Better Than Coffee: SPACE WAR!!!

Howdy! How about a lively morning cartoon to go with your fruity pebbles? Zoetica’s recent post on the lamentable declension of MTV’s programming reminded me of this little gem:

Created as a senior project by animator and RISD legend, Christy Karacas, “Space Wars” aired internationally on a charming, offbeat MTV show called Cartoon Sushi back in 1997. The content and mood of Cartoon Sushi was sort of a cross between Liquid Television and Spike & Mike’s Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation. Sadly, it barely lasted a year on the air. Suprise, surprise.

A couple of years later, Karacas joined forces with Stephen Warbick to unleash BAR FIGHT upon an unsuspecting world. The film “was rejected from every festival it was ever entered in” and it’s a bit… well, let’s just say it’s more a Better Than Beer experience –or possibly Better Than Dimethyltryptamine– than anything else. Still, it’s under the cut if you think you’re feeling up to graphic, color-saturated gore and toilet humor this early in the morning.

Nowadays, we have no shortage of psychedelic, stream-of-consciousness mindbuggery from Karacas/Warbick; their show Superjail! premiered on Adult Swim last year. (Bless you, Cartoon Network, for picking up where Liquid Television left off.)

13 Responses to “Better Than Coffee: SPACE WAR!!!”

  1. James Shearhart Says:

    Great stuff, it’s been too long since I’ve seen Spike & Mike-era animation.

    I bet that’ll be the next Big Thing – Retro Animation. No computers, no Flash or Photoshop or Maya, just a camera and a pencil and a stack of paper. Cranked on handmade mutoscopes….

  2. Vivacious G Says:

    I didn’t have time to watch all of it yet, but damn I love those sounds! Thanks!

  3. Nadi Says:

    although it seems that even adult swim is turning more to shitty live action shows and showing less of the great experimentally animation.

  4. Mer Says:

    Which of the live action shows do you dislike, Nadi? I have my handful of faves that I watch and don’t depart from, so I dunno what live action they’re showing beyond Mighty Boosh and Tim & Eric.

  5. Stagger Leah Says:

    Oh wow, thanks so much for this. I love “Superjail!” and this kindof stuff is exactly the reason why I love it, it’s great to see more work from it’s creators. I hope it gets picked up for another season!

  6. Tequila Says:

    Superjail! is hands down the most fun Adult Swim has had on their animation lineup since Frisky Dingo (which is hands down the most brilliant thing since humanity created s’mores)

    I remember bits of Cartoon Sushi…didn’t last too long if I recall. It was around the era when the brilliant Duckman was winding down. Not a lot of great animation was around outside of the staples on Fox and the What A Cartoon! Show on the Cartoon Network.

    Yeah Adult Swim seems poised to try their hand in more Live Action shows…a shame since that one show about A family in witness protection that wears facemasks and is on some kinda reality show is just plain awful. The Brit import stuff is great but it’s not usually the stuff I want to see mixed in with their animated shows. Would rather that just be its own night…

    Still everyone has their favorites…I mean some people really like Xavier: Renegade Angel. Not sure WHY exactly but they do. :P

    Would love it if Adult Swim could get the rights to re-air some of the Liquid Television content…would be cool to see Dog-Boy again.

  7. Chris L Says:

    Yes! Animation! Fantastic!
    Space War was great. The style of it really reminded me of the more recent student film “Story from North America”:
    Which has a catchy tune and cartoony animation and an over-the-top moral story. (And that ‘retro’ animation that Mr. Shearhart mentioned above.)

    And then to mention Barfight and Superjail… bwaha! Excellent. You’ve got your Finger on the Pulse, Mer!

    As for Spike and Mike… well, I’ve kinda gotten tired of the sorta stuff that they usually show. There are some standouts, but most of it seems to be shock-value and little else, these days. As opposed to shock-value AND fun, hilarious animation and clever satire – like in the pieces above.

  8. Kale Kip Says:

    Bar Fight rocks. Nothing beats a good, honest portion of hand-crafted quality violence.

  9. Paul Komoda Says:

    I remember “Space Wars” fondly! I didn’t know it’s name until now.
    I’ve got it squeezed into one of my typically over-burdened vhs tapes from the period it aired.
    MTV, in select instances, burned pretty damned bright before the light went out forever.

  10. cappy Says:

    Wow — been a long time since I’ve seen that.

  11. Infamous Amos Says:

    Ah, how I love me some good old fashioned animated violence.

    Speaking of Spike & Mike, I think that a double-barreled Coilhousian salute to Don Hertzfeldt is certainly in order. I can’t help but feel echos of Rejected in over half of Adult Swims current programing.

    That being said, the Venture Brothers is about as good as television gets.

  12. Jerem Morrow Says:

    I haven’t watched tv in ages. Superjail!, which I’d never even heard of before this, makes me regret that fact.

  13. Nadya Says:

    THAT WAS BRILLIANT! I love the elephant with the axe. And the two robots that love each other. LOVE!

    Bar Fight is brilliant, too.