Today, March 27th, 2012, I’m celebrating five years of writing and editing a “blog”. As a special contribution, GREG FORD, my producer on the short cartoon: “There Must Be Some Other Cat”, has sent the first 100 feet of color shots! When I started the CATBLOG, I had no idea which direction it would take, and I knew next to nothing about computers. If truth be told, I had a very strong aversion to the Demon Machines. I didn’t even know how to resize photos and art work so that they could be “published”. I still don’t know how to do a lot of stuff, never got microsoft word or photoshop, but I have word perfect and irfanview, both are free programs and do what I require.
I started out kinda high falutin’, publishing photos of places that Cathy and I have visited for painting trips. Soon, cartoons and comic strips crept into the mix, and now it’s about 90% comic strips. I can’t really make a good defense of reprinting old comic strips, it’s just that I love so many of them, and I’m trying to help them to be remembered. I tried to do a feature for a while where I read DOROTHY PARKER and some of my favorite children’s lit. aloud, but I’m not a great reader, and I got very little response. Again, too high-falutin’.
The CATBLOG was really supposed to be a production journal of the motion picture cartoon: “There Must Be Some Other Cat”, or TMBSOC for short. However, due to fate, TMBSOC and “The Cat” and especially my good friend and producer Greg Ford, have gone through 5 years of hard times and privation. Greg and “The Cat” have lived through a horrible economic crash, the death of cel animation (due in part to these here demon computers), a devastating apartment fire that Greg and his girlfriend Ronnie Schieb managed to survive, the bankruptcy of Kodak and the looming end of all types of photographic film (again, thanks to the demon machines) and now, health problems have affected Ronnie’s life and consequently, Greg’s life (not due to the demon machines). Through all this and more, TMBSOC proceeded at a Snail-Cat’s pace for the last 5 years in the Manhattan jungles. As you can see by the above frame grabs, “The Cat” is beginning to emerge. The scenes really look beautiful projected on 35mm FILM, and I’m so grateful that Greg and many stalwart artists still cared enough to put their best efforts into what seemed like a doomed enterprise.
This Blog has chronicled the passing of many loved ones, friends (Vincent Davis, John Bohnenberger), family (my mother), and animals (Crispy, Little Grey). It has made new friends for me, and regretfully lost some. One of the most popular posts was the article about my visit to Ollie Johnston’s house after he had moved in with his family in Oregon.
(”Here’s the Pitch” Department) Dear Readers, if you can, please buy a cel from “It’s ‘The Cat’” over at http://www.itsthecat.com/Gallery-FilmArt.htm. If you don’t like the prices, make an offer! We’ll be glad to listen. Also, if you care to contribute any production money directly to “There Must Be Some Other Cat”, you may PayPal it to us at: email@example.com or just write to me at: Mark Kausler, 1632 Loma Crest, Glendale, Ca. 91205-3710. Any contribution over $200.00 will get you a screen credit as an “Ailurophile” (Cat lover). Now is the time! The cameras are actually rolling and we need your help. Thanks so much!
In Barker Bill this time, from 3-7 to 3-19-1955, there is a daily missing, 3-8, and a Sunday out, 3-20. It’s easy to follow the conclusion of the Gelt’s story without the 3-8, the Gelt turns out to be a “hen” and lays an egg. In the story starting on 3-16, Puddy falls in love with the new Circus star, Pompom the poodle. In order to impress her, Puddy decides to speak in public for the first time, and perform “Paul Revere”.
In Felix, from 6-24 to 6-30-1935, Felix and the Professor’s party search for the missing Danny Dooit, and Felix accidentally discovers a rare cannibal plant. In the Sunday, Messmer continues the attractive 9 panel layout from last week. I love the giant Dream Control machine in the second panel, and the silhouette of the little boy against flame in panel five.
In Krazy this time, from 5-5 to 5-10-1941, gag-a-day continues. I love the crocodile design in the 5-5, Krazy knows that the croc is crying because he’s ugly, and diplomatically says so in the last panel.
In Patrick, from 3-6 to 3-11-1967, Nathan stars in two strips, and Patrick and Godfrey dominate the action the rest of the week. In the 3-8, Patrick works in a little political satire, commenting on the campaign fund-raising efforts of Senator Phil A. Buster. I’ll bet that Patrick would have taken great delight in today’s Super PACs! Remember to click on all the above images to enlarge the strips. By the way, who knows how long the archives to this blog will exist, so if you like the strips, download and save them for yourself! We have the complete Felix strips from 1936 in here, the almost complete “Marvelous Mike” strip, and quite a chunk of “Patrick”, amongst other rareties. Do yourself a favor, save them or lose them!
I had such a long rant today, that it crowded out the L.A. Jr. Times comics, to be continued in the next post.