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Van Citters exploring “The Art of Jay Ward”

Animator Darrell Van Citters is following up his most-excellent making of Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol book with a new book on The Art of the Jay Ward Studio. As Ward employed many ex-UPA artists, Van Citters uncovered much Ward material researching his Magoo book, realizing that Ward “more than any other studio, tried to keep ‘funny’ alive in TV animation.” Apparently Classic Media and the Ward estate have given their blessing on the project.

Van Citters is quick to point out that his book won’t be another history of the Jay Ward studio – Keith Scott’s thorough examination of the Jay Ward studio, The Moose That Roared, “has already covered that topic and covered it exceptionally well. This is meant to be a visual encyclopedia of the art created by some of the industry’s most talented designers and boarders within the context of TV animation’s golden age”.

Van Citters is putting out the call to any and all collectors of Jay Ward original art, soliciting scans of their pieces for use in the book “in order to make it as complete as possible. This call includes original storyboards, model sheets, layouts, cels, backgrounds, pitch art for unsold pilots, promotional art, ad art, the Bullwinkle comic strip and comics, etc. I realize that much of the early Ward production work was done in Mexico making it extremely difficult to locate, if in fact it still exists.” If you’re a collector of Jay Ward production art or know someone who is, or know family members of artists who worked at Jay Ward, contact Darrell via his website. He’s hoping to have this book published next year. If it’s half as good as his previous volume, we’re in for a treat!

  • I grew up on Rocky & Bullwinkle. looking forward to this!

  • Mike

    I bought and love the Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol Book. I’ll be sure to grab this one when it’s ready!

  • ooo, wow! That DOES sound like super-fun!!! I’m certain “this is something we’ll REALLY like!!!!”

  • Steve Menke

    The Dudley Do-Right Emporium catalogue (or the ones I saw in the mid 70s) offered Rocky & Bullwinkle cells (presumed original) at what would now be jaw-dropping low prices — hope there’s still a good supply out there for Darrell Van Citters to consider. (No, I didn’t order any, darn it.)

  • My favorite studio of all time finally getting a real Art of Book – WOW! I have some original Quisp Drawings – is he interested in commercial stuff or just the series stuff?

    • TimeForTimer

      According to his website, it’s unclear whether General Mils (Bullwinkle commercials) or Quaker Oats (Quisp and Quake and Captain Crunch commercials) will participate. So right now he’s only looking for original art from the actual series. I hope that changes though.

  • ShouldBeWorkin’

    We need a good book with Jay Ward art. Louis Chunovic’s The Rocky And Bullwinkle Book was short on straight production art.

    • TheDirtyVicar

      Short on production art? That’s putting it mildly! That book was an abomination, full of horrible corporate-approved, “improved” art from the 1990s. Every time I see Rocky with an ugly big black nose, I know a focus group of morons was consulted, and couldn’t “read” Rocky’s original, Y-shaped nose. (Apparently they’d never seen a real squirrel.)

      • ShouldBeWorkin’

        I agree with you especially on Bullwinkle-wearing-a-sweater model sheets type art. There were drawings that were obviously from storyboards that were repurposed as clip-art. I found that frustrating. I wanted to see whole ‘boards. It was as if that corporate approved mentality thought the new merchandise stuff was better than the loose old stuff. They didn’t “get it”.

  • Darrell Van Citters

    Regarding the art from commercials, getting permission from huge corporations is a long, arduous process and often unsuccessful. The process has begun but I’ve been told the prospects for success with these corporations are slim. As with so many things, it boils down to money. If anyone wants to submit commercial art, they’re welcome to send their contact info via my blog and I will get back to them.

  • Dino

    With “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol,” Van Citters took a subject I hadn’t much cared about and made a compelling, beautiful book about it. I can’t wait to see what he does with Moose and Squirrel. As soon as we can pre-order, I’m pre-ordering.

  • Chaz Clark

    I am thrilled!! No only I get to so Artworks of Rocky and Bullwinkle, But I get to see various never before seen pitch art including “Fang the Wonder Dog” and “Hakwear”