Cartoons! #socs

So, our prompt is “ick.” Ick. I had no idea where I was going to go with this, so I started listing all the words that had “ick” in them, and a pattern started to emerge: I was listing names of cartoons.

Dick Tracy, of course, topped the list, just as it topped the comics section of the Chicago Sunday Tribune for many years, and probably still does. If you’ve been reading the blog for any length of time, you know that I thought Dick Tracy was the coolest when I was a kid. When I started reading it in the Sixties, the focus had changed from Dick and his partner, first Pat Patton then Sam Catchem, chasing after criminals and blowing them away, to technology, mostly brought to him by an odd businessman named Diet Smith. Diet brought us the Two-Way Wrist Radio that Dick talked to the Chief and Sam through (every time the TWWR made an appearance in the cartoon, it was accompanied by an arrow pointing at it along with the legend “Two-Way Wrist Radio”). Diet replaced Dick’s device with the Two-Way Wrist TV in the Sixties, and later the Two-Way Wrist Computer around the same time Casio came out with the Databank. Both were similarly annotated.

Diet also had a spacecraft that looked like a water heater. In one series of cartoons, Dick and the gang (including his son Junior) flew to the Moon, where Junior promptly fell in love with the daughter of the King and Queen of the Moon, Moon Maid, who looked like Sabrina the Teenaged Witch with antennae, so who wouldn’t fall in love with her? I know I did. I was what, eight? First time I felt any sort of emotion for a female of any species.

Al Capp, who drew the cartoon Li’l Abner (which ran in the Chicago Daily News), came up with a character named Fearless Fosdick, who was “Li’l Abners ideel.” Like Dick Tracy, Fosdick had a square jaw, and like Dick Tracy, he liked killing bad guys, shooting big gaping holes into their heads.

The Tribune also ran a cartoon called Rick O’Shay, which was a Western cartoon. Rick and his friend, Hipshot Percussion, were always getting into gunfights, drinking too much, and playing cards. Kind of like in the movies that ran in those days.

While we’re on the subject of Western cartoons, Hanna-Barbera had an animated one called Quick Draw McGraw. He was a horse that walked on his hind legs and wore a cowboy hat, kerchief, and gun belt. He had a partner named Baba Looie (no doubt a tip of the hat to Desi Arnaz), who was a burro who was similarly dressed (he wore a sombrero and wore no gun belt), also walked on his hind legs, and spoke with a Mexican accent. He called Quick Draw “Queek Straw,” because there was nothing like political correctness in the Old West, or in the Sixties. Occasionally Quick Draw would don a cape, mask, and gaucho hat and become “El Kabong,” No doubt a takeoff on Zorro, El Kabong would hit his adversaries over the head with a guitar, shouting “Olé!” before he did so. Quick Draw was the product spokesman for Kellogg’s Sugar Smacks cereal until Action for Children’s Television had a fit.

Two Saturday morning TV cartoons were Tom Slick and Super Chicken. I’ll just play the themes, so you can get some idea about the shows themselves.

Finally, there was Chickenman (He’s everywhere! He’s everywhere!) Chickenman was a creation of Dick Orkin, who worked for WCFL in Chicago around the time they went rock & roll in 1966. Chickenman (the secret identity of shoe salesman Benton Harbor) was a takeoff on all the superhero stuff that had come to a head with Batman on TV. It ran on Super CFL in two-and-a-half minute segments, and it was strange, to say the least.

I know I left out Mickey Mouse. Never thought he was funny. More like a corporate logo than anything.


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Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

33 thoughts on “Cartoons! #socs”

  1. Out of all of these, Rick O’Shay is the only one I don’t remember. Quick Draw was my favorite cartoon. My dad actually called me Baba Lou for a long time.

    I never really like the serial comics but I read Dick Tracy and I always loved the high tech gizmos on his arm.

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    1. Reading The Comics Curmudgeon has given me a new appreciation for the “soap opera” comics. They’re really a dying breed. Rick O’Shay was handled by Tribune Syndication, and we got all of those. Kind of a strange comic, actually. It was funny sometimes, but most of the humor was visual, and sometimes you couldn’t get the humor if you couldn’t figure out the drawings.

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  2. I love that chicken.hahahaaa seeing Valentino in the credits was surprising plus the others. I always loved that horse and I am with you about Mickey Mouse. I always thought Mickey was really gay and having a long term affair with Goofy

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  3. I’m not a cartoon reader really. Of course I’ve heard of Dick Tracy and watched Quick Draw McGraw a little but the rest are new to me. I am a fan of the mouse, but not necessarily the cartoons, just the place with the castle 🙂 Happy Saturday!

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    1. The only Disney character that doesn’t annoy me is Donald Duck. I liked some of the movies, but mostly the live-action ones. And yes, I’ve been to Disneyland and Disney World, once each, the former as a kid, the latter as an adult. Wasn’t overly inpressed either time…

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      1. That’s okay, John. I don’t hold it against you. I don’t like Donald because I can’t understand what he is saying. LOL I haven’t seen Disney World yet. Don’t think I’ll travel to Florida any time soon.

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  4. You always make me smile with these memories. I had not remembered Tom Slick until I watched the video. It’s funny how those images were so familiar.

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    1. WGN used to run Hanna-Barbera cartoons every weeknight at dinnertime. Huckleberry Hound,Yogi Bear, Quick Draw, Pixie and Dixie, Augie Doggy and Doggy Daddy, Magilla Gorilla, Snagglepuss… great stuff. And, of course, Dick Tracy’s Crimestoppers!

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    1. Linda Hill has a couple, One-Liner Wednesday and Stream of Consciousness Saturday. I play in both, as well as her Just Jot It January. They’re all a lot of fun. Hop in anytime!

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  5. Mr. Bribery, Ugly Christine, and Marty Square always had me reading Dick Tracy to see what was coming next (“No more corpus dilecti…”). And Fearless Fosdick always reasoned the shortest distance between two points was a straight line. If you happened to get between him and the crook he was shooting, you got a bullet hole in you too.

    And I followed Rick O’Shay. Took me awhile to get the joke with his name. I remember one strip where Hipshot is in the high country with deer, a quiet forest and great skies. After looking around, he thinks, “Thanks, boss.”

    Not bad for Stan Lynde, a guy who grew up in central Montana.

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    1. Mom dated a guy whose mom worked the front desk at WCFL, who got us in to see the station after hours. We got to meet Barney Pip and Ron Britain, and actually got into the studio and had our names read on the air. I still listened to WLS, though… all of which is to say I don’t remember Barney and his horn…

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  6. That was fun. My cartoons were not your cartoons, but some were still playing 🙂 I think a bit of these is shown here and there on present day cartoons as well. Bit of retro for the other generations, maybe.

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    1. Cartoon Network (owned by Turner Broadcasting, which also owned MGM and, by association, Hanna-Barbera) owned all the H-B cartoons and played them sometimes. A lot of them are on the Boomerang channel now (another Turner channel). Watch that channel for a while and you’ll understand why I’m so weird…

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        1. Boomerang is one of those that you practically need the ultra-premium package to get. No idea why, all the cartoons are fifty years old or more. Oh, except for “Dexter’s Laboratory,” “Powerpuff Girls,” “Johnny Bravo,” and “Captain Planet.” I don’t have cable anymore, so that’s that. There are plenty of them on YouTube, though, when I need a fix.

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  7. Great selection of cartoons. I still take time to read a few from the Sunday paper. I like Blondie, Garfield and The Lockhorns. You know, simple stuff for a simple mind. lol

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