Jay Stephens’ blog Monsterama is great for anybody who’s a fan of cartoon monsters from the 50s – 70s (and everybody is, even if they don’t realize it yet). For the past year or so, it’s been particularly cool because he’s been tracing the concept and production of “The Secret Saturdays,” an animated series he’s developing for the Cartoon Network.
Digging back through the blog, you can find its initial concept as “The Cryptids”, inspired by Jonny Quest, the Herculoids, Alex Toth’s work in general, and his personal interest in cryptozoology. You can trace the development of it through the concept stage and into eventual production, and see how the idea grew to emphasize the family-of-scientists/Jonny Quest aspect. He’s posted some great background art, and it also sounds like they’ve secured some of the best voice-actors working today. Most importantly, see that it’s a cool idea going through the production process for a major network and still actually retaining most of its coolness.
Currently, he’s asking for followers of the site to weigh in on a name change being requested by the network. I can’t even remember the suggested title, and I just looked at the blog post not 15 seconds ago; it’s that forgettable. Cartoon Network has been shooting itself in the foot a lot lately, going crazy with attempts at re-branding and re-imagining the network from a just genuinely-cool, all-ages network focusing on animation; to a third-tier imitator of the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon that shows live-action movies like Spider-man for some inexplicable reasons. The title of this series just sounds like another attempt at that, to remove anything unique about it and have it get lost in the sea of Disney and Nickelodeon series. If you’re interested in this kind of thing at all, leave a comment at the link provided in Stephens’ blog, and help CN get their groove back.