In early 1998, Jean MacCurdy asked me to write up a short premise for a possible Lobo animated TV series. Created by the late Roger Silfer and Keith Giffen, Lobo was a tricky character for the Kids' WB. Designed as an over-the-top biker-intergalactic bounty hunter, Lobo's legend included murdering everyone on his own planet as well as regenerative powers that made him pretty much impossible to kill. My suggestions were to keep the contempt for authority, make him more vulnerable to counter-violence, and direct his mayhem toward appropriate targets such as space villains and lawyers.
|Lobo from Superman episodes|
That fall, the studio was gripped with pitch fever. By then, Jean had lost the authority to green light afternoon and Saturday shows to Jamie Kellner and his growing phalanx of WB execs. For the TV animation division to get something on the air, we had to pitch the WB in addition to Warner Bros. marketing. Artists and writers were in a frenzy pulling material together—a show meant job security. My hands were full preparing pitches for three different projects: 21C, Duck Dodgers and Lobo. 21C was the dark horse, an idea of mine—an homage to anime—about a Buffy-like high school girl in the twenty-first century battling lobster men and strangely pathetic robots while shopping for cute tops. Rhoydon Shishido drew some hilarious artwork, but the pitch dance card was full and the show eventually dropped from consideration.
|Duck Dodgers makes an interesting point.|
With Lobo, the late Boyd Kirkland and I began with my premise, the one-minute video, plus artwork, I believe, from Steven E. Gordon. Boyd standardized the characters, making Lobo less massive, while I worked on a quick, snappy presentation based on showing the video first, then introducing two-dimensional models of characters from the comics like Al and Darlene. (Plus one Steven E. Gordon creation—a human villain with a round, yellow, have-a-nice-day happy face. We called him "Sunny Jim," and made him exceptionally nasty.)
Lobo on the WB 2