Wednesday, November 30, 2011

1914: Winsor McCay Screens GERTIE THE DINOSAUR Cartoon For Fellow Cartoonists

Above: some sketches drawn that evening by some of the cartoonists present at the screening (from left) Percy Crosby, Walter Hoban and Cliff Sterret.

What was it like when Winsor McCay screened his animated film GERTIE THE DINOSAUR for his New York Tribune cartoonist pals? Allan Holtz shares this article from the February 23, 1914 Tribune. The film had just premiered at Chicago's Palace Theater a few weeks earlier, on February 8, 1914. The original film consisted of Mr.McCay., live and in person, interacting with the onscreen Gertie. Before the end of the year, William Fox approached McCay to distribute it nationally. The result was the creation of a new live-action set up sequence for the animation.

And just n case you have not seen it, here is the then-groundbreaking GERTIE THE DINOSAUR, starring Mr. McCay, Gertie, and some of Mr. McCay's friends: TAD Dorgan, George McManus and Roy McCardell. My thanks to Scarpuss for posting this complete version, along with some great historic background.

EDIT: My Back Yard as STAR TREK Set

First thought of the day: I look out the window this morning (below) and, I swear, there is a thicket of grass growing in the back yard that looks like it's fresh from the set of the 1966 STAR TREK "The Man Trap" episode (above).

EDIT: My thanks to my pal Brian Fies (peek at the comments section) for letting me know that something caught his eagle eye in the above picture -- so he sent on the below enhanced photo:

Thanks, Brian!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Video: Little Printer

New! Now you can print stuff you see online! The Little Printer! Ha ha! A very fun video and it sure makes you want the thing.

Via TodayandTomorrow:

BERG, a London-based design studio, has just announced 2 new products: Little Printer and BERG Cloud. Little Printer is a thermal printer with a wireless connection to the Web. Each time you press the button, a neat little personalised package will be printed immediately. You can configure the messages with your smartphone, this is the part where the BERG Cloud will shine. Just watch the video and see how beautiful the graphic design is.

Unfortunately it will only be launched as a “beta” product in 2012. Can’t wait to get one.

Hello Little Printer, available 2012 from BERG on Vimeo.

Hat tip IdWork.

Video: 1960s PEANUTS Ford Ad

Above: a PEANUTS Ford advertisement from the June 30-July 7, 1962 SATURDAY EVENING POST

The PEANUTS specials were not the first time that that Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Snoopy and the gang were animated. You may have heard of their Ford ads, which pre-dated their first one, the Charlie Brown Christmas special, by 6 or 7 years.

I didn't know that there were special PEANUTS comic strips, like the one with Snoopy, above, that were part of the ad campaign. Seeing that strip, which I am assuming was drawn specifically for Ford, was a surprise and I wonder how many more are out there.

Here's a 1961 Ford Falcon TV commercial, with Linus and Pigpen:

It all started in 1959, when Charles Schulz' characters appeared in the opening to the Tennessee Ernie Ford who. They also did the commercials for the sponsor of the show, Ford Motors.

Monday, November 28, 2011

eBay Sale

I put up some cartoon-related items for sale on eBay. Please consider taking a look.

Included: the rare "Laugh Finder," a gag cartoon idea generator from the Cartoonists' Exchange:

Friday, November 25, 2011

July 14-July 21, 1962 SATURDAY EVENING POST Cartoons

There's still snow on the ground here after our early winter weather event on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, so this image of the vacationing family from 49 years ago sure looks good.


George Hughes illustrates the cover to the July 14-July 21, 1962 SATURDAY EVENING POST. Mr. Hughes would paint 115 POST covers for fourteen years beginning in 1948. He was its most prolific cover artist. This would be his next to last cover commission (the final one would nine years later, in 1971) as the magazine transitioned into using more and more photographs.

Here are all of the cartoons from this issue:

We begin with a topper by Henry Syverson:

Jack Markow with an animal gag:

The prolific Bil Keane, who was in the early years of producing his FAMILY CIRCUS panel, was still creating gag cartoons:

Below: a great Jerry Marcus gag.

Boris Drucker:

And we finish with another unsigned illustration by Syverson:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I Can't Get Outta my Driveway

This is what I get for not checking the weather in the past day: a lot of snow on the ground first thing in the morning. Tried to drive out without snowblowing. Being lazy not a good plan! Car got stuck. I'm now inside, eating hot cereal and brooding.

Sure, it looks pretty.

Above: some of the new wood, stacked, with the woods in background.

It's going to sleet and snow all day. Ugh. Better go put another log into the woodstove.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


It was only 4:30 in the afternoon yesterday but it felt like 9pm all of a sudden. Up here, it gets dark way too early now, and as soon as it's dark, it suddenly feels much later. Makes me yearn for summer when I could garden until 9 at night. (I could garden til 9, not that I did garden til 9.) Anyway, that's why the above illustration by Constantin Alajálov of a hot day on the Piazza della Signoria of Florence from a 49 year old magazine was a pleasure to see.

I picked up a couple of POST's from an antique store in York, ME.

So that we all may feel more summery, here are all of the cartoons from the June 30-July 7, 1962 issue of the SATURDAY EVENING POST. Some are summery, some are not. Regardless, they are worth a linger. And it's a pleasant reminder of when most of the major mags used gag cartoons.