favatafeiffer favatafeiffer

Ray Favata

Ray Favata
Ray Favata (l.) with Jules Feiffer at Terrytoons

My pal, Ray Favata, is the subject of a lengthy profile in this week’s Post-Star paper. He started his career at Tempo Productions, one of the early ‘cartoon modern’ studios that was later shuttered because of the blacklist. He went on to design commercials at Academy Pictures, John Sutherland Productions, and Deitch-era Terrytoons (where he boarded an unproduced sequel to Flebus), before starting a commercial studio with Bill Tytla, and then launching Ray Favata Productions. Since then, he’s worked on everything imaginable from projects with Frank Zappa to the TV series Doug. More of his work can be seen on the Cartoon Modern blog.

Here’s an episode of “Billy Jo Jive” that Favata made for Sesame Street:

  • i first met ray while working on DOUG, but then had the pleasure of getting to know him better while working at jj sedelmaier productions. his wife, a veteran ink and painter, did a lot of work for us and ray would accompany her on trips to pick up or drop off work. while waiting for her, he’d stand out on the roof and sketch the white plains horizon in his sketchbook… and it made me want to push him off because he drew so beautifully and so effortlessly. you couldn’t possibly meet two nicer, sweeter people so full of great stories! great seeing ray get some press!

  • Damon

    Is this the same cartoon character on Sesame Street that had to get a loaf of bread, a quart of milk and a stick of butter?

  • Ray kept us in stiches in the Jumbo Studio (DOUG). In fact, I thought he was hired just to tell us great stories and draw funny pictures. One of his many amazing talents is his photography. I think his photos of New York street scenes in the 50’s and 60’s rival anything from the pages of Life and Look magazine of that era. Rock on Ray!

  • Awesome! I am a big-big fan.

    Billy Jo Jive was an amazing little series… So beautifully drawn, I remember being very attracted to it as a kid, and I still LOVE it. Plus, the great funk music in the opening doesn’t hurt! :)

    Damon, that famous Bread/Milk/Butter piece was a whole different thing… equally as memorable (and so catchy!), but if you go back and compare the BJJ shorts and that short, Jive comes out the clear winner… So good!

    I’m not sure who did the ‘Bread’ piece, though… Was it Favata, too?

    So much appeal in those Billy Jo Jive drawings, and lots of fun to watch. You can tell they put some love into those shorts.

  • The “Loaf of Bread, Container of Milk, Stick a’ Butter” piece was by Jim Simon. You can find that one on YouTube also. Simon, incidentally, has recently reemerged after more or less dropping off the face of the earth for a few years. Even seems to have been reunited with his niece—who was non other than the voice of the little protagonist of the “Loaf of Bread” film in question, lo those many years ago.

  • By the way—-it’s apparently Ed Seeman who put up that particular Billy Joe Jive video (even though he has the dates wrong—-Sesame Street barely existed in the 1960s, and the segments seem to have started around 1976). I just think the name of cartoonist Ted Shearer should be brought up, since the animation in BJJ is an incredible job of bringing Shearer’s drawings to life.

  • Damon

    Thanks for the info everyone.

  • ronald favata

    not only a celebrated artist and designer and photographer ; but one heck of a terrific dad

  • ray favata is my uncle and i love him very much

  • Gary

    I have some concept art and line up pics from Ray from Doug. He came to my class at NYU, taught by John Culhane. What a great guy! Looking at the art right now!

  • Miriam Katin

    Miriam Katin here, also worked side by side with Ray at Jumbo Pictures, later Disney in NY. Laughing and challenging our weakening abilities to remember names of …… well … whoever’s. I collected the funniest drawings he did about

    the characters and props we worked on.