If you kvell over the artistic sensibilities and pop-art style of Yo Gabbba Gabba and its animated segments, then it is time to take a trip to Goon Holler. While we have written about this property in the past, all has been quiet out of the ‘Holler,’ until now.
“The Goon Holler Guidebook” was written and illustrated by four-time Emmy-nominated Yo Gabba Gabba art director Parker Jacobs, based on a a property he created with his brother Christian (co-creator and director of ‘Gabba’ and The Aquabats! Super Show!). This fully-illustrated “guidebook” introduces readers to Tooba the Bigfoot as he wanders into the land of Goon Holler. There he meets a wizard name Uncle Wiznat, a girl named Dosie Doh, an alien name Xöranj and the mischievous furry goons that give the book its name.
“The Goon Holler Guidebook” shirks the traditional format to create what can be best described as a “variety show”-style book for kids. Similar to “Yo Gabba Gabba,” a wrap-around story ties everything together. The story focuses on Tooba’s introduction to Goon Holler and is interspersed with comic strips, recipes, jokes, and even sing-alongs.
When the Parkers launched Yo Gabba Gabba, they brought something bold and new to TV, while pulling in the best artists and musicians to make it hit home with kids and caregivers. Once again, they are ignoring the norms in a traditional marketplace and have created a first-of-its-kind book for kids.
So what’s next for Goon Holler? Let’s hear from Parker himself in an exclusive interview with Nugget Island.
Nugget Island: First off, a standard question: What inspired this property and its universe?
Parker Jacobs: I lived in Appalachia for a few years; West Virginia, Virginia & the Amish part of Maryland. America’s forgotten back yard became so exciting to me in this age of Google maps. Living out there brought back things that excited me as a kid, tall tales, stories of Bigfoot, the Flatwoods Monster, Mothman…These legends say that there’s still magic, wonder and unknown things in this world, but it’s just hiding out in some hidden forest. Like the Smurf villlage.
NI: What came first ‘Goon’ or ‘Gabba’?
PJ: We had been developing both from around the same time. I was already working on Goon Holler when Christian approached me to feature those characters for the “Please/ Thank you” segment in the Yo Gabba Gabba pilot. That along with 2 other Goon Holler shorts, “Goon Fishin’ and “Toot Your Horn” were in the first season.
NI: Love the guidebook format! What made you decide to go this way instead of a traditional storybook?
PJ: My goal for “The Goon Holler Guidebook” was not to tell one story but to present a new world. I wanted to appeal to a broader audience, while still keeping it visually strong. If I had just made a traditional picture book people would think that Goon Holler is just for preschoolers. I also didn’t want to settle on one style. That’s why I implemented an Illustrated version, a loose 2-color comic book style and even real photographs of Dosie Doh and Pooka Shells.
NI: Is that you singing the theme songs on the website?
PJ: Oh that’s Tooba’s voice. ;^)
NI: Have you tried all the recipes in the cookbook?
PJ: Okay you got me. Not all of them. A couple of those recipes I enlisted my sister and mom to help put together. The Alien Tentacle Crawlers, is something I’ve been doing with my kids for years! It’s so much fun to prepare as a family.
NI: What future plans do you have for the property outside of the print media?
PJ: I would like to do an app next. The goons lend themselves so well to designer toys, but we’ll see. Ultimately a T.V. show or a full-length motion picture is where I’d like to take this.
NI: Will we see more of the ‘Holler or Toobaloth C Grassfoot on Yo Gabba Gabba?
PJ: Probably not, but don’t you think it’s time for a spin-off anyway?
“The Goon Holler Guidebook” is now available on Amazon and in bookstores nationwide. For more information about the Goon Holler team, check out http://www.goonhollerbook.com or http://www.sourcedmediabooks.com. Also, be sure to check out the trailer here!