Alex Toth - the cranky genius cartoonist who designed Johnny Quest and Space Ghost

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Johnny Quest was a fav of all my friends way back in the old century!


I had never made the connection previously, but I remember those particular H-B cartoons as being a quality cut above the usual Saturday morning junk. Jonny Quest in particular struck me (even at a young age) as having high production values for a cartoon.


The inspiration for Venture Brothers, I think?


If I’ve got my Old Person Decoder Ring properly calibrated, this means: JQ was much better than Clutch Cargo, with its stunning – heh-heh – SyncroVox technology. (On the plus side, both shows had great music.)

Great Ghu – I can remember watching TV shows in the late 1950s, but have no idea where I laid the FireStick remote control last night. OLD!


The only HB cartoon I have any real memories of is Johnny Quest. I’m sure I saw the others, but JQ was the only one that stuck with me. It was fun and well done.

Wikipedia says that Toth lamented Toth lamented “that the innocent fun of comics’ past was being lost in the pursuit of pointless nihilism and mature content”.
I couldn’t agree more.

Toth has been my kids gateway into the world of crazy old cartoons. Herculoids, Space Ghost, Birdman, and Thundarr have all been in heavy rotation here.


Do not taunt Ookla the Mok!



I was always struck by how the action and gunplay was more realistic. not ONE Joe or Cobra guy EVER died on GI Joe; the jets would get hit by a laser blast and the pilots ejected 100% of the time. Even as a kid, it was obvious, pandering bullshit. But on Johnny Quest, bullets would hit someone and they would be dead. I didn’t realize at the time that my 80’s Saturday morning Johnny Quest experience was actually re-runs; the more mature action reflected that it was originally aired in prime-time back in I guess it was the 60’s. That the show remained engaging over those decades is all that needs be said in testimonial for Johnny Quest.


Something that DEEPLY frustrated me about JQ:

The title sequence shows Johnny (presumably) fleeing some baddies on a flying platform of some sort. Also some other cools stuff.

While I watched all of the episodes at one time or another, these sequences never turned up!

I learned a few years back that these mystery sequences were part of a proof-of-concept video used to sell the show to the network.


Johnny and the other JQ characters actually turn up on The Venture Brothers. Poor Johnny is a crazed drug addict. Race Bannon gets killed at the beginning of an episode and dragged around by his parachute.

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Jonny Quest credits were pretty bad-ass

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They also showed up in an episode of Harvey Birdman (Gary Cole)

And ages prior, there was a fantastic sendup of Johnny Quest on Freakazoid, called “Toby Danger.” They even sampled a preposterous “Aieeeeee!” scream from the source show and used it to great effect.

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Which is odd in a way, because basically Thaddeus “Rusty” Venture was supposed to be who Johnny Quest would have grown into, being a former boy adventurer somewhat in the shadow of his genius father and all.

There are a couple of COBRA pilots for who don’t get to eject in the Movie. (I think the MASS device one, not the weather dominator.)

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One of my all-time favorites: “The Tally” (Our Army at War #254):

Toth was a genius at plane stories.

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