Thursday, April 05, 2012

Tremendous Terence!

I'm always amused when a cartoon throws in some comic book references, particularly when it's clear that the writers are trying not to step on anyone else's toes legally. In the Count Duckula episode "The Vampire Strikes Back", Duckula, Igor and Nanny find their castle tower blasted into outer space. Duckula then relies on what the wit and wisdom of comic book space hero Tremendous Terence for guidance in his predicament.
He evidently has three issues handy, though this can only be picked up by looking at the covers. One showcases the hero's face on the cover, another sports a large thunderbolt logo, and the third is a bit abstracted but looks vaguely like a spaceship blasting off from a planet. As inferred from the dialogue, the back cover of the second two issues sports an advertisement for Crunchy Munchies cereal.
I presume that it was only intended to be one issue, but the animators were given little direction to work with and three different groups came up with three different covers.

Here's another curious bit. An interior spread is showcased and referred to repeatedly in the episode.
Duckula actually reads much of this sequence aloud and several of these panels are focused on.
Clearly, this was a portion that was worked out in the script and laid out by one/some of the designers. So where, then, does this next image come from..?
It's got a similar layout and structure to the original spread, and even some of the panel interiors are the same. But it looks like someone drew a rough sketch of the original from memory. Why would that be necessary, though, since clearly there was copies of the original to work from?

What I always find fascinating about this type of examination is that it provides a view of what other people outside comicdom think of our favorite medium. Or, at least, thought at the time. They frequently use parody to amplify the stereotypes and distill what is seen as the essence of comics. In this particular case, we're looking at how the British saw comics in the late 1980s. Quite a different picture, I suspect, than if the episode had been written in America.

Oh, and in the cartoon, Duckula encounters the real Oids from Mars but is soon saved by the real Tremendous Terence. I know you were wondering how the particular plot thread ended.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

May the forth be with you!