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Thread: Review: Lou Scheimer: Creating the Filmation Generation

  1. #1
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    Plaid Stallions Review: Lou Scheimer: Creating the Filmation Generation





    Review: Lou Scheimer: Creating the Filmation Generation


    By Lou Scheimer and Andy Mangels




    My earliest memory in this life, other than eating delicious Play Doh on Christmas morning 1971, was watching a Batman cartoon with my sister in the TV room one random morning in 1972.


    The Penguin was stealing a tank and gassed a soldier, the whole thing just intrigued me and I think started me on my love affair with Batgirl but that's another story.


    I guess what I’m trying to say is, Filmation hooked me at an early age. So much so that I even identified the name “Scheimer” (I dopily mispronounced it as “Schemer” until adulthood) with joy in the mid 1970s.



    I cherish this Ark 2 Halloween costume.


    Sure, I have love in my heart for the Kroffts and Hanna Barbera’s of this world but Filmation always remained my favourite. I never missed a Shazam!, Ark 2 or Tarzan as a kid, hell, I even regularly watched (but clearly did not grasp) Uncle Croc’s Block when it aired.


    So it was pretty much a given that I’d invest in this new tome. Actually, I bought it twice by accident. What I worried about though, was how much of this was going to be new to me.


    As the images in this piece suggest, I’m an ardent filmation collector and fan. I’ve bought every DVD set near and dear to me and watched the resulting documentaries many times (coincidentally, those great extras also included Scheimer and Mangels) and I even asked Mr Scheimer questions in person (he’s a nice man btw). I worried it would just be a rehash of stuff I’ve heard ad nauseum, I like to call that the “Stan Lee Situation”.



    Lou signed this for me in 2006, I can't find it now. Grrr.




    Fortunately, my worries were put to rest the minute the book arrived. I lost nearly an hour pouring through the information, I’m not even done reading it but I’ve seen enough to say this book is exhaustive and absolutely captivating.


    Scheimer has an incredible memory of the events that shaped Filmation starting from the beginning in landing the Superman contract to the hey days of the 70s and 80s. Everything is there, from the successes, to the flops laid out in riveting detail.


    Included are fun anecdotes like Charles Nelson Reily wandering the set of “Uncle Croc’s Block” in leopard print short shorts, replacement Shazam John Davie showing up for work with a moustache and a story that will never make you look at Schneider from “One Day at a Time” in the same light again.


    If describing things like the creation of the animated Star Trek series weren’t enough Scheimer goes into detail on what didn’t get made, stuff like a 60s Godzilla cartoon, Metamorpho, a Marx Brothers caroon, Dracula in Space, the list goes on and on and makes you wish you grow up with those shows as well.


    Also unapologetically is all the lawsuits, the acrimonious split with original Captain Marvel Jackson Bostwick, the long running suit between DC comics and Filmation that occurred over (my personal favourite) the Super 7 cartoon characters.


    Honestly if you were a child between the years 1966 and 1987, you’ll find something of an interest in this book.


    The later chapters delve of course into the 1980s and the huge success of programs like Fat Albert, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and Bravestarr. My one quibble of the book is that the book’s sole colour chapter is spent on He-Man, however it’s a pretty bright marketing move as He-Man will sell a lot of these books.






    In summation, I couldn't be happier with this book, it is jam packed with interesting new information on one of my favourite subjects. As a bonus, it's written in a snappy style that makes you feel that Scheimer is talking directly to you. I buy a lot of informational books such as this but I rarely read them cover to cover, Lou Scheimer: Creating the Filmation Generation is one I have trouble putting down and will likely read more than once.

    Ask your local comic shop to order it, otherwise Amazon has the book for $20, which is a steal.




    CONTEST!
    As I mentioned, I accidentally ordered two copies of this book for myself. I don’t plan on taking one in the tub with me so there is no need for a double. That means the second copy is up for grabs, here is the skill testing question:

    What was your favourite Filmation series?


    Send the answer to Brick@plaidstallions.comand I’ll draw one lucky winner out of my hat next Sunday.

    For more Fashion Mockery and 70's toy love visit us at Plaid Stallions.com


    More...

  2. #2
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    WOW! I love Filmation too. And I still pronounce it Film-Nation like I did when I was a kid. I have quite a few cartoons and live actions in my vast collection like Mission: Magic (DUH!), Fat Albert, Archie, Tarzan, both version of Batman, Star Trek, Shazam, Isis, Space Academy and more. Heck...2 weeks ago, I was even watching Uncle Croc's block! (between YouTube and my videos). And I want this book, so I will enter your contest, or order on Amazon.
    "Do you believe, you believe in magic?
    'Cos I believe, I believe that I do,
    Yes, I can see I believe that it's magic
    If your mission is magic your love will shine true."

  3. #3
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    I love Filmation also, it was great to be a kid when all the series were broadcast particularly all the Superhero stuff of the late sixties and thanks to Netflix Im watching all the Trek episodes

  4. #4
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    I also love the Filmation cartoons,the ones I fondly remember were Star Trek Animated Series,Tarzan,Sport Billy,Bravestarr,He-man,She-Ra and Space Sentinels.

    This book looks like a good read,I will have to enter the contest to see if I can win a copy.

    Never stand behind a cow when it sneezes.

  5. #5
    Filmation is my second favorite cartoon studio next to Hanna-Barbara. ( but not by much!) I'm not totally sure but theres a chance my introduction to Batman and Superheros came from The New Adventures of Batman. (1977) I would have only been around five at the time. I'm pretty sure I didnt start watching Superfriends until 1979 and then not heavily until I saw them on syndication.

    I know He-Man probably isnt as popular at the Megomuseum but I like He-Man just as much as other superheros and think the cartoons are great. I really wish Blackstar would have gotten more episodes. Tarzan, I think, is the company at its best. Many of Filmations cartoons still hold up i think. Wish all the ones that havent seen the light of day on dvd would get a chance.

    Havent bought this book but the amazon price is a amazing deal. Does this book start with how Filmation was formed? Scheimer and Hal Sutherland met while working on Bozo and Popeye tv cartoons for another low budget animation studio.

  6. #6


    ^^^ Lou worked on these around 1960

  7. #7
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    How did I miss this thread? I got a pdf preview of this from TwoMorrows, and even hopping around from chapter to chapter I could tell this would be a great read. Mangels is more or less the authority on these sorts of things, so the combination of him and the always affable and informative Scheimer is a no-brainer. I need to get this!

    Chris

  8. #8
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    I'm curious if Lou Scheimer offers any opinions on letting Jackson Bostwick go and replacing him with John Daveys in Shazam? That would be a good read right there.
    It's not how hard you hit, but how hard you can be hit and still move forward.

  9. #9
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    He goes into great detail about his split with Bostwick, I'm on that chapter right now.

  10. #10
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    I'll be interested in that too. Bostwick has told his version in several places, and it sounds pretty solid, but I'm sure Scheimer has a different take on it.

    Chris

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