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Thorndyke on Mercer and Crandall


Here’s an oddity.

I found a copy of cartoonist Chuck Thorndyke’s 1939 book The Business of Cartooning: The Success Stories of the World’s Greatest Cartoonists. In it, he profiles three dozen print cartoonists (mainly artists of newspaper strips, magazine gags and editorial cartoons), with caricatures by Thorndyke. Under a subsection for Animated Cartoonists, Thorndyke profiles only three animators. He devotes a whole page to Walt Disney, that’s understandable — but some some unknown reason, from all the animators to choose from in 1939, he singles out Fleischer’s Roland “Doc” Crandall and Jack Mercer.

What? What about Max or Dave Fleischer? Paul Terry? Walter Lantz? Why not Hugh Harman? It’s great to learn a little more about Crandall and Mercer, but it seems a bit odd. My guess is he knew Crandall and Mercer personally. Perhaps owed them a favor. Here’s the spread devoted to animated cartoonists. It’s not particularly well written, but a few bits of odd information can be gleaned from it.