Wednesday, February 29, 2012

WILL-YUM by Dave Gerard

My friend Ger Apeldoorn reaches into his trove of Dave Gerard's WILL-YUM comic strips over at his Fabulous Fifties blog today.

The WILL-YUM comic strip ran from 1953 to 1966. The feature was also a Dell Comic, part of its long running Four Color Comics series..

Syracuse University has a collection of Dave Gerard originals.


Here's the 2009 documentary, THE MAGNIFICENT TATI. This is a thorough look at the man and his movies.

Good point on why there are people who love Tati and those who do not:

"If you don't have the patience for it then you'll never have the patience for it. You'll have to just shut up and listen."

This is via worldofjacquestati, where you will find more rare Tati to see.

1935 Short: Jacques Tati - Gai Dimanche ("Lively Sunday")

Here's some proto-Tati: a 1935 short film, starring Jacques Tati and his friend Rhum via worldofjacquestati.

"The pair star as down-and-outs (very much their situation in reality at the time) who try to generate funds by providing an impromptu leisure tour in a rickety bus they wangle use of for free. Released in 1935 and rarely seen today, the film offers brief glimpses and hints towards methods Tati would begin to perfect on the big screen a decade later"

Video: Tom Wilson, Jr., the Man Behind ZIGGY

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Video: Uptown Downstairs Abbey

A host of stars, including Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Harry Enfield and Victoria Wood join forces for a period-drama-themed spoof for Red Nose Day.

Uptown Downstairs Abbey Part One - Red Nose Day 2011 - BBC Comic Relief Night

Uptown Downstairs Abbey Part Two - Red Nose Day 2011 - BBC Comic Relief Night

A big hat tip to Susan Reinhard!


Here's the 2011 Oscar winner for Best Animated Short: THE FANTASTIC FLYING BOOKS OF MR. MORRIS LESSMORE.

Hat tip to Twitchfilms.

Video: Choreographing Osamu Tezuka

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui choreographed some of manga master Osamu Tezuka's work for this year's Hong Kong Festival. I was wondering what it looked like. "The Works" shows us:

Remembering the Berenstains

Jan Berenstain died Friday, February 24, 2012 in Solebury, PA. She was 88. Her husband Stan died in 2005.

Before Stan and Jan Berenstain created their Berenstain Bears series of books, they were a prolific cartooning couple, drawing and writing many cartoons and magazine covers for McCall's magazine, The Saturday Evening Post and Collier's. I recommend you pick up the book CHILD'S PLAY by their son Mike Berenstain for a wonderful remembrance of his parents, and much unseen art.

Here are a few of their cartoons from some early collections:

Above: A detail from IT'S ALL IN THE FAMILY (© 1956, 1957, 1958 McCall's Corp.)

Back before the BERENSTAIN BEARS books and the videos, husband and wife cartooning team Stanley and Janice Berenstain were regularly cartooning.

They met at the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art in 1941. After three years in the US Army, Stan returned and, in 1946, they were married. They then went about creating a family -- as well as many gag cartoons.

A lot of those cartoons are unseen now.

Above: Three of the many 1950s and 60s collections of Berenstain cartoons: LOVER BOY (© 1958 Stan and Jan Berenstain), IT'S STILL IN THE FAMILY (© 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961 by McCall Corp.), and HAVE A BABY, MY WIFE JUST HAD A CIGAR (© 1960 Stan and Jan Berenstain).

Here's a snippet from their bio on their site:
"Stan had become interested in cartooning and sold some cartoons to the Saturday Review of Literature during his last weeks in the Army. Jan also enjoyed doing cartoons and, after they married, joined Stan in submitting cartoons to magazines. It took them about a year of weekly submissions before they broke into the 'big time.' But they soon became major contributors to such popular magazines as The Saturday Evening Post and Collier’s and shortly thereafter became cover artists for Collier’s."
During the 1950s and 60s, they produced a regular feature for McCall's, and they were putting out a lot of paperback collections of family humor. Some were original works, other were collections of the McCall's feature. So many of these went into multiple printings and so much of their early work (the pre-Bear cartooning) is forgotten, including a comic strip Sister, that ran from 1953 to 1956.

Here are a series of cartoons from "The Cartoon Series From McCall's," as reprinted in the 1958 hardcover IT'S ALL IN THE FAMILY. First up is a series about being Home Sick -- not as in "missing your home," but as in "too sick to go to school and Mom has to take care of you all day:"

I like the whole family (pets as well) in attendance, observing the sick daughter.
The examples above of trying behavior by the ailing yet energetic little girl are detailed and good to click and look at big-sized. I like the glop hanging off the pile of dishes and the sorry looking "Free Funny Mask" dog.

And here we have the end, a repeat of the tableau from the first panel, with a few roles reversed.

The Berenstains were up there with Bil Keane's and Doug Wright's work.

Here they are, riffing on the Birthday Party theme:

Noted: A haze of black wash in the middle of the balloons makes them look very balloony.

Some great Lord of the Flies style kiddy chaos in the last panel!

The little brother and the family dog are in their own little world.

And here is Swimming Lesson:

By now, we know the formula: order (parents) is imposed on chaos (kids). Chaos rules.

Poor ol' Dad! and we get a reassuring background peek at the boys running out to get some ice cream, so we know they are not missing, presumed drowned here.

It took me a minute to notice that that was Dad under the blanket in the background.

Just some wonderfully observed material here, and a fine line and wash effect. Never have I been able to find out who did what -- Did Stan pencil and Jan ink? Who wrote them? Well, it was, obviously, a 100% team effort. Heck, that's why they signed their work "The Berenstains."

The above was an edited version of an April 1, 2008 blog entry.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Dave Gerard

There are a whole lotta reasons to like my friend Ger Apeldoorn's THE FABULOUS FIFTIES blog.

Here's another one: some great old gag cartoons by Dave Gerard.

STRANGE ADVENTURES #237: "The Skyscraper That Came to Life!"

Above: a giant, clomping Empire State Building made me plunk down my twenty cents. STRANGE ADVENTURES is copyright 1972 by National Periodical Publications, Inc.

Pretty much any title that ended in an exclamation mark was, when I was a kid, worth checking out. STRANGE ADVENTURES Vol. 23, No. 237, July-August 1972 had a cover story with just that.

"The Skyscraper That Came to Life!" was written by John Broome with art by Sid Green and Joe Giella. This is a comic book I remember buying with my own money and reading during a long car trip from Kansas to Colorado.

Here's the idea (spoiler alert): General Zo, an alien from the planet Kalar-Wi comes to Earth, disguised as a film producer. He's searching for his missing alien colleagues.

Here's his wacky plan:

So, he has this science fiction film under his arm. It's titled "Invasion of the Skyscrapers" and it's created using advanced alien technology. He sells the movie, gets it distributed and it will "come to the attention of our missing agents, who'll realize that someone from Kalar-Wi has arrived! No matter where they are on Earth, they'll contact the producer -- me! All I have to do is wait!" I guess the agents are film fans and will recognize Kalar-Wi CGI effects!

The entire story, along with the great twist ending is here. It's just 6 pages, but it's 6 pages I'll always remember:

As you can see, it was actually a reprint from STRANGE ADVENTURES #72, September 1956. So, even thought it was 16 years old when I first read it, I didn't care. It still resonated! And it had exclamation points!

And I never dreamed at the time that one day I would be in the Berndt Toast Gang and get to have lunch every month with the one and only Joe Giella, who now draws the MARY WORTH comic strip!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Audio: MAMA'S BOYZ by Jerry Craft

Cartoonist Jerry Craft is the guest on ASWIFTT Radio. He talks about his cartoonist beginnings, advice for beginning cartoonists and his King Features strip MAMA'S BOYZ. The interviewer is Brenda Johnson Padgitt. This is the complete 36 minute interview via YouTube.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Video: Sergio Aragones Draws

A lecture by Sergio Aragones from the 1991 Dallas Fantasy Fair via mmarsden191:

Friday, February 24, 2012

NASA: Night Sky Feb/Mar 2012

Via UFOKinali:

Hat tip to Juana Medina!

National Cartoonists Society Newsletter September 1965

Above: cover photo features "Charlie Schulz, the Reuben, Mayor John F. Shelley of San Francisco and the Mayor's Proclamation of 'Peanuts' Day!"

Some highlights:

 Here's Henri (the JUMBLE!) Arnold, Jackie Gleason, Mrs. Al Smith, a grandson of Al Smith, and Fred and Virginia Waring.

Bob Dunn, Bob Barnes and Eldon Dedini.


Hank Ketcham at the board in his Switzerland home.

1.) Al Wiseman receives Hatlo Trophy from Jimmy Hatlo, Jr. (holding papers). 2.) Wiseman keels over.

Harold Gray, Mrs. Harold Gray and Arthur Laro, Executive VP and Editor of the Chicago Tribune-New York New Syndicate.

The 1965 Connecticut Cartoonists Gold Tournament: Ben Thompson, Jeff Keate and Mort Walker.

Here's a complete 22 page scan of the National Cartoonists Society Newsletter, the September 1965 issue. It was edited by Jud Hurd.

My thanks to Don Orehek for this copy of the newsletter! Thank you, Don (and Suzanne too)!

Above: Suzanne and Don Orehek at the 18th annual party for cartoonists hosted by Fred Waring at his Shawnee Inn.