Fighting Crime, Trying To Save The World
Aside from the Cartoon Network Annual 2003 and The Powerpuff Girls Powerzine issues, The Powerpuff Girls Annual 2002 is also my pride and joy. Despite the latter published in 2001 by Just Publishing Ltd., it’s released in 2002. Just Publishing Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Just Group plc. This annual consists of mostly comic book strips that are accompanied by activities ranging from the citizens of Townsville and Dexter from Dexter’s Laboratory asking Professor Utonium questions to checking out the Powerscopes (which are basically the annual’s version of star signs).
During 2002 and 2003, Cartoon Network is still at its pinnacle and creativity is also at its peak at the time. These years are regarded as Cartoon Network’s golden age and not just the early and late 90’s. Back in the good ol’ days, The Powerpuff Girls is part of the Cartoon Cartoons segment. Cartoon Cartoons contains the best of the best original and legendary masterpieces ranging from this cartoon to Samurai Jack. These aforesaid cartoons have already gone down in history, gracing the once renowned channel with their presence. Most importantly, the annual released when The Powerpuff Girls is still riding the wave of popularity, churning out merchandise after merchandise worldwide whilst attracting people of all ages by the masses in the process. These days paint a different picture of Cartoon Network in my opinion. In other words, it’s past its prime and it’s not what it’s used to be. The same can be said about Disney Channel, Pop TV, Pop Girl, Nickelodeon etc.
Speaking of the comic book strips, they’re called “Snow Day”, “Paranoid Puffs”, “Shutter Thug” and “Dial ‘M’ For Mojo!”.
Depending on which comic strip I’m reading, each comic book strip team have the same or different writers, pencillers, inkers, letterers, colourists, assist editors and editors. Their names tend to be shown along with the title of the comic book strip and the creator’s name, Craig McCracken. With that being said, the names of every comic book strip are as follows:
Writers: Abby Denson (“Snow Day”), Bobbi Jg Weiss (“Paranoid Puffs”), Sean Carolan and Jennifer Moore (“Shutter Thug”) and John Rozum (“Dial ‘M’ For Mojo!”)
Artists: Phil Moy (“Shutter Thug”)
Pencillers: Ricardo Garcia Fuentes (“Snow Day” and “Dial ‘M’ For Mojo!”), Cindy Morrow (“Paranoid Puffs”)
Inkers: Mike DeCarlo (“Snow Day”, “Paranoid Puffs” and “Dial ‘M’ For Mojo!”)
Letterers: Ryan Cline (“Snow Day”, “Paranoid Puffs”, “Shutter Thug” and “Dial ‘M’ For Mojo!”)
Colourists: Dave Tanguay (“Snow Day”, “Paranoid Puffs”, “Shutter Thug” and “Dial ‘M’ For Mojo!”)
Assist Editors: Harvey Richards (“Snow Day”, “Paranoid Puffs”, “Shutter Thug” and “Dial ‘M’ For Mojo!”)
Editors: Joan Hilty (“Snow Day”, “Paranoid Puffs”, “Shutter Thug” and “Dial ‘M’ For Mojo!”)
Cartoon Creator: Craig McCracken
Every of these comic book strips have a straight forward storyline like for instance, in “Snow Day”, Townsville is covered in a blanket of snow causing The Powerpuff Girls to stay at home and relax instead of attending Pokey Oaks Kindergarten as usual. Unfortunately, their plans of relaxing derailed when trouble arises and their father, Professor Utonium, constantly asks them to shovel the driveway before it stopped snowing in order to win the Cleanest Driveway In Townsville award. Things worsened to where it gets to the point of Bubbles falling ill with a short-lived cold and Townsville being under attack by an abominable snowman due to Buttercup kicking a nearby tree in frustration which sets off another avalanche. While the main protagonists are landing blow after blow on the white-furred beast during their skirmish, the Professor frets about his daughters and wonders about their whereabouts. He soon realises if nothing gets done, he’ll have to clean the driveway himself. Once the monstrous monster is subdued, the girls decided to have fun of their own in the snow. By the time they returned to their home, they find their dad exhausted from clearing the driveway. After he asked them if the snow stopped, they came to the realisation they were having the time of their lives, they failed to notice the snowfall have come to a screeching halt. Thanks to the girls’ and Professor Utonium’s efforts and willpower, he emerged victorious as the champion of the Cleanest Driveway In Townsville when the Mayor of Townsville arrived to present the award to him as well as relaying a message to Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup from his secretary, Ms. Sara Bellum, to congratulate them on defeating the abominable snowman.
Most notably, every comic strip in the annual starts with the invisible, unnamed narrator shouting, “The City of Townsville!” and ending each of them with, “And the day is saved! Thanks to The Powerpuff Girls!”, alluding to him saying these familiar phrases in almost every episode of the cartoon. Every time the narrator declares, “And the day is saved! Thanks to The Powerpuff Girls!”, they are normally accompanied with the familiar pulsing hearts border/pattern coloured in various light and dark shades of pink.
Not only that, I love how the characters are portrayed correctly to add authenticity to the comic strips and them to stay true to the flavour of the animated show.
Furthermore, each page differs from each other in terms of the amount of vertical and horizontal rectangular boxes in addition to them being in numerous varied sizes, heights and widths. Sometimes, they include one, two, three, four, five or six boxes, depending on how they are laid out.
Additionally, I appreciate how the thick black outlined characters complimented the multicoloured locales, which is a familiar sight from the abovementioned critically-acclaimed cartoon. There are times when some parts of the scenery (e.g. the milk cartons positioned in a bountiful of rows on the shelves in the Malph’s Market from the “Paranoid Puffs” comic book strip) are outlined in thick or thin black-hued ink with the purpose of making the backdrops, objects and the characters stand out and clearer to see.
Back in my day, each of the comic book strips are incredible page-turners, these pages are eye-catching easy to lose myself in and I absolutely loved every second of reading cover to cover thanks to the well-written and well-scripted dialogue but said comic book strips are nostalgic to re-read and look back on since they’re over a decade old. 15 years old to be precise, according to my mathematics. Unfortunately, my love for the cartoon waned as I started to grow older with each passing year and when the abovementioned cartoon ended back in 2005. I still like said cartoon but not as much as I used to.
Just like every non-The Powerpuff Girls comic book, each comic book in the annual contained onomatopoeia words to represent sounds and noises. For instance, in “Dial ‘M’ For Mojo!”, the words, “DEEP BEEP PEEP MEEP BEEP DEEP”, is shown next to Mojo Jojo (the main antagonist of The Powerpuff Girls and the girls’ arch enemy), who is ordering pizza using his red telephone by pushing buttons.
Are the annual and the comic book strips still just as fantastic as I remembered? To be honest, it’s hard to say when I rarely read comic books. The most recent comic books I’ve read are the Ratchet & Clank comic book series, My Little Pony 2013 Annual and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic – Equestria Girls Holiday Special. However, the intricate, colourful settings and characters and the professionally drawn locations and characters within each comic book strip in The Powerpuff Girls Annual 2002 say otherwise. In fact, they speak for themselves.
Bottom line, I’d recommend The Powerpuff Girls Annual 2002 to every single die-hard Powerpuff Girls fan and each Cartoon Network fan, regardless of me already moving on to other interests and cartoons.