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How To Make A Looney Tune, 1956


To answer the many inquires they received at the time, Warner Bros. produced a three page pamphlet, in comic strip style, to explain the production of animation cartoons. Clearly the work of a lower level assistant artist, the artwork isn’t so good, but the information in this 1956 handout is essentially accurate.

Click the thumbnails below to see the pages full size. According to this piece, Fifteen months and fifteen thousand drawings are required to create a Warner Bros. cartoon. Note the caricature of Eddie Selzer (the producer) in panel #1 and Beaky Buzzard in panel #7. Adding fuel to the ongoing script versus storyboard controversy, Bugs is shown typing a story in panel #2, while Daffy is sketching the storyboard in panel #3.

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  • That is terriff! I find it funny that “Cicero” is in there….who (I don’t think) was ever in the films!? (Isn’t that Porky’s nephew’s name?)

  • Jon Cooke

    Aside from the funky looking Beaky, I didn’t think the artwork was that bad myself. It definitely has more charm than a lot of the generic-looking modern LT character artwork.

    Also note Sniffles is taking part in the “jam session”… and is apparently as big as Porky!

  • Vintage Season

    It’s been ages since I’ve seen this pamphlet! Nice to read it again.

    Jerry, you said “Adding fuel to the ongoing script versus storyboard controversy, Bugs is shown typing a story in panel #2, while Daffy is sketching the storyboard in panel #3.” But please consider that Bugs is not at this point typing out a script… he is verbally sketching out a storyline concept, providing a skeleton upon which the story may be fleshed out. Will his concept have any dialog or descriptive motion, at this point? Yes, if he thinks of it as it is being written, although that is no guarantee of its inclusion. The initial “story” is the underlying framework (the foundation, if you will) on which the entire structure is built.

  • Christopher Cook

    Nice little pamphlet. I notice that even for 1956 that Beaky Buzzard, Sniffles and Petunia were thrown in.

    The Bugs poses at the very end were very nice. They look like Virgil Ross poses.

  • Tsimone Tse Tse

    Looks like the work of Tijuana Bible artist

    Is that SNIFFLES in panel 5? So he’s been stuck in “jam seesions” all these years!
    Speedy Gonzalez – the LARGEST mouse in all of Mexico!
    Thanks for posting this Jerry!

  • This is definitely a product of its times. Note how the only female character, Petunia, fills the standard “ink & paint girl” slot.

  • Eddie Selzer looks like Ben Stein in that caricature. How ironic.

  • Very interesting how the artist used the Clampett model designs in 1956, a full decade after Bob left the studio. Daffy most of all contrasts to the Chuck Jones version of the time.

    The two Bugs poses at the end are based on late 1940’s Freleng unit publicity drawings by Gerry Chiniquy.

  • So, bugs not only stars in the cartoons, he has to make them too?

  • If I didn’t know better, I’d guess this was an update of some earlier, similar flier using most of the same artwork. Apart from the Page 1 opener including Speedy and Eddie Selzer (…ugh, why do my hands keep trying to type “Speedy Eddie-Seltzer”?), the character models suggest merchandising circa 1945—particularly WRT the relatively large sizes on the mice.

  • Earl

    On Page 2, Porky looks like a demented elf because his ears are placed where human ears would be, instead of where a pig’s ears would be (or even a cartoon pig’s ears).

  • R.J. Laaksonen

    In my July 17 comment I asked where the term “stop motion animation” comes from. Here the W.B. pamphlet of 1956 uses words “stop motion camera” (panel 11) as a synonym for animation camera. Obviously “stop motion” meant anything photographed one frame at a time, or any kind of animation.

  • This is somewhat similar to that “storyboard” of the same subject found in “Chuck Amuck”. It’s puzzling though, who by 1956 would recognise Petunia Pig and Beaky Buzzard? And how does Beaky keep that pencil on the side of his head?

  • Brad

    >>That is terriff! I find it funny that “Cicero” is in there….who (I don’t think) was ever in the films!? (Isn’t that Porky’s nephew’s name?)

  • John A

    Beaky and Petunia were still appearing in the WB comic books at the time, so I’m sure fans of the cartoons knew who they were.

  • Zavkram

    Petunia stopped appearing in the cartoons after Clampett left the studio. Frank Tashlin was the only other director besides Clampett who had featured her in any Porky Pig cartoons (specifically, “Porky’s Romance” and “The Case of the Stuttering Pig”) although I prefer the later design used by the Clampett unit and the subsequent comic books.

    I didn’t think the artwork was all that bad, either; aside from the occasional lapses in comparative sizes between characters. Some of the pictures of bugs look very similar to the off-model design featured in many of the one-sheets and lobby cards that were prepared by the Warner Bros. Publicity Department for distribution to movie theatres during the 1940’s.

    Beginning in the late 1940’s those publicity materials became more accurate-looking. The ones from the 1950’s, in particular, appear to have been drawn by layout artists and/or assistant animators from the various animation units, rather than by artists from the Publicity Department (look at the promotional materials done at MGM for any of the T&J or Tex Avery cartoons–those are horribly off-model). The ones for many of the Chuck Jones cartoons look very on-model.

    Some of the pictures of Bugs and Porky remind me of the syndicated daily strip that appeared in newspapers up until the mid-1970’s; although the artwork in that strip was much better than that depicted here. In that particular strip, Bugs ran a greasy-spoon joint that was frequented by a rather down-and-out Sylvester and a sidekick named “Cederic”. Petunia and Cicero were featured characters in that stip as well, although I don’t believe that Daffy ever appeared in it for some reason.

    I don’t remember actually seeing Cicero in that handbook, I thought that all those pictures were of Porky, albeit with inconsistancies in his appearance from one panel to the next. I’ll have to go back and look at it again…

  • Christopher Cook

    Those Bugs comic strips were drawn by Al Stoffel and Ralph Heimdahl, who also did a number of the Gold Key Comics covers.

  • That’s a charming little souvenir and I love the self-mockery in it, although I’m disappointed it glosses over the actual animation drawing stage.

  • Zavkram

    “Those Bugs comic strips were drawn by Al Stoffel and Ralph Heimdahl, who also did a number of the Gold Key Comics covers.”

    Were Stoffel and Heimdahl assistant-animators or in-betweeners at Warner Bros. during the 1940’s or 50’s? I always liked the look of the characters as they appeared in the comic strip and the Gold Key comics.

    The later comic strip of the 1990’s appears to have favored the character designs of Bugs and Daffy that were used by the Chuck Jones unit during the early 1950’s. Wasn’t the later strip co-written by Jerry Scott?

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  • steve w.

    Hadn’t seen this little gem before. It brings up something I was thinking about the other day. A typical Looney Tune might name 10-12 people in the opening credits. But I wonder how many people were actually on the WB payroll, working to bring them to the screen? By that, I mean: the in-betweeners, inkers, painters, etc. Maybe several dozen? More than a hundred?