Inside UPA: A Cartoon Brew Book

inside UPA

Today I’m pleased to announce the upcoming publication of the first-ever Cartoon Brew book. Inside UPA is a 64-page volume offering an unprecedented look into the legendary UPA animation studios. Packed with over fifty photos, most of which haven’t been seen in decades, the book offers a rare glimpse into what it was like to work at the mid-century’s greatest design-oriented animation studio.

Like the studio itself, this book is a bit of an experiment. It’s an animation book that treats artists like the stars they are and allows them to be appreciated in a way like never before. Personally I think it’s quite the appropriate companion to my earlier book Cartoon Modern because as that book focused on artwork and animation, this book recognizes the artists who made those groundbreaking films a reality.

Inside UPA captures long forgotten moments from the studio’s history including such images as John Hubley sketching dancer Olga Lunick during the production of Rooty Toot Toot, Aurie Battaglia and Leo Salkin working on the unproduced James Thurber feature The White Deer, architect John Lautner talking to UPA animators about his building plans for the studio, Pete Burness and Mister Magoo voice Jim Backus going through a storyboard, Gene Deitch and Cliff Roberts having an impromptu jam session at a picnic, and a late-night production staff meeting at the Smokehouse Restaurant.

Inside UPA, which measures 7.5″x8.7″, is a softcover with french flaps and b&w interior. All proceeds from the sale of the book will go towards the production of the UPA documentary that Tee Bosustow is working on so every purchase helps to further advance the documentation of the studio’s output. The book also includes a six-page filmography, which is the most complete UPA filmography to ever appear in print. It includes not only the studio’s theatrical shorts, but also its industrial and training films, TV commercials and shows, and other special projects.

The book is available in a numbered edition of 1000 copies. It’s a limited run and certainly not the type of book that will be available forever. The pre-order price (valid through September 15) is $35 (plus S&H). After that date, the price increases to $45. Fifty of these copies will come with a bookplate signed by UPA veterans who are still alive. These are available at $150.

To order your copy today, visit UPApix.com.

A few spreads from the book are below:

UPA Photo Book

UPA Photo Book

UPA Photo Book


  • http://motiondesign.wordpress.com mark webster

    Once again, you never cease to amaze in your duty! I look forward to receiving my copy as and when I get paid. Well done Amid – I do hope this book will find a place on many a bookshelf.

  • Chris Webb

    Must say I admire what you and Jerry are doing. Congrats to you both on figuring out a perfect way to create a business for the web.

  • http://www.daganm.blogspot.com Dagan

    VERY exciting! :)

    I cannot WAIT to get my hands on this book, Amid!

    And I am very impressed that all of the book’s proceeds will be
    going to Tee’s documentary… That is really awesome! (I’m a BIG-fan
    of his radio-show/podcast)!

    The book sounds perfect… One can NEVER learn enough about those geniuses that made UPA possible! ;)

  • Paul N

    What’s the publication date for this book? I saw the pre-order date, but no mention of when the book is coming out.

    Given that I waited close to two years between when I paid for Animation Blast #9 and when it finally came, I’d like to know when this book will see the light of day and if the date is firm, or just a target like many of the Blast deadlines were.

    Not trying to re-open old topics, but I think it’s fair to ask.

  • Floyd Norman

    I had the glorious opportunity to hang out at UPA when I was a kid back in the fifties. The studio was over by the Smokehouse in Burbank, and what an exciting, energized studio. Sort of the Pixar of its day.

    I look forward to recapturing some of those old memories with this new book. Thanks, guys!

  • amid

    Paul: This is definitely not like the Blast. The book is currently at the printer so it’s completely finished. It will be shipping in late-September or early October. The signed copies will be shipping in October.

    Floyd: Looking through all the photos in this book really gives one a sense of the energy and excitement which you describe…at least that’s the feeling I got while I was putting it together. I wish I could have actually experienced it in person.

  • http://www.davealertblogspot.com Dave

    So excited!

  • http://ladypuppy.livejournal.com ladypuppy

    The book looks great and I can’t wait to see it. Are they in the Smokehouse restaurant across the street from WB studios? Cool! I’ve eyed everytime I go over the hill into Hollywood, but this is the motivation I needed to actually venture inside for a meal. Thanks!

  • Bill Perkins

    Hi Amid.
    Kudos to you for all that you’ve done and continue to do in the service of the business and especially those of us who share your passion for 1950′s era animation design. Will this book be for sale at the Ottawa Festival and is so at what price ( canadian ) ? We deal in loonies and TOONies as you know.
    Hope to see you there my friend.

  • Nicolas Martinez

    I’m looking forward to it.

  • http://www.mukpuddy.blogspot.com Mukpuddy

    This is awesome news!!!

  • amid

    ladypuppy: In the top photo, I believe that is the Smokehouse. But the photos in the third book spread were taken at the Meatball Manor, an LA restaurant which is no longer in existence.

    Bill: The goal is to have some copies ready for Ottawa but it’s going to cut it close. We should hopefully know sometime in the next week. Unfortunately I’ll be missing the festival this year though Jerry will be up there.

  • http://www.upapix.com Tee

    Amid and Jerry, I can’t begin to express how exciting this is to me. I had no idea there were so many UPA fans out there, and in one stroke, Cartoon Brew has done what a few of us die-hards have been trying to do for many years now, reminding animators about the work of UPA. thanks so much.

  • http://www.tomsito.com Tom Sito

    Like Friz Freleng once said: When I die, I don’t want to go to Heaven, I want to go to UPA.”
    Congrats and I’m ordering my copy.

  • http://crisafulidoodles.blogspot.com Marc Crisafulli

    I’m very much looking forward to both the book and the movie!

  • Nicolas Orizaga

    ordered mine…can’t wait…great birthday present for myself…

  • Steve

    The Smokehouse remains a classic L.A. dining experience. Go for the salmon on a plank or the Steak Sinatra and you won’t be disappointed. UPA stood but a few yards west of the Smokehouse, roughly where Roy Disney’s much larger Shamrock Parners building stands today.