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Obscuri-Jam: Zazoo U by rocketdave Obscuri-Jam: Zazoo U by rocketdave
For :iconatomictiki:'s 2014 Obscuri-Jam , the point of which is to show some love for lesser-known and underappreciated fictional characters. fav.me/d7cqwhy

This time, I've chosen to draw not one, but several characters from Zazoo U, a somewhat avant-garde Saturday morning cartoon that aired on Fox from 1990 to 1991 for thirteen episodes and then got canceled for being so weird and ahead of its time.  Whenever I'd think back on the show, "dadaist" was the word that would usually come to mind.  Yeah, it was still a cartoon aimed at kids, but it was about as trippy as a program like that could get while still trying to impart some kind of moral at the end of each episode.

Pictured here are Slogo, Logan, Bully, Dr. Russell, Boink, Tess, Grizzle, Ms. Devine and Rarf.

While perfect subject matter for an art jam focused on obscure characters, if I had tried to do fanart for Zazoo U in years past, I would not have been able to, for the simple reason that it is far too obscure- so obscure that I couldn't even find adequate references to draw the characters.  For almost as long as I've been on the internet, I've intermittently attempted to dig up information about the show, but came up largely empty handed.  Searching for "Zazoo U" on YouTube would only result in a foreign ad for condoms.  Disney apparently owns the series now, but it has not been released on DVD in America, and I doubt doing so is a high priority for that company.

When I saw that AtomicTiki was doing this art jam again, I thought I'd take yet another stab at looking up the series online.  To my delight, it turned out that someone had uploaded a couple episodes to YouTube within the past year.  It's not a lot, but it was far more than what I expected to find.  Having not seen the show in over two decades, I wasn't certain what my reaction would be.  It's not uncommon to discover as an adult that the stuff you looked fondly upon as an kid is not as great as you thought it was.  However, I'm pleased to report that Zazoo U is still pretty much as odd and smart and cool as I remembered.  If you're into surreal, offbeat toons, it might be worth your while to check it out.
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:iconcopman:
copman Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014
Good god.....I haven't seen this show in so long, up until those two episodes posted on Youtube I've been looking around for it with little to no success. Heck I remember watching an episode or two back in the day, still a short and great series and fan work like this is icing on the cake:).

Recently I found the full theme song to the show www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnH1gH… .
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:iconrocketdave:
rocketdave Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014
Thanks.  That reminds me, I've been meaning to upload a larger version of this pic.
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:iconjigglysama:
jigglysama Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2014
This show was aired in our local network back then along Booby's World. I think this is the first new Zazoo U material I have seen after 2 decades. Just wow...
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:iconrocketdave:
rocketdave Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2014
Yeah, I remember it airing back to back with Bobby's World.  In fact, I distinctly recall Bobby's World inserted a reference to Zazoo U into one of its epiosdes.  A couple of the characters were in a bank or something and there was a wall-mounted TV in the background and it said "Zazoo" on the screen.  

Boy, Bobby's World is another show I haven't seen in a long time, though I gather it's not as hard to find and actually has been released on DVD in the states.  You know, I used to think Bobby's World was kind of a rip-off of Calvin and Hobbes, but with a more sweet-natured progtagonist.
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:icondiren-chan:
Diren-chan Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love this show.~
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:iconrocketdave:
rocketdave Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2014
Good to hear from someone who is familiar with it.
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:icondiren-chan:
Diren-chan Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I am. It's such a shame the show is so unknown and deserves more views... And Tess is my personal favourite.
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:iconrocketdave:
rocketdave Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2014
Yeah, she's pretty cool; that's part of the reason I put her front and center.  Out of all the characters, I possibly recalled her the most clearly.  Now if I could just figure out what type of animal she's supposed to be...
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:icondiren-chan:
Diren-chan Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
She is pretty smart and interesting. And my guess is, I think she's a hamster in my opinion.

The only one thing I wonder, is she a kid or a teen?
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:iconrocketdave:
rocketdave Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2014
Oh, that might be possible.  I think I'd always been under the impression she was some species of cat, except then she's got what looks like a bunny's tail, though that could be part of her outfit.  I guess it doesn't matter much; part of me likes the ambiguity.

Speaking of ambiguity, that also applies to Tess' age, now that you mention it, in addition to the other students' ages.  I always naturally assumed that the U in Zazoo U stands for university, but then the school feels more like a high school or junior high.  And while I could buy some of of the male students as being college age, if I just saw her by herself, I'd guess Tess is a pre-teen.  And yet, she's the same height as Boink, who looks like he could use a shave.  Is a puzzlement.
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