© 2008 by Craig Fuqua
I had just turned 3 when Jonny Quest premiered in 1964, so I don't remember watching
the show until it was on Saturday morning reruns later in the '60s. I remember thinking
how great it was that adults had put so much effort into the art for a "kid's" show.
I didn't learn until the 1980s that Jonny Quest was a prime-time family show.
I watched the episodes every Saturday until my early teens, when I started sleeping
until noon on Saturdays. I didn't pick up the series again until it was part of
the "Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera" show, which was a syndication package released
in 1986. I got up early on Sunday mornings to tape the episodes and cut out commercials
(because blank tapes cost $6!), then taped them again when they reappeared with
the original end credits. The first showings had generic credits that scrolled rapidly
across a blue background. I found out later the episodes had been edited and sped
up to cut the runtime by about four minutes.
Around this time, I went to a Dallas Comicon convention and saw Doug Wildey, but
only from a distance. He was there to promote the new JQ comics by Comico.
Sometime around 1990, I began researching Jonny Quest. Without the Internet, the
research opportunities were all print-oriented. I found what I could in my local
library, then drove to one 60 miles away because it had an archive of TV Guides
from 1964. I built an episode list and found out some things that intrigued me:
"Arctic Splashdown" was called, "Splashdown Antarctica"; "Calcutta Adventure" was
listed two weeks in a row; and there was no listing for "Riddle of the Gold."
I was a newspaper reporter at the time and decided I'd try to freelance an article
about JQ's 30th anniversary in 1994 to a magazine. I sent a proposal to Toon Magazine
and got a call from the editor, accepting it. With that, I made arrangements through
Hanna-Barbera to talk to Don Messick, the voice of Dr. Quest for most of the original
series and all of the 1986 version. He was always the voice of Bandit and did a
ton of other voices, including monkey squeaks as well as minor characters. But when
I called Toon Magazine back to find out my deadline, I was told the editor who had
OK'd my story was "no longer with the magazine," and I never heard back from them.
However, I got an official list of JQ episodes that had their original air dates
plus the production codes. And Don faxed me a list he'd made of all the voices he'd
done for the show along with the recording dates.
From Don's fax, I learned the working titles to some of the episodes: "Arctic Splashdown"
had indeed started as "Splashdown Antarctica." For the rest, look through our Fact Sheet.
Soon after I got Internet access (at my work), I found Richard Hill's "Palm Key"
website and visited it again and again. Richard is/was a graphic designer and had
some great material. Sadly for us, his work schedule took him away from the site
and he eventually took it down. I soon had an AOL account and started putting up
web pages to share my Jonny Quest research with the world. Then Lyle put up his
page and we began corresponding. In late 1998, we registered the domain name ClassicJQ.com
and combined our websites there. I finally got to meet Lyle when he was in the Dallas
area for a training class. Here's a picture of Lyle and me from that historic week.
Since junior high school, I've been a collector, going from one subject to another.
I turned to Jonny Quest in the 1990s when I found out there were things to get.
Before eBay, I only found a few things to buy (a production drawing from "Lizard
Men" and the large poster by Doug Wildey.
Once eBay was around, my collection grew steadily and you can see most of my collection
here on the website. There are a few things I haven't gotten around to scanning
yet, but they're coming. I've gotten more interested in the international JQ items
that were produced within the first 5-10 years of the show.
The website is very much a product of the visitors who've taken the time to send
us news items, photos/scans, and corrections. Thank you all.