Apatoons is 25

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It’s startling just to think about it, but Apatoons is celebrating its 25th anniversary with its new issue, #140. With a circulation of about 30, it has one of the smallest readships of any publication on animation–yet it’s also the longest running, most distinguished discussion about the art form that ever existed.

As an example of the venerable type of publishing collaborative known as an amateur press assocation, Apatoons should be an anachronism in the Internet age. Yet it’s alive and kicking, and the best stuff in it is as worthwhile as anything you’ll find on the Web–maybe more so. The permanence and privacy of the apa’s paper format and small membership have made it special since Don Markstein and GiGi Dane founded it in 1981. (I should know: I’ve been a member since issue #5. That makes me a oldtimer, but I’m not the longest-serving member–Apatooners tend to hang around.)

The Apatoons Web site has more information on this unique and indispensable organization; head there to learn more, including how to join. (As I write, there are three slots open for new members.)

In Australia, the Humble Corn Dog Pays Tribute to Chic Young

At a conference I attended earlier this week, they served corn dogs at a snack break. An attendee from Australia was momentarily confused, and said he didn’t know what a corn dog was. But when he saw them, his eyes lit up and he revealed that Australians call a hot dog with a cornmeal batter a “Dagwood Dog.” And yes, it’s a reference to Blondie’s husband.

While researching this tidbit at Wikipedia, I discovered that Australians also call corn dogs “Pluto Pups,” and that our Canadian friends call them Pogos. Is there a tradition we don’t know about in the U.S. that these things should have names that pay tribute to great cartoon characters?

(When I was a kid in Portland, by the way, we called corn dogs Pronto Pups–Wikipedia says that that’s the brand name of a prominent make of corn dog.)