Stupid dog! You made me look bad!
So it would seem that in all of the hub-bub of SDCC, I overlooked a very special DVD release this past Tuesday: John R. Dilworth's Courage the Cowardly Dog: Season One!
Of all the entries from Cartoon Network's early days of What A Cartoon! shorts, Courage stands in my mind as being one of the most uniquely diverse animated show I've ever had the pleasure of watching. Sitting somewhere between Tex Avery's zany, yet loveable Droopy the Dog and the sci-fi/horror misadventures of a certain Great Dane and his teenage super-sleuths, Courage was the kind of cartoon that didn't hold much back. It's one of a select few shows whose plot is simple enough to be understood by children and yet full of enough in-genre references that adults find it entertaining as well.
Another great thing about Courage is that the creators understood what worked and why so that they never had to stray too far from the formula they developed from the show's pilot (see above). It worked well enough that even though Courage wasn't quite as popular or marketable as Dexter's Laboratory or Powerpuff Girls, the show still lasted a total of 4 seasons (52 episodes) which is remarkable considering Dexter tapped out at 4 seasons as well (albeit with a few more episodes in the mix).
The true personification of man's best friend.
If you're a hardcore fan of the series I'd definitely recommend this DVD for purchase, though only at a discounted price or as a Used copy. All 13 of the Season One episodes are intact and as wonderfully spooky as ever; however, there are unfortunately zero extras or bonus material on either disc (lame move, Cartoon Network). The video and audio quality is fantastic and the menus are well done, but would it have hurt to add some behind-the-scenes or at the very least some of Dilworth's other shorts like The Dirty Birdy (1994) for instance? I think not Cartoon Network... I think not.