Thursday, 6 February 2014

The Story of the Mark of El Kabong

It’s story time again, and today’s story is “The Mark of El Kabong.”

A couple of auction web sites have story panels for what turned out to be the last Quick Draw McGraw cartoon put into production (J-136). It’s always interesting seeing what was cut out of a cartoon; the scenes that didn’t make it into the cartoon are covered with an X. It’s a shame they lost the “Tennis anyone” gag. It never dawned on me that the General was based on Basil Rathbone, probably because he doesn’t sound like him (an English accent just wouldn’t work), but it says so on the storyboard.

The cartoon was released on DVD not long ago, and the credits are incorrect (the credits for “Lamb Chopped,” made two years earlier,” were put on the home video version). I would have guessed Art Davis came up with this board (from Mike Maltese’s story) simply because of the way the villain’s mouth is drawn in the first two sets of panels; Davis liked to draw characters with the mouth up that far on the face. But the Big Cartoon Database claims Paul Sommer was the story director, with Harry Holt animating. It could be right, but I’m used to Sommer having incidental characters with beady eyes, not with irises.

Here are some drawings with colour notations. I really like the cheering townspeople. I’m presuming the notation on the right side of that drawing indicates cels for various parts of the characters.


  1. Thanks for sharing Yowp!

    It's interesting how polished Art Davis' storyboards are in comparison to Mike Maltese's for "El Kabong Strikes Again".
    Normally the characters aren't on model in storyboards, but the H-B cartoons do. The appealing part of glancing at storyboards is that they are imbued with a frantic energy.

    The production order (J-136) is very odd, as there were 135 cartoons in the Quick Draw trilogy. Could there have been more unproduced shorts for the final season of “Quick Draw”? Six episodes is an odd order for a season.

    The design for Senorita Rita owes her hairstyle to Wilma Flintstone, while her face resembles that of Betty Rubble. Not sure who was responsible for the background, but the green skies are nice. The sound cutter recycling the “Top Cat” underscore worked well during El-Kabong and Don Fatigo’s sword fight.

  2. Thanks Yowp. These were so much fun to look at, and the designs of the characters in the layouts are just great. This has always been one of my favorite Queeksdraws. General Badguyos!
    Senorita Rita!- Dave Pruiksma

  3. Adel Khan brings up an interesting point which I have wondered about myself. I have a recollection of some Quick Draw cartoons that don't seem to be part of the original series, yet which were played as part of a package of H-B short cartoons aired on our local Seattle station in the late 60's or early 70's. One I have never been able to locate involved Quick Draw and Baba in a boat race. I may have it mixed up with another H-B series, but I doubt it, because my memory for old cartoons is pretty good. Could there be a handful of Quick Draws that were completed, but never aired as part of the original series?

  4. I doubt it, SC. HB copyrighted all its cartoons at the time.
    The boat race could have been a bumper. I don't remember it off-hand.
    However, there was one boarded cartoon, J-133, which doesn't appear to have been made. You can find most of the board HERE.

  5. It's quite interesting to check the storyboards to see what was cut out of the final cartoon. In this case, it's the old gag of the 'hero' dashing off to suit up only to return in the wrong costume completely! Quick Draw did it in two previous El Kabong-themed shorts, returning as a clown and a kid on a tricycle. Bugs and Daffy also went through this in their Superman spoofs as, respectively, Little Bo Peep and a witch.

    Adel might be referring to the interstitial bumpers in the Huck and Quick Draw shows which pretty much disappeared from syndicated reruns in the 1970s. Some have resurfaced on DVD, Youtube, and even some earlier CN showings of THE HUCKLEBERRY HOUND SHOW.

    I think Bob Carr animated this particular short.

  6. Seeing the layouts from this Quick Draw McGraw episode, they seem which were made by Iwao Takamoto.