Tom Fremgen's Blog about all things cool at

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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)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXx9yRCSt5Y

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)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0kg_tzQvf4

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.

8- TENNESSEE TUXEDO AND HIS TALES (1963-1965)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHfmT_-DvEY

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)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SdMTK1Brr8

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)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSAJaHatUDQ

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.

5- PRINCE PLANET (1965)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yhn_wfgPyzI

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.

4- KIMBA THE WHITE (1965)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytqAS-tgGKg

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)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TF2FPmX3zrI

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.

2- SCOOBY DOO, WHERE ARE YOU (1969-70)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTq6nwO4oJU

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)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suCm1w_KTiY

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 April 28, 2015 in Uncategorized with No Comments


samson1

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 October 28, 2014 in Uncategorized with No Comments


Hey party people, as promised, we got two Captain Rocket episodes this month. I’m pretty happy with the scenes of the Rocket-Rocket landing. Hope you enjoy it!

Posted by tom on October 21, 2014 in Uncategorized with 2 Comments


cap_bw

Hey Party people, well after some crazy times, Captain Rocket is back in the house. As you may recall I’ve been dealing with some tendonitis in my right arm. While it’s still there, it was become manageable. So I’ve started working on new cartoons. You may also recall I’ve been trying to recruit and artist or two to help me make the cartoons quicker and then release it all as one short film. Alas, getting artists of a certain caliber to work on a project that doesn’t pay real money, is like herding cats. As soon as I would fine someone interested in working with me, they would then go do something else. No ill will towards any of them, they all had good reasons not work on Captain Rocket. So Captain Rocket is back to the slow pace of about an episode every month.

Anyway, now that I’m back to just cranking them out myself, I did manage to build up a small back log of episodes (don’t get greedy). So I will be releasing two a month, until it finally catches up to where I am in production- probably January.

Inbetween my time knocking out cartoons, I hope to keep up with my blog here more. Hope to have one a week now. Even if it’s just simply a new pic, which is probably what people prefer to see anyway. I’ve also been toying around forever with a podcast idea. As of now, I have no idea if it will happen- just something that keeps me busy.

Anyway, that’s what I’m up to these days, see ya next week.

Tom

Posted by tom on September 4, 2014 in Uncategorized with No Comments


flashes

My brain is always working overtime thinking up cartoon and superhero projects. Here’s one I actually sketched out! I was thinking it would be pretty cool to have an animated Flash cartoon show featuring all of the Flash’s in a family setting. Grandpa Flash (retired), the Flash (dad), Kid-Flash (nephew), Impuse (son- wannabe hero). You seeing this WB :)

Posted by tom on February 5, 2014 in Uncategorized with No Comments


cap_rocket_01

Hey Party People,

I suppose you’re all wondering when the next Captain Rocket episode will be released. Well there are currently two things preventing that right now:

1) I’m currently suffering from tendonitis. It’s in my right forearm big time! And since I’ve been favoring my left arm so much now, it’s getting rather irritated too (can’t win)! As you may have guessed, this is preventing my for doing just about anything thing- writing, drawing, playing video games, using a computer in general. I try to only use my arm at work (video editing which isn’t kind to my forearms at all!), and then rest it at home (watching movies, trying not to feel too lazy or useless). Been dealing with it for over a month now, though I am managing to type this with both hands without much pain. I can’t tell you how happy I’ll be when it finally gets back to normal!

2) Perhaps the biggest complaint I get about Captain Rocket is that the episodes are too damn short. Well there are actually plans in the work to address that! Over the holidays I started putting together a plan, in the New Year I reached out to some talented artists I know and (mind you, it’s waaaaay to early to say this will actually happen) it looks like the next time you see Captain Rocket you will see the entire Green Thing story! Again, it’s in the early stages of putting a team together, and it could go right back to quick shorts at any moment.

So those are the reasons I haven’t posted anything in awhile, even though episode 10 is ready to go.

Ok, my poor little arm can only take so much. I’ll update you all when I can.

Posted by tom on September 30, 2013 in Uncategorized with No Comments


Hey party people, yes the latest episode of Captain Rocket it up, where you get to see the type of death trap the Green Thing has prepared for him!

WATCH IT HERE!

Posted by tom on June 10, 2013 in Uncategorized with No Comments


Hey party people, just letting you know the 5th episode of Captain Rocket is up and it’s loaded with graphic violence, so beware! Well not really, but you’ll understand what I mean when you see it.

I also thought I’d take a moment and talk about some old fashion cartoon joy I discovered the other day. As you may know I’m a huge Superfriends fan. Back when I was a little kid it was pretty much the only superhero cartoon around. And as you may expect, I’ve been buying all the dvd sets as they come out: Superfriends, All-New Superfriends, Challenge of the Superfriends, Superfriends (the syndicated episodes), Superfriends (lost episodes, shorts that never aired when made), Superfriends Legendary Super Powers Show, and Super Power Team Galactic Guardians.

One season has been missing for a while, one of the better ones too- The World Greatest Superfriends! This eight episode season featured some cool stories, “Lex Luthor Strikes Back” where the writer combined elements of the typical Superfriends Luthor and elements of the new (at that time) Superman movie. Then the evil genie in “Rub Three Times for Disaster” and the middle earth adventure with “The Lord of Middle Earth” the best of all “Universe of Evil” featuring the evil Superfriends! Once the Superfriends hit reruns in syndication it was the Challenge of the Superfriends and these, that you always prayed to see.

Well as you might guess they have finally released this season on dvd! Oddly enough it’s a Target only special release. I originally found the dvd listed on Amazon, where re-ellers were asking anywhere between 30 and 22 bucks for it. Luckily I decided to drive to Target first and see if they still had any. They did and I bought it for just $10! As with a lot of recent old cartoon dvd releases, it’s pretty cheap packaging and no extras, which is disappointing. But the main things is I can now watch these awesome episodes whenever I want.

There are just two more seasons of the Superfriends left to be released on dvd, the shorts from 1980 and 1981. And the good news is that next month Target plans to release the first set (1980) next month! Hopefully that means they will be releasing the final set sometime soon as well! I will be a happy little Superfriends fan when I get all the episodes.

Well until that time, just keep watching Captain Rocket!

Posted by tom on May 23, 2013 in Uncategorized with No Comments


Hey party people, well the day has finally come! Toonocity’s newest cartoon star has arrived: CAPTAIN ROCKET! Captain Rocket is the adventures of Captain Rocket (of course). Together with his sidekick Blastoff, they protect the galaxy from all manor of evil. In their first adventure, they go up against the Green Thing, an evil space mutant out to conquer the galaxy!

I suppose the best way I can describe Captain Rocket is camp. Not quite as broad as Adam West’s Batman, but still it’s a fairly straight adventure story with an odd sense of humor to. The bottomline should be fun. Each episode is very short, as the format is like a daily newspaper strip- though this is animated and not daily! To repeat myself this is pretty much a one man production job with a day job. But as I mentioned in earlier posts, that’s why went with this format. As episodes can be produced in a timely matter by one person!

I want to give thanks to Aaron Ficchi for writing the music (see even with my mighty powers I still couldn’t do it all alone). Creating music is just not a skill I poses, my old college roommates can attest to. I used to torture them by messing around with an electric keyboard with auto-play features. But all good cartoon shows need good music, so I glad Aaron has put together some good stuff for me.

Along with the new Captain Rocket cartoons, Toonocity has finally opened up a store on Spreadshirt.com. You can find t-shirts of all my characters there:

http://460650.spreadshirt.com/

So you can watch Captain Rocket at YouTube:

Or at Toonocity itself:

http://www.toonocity.com/toon_pages/captainrocket.html

Enjoy!

Posted by tom on February 5, 2013 in Uncategorized with No Comments


Hey Party People,

It’s been a while huh? Well the day job has gotten every busy, plus I have to keep up with my writing for Aintitcool.com and I’ve been switching creative gears as well; which is always tricky. As you creative types know, it takes a lot of time and planning to create something worthwhile. This is one of the reasons you never see much more than one comic book out of an independent team. It can take a full year to plan a concept, let alone create a single issue! So I was, working very hard on a new comic book for Toonocity. I wrote a five issue series, did all the major design work and started drawing the first few pages of issue one- but things happened. Hard to say what, because I’m still frick’n in love with my comic book idea. But my first love has always been animation- something much frick’n harder to do on your own! And I got an idea for an animated series- in a format that I could actually produce! Instead of waiting years for me to finish my new comic book series, I could be knocking out animated shorts once or even twice a month! Plus, it’s an old concept of mine- from high school and college days, so the 90% of the concept-ing and planning work is done! Sure I’m tweaking it, but for the most part I can just get started now! So I am. And with my eyes growing wide, maybe, just maybe if this series successful, I can turn my five issue comic book into an animated dvd movie or something?

So that’s what I’ve been up too. With any luck I’ll have the first few posted this month or early next month. I’ve already started post production on the first two, but I’ll probably wait until I have four done before I release them. Here’s a background picture to see what I am up too- it should be fun.