Friday, December 12, 2008

Irv Spector At Hanna-Barbera: The Jetsons -- 6-Feet of Ways to Draw A Spacecar

Ever wonder where designers go to get ideas? My father was assigned to background and character layout during the first season of The Jetsons. Among his layouts, I found the above magazine ad of an artist's rendering of architect Eero Saarinen's TWA terminal. He didn't use it literally of course, just as an idea for futuristic architectural lines.

Jetson sky-apartment exterior, way up high

Jetson apartment interior

George and Jane share a moment in their cool space-age pad

Even in the future, parking is still obviously at a premium

Next two images are Mr. Spacely's office (I believe).
We'll see him and the rest of the cast in the next post

Ever notice all that traffic when George is traveling in his spacecar, flying down the skyway? Someone's gotta draw that, and it turns out that someone was my father. This is about 3-feet of paper's worth (and hell to scan and stitch together in Photoshop -- by me, not him) but it's only section 1A, and enlarges when clicked upon.

Here's 1B, and another 3-feet of paper -- as if he couldn't get enough of it! Was he in Bill and Joe's doghouse? Assigned to some kind of cruel spacecar purgatory? Knowing how Hanna-Barbera worked it's budget, it's a good bet that these were reused in any episode that required anybody traveling by spacecar...which was pretty much every episode.

I'd be a lame blogmeister if after all this work I didn't put the whole thing together. Here's 1A and 1B lined up. Slightly more than 6-paper-feet of spacecar skyway. For the monitor-challenged, I've shrunk the combined image down to a manageable size. Kind of neat, actually. Think of it as the skyway view as seen from the Jetson apartment.


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

Cool stuff. I had no idea your father designed so many things that I must have seen a million times as a kid. Thanks for posting.

p spector said...

It'd been a very long time since I last looked at this -- aside from the model sheets they didn't seem to be as "glamourous" as storyboards. I have a new appreciation for it. Thanks for commenting.

Dave Mackey said...

This appeared in the September 2009 issue of Motor Trend, and I think you'd get a kick out of the Spector-esque illustration that went with the article about the 2010 Toyota Prius...

p spector said...

I DID get a kick out of that! Thanks Dave.!

Suarez said...

I am doing some research for a presentation titled 'The Kitchen Talk' for my students at the School of Architecture in Miami which traces the origins + development of the kitchen.

And am looking for some images which depict the Jetsons' kitchen and how it worked as one of the case studies. Any suggestions on where to search?

Love how your father translated the image of the TWA Terminal for the backgrounds!

p spector said...

Suarez, I've never come across any kitchen backgrounds (although I've never specifically searched for them either.) You might try a search for "animation gallery", or something related to that -- I'm talking retail galleries -- and then browse their inventory. Good luck!

Wonderlane said...