Sunday, April 15, 2007

The SGC2C band: Goby/Christy

[Happy 13th Anniversary You Old Ghost Planet!]

Back when I first started work on Space Ghost Coast to Coast in 1993, I was more or less given a blank check on a lot of the design and "casting" aspects of the production. As Zorak was always my favorite old SG villain I put him in the music director/Paul Shaffer role early on (I actually had no designs on doing his voice on the show when I made that call --I just really liked humanoid bug characters). Moltar was picked to be the director soon after that (and that was largely due to the fact that the first Space Ghost cartoon we looked at at Designefx (where I worked at the time and where the show was being put together) was The ovens of Moltor, and there he is, looking into a screen and pushing buttons).

The rest of the band and who would be in it from the 1966 Space Ghost roster was also left up to me, so I chose The Sorcerer (partially just because he was voiced by the original Fred Flintstone Alan Reed), and the uh..."Owl-cat guy" (who incidentally was the only SG villain never identified by name in his one-n-only original episode appearance).

But when it came to the drummer I wanted to create a new character --sort of a space version of Benny the Ball from Top Cat was my first thinking. Once I'd done a couple of drawings I decided to make the character more an homage to a dog my mom owned when I was growing up named Christy. She was part Chihuahua, part Pug, and all mean. A crazy and psychotic little dog that terrorized my friends, family and virtually everyone but my mom, whom she adored. She was part of my life from the time I was 6 to my second stint in college.

Early in 1983 I tried to take some polaroids of her and she naturally attacked the camera.
Yes mothers, she was a holy terror awright...
(I should probably clarify that in the above foto she's moving so fast that you can see the patio and garden hose through her like a double exposure)

Late in her life in 1984 I made her the subject of a roll of super-8 film, set it to part of the second movement of Stravinski's The Rite of Spring and Called it Christy's Lament. She died about six weeks later. I made about a dozen copies of the film for people over the years including Cartoon Network (and Space Ghost) head honcho Mike Lazzo. (I will post it here as soon as I can get You Tube to work with the Google version of Blogger --so far no luck.)

I decided to call the character Goby (after a 1970s gaffe in The Monster Times where Varan the Unbelievable was misidentified in a still from Destroy All Monsters with that name). We proceeded with the pilot production with the name Goby in mind. But in the end, M. Lazzo, having seen Christy's Lament and privvy to the origins of the character insisted that the stubby space-dog should just be called Christy. Hey, who was I to argue?

Though the character --unlike Christy herself-- remained mute and fairly passive for the entirety of SGC2C's 10 year+ run, I had always intended him/her to howl or think in thought balloons of type or pictures. Ah well... maybe next time around.

Much, much more soon!

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