How to Deal With the Skyler Page Fiasco

I’ve only seen a few people say this, so I’m going to say it too.

Ready? Ok.

Don’t boycott Clarence.

Don’t boycott Clarence.

Don’t boycott Clarence


Don’t do that

The cast and crew of Clarence should not be punished because of what Skyler Page did. And, yes, I know Clarence is his show, but guess what? Skyler Page had almost fucking nothing to do with Clarence’s success. This amazing show was built from just his simple idea. The talented writers and artists made Clarence what it is now.

Boycotting Clarence to get it cancelled is not the solution. That is not the best thing to do. You would be affecting the writers, the artists, the animators, the voice actors, everyone. Not just Skyler Page.


Thank you so much for reading this and I hope you deal with the Skyler Page Fiasco appropiately.


Hi! I’m incredibly fucking happy to tell you that Emily Partridge (tumblr) and I are making a story in Vertigo Quarterly: Magenta of the CMYK series! Emily’s work has floored me for a long time, with its grime and observation-informed, weighty, dimensional cartooniness. I get so much pleasure out of her drawings & comics. I’m really glad she said yes.

I named the story “Gem Pockets” and that’s all I’ll say for now. I plan to show some character sketches by Emily on my readings on tour. Thanks to editor Greg Lockard for inviting me back for another Vertigo anthology! Solicitations are here, at the way bottom.

Also, more news on this later – I’ll be doing as part of my tour, a talk on collaboration as part of Word Balloon Academy, the Friday-before-TCAF creative development workshops. Whee!

(the three below images are from Em’s site)

Friends Forever - final storyboard

AT 191 Friends Forever - final storyboard by KingofOoo

written and storyboarded by Cole Sanchez & Andy Ristaino

supervising director - Cole Sanchez

storyboard supervisor - Erik Fountain

timing director - Don Judge

storyboard revisionists - Julia Srednicki, Emily Partridge, and Charmaine Verhagen

Episode Review: ‘Stakes’ Pts. V & VI (S07E??)

On to parts five and six!

May I Come In?

  • Airdate: November 18, 2014
  • Story by: Adam Muto, Kent Osborne, Jack Pendarvis, Pendleton Ward
  • Storyboarded by: Emily Partridge & Luke Pearson
  • Directed by: Adam Muto (supervising), Sandra Lee (art)

The Hierophant is perhaps my favorite of the five vampires. He so decidedly old-school, and Paul Williams does an excellent job of voicing him. Luckily for me, “May I Come In” revolves entirely around this conservative old fogey.

While Finn, Jake, Bubblegum, and Marceline are in the woods tracking down the Moon, Peppermint Butler is confronted by the Hierophant back at the cabin. In the spirit of a traditional vampire, the Hierophant reveals that he cannot pass the threshold of the cabin without being invited inside. As Peppermint Butler mocks him for his out-dated ways, the Hierophant quickly realizes that Marceline et al. aren’t home, and so he decides to track them down.

Back in the woods, Finn, Jake, Bubblegum, and Marceline stumble upon Lumpy Space Princess hiding in a bush, and she quickly decides to help them slay any vampires who might dare cross their path. Soon, the Hierophant jumps the group, and everyone engages in battle. The Hierophant, however, becomes enraged with all the “tacky, plastic junk” that our heroes are using to fight him. He openly yearns for an older era as he transforms into a massive vampiric monster, which manages to wound Marceline. At that moment, Jake, terrified, hides in Bubblegum’s bag, only to read a text message sent by Peppermint Butler: it reveals that the Hierophant can’t enter into a house unless he is explicitly invited.

Jake uses his shape-shifting powers to fashion himself into an abode, and he urges his friends to hide inside. When the Hierophant tries to follow, he is prevented. At that moment, the Hierophant changes tactics and attempts to parler with Marceline; he claims that he too hates the Vampire King and that he will team up with her to defeat him. Of course, it is just a trick, and he lunges forward and grabs Marceline by the throat. Just then, Crunchie (who earlier was seen being pursued by the King of Ooo in a mock hunt) runs onto the scene and accidentally bumps the Hierophant inside the Jake-House. Realizing that he has entered into a dwelling uninvited, he disintegrates into a pile of ash and bones, and Marceline manages to absorb his powers.

This was Partridge and Pearson’s second (and final) episode, and the two reaffirm their strengths as a storyboarding team. The episode is silly and funny, in the vein of “Empress Eyes”. Recurring characters like Starchy, King of Ooo, and Lumpy Space Princess all make appearances and crack jokes. Thanks to these characters, the episode never dips too deeply into the macabre or depressing, despite the threat of danger being ever present. And while the levity is much appreciated, it does mean that the episode is slightly less captivating when compared to Stakes, Pts. I–III. This isn’t to say it’s a bad episode (by no means is it), but that it’s less consequential than, say, “The Dark Cloud” (which we will get to tomorrow).

With that being said, there’s a very interesting lesson embedded here related to Marceline’s implication that “not being with the times” is what led to the Hierophant's downfall. In my opinion, it’s important to read the entire episode as a lesson in embracing change. The Hierophant yearns for the traditional world, where vampires must be invited into houses, they can kill indiscriminately, and they can drink all the blood they want. He’s ineffectively conservative, which leads to his undoing. Marceline, on the other hand, is yearning for change. After a thousand years in stasis, she now wants to grow up, and she can only do that by looking for and embracing change.

Mushroom War Evidence: The forests that the gang fight the Hierophant in is full of miscellaneous debris and rubbish.

Final Grade: “Funny and light-hearted, ‘May I Come In’ does a good job of lightening the mood, at the (slight) expense of some of the miniseries’ inherent drama.”

Take Her Back

  • Airdate: November 18, 2014
  • Story by: Adam Muto, Kent Osborne, Jack Pendarvis, Pendleton Ward
  • Storyboarded by: Ako Castuera & Jesse Moynihan
  • Directed by: Andres Salaff (supervising), Sandra Lee (art)

Once again, Moynihan and Castuera are on the scene to deliver an excellent episode. But this episode is somewhat special, because it is replete with vivid dream imagery, revealing some of the miniseries’ over-arching themes.

While Finn and Jake track down the Moon, Bubblegum, Marceline, and Peppermint Butler return to the Candy Kingdom to attempt to heal Marceline, who has fallen ill due to a poisonous wound inflicted by the Hierophant in “May I Come In.” Peppermint Butler tries to heal Marceline with crystals, but he notes that the process will take around two hours to complete. Alas, they’re running out of time.

Meanwhile, Finn and Jake find the Moon sleeping in a jar, and they attempt to stake her back (for you see, they misinterpreted Bubblegum’s command to “take her back to the Candy Kingodm” as “stake her back”). However, her healing powers cause any wound they inflict to instantly heal. The duo spend hours trying to kill her, but then the sun goes down and she awakens and chases Finn and Jake to the Candy Kingdom. Bubblegum locks herself and Marceline—who hasn’t healed just yet—in a bunker in order to buy them more time. Just as the Moon is about to kill both of them, Peppermint Butler uses a gigantic stake to slay the vampire, and Marceline absorbs her healing powers, allowing her to overcome the Hierophant’s poison.

When I first saw this episode, I was confused as to how Peppermint Butler was able to kill the Moon when Finn and Jake had failed. Andrew Tran’s excellent “Annotated Adventure Time” article on this episode proved invaluable to my understanding. He points out that while Finn and Jake are in the light of the Moon, the vampire bearing its name is largely invulnerable; she has absolute control. But once they yield to her power, and allow her to lead, they are able to follow her… and stake her in the back. Ha!

What’s most unique about this episode is that every time Marceline is either sleeping or unconscious, we are privy to detailed dream sequences. In each of these reveries, the world around her has stayed the same, but she has grown increasingly old and frail. In the first, Simon and Betty are with her, and in the second, Bubblegum is by her side. At the beginning of Stakes, Marceline desired to cease being a vampire so that she can grow up. This, of course, means that she would have to one day face the reality of dying. In “Marceline the Vampire Queen”, Marceline tries to embrace this, arguing that death will be her “last big adventure. The looming nature of death is evidenced in these dreams, which juxtapose idyllic scenery with death imagery.

And while the dreams aren’t particularly sad, they aren’t particularly happy, either. The increasing fragility of Marceline and her quasi-mournful singing suggest that as Stakes goes on, Marceline is increasingly felling ambivalence towards her newfound mortality. As stated above, death will be her “last big adventure”, but at the same time… it’s death: the great Unknown. Being immortal may be tedious and repetitive, but being mortal means that the Unknown is constantly expanding haphazardly in front of you, and that’s scary. This theme—the battle between the repetitive Known and the hectic Unknown—will (spoiler) come to a head in “Checkmate” and “The Dark Cloud”

This episode provides quite the ammunition for the ‘shipping wars, too. In Marceline’s second dream, she is seen growing old with Bubblegum at her side. Perhaps the two are very dear friends, or perhaps there’s something deeper between them. Likewise, Bubblegum’s closeness to her friend is made apparent both figuratively and literally in this episode, in that she both attempts to save Marceline, and holds her close when the two hunker down in a bunker. Whether romantic or platonic, it’s touching nonetheless.

Mushroom War Evidence: In the forest, the ruins of a cabin can be seen.

Final Grade: “The dream sequences make ‘Take Her Back’ truly emotional and memorable.”