Watching The Incredibles reminded me of the The Tick cartoon, which aired on Saturday mornings in the early 1990s and was a staple of my college years. Unfortunately, while the wretched live-action The Tick is out on DVD, the animated series is languishing on VHS.
The original series was cancelled after three seasons on Fox (two I think) but during its run it did a hilarious job of sending up the superhero genre, hilariously skewering DC Comics and Marvel at every turn. The episode “Little Wooden Boy” — in which the blue-suited, humanoid arachnid constructed his own side kick out of wood — was so funny I had the giggles for a week after watching it. And even to this day, “Spoon!” is a battle cry that I hear even non-geeks uttering.
Alas, the series was ahead of its time, debuting and ending long before the current run of superhero movies hit theatres. Though then again, perhaps it would have trouble even now — after all, how many people would get jokes dealing with Tick being the herald of a Galactus-type character (a world-devouring supervillain left over from the death of the universe before ours) and being forced to trim the Destroyer’s toenails?
Still, it was much loved, and it went on to inspire another Fox Tick series, a live action one that retained little of what was fun from the cartoon (or from the original comic book, if memory serves). That series promptly died after a few episodes, and I doubt anyone was unhappy to see it go. Yet, in a fit of marking genius, it is that series — and not the one that people are still quoting 10 years after the fact — that is being released on DVD.
Fortunately, there’s something we can do about it (no, not buy it on VHS — that’s just wrong) and that’s fill out this online petition, which already has 10,000+ signatures. Will it do any good? I have no idea … but it’s better than just sitting around complaining about it.