So far, PepperScript has released two books in their CN Remix lineup, each containing three stories, based on the “Cartoon Cartoons” shows. I was a kid in the 90s and thoroughly enjoyed these shows. As an avid comics / manga collector, it felt good that some Indian publisher was licensing the comic strips. Hoping a nice nostalgia tour, I ordered these remixes.
When I opened the books, visually, it was a nightmare for me. Let me clarify. These are not reprints of the official comic strips published by DC (and the occasional one-shots by IDW). Instead, these are screengrabs of TV episodes with word balloons and onomatopoeia inserted.
The episodes that have been presented in comics format are:
Dexter’s Laboratory: The Big Sister (from the pilot)
The Powerpuff Girls: Monkey See, Doggie Do (season 1, episode 1)
Johnny Bravo: Over the Hump! (season 1, episode 5)
Courage the Cowardly Dog: The Demon in the Mattress (season 1, episode 4)
Ed, Edd & Eddy: A Pinch to Grow an Ed (season 1, episode 3)
The Powerpuff Girls: Mommy Fearest (season 1, episode 1)
The sources are questionable. They have definitely not been screengrabbed from official DVD releases. The sources were of poor resolution and were heavily compressed. JPEG artifacts ruin the entire presentation. I can’t stress this enough. It is not subtle. A horribly poor attempt has been made to upscale the images and use standard de-noise and sharpen filters found in an image editing software. I am certain that the Ed, Edd & Eddy segment was taken from some TVRip found online. In some wider shots, one can clearly make out that the CN logo of Cartoon Network was removed using clone and blur tools.
Also, segments of the original episodes are trimmed. I can understand the necessity to fit a story within the allotted pages. However, at times the outcome of an action is not as clear as it should be and causes minor continuity issues. Then again, this will be the least of readers’ problems. I believe any reader will be busy pondering why the images are that bad.
I don’t get the point of releasing something like this unless it is presented in a format that would appeal a collector. Kids today are more attracted to what is being fed to them on the TV and would not want “Cartoon Cartoons” stuff (which I think is way superior to what airs on TV these days). On the other hand, the people who will be inclined to buy this product are in their 30s and would prefer a better product even if the price point is a tad bit higher.
After all the harshness, I have to put a good word here.
The guys at PepperScript are doing a commendable job in at least attempting to bring comics in some form to the modern Indian audience [read here]. I wish them all the success. They have a long way to go, though, and it isn’t that easy.