If you loved genre TV animation in the '80s and '90s, then you've probably been exposed to the work of Larry Houston. For over three decades, Houston has left his mark as a storyboard artist, producer, and director on several iconic shows including X-Men: The Animated Series, Batman: The Animated Series, Exosquad, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, G.I. Joe, and Captain Planet. For the latest edition of SYFY WIRE's Artists Alley series, Houston turned back the clock to 1980 and drew a sketch of Thundarr the Barbarian.
While Thundarr the Barbarian is now somewhat obscure, it was a cartoon that mixed together elements of Star Wars and Conan the Barbarian with character designs by comic book legends Jack Kirby and Alex Toth. According to Houston, Kirby and Toth were surprised by the warm reception they received when they entered the world of animation. Houston and his fellow artists were big fans of both Kirby and Toth and felt inspired by their earlier work.
"It was just so much fun to play with these guys," said Houston. "It's like a childhood dream. You meet your heroes and you start to work with them and enjoy what's going on. I was in nirvana."
Houston also recalled working on a series called Galtar and the Golden Lance, which borrowed a lot from Thundarr the Barbarian. Houston told us about a joke he added to a Glatar script that inadvertently caused fans to believe that the two shows were directly related to each other.
For more details from Houston and other stories from his career in animation, check out the entire video!