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Cartoon Culture

Looney ‘tudes


Brew reader Steve Flack sends this report from midtown Manhattan:

I was at Midtown Comics in New York City yesterday, buying my weekly comics, and they had a countertop display of pop culture refrigerator magnets. I was shocked when I saw this one (below), with the classic Looney Tunes Henery Hawk character.

Am I right in being confused as to how this passed the licensing department?

  • Well THAT got a classic Spock eyebrow-raise from me. Best guess is that these were pitched as “intended for grownups not kids” products. Still seems to be on the wrong side of the good taste/bad taste line, though.

  • Andrew

    I live near there, and I remember seeing the Hawk one. A bit too creepy for me- maybe it was the tagline. However, couldn’t they have thought of something more clever for Marvin?

  • joecab

    I had the same thought. I mean, obviously, he has no pecker to speak of. Very sloppy copy.

  • Shmalex

    Well, I think these are very funny. Being a little pecker, means being a little asshole, which I guess Henery Hawk, by all acounts is, no?

    The Taz and Marvin ones are adorable! I wonder who drew them!

  • Hooper

    While on vacation in Ocean City, Maryland, I frequently drove by a bar & grill called “Big Pecker’s”. Although the beak was exaggerated, the logo was an unmistakable…albeit poorly – drawn…Foghorn Leghorn head!

  • Well considering the licensing department will slap the Looney Tunes characters on just about any kind of slapdash, hackneyed, soulless pile of trash that they think idiot Americans will slurp up, why should this individual item stand out?

    My favorite remains the classic 90s XXXL sized T-shirt featuring Bugs and crew dolled-up gangsta rapper style. I recall with fondness seeing these worn, half-covered in purple slurpee stains, by exceptionally overweight pigs droning through the automatic doors at Meijer while pushing enormous shopping carts filled with Tazmanian Devil Home Catheter Kits and Tweety Bird Brand Maxipad Sets and Daffy Duck licensed Wart Removal Systems.

    Marvin Martian Grape Flavored Antifreeze
    Foghorn Leghorn Home and Car De-Odorizer
    Sylvester Cat UnderArm Salve Jars
    The Wile E Coyote Tax Preparation Expansion Pack Tape Set

  • Steve Gattuso

    You forgot the “Yosemite Sam Teflon Bullets.”

  • i think it’s funny (& sad, too) that all of them are condoing anger!! Isn’t there enuff of that on the highway already!?

  • I was once in a retail store that had a maternity t-shiry with Tweety Bird on the front, imploring you to check out her “lovely baby bump.” Of course, the image of Tweety wasn’t pregnant, and birds don’t get pregnant, so it’s equally enraging and confusing.

  • I was wondering if there were more of these types of ‘tude designs. I saw that Tasmanian Devil on a black PVC ball at a Dollar Tree store a while back.

  • Marvin

    Chris Weagel, are you sure you never headed Warner Consumer Products? You’re a natural at the kind of thinking they champion. And Henery, a micropenis is nothing to be bragging about, even for your species.

    My guess is this Henery card came from Europe, probably Germany, where they like their cartoon characters on the profane/scat-oriented side. “Little Asshole” was a hit animated feature there. Doubt if U.S. Boomerang will be airing it anytime soon.

  • Bill Field

    It’s no more offensive than the Foghorn Magnet reading- Big Cock, I really think they’ve either lost their minds or are trying to tap into the Porn market… or both!

  • Chris Sobieniak

    They make Tweety about as bad as Sanrio’s Badtz-Maru! :-)

  • Adam

    It looks like they are trying to piggy-back on the success of those “Happy Bunny” stickers, which feature Jim Benton’s bunny saying annoyingly stupid stuff. Or farting. Or flipping the bird. Real class act stuff. Something to really be proud of.

  • Greg

    It may be a stretch to even assume that Warners even knows these exist, let alone to have allowed them to be licensed. If there is no notice of trademark ownership on the magnets, chances are the manufacturer is using the characters without permission. On the other hand, unlike Disney, Warners sometimes is a little more open minded when it comes to licensing its characters in that someone in legal appears to understand that not every thing is necessarily meant for children. On the gripping hand, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and maybe the approving entity at Warners didn’t see any more than the surface meaning.

  • Some Oviparous Therapod

    “I was once in a retail store that had a maternity t-shiry with Tweety Bird on the front, imploring you to check out her ‘lovely baby bump.'” – Bobservo

    My brain just broke.

    And Chris you just gave me a wonderful high school flashback. High five.

  • Watery

    I would assume that the people who check for that kind of inuendo were unaware of what “little pecker” ment. They might have seen it as on reader did as “little a-hole” instead on “little penis”.

    I too agree with the very unimaganitive, “ANGRY” as it says under Marvin. Tweety’s is dumb too. Yet I have to give Taz a 4 out of 5 on this one. Good job magnet producers on the Taz tag line, Paris would be proud.

    Why does everyone want to draw like McCracken?

  • Corrado (Anthony)

    The new trend nowadays in stores like Walmart/Kmart is selling shirts like “I must be going nuts” a double endtrde for your genitals. Which is partly what this was influenced by. The popular mall store Hot Topic may have influenced this as well.

    I do like the art in this work though. It looks pretty cool.

    This though is more passable than the Bugs and Tazz acting like rappers fad that was really head-scratching and very out of character. I think that was as legal as the infamous Calvin “relieving himself” drawings that you see in cars everywhere.

  • Meredith

    How about the possibility that it wasn’t licensed? (Yeah, that NEVER happens)

  • Jay

    “I was once in a retail store that had a maternity t-shiry with Tweety Bird on the front, imploring you to check out her ‘lovely baby bump.’�

    This is doubly insane, considering that Tweety Bird is a boy.

  • Dave

    Just exactly when did Tweety Pie become Tweety *Bird*, anyway?

  • Corrado (Anthony):

    … What do you mean “fad”? That stuff’s still going on. And with other characters. There’s shirts with Popeye, Bart Simpson, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and lots of other cartoons.

    I’d take pictures if only the store owners didn’t throw the cops at me for doing so. That’s the problem with living in such a small city, everyone knows who everyone is. :(

  • red pill junkie

    >> I think that was as legal as the infamous Calvin “relieving himself� drawings that you see in cars everywhere.

    Man, we even have those here in Mexico! Every bus driver in the city has got to have his CALVIN MEON on his ride :-)

  • tom

    I can’t believe the thin skins on this comment thread. Nobody under 30 gives a damn about these characters today. Maybe one or two kids per million, but those kids will probably be the children and nieces and nephews of a cartoonist or an animator. Kids do not care about or for the Looney Tunes. Ask Warner.

    And most of these cartoons are fairly mature anyway. Many of them reference movies and situations intended for or referencing adults and adult concerns. No kid will give a hoot.

    Lastly, a lot of kids’ entertainment today has a really crass tone, and this would probably pass CN censors anyway.

  • What, no “Eat Pussy” with Sylvester?

  • more anger? bag of shite. What is it with ‘tude’. What happened to thought, wit and laughter? far too much bad attitude, anger and pointless violence.
    These are simply rubbish

  • Doesn’t surprise me any. The Hoosier Lottery featured a “Jetsons” scratch-off game a year or so ago.

  • Aleksander

    Jeez. Snark snark snark snark snark! These characters still exist! They’re what-50, 60 years old now? Let them retire! They’re not making any cartoons! If people like them, and people buy them, what’s the problem? This isn’t like Jack Kirby’s New Gods or Richard Williams’ unfinished opus, both cut down before they could truly soar. These are magnets with looney tunes, popular toons who a long long long long time ago defined animation. They don’t just belong to animation fans, everyone loves them! Entingville Club here! Bah!

  • I was more offedend at the one with Foghorn Leghorn shooting a bird with “F**k All of Y’all” under him.

  • Inkan1969

    Yuck. John K has warned about this in many blog entries: Beware when the suits want the characters to have…ATTITUDE. :-P

  • “My favorite remains the classic 90s XXXL sized T-shirt featuring Bugs and crew dolled-up gangsta rapper style.”

    I remember that! I was working at WB at the time on Tiny Toons, and we could just go down to the Macy’s by the building we were working in and look at all the angry, gangsta Bugs Bunnys and the defiant Tweetys standing around, arms crossed, backwards caps, giving’ you the evil eye. It’s all about riding a trend. Remember they had Mickey Mouse dressed up like Don Johnson of Miami Vice? Hahaha!

    You must see the attempt at irony, the little diminutive kinda Tweety bird gettin’ all tude-ified. It represents the inner beast that we ALL have inside, even if we are just a mere Tweety on the outside. :) Heh.