Monday, February 25, 2013

Irv Spence's Cartoon Diary: February 25, 1944

This drawing most likely refers to animation mistakes in The Million Dollar Cat, chronologically the next Tom and Jerry cartoon released after "Zoot Cat" and the one where a telegram is the major plot device.

"The Million Dollar Cat" had a release date of May 6th. I don't know how far along in the production process the film was on February 25 but to warrant the expletive-laden bawling out delivered above I'd guess that the mistakes were discovered after it came back from camera. I didn't spot any scene where the telegram should have appeared but didn't, so this mistake was probably fixed.

Spence had top billing in the animation credits which would mean that he was responsible for the most footage in the film. The missing gravy complaint suggests that the scenes at the end of the cartoon in the Park Ave. apartment are his.

There isn't any actual gravy anywhere in the cartoon. In this scene, Jerry reappears after having thrown himself out the window and eats Tom's breakfast.

He finishes by mopping up the plate with a slice of toast. Maybe what is meant by "gravy left off" is that there should be some runny egg yolk on the plate for Jerry to wipe up. If this is the gravy mistake, it obviously wasn't considered worth fixing.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Irv Spence's Cartoon Diary: February 24, 1944

Heck Allen was Tex Avery's story artist at MGM. He is remembered by Joe Barbera in My Life In 'Toons with this moment of workplace harassment:
There was one great-looking url at the studio named Doris, who would sachet down the corridor, pulling in her wake the heads of a couple of dozen animators, who would peer out of their office doorways. In that most politically incorrect era. this went on for some time — a silent ritual among us — until one day Heck Allen called out, "It's a bird! It's a dame! It's Supercan!" And it was super, too.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Irv Spence's Cartoon Diary: February 15, 1944

Post-Oscar title cards for Yankee Doodle Mouse. Note that in the drawing Spence has given an animation credit to Jack Zander, who doesn't get an on-screen mention. -

Monday, February 11, 2013

Listen Up

Stephen Silver talks with Guys With Pencils about "The Business of Art."

Irv Spence's Cartoon Diary: February 11, 1944

Mark Kausler wrote to the old blog on 2/12/05:
I was in Irv Spence's animation class at Hanna-Barbera back in 1969 and he showed me his cartoon diary. The 2/11/44 entry, showing Irv drawing Jerry was the most memorable image from the diary. In the years since I last saw it, someone censored Irv's dialog balloon. Originally he said "Wish you'd learn to draw this damn(or dam) mouse, Liggera!" Somebody has erased the "damn" and replaced it with "CAT &"! Maybe Irv did that himself, maybe somebody else changed it. Anyway, it's funnier with the "damn". ...It seems that Stod Herbert and Tony Liggera were of little or no help to Irv if you believe the diary! He chose to depict his golf game and victory garden planting more than his work experiences, that's why 2/11/44 was one of my favorite drawings from the diary.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Irv Spence's Cartoon Diary: February 8, 1944

Life Magazine February 14, 1944: Cover - Wall of Fame.

A chapter from "The Republic" by Charles Beard. Tito by Stoyan Pribichevich. Photo essay - Kansas. Earl Carroll's lavish show, including photos of Marietta Elliott, Marian Kerrigan, Grace and Nicco, Beryl Wallace and Pinky Lee. Air Evacuation of Wounded. Neat group of photos of different events in Madison Square Garden. The Battle of Baltimore by A.B.C. Whipple. Lucille Ball at the President's ball. War in Italy, photos include pilot Michael Strok, ruins of San Pietro. Full page photo of Britain's Squanderbug. William Allen White 1868-1944. Nice full page movie poster for "A guy named Joe" starring Spencer Tracy and Irene Dunne. Neat full page photo of Air Evacuation, inside ambulance plane, nurse Anne Marie Baran. Individual photos of wounded men, including Myron Whitney, Dale Hitzman, Eugene Pairis, John Lunn, Morris Milner, Floyd Wrich, Henry Wheeler, Theodore Haut, Robert McElheny, Harris Drake, Fred Minch and others. Very nice full page color Coca-Cola ad on battleship. Full page color A & P market ad with Mrs. Katherine Askew and husband John and two little girls.