The Great Paul Terry Strike!

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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┬áin 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.

2 Responses to “The Great Paul Terry Strike!”

  1. As Gene Deitch would discover first-hand, the staff (especially the new head Bill Weiss) was not exactly pleased with Paul Terry taking all the money CBS gave him. As he wrote in “How to Succeed in Animation”:

    “I inherited a studio full of disgruntled, underpaid old veterans who had been led to believe by Terry that when he eventually sold the studio they would all get a cut. This was especially the case in respect to Bill Weiss. He told me himself that Terry had promised him 10%. In fact, no one got a nickel. Terry negotiated the CBS deal in secret, and just took the money and ran.”

  2. Hey Mark,

    I think Pupp calling Krazy “navy” is supposed to be him mispronouncing “naive.”

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