Sunday, August 29, 2010

The King on Saturday Morning Television: Marvel "Animation" of the 1960s!

I've really got Jack Kirby on the brain today. Here's a "classic" television cartoon from Grantray-Lawrence Animation. It's an adaptation of The Avengers #4 (March 1964), featuring the story "Capt. America Joins... The Avengers!"

Even by my rather low standards for post-modern ironic love of kitsch, there's little to recommend here beyond the drawings taken directly from Jack Kirby's artwork-- with George Roussos inks-- and the voice acting from none other than John Vernon, who would go on to play the conflicted former Confederate leader Fletcher in Clint Eastwood's action-packed The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) and Delta House's uptight nemesis Dean Wormer in the immortal comedy Animal House (1978).

Hmm. I guess I should mention he also played the mayor in Dirty Harry (1971), also starring Clint Eastwood, but directed by Don Siegel-- who has no connection whatsover to Grantray-Lawrence or Jack Kirby.

I hope Kirby got a royalty or percentage from his contributions to The Marvel Super Heroes-- the images here are exact reproductions of his comic illustrations. The image of Capt. America all covered in seaweed, lying on the bunk with the Wasp hovering overhead is a pretty memorable image from the book. But almost every scene in this cartoon is line-for-line Kirby and the overall effect is similar to what you'd get if you were lying on the floor listening to an audio dramatization from Power Records, holding the booklet inches from your face and tilting it while squinting.

Why do I have this feeling the King got squat, which makes this crap even more depressing?

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