It was about the same period when I obsessively read Stephen King and also obsessively watched Cartoon Network. Other than family, nothing was more important to me than cartoons. Nothing.

However, the Cartoon Network at the time (late 90s early 2000s) was very different than the one you see today. It was a channel that didn’t seem to have many rules in terms of the kinds of cartoons that could be shown and what was allowed to be shown in them.

This was the era of Dexter’s Laboratory, Cow and Chicken, Johnny Bravo, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, SWAT Kats, Pinky and the Brain, and one of my all-time favourites – Courage the Cowardly Dog.

Courage the Cowardly Dog

Courage, the paranoid dog that lives with an old couple in the middle of nowhere, sees all kinds of creepy (and occasionally downright disturbing) creatures and events on a daily basis. Images that you would not see in a children’s cartoon today.

Such as the Floating Head Guy.

Wonder what the creators had for breakfast…

Or the three Duck Brothers who could easily cause you to lose a few hours of sleep.

The close up shots of their dead eyes were the best.

King’s stories definitely bled over into my cartoon choices, which I always preferred scary rather than cute at that time. The Japanese anime Sailor Moon was the only exception to the rule – although Usagi also found herself in some creepy situations along the way.

This is Morga, a monster from Sailor Moon. She’s had a rough day at work.

I am glad that I grew up in a period where cartoons were not nearly as censored for their content as they are today, because regardless of how disturbing some of them were, they were a sort of passage into a darker side of human psychology.


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