What's New With Cultures Clothing - April 2012
Hello everyone! Thank you for checking out the 42nd (April 2012) issue of Cultures Clothing Co: The Online Magazine! As usual, I was an incredibly busy bee this month. A lot of my time was spent raising funds for my Kickstarter campaign. I feel like such a politician right now with all the campaigning that I've been doing lol:
For those of you who missed it last issue, here's a video and summary of what the campaign is all about:
Cultures Clothing Kickstarter Campaign Video:
The goal of my KICKSTARTER campaign is to raise funds for the Mass Production of Cultures Clothing. According to GSEA Fashion Group (a manufacturing company in NYC that I will be working with) Cultures Clothing will need to raise approximately $5,000 for its first major bit of mass production.
The $5,000 will go towards:
We hope to raise this money so that we can produce large quantities of t-shirts, dresses, polos, etc. to sell on our website & in stores and boutiques. The Clothing showcases art, design, and concepts from cultures and sub-cultures all over the world...and the price tags on the clothing will include little known facts about different cultures on them. Hopefully this will help to educate people...and show them that all cultures and ethnicities have something beautiful or interesting about them.
*Sample & Pattern Development
*Pattern Grading & Sizing
*Cultures Clothing’s own Tags and Labels
*Shipping and more!
When I originally launched and debuted the campaign in last month's issue, I was in the beginning stages of it. As of right now, I have about one week left to raise the rest of the money! I'm currently at $3,832 raised with just 7 Days to get to $5,000! I still have two large donations coming in from my mom, my aunt, and my cousin...so I feel confident that I'll be able to raise the money...but I still need your support! One of the main reasons why is because even after I reach the $5,000 goal, I still need to pay hosting and transaction fees to both Amazon and Kickstarter. The hosting fees alone will take $300 away from the campaign, and I actually do need the $5,000 to give as a retainer to the clothing manufacturer...so in all actuality, I need to go OVER the amount to be able to get everything done!
After the money is raised, my next step will be to take everything (from the money to the clothing samples) to the manufacturer to start the production process. Then, I have meeting set up with several stores and boutiques (who will remain unnamed for the time being so that I don't jinx myself lol) so that I can get product placement for the products!!! You're witnessing the evolution of the brand! Hopefully by next year, you'll be seeing my face all of the place to the point where you're kind of getting sick of it hahaha! Here's the link to the campaign page:
Donation Packages Are Available For: $5, $15, $25, $50, $100, $200, & $500
Gifts for Donations Include: Wristbands, T-shirts, Art Prints, & Original Paintings! (See the link below for all of the details regarding the gift packages:
Thanks for the support everyone I really appreciate it! Oh and P.S., I'm in the midst of filming a celebration video for when the campaign is successful. It may or may not include me and a bunch of people dancing and lip syncing to "5 Minutes of Funk" by Whodini LOL ;-)!
Speaking of campaigns though, I recently came across this great cause! One day, I was just messing around on Twitter, when I saw Rachel Nichols tweeting about her LOLLIPOP DONOR DRIVE. I'm not going to lie, after seeing Rachel play Scarlett in the G.I. Joe movie I got a little bit of a celebrity crush...so whenever she says anything on Twitter my interest is piqued haha! She's definitely an underrated beauty:
"Lollipop Theater Network is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated to bringing the magic of movies currently in theaters to children confined to hospitals nationwide due to chronic or life-threatening illnesses.
But once I checked out what she was actually doing, I came across this amazing organization and decided that I had to show my support. The LOLLIPOP Theatre Network
helps to bring a little bit of light into the lives of children with life-threatening illnesses. Here's the mission statement from their website (http://www.lollipoptheater.org/
Here's a video showcasing some of the work that they do:
Our goal is to create a fun escape from the daily reality of the illnesses these children face and to offer them and their families a moment of normalcy in an otherwise stressful environment."
Just recently, I saw a news video about a city who let a little boy with Leukemia dress up as Batman and "save" everyone from the Joker and a host of other characters. It touched my heart when I saw this, because they made that little boy's dreams come true...and I said to myself, "I'd love to see things like this more often". That's why I was so excited to learn about the LOLLIPOP Theatre Network.
Anyone who knows me knows that I have a soft spot for children. I just think that children are so special. To me, they represent everything that's good in the world. When we become adults, we just get cynical and bitter. We learn all of these prejudices and we stop believing in the impossible. Children are pure and they represent life before the limits and corruption...so it's really sad to see these kids suffering before they even have a chance to enjoy life. That's why organizations like this one are so important.
Please Support The Cause!
I wouldn't tell you guys to do something that I didn't already do myself, so here's a screenshot that shows my donation:
The pic is small, but if you look closely, you can see that it says "Alloyius McIlwaine of Cultures Clothing Co - $50". I could only do $50 because I'm in the midst of a campaign myself (so funds are low)...but I thought this was definitely important enough to support! Hopefully some of you do the same!
I attended the 4th Annual "Dancing With The Philadelphia Stars" event recently. The event benefitted the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America, and my sister Kharisma was one of the celebrity dancers, so I had to come out to show my support! Here's a picture of me looking dapper in my suit lol:
And here's a picture of me and Rizz with our parents. I look just like my mother in this picture...it's crazy!
Model Feature - Nori Iserhien (April 2012)
I shot some video of Rizz's dance, but I didn't get a chance to upload it to YouTube yet...so I'll have to put that in the next issue so that you guys can check it out.
The biggest thing that I did this month was to take a trip down to Daytona. My main man pots and pans Steve Scott convinced me to take a break from all of this month's craziness so that we could go to visit our friend Alyssa...seen here rocking a Cultures T-shirt:
I'm so glad that he did. I had an amazing time! The hotel that we stayed at was kind of a 90's throwback hotel...complete with a VHS-playing TV and everything LOL...but it had an amazing view! Here are some pictures of me out on the balcony...and the view that I was looking at:
It was just gorgeous out there. Everyone was smiling and skipping along...and I can see why haha! I also got to do some Go Kart racing while I was down there! My first Kart was terribly slow so I lost badly...being lapped twice by Steve's fast Number 7 Kart...but I won the next two races by large margins. I had a need for speed haha!
Also, as a bonus, I got some candid shots in of people sporting their Cultures Clothing courtesy of my people @BeeDub
! Thanks for the support people!
I actually got some work done on the trip too though. I recently experimented with this "Reaching for the Stars" T-Shirt idea...so I brought it with me on the trip, and did a photoshoot with Alyssa. I didn't have enough time to get any of the pro shots in this issue, but here are some of the shots that we got with our various camera phones:
Steve even shot some video of the shoot with his camera phone, and put this video together:
We also took a road trip down to Ft. Lauderdale so that we could hang out with my Actor/Singer/Model friend Marissa Hopson and her family.
They are amazing people...we had so much fun! Her mom also packed goodie bags for all of us for the flight back, which I truly truly appreciated lol.
Thanks for riding with me for another month people! Tune back in next month to find out how everything with the Kickstarter campaign went!!!
Until then, check out:
Cultures Clothing Tumblr Page:
Alloyius McIlwaine, Cultures Clothing Co.
Hello Nori! Can you tell us about how long you've been modeling...and how you got into modeling?
Well, I've been modeling for a little more than a year now but I had wanted to pursue it since 5th grade. I didn't know where to star so I figured let me interview for a pageant and see where that takes me.
Oh wow judging from your portfolio I thought that you were a seasoned pro haha! You're off to a great start! Have you had any problems breaking into the industry? If so, what advice would you give to young women out there who are trying to start a modeling career? Oh and how'd you do in the pageant?
Thank you! I've actually gotten off to a great start, with a lot of support and great feedback. I had participated in the pageant my Junior year of High school and figured what do I have to loose. In the process of doing everything (the interview with the judges, the pageant dress shopping and all that comes with pageantry) I was miserable and realized that it just wasn't for me. I made it to the 2nd round (the public interview) but did not place. I had gone in with no intentions of doing so, so that wasn't much of a blow to my ego. but I took some very valuable lessons from that pageant. I learned a lot about confidence that I never thought I had and I also learned about how powerful and determined I could be if I didn't let fear get in my way.
So I took that with me when I decided to hit the ground running with my modeling career. I said if I'm going to do it I'm going to go in full heartedly, not sulk when the outcome is not in my favor and always keep pushing. So I saved up my money, got some pictures done, sent them to every agency I could think of and I'm now signed with one. So I guess that would be my advice to any young women trying to get into the industry, be emotionally ready, be determined, and most importantly do your research.
That is certainly some very good advice my dear! What are some of your favorite shoots that you've done so far...and what are some of your favorite experiences?
Honestly, I've enjoyed just about all the shoots I've been able to participate in but I'd have to say the one that stood out to me the most was one I shot a couple of weeks ago. I really like getting reassurance from the photographer because then I know I'm giving them what they want and I've had experiences where I don't get much feedback and I freak out because I'm not sure if I'm capturing there idea or not but my more recent shoot was a blast. The photographer was very energetic and very positive. He has a lot of experience in the industry so I had expected him to be a snoot but he was the complete opposite. The makeup artists and the other models were a lot fun as well so it really just reminded me why I enjoy doing this, it came down to a group of people working together to create some awesome art and I love that!
No I understand exactly what you mean...the photographer made you feel comfortable and at ease and he gave you good feedback...which made the shoot go really smoothly! The best photographers are the ones that are able to make the models feel comfortable and confident...the pictures always come out better that way. What are some of your aspirations as far as modeling is concerned? What would be your dream gig? What companies/designers/make-up artists/photographers, etc would like like to work with?
Exactly! Oh my goodness! Where do I even begin! Umm, my goal is definitely not fame I'm really happy with the fact that I'm actually going after my dream but if I had a genie in a bottle I'd definitely be in the next Victoria Secret Runway Show! I love how confident the women are when they strut the runway and the costumes are beautiful! umm, I'd also like to work with Terry Richardson. I love his white background portraits because they really focus on the person. I'd truthfully like to work with anyone who will have me but diversity of the models is big in my book. I think it's unfortunate that it's still an issue in the industry but it's really needed.
Oh it definitely does. That's something that I discuss a lot. It's finally starting to change a bit...where you're starting to see a little bit more diversity...especially on the international level...but the industry still has a lonnnngggg way to go. And I LOVE white background portraits...the contrast and minimalism are so dope...especially for white background black and white shots!
Speaking of diversity, can you tell us a bit about your ethnicity/culture...and any facts that you know about your culture that you would like to share?
Sure! Well my mom is from Louisiana and my dad is from Nigeria so I like to think that I get the best of both cultures. Both have great food and a genuine respect for family so when I'm asked I love to talk about it. My parents moved to CA when they got married so my family from her side is still in Louisiana and my dads family, in Nigeria. I travel to the south all the time but I have yet to make it to West Africa. That trip is at the top of my list for this summer.
Awesome! I'm sure that will be an amazing experience for you! That's actually a really fun mix because Louisiana has this cool mix of French, Spanish, African, and Caribbean cultures...and Nigeria also has a very rich history and culture. Fun fact about Nigerian culture: The country has over 50 languages and over 250 dialects and ethnic groups. The three largest ethnic groups are the Hausa-Fulani who are predominant in the north, the Igbo who are predominant in the south-east, and the Yoruba who are predominant in the southwest. Something that I learned in my studies haha!
Ok time for some fun questions...what kind of music do you listen to...and what are some of your favorite movies and T.V. shows?
That's really amazing! I've always know that there were many different dialects but I never thought it was that many. If you've ever heard any of them I think you'd agree that the tones sound so beautiful. Ok, I listen to anything that appeals to the mood I'm in. I grew up listening to music from my moms generation and music from my dads homeland so a lot of earth wind and fire, some sting and the police, some lagbaja from my dads side and just whatever I picked up from there. I have to say I'm not to fond of some of todays rap and pop but I can definitely go for some Jill Scott and anything else that tells a story that I can relate to my life. As far I T.V. goes, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the food network, HGTV, Travel channel and I can't forget about my Law & order SVU. I don't really have a favorite movie at the moment but I guess that because I can't really sit through a movie and stay focused on it for long periods of time.
Very diverse taste! I don't blame you for not liking today's rap...everything that they play on the radio is TERRIBLE!!! TERRIBLE!!! LOL There's a ton of good Hip-Hop out there...but the socially conscious, dope, meaningful Hip-Hop gets no visibility. The major record labels only promote the ignorant stuff because sex and violence sells. I'll have to put you on to some of the good stuff...that's essentially poetry over jazz music (what Hip-Hop's suppose to sound like)! And I love all of the channels and shows that you listen...the Food Network is the most addicting thing to watch EVER lol!
Ok here's another question...if you won 10 million dollars tomorrow, what would you do with it?
I'd like that, I mean I love Lupe and J. Nolan but I'm SURE I'm missing out on a lot of talent. The food network and HGTV are great past times as well, just turn them on and relax, that's all anyone could ever want lol.
WOW! If I won 10 million dollars the very first thing I'd do is buy tickets for my family and I to travel to Nigeria because I know it means so much to my dad to be able to show us the village in which he grew up and it would help us relate to him on another level. Then I'd probably take a break from school to do some more traveling. I feel very limited in the scene that I don't know enough out the outside of the states and it's one thing to read about it and another to actually experience it so I'd do that and take care of my family. That's a lot of money!
Yeah Lupe's dope...but he's about the only commercial Hip-Hop artist putting out dope music these days.
And that sounds like a definite plan! That would be such an amazing experience! I would love to visit Africa and just take in all of the rich culture and learn more about my ancestry. That would be amazing! And traveling is definitely something that people need to do more of if they have the funds available. You learn so much just being able to go to places outside of your comfort region and experience new things!
Ok if you could snap your fingers and fix one thing and one thing only that is wrong with the world, what would it be?
You're so right. hmmm, I'f I could snap my fingers and fix one thing it would have to be cancer. I've had a lot of family members who have either dealt with it or passed away from it and just recently a friends mom who passed away from it so I'd really like to remove that from our world.
Yeah cancer has claimed the lives of so many millions of people in the world...it's terrible and really sad. My family and friends have been affected by it as well. One of the really sad things is that we really have the power to remove that from the world ourselves...at least most of it. Human beings on average are consuming so many things daily that our bodies consider to be poisonous. And I'm guilty of it myself. If it became a part of human culture to consume less acid-based products and more alkali-based products, then we would be healthier people as a whole.
I totally agree and I think that's why I'm pursuing a major in nutrition because if I can help change our bad habits I definitely want to take part.
That's awesome! Do you have any hidden talents that not a lot of people know about?
Well I'm very athletic, I play basketball, volleyball, dance, cheered and ran track. A lot of people find that to be shocking when I tell them but I've been playing sports since I was very young. I find it to be a great stress reliever and I feel my strongest when I play.
Yeah I hear you I love playing sports too...especially football! And I totally pegged you for a dancer because of how you stand and pose in certain pictures lol. What are some of your pet peeves?
I don't have too many pet peeves but I'd have to say my BIGGEST pet peeve would have to be sitting next to someone who chews with their mouth open or smacks their gum. It really gets under my skin. Yuck!
Agreed...although sometimes, when I'm with my sister, I chew loudly with my mouth open just to antagonize her. Yes, we're both grown, but it's still funny LOL! Lastly, what can we expect to see from you in the future?
Like I was saying earlier, my goal is definitely not fame. I can sit back and be satisfied with the fact that I'm actually doing it but I'm always looking to grow in this field...so I'd say you could expect to see more dramatic looks and more high fashion photos because I don't want to stop until I've done everything I've planned on doing.
Sounds good to me! Thanks so much for doing the interview Nori! it was great talking to you!
Thank you again for the opportunity Alloyius!
Random With Rizz - April 2012Hello ladies and gents welcome to this edition of Random with Rizz! So it's official spring has sprung and with spring comes lots of fun events and lots of opportunities to give back.
I've been working with Variety Charity for a few years now and one of the events I look forward to every year is Young Variety Celebrity Bartenders' Night. Every year Variety asks local celebrities to volunteer their time as bartenders, and this was my second year participating. Now I know very little about making drinks so thankfully we had actual real life bartenders back there to help us out! One of the bartenders was even kind enough to make me look really good on camera by pouring six shots at once. The best part about the whole event is that the proceeds go to help a really wonderful organization. Visit http://www.varietyphila.org/ to see how you can support!
Speaking of supporting good causes I had the pleasure of participating in Dancing With The Philadelphia Stars. Dancing With The Stars is a one night only dance competition that pairs local celebrities with professional dancer from Society Hill Dance Academy in an effort to raise money and awareness for the Sickle Cell Association. I chose to take on the Samba. For the past 12 weeks or so my partner Jesse Smith-Dow and I practiced turns, spins, dips and fancy footwork. It all came down to one night and one dance floor as we battled it out at the Crystal Tea Room. The other participants included; Eric Cortes marketing and promotions coordinator for Telemundo Philadelphia, Michael Days managing editor of The Philadelphia Tribune, Julie Dorenbos co-founder of Skin Palette, Kevin Gatto owner of Salon Verde, Anastasia Karloutsos owner of Waterworks Restaurant, Marisa Magnatta associate producer of The Preston and Steve show at WMMR, Councilwoman Marian Tasco, and Nina Tinari partner at T2 Consultants. After a lovely dinner and silent auction we took to the dance floor. I walked away with a trophy for 3rd place, Nina came in 2nd place and Councilwoman Tasco was the big winner. I had a blast throughout the whole process and I walked away really feeling like I did my part to give back to a worthy cause! Go to http://www.sicklecelldisorder.com/ to find out more about what our local chapter is doing. Well that's it for this edition of Random With Rizz until next time I bid you good day! :-)
ALBUM REVIEW - "SECOND TO NONE" BY D. RIVERS & DJ KRU
"Second To None" is the sophomore album from Slipdisk Entertainment artist D. Rivers. It is the follow-up to his debut, "High Voltage Music", which was released on March 8th, 2011. "High Voltage Music" was a very solid freshman release, showcasing a positive, talented young MC on the uprise. I was definitely impressed with the first project...but if there was any constructive criticism that I had for it, it was that I wished D. Rivers changed up his flow a bit more from song to song. When you have a very distinct rhyme pattern (like D. Rivers or Raw Poetic from Panacea for example), you kind of have to switch up your flow every once in a while to give each song it's own personal feel. I stated this is my review of the first album, and it seems like he took my advice while recording "Second to None". He showcases two different deliveries on the first track alone. "Second To None" starts off strong with a track entitled"Aspirations"...featuring lyrical giant K-Rino. When I first saw the tracklisting, I thought to myself, "Whoa...K-Rino is on here? K-Rino has traded verses with the Hip-Hop gods like Canibus. He really needs to step his game to avoid being blown away on his own track". The funny thing is, K-Rino is so dope that even if he did blow Rivers away on the track, I wouldn't have faulted him for it. But Rivers came on like a seasoned veteran and just rode the hell out of the beat...especially after the first beat change. The song starts out with D. Rivers delivering the patented rap style that he showcased on his first album...and as the beat picks up, Rivers energy level rises with it. It was really impressive. "Aspirations" is actually one of the better singles that I've heard in 2012 period.
Following on the heels of "Aspirations" is another one of the highlights of the album, "Renegade Rockstar". Renegade Rockstar is a neck-snapping track that is a "fusion of Hip-Hop and Rock music". You can really hear his progression as an artist on this song. It just has a whole lot of flavor...from the flow and delivery to the lyrics. I hate this word now because the current generation has run it into the ground, but he definitely showcases some "swagger" on this track. A track entitled "Paradise" has the same kind of confident feel...where Rivers describes his experiences as he travels to and from beautiful locations around the world.
Rivers also showcases some diversity on this project, with a bonafide club/pop-oriented Hip-Hop track called "Life of the Party". This track actually surprised me a little bit. When the beat first came on, I didn't know what to expect and I didn't know if I was going to like the song. However, after Rivers started rapping over the beat, I noticed that I started dancing in my chair...tapping my foot and bobbing my head. And he doesn't sacrifice lyrical integrity to make a party/pop track...which is no small feat in today's music market. That just goes to show you that the pop genre in itself isn't bad...it's just that people are putting out a lot of bad pop music. This isn't a song where I would have to turn my brain off just to enjoy dancing to in the club. In a way, this song kind of gave me that 90's throwback party feel. It was strange but cool to get a sense of nostalgia from a song that I had never heard before. I think it's because D. Rivers songs in general have such a positive energetic vibe to them...that harkens back to that Golden Age Hip-Hop era.
Much of this project's success can also be attributed to the album's producer, DJ KRU. When I talked to DJ KRU, he told me that this was the first project produced for the label under his leadership. What's impressive about this album is that there is a wide array of different sounds that come together to form one cohesive project. Some songs feature a more futuristic sounding instrumental, some songs have an organic rock/hip-hop hybrid sound, and some of the songs utilize interesting minimalist beat loops. The blend of sounds reminds me of a mix of things that you would hear from Sabzi and K. Murdock. That's a very high praise coming from me, because I think that they are two of the most talented producers in the genre right now. I like producers (and artists for that matter) that don't conform or get stuck in a box. I like artists that experiment.
One of the things that is most important to me when I'm reviewing a project is the artist's progression and evolution. Sometimes, artists get so predictable that you can almost predict what the tracklisting is going to be like on their new album before that information is even released. And while sticking to a formula/script maybe be comfortable and profitable for the artists themselves, it tends to bore me...because I like to hear and experience new things. I feel that we as people evolve as time passes, so why shouldn't artists and the music that we listen to evolve as well? "Second To None" is an impressive project, because it takes some familiar elements from D. Rivers previous project, and combines it with different sounds and new styles and flavors. You can see how D. Rivers has evolved as an artist since the last album...and his evolution as an artist combined with DJ Kru's experimental sounds makes this project a very solid listen. I definitely recommend this album...check it out at the links below:
Cultures Clothing Co.
TOP TEN: Best Action-Oriented 80's Cartoons (April 2012)
Cultures Facts - April 2012
TOP TEN: Best Action-Oriented 80's Cartoons - by Alloyius McIlwaine
Most of you will agree that the 80's (and early 90's) had the best cartoons. This is evident, based on the fact that a lot of these properties are being revitalized and presented to new generations, including Voltron, He-Man, G.I. Joe, and Transformers. There were all kinds of amazing cartoons from Ducktales to Scooby Doo...but my favorite cartoons growing up were always the action oriented shows featuring super heroes. For this month's edition of"TOP TEN", I decided to make a list of what I think are the top ten best action-oriented cartoons from the 80's. This was one of the toughest articles that I've ever done, because there are so many good cartoons to choose from. It was hard narrowing this feature down to just 10 choices. In order to determine the best choices for this list, I had to determine what the criteria was for inclusion. The criteria that I chose to determine the best choices for this feature were: popularity, quality of the animation/art, creativity, quality of the story-telling, impact on pop culture, and how the cartoon stands the test of time. I think that most of you will agree on these choices, and some of you might even discover a few dope cartoons that you missed out on as little kids. So...without further adieu:
***IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER***
"Voltron is the eponymous super robot of an anime series that features a team of Earth humans, known as the Voltron Force. The team’s individual vehicles join together to form the giant super robot, with which they defend the galaxy from evil. Initially produced as a joint venture between World Events Productionsand Toei Animation, the original TV series aired in syndication from September 10, 1984 to November 18, 1985. The program was titled Voltron: Defender of the Universe." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voltron
"Activate interlock! Dynotherms connected! Infracells up! Mega thrusters are go! LET'S GO VOLTRON FORCE!"
"Form feet and legs! Form arms and body! And I'll form...the head!"
Any 80's baby that read those sentences above immediately got goosebumps...and that alone tells you how awesome this cartoon was. The basic story behind Voltron was that the evil forces of King Zarkon were threatening to take over the universe...so five space explorers set out to find and recover the legendary robot Voltron, Defender of the Universe. Once Voltron was found and formed, it was almost an unstoppable force for good.
Voltron is one of those cartoons that was just so awesome that it's hard to put into words...but I'll certainly try. For one, all of the characters had fun, defined personalities. Keith was the fearless leader who always had a plan. Lance was the hotshot...and a bit of a loose cannon. Pidge was the nerdy but smart kid (who had a really annoying voice lol). Hunk was the strong man...but he was also the heart of the team for me. Princess Allura was like a beacon of light for the entire galaxy alliance...and she was also the object of everyone on the team's affection. To put it in simpler terms though, they had awesome uniforms and rode in robot cats that all joined together and made one giant robot...which in turn destroyed evil alien creatures and saved the galaxy. That's why it was cool. Voltron still remains relevant today, as a new popular cartoon entitled "Voltron Force" is now showing on NickToons.
Why It's Cool:
I'm starting to realize that the best 80's cartoons also had the best catchphrases. The basic premise of Thundercats was that man-child Lion-O becomes the new leader of the Thundercats after Thundera and most of its inhabitants were destroyed by evil mutants. After inheriting the Sword of Omens, Lion-O leads the surviving Thunderans and their new friends on a never-ending battle against the evil mutants, and their sorcerer leader, Mumm-Ra The Ever-Living.
One of the things that was really cool about this show was the fact that the ThunderCats cartoon was as much about exploration as it was about battling evil. During their travels, the ThunderCats would meet and befriend all kinds of new people and creatures...and learn all about these wildly different cultures. It's one of those things that spoke to me when I was younger...and is at least partially responsible for some of my beliefs today. It really did teach acceptance and understanding of different cultures. Also, the show had great action. I always thought that it was so cool every time they showed Cheetara running at super-speeds...or Tigra doing his disappearing act and reappearing to get the drop on enemies. By the way, every little boy had a crush on Cheetara LOL.
It's actually kind of blasphemous to say this, but the current incarnation of the cartoon which debuted in 2011 is actually even better than the original. It has great action, great animation, and the stories are very well-written. Good to see that the Thundercats are still around to teach cultural acceptance and understanding to a new generation!
Why It's Cool:
The show's description provided above kind of touched on why the SilverHawks were cool. They were, in effect, the space adventuring humanoid versions of the Thundercats. The main difference is that the SilverHawks were more like police, and the ThunderCats were more like a family. In SilverHawks, a team of heroes volunteer to be transformed into cyborgs so they have the ability to survive space...and chase after Mon*star and his gang of escaped criminals. I think what really made the SilverHawks stand out were those costumes. The character designs are some of the best you will see in any 80's cartoon. They had this really cool metallic armor...and it just looked amazing when they pulled down their masks to fly through space. They also had wings, and lasers that shot out of their shoulders. It was awesome (I know that I've already used that word a hundred times in this feature lol).
This show also had really awesome toys. The toys had shiny metallic armor, and when you squeezed the legs together, the arms would pop up into flying position and the wings would come out. I would love to see a Silverhawks revamp...where they flesh out the characters a bit more. I think it could have the same success for this new generation that Thundercats is having.
"Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light was originally a range of action figures from Hasbro, released in 1987. This action figure range was promoted by two different media, telling the stories of the characters. The better known of the two was a half hour animated television series made by Sunbow Productions in the same year, but there was also a comic book series issued by Star Comics.
The toyline was not a big success, which led to both the series and the comic being cancelled after a very short run. The comic lasted only 6 issues, and was cancelled halfway through a four-part storyline. The animated series lasted one season of 13 episodes, and was not picked up for a second, possibly because all Sunbow cartoons came to an end after The Transformers Season 4 three parter; The Rebirth and G.I. Joe: The Movie, when Sunbow lost its contract and could not get it renewed. It is the only Hasbro property to be produced by Sunbow on their own, without the aid of Marvel Productions. Sunbow also used TMS Entertainment, in Japan for the overseas animation work for this show." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visionaries:_Knights_of_the_Magical_Light
Why It's Cool:
The premise of Visionaries was that the realignment of the three suns surrounding the planet Prymos marked the end of the age of science and technology and ushered in the medieval age of magic. A wizard named Merklyn soon appeared and issued a challenge to the people of Prysmos...and whoever took on the challenge and made it to top of Iron Mountain would receive powers from his shrine. Fourteen knights reached the shrine: the seven heroic Spectral Knights (led by Leoric), and the 7 evil Darkling Lords (led byDarkstorm). They received magical totems that transforms them into different animals...and the animals were a projection of each of the knights personalities. The knights also had staffs and vehicles infused with magical powers.
Visionaries was one of the many 80's cartoons that was rocking holograms before Tupac (LOL). No, in all seriousness, it was kind of weird for me to read the wikipedia summary of the Visionaries series...saying that the toy line was not a huge success. For me growing up, both the cartoon and the toys were on a whole other level of awesome. The toys had hologram plates in their chests and holograms in the weapons...which brought the whole line to life and gave it an energy that not a lot of other toys had.
The cartoon itself was one of the better cartoons of the 80's. It was well written, it had a good plot, and all of the characters had defined personalities and cool powers. It also wasn't overly goofy. It was one of those cartoons that had a little bit more of a serious comic book feel to it. Sometimes, when you go back to watch some of these cartoons as an adult, you have a good feeling because of the nostalgia effect...but the cartoon itself seems cheesy. When I recently watched the first few episodes of the Visionaries on Youtube, I found it to be just as cool as it was when I was a little kid...which is really something. I would love to see who actually owns the rights to the Visionaries properties right now...this is another one of those shows that could be rebooted for this new era and made into a cult favorite for this new generation.
5) G.I. JOE:
"G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero is a military-themed line of action figures and toys in Hasbro's G.I. Joe franchise. The toyline lasted from 1982 to 1994, producing well over 500 figures and 250 vehicles and playsets. The line reappeared in 1997 and has continued in one form or another to the present day. It was supported by two animated series as well as a major comic series published by Marvel Comics.
The toyline continues to play a large part in Hasbro's G.I. Joe franchise. This version of G.I. Joe is still much recognized by many people who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, overshadowing the original G.I. Joe." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G.I._Joe:_A_Real_American_Hero
Why It's Cool:
Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. The End. What...you mean I have to go into more detail? Finneeeee... LOL.
G.I. Joe is the code name for America's highly trained special mission force who defends freedom and battles against COBRA, a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world! One of the things that was really cool about G.I. Joe was that they had excellent voice talent on this project. Each one of the characters had clearly defined voices and personalities, (well, except Snake Eyes...who didn't talk at all because he is a silent ninja lol). Cobra Commander's voice was the most noticeable. He had this really annoying, kind of high-pitched raspy voice with hints of snake in it. Speaking of Cobra Commander, I just never understood why G.I. Joe ever had any issues with Cobra...specifically because Cobra Commander was in charge. Cobra Commander was a raging idiot lol. He would always ruin the well laid out plans of Destro by losing his temper and doing something really stupid. It if wasn't for Destro, Cobra's plans would fail before they even started. If I was G.I. Joe's top brass, I would have just focused on taking Destro out of the equation...and the rest of the organization would just fall apart haha. One of the great things about G.I. Joe was that there was always some life lesson to be learned at the end of the episode...so this was another one of those cartoons that taught the kids very valuable lessons!
There have been several incarnations of the G.I. Joe cartoon over the years, and there has also been one live action movie...with another one coming out this summer featuring The Rock & Bruce Willis. Does it get any cooler than that? Well now you know why it's cool...and knowing is half the battle. YO JOE!!!
"Transformers (トランスフォーマー Toransufōmā) is an entertainment franchise that started in America. It began with the Hasbro Transformers toy line, centered on two factions of warring alien robots which are called the Autobots and the Decepticons. In its 28-year history, the franchise has expanded to encompass comic books, animation, video games and films.
Transformers: Generation 1 includes both the animated television series The Transformers and the comic book series of the same name, which are further divided into Japanese and British spin-offs, respectively. Sequels followed, such as the Generation 2 comic book and Beast Wars TV series, which became its own mini-universe. Generation 1 characters underwent two reboots with Dreamwave in 2001 and IDW Publishing in 2005, also as a remastered series. There have been other incarnations of the story based on different toy lines during and after the 20th-Century. The first was the Robots in Disguise series, followed by three shows (Armada, Energon, and Cybertron) that constitute a single universe called the "Unicron Trilogy". A live-action film was also released in 2007, with a sequel in 2009, and a second sequel in 2011, again distinct from previous incarnations, while the Transformers Animated series merged concepts from the G1 story-arc, the 2007 live-action film and the "Unicron Trilogy". Transformers: Prime currently airs on The Hub." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transformers
First off, I just would like to thank the Transformers franchise in general for theEYEGASM that it gave me during the Megan Fox car scene in the live-action movie. Sweet Baby Jesus...this alone was enough to land this cartoon on the list lol:
Hahaha but back on point, the basic premise of the show was that a war between the heroicAutobots and the evil Decepticons on the distant planet of Cybertron. These robots have the ability to transform themselves into vehicles and weapons. The war was long and exhausting and supplies of energon were running low...so the Autobots launched into space to locate a new energy sources to continue the fight. They were attacked by the Decepticons while in flight, and ended up crashing on Earth and were buried deep underground. Everyone on board was deactivated in the crash.
Four million years later, a volcano eruption brings the ship to the surface...and automatic systems repair both the Autobots and the Decepticons. They also have drones go out that capture the blueprints of Earth's vehicles...allowing their transformation ability to mimic Earth machines and blend in. The battle between the robots begins anew...as the Autobots defend Earth from the Decepticons, who seek to enslave humanity and drain the world of its energy.
Transformers were just the definition of cool for kids in the 80's...and are still relevant today. I mean, they are robots that transform into all kinds of cool cars, trucks, airplanes, and weapons...it just doesn't get much cooler than that for kids. I would even go as far as to say that the Transformers line of toys is maybe the greatest line of action figure toys of all time. The Transformers were brought to live action...and are now three movies deep. I can admit, there are few times that I've geeked out harder than when I heard Optimus Prime speak for the first time in live action. I liked the first movie, didn't like the second one at all, and thought that the third movie was pretty entertaining...so overall, it has been a pretty successful franchise.
7) TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES
"The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (abbreviated as TMNT and simplified as Ninja Turtles) are a team of four teenage anthropomorphic turtles, who were trained by their anthropomorphic rat sensei in the art of ninjutsu and named after four Renaissance artists. From their home in the storm sewers of New York City, they battle petty criminals, evil megalomaniacs, and alien invaders, all while remaining isolated from society-at-large. The characters initially appeared in comic books before being licensed for toys, cartoons, video games, films, and other merchandise. During the peak of its popularity in the late 1980s through early 1990s, the franchise gained considerable worldwide success and fame." - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tmnt
Well, to put it bluntly, TMNT pretty much defined the 80's era. It had the attitude, it had the sense of unity, it had the personality. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a cartoon that spun out of a graphic novel (of the same name). This cartoon featured four masked anthropomorphic turtles...trained in the martial arts by their elder rat sensei, Master Splinter. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, named after master renaissance artists (Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael), battle to save NYC and the world from Oroku Saki (Master Splinter's former pupil...now known as the Shredder), Krang, and the foot soldiers.
One of the reasons why this show was so popular was because it was very tongue-in-cheek. If something truly absurd was going on, the characters would sometimes break the fourth wall and communicate with the viewing audience. I can think of too many other cartoons that were doing anything like that at the time. It was also just a lot of fun. Michelangelo was essentially the break-out character of the show...and his carefree, pizza-loving, surfer dude attitude made him lovable to everyone. Like Transformers and G.I. Joe, TMNT has transitioned to the big screen, and has several live action and animated movies under its belt with more on the way.
Why It's Cool:
Centurions was different from most action-oriented cartoons at this time, because it had a female lead as the brains of the entire operation. Crystal Kane (inspired by her heroic father) gathered together a band of land, sea, and air specialists (Jake Rockwell, Ace McCloud, Max Ray, Rex Charger and John Thunder) to battle the megalomaniacal Dr. Terror and his evil accomplices. The show had great sci-fi action...with the Centurions calling forth all kinds of cool vehicles and gadgets to attach to their exo-frames...and to help them in their different situations. Like G.I. Joe, each episode of The Centurions featured a 30 second lesson about astronomy and space travel...so it entertained the youth and dropped some knowledge on them at the same time.
9) HE-MAN & THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE
Why It's Cool:
Little known fact about He-Man: the whole cartoon came into fruition because the Conan the Barbarian movie featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger was deemed "too violent" for children...so they created He-Man so that they could have something similar. The backstory is that Adam, the mild-mannered Prince of Eternia, is transformed into He-Man once he holds his magic sword and speaks the magic word "I HAVE THE POWER". His pet Cringer is also transformed into the mighty Battlecat. When he transformers into He-Man, Adam is the most powerful man in the universe. He leads a fearless group, sworn to protect the realm and secrets of Castle Greyskull. The funny thing is, none of the other characters know that Adam and He-Man are the same person. They actually often chastise Adam and call him irresponsible...and tell him that he should be more like He-Man. Even as a kid, I thought that it was pretty goofy, because outside of a costume change, He-Man and Adam looked exactly alike. It's kind of that same sillyness used in the old Superman comics...where Lois can't tell that Clark Kent is Superman because of those stupid glasses lol.
He-Man's one of those cartoons that is kind of hard to watch as an adult...because it is super cheesy and goofy...but it still has a HUGE nostalgic factor that comes along with watching the episodes. As a kid, you had these huge muscle men with powers that everyone wanted to grow up to be like...and that was all that it really took to make the show a smash hit. As an adult, you kind of have to put the fact that Skeletor was a bumbling idiot out of your mind to even take any of the threats even partially seriously. Still, it is a classic lol!
10) DEFENDERS OF THE EARTH
Defenders of the Earth is an animated television series produced in 1986, featuring characters from three comic strips distributed by King Features Syndicate—Flash Gordon, the Phantom, and Mandrake the Magician—opposing Ming the Merciless in the year 2015. Supporting characters include their children Rick Gordon (son of Flash), Jedda Walker (daughter of the Phantom), Kshin (adopted son of Mandrake), Mandrake's assistant Lothar, and Lothar's son L.J. The show lasted for 65 episodes; there was also a short-lived comic book series published by Star Comics (an imprint of Marvel Comics), created by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru and John Romita, Sr.. The closing credits credit Rob Walsh and Tony Pastor for the main title music, and Stan Lee for the lyrics. The series was later shown in reruns on the Sci Fi Channel as part of Sci Fi Cartoon Quest. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defenders_of_the_Earth
WHY IT'S COOL:
In the Year 2015 (LOL it was like the far future back then, but now it's in like three years),Flash Gordon, The Phantom, Mandrake, and Lothar band together to save the Earth from Space terrorist, Ming the Merciless. Defenders of the Earth was cool because it kind of had that "Avengers" feel to it. You had a gathering of the mightiest heroes from vastly different backgrounds that came together to defend the world from Ming the Merciless. I always thought that Defenders of the Earth was the equivalent of having Captain America, The Black Panther, Dr. Strange, and Luke Cage all on one team (which they are now in the comics). The other thing that made it cool was that each of the heroes had a child or sidekick that also helped the main superstars to fight against evil. The parents and mentors would often sideline the kids, but they definitely pulled their weight, and were often the reason for the success of the mission. As as kids, it was cool seeing teens that weren't that far away from our age range kicking bad guy butt as well. The only thing that infuriated me about this show was the fact that somehow, MING WOULD ALWAYS ESCAPE!!! He was seriously like Whodini...it's not even funny. No matter what the Defenders did, he would always find a way to get away to cause trouble for another day. Going back and watching the show as an adult, I kind of wanted the heroes to stop being such goodie two shoes and take Ming out "permanently" so that he wouldn't keep endangering all of these innocent people in his evil schemes lol.
Honorable Mention: Sectaurs, Inhumanoids, Bionic 6, Galaxy Rangers, Bravestarr, M.A.S.K., Starcom, Bravestarr, Robotech, Tigersharks, C.O.P.S., Conan, Spiral Zone, Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends
Article by Alloyius McIlwaine of Cultures Clothing Co.
1) "Тhe Aleut people (Native Americans) were distributed throughout the Aleutian Islands, the Shumagin Islands, and the far western part of the Alaska Peninsula, with an estimated population of around 25,000 before contact with Europeans. In the 1820s, the Russian-American Company, which administered a large portion of the North Pacific during a Russian led expansion of the fur trade, resettled many families to the Commander Islands (currently, within the Aleutsky District of the Kamchatka Krai in Russia) and to the Pribilof Islands (currently in Alaska), where there are currently established majority Aleut communities. Their numbers have dwindled to about 2,000 as a consequence of disease and disruption of traditional lifestyles, though people with partial Aleut descent may number around 15,000." - Wiki
2) "Modern Armenia comprises only a small portion of ancient Armenia, one of the world’s oldest centres of civilization. At its height, Armenia extended from the south-central Black Sea coast to the Caspian Sea and from the Mediterranean Sea toLake Urmia in present-day Iran. Ancient Armenia was subjected to constant foreign incursions, finally losing its autonomy in the 14th century ce. The centuries-long rule of Ottoman and Persian conquerors imperiled the very existence of the Armenianpeople. Eastern Armenia was annexed by Russia during the 19th century; western Armenia remained under Turkish rule, and in 1894–96 and 1915 Turkey perpetrated systematic massacres and forced deportations of Armenians." - http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/35178/Armenia/44264/Cultural-life
3) Portuguese fishermen paint eyes on their boats. They hope that the eyes see where the fish are.
4) The Australian flag shows the "Southern Cross" which is a group of stars that can be seen in the Australian sky.
5) Dreadlocked hair was worn in Ancient Crete around 3000 - 1400 BCE
6) The women of the Tiwi tribe in the South Pacific are married at birth.
7) Some very Orthodox Jews refuse to speak Hebrew, believing it to be a language reserved only for the Prophets.
8) The Toltecs, Seventh-century native Mexicans, went into battle with wooden swords so as not to kill their enemies.
9) It was the custom in Ancient Rome for the men to place their right hand on their testicles when taking an oath. The modern term 'testimony' is derived from this tradition.
10) Henry VII was the only British King to be crowned on the field of battle