So back when I first started this site, I had in mind creating a tradition of doing Frankenstein-related art for Halloween, when I had time. It’s been awhile since I did one. So here you go!
Milton the Monster is one of those cartoons from my childhood that I’ve always looked back on fondly. Certain cartoon properties are well-remembered and seem to come back for revivals every so often. Milton is one of those cartoons that seems to have slid into obscurity, unfortunately. Most cartoon fans either don’t remember it, or have never heard of it.
For those who don’t know about the show, the concept’s right there in the show’s theme song! Take a look. I hadn’t watched the show in a long time, so doing this cover was an excuse to watch some episodes and refresh my memory. Yes, it’s definitely limited TV animation, and the jokes can get a little cornball, but I still get a kick out of it. If someone were to actually do a revival of this show, it would be a blast to be involved!
Searching for actual character models to draw from, I couldn’t find any. I have a sense that TV animation in the ’60s sometimes had a much broader interpretation of “on-model” than what it does now, or even when I started working in animation in the early ’90s. It’s surprising to see how much the look of the characters on this show can fluctuate from episode to episode, depending on the animator.
And of course, this had to be a Gold Key cover. They actually did publish one issue of a Milton the Monster comic back in the mid-’60s. If you were a kid in the ’60s and wanted to buy a comic book featuring your favorite animated character(s), Gold Key had the rights pretty much sewn up to all of them!
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this. And Happy Halloween!
One thing, if I remember the (real) Gold Key book accurately — it didn’t have Heebie and Jeebie. (A mark against it right there.) Also, you should mention that Milton’s voice was a knock-off of Gomer Pyle’s.
There were also the middle segments of the cartoon show, featuring such memorable characters as Patty Penguin and Flukey Luke (whose faithful Indian companion had an Oirish accent). But the longest running was Fearless Fly, who is unlikely to be revived because his arch-foe was a Fu Manchu manque named Dr. Goo Fee. (Side note — Mighty Mouse was originally planned to be a fly, but someone decided mice were cuddlier.)
Boomer? Who, moi?
I don’t actually have my copy handy of the one issue Gold Key did, but you’d think they would’ve used Heebie and Jeebie in there. They figure pretty prominently as supporting characters in the show.
Doing some reading, when the studio originally pitched the show, they were focused on Fearless Fly as the anchoring concept. But the network was more interested in Milton, so he became the focus. And I think almost all the voices were done by one guy. Talk about trying to keep a tight budget!