Monday, May 25, 2009

Lucky Duck in "Mountain Madness"

As promised, here's another Lucky Duck story that appeared in a Supermouse. Once again, hats off to Bob Jaques for the scans. Splash original courtesy of Glenn Bray. Big thanks to both.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Lucky Us

Here's two Lucky Duck stories that are not included in the four eponymously titled LD issues (oddly, numbered as 5-8...Muggy-Doo, Boy Cat are 1-4); a 3-pager and a 1-page. Next post will be a longer Lucky Duck story. Let's thank Mr. Bob Jaques, who discovered them all in some Supermouses he purchased and sent scans our way.

You'll notice that this next one is under a Rocky Rabbit heading, rather than LD. The endgag is a pre-owned throwaway, but I know you people only look at the pictures :)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Tools of the Trade

Soon after my father bit the bullet I scooped up a lot of his tools of the trade. These were real cartoonist items, not the sissyfied digital crapola used today. Above is just one scannerfull of a few handfulls of a very large bag of his pencils and other workingperson animator utensils. Well, my wife thinks I'm borderline OCD because I've lugged them around for over 30 years. I tell her, first, "How can you say that? You've only known me for fifteen of those years. " If that doesn't work I say, "You are missing a tremendous tactile experience by not immersing your own hands in the bag and running through it all." Eventually I just ask her, "What's for dinner?"

Below is my second favorite drawing item from when I was an animator's brat: the double-bladed blue and red pencil. You had to be careful not to poke your eye out. But what real animator would care about that? They'd just pop their eyeball back in and keep on going. These days, your monitor blacks out and you cry out for Mama.

You can tell that my dad used to sharpen his pencils with a single-edged razor -- then he'd eat the razor as a parlor trick and wash it down with the pencil shavings. You guys today, with your drawing tablets and all, how do you sharpen your pressure-sensitive digital pen? Shove it in the USB port, wait a while, and then press the Help button? Bah! Get yourselves a big bag of pencils and feel the real!
My dad would be sharpening his pencils with one hand while his other hand held his timer (below) as he worked over an exposure sheet.

You modern guys and gals; all you got is some plastic box with some high-falootin' software that can't even keep track of the correct date to change back and forth from daylight savings time. Bah! My dad would have eaten your Maya 3D helpware for breakfast, and then spat them right back atcha'.

Below is my very favorite drawing item. Generally known as a china marker, my dad and his real animator brethern called them grease pencils. Yeah, grease. Ya got a problem with that, you digital debutantes? When was the last time you got down and greasy with your work?

I used to be totally fascinated with grease pencils. You expose the point by peeling back the string and uncoiling the outer wrap. As a tyke I used to sit on me pappy's lap and just unwind them for hours. But did he punish me? Hell no! He'd pat me on the head and call me "A good wee lad." (Sometimes my dad forgot he was Jewish and thought he was we'd have to remove the Dewars for a spell. Don't laugh you modern animators -- when was the last time you needed to have your frappacinos taken from you?)

One oldtimer who doesn't get enough hand's-on props is John Oxberry. This guy should be enshrined in several of those mutual-backslapping organizations you modern guys got -- and you can make room for him by shoving out the guy who invented the graphic accelerator card. Ox's animation cameras were ubiquitous to just about every studio in the real animation era. Made of metal, flesh and blood, no one had wait overnight for rendering: you shot it, you got it, you shoot the next. Case closed Go over to the Splog and see this amazing post on him.

Below is Paramount's in-house guide on their use of the Oxberry.

An alternative to the Oxberry was the Richardson-Bowlds. The model RB-300 could stand in a real animation studio as if you'd parked your big ol' humpback Oldsmobile 88 inside, and looking like it could have had the the eponymous starring role in Transformers. You modern folk, I'll bet you got Smartcars and drive them in the slow lane, starring in some flick with Hugh Grant and Mandy Moore. Bah! Just look under the hood, man:

Seymour Kneitel sent my dad the following letter when he screwed up some animation direction. That's probably why I have the Oxberry guide -- Seymour must have sent it to him as a reminder.Kneitel addressing my dad as "Irving" is equivalent to Hilary Clinton calling her husband William. In the industry everyone always addressed my dad as either Spec or Irv. The only time someone ever called my dad Irving was my mother when she was pissed at him. So maybe Seymour, gentleman that he was, was annoyed. Around this same time my dad had resumed his brogue so the scotch had to go back into the cabinet. I reasoned hard with my dad that he really was of Russian ancestry -- so out came the vodka. Hence we got Boris the Matchmaker and his samovar. Whatta ya got now? Kimpossible? Bah!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Comic Book Interlude: Stuffy Derma in "Shipped Ahoy"

I recently obtained a copy of Muggy-Doo, Boy Cat #2 (September, 1953), within which my father drew and wrote all the stories and the cover. But I'm not posting a Muggy story. Instead, I'm posting one where Stuffy Derma is the main character. Why? Well, when one comes across a character with a name like that -- that's what one does.

Is it just a coincidence that an advertisement like the one below precedes the story?

By the way, for those of you who don't frequent a certain kind of deli, Stuffy Derma is name after the delicacy Stuffed Derma:
Stuffed derma, also known as kishka (Slavic for “gut”), is traditionally a cow’s intestine stuffed with a mixture of grain, fat, and sometimes ground meat and vegetables. Nowadays, kishka is most commonly made with a synthetic casing, and when made at home, some people use chicken skin as a wrapping instead.
Typical filling recipes include flour, matza meal, salt, pepper, chicken or beef fat, grated carrots, and grated onions. It’s eaten plain, with sauce, or on top of the traditional Sabbath afternoon stew (called “cholent”).