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Fred Quimby Explains It All


Cartoonist David King has posted on his blog several interesting pages from a 1950 book, The Complete Guide to Professional Cartooning. How Animated Cartoons Are Made by Fred Quimby (!) is an illustrated behind-the-scenes article, with photos of the staff, including Tex Avery and Scott Bradley, Hanna, Barbera and many other artists, working primarily on Old Rockin’ Chair Tom (1948). Very cool.

  • Do you have an id for those fine folks in that photo?

  • Mike Russo

    Wow. Those are some fascinating excerpts. I wish I could get a better look at the “Old Rockin’ Chair Tom storyboard, especially the rough drawing of the original title card.

    Very cool.

  • Fred Quimby! The virtual “King of Komedy!” As would say Hubie & Boit…. “Riot! Riotttt!”

  • A grand tour at one of the greatest animation studios ever!
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  • jerry

    That’s Joe Barbera on the left, Bill Hanna screaming on the chair, and Fred Quimby at right.

  • Mike, here’s a link to a very large scan (530k, bigger than my screen) of the storyboards:

    I’ll update the blog post with the link, too. I’m glad you guys like the scans!

  • “How Cartoons Are Made, by Fred Quimby??” What did he ever draw, other than a paycheck?

    It appears things haven’t changed much since, either…

  • Thanks for leading me to this. For some odd reason, I’d actually thought of this book yesterday. I haven’t seen it in the last 40 years; a local library had the book, and I was probably the only person in the Bronx to check it out – and often. This is all we had back then to learn how animation was done.

  • Mike Russo

    That larger scan certainly helped a little. Interesting to see the things that changed between the storyboard phase and finished cartoon. Instead of Tom destroying the stool with an axe, it looks like originally Mammy just fell on it after Jerry snapped her support hose. I’d love to see more stuff like this.

  • Paul

    Who cares if Quimby never drew anything but a paycheck, or somehow got his name attached to a book he probably had no hand in creating. The important thing is that it exists, and provides a peek into Tom & Jerry-era MGM. Therein lies it’s value, not in who’s name is on the cover.

  • The point I was trying to make, Paul, is “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Quimby took credit for something he had no involvement in, just as most of today’s animation producers do.

    I imagine the book is quite valuable. I just wish the artists got the credit they deserved.

  • Paul

    Yes, Rachel; I got your point. MY point is that yours is tangental to the subject of this post. It’s no big secret that guys like Quimby and Schlesinger took credit for and made loads of money from the skill of the artists that worked for them. And yes, it’s not a lot different today (big surprise there). Since we all know that, what’s the point in mentioning it, aside from a temporary spleen venting?

    As for the artists getting credit, if you had looked you’d have seen that several artists are mentioned by name in the pages posted.

  • OK, you win–point taken. Having since seen the book, I agree it *is* excellent. As someone who thinks a great deal of both Tex Avery and Scott Bradley, I was pleased to see their contributions being included.

    Sometimes when I try to be sarcastic or clever, it backfires, and it did in spades this time.