Here is an interesting piece of fiction from the current issue of The New Yorker: CAT ‘N’ MOUSE by Steven Millhauser.
It may fall through, by the AP is reporting that Sony is in talks to buy MGM.What does that mean to us? Well it would combine the theatrical UPA libray with the DePatie-Freleng cartoons – as well as the Screen Gems (Scrappy, Fox & Crow), and a bunch of TV series from Dilbert and Real Ghostbusters to Mighty Orbots and Super President!Perhaps the basis of a (another) new animation channel? It would also return MGM to its historic Culver City backlot (which Sony now owns), but I digress…
Grim NatwickUb IwerksASIFA-Hollywood and Vintage Ink & Paint have teamed to produce a series of collectible postcards and limited edition prints honoring great artists from the history of cartoon animation. The first two artists featured in the series are Ub Iwerks (a self portrait) and Grim Natwick (caricature by Chuck Jones). Included with the postcards and prints is biographical information on these important figures.
I just recieved a set of these postcards and they are really nice. I highly recommend these limited editions. A set of 20 5×7 inch postcards (10 of each) are available for $20 a set; and a pair of numbered 8×10 archival digital prints (1 of each) is $30 a set, plus shipping and handling. A significant portion of the proceeds from the sale of these items will be donated to the ASIFA Animation Archive Project.
I’m not quite sure who is behind this particular website, but someone has posted a Preston Blair Gif Gallery which presents a great set of animated gifs taken from drawings in Preston Blair’s esstential Walter Foster ANIMATION book.The site includes a rendering of Blair’s “dancing girl” (aka “Red”) in full motion.
Worth a listen: NPR’s “Day to Day” with guest Charles Solomon talking about the SIMPSONS voice cast demanding more money per episode. Reader Brock Gallagher says, “He makes some good points that people in the industry have been complaining about for years, mostly how when compared to the voice actors, the artists barely scrape by”.Also, on Sunday, a new episode of THE SIMPSONS, entitled “My Big Fat Geek Wedding,” features cartoonist/creator Matt Groening making his first guest appearance on the show. Groening appears as himself signing autographs for fans at a sci-fi convention.
Hartman’s MICKEY The New York Times has posted a teriffic article (to be printed in Sunday’s edition) asking if Disney can ever really revive Mickey Mouse.Along with the article is a slideshow sidebar Mickey Reimagined which has half a dozen notable artists updating Mickey in various ways. The artists include Pete De Seve, Bruce McCall, Butch Hartman, Gary Baseman and Milton Glaser, along with several others.
Mark Evanier posts that Warner Bros. animation artist and Western Publishing comic book mainstay Pete Alvarado had passed away January 30th.Alvarado also worked for Disney, MGM, UPA, Hanna-Barbera, DePatie-Freleng, Krantz, Sanrio, Ruby-Spears, Filmation, Marvel and Hyperion.
Manichi News reports that cartoonist Mitsuteru Yokoyama, best known as the creator of the animation series GIGANTOR (aka Tetsujin 28-Go), suffered serious burns and died after a fire broke out at his Tokyo home early Thursday.He was 69. Noting that there were numerous cigarette butts in an ashtray in his bedroom, investigators said they suspect that the fire started because the artist failed to extinguish one of his cigarettes.
Which one of these doesn’t belong? I can’t get over this publicity photo of Disney great Bill Tytla, with Isadore Sparber and Seymour Kneitel together in the same 1945 publicity shot for Famous Studios (pitching a background painting to Little Lulu!). Yes we all know they worked together in the mid-40s, I just never saw a photo of them standing together – an odd couple (triple?) indeed! This is one of several behind the scenes photos from Famous Studio I plan to post one day (when I have a spare moment) on a new page on my main site, CartoonResearch.com.
Mr. BasemanReminder: MOCA presents GARY BASEMAN, Lecture/Multimedia Show and Book Signing, Saturday, April 17th, 2:30pm. The Museum of Contemporary Art at California Plaza 250 S. Grand Ave., Downtown L.A.Meet the artist and celebrate the release of the first complete collection of his work, DUMB LUCK (Chronicle Books). Museum admission required for lecture attendance.
Another book signing at the MOCA Store the following day, SUNDAY, April 18, 3pm at 2447 Main St., in Santa Monica, CA.
Musician Morris Tepper and artist Brett Spivey have teamed up to create a music video for Tepper’s group Candlebone that combines footage from several Max Fleischer cartoons from the 1930s. The video, Old Tin Can, is fun – but I prefer the homage approach of the Squirrel Nut Zippers with The Ghost of Stephen Foster.
Animator Joel Brinkerhoff sent us some models for the POPEYE CG special when it was in development at Will Vinton Studios last year. We’ve posted them here
“I have mixed emotions looking at the Popeye still you posted,” says Brinkerhoff. “It was a project that I personally had worked on with great anticipation; it was also the project that helped remove Will Vinton from his studio after 27 years.”"Jim Hardison wrote the last draft that I am aware of and I know he went back to the original Thimble Theater strip that Segar created for his characterizations. I would have been a lead animator and co-animation director had the projected stayed with Vinton. I did models from the Fleischer models sheets and mouth charts for the cg modelers so the look would have the same integrity as the classic cartoons.”"Time will tell how successfully MainFrame made their translation; it’s all speculation as to what Will Vinton Studios would have done.”
Heads up!On Friday, June 18th, Turner Classic Movies will devote a day to LOONEY TUNES IN HOLLYWOOD with cartoons, and the movies that are associated with them.
6:00 AM Acobatty Bunny (McKimson ’46) (Bugs Bunny sings “Laugh Clown Laugh”) followed by Lon Chaney’s Laugh, Clown, Laugh (’28)
7:30 AM Birth of a Notion (McKimson ’47) (Daffy Duck tangles with mad scientist Peter Lorre) followed by Mad Love (’35)
9:00 AM Miss Glory (Avery ’36) followed by Page Miss Glory (’35)
11:00 AM A Star is Hatched (Freleng ’38) followed by A Star is Born (’37)
1:15 PM Yankee Doodle Daffy (Freleng ’43) followed Yankee Doodle Dandy (’42)
3:45 PM The Bird Came C.O.D. (Jones ’42) followed by The Bride Came C.O.D. (’41)
5:30 PM Roughly Squeaking (Jones ’45) followed by Roughly Speaking (’45)
8:00 PM A Tale of two Kitties (Clampett ’42) followed by A Tale of Two Cities (’35)
10:30 PM Robin Hood Makes Good (Jones ’39) followed by The Adventures of Robin Hood (’38)
12:30 AM Thugs with Dirty Mugs (Avery ’39) followed by Little Caesar (’30)