Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Review: THE LOONEY TUNES TREASURY by Andrew Farago

THE LOONEY TUNES TREASURY, an oversized, slick, thick hardcover volume, full of much Looney Tunes goodness. It's an immersive experience.

Author Andrew Farago is a friend and colleague. He sent me a review copy of the book. I was nervous about reading it since I felt I already knew a lot about Looney Tunes and, well, I thought this was a kids' book. I was wrong on both counts.

Above: the title page gatefold.

Above: an Acme Company faux catalog insert.

What makes the book stand out is the depth of Andrew Farago's knowledge and the many, many special features: behind the scenes sketches, background paintings, comic books, scripts, etc. Over 200 pieces of concept art, memorabilia, and photos.

Above: at left, a Dell Comics Porky Pig insert.

Andrew Farago tells you the stories of the stars (Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Road Runner, Elmer Fudd, Pepe Le Pew, The Tasmanian Devil and others). This is all written in first person. Perfect for one to read out loud to kids. As it was, since I was reading silently, I could hear Mel Blanc in my head.

Above: some of the great behind the scenes sketches in the book.

Second, the production sketches and the terrific inserts (Bugs Bunny's Rabbit Hood shooting script, reproductions of Dell Comics, a Yosemite Sam "wanted" poster, etc.) make this large glossy color hardcover lots of seductive fun.

Yes, that's a Tasmanian Devil mask!

THE LOONEY TUNES TREASURY has the depth of subject matter that'll capture the attention of the older fan (like me, the person who grew up with Looney Tunes). The production sketches for What's Opera, Doc alone kept me staring at the page for a couple of minutes. It introduces the younger ones to things like Dell Comics adaptations and fascinating factoids like Porky Pig being the initial Looney Tunes star before Bugs' big star breakout. The book also showcases some lesser known and one-off characters like Michigan J. Frog, Ralph Wolf & Sam Sheepdog and Witch Hazel. Andrew is very good about crediting the directors and artists behind the scenes.

This is a slick book, that, along with the sizzle of the cool Pepe Le Pew Valentine's Day cards and the Speedy Gonzalez postcards -- there is also the steak of the proficient knowledge of the cartoons and their creation. Bullseye.

THE LOONEY TUNES TREASURY by Andrew Farago, with a foreward by Ruth Clampett. Running Press, Philadelphia, 2010. It's in stores today.


1 comment:

Jeff P said...

I know what I'm asking for for Christmas.