Archive for September, 2010

Knight, Yoe, Terry, Whew!

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

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Hi Everyone! That beautiful background painting you see up there below Felix is by Milton Knight, one of the last of the rugged American independent Cartoonists! Please go to: http://kck.st/cLaFYo to see Milton’s Kickstarter presentation of his new cartoon: Caprice, Teen of Tomorrow! Milton created Hugo and Midnight the Skunk for independent comic books, and was a key director on the “Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat” TV show some years ago. If you can, give a dollar or two to the production fund for Caprice. The little samples of finished animation are tantalizing and have an unusual take on animated motion that is uniquely Milton’s. He isn’t afraid to exaggerate body parts such as necks, legs and arms to follow through an action. Sometimes the effect is unsettling, but I like it! Milton is cleaning up and inking the action on paper, and then it is put over his backgrounds by aftereffects, I believe. The result is a lot more like his print comics in motion, than traditional cel animation, which looks terrific. Head on over there right now! Give if you can!

My fan and friend, Craig Yoe, who reads this here blog has come out with a beautiful new book on FELIX! The front cover and a sample image (trade ad for the 1927 Felix Daily Strip!) are displayed upstairs. Go to  http://yoebooks.com and order up a copy for yourself. It contains beautifully reproduced selections from Felix’s comic BOOK career, drawn by our own Otto Messmer and Joe Oriolo. These range from the Dells, Tobys to the Harvey comics. Of course, I have a special love for the comic STRIP Felix, but I like the comic books too. It’s FABULOUS FELIX FRIDAY! Head on over there and take a look.

The Terry Picket Sign this time reflects what Paul Terry actually did during the strike, hired outside workers to replace his striking staffers. Can you imagine anybody in the industry today caring  if an animator has experience or not? Now it’s PRICE that determines everything! No seniority, no union, no nothing can protect the American animator from the relentless march of NAFTA, GATT and Outsourcing! And that goes for traditional AND digital! I love the use of barnyard animals and cute cartoon images on these picket signs, with their eye-catching layouts. It’s a “big-city” concept, illustrated by “hick” images. The last in the series next post.

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Felix is from 1-27 to 2-2-1936 this time. Danny Dooit and Felix invade the Chinese gang’s headquarters in search of the diamond and encounter a cobra! In the Sunday, Felix continues to interact with a nutty professor who can broadcast weather in the form of heat and cold. Beautiful Messmer UFA shadows in the 1/29.

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Krazy this time is from 7-15 to 7-21-1940. The action mostly centers around Mimi’s classroom and the connection between her school bell and Ignatz’s brick tossing. The 7-15 is not as clear a scan as the rest of the strips, it came from a different source, so please excuse. I love that odd gag in the 7/18, as Mimi grows “Devil Horns” as she keeps her errant pupils after class.

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Patrick is from 4/18 to 4/23/1966 this time. Suzy and Elsa do a pretty good exchange in the 4/20, and I love Patricks impassioned plea in the 4/23. Mommy saw through it, however. Enjoy your FELIX FRIDAY everyone, heck try Felix ANY day!

Oral Dorothy One More Time

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

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Continued from last time, the parade of Terrytoons picket signs from the early 1940s. I don’t know who drew this one, but it’s a one-off, original design that looks better than most of the Terry one-sheet posters of the period. Beautifully lettered. By the way, the sign reads: : “A Standard Contract will Put Him On His Feet”, there is a light flare on the original that interferes with the lettering.

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In the Felix strips from 1-20 to 1-26-1936, Punk Chow lives up to his name by trying to serve Felix poisoned food. Danny Dooit comes back into the action in the 1-24 and in the 1-25, whistles up a great collection of Messmer dog and cat characters. Look at all the variant cats from the last panel of the 1-25. Otto could draw cartoon cats many different ways. In the Sunday, Otto seems to be making a sly comment on the humor content of the “funnies”.

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Krazy this time was originally published 7-8 through 7-13-1940. Ignatz is handled like a disobedient school boy by Mimi and Offissa Pupp, much to the disgust of Molly, Ig’s wife.

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Patrick, originally published 4-11 to 4-16-1966 co-stars Godfrey Snodgrass. In trying to convince Patrick that the world is round, Godfrey gets the “Patrick Sock” for his trouble. Patrick sounds like the Global Warming deniers as he declares that he is a firm believer in “Might is Right”.

Last on the programme for this outing is Dorothy Parker’s story from the 1920s: “Here We Are”. This is another of her “bickering couples” yarns, featuring a couple of newlyweds out for a honeymoon trip to New York. It’s another example of her gift at revealing character through dialog.  Can anyone supply me a list of her screenwriting credits? Did she receive credit for her Hollywood labors? Just click on the link below to visit archives.org land and listen to your storyteller reading “Here We Are”. (About 14 minutes)

www.archive.org/details/HereWeAre_677

I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know if you think I should continue reading stories, there are many others I like. Until the next time.

The Great Paul Terry Strike!

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

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Ah, ’twas ever thus. Paul Terry’s artists struck him in the early 1940s, and eventually got an IATSE contract. I have reproduced an image of one of the striking worker’s picket signs. There is nothing more beautifully designed than a cartoonist’s picket sign. That strike was a difficult one for the Terry animators, the boss had built up a backlog of films to release in the interim, and he hired scab workers off the street to replace the strikers. Terry got his final revenge in 1955 when he sold all the rights to his cartoons and his studio to CBS for $3,500,000. He didn’t share a penny of it with his loyal employees. I like the poster of “By The Sea” from 1931, with the great animator Frank Moser’s name above Terry’s. At one point Moser was a business partner of Paul Terry’s (Terry, Moser and Coffman), but his interest was bought out in 1936. Moser’s drawing style was the Terry signature design from the Aesop Fables of the 1920s, right through the early 1930s. I love his very rough, loose, animation style, especially good in the 1920s in cartoons like “Barnyard Lodge #1” and “Do Women Pay?” This is the first of a mini-series of Terry picket signs, more next time.

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Felix, from 1-13 to 1-19-1936, follows Felix into Fooy Tu Yu’s house. He is hot on the trail of the diamond, but Punk Chow’s wise. I don’t think I would eat any of “Punk Chow”‘s cooking. In the Sunday, Felix blows a hole out of the mine with a piece of radium placed under the drill bit. Instead of black gold, the miners strike black cat! What a contrast between Felix at the beginning of 1936 and at the end. There is a lot of continued adventure fantasy here that devolves into situation comedy with continuity of little or no importance, like the out-of-work football team in the December strips. Felix is quite a brave little adventurer here, I like him that way.

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Krazy, from 7-1 to 7-6-1940 takes place in Mimi’s classroom. Does anyone understand Offissa Pupp’s jargon in the 7-2, where he refers to Krazy as “so Navy”? I like Ignatz’s jealous wife Molly in the 7-4. It’s amazing what a tall poodle with a French accent can do to the citizens of Coconino. They all seem to love her. Except Molly.

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Patrick introduces a new character this time, Suzy. In the strips from 4-4 to 4-9-1966, Suzy falls in love with the little brat and gets socked for her trouble. Patrick’s got problems this time, Suzy actually likes getting socked! Don’t give that brat any Easter candy, Bunny! He’s undeserving.

Come back next post for another Dorothy Parker story, the last in the series. Read aloud by your faithful blogger.