Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tomorrow Morning on Cartoon Network...

In case you missed it, "Night in the Sanctorum," the first episode of SUPER HERO SQUAD that I wrote will air again tomorrow morning at 8:30 AM (EST) on Cartoon Network.

In this episode the Squaddies need to find a place to spend the night after Falcon crashes the Hellicarrier. The episode features guest characters Dr. Strange, the Punisher, Baron Mordo and the Enchantress, and a lot of belching.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

This Saturday on Cartoon Network

This Saturday, December 12, at 7:30 PM (EST), Cartoon Network will be broadcasting my second episode of SUPER HERO SQUAD. This episode, "Stranger From a Savage Land!," guest stars Kevin Sorbo as Ka-Zar who journeys to Super Hero City in search of his missing sabertooth tiger, Zabu. Don't miss it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Available Today

A journalist tags along with the Mystery Inc. gang as they investigate a bizarre painting which seems to be coming to life and stealing valuable items from the stores around the gallery where it is displayed in SCOOBY-DOO #151, written by me with art by Fabio Laguna, Heroic Age, and John J. Hill. SCOOBY-DOO #151 can be found at a comic book store near you starting today.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Behind the scenes of "The Lost King of Africa"

If you've watched THE SECRET SATURDAYS you know that the Saturdays are cryptozoologists; scientists who study cryptids. Cryptids are hidden, or unproven animals. The most famous cryptids are Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, the yeti, and the Loch Ness Monster. Whether any of these elusive creatures exist, or not, in the real world remains unproven, but other animals that we've all heard of at one time were cryptids themselves. Gorillas, pandas, okapis, the megamouth shark, and the komodo dragon were at one time all believed to only be legendary animals that didn't really exist. Unknown animals are being discovered all the time, and while none are as mysterious and otherworldly as the Loch Ness Monster, there's still a chance that someone will prove that something like Bigfoot really does exist.

In "The Lost King of Africa" (published in CARTOON ACTION PACK #44, by DC Comics) the Saturdays venture to the Congo in Africa to search for a cryptid known as Mokele Mbembe. Mokele Mbembe means "the one who stops the flow of rivers" and to the people who live in the Congo and who claim to have seem this cryptid, it is said to look a lot like a sauropod, a long-necked dinosaur similar to the Apatosaurus, or Diplodocus. It is also supposed to be hostile to hippos, as depicted in this painting.

Below is a drawing in the mud of what local witnesses say Mokele Mbembe looks like. Could a prehistoric dinosaur still be alive in the jungles of Africa? It's unlikely, but who knows for certain?

There has been some recent speculation that Mokele Mbembe could actually be a huge, surviving, prehistoric mammal such as the Indricotherium seen below. This animal, which lived in Central Asia and China during the Oligocene, was related to the modern rhinoceros. It was about 27 feet long, the largest land mammal that ever lived, and was as long as some sauropod dinosaurs. If this theory had appeared before I wrote this story, then most likely I would have used this really cool looking mammal as the focus of my story.

Because I was thinking of Mokele mbembe as a dinosaur, I decided to combine it with other dinosaur cryptids from Africa in this story. All three of the dinosaurs are creatures that are said to exist in the Congo. The first dinosaur the Saturday's meet in the story is Emela-Ntouka, whose name means "killer of elephants." Below is a sculpture of what African witnesses say this creature looks like. Could those large floppy ears actually be the frill of a ceratopsian dinosaur?

If so, then the Emela-Ntouka probably looked something like this:

That's roughly what the Emela-Ntouka looks like in our story. Finally, we come to Kasai Rex, the lost king of our story. "Rex" means king. Kasai rex was reportedly witnessed in 1932 attacking a rhinoceros and also elephants. It was described as something similar to a Tyrannosaurus rex, but some say may have been a Tarbosaurus, like the one shown below, a slightly smaller relative of the Tyrannosaurus, which lived in Mongolia.

Again, it is unlikely that any dinosaurs are still alive, particularly a large predator like tarbosaurus, which never lived in Africa to start with, but since THE SECRET SATURDAYS wouldn't be as much fun if we didn't include all cryptids as actually being real, existing, creatures, we just made them real living creatures for the purposes of this story.

Will the Saturdays survive their encounter with Kasai Rex and find Mokele Mbembe? You'll just have to wait until part 2 in January. In the meantime, here's some trivia about the story. The boat that the Saturdays travel in was meant to like like the boats from the Jungle Cruise, one of my favorite attractions at Disneyland and Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. I was originally going to have them pass some of the familiar animals seen on the Disney ride as well, but it didn't help the story move forward so I cut those bits out. Now, the Saturdays don't see any animals for some time in the story.

The name of the boat, "R.P. Mackal" is named after Roy P. Mackal, a biologist and cryptozoologist born in 1925, who searched for both the Loch Ness monster and Mokele Mbembe (where he also learned about Emela-Ntouka). He is also one of the founders of the, now defunct, International Society for Cryptozoology. He has written books about both expeditions and about cryptozoology in general.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New Today at a Comic Book Store Near You

If you are a fan of THE SECRET SATURDAYS tv show then you may want to check out the new issue of CARTOON NETWORK ACTION PACK. Issue #44 is available today. The Saturdays travel to Africa and encounter living dinosaurs in "The Lost King of Africa" part 1. The story was written by me with artwork by THE SECRET SATURDAYS television director, Scott Jeralds, and a cover by THE SECRET SATURDAYS creator, Jay Stephens. Published by DC Comics.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Greetings. I decided that since so much of my work was aimed at kids, that it was time that I created a blog just for young audience. If you're a kid and you like comic books, animation, art and storytelling in general then there will probably be something here that will catch your interest, and hopefully, on occasion, excite you to go out and create your own works.

Who am I? As you may have guessed from the name of this blog, my name is John Rozum. I write comic books for a living. If you've ever read an issue of SCOOBY-DOO, or CARTOON NETWORK ACTION PACK, CARTOON NETWORK BLOCK PARTY, DEXTER'S LABORATORY, or THE POWERPUFF GIRLS, then you've probably read one of my stories. I also write cartoons for tv every now and then. Most recently I contributed stories to the tv series SUPER HERO SQUAD. I even create some artwork too.

This blog will be a place where you can learn about what goes into making a comic book story, or an episode of an animated television show. I'll talk about how I approach my work, where the ideas come from, how I collaborate with the artists I work with and my editors, what things inspire me, and answer any questions you might have about any part of the process.

Please let me know what you'd like to see, what you like, or don't like, and feel free to ask me any questions you might have.