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Posted by tom on January 5, 2016 in Uncategorized with No Comments

Hey party people,

Thought I’d post a ‘just for fun’ post this week. And being the start of the new year, here’s a list! I did this a while back (before this blog) but I thought I’d bring it back now. So here is my list of TOP 10 CARTOONS from the 1960’s.

The 60’s was pretty much the birth of television cartoon. Granted the so-called first one, CRUSADER RABBIT, dates back to 1949 and Hanna-Barbera had a few shows in the very late 50’s. But the medium didn’t really take until the 1960’s. Aided by the invention of Anime and Saturday Morning cartoons, which created more companies than just Hanna-Barbera to specifically create animated programs for television. Also most early television cartoons were crudely made, for cheap tv budgets and based on the theatrical shorts. Meaning you got two or more stories in a single ½ hour show. In the 1960’s two things changed, stories were expanded to the full ½ hour and four got produced for Prime Time (THE FLINTSONS, THE JETSONS, TOP CAT and JOHNNY QUEST). So this is why I kick off with the 1960’s and basically claim it was the first decade of television cartoons.

First off, you will notice a few shows missing from my list. This is because while a show maybe important and successful, it doesn’t mean I found it worth while to watch. The biggest example is THE FLINTSTONE, I’m sorry but no matter what my age, I never enjoyed the show. It was basically a sitcom from the 1960’s and just like most sitcoms from the 1960’s they were more cute than funny. Even with all the dinosaurs, as a kid I still found the show to be boring- same with the THE JETSONS. I’m also not listing SUPERMAN, arguable the first Saturday Morning cartoon show. A massive hit, written by the Superman comicbook writers. But again, even as a kid I found the stories to be boring, and the artwork not that exciting either. Mind you, as a kid I still watched these shows, and I even have SUPERMAN on dvd today. I’m just not putting them on my top ten list, all of which I think you can still watch today and find something worth while in. Ok, now here is the list:

10- SPACE GHOST & DINOBOY (1966-67)

Let’s be real, no one turned in to watch Dinoboy, we were all there for Space Ghost. With reasonable, if predictable stories, Hanna-Barbera’s first action cartoon is winner. Having animation legend Alex Toth doing the bulk of the design work really helped make this show a classic for the ages.

9- JOHNNY QUEST (1964)

This was Hanna-Barbera’s first adventure show, and for Prime Time no less! It’s pain stacking details made it a hit, and caused it’s down fall, because it was just too expensive to produce. Those details now give it great 1960’s kitsch value today. Basically created by Doug Wildey, Johnny Quest was a spot on adventure show for 1960’s television. Which is probably why I had to get a little older to appreciate it.


Featuring the voice talent of Don Adams (who would go on to play Maxwell Small and Inspector Gadget), Tennessee Tuxedo had more snap and wit than most of the comedies. While Jay Ward Productions’ ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE gets most of the fanfare, Tennessee and his mad schemes made for much better material. Plus he was aided by ridiculous THE WORLD OF COMMANDER MCBRAGG shorts.

7- THE ALVIN SHOW (1961)

Ross Bagdasarian Senior’s high speed voice creations Alvin, Simon and Theodore, the Chipmunks from record fame became a cartoon show. Packed with the bounce originals and covers by the Chipmunk (you’re a fan or not I guess) and the simple premise of how can they (mostly Alvin) screw with their producer David Seville. Every episode is the same, David is just trying to get through his day, and they just mess with him every step of the way, like a good YouTube video.

6- THE BEATLES (1965-68)

What could be better than the Chipmunks? The Beatles, the then and still undisputed kings of popular music. Each episode had animated music videos and the boys living it up in a cartoon version of the movie, A HARD DAYS NIGHT. It was just about as fun as the Beatles themselves, or as least as fun as we hoped they all were. Only people who don’t like the Beatles would find nothing to like here.


Now this one might sound like sacrilege, as it is actually a knock-off show of the more well known ASTROBOY. As a kid I never got to watch Astroboy, but I did see Prince Planet, and it was one of my all time favorites. Maybe Astroboy is just as good or better. I still haven’t seen much, but what I have seen seems to fall short of the imagination and excitement packed into this spaceboy superhero show. I don’t think any little boy could turn down watching Prince Planet.


Another Anime, this one created by the creator of Astroboy, Osamu Tezuka, the father of comics and animation in Japan. This is a show that has it all, adventure and heart. As a ween boy who was crazy about superheroes, I still picked Kimba over Prince Planet as my favorite tv show. It just has that quality few shows have, making it better than it probably should have been. Case in point, originally called Jungle Emperor, Disney all but ripped it off for their movie the LION KING, their most successful animated movie.

3- SPIDER-MAN (1967-69)

Marvel comics hit big in the 1960’s with everything that’s becoming a hit movie today. In the late 60’s they hit television, mostly thanks to cheap animation producer Grantray-Lawrence. Not sure how, but Marvel’s crown jewel, Spider-Man got the best treatment, with original stories and well made animation cycles, event though they were played over and over again. Ralph Bakshi was put in charge of seasons 2 and 3, to cut the budget. But while animation quality dropped, he made up for it with the best soundtrack a television cartoon ever had.


One of the greatest animation icons just made it into the 1960’s, with arguable his best show. With restrictions starting to hamper action shows, Hanna-Barbera turned to mystery and kicked off a major cartoon fad. Scooby Doo is still, in some form or another, in production today! But his first show, especially for the time, did a great job of selling monsters, mystery and humor. It’s no wonder kids and adults still love Scooby Doo.

1- SPEED RACER (1967)

The best Saturday Morning cartoon took 2nd place and the best Anime takes 1st, Tatsuo Yoshida’s Mach GoGoGo. As a Manga, Speed Racer was a reasonable hit, as a cartoon it was a mega hit. Yoshida tailored his racing car hero after Elvis and his adventures off of James Bond. Seriously, how could it not be a hit. The style, music, adventure and reasonable animation for the 1960’s was the first clue that Japan was going dominate in animation.

If you can watch just one show for the 1960’s, it should be SPEED RACER! Feel free to disagree, but you’ll never convince me otherwise. Until next time.

Posted by tom on December 31, 2015 in Uncategorized with No Comments


Hey party people,

So life has been pretty sloppy these days. Got the holidays going on, doing the whole work transition bit, taking care of the new baby, and doing some freelance animation. Some days I don’t have much more strength or time than to just play a video game (Skyrim by the way, 2nd time through, what a crazy game). But I still make time to sketch in my sketch book. So I thought I’d share a few before the New Year.

So this is Wonder Woman, the way I see her. Very simple and very basic. As with all the classic characters, I always take inspiration from their creators. Case in point, originally Wonder Woman was not very busty (look at her comic compared to superheroine comics of the 1940’s), so I prefer to draw her that way. Next we got Aquaman, again another character who seems to suffer from over writing. Here, I guess I didn’t get too ‘originally’ with him, as I think he looks good with longer hair and no black trunks (opposed to Batman and Superman, who I think look better with the trunks). Last is John Carter, the Warlord of Mars. As you might know, I love the classic characters, so I will always sketch them from time to time.

Next time we talk, next month, there should be a new Captain Rocket episode up.

Posted by tom on October 20, 2015 in Uncategorized with No Comments

Hey Party People,

As it’s common with one man websites like mine, they go dark every so often. The recent lack of content is because I became a Dad a month ago. I’m still trying to figure out how to balance my life with the new baby- as I feel guilty doing anything not related to taking care of the baby or my wife. As some of you know, it not really hard work taking care of baby, just long work. And the screaming can be very hard to endure, as you try to figure out why they are so upset. In my boy’s case: gas- almost always gas. The little fella needs to be burped 24/7, regardless when he eats.

Anyway, that all leads to Captain Rocket being neglected. With fingers crossed, I hope to get back to production soon- this week. I’ve also been playing around with a podcast. As usual, my eyes are bigger than my stomach. So it often turns into more playing around than final product. Mainly because I want to make sure I can produce regularly. And you can see what a challenge that is with Captain Rocket!

So I don’t completely leave you with nothing, here is a look at the Captain Rocket comic strip I made back in college- the character actually dates back to my junior high school days. When I was just trying to create a generic space (retro) space hero.

Anyway, I hope to see you all soon with a new cartoon!o_captainrocket

Posted by tom on April 28, 2015 in Uncategorized with No Comments


Hey Party People,

Well, I’ve been working hard on the next Captain Rocket installment. Like a fool I decided to do some walk cycles! Lots of work, even at my ‘Hanna Barbera level’ here. I should have it finished by next month.

In the meantime, stealing precious time away from Captain Rocket, I made this fun little sketch of Young Samson and Goliath! I just love the concept of this show. Some teenage kid on an endless European vacation (or sorts) with his pet dog. Riding around the country side with his moped like motorcycle. And whenever crazy danger strikes- aliens, robots, monsters and madmen- (ala He-Man) he changes into Samson! But no secret identity, as everyone knows he’s Samson (in fact while unpowered his name is still Samson!), and even ask him for help at times. Just a crazy little take on a superhero.

Mind you, the show itself, is one of the worst! Clearly animated by H-B’s C squad, with the briefest scripts, as Samson seems to pull out different superpowers for no rhyme or reason. But it does have the typical H-B awesome character designs by Alex Toth. You should Google the model sheets sometime, as they look great. And will make you wonder why everything doesn’t look that great in the show itself!

Hope you enjoy the pic and I’ll see ya next week!

Posted by tom on March 9, 2015 in Uncategorized with No Comments

killerfrostOne thing that bugs as a comicbook fan, is how every editor and artist feels the need to redesign every character they touch. Now, if a design isn’t working, sure have at it. But once a perfect design has been hit upon- STOP! Look at Dead Shot, first he’s running around in a tux and top hat- obviously not a very good look. Then Marshall Rogers gives him the ‘cyclops’ mask and the wrist guns- perfect! Next thing ya know they are giving him a ‘levolor blind’ helmet and take away his wrist guns- wtf!?

Same thing with Killer Frost. Allen Milgrom makes her this totally creepy ice maiden- perfect (Note- remove the pupils)! Now everyone and their grandpa wants to redesign her. To either A) make her more punk and stereotypical scary, and B) more slutty. Because every single female in a comicbook MUST look a Victoria Secrets model- even Amanda (f’n) Waller. Jeez! Drives me crazy! Anyway, this explains why I just drew Killer Frost. If I saw this eying me in dark alley, I’d be way more scared than how she looks in any of Warner Bros animation of her!

Posted by tom on February 17, 2015 in Uncategorized with No Comments

Hey Party People,

Just wanted to remind all you artists out there- life drawing, life drawing, life drawing! Nothing beats it for improving your artistic skill. So do it as much as you can, and never stop- seriously, never stop. Even when you become the next George Perez or Glen Keane, make time to life draw. Why? It’s like being an Olympic athlete. You need to keep up your training, to remain #1- and become #1.

Generally speaking, there are two schools of life drawing, the construction method and the measuring method. The construction method is the best for storytelling drawing (comics, animation, etc). You start with a gesture, build up shapes and volume, getting more specific as you go until you have a solid figure. Poses will last between 10 seconds to 30 minutes. Drawing fast and getting as much down as you can is key (forcing yourself to really understand the body). This method will not only teach you how to draw what you see, but also draw from you mind. This is because you will have a strong sense of the body, and can move it around in your head clearly.

The measuring method is more for illustrators and painters- in the sense they make one perfect images. The measuring method usually starts by drawing the nose brow of the figure and slowly expanding outward- using the features you just drew as a measuring tool to draw the next features. A pose will usually be no less than 30 minutes, and up to three hours. This is so you can methodically go over the whole figure and make it as prefect as you can. Starting with very little detail, and then slowly adding more and more detail, until you get what you feel is enough detail to define the figure.

I recommend taking a class in each method, and then focusing more on the approach you like and need. For myself, when I’m drawing ‘prefect’, I start with the construction method, and then use the measuring method to finish drawings. Hope to get the best out of each approach.

One word of warning! There are many, many, many, art teacher out there who don’t know either of these methods, and are STILL teaching life drawing! They have the false belief that if you simple draw the figure over and over again- without out a real plan of attack (aside from, well just study the figure, and try to make it look more like the figure), you will be able to become a good figure artist. This is like getting building supplies and trying to build a house just by looking at one- not happening. That ‘method’ only ‘works’ for people born with natural skill. Sometimes people are just born with talent, unknown to them, their brain is just wired to get it- they then assume everyone’s is, and they become sh!tty teachers. This is the bulk of college art teachers IMHO. Be nice, but stay away from these teachers, do not give them money. Always try to ask a teacher what they will be teaching, if they can’t get more specific than, “we study the human body, and focus on drawing it”, they probably don’t know what they are doing. A real life drawing teacher loves to talk about life drawing and how to do it!

Ok, time to get off the soap box. My pretty picture this week is from a life drawing class, where we drew a clothed figure. You can tell by my markers that it’s in the construction method. And the important thing about life drawing with clothed figures, you focus on folds, not wrinkles. Folds are what happens to clothing because of the position the body is in. Wrinkles are ‘marks’ in the clothing that have nothing to do with the figure.

Have fun!

Posted by tom on February 11, 2015 in Uncategorized with No Comments


Hey Party People,

Was looking through my comicbook collection the other day, and I came across one of my favorite series, THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD ( the comic that the recent cartoon series was based off of)! It featured my favorite superhero, Batman, teaming up with various superheroes and other characters. One issue had him team-up with the Riddler, another with Swamp Thing- one of my favs was a team-up with Richard Dragon (arguably DC #1 martial artist). And the two of them actually fought each other in the issue- too cool!

But as I looked for back issues of this series (it’s run was just about over by the time I really started collecting comics) the ones I liked the best were his team-ups with female heroes: Black Canary, Supergirl, Wonder Woman- who knows why. One character he never team-up with was another one of my favorite characters: Powergirl! To me, Powergirl had all the cool of Supergirl, with none of the baggage. Teaming her up with Batman seems like a natural to me, but I guess she was on a different Earth back then and all.

Anyway, here’s my homage to the venerable THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD: Batman and Powergirl- wearing the costume I first saw her in, which I suppose is why I like it best.

As a side note, before THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD became a superhero book, and then the Batman team-up book, it was the home of Robin Hood, the Viking Prince, the Silent Knight and the Gold Gladiator! As I’m also a big adventure fan, I love all those characters too! Wish they had longer runs, especially the Silent Knight and Gold Gladiator- oh well, Batman was a bigger seller!

Lastly, I’m just about done with the next Captain Rocket cartoon, unfortunately, I just can’t find the time to wrap it up! It takes more than the few hours it takes to draw a little pin-up like this. I’m sure hoping I can get it done before the end of the month though- so here’s hoping!

Posted by tom on February 4, 2015 in Uncategorized with No Comments
























Hey Party People, to celebrate Dynamite Comics new Phantom comicbook, KING: PHANTOM- where finally an Africa man is allowed to be an African hero! As the next Phantom has gone missing, Mandrake the Magician’s buddy Lothar has taken over the as the Phantom. Ok, it doesn’t make sense that people can tell this Phantom isn’t the same guy (because the Phantom is suppose to be immortal- as son takes over for father). But that doesn’t bother me too much. I can accept this and enjoy this piece of right mined ‘political correctness’. Oh, the costume I drew is more my own spin on the Phantom costume- not the suit in the comic. It’s just, I’m sorry those striped jockey shorts have to go. And every superhero should wear gloves- seriously. Anyway, I hope ya like it!

Posted by tom on January 28, 2015 in Uncategorized with No Comments

Hey party people, well welcome to the New Year. Oddly enough this New Year has been nearly as tough for me this year as it was last year. I’ve been slammed with a pretty rough cold since the first week, which is why I haven’t really posted much here lately- cry me a river right? I know.

Anyway, I thought I’d show off a sketch of mine of one of my favorite shows as a kid: GHOST BUSTERS. But it’s not the Ghost Busters you are probably thinking about, this is the original from 1975. A live-action Saturday Morning show by Filmation. Which was about two goof-balls and their gorilla chasing down ghosts and sending them back to the great beyond.

A little while back, my sister got me the dvd set, all 15 episodes, and from time to time I have them playing in the studio while I work. Even though I loved them as a kid, they clearly don’t stand the test of time, but still I find them very charming. And as I often do, I start thinking about how to make the concept work today. Which inspired me to make this sketch (sorry I never finished it).

If you are unfamiliar with the show, I’ll tell you a bit more about it. It stars Forrest Tucker and Larry Storch- who were the comedic stars of the 60’s sitcom F TROOP (soldier and indians hijinks). Here, with a gorilla, played by Bob Burns (because he could supply his own gorilla suit and Filmation didn’t have to pay to make one) ran Spencer, Tracy, and Kong Ghost Busters (note Spencer Tracy was a very famous actor in the 40’s and 50’s). The gag is that Kong is not the gorilla, Tracy was the gorilla’s name. Tucker was Jake Kong and Storch was Eddie Spencer. On a play of the popular show at the time, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, the Ghost Buster would get recorded tapes in various objects giving them a new mission each week from their ‘boss’ Zero. After the tape had finished, it would self destruct in 10 seconds, unfortunately Tracy could never get rid of it before it blew up in his face every week.

Each mission pretty much dealt with the gang going to the old castle in town (apart from their office, the castle was the only set the show had), and facing off with the ghost of a monster, or famous bad person. Like the Red Baron, Billy the Kid, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Mummy, etc. So note, they didn’t ‘fight’ the Mummy, but the ghost of the Mummy- as they were ghost busters, not monster busters. Filmation had a very limited budget, and could only afford like two speaking roles per episode (aside from the main cast), so there was always a main monster and a flunky. And just like Tucker and Storch, they often tried to get famous (or at one time) actors to play the ghost. People like Ted Knight, Billy Barty, Huntz Hall, Joe E. Ross, Howard Morris, and Carl Ballantine. In the end, the ghost would get zapped with the Ghost Dematerializer, and the Ghost Busters would return to their office.

As you can see, it was all goofy fun with monsters- er ghost. Two things I loved as a kid. Marc Richards created the show and basically talked Lou Scheimer into making the show (and selling it to CBS) and letting him write and direct nearly every episode. A ton of work, but I’m willing to bet it was the best year of his life.

After Filamtion successfully sued the famous GHOST BUSTERS movie, they figured they’d save money and not get the rights to the movie, and instead create a new cartoon base on their old show in 1986. The new show featured Spencer and Kong’s kids, some girl from the future, and Tracy looked nothing like Bob Burns’ gorilla, so I had little interest in the show.

Anyway, with updated and a little more witty jokes, plus a more defined world- as low rent ghost busters, I think this concept could be successful. I’ll reveal one of my ideas, that Spencer and Kong we’re in the army together before becoming ghost busters- tying in a reference to the actors F TROOP history. This would also help build the history of the characters, and give the world more weight. Either way, let’s face it, loveable losers running from colorful ghosts is a tried and true comedy set-up.

Posted by tom on December 9, 2014 in Uncategorized with No Comments













































Hey party people, so yeah I missed last week- duho! It’s the old story, I put something off for a day, then I got superbusy! Anyway, here’s my post for this week. Showing off a little artwork and talking about some of my favorite cartoons- Hanna-Barbera’s superheroes shows!

As I’ve mentioned many times, growing up in the 70’s meant watching a lot of Hanna-Barbera and Filmation! While Filmation is my fav, H-B was many times just as great. But the one thing H-B managed to do better than Filmation, and nearly anyone else, was to create some good original superheroes. Typically, if the character wasn’t from Marvel or DC, it was crap character. But back in the 60’s, in the superhero animation boom, amidst Spider-man, the Fantastic Four, Superman, Aquaman, Batman and more; H-B managed to create some original superheroes worth watching: Space Ghost, Birdman and Mightor!

One thing weird about these three characters, and I’m not even sure H-B realized this- as I’ve never seen it mentioned before. Is that H-B created a superhero of the future (Space Ghost) and superhero of the present (Birdman) and a superhero of the past (Mightor). What unique range. One thing I think that really helped sell these characters was Alex Toth- the master comicbook artist, who H-B got to design pretty much all of there action adventure shows- post-Johnny Quest (though he did do some work on Johnny).

First off there was Space Ghost, who has one of the greatest designs for a superhero ever! Seriously, he is just perfect to look at. While I was never a fan of Jan and Jace, Space Ghost was still the best show around. That lava monster in the opening credits- awesome! For helping design Space Ghost alone, Toth could be remember forever!

Next Birdman, now while Toth did a lot of designs for the show he did NOT design Birdman. I’ve seen many people give credit to Toth, but seriously look at the model sheet (not only does it not look like one of Toth’s drawings) it’s signed Hi Mankin! Also, I’m sorry Hi, but it’s also not as strong as one of Toth’s designs (the mask is way too complex). But the whole secret agent/superhero angle is very cool. Especially in the 60’s during the height of the cold war.

Lastly, Mightor, who was designed by Alex Toth. And despite the fact that Toth hates caveman stuff, Mightor looks awesome! Interestingly enough, Mightor had two things in it that Filmation would borrow later. One, a side-kick that causes more trouble than help. Little Rok wanted to be a hero like Mightor but was usually just nuisance. Just like Bat-mite in the New Adventures of Batman and Robin. Two, by holding his club over his head Tor would become Mightor! And same club could change his pet dinosaur Tog into bigger tougher dinosaur- yet no one knew the two (or four) were the same. Just like in He-man- as Adam would hold his sword over his head and affect his pet tiger.

Anyway, here are some recent sketches I did of these guys. As you might imagine, I’d love to be able to work on them for real- but until then you just have to enjoy these.


Catch ya on the flipper.