Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Irv Spence's Cartoon Diary: January 29, 1944

The Byron Nelson swing.

"Ace" Fikes owned a restaurant in Culver City called the Plantation. He's a recurring character in the Cartoon Diary and seems to have been one of Spence's closest non-animating friends

Monday, January 28, 2013

Irv Spence's Cartoon Diary: January 28, 1944

Carmen Maxwell at MGM
The note's signature, C.G.M., stands for Carmen G. "Max" Maxwell. Max was at this time the production manager at the MGM cartoon studio.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Irv Spence's Cartoon Diary: January 25, 1944

Not sure who Pete  is here. Eisenberg, of course, is Tom and Jerry layout artist Harvey Eisenberg. A look at Eisenberg's comics, from John K.'s blog and from Mark Christiansen.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Irv Spence's Cartoon Diary: January 24, 1944

Was assistant animator Stod Herbert a lyricist, too? A Google search for "Stod Herbert" turned up, in addition to credits on several Ralph Bakshi features, this item from the sheet music collection at the San Jose library:

Title: Baby What I'm Gonna Do To You
Composer(s)/Lyricist(s)/Arranger(s): Deranja, Jack; Ciarocchi, Gene; Herbert, Stod
Music type: Piano Notes.

 There's nothing beyond the name to connect animation Stod to the Stod of song. Searches on the ACAP and BMI websites came up empty.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Irv Spence's Cartoon Diary: January 20, 1944

I assume this drawing depicts a screening on the MGM lot of uncut newsreel footage. The story of this bloody battle is told in this monograph, or for a shorter summary, click here.

US Marines at Tarawa

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Irv Spence's Cartoon Diary: January 10, 1944

"Pvt. Higgins" may be Bill Higgins; "Abrams" is most likely Ray Abrams, an animator with Tex Avery's unit.

Melody Lane menu cover ca.1940's
Inside page from the menu

Melody Lane ashtray, from this excellent Flickr set

My guess is this dinner meeting took place at the Melody Ranch of Wilshire, if only because its location at 5351 Wilshire Blvd., and Detroit, was a bit more convenient to the MGM studios.

The Melody Lane of Hollywood restaurant 1n 1949.

The Hollywood Melody Lane, previously the Coco Tree Cafe, sometime
prior to remodeling.

The Melody Lane of Hollywood was located at 6301 Hollywood Blvd., the NW corner of Hollywood and Vine. In the 50s and 60s, with minor alterations, it was the location of another restaurant, Hody's Coffee Shop. It's now a parking lot.

A composite night view of Hody's in this postcard mislocates the Captiol
Records building, but gives us a great beach ball-nosed clown billboard.

Clownless, but geographically accurate in the daylight.

Melody Lane Downtown was located at 744-46 S. Hill Street. This section of the street has also been replaced with some ugly buildings and a parking lot.

The Melody Lane Downtown, 1930s.

A closer look at the Melody Lane Downtown
door, 1930s.
 The best Melody Lane, one that isn't listed in the 1942 City Directory but could have been around in 1944, is the drive-in at Wilshire and Western. My guess is this is the NE corner, looking north from Wilshire. The corner now holds shops and condos and the last stop on the Purple Line. South across Wilshire would be the Warner's Wiltern Theater which is still there.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Monday, January 07, 2013

Irv Spence's Cartoon Diary: January 7, 1944

According to Steve Worth, Burness and Rudy Zamora were sent to Mexico City by MGM to train a crew of assistant animators.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Irv Spence's Cartoon Diary: January 4, 1944

Display ad from January 3, 1944 edition of the Los Angeles Times.

Review from January 1, 1944 edition of the Los Angeles Times.