Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa
|Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa|
|Genre||Animated television series, Western|
|Created by||Ryan Brown|
|Voices of||Pat Fraley
|Theme music composer||Billy Dean and Verlon Thompson|
|Country of origin||USA|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||26|
|Running time||23 minutes|
King World Productions
|Distributor||Disney-ABC Domestic Television|
|Original run||September 12, 1992 – December 4, 1993|
Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa is an American animated television series created by comic book artist Ryan Brown, known for his work on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The show was produced by King World and ABC's Greengrass Productions and animated by Gunther-Wahl Productions for its first season and then by Ruby-Spears Productions for its second season. C.O.W.-Boys aired Saturday mornings on the American Broadcasting Company television network.
First broadcast on September 12, 1992, the show ran for two seasons, spanning 26 episodes, before it left after the 1993-1994 season with Disney's acquisition of ABC. The series was then broadcast on Toon Disney from 1998 to 2002.
Like many cartoons during its time, C.O.W.-Boys dealt with a mutation of some kind; in this case, an irradiated meteor struck the late 19th century Western plains creating a miles high mesa shrouded in clouds. Everything trapped on top of the mesa was "cow-metized" by the light from the "cow-met" and "evolved" into a "bovipomorphic" state. Inspired by old tales of the Wild West, this new bovine community developed to the point where they emulated that era's way of life, including the requisite ruffians and corrupt sheriffs. However, their knowledge of Wild West living was limited, and as such, many things about their culture had to be improvised to 'fill in the blanks'. The concepts of steampunk and Weird West were utilized throughout its run.
The series focuses on trying to keep justice in the frontier territory. The lawbreakers were too much for the corrupt regulators of Cowtown - Mayor Bulloney and Sheriff Terrorbull - to handle by themselves. Helping them out, whether they wanted it or not, were a group of peacekeepers known as C.O.W. Boys, short for "Code of the West." Led by bull Marshal Moo Montana, the C.O.W. Boys also included the Dakota Dude and the Cowlorado Kid. The muscle-bound Marshal and his deputies had their hands full with various ruffians and outlaw gangs that plagued the otherwise peaceful town.
Main characters 
- Marshal Moo Montana: Leader of the C.O.W.-Boys and marshall of Moo Mesa. Courageous and quick on his hooves, Moo Montana "battles the bad guys and makes the West a safer place to graze". Lives by the Code of the West, which he seems to make up as he goes along (episode "The Big Cow Wow"). His horse's name is Cyclone. (Voice: Pat Fraley)
- The Dakota Dude: The soft-spoken muscle of Montana's posse, Dakota possesses a cool temperament and rarely gets mad, even in near-death experiences (episode 12: Dances with Bulls). Dakota agreed to marry Cowlamity Kate in Wedding Bull Blues to save her father's inheritance. His horse's name in Rebel and is scared of heights. (Voice: Jim Cummings).
- The Cowlorado Kid: The youngest of the group and a self-proclaimed ladies' man with a good singing voice, regardless of his skill with the lasso and guitar. Cowlorado isn't a deputy yet. In Stolen on the River, he tries to prove he's worthy of being a deputy by catching Five Card Cud only to get in trouble and be rescued by Dakota and Moo. (Voice: Jeff Bennett).
- Mayor Oscar Bulloney: The greedy and corrupt mayor of Cowtown in Moo Mesa, Bulloney rigs elections (episode 9: Stolen on the River) and makes taxes so high that the Masked Bull compares it to stealing. He also serves as Cowtown's crooked Justice of the Peace and Bank President. (Voice: Michael Greer)
- Sheriff Terrorbull: Selected by the corrupt Bulloney, Terrorbull uses his sheriff's badge to conceal his evil intentions. Was forced to leave Cowtown after losing a bet to Moo in No Face To Hide. Subsequently became sheriff of the remote town of Lonesome Gulch, where he continued his unlawful exploits. (Voice: Joe Piscopo).
- Lily Bovine: bartender, former showgirl and owner of the local saloon, The Tumbleweed. Also Moo Montana's love interest. Her best friend is Cowlamity Kate. (Voice: Charity James)
- Cody Calf: Nicknamed "Calf-Pint" by Moo and his posse, he idolizes the marshall and hopes to be a lawcow himself when he grows up. He is apparently related to Lily Bovine in some way and lives with her, though he does not appear to be her son; like everyone else, he refers to her as "Miss Lily". Though well-meaning, he often gets himself into serious trouble trying to "help" the lawcows, but has been a useful asset on several occasions. (Voice: Troy Davidson)
- Cowlamity Kate Cudster: Tomboyish rancher and operator of the highly profitable Golden Cud Mine, and Dakota's love interest. She's as hard-working and hard-riding as any bull, and has enough skill with a lasso to put Cowlorado to shame. She returns Dakota's romantic feelings; she gave him the hat he wears and nearly married him in Wedding Bull Blues. Her name is a play on that of the famous Wild West heroine, Calamity Jane. (Voice: Kay Lenz).
- Saddle Sore: A scorpion, and one of Sheriff Terrorbull's comically inept henchmen. He is slightly smarter and braver than Boot Hill Buzzard, but only just. (Voice: Jim Cummings).
- Boot Hill Buzzard: Sheriff Terrorbull's other comically inept henchman. As the more dim-witted of the two, he is often saddled with more than his fair share of the grunt work, especially if the job involves something embarrassing or unappealing (such as cross-dressing). His name is taken from an old west slang term for a graveyard. (Voice: Danny Mann)
- J.R.: An Indian buffalo who occasionally aids Moo, Dakota, and Cowlorado if the situation needs it. He tends to ramble about the scientific principles of his inventions, which the cowboys don't want to listen to. (Voice: Michael Horse)
Episode guide 
Several of these episodes or episode titles are parodies of popular Western films or books.
Season One (1992) 
- Bang'em High: Mayor Bulloney and The Masked Bull make a plan to get rid of Moo, with literally explosive results.
- A Snake in Cow's Clothing: A mysterious bull arrives in town who has all the women drawn to him and Moo and Dakota are suspicious of him, especially after Miss Lily is robbed.
- Bulls of a Feather: During an attack on the stagecoach Puma sees that The Masked Bull is actually Sheriff Terrorbull. In order to save his identity the sheriff must break his brother Horribull out of jail.
- School Days: A new teacher (actually, Boot Hill Buzzard in drag) has the children help The Masked Bull commit crime through her strange assignments.
- A Sheepful of Dollars: Cowlorado volunteers for Miss Lily's cattle drive, only to find out his 'cattle' is actually a bad tempered sheep.
- Thoroughly Moodern Lily: When Mayor Bulloney discovers a hidden secret buried deep beneath Lily Bovine's Tumbleweed Saloon he quickly dispatches Lily's arch-rival Sadie Wowcow to run her out of town.
- Wetward, Whoa: Cowtown dries up and only Mayor Bulloney has water. When Cody finds the real reason for this it is up to him to bring water back everyone.
- Wedding Bull Blues: When Cowlamity Kate doesn't receive a letter from her father who has been exploring the Mesa for 7 years, Mayor Bulloney claims he will be taking all her property since her father had no will. But when a page of one of her father's old letters shows up, stating Kate will inherit the ranch and his gold, though only if she is married, Kate plans to make Dakota her husband.
- Legend of Skull Duggery: When Cody, Carly and Jake find a treasure map in Cowlamity Kate's attic, they decide to follow it to find Tom Duggery's lost silver.
- Stolen on the River: In an attempt to get his own deputy star, Cowlorado decides to catch Five Card Cud all by himself, only to fail in a shot of embarrassment as he's rescued by Dakota and Moo.
- Dances with Bulls: Moo and Terrorbull get in a mess when they both try to capture the Gila Hooligans.
- The Big Cow Wow: Cody is really excited about going to the Pueblo's annual Cow-Wow with J.R. and Tejua, but a string of robberies by the Hole in the Ground Gang could disrupt the whole fiesta. When Moo and the other C.O.W.-Boys run into some trouble trying to catch the gang Cody and Tejua help to bring them to justice.
- Another Fine Mesa: No one cares that it is Moo's 10th anniversary as marshal. Then, Moo receives a telegram from his hometown of Miller Glen, where the retiring sheriff wants Moo to take over. Now Moo must decide between Miller Glen, where he is beloved by the townsfolk, and Cowtown.
Toys and merchandise 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (December 2008)|
Action figures and vehicles were made by Hasbro. Story books, coloring books, and VHS home videos were put out by Random House. Halloween costumes were made by Collegeville/Imagineering LP. Farley Candy introduced a line of themed fruit snacks. Bath products by Tsumura International were also available, as well as lunch boxes by Thermos. Figural coin banks were made by Toy Dreams. Plastic dinnerware was available from Betras Plastics. Kid's Meal promotional items (3" action figures, sack, placemat, activity pack, and collectible cups) were made by Kid Stuff.
Action figures 
In 1991, Hasbro Toys produced a series of ten action figures and one vehicle(IronHorse). Marshal Moo Montana was produced heaviest while the character Boot Hill Buzzard is the rarest of the set with only a limited number released. Of the three main heroes, the Dakota Dude is the scarcest.
In 1999, to coincide with the series being broadcast on the Toon Disney channel, the Kid Stuff company manufactured a set of 3" tall action figures for its Moo Mesa Kids Meal promotion. Articulated at the shoulders, neck, and waist, the assortment consisted of Marshal Moo Montana, The Dakota Dude, The Cowlorado Kid, Miss Cowlamity Kate, Cody Calf, and the Masked Bull. These were available at participating restaurants.
Comic book series 
Archie Comics released both a mini-series and regular series of Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa comic books. The first issue of the mini-series came with an exclusive pull-out wanted poster available only through the direct sales market. Three issues of both the mini-series (December 1992, January and February 1993) and the regular series (March, May and July 1993) were released.
The C.O.W.-Boys made their TMNT universe debut when they teamed up with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in issue #21 of the Mirage Studios title "Tales of the TMNT." The TMNT aided the C.O.W.-Boys in stopping Sheriff Terrorbull from stealing a magic crystal shard.
Moo Montana and his deputies returned in number 32 of the Tales of the TMNT series.
This time the horned heroes come up against Savanti Romero and the Eye of Aga-Moo-Tu. The story takes place in the astral realm of Bov-gamesh and introduces the character Tsou-T'an-Jin an ancient sorceress tortoise that lives on Moo Mesa. A special event exclusive edition of this issue was sold at a one-day event on March 31, 2007 at the Wayne Center for the Arts in Wooster, Ohio. It differs from the regular release because of its alternative cover by Andre Ponce, Ryan Brown and Steve Lavigne. It also has a special message from the arts center on the inside front cover.
The C.O.W.-Boys make their third appearance with the ninja turtles in the November 2008 issue of Tales of the TMNT. The story concluded in Tales of the TMNT #58 printed in May 2009.
It is rumored that there may be a Wild West C.O.W. Boys of Moo Mesa mini series, written by Tristan Jones from Tales of the TMNT.
Video game 
|Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa|
|Designer(s)||Satoru Okamoto (supervisor)|
|Release date(s)||November 19, 1992|
|Genre(s)||run and gun|
|Mode(s)||Single player or multiplayer
|Sound||Z80 @ 8 MHz
YM2151 @ 4 MHz
K054539 @ 48 kHz
|Display||384 x 224 @ 60 Hz
2048 palette colors
In 1992, Konami released a coin-operated arcade game based on the series titled Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa. The game is a side-scrolling "run 'n gun" action game similar to Konami's previous wild west-themed game Sunset Riders. Ryan Brown worked closely with Konami on the game's development.
The player characters in the game are Cowlorado Kid, Dakota Dude, Marshall Moo Montana, and a new character made for the game named Buffalo Bull. The game can be configured to allow up to four players to play simultaneously.
The game's controls consist of an eight-way joystick and two buttons for shooting and jumping. Pressing both buttons simultaneously will cause the player character to perform a stampede attack, do a spinning jump, or use any equipped item like dynamite sticks and tomahawk blades. The player can uncover a variety of power-up items by shooting flying chickens, which includes a rapid-fire Machine Gun and a Power-Up for wider bullets. Unlike Sunset Riders, the player has a three-unit life gauge that allows the player to take three hits before losing a life.
Theme song 
The theme song was sung by country artist Billy Dean, who co-wrote it with Verlon Thompson.
- "Cows Vs. Bandits". Chicago Tribune. September 3, 1992. Retrieved 2010-08-28.