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Friday, April 4, 2014

Adventure Time On Melrose: Adventure Time x Gallery 1988

A wonderful battered tree fort that holds two heroes and a living video game machine that was once the home of  a vampire queen was near the front. The same two heroes were ever immortalized, as many mythical heroes are, as creamy popscilces you might pick up from a roving ice cream van at a park. They looked tasty and someone took a bite out of their heads. A decrepit and crazy old man was on a box of cereal, his tears were the main ingredient. Posters to visit strange lands with candy people and demons were up. Concert posters and magic shows, classic art pieces to pin-ups, it was and all encompassing mass of Adventure Time tribute art. Those popsicles need to be real.

Fans lined up on Melrose the night of April 3, outside of what was once Munkey King and across from the Groundlings. A new art show was opening to fan acclaim, it was Adventure Time: featuring artwork inspired by the show at Gallery 1988 West or Adventure Time x Gallery 1988.

TTDILA'S Gallery
Gallery 1988's Gallery

Now in the Spring of 2014, a new art show at the prominent pop culture Gallery 1988 West
had artist capture Adventure Time from so many angles. They made jokes with edible items that weren't just candy people in Andrew Heath's "Finn and Jake Pop". Dave Quiggle's "Ice King's Frostie Zaps Cereal" needs to be at your local grocer, for a limited time. Glen Brogan's cheeky pin-ups of Princess Bubble Gum and Fionna drew eyes. Barry Blankenship's before mentioned "Tree Fort" prints captured the safety and home nature of Finn and Jake's beloved residence.

Each piece of art grabbed something from the show that engaged the artists who made them to make a joke or feature a character they connected with.

One of the artists, Jason Liwag, who did a piece for the show featuring the strange and evil Magic Man on his own magic show poster with a disgusting inside out bird summed up why he he enjoys Adventure Time with, "It's not even a kid show, I think that's what I love about it. My friend's kid watch it and they watch it with their kids and just everyone is into it. They have as much freedom as they want and that's what I love about this show. Personally, it's my favorite and my perfect cartoon to me. It knows it's a cartoon and it takes advantage of it."

Why would so many fans come out and why do we have another art show dedicated to a boy and his dog?

You can hear why from two stars of Adventure Time, Olivia Olson the both sweet and scary voice of Marceline the Vampire Queen and Jessica DiCicco, the voice of the hot and bothered Flame Princess in an exclusive TTDILA interview from the opening night reception.

Olivia Olson shared with us her love of the art, "I am totally in love with each piece because they're all so different; hand drawn, pen drawings. Then there's beautiful paintings."  Jessica DiCicco holds a long time flame for Gallery 1988, "When I first came to LA... I would come to Gallery 1988 religiously and however many years later to be here for an Adventure Time themed show, where my character-with my voice on the wall- it's really come full circle."

Fans agreed, Angella V., a fan passing by in the chaos of the opening night told TTDILA, "Big fan of the show. I've never been to 1988, but had to come out for Adventure Time." Then she congratulated TTDILA's editor, Jonathan B. on his Comic-Con Adventure Time Medal. Angella asked if he earned it like she did. He replied, "Yes." A very tall fan came out, a Matt H. who had this to say, "I wouldn't say I'm a huge fan, but it's growing on me." Never start a conversation with tall people by going, "Excuse me, extremely tall man."

Fan Photo Gallery

The show came together in licensing deal between Rook brand and Cartoon Network for some new Adventure Time threads, a three-piece- clothing collection and a handbag from ROOK co-owner and creative director Joe King . The ROOK x Adventure Time Limited Edition Collaborative Collection was first available for purchase at the show's opening event. Rook brought on Gallery 1988 and it's collections of artist as part of the release of their new threads.

Adventure Time, now entering it's triumphant sixth season on Cartoon Network has had much fan-fare with little off-time .The shows only been off the air without new episodes for about a month every year within its five year run.The show has inspired fans world-wide and locally. There isn't a local convention you won't find Adventure Time cosplay.

Adventure Time holds a place both in the hearts of kids and adults who have the hearts of kids, hopefully not stolen or the heroes of Adventure Time, Finn and Jake, would take that heart-stealers hearts back. Finn is a young boy hero with a white bear hat thing on his head-the show has never named it- that fights evil. Jake is a magical shape-changing dog and together their the two most righteous buds and heroes in all of Ooo.

The humor from the series is both for kids and adults with references to sci-fi, fantasy and old-school video-games in a surreal world known as Ooo, filled with strange and colorful residents like Princess Bubblegum and Marceline the Vampire Queen.

Art shows and Adventure Time have a long history. Adventure Time had an art show before the show even premiered. Inside Cartoon Network's Burbank headquarters, the artist known as Chogrin who worked on Adventure Time when it started, led a show with The Autumn Society, a collective network of artist featuring work based on a show yet to premiere.

Local gallery Nucleus featured two art shows sharing storyboards and art from the crew of the show in 2011 with Adventure Time: A Look Behind the Land of Ooo and in 2012 with Oootopia: An Artgebraic Tribute to Adventure Time. The first event took place in Nucleus' second floor and was too small for so many fans that gathered for the opening night reception. The next exhibit took over Nucleus' main gallery floor and was filled with work from Adventure Time staff and Nucleus's own list of artist to a huge crowd with special giveaways and a costume contest.

Pieces based on candy people and Hot Dog Princess didn't stay in the greater LA area. In 2012 the Ohnodoom Gallery in Chicago had their own Adventure Time Tribute Show. In 2013 the Mondo Gallery in Austin, Texas held their own Adventure Time and Regular Show tribute art show with many of their artists known for their work with Mondo posters. Mondo held a special screening a dinner along with the event featuring food based on eats from the show. Everything burritos were gobbled up by those who bought passes to the sold out event.

Adventure Time Season Six starts April 21st on Cartoon Network, check local listings for time.
Adventure Time: featuring artwork inspired by the show at Gallery 1988 West runs until April 6th
Did you see any hidden snails around the night of the opening reception?