Monday, February 15, 2010

Forgotten Firsts

Often, a first isn't really the first. It's simply the first that people remember. Steamboat Willie isn't the first sound cartoon, but it's the one that made a difference, so it's the one that enters the history books.

If a first isn't very good, it tends to be forgotten. That's the case with Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, the first TV series to include computer animated characters. It ran only 22 episodes in syndication in 1987-88. I wrote the article below as production on the series was ending.

It's ironically fitting that the article appeared in the first and only issue of Cartoon Quarterly, edited by John Cawley and Jim Korkis and published by Gladstone in the fall of 1988. The magazine had a fannish slant, but the roster of writers is one that readers of the blogosphere will recognize. Besides Cawley, Korkis and myself, the authors included Leonard Maltin, Jerry Beck, Floyd Norman, Will Finn, Scott Shaw! and Mark Kausler. The magazine showed a lot of promise and this 22 year old issue is far more interesting than any recent issue of Animation Magazine. Unfortunately, the magazine is as forgotten as Captain Power.

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