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AWESOME-tober-fest 2017: Goober and the Ghost Chasers (1973)

Posted in cartoons, ghosts, monsters, pop culture, TV shows, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2017 by Paxton

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Today I’m going to talk about the cartoon series Goober and the Ghost Chasers.  It was produced by Hanna-Barbera and aired in late 1973.  It was created to capitalize on the popularity of Scooby-Doo.

Much like Scooby-Doo, the show involved a group of teenagers and their dog driving around solving mysteries.

Goober, obviously, was the dog.  He had similar mannerisms to Scooby.  Sort of a coward.  Very goofy and jokey.  He talked.  But it’s interesting, it’s not directly acknowledged in the cartoon if the teens can understand Goober when he talks.  They talk to Goober, but when Goober talks, it’s usually directly to camera and the teens never give any indication that he talked or that they heard he talked.  It’s weird.  The teens were Ted, Tina and Gilly.  The teens worked for a supernatural investigation magazine called Ghost Chasers.  Obviously Ted = Fred.  Tina is very much a cross between Daphne and Velma.  And Gilly is sort of his own thing.  He’s Goober’s closest human companion.  He’s not a stoner or a coward.  He doesn’t love to eat.  He’s the photographer for the magazine.  In some ways like Shaggy but in most ways he’s different.  Gilly is probably the most annoying.  I like everyone else.

The mysteries this crew investigate usually wind up having a real supernatural aspect to them. As in real ghosts and real monsters as opposed to Scooby in which the mysteries had a basis in reality.  Plus, for some reason, Goober can turn invisible. He can’t control it, and it usually happens when he gets scared, but it happens.

Like Scooby, many episodes would have “special guests” show up to help solve crimes.  For at least half of the one and only season the Ghost Chasers crew were joined by the Partridge Kids (Danny, Laurie, Tracy, Chris, seen below in the middle).

The Partridge kids were voiced by the actual actors; Danny Bonaduce, Susan Dey, Suzanne Crough and Brian Forster.  For some reason, around episode 11, the Partridge Kids disappear and never make another appearance.  However, don’t feel bad for them, about a year later they would get their own cartoon series.

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AWESOME-tober-fest 2017: The Real Ghostbusters S4E2 – Flip Side

Posted in cartoons, pop culture, TV shows with tags , , , , , , , , on October 12, 2017 by Paxton

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Okay, so the last two episodes of The Real Ghostbusters I talked about (Take Two, Citizen Ghost) were super meta and attempted to deal with some issues of canon pertaining to the cartoons and the movie.  They were fun and interesting episodes.

Now, let’s take a look at a later episode that isn’t all “canon-y” and is just a cool episode that I had heard about but never seen.


Season 4 Episode 2 – Flip Side.  I forget where I first heard of this episode.  I thought it was over on Shawn’s website when he was doing animation cels for Halloween several years ago.  I could have sworn he had a Peoplebusters animation cel. The Peoplebusters are the ghost world version of the Ghostbusters.  It was such an awesome concept that I’ve been wanting to watch the episode in which they were introduced for years.  But I couldn’t find the animation cel on Shawn’s site, so maybe it was in the comments of an unrelated episode of the show.  I’m not sure.


This particular episode is during one of the later seasons where they changed the show name to Slimer and the Real Ghostbusters.


In this episode the guys are taken via a dimensional storm to an alternate New York called Boo York, aka The Big Pumpkin.  It’s a flip universe populated by ghosts.


The guys go to their headquarters to figure out what’s going on and see things are very different. I love that the Peoplebusters sign has Egon in the cross bar.


The guys walk into the building and they run into this universe’s version of themselves…The Peoplebusters!  Yes!  Ghosts who hunt people!  I’ve always loved the idea of antagonists that are the reverse of the protagonists.  Sherlock Holmes/Moriarty.  Flash/Reverse Flash.  Ghostbusters/Peoplebusters.  I love it.


Since the Ghostbusters are humans in the ghost world, they seem to have all the abilities that ghosts do in our world. The very first of which is, they can fly.  The guys spend the episode learning about being people in a ghost world all while being chased by the Peoplebusters.


Here’s the containment unit the Peoplebusters use. It’s a giant awesome metal skull that “eats” the humans.


This is the Peoplebuster’s Ecto-1. And I think it’s kind of badass.  The Ghostbusters really need to take notes on this one.  It’s like a Mad Max vehicle raped a Batmobile.

Not only is this a very good episode, the visual design of the alternate Boo York is superb.  I highly recommend watching this episode if you haven’t.



Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2017: The Real Ghostbusters S1E10 – Take Two

Posted in cartoons, Ghostbusters, ghosts, monsters, nostalgia, pop culture, TV shows with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 10, 2017 by Paxton

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Since I’m doing ghosts this year for Halloween, I thought I really needed to discuss Ghostbusters in some way.  I didn’t want to review the movie, that’s been done a million times.  I didn’t want to review the sequel either.  There aren’t any Ghostbusters novels to read (I’ve talked about that as well) and I seriously considered talking about last year’s Ghostbusters reboot. However, I decided to discuss the cartoon based on the movie:  The Real Ghostbusters.

I talked about The Real Ghostbusters cartoon before when I explained the difference between it and Filmation’s Ghost Busters.  I’m a fan of the show. It’s not one of my holy sacred childhood things but I do like it quite a bit.

I noticed recently Netflix added 5 seasons of The Real Ghostbusters to its streaming service so I decided to check out a few episodes since I hadn’t watched it in so long. There were a few episodes that I’d heard about and never watched so I decided to use this opportunity to check them out.  I’ll review each of these episodes separately throughout this month.

So, let’s start with the first one on my list…

I’d heard that J Michael Straczynski wrote several of the first season episodes of the show.  Straczynski is a well known comic writer and novelist.  Two of these early season 1 episodes I’d heard about were super meta involving the first Ghostbusters movie and how it connects to the cartoon.  This sounded super interesting to me so I thought I’d check them out.  The first of these episodes was…


Season 1 episode 10. Take Two. In this episode, Hollywood is going to make a movie about the Ghostbusters. So the guys are flown out to LA to be consultants for said movie.


While flying out to Hollywood I guess Venkman was harrassing the flight attendant because Egon mentions that she threw Peter’s suitcases out of the plane while they went over Cleveland.


The guys arrive in LA and we of course get a gratuitous Hollywood sign appearance (But it looks like it’s in the Grand Canyon for some reason).  The guys get a look at the cast list for the movie and are less than impressed. Winston reads out, “Murray, Ackroyd and Ramis? Is that a law firm?”


Oh yeah, Slimer tags along on the trip and once in LA the first thing he does is chase Carmen Miranda? WHAT?


While on the movie set an old “sleeping ghost” is awakened. A sleeping ghost hates noise so any time he hears loud noises he goes berserk. The sleeping ghost inhabits a giant robot prop from a space movie set and goes on a rampage across the movie studio lot trying to shut everyone up.  You know, making a LOT MORE NOISE while trying to get everyone to MAKE LESS NOISE.


The guys’ proton packs are accidentally switched with props so when they try to bust the ghost, nothing happens.


Slimer happens to bump into the poster for the Ghostbusters movie they are making.


We are on a movie studio lot so there are several scenes of the guys hanging out on different movie sets. Here Winston, Ray, and Slimer chill out on a western set.


After capturing the sleeping ghost the guys dress up in tuxes and attend the movie premiere.


While sitting in the theater you see actual film footage from the 1984 Ghostbusters movie including Venkman’s voice saying lines from the opening scene (the lines are dubbed by another actor, however). Peter even looks at the screen and says that Bill Murray looks nothing like him.

This was a wonderfully meta episode.  I quite enjoyed watching this one and seeing how the cartoon handled the idea of a movie being made of the cartoon.  J Michael Straczynski wrote one other “metafictional” episode right after this.  I’ll review it next.



Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

Cavalcade Comics #14 – Kamandi and Thundarr the Barbarian

Posted in cartoons, comic books, nostalgia, pop culture, TV shows with tags , , , , , , on August 14, 2017 by Paxton

Cavalcade Comics

I’m in full on prep mode for AWESOME-tober-fest 2017 right now. It’ll be my 10th year doing it and I’ll be talking about Ghosts!

ATF 2017

I have a full slate of stuff lined up; books, movies, comics, and cartoons. It should be a lot of fun. I also have, as usual, a monster/Halloween themed Cavalcade Comics cover ready to go. But before we get there, my friends, I have a completely different Cavalcade Comics cover for you.

My good friend and Hellbent for Letterbox co-host Michael May started up a Thundarr the Barbarian podcast called Thundarr Road where they are following the journeys of our favorite barbarian as he traverses his way through the apocalyptic wasteland of future Earth. However, they aren’t doing it in episode order, they are following his journey geographically as if he actually made the journey from future Manhat all the way across the country west. It’s an interesting journey and it’s been fun so far. In the very first episode they had mentioned the similarities to an old 70s Jack Kirby comic called Kamandi and I thought that was a great comparison and it would have been awesome to see these two characters together.  And it’s kismet as Jack Kirby actually did early character designs on the Thundarr cartoon.

So, without further ado, here is the team up between the Jack Kirby Thundarr and Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth.

These guys would totally be post-apocalyptic besties. You could almost imagine that they would have met except Kamandi’s post-apocalyptic world was ruled by hyper intelligent animals and Thundarr’s world is ruled by wizards.

For the Thundarr, Ookla and Princess Ariel in the cover I used one of Kirby’s Thundarr drawings.

Kirby Thundarr

As I said, Kirby was brought on in like 1979-1980 to do character designs for the show.  There are several of these drawings out there.  As you see I had to find an appropriate Sun Sword and add it to Thundarr’s hand.

Kamandi actually comes from Kamandi – The Last Boy on Earth #2 (1973).

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If you look in the background of my cover, some of that stuff comes from Kamandi #1 (1972) as well as Kamandi #2 (1973).

So I hope you enjoyed this cover as much as I enjoyed making it.  And go check out Michael May’s Thundarr Road podcast.  It’s a lot of fun.  And stay tuned for the 10th annual AWESOME-tober-fest Halloween celebration in like a month!

AWESOME-tober-fest 2015: The Invisible Mouse (1947)

Posted in books, cartoons, Halloween, holiday, pop culture, TV shows with tags , , , , , , on October 19, 2015 by Paxton

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The Invisible Mouse was an episode of Tom and Jerry directed by Hanna and Barbera and was released in 1947.

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It was a parody of the Invisible Man concept from both the HG Wells novel and the Universal Studios movie (which was released 14 years prior to the cartoon).

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As usual the cartoon starts with the rampant chasing and violence between Tom and Jerry. They chase each other up a flight of stairs, jump on the banister and start sliding down. Then Jerry shifts to a second banister to avoid….wait, WHAT?! I don’t think banisters work that way. What the hell is going on there?

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Jerry jumps on the counter, finds a “chemo set” and jumps in a random bottle to evade Tom. However, it seems that Jerry accidentally jumped into a bottle of “invisible ink”. And it’s turning him invisible.

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Interesting.  Jerry’s invisibility is not hampered by seeing your food through your stomach. Whatever he eats seems to immediately turn invisible.

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But he still apparently casts a shadow.  Wait, what?!  What is the light reflecting around to cause that shadow?!

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Jerry has lots of fun with his new invisibility. He gives Tom the classic “hot foot” and tees off on Tom’s backside with what looks like a 3 Wood.

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The short ends with Jerry banishing Tom from the house by getting Spike the dog to chase after him and then laying on Tom’s pillow drinking his chocolate milk. Which seems to restore Jerry back to visible?!  Okay.

Well, this particular version of invisible has some goofy rules but what can you expect from a Tom and Jerry cartoon?  It’s still a fairly enjoyable watch for fans of the show.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

5 Classic cartoons that were ruined by the addition of a child character

Posted in cartoons, pop culture, TV shows with tags , , , , on August 25, 2015 by Paxton

This week on Nerd Lunch, episode 193, we are talking about things we think have gotten a bad rap. We discuss things like The Spice Girls, Star Trek Enterprise, the Keanu Reeves Constantine movie and the Robert Patrick character from X-Files.  We are joined by William Bruce West and Kirk Howle for a pretty good discussion.

During the fourth chair carryover question, we all discuss lists that we’d like to write. I mentioned that I had written a list about cartoons that I had sitting in my drafts for YEARS (it was originally written in 2012) that I wanted to get posted.  This is that list.

I love cartoons, but there was a rash of poor decisions by studios in the 80s wherein they added baby or child characters to their shows.  Here are five cartoons that were ruined by that practice.

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Scooby-Doo (Scrappy) – Scrappy-Doo is the poster child for bad “youth” characters. He’s so universally hated that in the recent (and AWESOME) 2012 Scooby-Doo Mystery Inc series from Cartoon Network Scrappy shows up stuffed in an exhibit at the Mystery Museum featuring Scooby villains from the past. The Mystery gang promises each other that they’d never talk about it again. Bravo.  As we’ll see, Scrappy turned out, unfortunately, to be very popular and would create a trend in cartoons to add baby or child characters to popular cartoon shows.

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Fangface (Baby Fang)I LOVED FANGFACE. Anytime you could get a cartoon featuring classic monsters, I was ALL IN (Drak Pack, Gravedale High, Teen Wolf, etc, etc).  However, in season 2, based on the apparent “success” of Scrappy-Doo, Fangface gets a baby nephew that is also a werewolf despite not making any sense based on the opening narration that states only one werewolf is born EVERY 400 YEARS.

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The Plastic Man and Baby Plas Super Hour (Baby Plas) – The Ruby Spears Plastic Man cartoon is GREAT. I loved it. However, during the second season, Plas is saddled with Baby Plas. Usually these children are nephews, but Baby Plas was actually the result of Plastic Man and Penny marrying.  And then he was the cause of me hating the show.

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Captain Caveman (and Son) – Again I LOVE CAPT CAVEMAN.  My son loves Capt Caveman who appeared on an episode of that aforementioned 2012 Scooby Doo Mystery Inc show.  Like Plastic Man, Capt Caveman was given a son in the mid 80s when he appeared in segments of the much younger kid focused TV show, The Flintstone Kids.  This particular entry may be the worst after Scrappy.  I mean, Baby Plas is pretty awful, but Cavey Jr was a disaster.

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Godzilla (Godzooky) – This is the only entry in the list where the child character actually started out on the show from the very beginning.  Godzooky is so bad that he even ruins the awesome Godzilla cartoon intro as soon as he shows up.

Scene by Scene: Watching the awesome Force Five Starvengers cartoon

Posted in cartoons, nostalgia, pop culture, TV shows with tags , , , on January 31, 2014 by Paxton

I just watched the 1980 Japanese anime classic, Force Five: Starvengers.  I’ve loved this movie since I watched it in re-runs as a kid.  I just recently rewatched it and I thought I’d go over the story and some of my favorite parts with you right now.

I do this from time to time where I step visually through a movie or TV show I loved and playfully make fun of it.  Let me show you just how much fun and awesome this cartoon is.

Force Five Starvengers

Force Five: Starvengers is a re-edited version of the Japanese show Getter Robo G, which was itself a sequel to another anime series called Getter Robo. Both of those Japanese shows originally aired in the 70s in Japan.  The re-edited Starvengers aired in the US in 1980 during an animated programming block called Force Five that featured four other giant robot cartoons; Gaiking, Grandizer, Dangard Ace and Spaceketeers.  Each show would air on a different day of the week.  The Starvengers robots would become a part of the Shogun Warriors toy line.

Hummer Palladin Star Poseidon
We learn that a team at the Copernicus Laboratory have developed three advanced aircraft. The first aircraft (on the left) is code named Star Dragon and flown by the awesomely named Hummer. The second aircraft (in the middle) is code named Star Arrow and flown by the awesomely coiffed Paladin.

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I’m not kidding about Paladin’s hair. Check out this better picture of his anime hairdo that defies any sort of man made law be it physics, gravity or awesomeness.

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Of course there’s a girl member of the group and of course she is the perfect looking anime hottie.  Her name is Series and there’s an implied relationship with Paladin (of course).

Back to the robot ships above.  Just looking at them, the aircraft don’t really seem different than any other fighter craft.  But these three aircraft can combine together to form three different giant robots.  The three different robot formations are based on which aircraft is in control.  The three robots formations are Dragon (left), Arrow (middle) and Poseidon (left).  Each robot has different weapons, functions and skills that separate it from the other robots.

Star Dragon Star Arrow Star Poseidon

Here’s an animation I made of the three aircraft combining into Dragon formation. The one they do most often.

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As the story begins, the third aircraft, code named Star Poseidon, has no pilot (due to the previous pilot being killed in the first movie Getter Robo, but that’s never mentioned). Then, the head of Copernicus Labs’ son (Or nephew? I’m not sure.) runs into a man, nay, a force of nature, known only as Foul Tip.

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Foul Tip, or ‘Tip’, is a simple man. He loves eating and baseball. And we are constantly reminded of both.  It’s insinuated that he plays professional baseball, but that’s literally all we know about him.  And due to the impending crisis, Tip is drafted into the Starvengers without preamble, without any cursory background checks nor any previously revealed flight experience.  “Sure, guy we literally met 5 minutes ago, fly one of our multi-billion dollar advanced robot attack planes.  What could go wrong?”

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And yes, Foul Tip is wearing a catcher’s uniform as his flight suit. Like that sh*t would work when his body is pulling 4Gs fighting off other giant robots.  Oh, and Tip speaks in mostly baseball metaphors during battle.  Subtle, Coen-like character work is going on here, my friends.

Let’s talk about the bad guys. The Pandemonium Empire.

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