Childhood cartoons and children’s slavery

Taking a quick break from scrambling to wrap up final projects/presentations this week, to bring you this Public Service Announcement.

There’s a meme going around on Facebook, urging people to change their profile images to those of childhood cartoon characters. That alone is fun and harmless, but then somehow it got “taken over” to be about taking a stand against child slavery.

The intent’s nice and all, but…what good will it do? It’s not tied to any charity or activism group. Children in these horrible situations will not actually be positively affected by this meme. There is no direct positive outcome that comes out of people changing their profile images, besides just “warm fuzzies” that may, in some isolated cases, spur people to seek out related charities/groups and donate to them. But I can bet you that 95% of the people who change their profile images will do nothing else. (I’m not leveling accusations or blame at anybody–life’s busy and we all want to show our support somehow, right?)

But let me put it another (blunter) way. The children caught up in the slave trade and other really terrible institutions like it probably don’t even have access to a computer, much less Facebook, to even see these images. This campaign isn’t hurting anything, but since it isn’t helping anything, is that really good enough?

So let me urge you all kindly to do this instead: instead of spending 15 minutes looking up a decent image to use as your new Facebook profile photo, spend that 15 minutes to instead look up a charity or activism group that fights child slavery–or any other cause that’s important to you–and donate whatever amount of money you can afford. That will make a much more definite and immediate impact. It doesn’t have to be huge–every little bit helps.

Okay, getting off my soapbox now. 😉

– – – – –

(Is there such a thing as “the bazooka of Megatron”? I keep getting these spam comments mentioning it, and at first I couldn’t help but think, “That’s nice, but I think you’ve got the wrong website/fandom…?” haha.)

And don’t forget about the RPG module giveaway!

Also, thanks to RavnDream for letting me know that the comics section “broke” during my recent host migration. I’ll try to fix it in the next couple of weeks!

And wow, hello to all the new visitors yesterday! I am not at all sure how or why my site traffic quadrupled on the 3rd of December, but thank you for visiting–hope you enjoy what you see. 🙂

DVD winners, Boomerang, and a bunch of links

Firstly, now that it’s finally settled: congratulations to Tony and Michelle, the TWO winners of the DVD contest!

Two, you say? It was a bit of a surprise to me, too. 🙂 It took a while to finalize everything, due to delays on WB’s side in terms of mailing me the DVD for the initial winner (Tony). When they did finally sent it, they sent me two copies. Since I already have my own, I chose another winner at random (Michelle) from among the complete entries. 🙂

A few things of note…

If you have Boomerang: PoDW is back on the air. A. Martin just wrote in yesterday (thank you!), saying that it’s listed in his cable guide as beginning TONIGHT at 10:30pm US Eastern/7:30pm US Pacific. I don’t have cable, so if you do, please do let us know if it does air!
[EDIT: 2010-11-02 10:30pm EST – it is indeed back on Boomerang. Thanks to Kaedyn for confirming the news!]

Also, Sergey has very kindly assembled torrents of both PoDW video game console music AND Russian subtitles for season 3 (episodes 14-21).

And here’s a list of torrents for the episodes in Portuguese, along with the Portuguese episode titles.

Here’s some really unique fan work: really cool 3D fanart of the Wraith by Bryan, and a custom painted PoDW-themed guitar by Tom in Wales. Excellent job, both of you–they really look great. 🙂

And Catalina has put up my scans of PoDW comic #1 on, which actually makes them way easier to read. Great idea! (I’d put up #2-#9 myself if I had time…would anyone be up for doing it?)

Updates will be sparse for the next couple of months–it’s just that time in the semester. I’ve started up my personal blog again, so if you’re so inclined, you’re welcome to keep up with me through that. 🙂 The fall colors are vibrant and already fading here and the weather was below freezing this morning: autumn has arrived in Pittsburgh. Hope the rest of the year is pleasant for you all!

More DVD comments, and my roommate’s initial thoughts

Being the bad influence that I am, I “tricked” my roommate Kim into watching PoDW tonight (she’d wanted to anyway, we were hanging out down here, I just sort of put in a DVD and she got sucked into watching). 🙂 She’d never seen it before, so her observations were really amusing.

“This reminds me a lot of He-Man. Was it by the same people? I don’t know why, but it really does…”
“Oh, I know why it does. There are lots of tan guys with blonde hair!”
“Nooooo!” (when Primus died and was swept out to sea, and when Alomar died)
“Let me guess, the lizard bird saves him, right?” (Meaning, Niddler, the monkeybird, when Ren’s trapped on the crow’s nest of the Maelstrom in episode 1.)
“I wouldn’t go sailing with Pirate Guy.” (Meaning, Ioz, right after he and Ren struck up their deal in the bar.)
“I think Short Chubby Pirate Dude will become their friend.” (Meaning, Konk. She doesn’t like spoilers so I haven’t corrected her on this.)
“That squawking, screeching sound is awesome!” (Commenting on Niddler’s exclamations.)

We got partway into episode 3 before she called it quits. I finished it off and went on to episode 4.

And you know what? They edited the audio. I don’t know if the folks who put the DVD together did it, or what, but they definitely brought up the background noise in some parts and softened it in others, AND they changed the way Ren and Niddler’s scream sounds as they’re falling down into the Kramadorm (making Niddler’s sound more like Frank Welker and his squawking, rather than a humanoid scream).

Oh! They edited the video, too–they have very subtly edited and shortened some transitions by cutting out a second or two of footage here and there. It’s not a big deal but it feels choppy to me, since I know the originals really well. (More so than the episodes, the slight shift in the audio and music throws me off, but I am a very aural person.)

This has definitely affirmed for me that my favorite episodes in the series are #1, #4, and #5. They’re such gems all around, each with their own share of symbolism, darkness, complexity, and fun. But man, I do have to wonder what the true “on-the-street” reception of this show was when it first came out, because there are moments that are not kiddie fare.

Anyway…little by little, I’ll go through the DVDs and post comments. I still have not previewed them all just yet…there just aren’t enough hours in the day this semester. Fun times. (If anyone is at all interested in seeing what I’m up to these days, I revamped my personal site/blog and combined both. It’s not complete and still needs to be tweaked…but it might actually be interesting every now and then, beyond the “gaaahhh THESIS” stuff.)

CONTEST: Win a copy of the PoDW DVD set!

The contest is now closed. I will be contacting the winner shortly via e-mail. Thank you to everybody who entered!


Thanks to a kind offer from Warner Bros., I am happy to announce a contest for you all! The prize: a free copy of the PoDW DVD set.

It’s super-easy: either post a comment here or e-mail me (subject line: PoDW DVD contest) with the following pieces of information:

1. Your name (or a unique alias)
2. Your e-mail address
3. Your location
2. Why you like Pirates of Dark Water

There is no right or “best” answer, just as long as it’s genuine and relates to the show!

This is open to fans anywhere in the world. If you’re located outside the US, WB will mail me the DVD set, and I’ll mail it to you.

The contest is open until next Friday, the 17th of September, at 5:00 PM Eastern US time. At that point, comments will be closed on this thread. The winner will be chosen through a random drawing and contacted via e-mail. (Note that you will have to give me your real name and mailing address if you are selected.)

(PS: for those who weren’t aware: yes, I am female! 😉 )

PoDW official DVD release: do me a favor…?

Firstly, those of you who’ve been regular visitors know that I rarely ask you guys for anything, and I have never solicited monetary donations (and have no intention of doing so).

If you have not yet purchased the DVD set but have plans to, or if you know anyone planning to, could you (or they) please use this link to do so? (It’s the same as the large link to the upper-right of the main page.)

I just signed up to be an affiliate of What this means is that if you use the link above to make a purchase (a special one tied directly to me), I’ll get a few dollars as a referral fee.

If you could do this for me, I would be really grateful. 🙂 This is my first-ever attempt at monetizing any aspect of the site. I’ve also considered Google AdSense (and still want to look into it when I have time)…ways I can make a bit of side money without imposing on any of you would be fantastic.

Thanks so much!

Notice something different?

Same site…different name. Farewell, Andorus’s Pirates of Dark Water Page. Hello, Always The Quest.

(At last!)

I’d put out a call for a new name a little while ago. This was one I’d thought about, then revisited after a couple of you guys also suggested it (thank you very much!), and realized that it just…works.

Not to mention, “Andorus’s Pirates of Dark Water Page”? Seriously? That name has not changed since the inception of this site in the summer of 1996–ancient history in web years! And this is no longer simply a “page,” nor has it been in nearly 14 years. (For those who are unclear about the distinction, a page is one individual part of a site. What you are reading now is on its own page. The larger whole of which it is a part is a website.)

Anyway, moving on!

Thank you very much for your suggestions for my paper! I submitted it yesterday–my professor had suggested I rework it into a letter, which ended up feeling far more natural–and will be posting that here once I get it back and make any edits he suggests. 🙂 This could very well be the seed needed to start a full-fledged letter-writing campaign…especially since I was able to track down an address for Warner Home Video…

We’re in the middle of “finals week”–I have no final exams, per se, but plenty of final projects and papers. There’s still a lot more coming up, but I’m giving myself a break tonight and hope to update a few other things on the site, to attempt to chip away at this massive backlog of updates. I have started experimenting with different online plugins and tools for a more streamlined site redesign and to give myself a chance to mess around with modern web technologies as well–maybe that’ll finally come to fruition this summer.

On a general animation note, I was lucky enough to purchase a copy of The Illusion of Life by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston at a used bookstore today for only $20! It is said to be one of THE best books on character animation, as well as animation generally, and it was written by two of Disney’s Nine Old Men, or a team of their original animators who created so many of their original characters. I am so thrilled about this, and can’t wait to have a chance to really read/look through it!

So, anyway. Yay, new name! This has been a long time coming and I’m glad for it. Hope you all like it!

Settling in

Just checking in…it’s been a crazy last month. In the last ~3 weeks, I quit my job, vacated my apartment, spent every bit of free time I could with my friends, and moved 700 miles from Atlanta to Pittsburgh just under 2 weeks ago. (For those of you not in the US, I moved from the southeast to the northeast…I’m a little nervous about how winter will be here!) I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I do–it’s a great city, lots of beautiful architecture and culture (and a fantastic symphony orchestra), tons of diversity due to all the universities around here, and just tons to see. It’s also very pedestrian-friendly, with a good bus system. Classes start in just over a week. After five years out of school, I know there will definitely be an adjustment period, but I’m looking forward to it.

However, I have had this site in the back of my mind, since it’ll be hard to find the time to make decent updates once school starts. (But I’m in a bit of a paradox, as I won’t have any graphics software until late next week, at which point I’ll be able to do layout updates and the like again.) Anyway, I’ve been spending some of my free time working on stuff for the site.

I finally finished typing up the missing excepts from the RPG World Book this morning, and am working on formatting it and inserting images. That’ll take a little while yet, though. I have two versions, one with all black text, and one with the updates in green, for those of you who have read the old version of the RPG currently on the site and want to know what’s changed.

There will be more updates coming in the next few weeks, so stay tuned. 🙂

The quarterly (not-an-)update

Hey, everyone–how are you doing?

So as I mentioned in the last post, I will be starting grad school this fall. I’m attempting to set a goal for myself, which is to make a substantial update to the site (and not just the blog) before school starts at the end of August. We’ll see if I can do it–I really hope I can because there’s a lot I would like to clean up and consolidate. Not to mention, I really don’t know if I will have time to make any big updates to this site during my two years in school (something tells me Carnegie Mellon isn’t the easiest of schools…), and I don’t want to let this site become more stagnant than it already has (the date in the header and footer still says 2007!). The biggest constraints that come to mind are time and my aching right wrist…we’ll see how it goes, though.

To those of you who have continued to stop by and who’ve taken a moment to send me a note recently–thank you so much. Life has been really busy (between preparing to start school, move, and leave my current job and my life here in Atlanta) and your kind words have really lifted my spirits. 🙂

Some PoDW-related stuff
– There are several very cool items on eBay right now: several gorgeous cels from The Quest (ep. 1) and a storyboard sketch sheet (!!!) from Dishonor. (ep. 2) The cels are $70 each and the storyboard sketch sheet is $80. These are the best cels I’ve seen available for purchase in years, so if you can afford them, go for it.
– It’s been pointed out to me (hi, Mugetsu!) that the five seals you see tiling down the page, the ones from the end credits of episodes 1-13, are not available for download anywhere on the site. CRAP. Sorry about that! Here they are: the seals from The Quest, Dishonor, Break-Up, Betrayal, and Victory.

Some animation-related news…80s Fever is in the air again. I heard a rumor (hi, Ryan!) that the same people who released Mysterious Cities of Gold on DVD are thinking about releasing Spartacus and the Sun Beneath the Sea. (I have not seen either of these, but from all the e-mails that have come in, a bunch of you have and were very fond of both these shows, so…heads-up!)

On top of that, according to Johane Matte (a.k.a. Rufftoon), an animation artist who did storyboard work on Avatar, there are plans for a sequel to Mysterious Cities of Gold–apparently there have been rumors about this for a while now, and other failed attempts, but she seems to believe this stands a chance of happening.

I couldn’t help but read that and feel a little discouraged. It’s great that so many other beloved shows are being rediscovered, but why not this one? There are so many thousands of fans out there who have such fond and strong memories of this show. I know I haven’t really done anything to organize or mobilize the fans, besides attempts at messageboards and the like (though I’ve thought about it more recently)–my emphasis has been more on digging up information about the show around the time of its production and posting as much as I can find. There’s a petition on with thousands of signatures, but who’s doing anything with it?

When looking through old e-mails, I came across a mention of a posting on a messageboard a couple of years back where somebody claimed that the PoDW master reels in the Warner Bros. vault had been badly damaged, and that’s why they haven’t been released on DVD or otherwise revisited yet. As far as I know, that’s only a rumor…but it’s kind of sad that wholly unsubstantiated rumors are all we have to depend on. If that news were true, that would be terrible, but at least it would be a concrete reason. It’s hard for me to fathom that people could just blithely overlook this show, considering the loyal fan base and how many people do remember it.

RPG character sheets: addendum + YouTube finds

It figures that within an hour of writing my last post, I discovered the Scan to OCR feature on my scanner, and it works really well, though it’s a bit time-consuming. So…just ignore my question in the previous post. (But still do read the post, as there’s another question there that I hope some of you may be able to answer!)

I’ve scanned the cover, the introduction/information pages, and character sheets 1-6. They are available here, as hi-res scans. (I must say, these character designs are kind of cheesy…)

It will be a while since I can put together the text and images into a PDF. But at least I can start to get the files up for those of you who want to look through them. With any luck, I can scan a few a night.

I am so anxious to work on this site. I have so many updates to put up, but I really want to clean up the code and possibly redesign the site all over again before adding to the content clutter. (Though maybe at some point I can at least update the copyright date to say 2009. Good grief.) I’ve put a fair amount of time into trying to organize the content more logically, reduce some sections and introduce some new ones. But I’m juggling several projects at work and have plenty of other stuff going on, and before long I have to start preparing to move to Pittsburgh. Hopefully I can find some time this summer before the move to get some good work done, finally!

EDITED TO ADD: while scanning more pages, I started browsing YouTube and made some pretty awesome PoDW finds:

PoDW theme, on guitar and violin – wow! Some intonation issues, but this is a great effort, and the arrangement is actually very folksy and pretty! I’m assuming the musicians are Romanian, since they use the Romanian show title. Wow…I am so happy to have stumbled across this little gem.

Japanese opening theme music – I can’t stop cracking up. This is so bad it’s great. (I believe I’d linked to this a while ago, but it’s been a while!)

PoDW opening in Russian. I love coming across clips of the show in other languages.

Soul Caliber 4: PoDW mods – someone created Ren, Ioz, and Tula with the Soul Caliber 4 character editor (as well as characters from other shows/series). The PoDW bit starts around 3:15. Pretty cool!

Call for help: episode credits, RPG transcription

Hello! I’m still alive…just busy, as always. (I am still behind on my e-mail–sorry!) I come to you with two requests, one from a fan and one from me (also a fan, but…you know what I mean).


The first request…

Jeffrey is wondering…do any of you have the original end credits for episodes 1 and 3? How about the original end credits for the Fox run of the show?

This is a trickier question than it seems. Many of you know of those seals that appear in the background of episodes 1-5 (the same seals that run down the sides of this website layout):

1. The Quest: an octopus (the seal of Octopon)
2. Dishonor: the island with the moon overhead (the Island of the Pale Warriors/Atani?)
3. Break-Up: a crown, wings, and shackles (symbolizing Pandawa)
4. Betrayal: a woman’s face, half revealing the skull (symbolizing Tula’s betrayal)
5. Victory: three human hands and one monkeybird hand forming a peace symbol

However, on the Boomerang airings of the show, and some (all?) of Cartoon Network’s airings as well, the credits that appear with The Quest are actually the credits for Dishonor–the island crest is visible in the background. And the credits that appear with Break-Up are those of Betrayal, with the woman seal in the background. (I never realized this mistake till he kindly pointed this out. I am astonished to have not seen this mistake(?) before.)

Do any of you have any video clips, DVDs, VHS tapes, etc. that have the proper credits for The Quest and Break-Up? How about the credits from the original Fox run? Jeffrey is eager to access the original credits for each episode (and now I am, too!). Please do let me know if you can help out.


Next, my request…

After long last, I have finally started to complete work on the digital copies of the PoDW RPG module and World Book. Many people have asked me about these over the years, and I just couldn’t start working on them for one reason or another. I am truly sorry about that. But now that I’ve gotten into grad school for the fall, I feel more of a sense of urgency to update this site before I most likely drop off the face of the earth for 2 years. As it is, the next 3 months before I move and start school are going to be extremely busy.

It turns out the World Book has a lot of gaping holes in it that I (in my RPG-ignorant state when I typed it up years ago) figured people could just make up as they went along, but I finally see how helpful it would have been to have all those stats and additional info I’d cut out. I will be posting the full version in PDF format some time soon…it’s not a huge undertaking but it is time-consuming.

As for the character sheets, there are 105 of them, and this is where my request comes in. Would you be willing to help type them? I have a scanner, and I can scan the pages in, but they will be image files and very large (way too large to generate a PDF from), and the thought of transcribing over 100 images fills me with dread. That’s precisely why I haven’t attempted this before–it’s a ton of work for one person to do and I just haven’t had the time to start on it.

What I propose is this: I will start scanning the images and put them in a directory and post the link here. If you would be so kind as to volunteer to type up one or a few pages, comment on the thread in question with the pages you are doing, and e-mail me your transcriptions, with the page name/number in the e-mail title. I will compile them into a PDF (and eventually create a standard HTML version, too), and in the meantime, the images are also accessible to everyone.

It’s rare that I put out a call for help like this, but this is something dozens of people have asked for, and I feel horrible for holding out on you guys. I have always prided myself on putting every bit of media and information I receive on the site, but over the last couple of years it’s all been piling up. It would mean a lot to me and to many other interested fans if you could take a few minutes and help out. 🙂


As always, thank you for sticking with me and supporting the site. This show is now officially 18 years old, and you guys are just as awesome and supportive as ever, and I can’t thank you enough for that.