an odd choice – Was He-Man horrific? How about My Little Pony? Well the answer is actually yes to both. At times.

Review it:

As is the case with this magazine, the articles range in tone from humorous to informative. Of particular note this issue is animation scribe extraordinaire Larry DiTillio’s discussion of the He-Man double parter “The House of Shakoti”. In addition, the “REAL” Cartoon article which takes a live action 80s phenomenon and creates a cartoon concept this month features Indiana Jones. This fun item always leaves me thinking “actually, done right – that’d be so cool” and the character designs are always top notch.

There are so many articles in here that it’s unreal. Discussions about the animation companies of the 80s? Check. Character and Creator profiles? Check. Amusing anecdotal newspaper piece? Check. Analysis of animation styles and intros? Check. So much stuff and all of it interesting. I even found myself engrossed in articles about My Little Pony and GI Joe, neither of which I watched as a kid. I did skip the Anime feature though as I’m not a big anime fan.

Presentation wise, this magazine is always of high quality. at 100 pages with no adverts, there’s a lot of content in these issues. The only down point I can find with this issue is with the Trivia of the 80s article discussing “Dungeons and Dragons”. I read the article in low light and the background blue obscured the darker text elements. In better lighting, it looks fine though so this is not a big issue.

The artwork in the magazines has been consistently strong with past contributors including Andie Tong. The art in this issue is again superb stuff with original pieces making superb pinups in their own right and great companion pieces to the articles.

Rate it: 4 / 5. Minor presentational issue and the fact that I skipped a couple of articles prevents me from giving it a 5. Also there must be something else wrong with it – but I’m damned if I can spot it. For a fan-produced magazine this raises the bar.

Dry Slaps: 0.

Reviewer: WedgeDoc

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