Saturday, October 26, 2013

Frankenstein Junior!

What an utter delight is Frankenstein Jr.. The character is a wackadoodle blend of classic monsters, run-amok sci-fi, Japanese anime, and the  totally ironic and self-aware campy super-heroics which dotted the 60's pop culture landscape. A lot of the memorable trends of the era find a blithe fusion with this vintage cartoon.

Bracketed by another cartoon superhero concept, The ImpossiblesFrankenstein Jr. had a remarkable pace for a cartoon of this type and also featured many memorable images. The sight of Franky with Buzz atop his shoulder rocketing out of the mountain lab is a keeper.

I recently pulled the trigger and picked up the dvd of the series, afraid that these might someday go off the market and I'd regret not having them. Lots of great childhood memories watching this wild series. 

Franky didn't really have much penetration into the broader cultural market aside from the durable cartoon show, but has managed a couple of clever comics appearances. Gold Key made a one-shot in 1967 which along with the one-shot Space Ghost introduced the trend to comics.

Many decades later Archie Comics knocked out an issue of Hanna-Barbera Presents which showcased the giant superhero alongside his Impossible cast mates. This cover is  a fun one since it clearly pays homage to the classic Fantastic Four #1.

One of my personal favorite Franky items is the Big Little Book featuring the big guy. I've owned since I was a tyke and loved every single-page panel of it then and now.

Ted Cassidy, famous for his spin as Lurch on the Addams Family, added a great quality to Frankenstein Jr., making the character distinctive in the Hanna-Barbera universe which sad to say could get a bit familiar with the stalwart voice actors it used and used again -- all good, but all the same.

Enough of this though, I need to watch a few episodes.

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