The clammy history of TigerSharks

The History of TigerSharks: It's Kinda Like Wet Thundercats!

You’ll probably know ThunderCats and you might know SilverHawks but what about TigerSharks?

I hadn’t heard of them until I saw Toy Galaxy’s The History of TigerSharks: Abandoned, Moist & Weird (how funny is that title btw?) and suddenly, my interest was piqued.

So, what is TigerSharks?

TigerSharks was an animated series created by Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass of Rankin/Bass in 1987. As you might have guessed from the intro and the names I just mentioned, the production company were also responsible for ThunderCats and SilverHawks.

The series featured a team of human hybrid heroes that transformed into different marine animals. The main characters were:

  • Mako – A scuba diver and unofficial leader of the TigerSharks. He transformed into a mako shark hybrid and his superpower was super speed underwater. He could also slice through metal.
  • Walro – A STEM (science, tech, engineering, mathematics) genius who created the Fish Tank (the device used to make everyone transform). He transformed into a walrus hybrid.
  • Dolph – A scuba diver and second-in-command. Dolph transformed into a dolphin hybrid, which gave him super agility underwater.
  • Octavia – The captain of the SARK (their ship). Octavia transformed into an octopus hybrid.
  • Lorca – A mechanic. Lorca transformed into an orca hybrid.
  • Bronc – A teenage assistant in the SARK. He transformed into a seahorse hybrid.
  • Angel – An assistant in the SARK and Bronc’s sister. She transformed into an angelfish hybrid.
  • Gupp – The TigerSharks’ pet dog. He transformed into a… seal? Sealion? I dunno.

The plot

The story was that the TigerSharks were humans who transformed into human/marine animal super hybrids using a device called the Fish Tank. Their base was a spaceship called the SARK and it also contained the Fish Tank as well as other facilities used for marine research.

This all took place on a planet called Water-O (pronounced Wah-tare-oh) which sounded very similar to the post-apocalyptic version of Earth in Waterworld (spoiler alert: Kevin Costner was a human/marine animal mutant hybrid in the film).

While on a research mission, the Tigersharks became defenders of Water-O against the evil T-Ray and a handful of other villains that appear on the show.

A damp squib of a series

Unfortunately, the show only lasted for one series of 26 episodes. It aired as part of a cartoon anthology show called The Comic Strip alongside equally-forgotten titles such as Street Frogs, The Mini-Monsters, and Karate Kat.

Its short run meant there was hardly any merch to go with it and the toys you can find on eBay today are rare and expensive. The show did make a cameo appearance in the ThunderCats reboot in 2011 which suggests it could technically come back if rights owners Warner Bros lost their minds and brought it back. Not likely – it’s WB after all.

Where you can watch TigerSharks

Due to its lack of popularity, the series was never released on VHS (at least not in full – two episodes came out as part of a Comic Strip series), DVD (but there are some bootlegs), or Blu-Ray (although the naming ideas write themselves for the latter). But someone on YouTube has made a playlist of episodes and other related videos to enjoy, including reviews, podcasts, the other cartoons from The Comic Strip, and a video about actual tiger sharks.

I strongly recommend you stream the Toy Galaxy episode below because it’s very funny and Dan Larson is awesome.

Marion Stokes: the Black woman who preserved over 30 years of TV history

A still from Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project

This is a remarkable story. Atlas Obscura wrote about a woman who had recorded over 30 years of television on roughly 71,000 VHS and Betamax cassettes in Philadelphia. Her name was Marion Stokes.

Marion began her recordings in the 70s all the way until her death in 2012 and passed them around different apartments, family, and storage units, likely due to their quantity. Now, The Internet Archive is aiming to digitize every single tape. Problem is, they aren’t in any kind of order:

They got a little jumbled as they were transferred […] Although no one knew it at the time, the recordings Stokes made from 1975 until her death in 2012 are the only comprehensive collection preserving this period in television media history.

I love VHS tapes. I have two VCRs in my house – one bought for my birthday a few years ago and one inherited from my mum when she moved abroad. My collection is ~0.14% of Marion Stokes’s but they each tape is a gateway to my past. The fact that she recorded 71,000 of them over 4.5 decades is almost unfathomable. Even more so because it’s the best preservation of television history in this period. I follow a lot of YouTube accounts that upload old UK adverts and TV idents from the 80s and 90s for nostalgic purposes. I find those fascinating. This archive is something else.

An award-winning documentary called Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project, has been screened at numerous film festivals this year. It chronicles her life and her historical media project. You can follow filmmaker Matt Wolf’s Instagram for news on future screenings.

The Most Evil Carnage Moments In Comic Book History

Carnage, Spider-Man, and Venom

CONTENT WARNING: This article may contain spoilers or descriptions that may be distressing for some readers.

I have a casual interest in comic books. It has waned over the years but I still like the stories and love the art. The relationship between Spider-Man, Venom, and Carnage is my favourite of all comic book stories. While Venom remains my favourite villain of all time, I know little about Carnage in comparison. I knew Cletus Kasady was a serial killer but nothing about who he killed or why. Then I found this video.

Variant Comics is run by a team of two comic book lovers, Arris Quinones and Tim Connolly. For this “Most Evil Carnage Moments” video, Arris delves into the mind and behaviour of Carnage and I think I need to see a psychiatrist. He is pure evil! Cletus’ back story stems from the classic “neglected as a child” trope. This spawned a murderous spree including pushing his grandmother down the stairs, killing animals, and even… throwing a baby out of a window. Thankfully, Venom saved the baby as he partnered with Spider-Man to stop him.

Could Carnage feature in the Venom movie sequel? If it does, it’d be interesting to see how far they push that story – from a purely subjective point of view of course.

Stream it below.

Most Evil Carnage Moments

Vulture's Oral History of "Batman: The Animated Series"

I have been obsessed with Batman since I was 3.

My dad bought me a double VHS set of Batman and Batman Returns as a present (which was questionable given the 15 certificates, but I was grateful). From there, I discovered the animated series. The portrayal of Gotham as a quintessential American city from the 20s was superb. The Art Deco style of illustration remains iconic, finding its way into the Superman animated series and refreshed in Batman Beyond. Abraham Riesman spoke to those involved in their genre-defining work for Vulture, including Bruce Timm, Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, and Arleen Sorkin.

The Caped Crusader has fallen down the reboot rabbit hole since the disastrous Batman and Robin with two new film series since 1997. Christopher Nolan apparently took notes from the animated series and Frank Miller’s Dark Knight novels, bringing the story’s darkness into a near-pitch black territory. Ben Affleck has yet to show similar promise. His further darkness borders on bleak despair, but enough about the quality of the movies…

Head over to Vulture to read the full article.

The History of Japan By Bill Wurtz

If you’re gonna showcase your unique delivery, why not do it with a video about the history of Japan? Content creator and musician Bill Wurtz achieved “Internet notoriety”, according to Wikipedia, with his “history of japan” video back in 2016. It featured his quirky style, non-sequitur imagery, and shot his subscriber count out of the stratosphere.

It went viral and currently has over 45 million views. It helped to spawn a wider “sequel” entitled “history of the entire world, i guess” which garnered even larger popularity.