Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Top Cel Vol 2, #12 -08/25/45; Industrial Films to UPA and More

Animation Branch, Signal Corps Photographic Center, Long Island City, NY.

TOP ROW: T/3 L. Calonius, Pfc R. Blundell, Pfc G. Zaffo, Pfc A. Eugster, T/3 D. Kopyn, M/Sgt A. Zander, M/Sgt M. Fairbairn, T/5 A. Levitow, Pfc I Sirota, T/3 L. Guarnier, Pfc G. de Tremaudan, T/4 M. Wohl, S/Sgt M. Grau, T/4 J. White, T/Sgt R. Perry, T/Sgt C. McKimson, Pfc S. Sheib, T/4 J. Barnash, Pfc L. Lippman, T/Sgt H.Magers.

MIDDLE ROW: Pfc J. Stevens, T/3 D. James, T/5 C. Adams, T/5 D. Hoffman, S/Sgt. H. Cohen, T/4 M. Fine, Pfc. M. Waldman, Pfc E. McCarthy, S/Sgt J. Oxberry, T/Sgt F. Blank, Pfc. G. Taubert, Pfc. C. McFall.

BOTTOM ROW: Ofc J. Tramonti, T/5 I. Spector, T/3 A. Rezek, 2Lt P. DeLara, 2nd Lt E. Moore, 1stLt T. Goodson, 1stLt J. Barron, Capt W. Streech, Capt R. Johnson, 1stLt R. Vogel, 1stLt C. Hartman, Capt R. Leffingwell, Sgt J. Harbaugh, Pfc F. Knapp, T/5 L. Marcus, T/Sgt J. Corral, S/Sgt H. Steinbart.

Branch personnel not in picture: T/Sgt J. Atkinson, Pfc C. Auguston, T/4 S. Cobean, Pfc R. Frankenberg, Cpl. G. Germanetti, M/Sgt C. Grodewald, Pfc S. Moldoff, Pfc C. Reinecke, Sgt R. Rock.


At our last General Membership meeting, Marvin Cristenfeld, our attorney, gave a detailed report on the Famous Studios dispute case recently heard by the War Labor Board.  Among other things the company said it couldn't increase wages to meet west coast scales because Famous had to pay higher rents in New York.  Our membership should be very happy that it doesn't have the same hardship.

The decision of the Hollywood cartoonists to respect the Decorator' picket lines places the east and west coast cartoonists shoulder to shoulder in the same struggle for honest unionism.  Further demonstrating by concrete action our conviction that what affects our Hollywood cartoonist local affects in New York, our membership vote to assess each member 1% of his or her weekly wage to assist our west coast brothers.  A committee was formed to work with the other Brotherhood locals in New York to raise additional money by other means and fin methods of applying pressure from this part of the country.

Pepe, our Business Agent,  reported on his visit to the west coast.  The Hollywood cartoonists Executive Board voted unanimously, as we requested, to permit an interchange of membership between locals without additional initiation fee.  The Board also decided to have someone out there represent us all the time at their meetings, etc.  and Ace Gamer, the President himself, was chosen as our representative.

One thing Pepe did not accomplish was an understanding on the comic book problem and the minimum rates we are trying to set in the field.  The importance of such action was emphasized by the recent "Common Sense" magazine survey which stated that the US public reads 25,215,000 comic books. (Next in line was 10,755,000 movie magazines).


Fundamentally, a union is simply a device for raising the individual employee to a somewhat more comparable bargaining level in relation to his economically superior employer.

Can we visualize any single employee, without a union, striding boldly into Mr. Terry's or Mr. Buckwald's office, for example, and demanding a two week vacation and 12 days sick leave and severance pay and arbitration of grievances and an increase in pay from $15 to $26 or $70 to $90 per week?  Can you imagine any employee making such demands, much less getting them?

But, those same individual employees, when standing together as a union, can get all of those things and more, as we did thru our union last year and can continue to do in the future if we broaden our understanding of the immense power we have as a union and to learn to use it.


Reviewing cartoons, Film Daily rates "Crow Crazy" (Andy Panda) GOOD, "Jasper's Close Shave" (Pal's) EXCELLENT, "Tops In The Big Top" (Popeye) TOPS, "Lamb In A Jam" (Famous' Noveltoon) FAIRLY AMUSING, "Treasure Jest" (Fox and Crown, Gems) FUNNY CARTOON, "Hot Foot Lights" (same company) FAIR CARTOON, "Something You Didn't Eat" (Disney) Cartoon documentary for US Dept of Agriculture HEALTHY PROPAGANDA, "Fresh Airdale" (Warner's) VERY HUMEROUS, "Hare Conditioned" (Bugs Bunny) A HOWL.

Industrial Films, the firm responsible for that swell cartoon "Hell Bent For Election", has been changed to United Film Productions. Steve Bosustow is General Manager. Dave Hilberman is now in the army and his interests are being represented by his wife Libbie, who is in charge of bookkeeping.  Zac Schwartz retains the supervision of all art work.  Bob Cannon is in charge of animation; with Ade Woolery new production manager;  Mary Cain is supervising the I&P Dept.  Ed Gersham is Comptroller and Ben Lowell is in charge of Sales and Promotion.

Development of a big Walt Disney live talent production in connection with its regular animateds was forecasted when the studio applied for a permit to sound proof a stage at a cost of $50,000.  Their next feature will be Make Mine Music for early 1946 release.  Except for one sequence film will be all cartoon with Nelson Eddy as the voice of Willie the Whale.  (Willie the Whale has dreams of operatic glory and tries to land in the Metropolitan Opera.)  Cast thus far includes Nelson Eddy, Dinah Shore, The Andrews Sisters, Benny Goodman, The Pied Pipers, The Kingsmen, Sterling Holloway, David Lichine and Riabouchinski.

RKO has recently announced its 1945-46 schedule.  Besides Make Mine Music re-issue of Pinocchio is also included.

According to Film Daily WB's recent establishment of an Eastern story and talent department bears deeper significance than the set up implies.  Disney's organization may become the Governments's film agency for a rehabilitation program designed to help complete the education of nearly 25% of the GI's whose high school or early college education was interrupted.

Showing a gain over a similar period last year, film dividends for the first six months of 1945 totaled approximately $10,200,000. Same period in 1944 added up to $9,700,000 which has been reported as being better than any comparable period in recent years.

Famous has started production of Raggedy Ann, original story by Orestes Calpini and Shane Miller with songs by Mack David.  Kneitel-Calpini are in charge of it's production.


Late in July President Lindelof suggest that the cartoonists in Hollywood take an active part in the struggle to free the motion picture industry from the IATSE-producers coalition.  It was a happy day for the decorators, carpenters, painters, machinists, electricians, set designers, etc. when the office employees, story analysts, publicists and cartoonists joined their ranks.

At present only two units of the cartoonists are out, those working for the major studios, namely Metro and Warners.  The union is crediting the striking members (pardon us, those respecting the picket lines) with 95% of their salaries if they are unemployed, however, requesting that they draw as little as possible at the present time from their accounts.  The rest will come from the present 5% assessment the working members are paying.

The cartoonists are very active drawing the posters for the picket lines, writing gags, sending speakers to the lines or raising funds.  At present plans are afoot to stage a musical revue in conjunction with all the guilds and unions in Hollywood.

Some of our friends in the Service have sent them donations with the request that they remain anonymous.  "We are happy to know that our fighting men realize that we are fighting to protect their jobs, just as they are fighting to protect their jobs, just as they are fighting to protect our freedom" says Local 852, and we endorse them!


At our last meeting before vacations, the Executive Board was surprised by the submission of the resignation of our newly elected Secretary Judy Weiner.  The board was further shocked when Pepe, our Business Agent, explained the reasons for Judy's contemplated resignation from Famous Studios.

A we all know, Judy was considered one of the most conscientious and efficient workers at Famous since she began work there 2 years ago.  Suddenly, in recent weeks, according to the company, Judy became a "naughty girl", refusing to do what she was told, coming in late in the morning or lunch time, being "sick" too much, etc, etc., all very serious charges.  That is the company's story now, although not one word was said to Judy during all that time. She knew nothing of any failings on her part until the company suddenly demoted her from the Cutting Room to the Paint Department.  This is strange procedure by a manager that spends a good part of every day "warning" his employees.

Needless to say, the membership and the Executive Board are extremely displeased and concerned with such an arbitrary action.  The relationship between the company and the union was not helped any by its insistence on demoting Judy to the first job she had with the company, rather than to the job she had prior to that in the Cutting Room nor by Mr. Buckwald's refusal to give Judy another chance with Pepe pleaded for on the ground that she had had no warning or criticism.

That is certainly a peculiar way to treat one of the company' best workers, and the members wonder what the true motive behind the Famous action may be.  As we remember it the same method was used to force Rose Schoenberg to resign.  Who is next?


The New Yorker forwarded to Sam a book "Cartooning for Fun and Profit" by Lois Fisher with the following letter.

"Tionesta, PA, August 7, 1944 - Dear Mr. (or is it Miss?) Cobean: We've been noticing your cartoons in The New Yorker for a long time and frankly I have a little brother that draws better than you do.  A  group us girls have chipped in and bought you this book which maybe will help you but I'm afraid not.  Sincerely.  Louise McCool."

FLIPPINGS (by Sylvia Alevy)

Bill and Teddy Hudson were the proud parents of a new baby boy early last month.

Morey Reden left Famous and moves with his family to Hollywood.  Good luck!

Carl Urbano a proud father again.

Judith Weiner leaving Famous.  We are sorry to see her go.

Birthday greetings to Sparkie, Rose Haskel, Rose Mary Bracco, Norma Spalding, and Helene Spitlenick.

Terry closed his unit for two weeks. Here is how some of that time was spent.  With good signs for growing unions, Muriel Gushue, Ann Fennely, Dolly Knickerbocker, and Gloria Feriola went through Cape Cod together.  Irene Roland and Eleanor Erickson visited Asbury Park.  Vera Bragg and Ruth Adrian enjoyed Providence, RI.  The McAvoys spent their time at Point Pleasant.  Peg Adrian drove with friends through Cape Cod.

Bob Little just came back from Miami, FL.

Edith Percedul is the Mother of 6 1/2 lb baby boy, Richard Lee.

Eli Leviton, blood bank donor.

Belle Wienberg out on the coast with her husband.

Harvey Patterson back in New York to stay.  Has a new home in Valley Stream.

Everybody is glad that Dougie Moye is feeling well again.

Leaving Famous Theresa Ficarotta, Kamma Phelps and Otto Messmer.

Beatrice Sertner and Dotty Kneitel engaged to be married.

Paul Bush leaving Williards for greener pastures.

Pat Stockford Barker and her Lt. husband visited Terry's latelys.

Julia Costa returned to Famous from Mexico after a prolonged vacation.

Evie Ireland Hens' husband is back at sea.  Evie is tracing again.

Bernice Steinberg, promoted from opaquing to analyzing at Famous.

Blonde Peg Sutton left Terry's enroute to live with her sister in Calif.

Johnny Wulp new office boy at Terry's.

Joe Oriolo has his own office now at 119 W. 57th Street.  "Animated Teletoons" is the name.


You have the right to gripe; use it!  In every contract your union has signed, a clause has been included providing machinery for the final determination of any grievance a member may have against the company he or she works for.   You merely report your grievance, personal or general, to your Business Agent, and if the case is justified, he has the power to force the employer to correct the fault that caused your complain.

You have the right to gripe; use it!


After very lengthy negotiations with Local 852, the west coast producers have finally agreed to include in their (1944-45 & 1945-46) agreements a wage clause better in many categories then that directed by the War Labor Board for Disney Studio.  All of the contracts should be signed within two weeks.  Screen Gems and Lantz were the first to come to terms; then Disney decided to withdraw his appeal and with other Producers has agreed to the following rates:

       Apprentices (four months)....75.00
Animation I...................................100.00
Animation II..................................77.50
Assts, after nine months.................60.00
Breakdown, after nine months.......47.50
Inbetweener, after nine months......38.75
      Apprentices (two months)........30.00
Background Tracer.........................35.00
BG Tracer, after nine months.........37.50
Inkers, Dry Brush, Shadow............33.75
Inkers, Dry Brush, Shw afr 9 mo...43.75
       Apprentices (two months).......30.00
Painters, after nine months.............35.00
       Apprentices (two months).......27.50

The WLB ruling issued immediately after the war ended seems to mean that the above contract when signed, can be put into effect without Board approval.  The new Board policy of leaving contracts to collective bargaining may mean that that WLB will not accept the Terrytoon case as a dispute because the war is over.  It may also mean that the carrying out of any decision by the WLB in the Famous case will be entirely up to the Employer, unless the union wants to take action to enforce it.

THE DUFFLEBAG (by Ruth Forrest)

The Anacostia Unit gave Bill Tracy a party last month as he was surveyed out of the Navy.

One of our members, S/Sgt. Masao T. Inada is on his way to the Pacific.

We received a letter from Dick McDermott with some swell drawings we will publish in an early issue.  The Censor did a neat cutting job -so neat we didn't know what he was talking about!

Don Roman is the proud Father of a baby girl.

Leo H. Buchner, promoted to QM 3/C, sent in his new address.  Thanks a lot.  And so did T/5 Carl Anderson.

Sgt. Carmen Eletto is no longer with the Animation Unit in India but in China.  His place was taken by Frank Napoleon.

Sgt. Jim Logan sent us a very good cartoon that we intend to publish soon.  Keep them coming!

T/5 Charles Keck lecturing and demonstrating water color technique at a special show.  He also has a regular drawing in the camp newspaper.

Jim Carmichael is on his way back to the Pacific after 30 day furlough in Hollywood.

Tom Davidge is now overseas on the aircraft carrier USS Gilbert Islands.  His wife gave birth, recently, to a baby girl.

Art Babbit, somewhere in the Pacific, but still close to what is going on at home.  He is sending his contributions to the Hollywood strike to Herb Sorrell.

Red Mann has been all through the Okinawa campaign and was injured by shrapnel.  He is OK now.

Lt. George Giroux was home on a 30 day furlough.

Dan Noonan surveyed out of the navy.  He has his own sudio at 40 Prospect Street, New Rochelle.

Jake Ozark and Jerry Dvorak in Town.

We are happy to learn how rapidly George Baker's fame is spreading.    "Tokyo Rose", the Jap propagandist, broadcasted his arrival in Manila.

Jack Mercer send a swell letter that for lack of space we can not publish in this issue.  He give his best to everyone.


With V-J Day already written into its proper place and page in our history books, our thoughts and intentions, naturally, must turn towards peace time planning.

We, at our little desks in a big building on a side street of a big city in an even bigger world, cannot possibly have a joining of hands or a meeting of minds with those in whose collective lap has been tossed the major problems confronting a war-wrecked world.  Their tasks, however tremendous, shall be accomplished in due time.

We, in our smaller world and sphere of influence, can help them.  We can help in very many ways.  We can begin by not allowing ourselves to forget any of the principles for which so many American, British, Russian and other allied lives have been forfeit.  We must remember that those lives were not all white ones.  A great number were black and an even greater group, yellow.

Let us always try to remember that no similarity exists between the bigoted rantings of a certain Senator and the last gasping utterances of the dark-skinned boy who "got it" trying to deflate "the Bulge".

Perhaps it is ourselves, in whose hands the major problem rests.  If the problem is with us, then maybe the solution is closer than we have ever suspected it was.

Maybe, if we all tried being a little more grateful for God-given things we take so much for granted as well as a little more tolerant towards those with whom we come in contact every day, the problem, in the not too distant future, will have dissipated itself.  If we all do that, sons and daughters now in kindergarten may not find it necessary to take up the sword in another quarter of a century.

We think those results would be well worth the small effort, not sacrifice, we are called upon to make.  It most certainly is worth the gamble.

Let's all try it.


For several months your union has been reporting to you in every issue of Top Cel and at every General Membership and Executive Board meeting on the progress of the strike of the Hollywood Decorators against Bioff-type unionism and Producer-union coalitions.  At our last General Membership meeting, our Business Agent, just returned from California, informed us that the Screen Cartoonists Local 853 has joined the carpenters, electricians, set designers, decorators, painters, office employees, publicists, story analysts, etc. in active support of the Decorators strike.

The west coast cartoonists are respecting picket lines and refusing to work for picketed studios (Metro and Warners).  Those artists whose studios are not picketed are continuing to work and are contributing 5% of each week's wages to a strike fund to support the cartoonists who are respecting picket lines.

After hearing this report and discussing how best to aid the cartoonists, we voted overwhelmingly, on recommendation of the Executive Board, to assess ourselves, each member of Local 1461, 1% of each weeks wage for the duration of the strike and contribute the total to the cartoonists strike fund in California.

This amount of 1% will be collected from each member every pay day.  The first collection will take place on the pay days falling during the week of August 28th.

-Screen Cartoonists


Washington, March 20 -In order to reduce hoople to a minimum at tomorrow's Hollywood "Red" hearing, the House Un-American Activities Committee decided this afternoon to bar television, newsreel lensers and even making still pictures of witnesses testifying.  Coverage of the hearing will be limited to the press, wire recording by the radio stations, and making still pictures at certain specified items.

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