Monday, March 19, 2007

Alex Toth and Drag Cartoons

While reading the ASIFI Animation Archive site the other day, they had a post on Alex Toth. Now when I was kid, I didn't watch many H-B cartoons like Space Ghost, Herculoids, Super Friends, etc. so I knew nothing of the shows Toth was involved with or what he did or who he was. Honestly I don't remember watching those shows at all. The only H-B stuff I watched was stuff like Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, and all those. Mostly I just played in this old fashioned way with my friends. . . they called it "outside". You know, baseball, football, climb trees, play army. Things kids today don't know much about. I was a big Mad magazine fan, but not really a comics collector like the Marvel and DC type. However, what I was into were hot rods and hot rod cartoons like Drag Cartoons, Cartoons, Hot Rod Cartoons, and others put out by cartoonist and publisher Pete Millar.

So I was jazzed when I picked up my copy of 'Toth - One For The Road" put out by Michael Auad Publishing. If you want to see another side of Alex Toth check out this book. This is a complete collection of all the great cartoons he wrote and drew for Millar's Drag Cartoons, Hot Rod Cartoons and Big Daddy Roth comics. I didn't know who he was at the time, but looking at the cartoons again today it is his cartoons that I remember most. This doesn't by any means degrade his great design work he did for H-B, it was just another outlet for his creativity at the time that not many people know about unless they are or were into cars, or drag racing and the like.

So besides Toth's stuff, another great collection of stuff to get - if you are a hot rod comics kid from days of old (the 60's) are the cd's of all the hot rod cartoons Pete Millar wrote and drew and published. You can get those here. And I must add, his family who takes care of the comics biz these days since Pete's passing in 2003, are the nicest folks ever. In just the few emails I've exchanged with Pete's daughter Robin, you can just tell they truly care about what Pete left and his love of comics and hot rods.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Good Irish Ale

This post really has nothing to do with animation other than the fact I first tasted Smithwicks ale (or as the Irish pronounce it "Smiddicks") while working at Bluth Studios in Dublin. I remember really liking it. It wasn't heavy and dark like Guinness, not that fresh Guinness at a local Irish isn't good, but I'm not a heavy dark beer drinker per se. But now after all these years, Smithwicks is available at your local Ralphs supermarket. I just happen to see it the other day and bought the only 6 pack they had on the shelf. It was on sale too, so I hope that was the reason there was only one 6 pack left. So if you've ever tasted this or even haven't, go grab some and enjoy it.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Suicidal Toondencies

Some time ago, like years really, I was working at WB Classics, doing commercials and other stuff. As we looked on the laser disks and tapes for reference material I started to collect printouts of all the characters who put a gun to their head during a cartoon. I enlarged them out and posted them all around my cubicle, along with some drawings of the ones who never did that in a cartoon. I just thought it was funny. One day our producer came over and saw all these and asked me if that's how I felt. I just looked at her and said "yes, all the time!" I don't think she saw the humor in it. But frankly, I didn't care either.

Being the way things are today, you could never show a character contemplating suicide, let alone shooting someone else. Never mind that today's cartoons are totally unfunny, overly politically correct, and have lame ass stories and the writers are the ones that should probably be shot. But I guess children's groups, execs, producers, etc, can't figure out that those were CARTOONS and really, when you think about it, rabbits and ducks that talk, carry guns, and coyotes that always seem to blow themselves up IS FUNNY! Really funny!

But here are just a few I've collected again off the dvds, and a few my friend Frank Gabriel sent me, and a couple drawn by me or others back then. So enjoy.

Itch In Time

Plane Daffy

Rabbit Fire

Scaredy Cat

The Scarlet Pumpernickel

Ballot Box Bunny

Barbary Coast Bunny

For Sentimental Reasons

Here Today, Gone Tamale
The next two I sketched out of Michigan J. Frog & Taz

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Warner Daze

I was cleaning out a bunch of stuff and came across some drawings I had from animation I did on the Duck Dodgers in 3D project I worked on at Warner Classics. I wish I could say the 3D element of that project was great, but in my opinion it could've and should've been so much better. The 2D animators that already worked in 3D did great scenes, like Andrew Gordon.

We actually animated either fully or posed out all the animation before it was 'reanimated' or the 3D crew used our drawings for reference in the 3D. I've actually never seen the short in 3D with the glasses so I can't really say what the final outcome was. But anyway, here's some fun stuff from the sequence where Daffy & K9 crash the spaceship and Daffy with the airbag.