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I've found another great television show: Superjail! Sure, the show's been airing on Cartoon Network since September, but if you hadn't noticed by now, I'm a little slow to accept new things.

It's super-violent, like cartoons ought to be. (I've long maintained that cartoons should always present something impossible in live action, and this show's got it in spades.) It's about crime-and-punishment, like all the best dramas. (Did you ever see Tom Selleck's jailhouse thriller An Innocent Man? Just thinking about it has me feeling a little logey.) It's filled with sci-fi and fantasy elements, like all the best comic book stories. (The Twins, recurring uni-browed characters of mysterious power and intent, dress as Sandmen from Logan's Run. That's enough to get my attention.)

However, I suspect that the real reasons that I like it are two-fold. A.) it is clearly hand-drawn, a rare commodity, indeed, in these heady days of computer-aided animation. (As much as I enjoy a heavy outline, I grow weary of the stiff and stylized Johnny Bravo style.) And 2.) It's always in motion. In many ways, it reminds me of some tortured cross between Itchy and Scratchy cartoons and Ralph Bakshi's work. If you've seen the bizarre, psychedelic action of Fritz the Cat, you know what I'm talking about. (Truthfully, I have to admit that I never really liked Bakshi's work, probably because he took himself and the world a little too seriously. I suspect that he could have used more pointless sight gags involving defenestrations and fewer topless lady-cats. But what do I know? He's a famous director with his own animation school and I'm just some schlub with a blog readership of 7 and falling.)

All in all, it's my favorite new cartoon since I discovered the The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack (also on Cartoon Network) earlier this year. Maybe I should be watching more Cartoon Network. Their programming of imaginary friends, Dial-H-For Hero rip-offs, and Family Guy re-runs is certainly more realistic than that of either Fox News or ESPN.

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To be continued...


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