Sunday, May 17, 2020

Skull Mountain, Cross-Section Dungeons, and Birdman?

So as mentioned before, Jodi and I are viewing a ton of old cartoons, especially of late classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons of the 60's and 70's. One that we are viewing is Birdman and the Galaxy Trio (the original, not the post-modern remake, Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law).

So there we were, watching some real old-school super-hero antics, when in episode 12A: The Wings of F.E.A.R. (first aired November 25, 1967) the enemy base ends up being "Death's Head Peak" high in the Andes:

Death's Head Peak
Now, this is already cool enough, because, you know, villains lairing in skull-topped mountains is always cool. But then shortly thereafter, this scene popped up:

Cross-section of the F.E.A.R. lair in Death's Head Peak
And what have we here, an actual cross-section of the lair/dungeon of F.E.A.R., inside Death's Head Peak! Now what did that remind me of? Well, of course, this:

Sample cross-section of levels in Holmes
Now, of course, the original cross-section of levels as featured in OD&D Vol. III showed much of this, just not without the skull element. And there are plenty of other "skull lair" motifs in all sorts of literary and other sources.

But... did this brief scene perhaps help influence the development of the Great Stone Skull Dungeon in Holmes? Holmes would have been 37 when this show first premiered, so it is unlikely he was watching Saturday-morning cartoons at the time. Perhaps he saw it when his son, Chris, was watching? Inquiring minds want to know...

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