Archive for January, 2009

Bill Finger – Through The Wringer by David V. Reed

I first became aware of this story by David V. Reed after reading Robbie Reed’s excellent Dial B For Blog article on Bill Finger’s contribution to Batman and DC Comics. It appeared in the Amazing World of DC Comics #10, just a year or so after Finger’s death in 1974. What is most ironic is that in the Amazing World of DC Comics #1 DC published this tribute to Finger.

Robbie Reed posted just a page of the tasteless story, but here is the whole kit and caboodle from Amazing World of DC Comics #10.

I really don’t see why DC would publish this story, especially as Finger was quite a loyal company guy (I’m sure other comics’ companies would have loved him writing for them), and wrote over 1500 stories for DC. I don’t see why they would disrespect someone just after their death just because he missed a few deadlines or regularly needed his wages advanced to him. I wonder if this was David Reed showing his jealousy of Finger, as a lot of Reed’s stories from the 50s were assumed by many fans to have been Finger’s work? Still, that doesn’t explain why DC would publish a story that was one mans grudge against a fellow writer, and I’m sure Finger would be a guy who would want everyone to be credited for what they actually did. Maybe this was payback by DC over Finger exposing the fact that for almost 30 years DC gave him no credit for his part in the creation of Batman? I also have to ask why the editor of AWoDC, Paul Levitz, would allow the story to be published?

Cheggars – Charity Beggars

I am fed up with having to run the gauntlet of people collecting for charities every time I leave my house. You may think that I am a cruel and heartless person for making that statement, but I do have my reasons. Firstly collecting for charities has changed in the last few years. In the past all the collectors wanted was that you either gave them your loose change or bought a raffle ticket, but not anymore. Now they expect you to make regular monthly payments of no less than $20 a month to be deducted from your credit card for life. Yes, that is a $240 a year minimum commitment that does not have an expiry date.

If you refuse the advances of these collectors you are most likely to be met with a smart arse remark such as, “Don’t you are about the environment?” or “Don’t you want to cure AIDS?”. Of course I want to do these things but if I signed up to every charity  pretty soon I would be needing their help myself. In these days of job uncertainty and high rents I cannot afford to give money every month to charity, but I will buy a raffle ticket, give loose change or even buy the Big Issue.

I also have concerns about many of the charities, especially those who pay people to collect money on their behalf instead of relying on volunteers. How do I know that the money I give to the charity is not being used to pay the wage of someone collecting for the charity, rather than saving the giant panda or whatever?  How also do I know that the charity is not going to use the money I donate to launch a series of frivolous lawsuits over the exclusive use of some initials?

UPA – The Emperor’s New Clothes

I vaguely remember seeing The Emperor’s New Clothes on TV when I was a kid. I tried to search for this cartoon on Youtube and Daily Motion but could not find it.
Here are some animation cels available from Van Eaton Galleries.

UPA – Mr Magoo – Trouble Indemnity

Van Eaton Galleries has a production cel available for sale for Trouble Indemnity, a Mr Magoo cartoon from UPA.

If you wish to purchase this cel they are selling it for US $1500.

Dell Comics – Trouble Indemnity

In the 1950s Dell published a number of UPA based comic books under the rather awkward title of Gerald McBoing Boing and the Nearsighted Mr Magoo. Many of the stories contained within the book were original, but some, like Trouble Indemnity, were based on the UPA cartoons.

UPA Animation Art

Surfing the internet I found some UPA animation art that is up for sale. The site had these concept drawings but they could not confirm what cartoon they came from except to say that they are from a WWII era industrial short.

My personal thoughts just by looking at the drawings is that they could be from John Hubley‘s Flat Hatting, which is a training film that was used by the US Navy. The films aim was to teach navy pilots about flying safety and that they should not buzz the people on the ground by flying too low or what is known as flat hatting in military speak.

Of course this is just an educated guess on my behalf, as I have never seen Flat Hatting. Amid Amidi posted Flat Hatting last year on Cartoon Brew TV, but it has since been removed. UPA made numerous training films for the military during the war, as did all the other cartoon studios.

These drawings are up for sale on the Van Eaton Galleries website, with prices ranging from US $25 – $100, which is pretty reasonable.

UPA – Georgie And The Dragon Model Sheets

Here are some more model sheets from the ASIFA Hollywood Animation Archive for UPA’s Georgie And The Dragon.

UPA – Gerald McBoing Boing – follow up post

Google can sometimes be your best friend. Whilst looking around the net on something, anything, to post about UPA, I stumbled across some photos from Gerald McBoing Boing on Google. Apparently back in 1952 Life magazine did a big feature on Gerald and took photos of the cells specifically. I’d like to comment on a couple of these just to show what I think makes this cartoon so special.

The first picture is basically Gerald, his Mom and Dad and may not look too special, except when you look at the background. Unlike with other studios there is not a great deal of detail in the background.

This is perhaps one of my favourite scenes in the film. I just love the child like drawing of the school house and the school yard. It looks like it would be easy to draw like this but I assure you it’s not Another great background where less detail is more.

Great use of shadow, light and perspective.

Mmm, you’d almost think that I know what I am talking about. I must confess that I am not really artistic and cannot draw for quids. Unfortunately I am just someone who admires art but cannot create it myself.

UPA – Gerald McBoing Boing Model Sheet

I was looking through some old posts at Stephen Worth’s ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive and came across some UPA model sheets. Like the magpie (thief) that I am I thought that some of these would be good for my own blog. Here is one of UPA’s most famous cartoon, Gerald McBoing Boing.

You can view the Gerald Mc Boing Boing cartoon here, in a previous post that I made.

UPA – Mr Magoo Model Sheet

Continuing with the UPA theme that I have sort of been running with all week, here is an early Mr Magoo model sheet that I found at the ASIFA Hollywood Animation Archive.