Wednesday 13 June 2012

The Unknown Adventure of El Kabong

Six Quick Draw McGraw cartoons were made in the series’ final season, 1961-62. Three of them featured El Kabong. But there was another one planned that year.

In hunting around the nooks and crannies (especially crannies) of the internet, I’ve come across an almost complete storyboard for an El Kabong adventure with the production number J-133. There’s no title on it, and no hint if this was a story by Mike Maltese (I suspect it is) or who drew the board. What I do know after checking various copyright records is there is no J-133 in my list of Hanna-Barbera productions. J-132 is “Hand to Mouse” (an Augie Doggie cartoon) and J-134 is “Person to Prison” (with Snooper and Blabber). But J-133 is missing. So, either the cartoon was never made or never aired.

The board is missing one set of nine panels, but you can follow along with the plot nonetheless. The story includes a return of the (Typical Western) Rancher’s Daughter, and a reference to Pat Pending, which made me think of the character in “Wacky Races,” written on occasion by Maltese. Baba Looey proves to be a master of disguise in this one and gets a scene all to himself.

You can click to enlarge any of the sheets.

I’m sure as you read the dialogue, you’ll hear Daws and Jean Vander Pyl (and maybe Doug Young as the prospector). The music, by the way, would have been by Hoyt Curtin; the stock music was jettisoned by the final Quick Draw season.

If anyone has any more information about the storyboard, I’d love to hear about it. Thanks to Sherm Cohen for the head’s up on this.


  1. Good job climbin' in them crannies. Great find!

  2. That is one AMAZING FIND, Yowp!

    Beyond the expanded role for Baba, it’s also interesting that we actually get a glimpse of QD and Baba’s living arrangement. They always simply walked-on, but here they lived in some sort of house or shack.

    I think the only other time we saw something like this was in “El Kabong Jr.”, where QD ALSO retired to write his memoirs, and “Queek-straw Junior” shows up, home from college and ready to do some Kabong-ing!

    The idea of a recession in the “hero-business” is a clever one – and used to great advantage, until an uncharacteristically weak ending that leaves QD just waking off to eat.

    Maybe some additional dialogue might have helped, like:

    “I can thin o’ only ONE THING that needs savin’ now, Baba Looey!”

    “Wha’s that, Queek-straw?”

    “My STOMACH! It’s callin’ fer help somethin’ awful right now, so my languishin’ will have to wait, while I kabong my way to a thick, juicy steak!” [Exits]

    I’m sure Maltese would have come up with something (…he’s not one of MY heroes, fer nuthin’!), and we would have had one more Quick Draw to enjoy.

    Also, I like the way they even storyboard the iris-out!

  3. Maltese's endings kind of turned into a formula where Baba would pun something to the camera. It looks like he was trying to find something to fit the formula. And he's got to work to exact time, so if he's adding extra dialogue, he's got to throw something else out.
    I'm curious about what happened to the cartoon after the storyboard stage.

  4. This storyboard indicates that THE QUICK DRAW McGRAW was intended to go beyond its six episodes for the 1961-62 season. I wonder what caused it to end at the point? There was no network to cancel it. Maybe Kelloggs had the ability to dictate when a syndicated show under its sponsorship would end. Or maybe Hanna and Barbera made this decision, as they were busy with THE FLINTSTONES and TOP CAT in prime time and were also developing THE JETSONS. Yogi's and Huck's shows would also cease production around the turn of 1961 and '62 as well.

  5. You’re right on about Maltese’s endings, Yowp!

    “I like that Queek-straw…” puns… “After all, how many fodders can say they have a gen-u-wine…”, etc.

    Funny thing, when I did American English dialogue for Disney comic book stories originally produced in Europe, I always found the final panel was the hardest one to write! There’s something about ending a story (be it great, average, or poor) on a memorable note. One that’ll make you feel the whole thing was worth it in the end. I loved doing it, but that last panel was most often a challenge.

    Sometimes an “odd-ending” works too, as in “Yippee Coyote” (If that’s the one where both QD and Baba take guilty laughing delight in each other’s clavicle injuries.), where the formula is “played with”. Far more often than not, I was pleased with the endings of the early H-B cartoons… even if I saw them coming.

    I still think Maltese would have come up with something better than the line he gave Quick Draw, and having Baba reprise the previously used “No Brains. Just Stuff” bit – IF the cartoon was actually produced. Another reason to imagine what might have been!