Sunday, July 28, 2013

Irv Spence's Cartoon Diary: July 28, 1944

More from Joe Barbera's My Life in 'toons:

Unlike football and craps, our two wars were indoor activities. The first broke out almost immediately after I arrived at MGM, when I was working with Friz Freleng. It began when one of us discovered the aerodynamic properties of the pushpins - a discovery (I'm told) that had also been made independently at the Disney studio. Animators use a lot of pushpins to tack sketches, drawings, model sheets, and storyboards to the wall. If you hold a pushpin just so and throw it just right, it sails like a dart and penetrates its target almost as effectively.

At first we just had contests, often for money, throwing at inanimate targets, including the little hole at the back of each animator's desk for the electric cords. But within a short time, as each day neared its end, we began to throw these missles not at inanimate targets, but at one another. It was really an art, and I was considered one of the best pushpin throwers. Friz and I fought many such duels, and I delighted in making him dance, hurling pushpins at his feet like a Western gunfighter. If Friz weren't quick enough, the pushpin would penetrate his shoe, producing some highly interesting linguistic innovations. And dancing - you never saw such dancing in your life. I remember an occasion when one of my pushpins hit him in the leg, stuck there, and he limped around the studio like a cavalryman pierced by an Apache's arrow.