“Celebrating the Golden Era of Cartoons. 1960s-1990s.” By Joe Garner and Michael Ashley. Forward by Howie Mandel. Published by becker&mayer! Books.
For those who have read this site for any amount of time, clearly I am a child of the 80s. The golden age of cartoons meant to sell toys. I also grew up close enough to New York City that the local cable system had many of the big city stations. Plus the advent of more and more cable channels – we have 20 channels now! 40! 90! All of this allowed me access to the new and classic syndicated cartoons. I never grew up and continued watching great cartoons in the 90s when I was too old, and continue to watch them today. A celebration of such cartoons sounds like the perfect coffee table book.
All of the cartoons are here. From the Flintstones to Pinky and the Brain. There are some great bits of information in here I didn’t know. How some of these cartoons went from concept to creation. Early reactions. Facts a bit lost to time, like the Jetsons being based on the Blondie show, based off of the comic strip. I’ve seen Jetsons hundreds of times but never once in my life do I remember Blondie in reruns. There’s plenty of Disney, Warner Bros., Hanna Barbera, and Filmation classics for everyone.
However, when there are errors they are maddening ones. I know there’s hundreds of members of G.I. Joe but when a picture is chosen, get their names right. If the authors or editors weren’t sure who the female character is, then put Snake Eyes up there. (By the way, Scarlett is labeled as Cover Girl twice, plus one more misidentified male character.)
But is a book like this meant to be read straight through? Most readers aren’t as obsessed with kids cartoons like I am. As a coffee table book the intent would be to flip through and read about the Smurfs, or Johnny Quest, or whichever cartoon you most remember from your childhood. With that intent it’s a fun book and would be a great one for the family to all browse throughout Christmas Day. For an obsessive fan of pop culture like myself though, the book is still fun but I’ll always know it’s not perfect.