Thursday, November 20, 2008

Buffalo Pete

About eighty years ago Buffalo Pete (now that's my kind of cowboy) was written and drawn, respectively, by my father Irv Spector and his friend Russ Von Neida. Still in their teens -- and if Russ’s inscription on the back is accurate -- I’m not even sure they had even turned “pro” at that point, because as close as I can determine my father didn’t start his studio career until he was 16-years-old, in 1930 -- call him a late bloomer.

Judging by this date, Russ made the transfer when he
came on board for the Linus the Lionhearted Show
(According to imdb he animated two episodes)

Hence, as a very general intro to his career, Buffalo Pete dates before my father landed a job at Charles Mintz Studio, and from there to Leon Schlesinger, and afterward Fleischer Studios; before the WWII Army Signal Corp Animation Unit, Paramount/Famous Studios, Hanna-Barbera, Ed Graham Prods., DePatie-Freleng, MGM Tower 12/Media Arts, and yes, even Pantomine and Filmation. Amidst all this were pit-stops at UPA, Trans-Lux, places I can’t recall at the moment and I-don’t-know-how-many commercials and industrials for I'm-not-sure-all-of the-places. Toss in a decade moonlighting comic books and three-and-one-half years of a Sunday comic strip run, and this blog has a lot of material to cover.

Unfortunately, except for some photographs, Buffalo Pete is the only original pre-WWII item of my father's that I own (not that I find that unfortunate in itself!). However, the purpose of this blog is to try and get everything else I have online. Toward that end I owe a large thanks to the animation community and bloggers who have hosted his work and offered their own behind-the-scenes support.

By the way, if anyone has any information on Von Neida's pre-WWII career, please pass it along.

Coming Soon:
The first in a series of posts involving Irv Spector’s time at Ed Graham Prods., including non-Linus commercial spots which led up to the Linus the Lionhearted Show.


Will Finn said...

Hi Paul

thanks for the head's up about your site and thanks for sharing art and memories about your father. cannot wait to see more. great photo and vintage drawing. cheers!

J.V. (AKA "White Pongo") said...

Wow, thanks for doing this!

deniseletter said...

Many thanks Paul!I'll follow this blog to know what more novelties it'll have:-)

Thad said...

Great! I've uploaded one of your dad's shorts for Famous at my blog and linked here... FYI, the link in your sidebar for my site goes to Barrier's.. just thought you should know!

p spector said...

Thanks Thad -- I did that on purpose as I thought Barrier could use more site hits :) Corrected now in your favor. Thanks also for posting my dad's
cartoon on your site
, and the terrific info that goes along with it. The uncensored version will be a first for me.

Dave Mackey said...

Russ Von Neida was a fixture in television animation in the 60's and 70's - he was at Filmation, Bill Melendez (the earliest TV specials), and Hanna-Barbera. He was part of the L.A. crew that did a handful of the early "Beatles" cartoons under the supervision of John W. Dunn. His IMDb profile stops about 1977, so I guess that's when he retired or passed - not sure which.

Looking forward to hearing about your dad's involvement at Famous Studios, and working for Hal Seeger in comic books in the 50's.

p spector said...

Thanks Dave for the info on Russ. If you or anyone else happen to come across anything about the early part of his career, please pass it on. As my blog finds its way I think one of the subthemes will have to be about some of the unsung journeymen. (I want to also let you know that your own website of cartoon credits has proved invaluable to me -- I need to put up that link.)

As for comic book work for Seegar, I know very little except that Muggy-Doo Boy Cat (4 issues) was a Seegar creation. If you know of Seegar's name being associated with others from the era from that era let me know. If I can ID them as my dad's work I'll post them. My plans are to intermittently post his stories.

Speaking of ID-ing his comic book work, I would be more than remiss if I didn't say that Bob Jaques has been putting in an extraodinarilly tireless, time consuming and selfless amount of effort on this behalf. Thanks Bob!