Friday, September 3, 2010

Dave Fleischer Incorporates "Animation, Inc" -Top Cel, 01/10/44; vol I, issue 2

Here's Volume I, issue 2 of Top Cel -the New York Screen Cartoonists' Union.

From January 10, 1944,

It's interesting to see these from the beginning.  Only two studios in New York were organized -Famous (Paramount owned remodeling of the Fleischer studio) and Terrytoons in New Roschelle.  The Guild also represented artists who were enlisted in the Signal Corps, but those were draftees (or volunteers) in the armed services and not eligible for collective bargaining with Joint Chiefs.

Over the next two decades, UPA would come to prominence and a host of commercial studios would spring up.  We'll see how these develop in the pages of "Top Cel".


The next scheduled meeting of the Local will be held in New York at the Capitol Hotel, 8th. Avenue and 51st Street, on Tuesday Jan. 11 at 7:00 PM.  This will be the first joint meeting of both the Famous and Terry units to be held here.  Prior to this one, meetings had been held at New Rochelle but at the last membership meeting it was decided to alternate between the two cities.   We are quite sure that member of both units will see the fairness of such an arrangement and not let the extra bit of traveling keep them from attending any of the meetings.

Elections to fill existing office vacancies in the organization are on the agenda.  The By-laws provide for two delegates to be chosen for the Executive Board from each unit.  As the Board is the "working" body of the organization, the members will readily understand the extreme importance of selecting capable and efficient representatives.  The Executive Board incidentally, has decided to meet twice each month from now on which makes our choice even more important.

This is the way the Executive Board shapes up today along with the existing vacancies.

President.......................Robinson McKee
Vice President..............Ralph Pierson
Recording Sec'y.............Woody Gelman
Financial Sec'y.............Phyllis Shagrin
Conductor...................To be elected
Warden......................Phil Lazara
Treasurer...................Gordon Whittier
Trustee I...................Martin Taras
Trustee II..................Johnny Gent
Trustee III.................To be elected
Delegates from Famous.......TWO to be elected
Delegates from Terry........TWO to be elected

the initiation of new members will take place at this meeting. Also other business to be taken up include the acceptance of the initiation fee rate now in effect in Coast units.

The Executive Board has recommended that a committee be selected to take charge of "TOP CEL".  At the January 11th meeting of the membership at the Capitol Hotel, it is expected that an editor and a staff will be chosen.  We are pleased to announce that the first issue of "TOP CEL", from all reports, was very well received.

Since the end of the summer when we first began to have outside assistance in our organizational work and contract negotiations, we have recognized the necessity of having a single responsible person coordinating our efforts and planning our future organizational work in the commercial studios, comic strips, etc., particularly if the person involved is from our industry, familiar with our problems and experienced in labor relations. Pepe Ruiz has been filling that need for the past four month.

After serious consideration of the problems involved the Executive Board will recommend to the membership at the next meeting that the Local retain Pepe as its Business Agent for $50.00 per week.

This, of course, is a vitally important step in the union development, not only because of the choice of the personnel to handle our affairs but also because the incurring of such a salary obligation makes the regular payment of dues imperative.  The Board therefore urges that every member be present at the coming meeting so that everyone's voice can be heard before any final decision is made.

FLIPPINGS: Now that alcoholidays are over, we have Lawrence Riley with us ...... Paul Bush leaving shortly to do some Theatrical animation ..... At Terry's the lack of manpower wasn't quite so noticeable until X'mas rolled around.  The gals all had their pieces of mistletoe pinned on conspicuous spots, but their percentage against the male species was too great..... Vivian Levy, Eleanor Hansen and Shirley Jacoby left Famous New Years eve.....

A BREAK: Because of circumstances beyond our control, the Eastern Chapter of the Screen Cartoonist found itself in arrears in the payment of the monthly tax to the Brotherhood.  Thanks to the pleas of Pepe Ruiz through Herb Sorrell, the General President, and the before the Vice President and general Organizer here, a clean financial slate was obtained as of January 1st., 1944.  As these concessions are very seldom granted, we are indeed thankful for Pepe's intervention and the resultant saving of over $500.00


"Dave Fleischer, cartoon Producer, took out articles of incorporation early in week for new company to be known as Animation, Inc.  Mr. Fleischer will be President, and Walter Colmes, Indie Producer is listed as Veepee.  Object of concern is to provided studios with cartoons to be blended in with real-life action, similar that tried out in Colmes' recently completed "Trocadero".  Experiment was so successful that Fleischer and Colmes organized new company."

DUES: It would not be amiss to this point to again remind the members of the importance of paying their initiation fee and monthly dues promptly.  Tom Golden and Vinciquerra of the Famous and Terry plants respectively, deserve a vote of thanks for their swell efforts.  YOU can make their jobs easier by paying your dues on the first of each month.

MORE FLIPPINGS: Sgt. Lou Guarnier of the Signal Corp unit, going to art school.... Georgette Sorensen and Gloria De Gregoriis inbetweening at Famous..... In the Coast there are two new puppet studios getting into production.  Lewis Bunin a well known puppeteer has moved onto the MGM lot and John Sutherland has contracted for release through UA...... Martha Cochran, Terry's, leaving for a vacation on Calif... Liesel Howson back from Fla....Nicholas Irwin happy again..... Terrytoons, Inc. have complied 100% with thte recent ruling of the National Labor Relations Board.... Mike Tessa has left for the Army.  He is stationed at Alabama..... Jane Childs left Famous.... Dave Fleisher is not at Screen Gems any more.  "The beginning of the end started for him when he fought his employees in New York" says The Animator..... The last four pictures out of Famous have shown a marked improvement over former product.  Look out Walt!  ...Shane Miller back after 3 week siege of the flu.  We are told that Michael Prendergast of Terry's Camera department, will take the initiative this year.....

"TOP CEL" takes this opportunity, in its first issue of 1944, to wish all the employees at Famous, Terry, the Signal Corp and the studios on the Coast a Victorious and Happy New Year.

With the tearing off of the last of the 1943 Calendar, we sincerely hope the New Year brings a speedy and at the same time, favorable termination of negotiations.  We look forward to the twelve month period ahead most optimistically.

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