Month: March 2014
We’re readjusting to Glendale life after the incredible luxury of Sedona, Arizona. I’m reliving all the great times we had there, including my horseback ride on the last day of our trip. Above, you’ll see a picture of “Hawaii”, the paint I rode along the trails of Dead Horse Ranch State Park near Cottonwood. That was a gentle and easy horse to ride.
Here’s a shot of A.J., my wrangler. He’s telling me a story of the cottonwood tree in the upper right hand corner of the photo. It was called “Hangin’ Tree”, and evidently that’s where horse thieves and rustlers were strung up without a jury trial back in the day. A.J. taught me a horse fact I’d always wondered about. When Hawaii made that snorting noise that horses make now and then, I asked A.J. what that sound signified. “It’s just the horse sneezin'”, replied my guide. A horse sneeze is pretty big and loud; imagine a horse size Kleenex tissue to go with it! I reported in the previous post that we saw two bald eagles in a cottonwood, and passed the entrance to an Indian cave dug out pretty high in a cliffside. As much fun as showing “Some Other Cat” was to an audience, riding “Hawaii” on an early morning Cottonwood trail is the experience that just won’t leave me.
Here’s some comics that A.J. probably wouldn’t care to read, Krazy Kat from 4-6 to 4-11-1942. Every strip is a pun or a Karom shot off Krazy’s Kat Langwich pronunciations of words. The 4-9 is my favorite, a “Krimm Widd” comes in a small bottle, as opposed to a “Milk Widd” which comes in a standard size “Milk Boddil”. There is also the humor gleaned from the words “Slack” “Slick” and “Sleck” in the 4-8, an example of Krazy’s mangled syntax.
Myrtle comes to you from 12-29-47 to 1-3-1948 this time. Snoggons adopts an Eskimo dog named “Ebuceci”, which goes right along with a boy who’s name is the same spelled forward or backward. Dudley Fisher gets a whole week of gags out of this strange dog, the best being the Saturday 1-3, as Freddie shoos Ebuceci out of his favorite chair, only to find that the frigid temperature of the Eskimo dog’s body has made the chair too cold to sit in!
In Felix, from 3-26 to 4-1-1934, Danny’s Dad tries to protect the kids from an evil looking man who is apparently hanging around their window, peeping into the house. It turns out to be just another manifestation of Felix’s collection of rejected oil paintings from his friend Rembrandt, introduced in previous posts. The Saturday strip has Felix hiding from a Stork under a painting of a fish, not a good choice. This set of dailies has Felix in only three out of the six strips. Messmer dropped the Cat from his own strip every once in awhile when the story called for it. The Sunday page continues Felix’s journey through the signs of the Zodiac, visiting Sagittarius, the Archer. In a silent cartoon type gag, Felix steals an arrow from the sleeping Sagittarius and shoots himself onto the planet Pisces, in search of food, almost always the prime motivator for anything Felix does.
Here are the Yogi Bear Sundays from April of 1964, more of the work of Harvey Eisenberg, who drew the style we associate with “Hanna-Barbera” better than almost anybody. We really should call this style “Eisenberg”, to be fair. About the earliest vestige I’ve seen of Harvey’s style is in the “Red Rabbit” and “Foxy Fagin” comic books of the late 1940s which Joe Barbera and Eisenberg produced together, during production of the Tom and Jerry cartoons. My favorite of this batch is the 4-26-1964 page, which features many Hanna-Barbera animals, such as Chopper and Yakky Doodle, Augie Doggy and Doggy Daddy, Baba Looie, Blabbermouse, Snagglepuss, Mr. Jinks (colored brown, not his usual orange) , and Hokey Wolf (also brown, in this case easy to confuse with Jinks). In the silhouette panels, you can make out Quick Draw McGraw standing tall under the umbrella, and a few generic H-B/Eisenberg animals squeezing into the act. When Yowp gets around to posting the half-page version of this strip, we’ll see who else makes a cameo. Keep checking out his blog at: http://yowpyowp.blogspot.com/. I’ll bet A.J. never visits Yowp’s site either. When we touched briefly on the subject of computers during our ride, A.J. just sniffed, and muttered “throw ’em in the ocean.” I’m inclined to agree with him.
We had a really good trip to Sedona! SOME OTHER CAT played at the Harkins Cinemas on 2-24 and 2-27-2014, that’s a happy cartoonist up there on the evening of 2-27, cel and muffler in hand. The cartoon looked really good on the big screen projected from a DCP . (Tiny aren’t they?) You can see the Festival screening report below with all the technical specs.
Note how thorough the Festival planners were, at the bottom of the form, “Opens with: cat listening to phonograph” (that’s Cathy’s background painting) and “Closes with: Song: There Must Be Somebody Else…credit”. At the first screening a trouble shooter came to my chair and asked me how I liked the projection, I just told them the sound was a little loud, and they noted it down! I’m not used to that level of care in showmanship from a Festival! The audience asked a lot of good questions after each screening, notably, “Why don’t more professional animators make their own films?” and “How did you get the feeling of musical rhythm into the cartoon?” I would have tried to sell some cels from “Some Other Cat”, but there just wasn’t any Festival store I could find or other venue that would have been appropriate. The Fest. put us up in the Poco Diablo resort in South Sedona, a beautiful room with a King bed, fireplace, wide screen TV and a flock of ducks at our sliding glass doors waddling across the 9-hole golf course! Room Service breakfast was delicious, we had it about three times.
Allen Elfman of the Best of Arizona.TV website, interviewed me at the VIP center, and now thanks to him, and my webmeister Charles Brubaker, we have a link to the interview that Allen has so kindly posted: https://www.facebook.com/groups/300140486809331/ Head on over there and you will see a battered old cartoonist gamely trying to keep up with the dynamic Mr. Elfman. Enjoy!
We managed about three painting excursions, this watercolor is from the first one. We stopped by the side of the road and painted the Cathedral Rocks formation. Cathy did an oil of the same formation, we enjoy painting together. Sedona is a breathtaking city which is very well integrated with the red rocks that surround it. Most of the buildings and even the sidewalks are the same earth red color that the looming rocks are. There is almost never a bad time to look at the rocks, they are beautiful in almost any light, any weather condition. There are a lot of intriguing art galleries and Mexican shops with mucho “Dio De Los Muertos” figurines on display, including a skeleton donkey. The Festival provided a lot of free meals at the VIP lounge, and threw a great awards brunch on March 2nd, in which Patrick Schweiss, the Festival director, made everybody laugh, winners and losers alike! Some Other Cat did not win any awards, but we were treated so well by the Festival that we purred! If any of you complete some short films (or features) in the future, consider entering the Sedona International Film Festival! On our last day in nearby Cottonwood, Arizona, your humble correspondent got on a horse named “Hawaii” and took an hour’s ride through the Dead Horse Ranch State Park. My guide and I saw two Bald Eagles sitting in a cottonwood tree as we walked past. I love riding at a slow walk and just experiencing beautiful landscapes from horseback.
Krazy Kat is from 3-30 to 4-4-42 this time out. The subject of the week is singers and song. My favorite drawing is the last panel in the 4-2, as Krazy’s singing act is whittled down from a “kwotett” to a solo. The brick and Offissa Pupp need only be hinted at to get a laugh; as Ignatz reaches down for the brick, Pupp is barely visible waiting in the wings.
Myrtle was originally published 12-22 to 12-28-1947. In this batch of strips, Myrtle carries on with Sampson and Snogg0ns, and in the December 25th strip, she tries to write the future in her diary concerning the outcome of her date with Snoggins, but finds out that she’s no Dreer Pooson. The Sunday page is very funny, as Myrtle pushes her head through a metal bicycle rack, and has to go to the town blacksmith to be free. I love the remark that Dudley Fisher has prepared for the horse to say.
Felix is here from 3-19 to 2-25-1934. Felix brings a commission to “Rembrandt”, the artist he’s staying with, so he feels it’s time to return to Danny and Chip. Rejected oil paintings help him defend himself against unruly dogs, but it looks like a suspicious character is hanging out at the Dooit household. In the Sunday, Felix continues to get butted and bullied around by Taurus and Capricornus in his little journey through the cosmos. In a stunt very reminiscent of the silent cartoons, Felix glues together a stack of rocks to shinny down onto the next “star” or planet. We’ll pick up the next adventures very soon.