Archive for January, 2009

Sagendorf Back When

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

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Hi Folks, ever wonder what some famous comic strip cartoonists did between gigs or on the side for extra income? Here is an example of Bud Sagendorf’s comic book work from Coo-Coo Comics #4, March 1943. Tom Sims and Bela Zaboly were doing the Popeye comic strip at the time, I’m not sure if Sagendorf had started to do original work for Popeye comic books in 1943. Segar’s influence on his drawing is very much in evidence here, as is the unique “slant” on the Japanese in American comic books during World War Two. Here a Japanese spy wants to steal the four-legged chicken that Dusty and Littlechief are breeding, shades of Bernice the Whiffle Hen from “Thimble Theater”! I’ll run the next two pages in the next post.

In answer to a question from a reader, “Cinder the Cat” was originally published in 1931 by the American Book Company, written by Miriam Blanton Huber (any relation to Larry or Jack Huber I wonder?) and illustrated by A. Gladys Peck. It was one of the early books to use a small vocabulary of 242 words, to make it easy for grade school children to read. I have posted a scan of pages 6 and 7 this week, with Cinder getting friendly with Mr. Cook, the owner of the toy store where Cinder lives.

Comic strips this week are Marvelous Mike from 1-14 to 1-19-1957, Mr. Kimball’s doctor convinces Kimball that Cliff is trying to drive him crazy. Mike visits Mr. Kimball and sets him straight, the dialog in the last panel of 1-19 reads: “…the truth, as you see I am perfectly…” Krazy Kats are from 6-5 to 6-10-1939, this week Garge explores the worlds of Army worms and Doves of Peace, no doubt reflecting the state of the world in 1939 as war clouds grew stormy in Europe. I was a long time getting this post together, it was hard to get to the scanner which is in a remote location. Now I have enough material to last for a while. I will double-check that scene in “Saturday Evening Puss” that I believe was shared by Ken Muse and Ed Barge. Steven thinks it’s all Ken Muse. May the great comic “muse” watch over all my readers until we meet again.

Cinder comes back

Saturday, January 10th, 2009

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Well, here’s another draft I put together for the Tom and Jerry cartoon “Saturday Evening Puss”, see if you agree with my animator choices:

Tom Sneaks thru house–Ed Barge

Mammy puts on jewelry–Ken Muse

Mammy Struts–Ed Barge

Mammy Struts Past Tom in Basket–Barge

Mammy Out Door–Barge

Tom imitates Mammy’s strut, laughs–Barge

Tom Whistles–Barge

Cats in Trash Cans–Barge

Tom holds up sign, “O.K. for Party”–Barge

Cats thru window–Muse

Cats Play Instruments–Muse

Tom out of kitchen with sandwiches–Muse

Tom feeds cats pies and sandwiches–Muse

Jerry’s head changes shape–Muse

Jerry yells at Tom’s feet–Barge

Jerry scolds Tom, standing on cymbal–Muse/Barge

Cats flip Jerry up in the air–Barge

Jerry lands in record player needles–Barge

Jerry smashes Meathead’s fingers in Piano lid–Spence

Three cats smash into zipped-up mouse-hole, become one cat–Spence

Tom puts stylus back on record–Spence

Jerry pulls plug out of wall–Spence

Little Cat tries to smash Jerry with trash can lid–Spence

Cats chase Jerry, all smash into Dutch door–Spence

Jerry hides behind curtain, smashes little cat in the face with trash can lid–Spence

Cats chase Jerry into Venetian blind–Spence

Tom ties Jerry with blind cord–Spence

Jerry dangles from cord–Spence

Tom plays cat’s tail–Muse

Orange cat plays little cat’s whiskers–Muse

Jerry crawls like a worm, tied up in cord, makes phone call–Barge

Mammy playing cards–Spence

Mammy runs to and away from camera–Spence

Mammy crashes thru front door, catches Tom by the tail–Barge

Totem Pole gag–Barge

Mammy plays records–Barge

Jerry’s head changes shape again–Muse

I’ve put up another page from the old school reader: “Cinder the Cat”. My wife and I both love black cats, see Cathy’s “Mangy” pages in earlier posts. This week’s strips are Marvelous Mike from 1-7-1957 to 1-12, Mike goes to the office with Cliff and nearly drives Mr. Kimball nuts! At this point, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch moved Mike off the color page and printed the strip in black and white at a larger size. Too bad they didn’t keep it that way! Krazy Kat this week should be titled “Habits”, from 5-29-1939 to 6/3. Pupp and Ignatz try to change their ways, Mrs. Kwakk-Wakk is satisfied with herself as she is. Ya’ll take care until next time!

Happy Blog Year!

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

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In answer to reader Steven’s request, here is a “draft” that I put together on the Tom and Jerry cartoon, “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Mouse”. Please excuse me if this has been done by somebody else on some blog somewhere, I can’t read ’em all! Here ’tis:

Milkman delivers bottles–Al Grandmain

Tom through door with milk, Tom behind chair–Pete Burness

Tom lapping milk–Ray Patterson

Tom pushing bureau–Ed Barge

Jerry sipping straw–Ed Barge

Tom piling up suitcases–Ed Barge

Tom does multiple eye take–Pete Burness

Tom throws trunk in basement–Barge

Tom with milk–Barge

Tom and Jerry at wall safe–Mike Lah

Tom stirring chemicals with shadow behind him–Ken Muse

Fly drinking chemical–Muse

Tom with chemicals in milk bubbling–Muse

Jerry drinking tainted milk–Muse

Jerry becomes a muscle mouse–Muse

Jerry tears up phone book–Al Grandmain

Tom hits Jerry with poker–Grandmain

Tom braces door, door smashes down–Mike Lah

Jerry pulls Tom through wall safe–Mike Lah

Jerry turns back into himself–Lah

Jerry drinks again–Lah

Jerry body slams Tom–Lah

Jerry back to himself, ties Tom’s whiskers–Lah

Tom chases Jerry, waffle iron gag–Ed Barge

Jerry kicks Tom into refrigerator–Barge

Jerry remixes formula–Muse

Tom drinks–Muse

Tom swells bigger–Muse

Tiny Tom–Muse

Jerry chases Tom with flyswatter–Muse

There you have it, Steven, hope you agree with most of my animator scene assignments on this cartoon. I’m a bit reluctant to post a lot of my hard-won animation data on the blog, because there is too much free information on the web as it is. I won’t be doing this too often, so don’t get used to it!

I’ve posted the front cover to an old school reader called “Cinder the Cat”, just because I like it. It has some charming illustrations inside, one of which I’ll post next time. The comics for this week are: Marvelous Mike 12-31-1956, 1-2-1957 to 1-5. January 1st is missing, because the Post-Dispatch did not publish that day. Cliff makes a New Year’s resolution to spend more time with Mike and Merrie, but his boss Mr. Kimball won’t let him take a 2 week’s winter vacation. In a major turning point in the strip, Mike speaks directly to Cliff on Jan. 5th, there is no turning back from this point on, Cliff knows now for certain that Mike can talk! Krazy Kat from 5-22-1939 to 5-27 could be called “Photo Plot”, Ignatz takes a compromising photo of Offisa Pupp asleep on the job, and Mrs. Kwakk-Wakk takes her own photo of Ignatz taking the picture to prove that it’s really the Pupp napping. A lawyer gets involved, to the confusion of all. I didn’t know that Krazy was the editor of the Coconino County paper! A Happy New Year to you all. Thanks for the great comments on my piece on Lyn Joy Kroeger last week (year).

This just in: My friend and cartoon scholar Mike Kazahleh wrote me last night that his educated guess is that Al Grandmain was an effects animator at MGM, who received credit with the character animators as a favor from Joe Barbera and Bill Hanna for all his work on the effects in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Mouse. There are a lot of┬áspecial lighting effects, especially when Tom is mixing his chemicals in the water dish, and the exploding effects when Jerry takes a drink of the stuff, or the formula wears off and he goes back to normal. My only trouble with Mike’s theory is that most of the time, the effects in Tom and Jerry cartoons are handled by the character animators. Mike Lah had a special way of handling water, for instance. When the droplets break up on a Lah scene, they are in the shapes of jacks from the child’s game. Irv Spence always handled his shock effects and speed lines in what amounted to his graphic signature. As a side issue, some of the best water effects are in the Barney Bear cartoon: Goggle Fishing Bear. It’s my theory that Arnold Gillespie, who later did some effects on live action pictures, animated the water in Goggle Fishing Bear. My educated guess is that Al Grandmain was a character animator, but a “junior” animator, who may have worked his way up from an assistant. I believe he animated the milkman and Jerry tearing the phonebook by process of elimination, since I can identify the work of Burness, Muse, Barge and Mike Lah fairly accurately. Al didn’t work on too many Tom and Jerrys, Dr. Jekyll, Just Ducky, Safety Second and The Cat and the Mermouse. If the effects animator theory is correct, Safety Second and the Mermouse cartoon have a lot of explosion and underwater effects, Just Ducky has water effects to accompany the ducklings swimming in a pond. So who knows for sure? Step right up and make some comments! Or write to me at blogmolasses@att.net.