The Real Ghostbusters: The Rise And Fall of The Coolest Cartoon Of the 1980s


“The thing we found we loved about it was that we could direct the episodes in the script,” McCoy explains. “It gave us so much control. We could call the backgrounds, the sound effects, the camera angles, we could do all of that.” 

Fast forward a couple of years and, after seeing Ghostbusters at the movie theater, McCoy learned that an old acquaintance, J. Michael Straczynski, had just been hired as story editor for a cartoon series based on the film.

Straczynski would go on to create Babylon 5, wrote comics for Marvel and DC and penned scripts for Thor, Changeling, and World War Z and many more. He had been hired to join original writers Len Janson and Chuck Menville after ABC’s initial order of 13 episodes was suddenly bolstered by a further 65 which would be used for broadcast syndication.

The huge jump in demand for episodes ultimately required multiple writers on The Real Ghostbusters. While Straczynski, Janson, and Menville wrote many, they were joined by a host of talented writers from the world of sci-fi and animation past and present.

There was Michael Reaves, who would go on to earn acclaim for his work on Disney’s Gargoyles and Batman: The Animated Series and future Star Trek: The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine scribe Marc Scott Zicree. John Shirley, a fantasy and horror writer who penned the 1994 movie The Crow, contributed episodes as did David Gerrold, a writer on the original Star Trek series. 

Mark Edward Edens, who would go on to develop the iconic X-Men animated series, worked on the show, as did Richard Mueller, Kathryn Drennan, Steve Perry, and Linda Wolverton to name but a few. Wolverton would later make history as the first woman to write an animated feature with 1991’s Beauty and the Beast.

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