Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Top Cel Vol 2, #01 - 1/19/45 News of the Day

As several state legislatures grind their axes against citizens' right to organize, we move on to volume 2 of Top Cel.

These were given to me by Ed Smith who served as the editor of the New York Screen Cartoonists' newsletter. These years precede the era in which he took charge.


7:30 PM

All those who do or contemplate doing comic strip work -all faces -are requested to attend.  Members not working at Terry's, Famous, or Smith's are particularly requested to attend since the results of the evening's discussion will affect these members.


(In the following item no names are being given, since the difficulties mentioned are being solved and there is no desire on the part of "Top Cel" to create unnecessary ill-will).

During the past weeks an Agent acting in behalf of a commercial film company, commissioned several animators to do some outside work.  Due to lack of knowledge of the details of the job, the work was executed at a very low figure.  Since this animation was already done, the Union made no attempt to terminate the agreement that had already been made.

However, since the same Agent is now attempting to contact inkers and opaquers, the Executive Board met and passed the following motion:

"To recommend to the General Membership to establish the rate of time and one half AS MINIMUM as a basis for any freelance work, the breakdown of the exact amount to be worked out by the Executive Board at next meeting."

(It figures .18 per cell for inking, .39 per cell for painting, .02 per cell for inking checking and same for painting checking, etc.)

At the same meeting, the Executive Board passed the following motion:

"To recommend to the  General Membership that in the future, all freelance work pertaining to animated motion picture productions -all faces- should be cleared through the President or the Business Agent".

The means all freelance animation work should be clear through the Guild before the members accept it.  In that way, the members can always know how many jobs are being done and what prices are being paid.

Another motion passes was:

"To accept the Business Agent's Bond and to recommend to the General Membership that all initiation fee collected since the 1st of the year, and in the future, be put into the Welfare Fund.  This fund may not be used in any way until January 1946, the details of its functioning to be worked out later."

All those motions come to the consideration of the members in our next meeting in February.

Members at the Signal Corp with Withdrawl Cards should write to the Union for renewal of those cards if they wish to remain good standing with the Union.


Members anxious to break into Radio script writing may be interested to know a number of programs which buy from freelancers.  Here is a partial list:  NBC: Author's Playhouse, Cavalcade of America, Molle Mystery Theater, Salute to Youth.  CBS: America School of the Air, Theater of Romance, Aunt Jenny's True Life Stories, Grand Central, Kate Smith Hour, Radio Reader's Digest, Stars Over Hollywood, Suspence, Theater of Today.  Blue: Appointment With Life, Counterapy, Famous Jury Trials, Hollywood Showtime.  Mutual: The Shadow.

You can get a complete list giving approximate prices paid, by writing Albert R. Perkins, Look Magazine, 511 Fifth Avenue, New York 17.


From Pvt. Tommy Inada: "...First of all, a Happy New Year and secondly, thanks for sending me the "Top-Cel" so promptly... One never knows what will happen next in the Army, but I'm pretty well on the way to graduating from here about March... the it is overseas to the Southwest Pacific or thereabouts.  I read

in the "Top-Cel" about Chris Ishii being made a Tech. Sgt. I never had the pleasure of meeting him but who knows that I might come across him overseas... I wish I could say hello to each and everyone of the gang but until I get a chance to drop down there, please extend my most sincere best wishes to everyone!  Thanks again!"

From CPL Jim Carmichael:  "The publication is very welcome and I enjoy reading it.  Keep up what is a helluva good job.  Best regards to all hands.  P. S.  Thanks for the Xmas Card!"

From Pvt. Perry Rosove:  "...So it seems we must have harrowing wars before the people become aroused enough to express themselves.  I keep hoping, that thru organizations such as labor unions, a day will finally come when the people's will will have a sustained effect on politicians at all times and not only during great national emergencies.  The people's great misfortune, I think, is their lack of unity and organization.  The basic problem of our time, it seems, is creating an organization that expresses the will ---and represents the great majority ---of the people.  The consumer coops and the labor unions are beginnings.  The PAC is a great stride forward.  When all the unions think in terms of their political influence rather than in a few more bucks in the next contract -then I think we will have achieved some "progress"... Perhaps the humble labor union has a more practical approach to Christian morality than any other group.  in the union, is the nucleus of a great organization that could, finally guarantee peace and progress.  But before that noble purpose could be achieved, the labor movement would have to rid itself of its old style labor racketeer while the business world would have to rid itself of the Sewell Avery type."


From the Screen Office Employees Guild in Hollywood, a sister union in the Brotherhood of Painters we hear that the Children's Hospital in LA is asking that greeting cards be collected for the use of the children in the hospital.  The children have a tremendous time working on them with scissors and paste.  It is suggested that the membership gather up this year's batch of Christmas Cards and give them to their stewards so we can send them to the Union in Hollywood.


It is with intense sorrow that we learned of the death of Arthur Meissner.   His gentle good nature won him many friends in the industry.  He was one of the original members and Officers of this Local.  His early encouragement and aid did much to help us over our first bumps.  This issue marks the beginning of "Top Cel's" second year of publication.  May our second year show as progress to the Union as the first has.  We wish, too, to give credit at this time to Larry Riley who first suggested the idea of a Union paper and who gave it its name.

Beginning with this issue we shall attempt to print whatever news we can of the activities of other cartoonists in other fields of endeavor, the comic strips, the Syndicates, etc.  Send any bits of news of this type to Woody Gelman, editor of "Top Cel" to our office.


At the Signal Corp C. L. HARTMAN, the most popular man at the Unit received a huge cartoon of himself in celebration of his new rating as 1st Lieut.

RENEE SABATELLI, formerly with Warner is now at Famous.

Sgt. PHIL DE LARA spent New Years in NY.  He is at Fort Monmouth, NJ.

TOM JOHNSON in NY last week.

JOAN ORBISON from the Anacostia Unit transferred to the West Coast.

LILLIAN SEAQUIST back from Hollywood where she spent Christmas.

JIM CARMICHAEL transferred to Guam.

FRED ALLEN went sightseeing thru Famous Studios last week.

BILL WILLIAMS wrote after a long silence.  He is a Captain now, his address: Capt. A. O. Williams, Hdqrs. 7th Fighters Wing, APO 958, San Francisco, CA.

JACK MERCER now in Holland.

Cpl. I. LEVINON in town

DOTTY OLBBURY from Famous to Fletcher Smith.

BEVERLY GUANTLETT, newest member of Famous inking department.

MAREA BISHOP in town.  Good to see her at the last meeting.

ROSE HASKELL added a pint to the blood bank.

SYLVIA ALEVY on vacation for a month.

FLORA WINSTON on a Withdrawal Card.  She is teaching art in New Rochelle.

LILLIAN GROSSMAN engaged to Seaman 1/C Henry Vadasz.

WILMUTH STEVENS making portraits with a USO unit in Texas.

AL ROSE new animator at Famous.  Formerly with MGM.

HAROLD PRICE and PAUL HALLIDAY new Smith's Delegates to the Executive Board.  Also DOTTY KNICKERBOCKER and ALBERT WAGNER from Terry's.

Pvt. DANIEL DANGLO transferred to Camp Maxey, Texas.


The CA Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Negros must be admitted to full membership in the AFL Boilermakers and Marineship on the same basis as non-Negroes, and the union and the employer can not use closed shop contract provisions

to discharge them for refusing to join a separate auxiliary local.  "Where a union has...attained a monopoly of the supply of labor by means of closed shop agreements and other forms of collective labor action", said the decision, "such a union occupies a quasi-public position similar to that of a public service business and it has certain corresponding obligations... Such a union, like a public service business may not unreasonably discriminate against Negro workers for the sole reason that they are colored persons... the discriminatory practice in this case are contrary to the public policy of the United States and this state."


The first 10 in order follows: WALT DISNEY CARTOONS, RKO, first; BUGS BUNNY SPECIALS, Warners, second; Pete Smith Specialties, MGM, third; March of Time, 20th-Fox, fourth; TECHNICOLOR CARTOONS, MGM, fifth; MERRIE MELODIES, Warners, sixth; Passing Parade, MGM, seventh; Speaking of Animals, Paramount, eighth; POPEYE, Paramount, ninth; Technicolor Specials, Warners, tenth.

The next 15 winners were: Blue Ribbon Merrie Melodies, Warners; Fitzpatrick Traveltalks, MGM; Name Band Musicals, Universal; All Star Comedies, Columbia; Popular Science, Paramount; Terrytoons, 20th-Fox; Musical Parade, Paramount; This is America, RKO; Miniatures, MGM; Little Lulu, Paramount; Community Sing, Columbia; Unusual Occupations, Paramount; George Pal Puppetoons, Paramount; Melody Master Bands, Warners; Leon Erroll, RKO.

Milton Caniff, creator of Terry and the Pirates, has signed a contract with Marshall Field's Chicago Sun Syndicate.  Caniff's present contract with the Chicago Tribune -New York News Syndicate will expire Oct. 1946 (yes, 1946).  After this date Caniff will draw a new strip for Field.  Since the New owns Terry they will continue to print it with others to do the art and story.

Edward Nassour has filed suit in Superior Court against Henry Lion, John Sutherland, Harry Morey and Herbert A. Huebner, charging defendants with printing a process for using animated figures in third dimensional cartoons.

In a poll take recently of United Features cartoon strips, "Li'l Abner" and "Abbie and Slats" placed 1 and 2 in popularity - both are written by Al Capp.

Due chiefly to drop in feature releases, short subjects business currently is running 15 to 20 percent ahead of a year ago, a Film Daily survey shows.  Exchange centers covered in the checkup, revealed striking similarity in trend and uniform increase in short subject sales.  The jump represents theater bookings only and does not include the business done on shorts among Army theaters and Navy stations.  Adding in the latter, the increase in use of shorts is placed at close to 25 per cent.

Metro is launching a new cartoon series relating the adventures of "Red Hot Riding Hood".  First to go will be be "Swing Shift Cindy" and the next "Uncle Tom's Cabana"  Tex Avery is directing.

"Speaking of Animals" will be produced with Spanish dialog Scientific Films has announced.

The Morey and Sutherland Daffy Ditty cartoon, "Choo Choo Amigo" which stars Pepito and Lolita, will have vocal arrangements by Ken Darby.  Paul Smith is handling the musical score.

"The Three Caballeros" Disney's new feature has broken all first four days' record in Mexico City.

RKO Television Corp. producing series of Television show for Macy's to appear over the Dumont Station WABD.

Charles Levy, new Director of Publicity in New York office of Walt Disney's productions.

Hugh Harman is distributing 100 page booklet dealing with plans and prospects for post-war educational field.  Copies go to State, US agencies and foreign government officials.  It contains, among other matter, articles by well known educational authorities.

*** Color cartoons copped 5 out of the first 10 places on shorts in the Motion Picture Herald poll.

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