Wednesday 18 March 2020

The Psychology of Huck and Quick Draw

Did Quick Draw McGraw give me a psychological release at age 5?

At that age, I don’t know what I’d want to have been released from, but Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera thought so. At least, that’s what they told the Valley Times from North Hollywood in its issue of May 26, 1960.

Their article (if, indeed, they wrote it themselves) talks about the appeal of the Quick Draw McGraw Show, which is my favourite of all the Hanna-Barbera series. Better still, it gives credit not only to the great writing staff at the time but even some of the animators who worked on the series. George Nicholas and Carlo Vinci are among my favourite early H-B animators along with Mike Lah; Don Patterson is up there, too, for some fine expressions in the earliest Flintstones seasons.

Hanna and Barbera liked to talk about “no time clock” in their earliest interviews. At this point, they weren’t in the building everyone associates with them. They were in much smaller confines which forced some people to work at home. Naturally, there’d be no time clock. I’ll bet you Hanna was watching the footage count, though.

At the risk of being repetitive over the years here, it’d sure be nice if the Quick Draw show—even just the individual cartoons—would be released on a home video format.

Enjoy this bonus post.


Television viewers are darn smart. And, what's more, they're selective as well.
No longer can a television producer foist a tired and trite story with a one-dimensional hero, whose vocabulary consists solely of "Yep" and "Nope" on viewers and hope to capture a large audience for any length of time.
We think the popularity of our shows "Huckleberry Hound," and "Quick Draw McGraw" lies in providing a psychological release for all human beings of all ages. No one ever gets hurt despite clobberings and binding situations our characters encounter. We try to give the audience characters that they can identify with, then follow up with wild antics impossible to duplicate in real life. The adults have all taken to the satire, while the children watch the programs for the face value of the action-packed story.
Quick Draw McGraw, our newest series, appearing on KTTV-TV Channel 11, Tuesdays, at 7:00 p.m., is the combined efforts of our whole staff.
We drew up rough sketches of characters based on three of the most standard TV shows—the western, the private eye, and the family situation comedy.
These sketches were turned over to our writer, Mike Maltese. Mike developed and named the characters and started writing.
Maltese made Quick Draw, the hero of the Western segment, the fastest drawing critter west of Peoria. He is aided by his faithful sidekick. Baba Looey, a fearless little burro with a Cuban accent.
Current Trends Vital
Being in the cartoon field for many years, we know that current trends are vital. The TV private eye show inspired the "Snooper and Blabber" segment of the show. Since most detective shows are a cat and mouse affair, we made Snooper a cat with a voice reminiscent of Archie in Duffy's Tavern, and Blabber, a mouse with undying admiration for his leader, Snooper.
We watched many situation comedy shows and came up with "Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy," a father and son canine pair, who encounter all the problems of fathers and sons everywhere.
But the big reason for our success, we feel, is our talented staff who brings our shows to life. We have the two most gifted writers in the business, Warren Foster and Mike Maltese, along with the two best story directors in the industry, Alex Lovy and Dan Gordon.
Ken Muse, Lew Marshall, Carlo Vinci, Dick Lundy, Don Patterson and George Nicholas are a few of our great animators who gave life to our characters. Coordination, which can be difficult with so large a staff, is actually a simple matter; there are no vague memos, no closed doors, no time clock. Everyone knows his job and does it.
TV animation is much more than pen and ink. It's a lot of talent—organized and hard working.