Kate (and Dan) watch the live-action show, THE TICK

Dan: So, say you were going to make a live-action version of a cartoon, what’s the secret for it to work?

Kate: There’s no secret. It doesn’t work.

D: I beg to differ, my dear lady.

K: I call your bluff. Name one time.

D: Addams Family. Perhaps you’ve heard of it?

K: Oooh, nice one, Gomez. But I say you’re disqualified on a technicality: that show was based on Charles Addams comic strips. They just distilled the creepy into the show. :: snaps fingers::

D: All right, Morticia. How about… THE TICK?

K: That was the cartoon from the ‘90’s right? With the American Maid in it? A good friend of mine has always had a… DEEP love for her.

D: Your friend is a wise man. Next to Slave Leia, American Maid is a rather popular figure among the geek-set.

K: Call me crazy, but I’m not seeing the attraction to a woman wearing an apron. I thought she looked a little man-ish in the cartoons, but whatever floats your geeky boat.

D: Unfortunately, the American Maid name didn’t make it into the live action version of The Tick. “A.M.” and “Die Fledermaus” were changed to “Captain Liberty” and “Batmanuel” due to licensing issues… with The Tick cartoon show!

K: :: bangs head on table:: That makes no sense. The Tick is The Tick! In the comics from New England Comics, or cartoons, or wonderfully oddball live-action television: The Tick is The Tick is The Tick!


D: Relax. You’re getting pretty heated over a show from 2001 that lasted 9 episodes. You have to admit that Captain Liberty and Batmanuel were decent names. The characters held up. And the guy that played Batmanuel went on to be the mayor of Gotham City in the last two Dark Knight movies. So I’d say he’s done pretty well for himself.

K: I did like him. As the lecherous Batman-type, he had a rather “sleazy charm” that…some women might find…attractive. Not me, of course! But some women… What were we talking about again?

D: In the comics, the American Maid character is pretty much the only competent hero in The City. That carries over to her Captain Liberty persona on the live-action show. In that saucy costume…

K: Eyes up here, Malmon!

D: Anyway…Patrick Warburton captures the essence of The Tick perfectly. The Tick is like a 5 year-old boy. He’s crazy enthusiastic about fighting crime. In the pilot episode, The Tick talks about spreading his “buttery justice” across the city.

K: Mmm…butter….

D: This show worked because the writing staff had Warburton to channel their crazy dialog with 100% commitment. Really, do yourself a favor and Google the dialog. It’s amazing the monologues Warburton performs in the pilot alone. So good.

K: And physically, his blue body suit and antenna are visually amazing! He looks like a walking cartoon. And since it’s 2001, you know it’s not CGI.

D: We would be remiss if we didn’t mention The Tick’s sidekick and straight man, Arthur. Our first image of Arthur is of him sitting at his account’s desk in his moth costume. The boss, played by Christopher Lloyd, tells him he’s “built like a sensible shoe” and makes Arthur chose to be either an accountant or a hero. Our man Arthur makes his decision and struts out of the office in his costume.

K: Go Arthur! He is the perfect choice for a straight man to The Tick. Deep down, Arthur wants to be a hero, but his rational side reminds him of the danger The Tick could get him into.

D: The owner of the Chinese restaurant where The Tick and his gang hang out comments that Arthur “is going to fall down a lot and die.” Arthur is just a quite, unassuming pencil pusher who wears a white moth costume that everyone mistakes for a bunny suit. Yet, he continues to wear it because he knows, deep inside, he’s destined for better things. He wants to be a hero.

K: And with his big blue crazy-person partner The Tick? They make a heroic pair.

D: I’d say, not only does this translate perfectly from cartoon to live-action…

K: … but it’s a shame it ended at 9 episodes.

D: Agreed!