Doug Wildey

Douglas S. Wildey[1] (May 2, 1922 – October 5, 1994)[1] was a cartoonist and comic book artist best known for creating a 1964 animated television series, Jonny Quest, for Hanna-Barbera Productions.

Doug Wildey
BornDouglas S. Wildey
May 2, 1922
Yonkers, New York
DiedOctober 5, 1994 (aged 72)
Las Vegas, Nevada
Area(s)Penciller, Inker
Notable works
Jonny Quest
Outlaw Kid


Early life and career

Wildey panel from Atlas Comics' The Outlaw Kid #11 (May 1956).

Wildey was born[2] and raised[3] in Yonkers, New York, adjacent to New York City. He did World War II military service at Naval Air Station Barbers Point in Hawaii, where he began his art career as a cartoonist for the base newspaper.[4] He recalled his professional start as freelancing for the magazine and comic-book company Street & Smith in 1947.[5] Because comic-book writer and artist credits were not routinely given during this era, the earliest confirmed Wildey works are two signed pieces in this publisher's Top Secret #9 (June 1949): a one-page house ad and the 10-page adventure story "Queen in Jeopardy", by an unknown writer.[6]

He went on to draw primarily Western stories for Youthful Magazines comics including Buffalo Bill, Gunsmoke (unrelated to the later television series), and Indian Fighter. He also contributed to the publishers Master Comics, Story Comics, Cross Publications and possibly others, puckishly observing that he'd worked for every publisher except EC, "the good one".[7]

In 1952, Wildey moved his family — wife Ellen and daughters Debbie and Lee — to Tucson, Arizona.[4] Two years later, he began a regular stint at Atlas Comics, the 1950s forerunner of Marvel Comics, where he drew dozens of Western stories through 1957, primarily four- and five-page tales in such titles as Frontier Western. His art also appeared in the Atlas horror-fantasy comics Journey into Unknown Worlds, Marvel Tales, Mystery Tales, Mystic, Strange Tales, Uncanny Tales, and others.[6]

Historian Ken Quattro describes Wildey's most "noteworthy" Western as the 19-issue Atlas series Outlaw Kid, "his take on the classic Western antihero", in which Wildey illustrated three to four stories per issue:

In concept, it was typical of all the Stan Lee-created Kids (Colt, Rawhide, Two-Gun, Ringo, etc.). What set it apart was Wildey's art. . . . The Outlaw Kid was a monthly opportunity for Wildey to hone and develop his burgeoning art skills. Using Outlaw Kid #11 (May 1956) as an example of his work well into the series, the influence of cinema on his work is evident. Though he may have had this influence all along, now it is readily apparent, with panels staged like film scenes. The characters have a realistic, illustrative look to them. . . . Most significantly, his artwork finally had the consistent luster of professionalism. Wildey varied his inking from the fine stroke of an etching to the bold use of solid blacks to attain dramatic chiaroscuro effects.[4]

Much of this work was reprinted by Marvel from 1970 through 1974, exposing his work to a later generation.[6]

After an Atlas Comics retrenchment in 1957 — during which the company mixed a trove of inventory stories by Wildey and many others with new material for two to three years — Wildey freelanced on a small number of standalone anthology stories for two other publishers: Harvey Comics, in the science fiction/fantasy titles Alarming Tales #3-5 (Jan.-Sept. 1958), and Black Cat Mystic #62 (March 1958), Hi-School Romance #73 (March 1958) and Warfront #34 (Sept. 1958); and DC Comics, in Tales of the Unexpected #33 & 35 (Nov. 1958, March 1959), House of Secrets #17 (Feb.1959), My Greatest Adventure #28 & 32 (Nov. 1958 & June 1959), and House of Mystery #89 (Aug. 1959). He also later drew the first issue of Dell Comics' TV series spin-off Dr. Kildare (a.k.a. Four Color #1337, June 1962).[6]

Portion of sample Sunday page of Wildey's proposed comic strip Stretch Bannon. Wildey would use part of the name for a cast character of his animated TV series Jonny Quest.

In either 1959[2][4] or 1961[8] (sources vary) he took over the art for writer Leslie Charteris' long-running New York Herald Tribune Syndicate comic strip The Saint. Some of their strips were inked by Dick Ayers as the deadlines of producing a daily and Sunday strip proved daunting.[4] The strip ended in 1962.[8] Adding credence to the latter date is Wildey spending part of 1960, possibly only a month, penciling his idol Milton Caniff's famed Steve Canyon comic strip[2][9] and trying unsuccessfully to launch his own syndicated strip.[9]

Two such proposed strips would help provide a character name and some narrative background to Wildey's later animated television series, Jonny Quest. As he described in 1986,

I once tried an automobile comic strip. Because this whole country runs on the automobile economy, right? . . . In my case, my guy was sort of an automobile designer. He raced cars. He had this glamorous European background, and raced on American tracks. I called him Stretch Bannon. . . . Then, later on, I tried another strip about a writer-artist team that traveled the world getting into adventures. The name was Race Dunhill. So I put the Race and the Bannon together and that's where Race Bannon came from.[10]

Television animation

Following the end of The Saint comic strip in 1962, Wildey found, through an ad in the National Cartoonists Society newsletter, what was initially a one-week[9] television animation job in Los Angeles, California, working under artist Alex Toth on Cambria Productions' 1962 animated series Space Angel.[11] Wildey eventually worked on the series for "about 12 or 14 weeks", after which, he recalled in 1986,

I had applied to Universal [Studios] (which was called something else at the time) as sort of a storyboard [artist] / production designer. [Producer] Stanley Kramer's office got interested in my stuff, so I figured, rather than move back to Arizona, where my family lives, maybe I could latch onto Stanley Kramer. [The animation studio] Hanna-Barbera was up the street from there, so I simply crossed the street, went up to Hanna-Barbera, and said, 'Look, I'm an artist' and so forth. A couple of people there had read some of my comic strips and comic books, so they said, 'Come in and see [Joe] Barbera.' The following day, or maybe even the same day, Barbera called me up and said, 'Can you design, in your style, a show [starring the radio drama adventure character] Jack Armstrong?'[10]

Wildey wrote and drew a presentation, using such magazines as Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, and Science Digest "to project what would be happening 10 years hence", and devising or fancifully updating such devices as a "snowskimmer" and hydrofoils. When Hanna-Barbera could not obtain the rights to Jack Armstrong, the studio had Wildey rework the concept. Wildey "went home and wrote Jonny Quest that night — which was not that tough." For inspiration he drew on Jackie Cooper and Frankie Darrow movies, Milton Caniff's comic strip Terry and the Pirates, and, at the behest of Hanna-Barbera, the James Bond movie Dr. No.[10] Hanna-Barbera refused to give him a "created by" credit, Wildey said in 1986, and he and studio "finally arrived on 'Based on an idea created by', and that was my credit."[10]

The prime-time TV animated series Jonny Quest debuted on ABC on September 18, 1964. As comics historian Daniel Herman wrote,

Wildey's designs on Jonny Quest gave the cartoon a distinctive look, with its heavy blacks [i.e. shading and shadow] and its Caniff-inspired characters. . . . The show was an action/adventure story involving the feature's namesake, an 11-year-old boy. The cast of characters included Jonny's kid sidekick, named Hadji, Jonny's globetrotting scientist dad . . . and the groups' handsome bodyguard, secret agent Race Bannon, who looks as if he stepped out of the pages of [Caniff's comic strip] Steve Canyon. . . . The look of Jonny Quest was unlike any other cartoon television show of the time, with its colorful backgrounds, and its focus on the characters with their jet packs, hydrofoils, and lasers. Wildey would work on other animation projects, but it was with his work on Jonny Quest that he reached his widest audience, bringing a comic book sense of design and style to television cartoons.[12]

Wildey did not design the more cartoonishly drawn comic relief pet dog, Bandit, which was designed by animator Dick Bickenbach.[10]

Wildey went on to work on animated series including Herculoids, Jana of the Jungle,[10] Return to the Planet of the Apes (1975),[10] Godzilla (1978 TV series) (1978),[10] Mister T (1983), and Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos (1986).

Return to comics

In the mid-1960s, Wildey returned to comic books, drawing stories for the premiere issues of Harvey Comics' Thrill-O-Rama, Unearthly Spectaculars (both Oct. 1965 series) and Double-Dare Adventures (Dec. 1965).[6] Most significantly during this time,[13] he collaborated with writer Gaylord DuBois on Gold Key Comics' licensed series Tarzan when that long-running comic, which had been reprinting stories drawn by Russ Manning, began producing new work beginning with issue #179 (Sept. 1968). The duo's work appeared through issue #187 (Sept. 1969).[6]

After a hiatus from comic books, broken only by three 1971 stories for Skywald's black-and-white horror-comics magazines Psycho and Nightmare, plus the Haunted Tank story "The Armored Ark" in DC Comics' G.I. Combat #153 (May 1972),[6] Wildey created the comic strip Ambler, which ran from 1972 to 1975.[2] Syndicated to newspapers by the Chicago Tribune New York News Syndicate, the contemporary strip chronicled the adventures of an itinerant folk musician.[13]

Afterward, Wildey returned to comic books to do stories for Archie Comics' horror-humor anthology series Mad House, Gold Key's Mystery Comics Digest, and DC's Our Army at War and Sgt. Rock, among other titles. Returning to his Western roots, he drew the feature "Jonah Hex" in DC's Weird Western Tales #26 (Feb. 1975) and co-created with writer Larry Lieber the feature "Kid Cody, Gunfighter" in Atlas/Seaboard Comics' Western Action #1 (Feb. 1975).[6]

As both writer and artist, Wildey created his own Western feature, "Rio", that ran in Eclipse Comics' Eclipse Monthly #1-10 (Aug. 1983 - July 1984), and he returned to his most prominent creation that decade with a Jonny Quest comic-book series published by Comico. Wildey wrote and drew the stories in Jonny Quest #1 (July 1986) and Jonny Quest Classics #1-3 (May–July 1987), and provided several covers. Comico also reprinted several of his Rio stories in a June 1987 one-shot, and Wildey produced new Rio stories for Dark Horse Comics' two-issue miniseries Rio at Bay (July-Aug. 1992).[6]

His last original comics work was the painted art for the eight-page Western tale "The End of the Time of Leinard" by writers Faye Perozich and Harlan Ellison in Dark Horse's Harlan Ellison's Dream Corridor Special (Jan. 1995).[6]


Wildey died of heart failure in Las Vegas, Nevada, on October 5, 1994.[13]


In 1971, Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr. published a Wildey portfolio, The Movie Cowboy, consisting of 26 illustrations sized 12x18 inches. Said historian Quattro, "Wildey shifted seamlessly between pen and brush, from the finest pen strokes imaginable, to the soft nuances of wash, from the monumental close-up of a grizzled Martin Landau, to the sunny sweetness of two women waiting for a stagecoach."[14]


  1. ^ a b Douglas S. Wildey, SSN 052-18-2593, at the Social Security Death Index via and via [ Retrieved on March 6, 2013
  2. ^ a b c d Who's Who of American Comic Strip Producers: W at The Comic Strip Project. WebCitation archive.
  3. ^ Quattro, Ken (n.d.). "The Forgotten Art of Doug Wildey". Archived from the original on March 10, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d e Quatto, p. 2
  5. ^ Walker, Mort, ed. Album of the National Cartoonists Society (Fairview Printers, 1965), Doug Wildey capsule autobiography, p. 176
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Doug Wildey at the Grand Comics Database
  7. ^ Weeks, John, "Wildey Rides Again", Rio at Bay (Dark Horse Comics, July 1992)
  8. ^ a b Comic Strip: Credit Breakdown: S Archived 2010-07-04 at WebCite at The Comic Strip Project. WebCitation archive.
  9. ^ a b c Quatto, p. 3
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h Doug Wildey interview, Amazing Heroes #95, May 1986. WebCitation archive.
  11. ^ Herman, Daniel. Silver Age: The Second Generation of Comic Artists (Hermes Press, Neshannock Township, Pennsylvania, 2004) p. 195. Trade paperback ISBN 978-1-932563-64-1
  12. ^ Herman, pp. 195-196
  13. ^ a b c Quatto, p. 5
  14. ^ Quatto, p. 4

External links

1994 in animation

The year 1994 in animation involved some animation-related events.

Cambria Productions

Cambria Productions was the West Hollywood, California animation production studio most famous for its wide usage of the Syncro-Vox technique of animation developed by Edwin Gillette, who was a co-partner in the studio.

Owned by Clark S. Haas, Jr. from 1957 until 1965, the studio produced Clutch Cargo (1959-1960), Space Angel (1962), Captain Fathom (1965), and The New 3 Stooges (1965-1966). Test film for another series, Doc Potts or Doc Potts and Weselly, was prepared in 1960, though the series was apparently never produced. Two sample episodes of a proposed Moon Mullins series were produced along with a sales film to promote it to local television stations but it didn't clear enough markets to go into production.

Despite operating on a shoestring budget, the studio was able to produce series which are fondly remembered for their imaginative and entertaining storylines, and for their inventive ways of compensating for budgetary limitations.

Among the artists and entertainers who found employment at Cambria Studios were musician/composer Paul Horn, Margaret Kerry, Hal Smith, Alex Toth, Warren Tufts and Doug Wildey.

Eclipse Monthly

Eclipse Monthly was a full color comics anthology title published in 1983–1984 by Eclipse Comics. An attempt by Eclipse to revive the comics anthologies of the Golden Age of Comic Books, Eclipse Monthly was the successor to Eclipse's black-and-white anthology Eclipse, the Magazine, which was published from May 1981 to January 1983. Eclipse Monthly featured many characters — including Steve Ditko's Static and B. C. Boyer's The Masked Man — that had been part of Eclipse, the Magazine and were later featured in their own series or collections.

Gunsmoke Western

Gunsmoke Western was an American comic book series published initially by Atlas Comics, the 1950s forerunner of Marvel Comics, and then into the 1960s by Marvel. A Western anthology that ran 46 issues, it featured early stories of the Marvel Old West heroes Kid Colt and the Two-Gun Kid, and work by such artists as Jack Kirby, John Severin, Joe Maneely, Doug Wildey, and many others.

Jana of the Jungle

Jana of the Jungle is a 30-minute Saturday morning animated series created by Doug Wildey and produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions which aired on NBC from September 9, 1978, to December 2, 1978. It was originally broadcast as a half-hour segment of The Godzilla Power Hour (1978) and its later expanded form The Godzilla Super 90 (1978–79).

Jonny Quest (TV series)

Jonny Quest (also known as The Adventures of Jonny Quest) is an American animated science fiction adventure television series about a boy who accompanies his scientist father on extraordinary adventures. It was produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions for Screen Gems, and created and designed by comic book artist Doug Wildey.

Inspired by radio serials and comics in the action-adventure genre, it featured more realistic art, characters, and stories than Hanna-Barbera's previous cartoon programs. It was the first of several Hanna-Barbera action-based adventure shows – which would later include Space Ghost, The Herculoids, and Birdman and the Galaxy Trio – and ran on ABC in prime time on early Friday nights for one season in 1964–1965.

After spending two decades in reruns, during which time it appeared on all three major US television networks of the time, new episodes were produced for syndication in 1986 as part of The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera's second season. Two telefilms, a comic book series, and a more modern revival series, The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, were produced in the 1990s.

Morgue file

A morgue file originally was the paper-folders containing old files and notes that were kept by criminal investigators, and old article clippings kept by newspaper reporters, in case they became of later use as a quick-reference.

In modern usage, its scope has expanded to cover many post-production materials for use of reference, or an inactive job file. The term is popular in the newspaper business to describe the file that holds past issues flats. The term has also been used by illustrators, comic book artists, designers and teachers.The newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst forbade his papers from keeping a morgue file on him.Artist Doug Wildey was known for his huge morgue file of photo references. He became so adept at depicting actual people, that it becomes an ancillary enjoyment trying to identify the celebrities' cameo appearances in his artwork.

Outlaw Kid

The Outlaw Kid is a fictional Western hero in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character originally appeared in the company's 1950s iteration, Atlas Comics. A lesser-known character than the company's Kid Colt, Rawhide Kid or Two-Gun Kid, he also starred in a reprint series in the 1970s and a short-lived revival.

The Outlaw Kid was Lance Temple, an Old West lawyer and Civil War veteran living with his blinded father on a ranch. Though promising his father he would never take up a gun, he'd nonetheless felt the need to right wrongs expediently on the near-lawless frontier, and created a masked identity in order to keep his gunslinging secret.

Real Deal (comics)

Real Deal Magazine was an independent comic book title published in the 1990s. One of the rare contemporary African-American-created and published comics, Real Deal depicted Los Angeles underworld life with deadpan visceral humor and gross-out violence (termed "Urban Terror" by the creators). Stories were by H.P. McElwee (aka "R.D. Bone") and art primarily by Lawrence Hubbard (aka "Raw Dawg").

Inspired by magazines like Mad, traditional superhero comics, and people the creators knew in their own lives, Real Deal satirized Blaxploitation movies with a mélange of stories featuring convicts, hustlers, drug addicts, crack whores, car thieves, and murderers. In the words of artist/publisher Hubbard, a typical Real Deal story began with

... an everyday situation: Going to the store, the car wash, buying some food, you have a confrontation, nobody backs down! And next all hell breaks loose!! And the main thing is none of the characters give a shit about the consequences.

Hubbard cites Mort Drucker, Angelo Torres, George Woodbridge, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, E. Simms Campbell, and Doug Wildey as influences, while critics note the similarity of Hubbard's inking to that of Gary Panter and Raymond Pettibon.

Strip Art Features

Strip Art Features (SAF) is a comic-book publishing house and rights agent currently based in Celje, Slovenia. SAF was founded by comic book author and publisher Ervin Rustemagić in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1972. The company is known to the American public through its co-publishing arrangement with Dark Horse Comics.

SAF's magazine Strip Art was the winner of the 1984 Lucca Comics & Games Yellow Kid Award for Best Foreign Comics Publisher.In the early 1990s, SAF had offices in the Sarajevo suburb of Ilidža as well as in Doetinchem, the Netherlands.With the beginning of the Bosnian war in early 1992, the SAF offices in Ilidža were destroyed by a Serbian bombardment. More than 14,000 pieces of original art were lost in the flames, including pieces by Americans Hal Foster, Doug Wildey, Joe Kubert, Warren Tufts, Sergio Aragonés, George McManus, Alex Raymond, Charles M. Schulz, Mort Walker, John Prentice, Al Williamson, Gordon Bess, and Bud Sagendorf; works by Argentinean artists such as Alberto Breccia and Carlos Meglia; and pieces by European creators like André Franquin, Maurice Tillieux, Hermann, Martin Lodewijk, Philippe Bercovici, Giorgio Cavazzano, John Burns, and Ferdinando Tacconi. After escaping Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rustemagić managed to reestablish SAF in Slovenia in late 1993.

SAF holds the English-language rights to Hermann Huppen's Jeremiah. After failing to reach American audiences in the 1980s and 1990s with such publishers as Fantagraphics, Catalan Communications, and Malibu Comics; Jeremiah (and SAF) found success with Dark Horse beginning in the 2000s. SAF and Dark Horse have released other titles together as well.

Tarzan Triumphant

Tarzan Triumphant is a novel by American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs, the fifteenth in his series of books about the title character Tarzan. The novel was originally serialized in the magazine Blue Book from October, 1931 through March 1932. It should not be confused with the 1943 film Tarzan Triumphs, as the plots are not related.

Real-life Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin is used as a minor character in the novel, though he remains in Moscow and does not personally take part in the action.

Tarzan and the City of Gold

Tarzan and the City of Gold is a novel by American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs, the sixteenth in his series of books about the title character Tarzan. The novel was originally serialized in the magazine Argosy from March through April 1932.

Tarzan at the Earth's Core

Tarzan at the Earth's Core is a novel by American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs, published in 1930, the thirteenth in his series of books about the title character Tarzan and the fourth in his series set in the interior world of Pellucidar.

Tarzan the Invincible

Tarzan the Invincible is a novel by American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs, the fourteenth in his series of books about the title character Tarzan. The novel was originally serialized in the magazine Blue Book from October, 1930 through April, 1931 as Tarzan, Guard of the Jungle.

Warner E. Leighton

Warner Elvon Leighton (July 31, 1930 – March 20, 2005) was an American film, sound, music, effects and supervising editor. An only child, he married Patricia Relyea in the early 1950s. He had two daughters with Patricia; Denise was born in 1955 and Cynthia was born in 1958. He also had one Grandson, Kyler, born in 1993. Later, he married Margaret (P.J.) Webb on March 3, 1984. During the 1960s, Leighton edited many William Hanna and Joseph Barbera cartoons such as The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Atom Ant, Scooby-Doo, The Secret Squirrel Show, Jonny Quest, Hey There, It's Yogi Bear, and Space Ghost. He also edited a lot of Jack Kirby and Stan Lee cartoons such as Fantastic Four, and Doug Wildey cartoons such as Jonny Quest.

Leighton edited the film Gone in 60 Seconds. There was no official script for the film, apart from several pages outlining main dialog sequences. Much of the action/dialog was improvised and made up by the cast and crew as they went along. This caused many problems for Leighton, who never knew what footage was being dumped on him or where in the movie it belonged. In the DVD audio commentary, he described the script for the construction site portion of the main pursuit as a piece of cardboard with a circle on it. Leighton edited the films The Junkman and Deadline Auto Theft for director H. B. Halicki.

Leighton edited several television films. He edited the film C.H.O.M.P.S., The American Dreamer for actor, director, producer, and stuntman Dennis Hopper, and Wolf Lake.

Wildey (surname)

Wildey is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Doug Wildey (1922–1994), American cartoonist and comic book artist

Edna Wildey (1882–1970), American tennis player

Thomas Wildey (1782–1861), British-born American civic leader

Youthful (publisher)

Youthful (also known as Youthful Magazines) was an American comic book publisher that operated from 1949–1954. The company was owned by attorney Bill Friedman and his wife Sophie, with Bill holding the title of Publisher. Comics editor Sol Cohen (possibly with help from financier Harry Donenfeld) helped launch Youthful.

The company specialized in non-superhero titles, instead focusing on horror, Western, humor, and romance comics. Notable titles published by Youthful included the Western titles Gunsmoke, Indian Fighter, and Redskin (later known as Famous Western Badmen); the science fiction/horror series Captain Science (later known as Fantastic, Beware, and Chilling Tales), and the humor title Jackpot. Altogether, the company only published ten distinct titles, with many series changing their name and continuing the numbering of the previous title.

Doug Wildey was the company's lead cartoonist, with work published in virtually all their titles. Other notable creators associated with Youthful included Bill Fraccio, Harry Harrison, Pat Masulli, Don Perlin, Wally Wood, Graham Ingels, Ed Goldfarb, Henry Kiefer, and Manny Stallman.

Youthful's first title was Gunsmoke, which debuted Apr./May 1949 and ran until 1952. Youthful acquired the Pix-Parade title Youthful Hearts in 1952, continuing its numbering under the new title Daring Confessions until 1953. The Youthful titles Attack and Beware were acquired by Trojan Magazines in 1952, which continued their numbering. Youthful, in turn, renamed the titles Atomic Attack and Chilling Tales, respectively, also continuing the numbering. The company was mostly finished by 1953, with only Jackpot continuing until 1954 (its final issue cover-dated May).

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