Archive for the ‘tv’ Category

Monday, July 11th, 2016

Instruction: Chad’s Design For Television

Design For TV

Draw Me!Draw Me!Remember those matchbooks that said “Draw Me!” on the front? They advertised a correspondence course called “Famous Artists”. Everyone made fun of “draw Binky the Skunk any size but the same size”; but the truth of the matter was that the Famous Artists Course was no laughing matter- it was one of the best art instructional courses ever created.

Founded by Albert Dorne and Norman Rockwell in the early 1950s, Famous Artists had three courses… Painting, Illustration/Design and Cartooning. Each course consisted of 24 lessons in three oversized binders covering a wide variety of subjects. Each month, a new lesson would arrive in the mail. The student would read the program material, complete the assignment, and mail it back to the school, where a professional artist would critique it and offer suggestions.

FA BindersFA BindersTo design the courses, Dorne brought together the top artists of the day… Stevan Dohanos, Rube Goldberg, Milton Caniff, Al Capp, Willard Mullen, Virgil Partch, and Whitney Darrow Jr, among others. The result was a correspondence course that puts many current university programs to shame.

There were two editions of the Famous Artists Courses. The first was published in the early fifties, and the second was published almost 10 years later. There were differences between the two, especially in the Design/Illustration course. A concluding chapter written by the cartoonist known simply as “Chad” was added in the second edition. It deals with design for television.

Hoppy the Marvel BunnyHoppy the Marvel BunnyChad (last name Grothkopf) was eminently qualified to write this chapter. After leaving the Disney Studios in 1938, he was hired by NBC to create the very first commercials for television. At this time, there were approximately fifty television sets in the entire country! Chad also worked in comic books, most notably in Fawcett’s Funny Animals series, for which he created the character “Hoppy the Marvel Bunny”, a rabbit superhero. He passed away in January of 2005 at the age of 89.

Animation Resources is fortunate to have a complete set of the Famous Artists courses, and we began digitizing them for inclusion in the database today. The first article we scanned was Chad’s introduction to the TV design chapter, and his discussion of the storyboard. These scans are quite large, but the size was necessary to clearly reproduce the text and details in this fascinating article. I hope you find them useful.

Design For TV
Design For TV
Design For TV
Design For TV
Design For TV
Design For TV
Design For TV
Design For TV
Design For TV
Design For TV

"In this ever-growing field of television, the visual language is supreme, and the artist is the king. So far, there are no famous artists in this young medium. Maybe you will be one of them." –Chad (1960)

The Famous Artists school is still in operation. Visit their website at

Stephen Worth
Animation Resources


This posting is part of an online series of articles dealing with Instruction.

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Creative League: Writing For TV with George Clayton Johnson

George Clayton Johnson

George Clayton Johnson’s
“A Game of Pool”

On Saturday January 14th at 7pm, screenwriter GEORGE CLAYTON JOHNSON will be joining us to share his theories on writing for television.

Our guest is well qualified to speak on this subject. He was one of the principal writers on Rod Serling’s “Twilight Zone”, writing both stories and screenplays for such legendary episodes as “The Four of Us Are Dying”, “Kick the Can”, “A Game of Pool”, and “Nothing in the Dark”. He also was the writer of the first regular episode of Star Trek to air, “The Man Trap” and the feature films “Logan’s Run” and “Oceans 11”. He was part of a group of Southern California science fiction writers that included Richard Matheson, Ray Bradbury and Charles Beaumont. We will be screening “Icarus Montgolfier Wright”, an Academy Award nominated animated film which he co-wrote with Ray Bradbury.

Facebook Signup Page For George Clayton Johnson Theory Night

Twilight Zone

In addition to this program on Saturday the 14th, we will be hosting an informal Friday the 13th screening of several of George Clayton Johnson’s episodes of “The Twilight Zone” in new high definition restorations. There is no need to RSVP for the Friday the 13th screening. Just show up at 7:00 at our usual Pacoima meeting place.

Facebook Info Page For Friday the 13th Screening

The signup list for the George Clayton Johnson theory night is sure to fill up quickly, so get your email request in ASAP. Due to space limitations, attendance at the Animation Creative League meetings is by invitation only. We will be notifying everyone who will be attending by email a week before the event. As a courtesy to the rest of the members of our group, do not request a confirmation if you may not be able to attend, and let us know immediately if your plans change so we can offer your space to another member.

Creative League Facebook Page