Books

The story behind Underdog

If Jay Ward, Hanna Barbera and Rankin-Bass rate biographical tomes, certainly the output of Total Television deserves a historical overview. Sight unseen (except for its fabulous Mike Kazaleh cover – click thumbnail below to enlarge image) I am recommending this forthcoming book by Mark Arnold: Created and Produced by Total TeleVision Productions.

Frequently compared to and confused with Jay Ward Productions, this is the company that created such characters as Underdog, Tennessee Tuxedo, Tooter Turtle, Commander McBragg, Go Go Gophers, King and Odie, The Hunter, and The Beagles. The history of Gamma Productions, the little Mexican animation studio that animated most of the Jay Ward Productions, is covered — and the book contains a complete episode listing of every known Total TeleVision production. Illustrated with storyboards and character merchandise, Arnold wrote the book using personal interviews with the four owners of TTV (Buck Biggers, Chet Stover, Tread Covington and Joe Harris) as well as voice artists Allen Swift (Simon Bar Sinister), Bradley Bolke (Chumley the Walrus), animators Frank Andrina of TV Spots and Roman Arambula of Gamma Productions. And the book promises to finally answer a question we’ve been asking ourselves for years: What the heck is The Colossal Show? Copies are now available from BearManor Media.

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