Thursday, September 30, 2010
Before The Simpsons, before Family Guy, there was The Flintstones!
On roll with the success of their two syndicated animated shows Huckleberry Hound (and it's spin-off Yogi Bear) and Quick Draw McGraw, Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera, seeing that these shows played in primetime in many markets, decided to make a show that would play on one of the major networks.
Settling on a stone age theme, Hanna and Barbera came up with "the Gladstones", the story of two family's that would have modern homes, cars, appliances, etc. made out of stone, wood and (especially funny) pre-historic creatures.
They made a pilot and sold it to ABC, picked up sponsors and the show was ready to air. But a problem arose, the name "Gladstones" was the last name of the comic strip characters "Hi and Lois". Wanting to avoid any legal ramifications, the name was changed to "Flagstones" but that name didn't seem to work. Finally "The Flintstones was chosen and on September 30, 1960, history was made as the first animated series made it's debut.
We were introduced to Fred and Wilma Flintstone and their friends and neighbors Barney and Betty Rubble and each week audiences followed the misadventures of Fred and Barney in a modern stone age era.
The show was very successful and lasted for six seasons on ABC. In a 1967, the reruns played on Saturday Morning TV and shortly after that, week day syndication. "The Flintstones", even though no longer on primetime television, never really left the air.
Above is a sketch I did of Fred and Barney, done especially for the show's 50th Anniversary. Fred and Barney are the first two cartoon characters I remember learning how to draw while watching the reruns every afternoon.
So let's all have a YABBA-DABBA-DOO time and celebrate with the Flintstones!
Saturday, September 11, 2010
It's a shame Superman is only a fictional character, because if he was real maybe he and his fellow members of the Justice League could have help prevent the tragedy of 9-11.
But in the real world we honor our dead and the brave men and women who came to the call to this horrific act.
Please take time today to remember America's second day of infamy.
God Bless America.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Debuting this day back in 1930, Blondie by Chic Young was the story of a young flighty flapper girl who started to date a wealthy young man Dagwood Bumstead. Dagwood's folks didn't approve of their son's girlfriend and when he announced that he was going to marry Blondie, his parents disowned him. A very funny gag sequence of Dagwood going on a hunger strike followed and on February 17, 1933, Blondie and Dagwood were married.
Blondie has gone on to be one of the most popular and successful comic strips. A popular radio series started in 1939 and was on the air until 1950.
In 1938 Columbia Pictures produced the first of 28 films of Blondie & Dagwood staring Penny Singleton and Arthur Lake (pictured above). There was also a couple of sitcoms and numerous animated specials.