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Killer Koko


Mike Van Eaton’s latest acquisition is a killer. An original Koko the Clown drawing, apparently related to (or for) the 1922 film called The Mosquito,signed and dated by Max Fleischer. Click on image above to see a larger version. The intriguing inscription reads “My Dear Raoul, Here’s wishing you success with my new productions. Sincerely, Max Fleischer, 1922”

Raoul Barre perhaps? If anybody has a copy of “The Mosquito”, I would love to see if this is one of the opening drawings.

  • uncle wayne

    Oh My Jesus! Tha’ts about as archive-ally attractive as you can GET!!

  • Obviously, it’s signed to Raoul J. Raoul.

  • Jenny

    Is it inked on paper? I wouldn’t think that would have been an actual production drawing if so. Leslie Cabarga would surely know!

  • Ray Weinstein

    In keeping with this great sketch, I just ran across a small auction house in PA that has an auction in September of really great, high end, stuff, including a sketch of Mickey Mouse drawn and signed by Walt himself. They’re link is http://www.morphyauctions.com/animationartle.html


  • Joseph Nebus

    Re: Jenny.

    It might be ink on paper and used in production. Either Carbaga’s or Maltin’s book mentioned black-and-white silents would sometimes use the cheat of just photographing the paper (and covering up just the patches that change frame by frame), skipping the animation cel. In some shorts you can see where the paper was cut not quite perfectly enough for this.

  • Brian Meyer

    Would they be using drawings of such size in production? It seems rather large to me.

  • Joseph Nebus

    I don’t know. I haven’t seen much material about details of production like just how big the camera-ready art was, particularly in the old days before you had things like generally agreed upon film frame dimensions. Probably it’s extremely hard to research these things, although with animation blogs growing at the rate they have been at least there’ll be a place to publish results of that research any hour now.

    It also occurs to me that my use of the word “cheat” for using carefully-trimmed paper and overlays in Koko-style animation might be read as me casting moral judgement on the technique. I mean “cheat” with affection and admiration at finding a way to save a great deal of work with only a minimal effect on the appearance of the final product.