06 December 2011

Sub Rosa Hip - Johnny Quest

Jonny Quest Opening Titles from Roger D. Evans on Vimeo.

Back in the early '90s, I was often asked who Tintin was. " Europe's version of Johnny Quest..." was my cool and sweet reply. Anyone old enough to drive understood. It's different today. People who are cutting edges in 2011 were wearing Baby Gap and watching Rugrats in 1992. They know all about Tintin but haven't a clue about Johnny.

Quest was an animated Saturday TV cartoon with an opening that was slicker than owl shit. Save for the questionable relationship between Johnny's father, Dr Benton Quest and Roger 'Race' Bannon (pretty sure Mom wouldn't allow me to go anywhere with those two), it was the shit.

I've been reluctant to bring J.Q. up for fear every hip edge-cutter will glom onto Quest, suck him dry and toss his blond locks and Tim Matheson V.O. into the East River by next Tuesday before the Tintin premiere. Or...it just might be I'm that hipster. Please don't hate me.

Many thanks to commenter and friend, D.B. for the heads up on the Roger ('Race') Evans trailer above. See the original below.


TWJ said...

This is way too cool...
This should be your next endeavor to have published.

Trailer Trad said...

Johhny Quest went on to study science at Amherst under the name 'Frank Lyman.'

Anonymous said...

Tintin is boring as a faux bohemian hipster. The difference between the two cartoons is vast. Tintin uses pistols, Jonny Quest uses machine guns. Captain Haddock wears turtlenecks, Race Bannon wears t-shirts. Snowy is a terrier, Bandit is a bulldog. Enough said.

Oyster Guy said...

It's OT but the Tim Matheson link reminded me. Did you see H&M knocked off the Jay Kos striped "Otter" sweater?

Yankee-Whisky-Papa said...

I watched it regularly, and actually have the theme on the ol' iPod

With Johnny Quest, the style of animation was FAR cooler than other Hanna-Barbera shows, but the stock sound effects were still the same (ray-gun, jet fly-bys, ricochets, etc.).

Slick is right.

Anonymous said...

I was born in 1992. Where does that leave me?

JKG said...

Hanna Barbera had the best shows -- it was like the Good Housekeeping Seal of approval to me and my best friend.

From the opener, the mummy that explodes through that wall with apparently no effort and incapacitating bad guys/beings not by shoot at them but by shooting things near them, causing them to collapse are two things that always sat a little weird with me, even as a kid.

Other than that? Straight envy.

Chuck Hatt said...

Great show. I never could quite figure out how Haji came to be part of the "family". The best TV was Tuesday when we had Combat AND Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea all on the day when I wore my own uniform, the Cub Scout Blue and Gold.

Main Line Sportsman said...

I always watched Quest on Saturday with my bowl of Captain Crunch....and even at a young age was suspicious of the relationship between Race and Dr. Quest. The show had great villians and excellent gadgetry.

DWW said...

I, too, was born in 1992, and I have fond memories of watching this in re-runs when I was four. Coincidentally, that was around the time when I started reading Tintin comics. I never saw them as too similar: Quest was like the Stones and Tintin was like the Kinks. I didn't actually phrase it like that, but it works for me now.

tintin said...

TWJ- Publish what? Johnny Q? I'm afraid Joe Barbera would break my knee caps.

Trailer Trad- Chris Miller tells a story how the crew couldn't keep from cracking up during that scene.

Anon- I'm a fan of both. They do represent extremes but they share, for me, a power in the way they connect. In all honesty I don't think a Tintin book would'a made much sense to me when I was 7 but Quest really connected.

When I was 30, I was tiring of Quest (and that creepy gargoyle episode they always seemed to rerun) but was turned onto Tintin and fell in love more with the look of it than the stories.

Plus, I had a wire fox terrier and that's the coolest breed in the whole damned world. I'm pretty sure my fox terrier would've dry humped Bandit silly.

Oyster Guy- You're fucking kidding me?

YWP- There's a insightful interview w/Joe Barbera on You Tube. He talks of how he sold the show on a 3 minute piece he did in NYC. Sadly, he gets polish with his manicure.

Anon- With a lotta livin' to do. Try not to screw up as badly as I did.

Chuck Hatt- It was explained in an early, if not pilot (do cartoons have pilots?) episode. But I'll be damned if I can remember. Love your blog.

Main Line- I was into grape nuts with honey and Coffee Rich. Couldn't drink milk. Did I ever tell you I was lactose intolerant? I'm lactose intolerant. Man, grape nuts in Coffee Rich with honey helped me climb walls for years.

DWW- It's great you had the reruns. I don't get the impression they aired everywhere. I know they did in Chicago but they only had the one episode with that friggin' gargoyle.

Anonymous said...

Incredible Roger Evans opening (faux) trailer. See how he made it here (scroll to bottom of page):

My love of foreign travel: JQ.
Seeing a Bond movie before I was allowed: JQ.
FIrst yeti awareness long before bigfoot mania: JQ.

The opening theme with that adrenaline-launching guitar riff and jazzy horn and flute medley: beyond awesome.

I remember distinctly what I said to my older sister when it came on TV the very first time and she wanted to change the channel: "Wait! You don't understand! This is what I'm all about! That's ME up there!"

It never left me.


Ben said...

It's neither here nor there, but I was working on my own JQ post. You beat me to the punch. Your comparison to Tintin is apt, though I agree with Anon@8:12. It's merely a generation of difference really. Sidecars and swords were cool in the 40s and jetpacks were cool in the 60s.

Incidentally, I'm worried that the Tintin movie is going to disappoint.

Oyster Guy said...

Re Kos Otter...no lie G.I., I am sure is is based on the Kos version because they kept the red and grey up by the collar, reversed the light and dark blue, swapped the crimson for orange and kept the white at the middle. Way way too coincidental. On sale now for $20 Which I think is about $15 too much.


Anonymous said...

Boss! I gotta get that Hadji's hat for Zamboni for Christmas!

Jeff P. said...

J.Q. - has blonde Johnny Mathis hair
Dr. Quest - creepy Cuckold
"Race" - a Dom Bull
Hadjii - a gentleman
Bandit - serious self esteem issues

ann said...

yes, JQ was too cool, but what about Clutch Cargo, with his pals Spinner & Paddlefoot? Wonderful post! I love the comment by the guy who told his sister that JQ was what he was all about. That is good stuff.

Anonymous said...

I remember Johnny Quest. I think it was on early on Saturdays--I didn't catch it as often as I would have liked. And what was the name of the Indian kid in the turban? That shit would not fly today, I'll tell you.

Anonymous said...

We have forgotten our sons, losing several generations. Watching JC led me to a life of adventure (which pays better than you think). Masculine bonds between men (like between fathers and sons) were not questioned then, nor now between men who stand, covered with dirt and sweat, in foreign lands, fighting both high and low-tech barbarians. For my son, I turn off Sponge Bob, and put on a DVD of Quest or Speed Racer. Join the American Spring by reclaiming your sons (start by spending time with them). Thanks for all the posts…

Anonymous said...

Just a bit too young to have watched it on tv, but I remember picking up a few issues of the 80s comic published by Comico with great covers by all kinds of artists. Great character that I think people would be into today.