Monday, February 28, 2011

End of the Month: Pixellation

A few months back I wrote about The Nature Theater of Oklahoma's super take on Romeo & Juliet.

Animation, forms of it at least, is more readily created now than at any time in the history of film.

Writers can hear their words in action with XtraNormal, a student can learn the basics of Flash in a couple days and upload to YouTube, and artists of all types can explore the limitless universe with a little time and experimentation.  And a few simple tools.

That's my friend Kristin Worrall getting pushed around by invisible forces.

They've got a few dozen of these on their Vimeo site. They're not too much to speak of at the moment, essentially a zany tour diary. But given the strength of the company's previous work it wouldn't be surprising to see this evolve into a remarkable conflation of performance, sound and animation. All for less than the cost of a single ticket to Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Jack Lemmon starred in two of Hollywood's greatest films about cartoonists.

In "How to Murder Your Wife" he's an improbably wealthy comic strip creator who syndicates a Dick Tracy-like crime fighter.  The proceeds from this career allow him to live a Bruce Wayne lifestyle.  It just goes to show, work hard and you can have your own Manhattan townhouse and batman.

Today, and for a few more days in the future, I'd like to post screen grabs from his other great cartoonist performance, "The War Between Men and Women".

This film was written after the put upon character devised by James Thurber and features a few segments animated in his style.

It's interesting to compare this animation to the UPA "Unicorn in the Garden".  They both feel authentically Thurber, but the stylization of the art and the manner in which they move are very different.

The animation for "War..." was directed by Bob Dranko.  The credits list him as "animation supervisor", which usually means animation director on a DGA film.  He was also in the design department at UPA on "Unicorn in the Garden" and worked on the Thurber TV series "My World and Welcome to It."

Both were produced out of Los Angeles' Playhouse Pictures.

There's a stylization to the animation, but it's not as idiosyncratic as the UPA film.

For instance, the above drawing animates into one below.

Maybe there's an inbetween or two that could have been put in, but it's not the sort of "limited animation" of UPA.

There are a few clever moments in the opening sequence.

Dale Case credited as the key animator.  I wouldn't be surprised if there were another 4 or 5 five animators and a dozen assistants uncredited.

The last few scenes of the opening devolve into an extended bi-plane battle.

And we finally get to see a close up interpretation of the Thurber woman.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011


This year's Christmas Card was a little complicated.  It was interactive.

We asked the recipients to cut out pieces and assemble their own holiday fiend.

John Schnall, known for his brilliantitude, topped everyone.

BUT WAIT!  There's more.

Here's the brilliant part: he animated it (click to see).

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Children of the Hydra's Teeth - Part Eleven

Now we're into the fight.

Cut to:

Argonaut tripping up a skeleton.

We stay with him as:

He spins and kicks him in the jaw.

Another joins the fray as he heads for higher ground.

Cut to: Jason taking on two guys.

New angle: he kicks one in the kisser.

and the other climbs up.

Note: Close on Jason, he's swinging down.

Back to the previous angle.

Right now we've got three separate skirmishes.  Obviously, Jason's the most important -it's his name in the title.  So we spend the most time with him.

The other two fights offer added excitement and dynamics.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Exposing Extremes In After Effects

Say you're crazy enough to make a film using drawn -on paper -animation.

The standard process is to do layout drawings which lead to "extreme" drawings.  These extremes can be anywhere from 1 to 6 or more drawings apart (3 "in betweens" is typical) and they're the most important drawings for animating character.  If the extremes work, the inbetweens will (generally) work.

If you're going to test the animation, this is the best time to do it -before doing dozens of inbetweens.

After you scan, your folder will look like this:

This is based on this pencil test post last week.

These drawings will be timed out an exposure sheet which dictates what drawings are used on what frame.

You'll want to retain your After Effects project for use as the animation progresses and not have to re-expose the artwork.  This is time consuming and can be prone to mistakes.

Here's the dumb way to deal with that:

Simply duplicate the missing drawings.

Now you have a numbered sequence which will be identical to the numbered sequence of final drawings.

Import this folder as a sequence into After Effects.  Be sure to interpret the footage correctly -we tend to do drawn animation at 24fps (fewer drawings/easier to time), so the footage should import at 24.

Drag it into your timeline and "Time Remap".

Set the key frames to hold and then expose the drawing to the frame.  The number in blue to the left will be the same number as your drawing -provided you've got a sequence of consecutive whole numbers starting from 1.  The timeline frame count can be set to match your dial number.

Got through and expose the keyframes.

This will give you a properly timed out test. 

Once the inbetweens are complete, just replace the files and your exposure will remain.

This is the simplest way of keeping the process streamlined.

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.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday After A Movie

Here's a nice little piece on Brent Green.

"Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then" screened last week at The Kitchen.

On second screening it was no less powerful than the first. This time we were treated to live accompaniment and Mr. Green's live narration -with only a few stray lines not in the film's script.

The effect of the film is largely musical. It's a roll of tones and tempos with finishes in a great crescendo (and denouement).

I've long believed that film was a visual approximation of music. Here we have symphony.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

New York Dolls

I hadn't been to the Museum of the Moving Image since its renovation.

That was a few years back. I remember it being more friendly, less airport-y. I also remember the permanent exhibition to be more interesting, less Hard Rock Cafe.

That's how time distorts memory. Things seem better then than they are now.

This weekend they're doing a series on Manhattan Cable Access. It sure makes New York City seem like a much cooler place 30 years ago than it is today. Even the woman obsessed with "clubs" seems like a genuine weirdo and not a pseudo-socialite on a shoe shopping mission.

The other impetus for the visit was to take in my pal Martha Colburn's new film, "Dolls vs. Dictators" and the adjacent installation. The museum commissioned it.

I saw a version in progress a little while back. The color of the project here looks great.

The show runs through April 10.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A La Mode

Today I had planned on writing about Brent Green's "Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then" which just finished a two-night stint at The Kitchen.

Last night was the second time I've seen it. This one with live accompaniment.

I figured I'd be able to pull together something cogent after having already screened it once. No, it's still a little raw. Maybe it's for the best. Maybe there are no words to do it justice.

And then, I had planned on a tribute to Fashion Week for Sunday by showcasing some Covarrubius drawings.

I can't find the book, though.

I did find this uncredited illustration in another book. I like it.

The designers are credited as is the magazine in which it originally appear.

L to R: Molyneux, Beer, Doucet, Jenny, Doucet, Beer, Molyneux, Beer, Molyneux from "Art-Gout-Beaute" 1921

And I had always planned on sharing our pencil sharpener. A gift many years from Kate Hambrecht.

It was being discarded when she worked at Cosmopolitan Magazine.

We are certain that models used it to sharpen their pencils.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Children of the Hydra's Teeth - Part Ten

When we last left our hero, Jason was kicking in the dental work of one of Aeetes' skeleton warriors.

This upsets them further, prompting the skeletons to climb the ruins and give chase.

They all run off clearing frame.


One enters frame chasing Jason.

This is a pretty bad cut.

There's no need to give the extra two or three seconds on either end for the frame to clear entirely.

You can cut out after the first 1/3 of the characters have cleared frame and cut in as the first character or two enters frame.

In this case, Jason is well clear of the edge of the frame by the time the skeleton begin to leave frame. We could easily have cut to him mid run in the second shot.

As it cuts now, the action is all a little slow. In a bad way.

It's buoyed by the great soundtrack, but in film, it's best to let the picture do the talking.

The cut in to the medium close is pretty good. It's a match cut on action.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dog Show

In honor of this weeks big dog show, here's a cel level that was cut from a recent commercial we've finished.

This is part of a very complicated crowd scene animated by Doug Compton.

We did a layout test for the client and started animating.

A few weeks later we sent the first half of the pencil test cut into the layout test.  At this time they thought it over and decided against having the dog in the scene.  (we like the dog in the scene, of course, but there are many things not worth arguing for and this kind of thing is a big one)

In any event Doug had already done this level by that point.  Fortunately, he's a discrete part so there was no trouble pulling it.

This isn't inbetweened.  They're just 16 extreme drawings out of 35 total for the character.

The extremes are held for the subsequent undrawn inbetweens.

It's "limited animation" in a sense.  That's how you can make a crowd interesting.

The shot is almost 19 seconds and the 35 drawings play out of the course of that time.

Within the next week or so, we'll post the key drawings and how the AfterEffects project was set up.  It's a good system for testing without inbetweens that is precise and saves work in the long run.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Other People's Junk

This guy is one of Donald Duck's relatives.

Ludwig von Drake, according the internet.  A creation of Milt Kahl for television, though I would have assumed he was one of Carl Barks' characters.

In the literature he's not an amputee nor do I know what the ant tethered to his jacket is all about.

A nice lead lunchbox with "Pete's Dragon" on it.

And what could this curious box be?

Why, it's a vinyl spinner for the budding "DJ" in everyone!

This guy approves!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Top Cel Vol 1, #25 - 1/6/45


MONDAY, January 8th at the Irish Hall, 7:30

Due to the holidays, and not wanting at the New Rochelle movie house, we have been forced to change the date form our regular Second Tuesday to the day earlier, MONDAY JANUARY 8th. -The place is the Irish Hall, on Lawton St., between Main and Hugenot Sts.

The Executive Board schedule for that Monday at the Commodore Hotel has been canceled.  The Board will meet at the same place on Monday, January 22nd.


The Executive Board is recommending to the Membership that the Union join the State Painter's Conference.  This is a group that is composed of all the Painter's Unions in the State.  It meets once a year and devotes its time to matters of legislation for the protection of our membership.  Committess are formed to assemble statistical data and to assist the Secretary of the State organization in placing our legislative proposals before the proper authorities.

The affiliation fee is five dollars and the per capita is one-half per cent per month per member.

At Famous we have quite a number of Work Permit Holders that are ready for application into membership, but have not yet signed the application or have not paid any down payments towards the initiation fee.  The Stewards are instructed NOT to accept any dues until the initiation fee is partly paid.  Please cooperate with the Stewards and make their task easier.

Our next General Membership meeting will take place in New Rochelle on January 8th.  We remind the members that the meeting is the second since the fine for non-attendance was in effect.  Especially will the members at New Rochelle have to be present, for if they don't, they will be obliged to come to New York on February.  Their two delegates to the Executive Board will have to be elected, as the present ones resigned.


Our attorney, Marvin Christenfeld, will deliver a series of three lectures to union members on the preparation on income tax returns.  The first will be given Monday January 8, in New Rochelle, on the problems of filing Estimated returns, due January 15.  The other two will be given February 13, in New York City and March 13, in New Rochelle.  Mr. Christenfeld can be contacted for individual assistance at his office.


With a $25 War Bond that came to him unexpectedly during the holidays, Pepe has started the ball rolling for a union welfare fund. And with this first contribution its a good time to explain the welfare fund idea.

A welfare fund is set up to come to the financial aid of members in distress.  It is a confidential service and there is usually no fee.  The only requisite is that the borrower present a bonafide hardship case.  In other words, it is an extension of the basic union idea of mutual assistance.

This contribution of Pepe's does not automatically start our fund.  The idea must still be discussed by the members themselves.  But when the plan is eventually put into effect, it will bring the union and its members even closer.

The death of Lt. Willard Bowsky in action has come as a great shock to his many friends in the cartoon industry.  Willard's good nature and sociability endeared him to many of his associates in the business.  His mother and brother survive him.


Workers at Terry that have volunteered to give their blood on Jan 11th the blood bank: Patricia Stockford, Flora Winston, Eleanor Erickson, Mildred Bishop, Larry Silverman, Tony Creazzo, Pearl Carno, Carol Nodell, Dorothy Palmer, Dolly Keenan, Helen Bromback, Nancy Lee Jones, Joyce Drucher, Phyllis Shagrin, Kay Smith, Virginia Betts and Joan O'Connor... Betty Smith and

Louis Schmitt the parents of a boy;  weight 7 lbs; born Dec. 23rd 1 AM... Marilyn Cole married... "Sparky" had a very good time at Terry's Christmas party on the 13th floor.  He was the only man and husky bunch of mistle-toe was over his head... It certainly was nice to hear from Ted Bonnickson, he send his regards to everyone... From the service men we receive nice home made Xmas cards, including Rojo, Byrne, Starr, Giroux, Carey, Cobean, Guarnier, etc... Jack Mendelshon, formerly at Famous, now with the Navy... Chris Ishii, a new T/Sgt. with the OWI in China. Thanks for the card! ...During the wintery weather, Connie Renza is having trouble getting down from Peekskill where he keeps his dog team... Art Meissner is very ill at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in  Los Angeles.  Letters to him would be greatly appreciated... We extend our sympathies to Vinciguerra who lost his father a few days before Christmas.  ...Capt. Bill McIntyre changed to Hq. of the 10th.  Marines but still in the Pacific... Stan Guanchenbusch in town... Win Hoskins is designing a series of phonograph albums for RCA... Abner Kneitel renting an apartment in Washington as he is bringing his family from Florida... Jennie Selby, a Master-at-Arms, or Police Petty Officer, swears she does not bother any body... New at Famous, Beveryly Gauntlett, Mirian Slote, Frances Smejkal and Elsie de Grasse.


For a number of years the extras in Hollywood were trying to get a better set-up in the Screen Actors Guild that represented them.  Under their constitution, although they were by far the majority, they have no voting powers in running their affairs, or representation in the Executive Board.  Having filed complaints with the NLRB an election was ordered at which times the extras' union, Screen Players Union received 1,451 votes, Screen Actors Guild 456; no union 5; challenged votes 213; void ballots 3; eligible voters 3,300; ballots counted 1,915.  It is hard to learn that the Actors Guild is still fighting every inch of the was as it did all these years.  Top Cel congratulates the new group and Herb Sorell for sticking with the "little guys".

Leon Schlesinger is in New York on business conferences in connection with his cartoon by-products interests, which he retained after retiring from cartoon production.  He expects to remain here at least three weeks.

The Western Union workers, scatter through more than 5000 communities, will vote between Jan 2 to 10 on whether they want the American Communications Assn. (CIO) or a combination of four AFL craft unions to represent them in collective bargaining.

With New York newspapers, notably the World-Telegram, making the most of charges that the ACA is "Communist dominated", CIO President Philip Murray has sent a personal letter to each of the 60,000 Western Union employees urging them to vote for ACA in the forthcoming Labor Board election because "it is an effective, responsible organization, devoted wholeheartedly to the interests of the people."

Hugh Harman returned by plane to Hollywood from Washington where he conferred with executives of the US Department of Agriculture about production of an additional series of farming subjects.

Metro this year is releasing the smallest number of shorts on record.  Schedule for the period ending next August 31 comprises 16 one-reel cartoons and 12 James FitzPatrick Traveltalks.


Higher wages will and must come as productivity per worker increases whether or not the higher skill of the worker is responsible for his greater output.  When more goods are turned out, more purchasing power must be distributed in wages to avert surpluses which bring industry to a standstill... -Eric Johnston, president, US Chamber of Commerce.

Racism is far too virulent today to permit the slightest refusal in the light of the Constitution that abhors it to expose and condemn it whenever it appears in the course of statutory interpretation... Justice Frank Murphy, US Supreme Court.

Achieving labor unity is something like percolating coffee.  Heat applied from below causes the water to rise to the top.  The boiling water must hit the top before it can percolate down to give you coffee to drink.  Let's hope the rank and file of the AFL, which needs and desires unity of labor action as much as does the CIO, will continue to apply the heat from below until the demand for the joint action reaches the boiling point and makes itself felt "at the top".... CIO News

An Army which can establish the Normandy beachhead, the greatest invasion attempt the world has known, cannot be beaten... Major Charles Kendrick, US Army.

There can be no half measures. If fascism is left to breed anywhere, then, in 10 or 20 years' time, rivers of blood will flow again... Ilya Ehrenburg, Soviet journalist.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Here are some Valentine's thoughts from my old pals back when interesting people could afford to live in New York.

Two from Sam Henderson.

He can be stalked via

And one from the elusive Greg Fiering.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Love From Minnie

These are camera phone photos, Valentine Card from the Disney Corporation.

They're printed in the USA.  No visible date.  I'd guess mid-70s.

Minnie looks like she's not responsible for her actions here, making a late night drunk dial.  Good thing this predates smart phones.

Donald: All Quaky over you.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Children of the Hydra's Teeth - Part Nine

We just had a low angle shot looking up a Jason.  Above, it cuts to his point of view.

This is a fully animated scene.  Incorporating shots like this along with composite shots and strictly live shots makes the sequence work.

Cut to a rear-projection wide shot.

Again, close on Jason.  Looking up.  He's higher than the camera/viewer.

Back to the wide.

Note the busted statue in the foreground.

Jason kicks the skeleton.  A lot of kicking when you fight skeleton warriors.

Why?  Kicks aren't as precise as punches.  They're bigger gestures.  Both of these allow for loose animation and more forgiving match points.