Tagged: Jonny Quest

REVIEW: The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest

To me, Jonny Quest was one of the best animated series a kid could grow up on in the 1960s. The prime time show had nice designs, great storytelling and you could imagine yourself getting mixed up into adventures with Race Bannon and Hadji. It was relatable and fun and exceedingly well done.

By the 1990s, though, Indiana Jones and his brethren raised the stakes for action/adventure in live action as well as animation. The Cartoon Network recognized this and commissioned an updated version known as The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest which aired from August 26, 1996 to April 16, 1997. To make the concept contemporary, they added Jessie Bannon as the duo became a trio while Dr. Benton Quest and Race Bannon went looking into the unexplained. Given the fondness for CGI at the time, some of the stories also meant visits to the three-dimensional QuestWorld (hoping to tap into the audience’s fascination with virtual reality)

The show never quite worked and still doesn’t hold up to repeated views, but for diehard fans, Warner Archive has released the first season in two volumes of thirteen episodes each, the latter set recently released. The show certainly suffered when showrunner Peter Lawrence was fired in 1996 and John Eng and Cosmo Anzilotti arrived to take over. You can tell where Lawrence left off after the first season’s initial 13 episodes (volume one) as his real world –based storylines were replaced with more traditional SF/supernatural stories. The goal, turning the beloved character, into a global icon and franchise fizzled given poor execution and despite a massive marketing campaign.

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Saturday Morning Cartoons: Jonny Quest… In Stop Motion?

Saturday Morning Cartoons: Jonny Quest… In Stop Motion?

Well, technically, it’s not a cartoon, but it is animation– and it’s a great labor of love.

Jonny Quest Opening Titles from Roger D. Evans on Vimeo. Evans writes:

In 1964, Jonny Quest aired to rave reviews as the first, adult action/adventure cartoon in prime time. It had cool jazz music by Hoyt Curtin and terrific, high contrast pen and ink design work by Doug Wildey. As an animator and long time JQ junkie, I had always wanted a set of Jonny Quest action figures but, due to high production costs, the show only lasted one season; not long enough to spawn any kind of serious toys or other merchandising tie-ins. So, almost 50 years later, I made my own. Here is my Valentine to one of the coolest, if not THE coolest, cartoons ever to spin up the imagination of a 53 year old man now going on six. Enjoy!

(For smooth playback in HD, you may need to let it load completely before viewing.)

If you want to see behind the scenes on how this was produced, go to http://www.rogerevans.tv/jq_page2.html

Review: ‘Saturday Morning Cartoons 1960s Vol. 2’

Review: ‘Saturday Morning Cartoons 1960s Vol. 2’

With three networks programming cartoons from 8 a.m. until just about noon throughout the 1960s, there was a rich variety of characters, situations, and styles. While Hanna-Barbera pretty much owned the first half of the decade, Filmation and others arrived and brought some different looks.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell from the second volume of Saturday Morning Cartoons: 1960s, coming out Tuesday from Warner Home Video. Making return appearances are [[[The Jetsons]]],[[[Magilla Gorilla]]], [[[Atom Ant]]], and the [[[Looney Tunes]]] gang instead of shows yet to be sampled.

New for the second volume, which was sent for review, are [[[The Space Kidettes]]], [[[Samson & Goliath]]], and [[[The Adventures of Gulliver]]]. [[[The Kidettes]]], a show I had forgotten about, ran for a single season, 1966-1967, and featured four adorable tykes living in their space clubhouse (a converted Gemini capsule) and outwitting the nefarious Captain Skyhook. Two cute for words.

Samson may have inadvertently inspired Roy Thomas with  a teen, Samson, gained an enhanced form and super-powers by clanging together his bracelets, saying “I need Samson Power” and transformed into an adult hero. Clanging them a second time turned his trusty dog into a powerful lion, Goliath. No secret identities and lots of fighting evil organizations. The stories are predictable and Samson seems devoid of personality.

The one featurette, Completely Bananas: The Magilla Gorilla Story is short but points out this 1964 series was the end of an era for animal-centric series with H-B’s [[[Jonny Quest]]] about to debut and a move towards more human adventures. And as the super-heroes rapidly burned themselves out after just two seasons, networks sought other stories such as ABC’s The Adventures of Gulliver. The disc provides the pilot episode showing how the boy, Gary Gulliver, and his dog Bib survived a shipwreck and washed ashore on the very “lost” island they sought with Gary’s dad, now presumed missing. While Gary is drawn straight, the Lilliputians are cartoony and comical but a détente is achieved.

The disc also includes fresh installments of Wally Gator, Ricochet Rabbit, Mushmouth and Pumpkin’ Puss and their template, [[[Tom & Jerry]]. And assorted other features far more familiar than the above.

The two-disc set does not feel as fresh and inviting as the first and that could be because the mix isn’t as strong this time or, the nostalgia has worn after since the first volume came out earlier this year. Clearly, this is for the late Baby Boomers hoping to relive those years.

Once again there’s the absurd advisory about the material not suitable for this year’s kids.

For a true feel for the decade, we should have had [[[Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales]]], [[[Fireball XL-5]]], [[[Jonny Quest]]], [[[Superman]]], [[[Spider-Man]]], [[[Banana Splits]]], [[[Wacky Races]]], and of course [[[George of the Jungle]]]. Rights issues, no doubt, prevented this from being properly representative.

The second coming of Comico? CO2 comics comes online

The second coming of Comico? CO2 comics comes online

As a company that has strong ties to the 80’s independent comics scene, with us publishing stuff from First Comics and Eclipse, we’re really happy to hear that Bill Cucinotta and Gerry Giovinco are getting back into the game with CO2 Comics, a web comics publishing site developed by the former Comico partners and publishers.

Making the jump from print to pixels is an exciting adventure for the pair who were instrumental in laying the groundwork for Comico the Comic Company, which was one of the most dynamic and influential independent comic publishers during the 1980’s featuring such titles as Mage, Grendel, Elementals, Robotech, Jonny Quest, Gumby, Starblazers, and Space Ghost.

The project is quickly turning into a reunion of Comico artists. Besides works by Cucinotta and Giovinco, comics are presented featuring the talents of Chris Kalnick, Joe Williams, Andrew C. Murphy, Reggie Byers, Bernie Mireault, Bill Anderson, Rich Rankin and Neil Vokes.

We look forward to seeing what they’re up to.

Ric Estrada: 1928-2009

Ric Estrada: 1928-2009

Mark Evanier passes on the sad news that Ric Estrada has passed away at the age of 81.

Estrada was perhaps best known for his work on Amethyst: Prince of GemworldKarate Kid, Wonder Woman and numerous DC war and romance comics. Later in his career, he moved into animation with such 1980s TV series as He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Jonny Quest and Bionic Six. He was an Ink-Pot Award winner, a friend of the late Ernest Hemingway, a contemporary of Fidel Castro, and I believe he was ambidextrous as well, and could draw with both hands at the same time.

Estrada is the subject of an upcoming feature-length documentary being produced by his son Seth. You can read more about it here.

Our condolences to his family and friends.

21 year old Zac Efron to play 11 year old Jonny Quest

21 year old Zac Efron to play 11 year old Jonny Quest

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that High School Musical star Zac Efron has been signed to play Jonny Quest in a live-action feature film. The movie, written by Dan Mazeau, is said to be a terrific young Indiana Jones style adventure. Mazeau was recently named one of the 10 screenwriters to watch by Variety.

Also looking to join the cast as a brawny Race Bannon is Dwayne Johnson.

The 21 year old Efron is about a decade too old for the character, based on the Hanna Barbera series form the ‘60s. He’s taking on the title part to distance himself from teen musical roles and establish himself as a leading player so for him it s a canny move.

“I’m more dismayed by news that folks at Warner Bros. are thinking of jettisoning the name Jonny Quest altogether,” Geoff Boucher wrote. “Why? I hear the thinking is that the vintage animation roots of Quest will somehow pair it in the public mind with Speed Racer, which was a major Warners pile-up as blockbuster films go, considering the investment, expectations and critical reception. I’m not surprised because, well, unnuanced thinking in Hollywood is commonplace, and instead of spending the time needed to judge individual properties by their own merits, lots of decision-makers act like my grandmother at the racetrack.”
 

‘Real Adventures of Jonny Quest’ Headed to DVD

‘Real Adventures of Jonny Quest’ Headed to DVD

Late in the week, Warner Home Video announced that The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest will finally come to DVD on February 17, 2009.

To date, just "Escape to Questworld" has been released as part of their TV Premiere sampler line and that was back in 2004.

The two-disc The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest – Season 1, Volume 1 will contain the first 13 episodes and retail for $26.99. The set will offer a bonus interview with show producers and retrospective on the impact of the original animated series.

The revival ran a total of 52 episodes airing from August 26, 1996 through April 16, 1997. It had a long, troubled gestation period which saw talent come and go during the production of the episodes leading to varying quality.  Jonny and Hadji were joined by Race Bannon’s heretofore unseen daughter Jessie. It failed to live up to the quality of the original adventure series form the 1960s.

EZ Street: Complete, Free and Online!

EZ Street: Complete, Free and Online!

Got some free time?  Why not read a free book?  ComicMIx recently published the final chapter of the groundbreaking series EZ Street. Read the entire graphic novel from the very beginning right here, free at ComicMix!

Scott and Danny are brothers.  As kids, they made up comics.

As adults, Scott tries to make movies.  Dan works as a graphic artist.  They are NOT happy.

In this Harvey-nominated graphic novel from Robert Tinnell (director/writer, Frankenstein and Me and Kids of the Round Table; producer, Surf Nazis Must Die!) and Mark Wheatley (Breathtaker, Mars, Frankenstein Mobster, Jonny Quest), the brothers struggle to find out what makes them happy, what makes them excited, and what makes them crazy. It’s about life, love, art … and sometimes compromise.

Credits: Robert Tinnell and Mark Wheatley (Writers), Mark Wheatley (Artist, Colorist, Letterer), Mike Gold (Editor)

 

 

Joe Staton Honored With Exhibit

Joe Staton Honored With Exhibit

Legendary comics ace Joe Staton will be honored with an art exhibit at at the Storefront Artist Project in Pittsfield, Massachusetts from August 2nd through the 31st.

Best known for his work on (please hold your applause until the end) Batman, E-Man, Femme Noir, Green Lantern, Guy Gardner, The Huntress, Jonny Quest, The Justice Society of America, Michael Mauser, Munden’s Bar, Power Girl, Rugrats, Scooby Doo, Superman, the Wild Thornberrys and about twelve thousand other creations, Joe’s most recent effort is the “new-look” Jughead four-parter that debuted in Jughead’s Double Digest #139 last week.

Joe’s online collaboration with writer Christopher Mills, Femme Noir, will be debuting as a pamphlet-form mini-series in June.

A long-time supporter of Manhattan’s Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, The Art of Joe Staton is being produced by the Storefront Artist Project in cooperation with the Museum. A series of related free workshops and programs is also part of the deal.

In association with the exhibit, Joe will also be conducting a free day-long workshop on August 3 which includes a drawing demonstration, sketch-a-thon, and discussion. For more information contact the Storefront Artist Project at 413-442-7201 or go to their website.

It’s very, very hard to imagine a guy who deserves this more than Joe Staton. Congratulations, ol’ timer!