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Friday, July 05, 2024 

Bucky O'Hare cartoon has been long forgotten

A writer at Giant Freakin' Robot raises the subject of Bucky O'Hare, which originally began as an indie comic in 1984 starring anthropomorphs co-created by Larry Hama and Michael Golden, and was later adapted to animation in 1991. In sharp contrast to the Ninja Turtles, which debuted around the same time, Bucky is largely obscure in wider pop culture:
Chances are that even if you’re a ’90s kid like me, you probably don’t remember Bucky O’Hare and the Toad Wars! How an action-packed cartoon featuring anthropomorphic animals cosplaying as Star Wars characters only got one season, I’ll never understand. And yet, during its brief time on air, the 1991 animated series spawned a line of action figures, an NES game, and an arcade beat’em up game.

[...] Despite having all the right ingredients, Bucky O’Hare failed to make the same splash as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and instead got lost in the anthropomorphic animal boom of the ’90s. While other similar shows like Biker Mice from Mars and C.O.W. Boys of Moo Mesa are still remembered today as slightly quirkier counterparts to the Ninja Turtles, nobody ever talks about Bucky O’Hare.

It could be not enough people were exposed to the show for it to gain a strong following. Yes, there were toys and video games, but that was hardly a mark of success in the ’90s. Both the Rocketeer and Dick Tracy also had video games and toys in the early ’90s, and neither film ever got a sequel. Many kids likely had other shows to watch and couldn’t be bothered with Bucky O’Hare and his freedom fighter pals.
Unfortunately, that's just it - the TV scene could be very competitive in those days. So it's no surprise if other cartoons on different channels got in the way of Bucky's bunny business finding success. I do fondly recall the video game produced at the time. But I had little knowledge of the animated series on TV, and besides, I was getting a bit old for Saturday morning matinees produced far more for children than adults.

The writer suggests trying to build up some nostalgia recognition for the 13-part cartoon. But what would honestly be better is if the comics were give more recognition; that's how it all began, after all. If Bucky O'Hare's comic series isn't reprinted in trades, maybe the time's come to make sure it will be. There does appear to have been a paperback reprint in the mid-1980s, but it's long since gone out of print, and whatever copies of the old paperback exist today are very expensive. So more than an animated weekend cartoon being promoted for nostalgia enthusiasts, why not the original comics too, and provided those in charge don't sink into political correctness, why not launch a new series based on this old indie comic of its time? Bucky O'Hare could surely make a great form of reading material for younger readers, if the cards are played right.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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