Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Black Week – Black Animated Characters

I’ve neglected by blog for far too long. It’s a good outlet for me; it lets me vent, relax, laugh, and it scratches my creative itch.

Unfortunately, my newborn daughter has been kicking my behind for the last 7 weeks. I feel tired when I go to sleep; I’m tired when I wake up. I’m tired at work; I’m tired at home.

But to quote Fannie Mae Hammer- I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. It’s time for me to start resuming my normal schedule.

So I’m kicking off a series of updates titled “Black Week”. Why that? Well, it’s actually a play on Oh Word’s wonderful series “Crack Week”. I’m going to spend the next week (or so) talking about some of the things “black” that are on my mind. And I’m starting with animated characters.

Why them? Well, I’m pretty geeked about the Transformer movie coming out, but I was disappointed to learn that Jazz wouldn’t be in the series. My hopes got up when I heard Bernie Mac was in the movie; I hoped he would be the voice of Jazz. Unfortunately, Jazz didn’t make it into the movie… but at least he’ll get a shout out here. So without adieu, here’s my list of the top 5 animated characters.

5. Jazz – He transformed into a Porsche (cool). He was the head of the Special Operations and was Optimus Prime’s right hand man (very cool). He was voiced by Scatman Crothers (extremely cool). I don’t understand how they could exclude him from the cartoon.

4. The Brown Hornet – Don’t front. You know that you watched Fat Albert as much for the Brown Hornet as you did for Albert, Mush Mouth, and the rest of the gang.

3. The Black Lion – What? This doesn’t count? I disagree. He’s black. He’s animated. Actually, Voltrom was Japanese animation, and the Black Lion was piloted by a white guy – he's practically Cablinasian. Regardless, the Black Lion was a back mamma jamma – whether fighting individually, or as part of Voltron.

2. Stalker – He was the first “real” black cartoon character I remember. Actually, he was the first GI Joe action figure I owned (my folks weren’t trying to spend their hard earned money on a “blondie” like Duke).

1. Jar Jar Binks – Just kidding…

1. Panthro – He was voiced by Earl Hyman (Bill Cosby’s dad from the Cosby Show). He was bald headed. He used nunchucks. He was the pilot and the mechanic. He was Cheetara’s secret lover. How could he not be number one? Heck, Mrs. Jenkins and I named one of our cats after this character.
Special shout outs to - The Black Green Latern (John Steward), Roadblock (black Gi Joe gunner), Black Vultan (old school SuperFriends), and Franklin (the only black kid on Peanuts).


  1. berrybrowne2:26 PM

    great post - but what about storm?! she's all we got, give her some love. and don't forget blade - who was animated on the spiderman cartoon. and don't forget the green lantern is african american now on the justice league. here's a random question for you - any ideas on where i can track down some nerd gear on the characters you mention? i need to hold it down for the black animated characters with t-shirts, keyrings and posters!

    congratulations on the birth of your daughter.

  2. Yeah, I actually forgot about Storm and Blade... I used to read quite a few comic books... so I guess I've always thought of them as comic book characters first and cartoon characters second.

    As far as gear, there are a few 80's t-shirt companies that sell some cool t-shirts... nothing with any of these characters.... but cool stuff nonetheless.

    Thanks for posting. Don't fake the funk on the nasty dunk.

  3. The Brown Hornet! I forgot all about that guy.

    Kickin' blog, by the way.