November 30th, 2016

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Theory: Live The Fabulous Lifestyle Of A Hollywood Cartoonist

Cartoonist Party

Wrap party for “Toot Whistle Plunk & Boom”

John Kricfalusi posted a blistering post not long ago about popular culture and the upside down meaning of the words "liberal" and "conservative" today. If you haven’t read it yet, check it out. Here is my own take on a similar theme…

BingBingThe other day, a student at Woodbury volunteered to help build out our database. His name is Jo-Jo. He told me how much this blog, along with Eddie Fitzgerald’s and John K’s, has opened his eyes to how great cartoons were in the 30s, 40s and 50s. He had a sketchbook full of Preston Blair drawings and enthusiasm for Fleischer, MGM and Warner Bros cartoons. So I asked him what kinds of music he listens to…

“David Bowie mostly.”

My jaw hit the floor. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I gave Jo-Jo the best tip he’ll ever get…

Cartoons aren’t the only things that were better back in the first half of the 20th century.

Roy SmeckRoy SmeckMike Fontanelli stopped by later and pointed out that somebody should write a book titled "The Golden Age of Everything". Sure, there are things today that are incredibly great… computers, the internet, iPods, frost-free refrigerators, etc… but music, dance, illustration, writing, movies and cartoons were all better back then. Cartoonists should be aware of this, and they should absorb all of the greatness of the past. It will make them better cartoonists.

Today, I’m going to talk about music…

Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys

I know that someone out there is going to post a comment saying that there’s still great music being made, it just isn’t mainstream. I’m fully aware of the fact that there are talented musicians working today. But in the 30s through the 50s, incredible talent was a given. Performers, from the top of the heap to the bottom- from most popular to least- were all capable of making you do a double take and say “wow!”.

Fats WallerFats WallerWhen I ask kids what kinds of music they listen to, I usually get the response, “All kinds.” But “all kinds” usually turns out to mean a million shades of the same color… current rock music. There are so many names today for the same kind of music. For the life of me, I can’t tell the difference between rave, techno and electronica. In the past, there really were a million kinds of music… pop vocals, hot jazz, country western, big band swing, folk, rhythm & blues, bluegrass, mambo, dixieland, rock n’ roll, sweet orchestral, be bop…

I could talk for hours about this subject, but the best proof is seeing what I’m talking about…

JAZZ

Lucky Millinder

Lucky Millinder & Sister Rosetta Tharpe
"Four Or Five Times" (Soundie/1941)
(Quicktime 7 / 5.5 megs)

COUNTRY MUSIC

Collins And Maphis

Larry Collins & Joe Maphis
"Under The Double Eagle" (Tex Ritter’s Ranch Party/1959)
(Quicktime 7 / 5 megs)

THE BLUES

Collins And Maphis

Leadbelly
"Gray Goose" "Pick A Bale Of Cotton"(1950s)
(Quicktime 7 / 10 megs)

POPULAR MUSIC

Les Paul

Les Paul & Mary Ford
"The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise" "Amuka Riki" (Grand Old Opry/1959)
(Quicktime 7 / 12 megs)

If you are a student planning to be a professional cartoonist, listen to music that relates to your work- read books that inspire cartoony ideas- watch movies to learn cinematic techniques that can be applied to cartooning- LIVE THE FABULOUS LIFESTYLE OF A FAMOUS HOLLYWOOD CARTOONIST!

By the way… Jo-Jo is a big Fats Waller fan now! And that’s not all… He graduated from college, trained with John K. and is a professional in the animation business working full time on Bravest Warriors now. Way to go, Jo-Jo!

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

TheoryTheory

This posting is part of a series of articles comprising an online exhibit entitled Theory.

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Posted by admin @ 3:39 pm

November 29th, 2016

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Thurs Dec 1st 4pm: Live Facebook Discussion DOS AND DON’TS FOR INDEPENDENT CREATORS

creator

THURSDAY DEC 1st 4PM (Pacific Standard Time): A live Facebook presentation and chat on the subject “DOS AND DON’TS FOR INDEPENDENT CREATORS”. How does one make a living as an animator or comic creator without working for a big studio? How do you promote and fund your idea? What is the path to success?

Click like on the Animation Resources Page below and camp out on the page Thursday at 4 and join us. Bring your own refreshments, ambition and ideas! Let us know in the comments if you can attend.

https://www.facebook.com/animationresources.org/

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Posted by Stephen Worth @ 3:22 pm

November 29th, 2016

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Comic Strips: Walt Kelly’s Pogo

Walt Kelly Animals Mother Goose

FONTANELLI ON KELLY

Walt KellyWalt KellyOne of the great heavy-hitters in the entire history of cartooning, Walter Crawford Kelly, Jr. was born in Philadelphia on August 25, 1913, although his family relocated to Bridgeport, Connecticut during his second year.

Migrating to California to work on Donald Duck cartoons at Walt Disney Studios in 1935, he stayed until the strike in 1941, long enough to animate on Snow White, Fantasia, Dumbo and The Reluctant Dragon. As good as Kelly’s animation was, (had he stayed on, we’d all doubtless be reading about Disney’s TEN "Old Men") his greatest achievements still lay ahead.

After leaving Disney, Kelly worked for Dell Comics. Here is a story he did for a 1946 Raggedy Ann & Andy comic book (the cover is from a 1948 issue)…

Walt Kelly Animals Mother Goose
Walt Kelly Animals Mother Goose
Walt Kelly Animals Mother Goose
Walt Kelly Animals Mother Goose
Walt Kelly Animals Mother Goose
Walt Kelly Animals Mother Goose
Walt Kelly Animals Mother Goose

During his stints at Dell and the New York Star, Kelly introduced his most memorable creation to the world- in the unassuming form of a philosophical, swamp-dwelling possum named Pogo. The true heir of Herriman’s Krazy Kat and Uncle Remus, Pogo was an American comic strip masterpiece. A flawless blend of slapstick, parody, allegory, political commentary, intellectual whimsy, social satire and Irish poetry- Pogo can be read on several levels at once, and it set a new standard of excellence in newspaper humor strips that has never been equaled.

Kelly has been compared to everyone from James Joyce to Lewis Carroll to T.S. Sullivant. He was named "Cartoonist of the Year" in 1952, and was elected president of the National Cartoonists Society two years later. He was the first strip cartoonist to be invited to contribute originals to the Library of Congress, and published some three dozen books during his lifetime- classics, all.

Walt Kelly Animals Mother Goose

It’s impossible for Gen X-ers weaned on modern tripe like Dilbert and Drabble to imagine the incredible graphic brilliance within the panels of Pogo. I remember literally getting lost in a Kelly Sunday page as a child, staring at the inspirational artwork for hours on end.

More than any other influence, I owe my choice of profession to the master, Walt Kelly. Here’s some cool stuff from my collection. Enjoy!

Mike Fontanelli
Los Angeles, 2007

MIKE’S ORIGINAL KELLY SUNDAY PAGES

Make sure you click on these… They’re amazing!

Walt Kelly Pogo

Walt Kelly Pogo

Walt Kelly Pogo

ARCHIVAL POGO

Thanks, Mike for allowing us to digitize your original Pogo Sunday pages. For those of you out there who still don’t understand how our archive works, what you see here on this blog is just a small representation of what our archive contains. For instance, we scanned Mike’s Pogo inks at 1200 dots per inch- much larger than you see here on the blog. Each one of the Sunday pages comes out at a filesize of 1.7 gigs. For a sample of how detailed our scans are, click on the image below and compare it to the last panel of the last Sunday page…

Walt Kelly Pogo

You can see the grain in the paper! We scan every image in our collection at this resolution.


Fantagraphics has just embarked on publishing a complete set of Kelly’s “Pogo” dailies and Sunday pages. The first volume is out now and every cartoonist should have a copy in their library. Check it out!

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

Newspaper ComicsNewspaper Comics
This posting is part of the online Encyclopedia of Cartooning under the subject heading, Newspaper Comics.

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Posted by admin @ 1:56 pm