June 2nd, 2007 Saturday
June 2nd, 2007

Lot's of Changing-of-the-Guard in animation schools in Southern Cal this year. Frank Terry is retiring from the Cal Arts animation department, Dan McGaughlin is stepping down from the chair of the animation branch of the UCLA Film Workshop, and Aubrey Mintz is leaving the Laguna College of Design. Animation students and teachers owe them a debt of gratitude for their stirling job at advancing the art of animation education into the Digital Era, while maintaining the traditions of our ancient toon masters. Bravo and Best of Luck to you all!

Birthdays: The Marquis DeSade, Martha Custis Washington, Thomas Hardy, Hedda Hopper, Sir Edward Elgar, Johnny Weismuller, Charlie Watts, Lotte Reinniger Marvin Hamlisch, Barry Levinson, Jon Peters, Dana Carvey, Garo Yepremian, Jerry Mathers the Beaver of the old t.v. show Leave it to Beaver is 63, Dayvid Haysbert, Lasse Halstrom,
Lotte Reinniger creator of the first animated feature film the Adventures of Prince Achmed, Disney animation story artist Dick Huemer - There is a nice website for Huemer done by his family

1886- President Grover Cleveland married Frances Folsom in a White House ceremony. She was the daughter of his former law partner and Cleveland became her legal guardian after his death. Despite her being half his age and his earlier reputation for fathering children out of wedlock, they were much in love and she especially charmed the American public. At age 21 she became the youngest woman to ever be the First Lady. Songs were written for her and their first baby was honored with a candy bar- the Baby Ruth.
courtesy of Twisted-Candy.com

1896- Gugielmo Marconi took out a patent on wireless broadcasting - radio. At the time his device could be heard from almost 12 miles away !

1920- Eugene O’Neill won a Pulitzer Prize for his first play Beyond the Horizon.

1928 - Velveeta Cheese created by Kraft.

1932- The Screen Publicists Guild formed

1940-Will Eisner's "The Spirit" comic first appears.

1958- An L.A. referendum allowed the county to buy Chavez Ravine from its inhabitants to build Dodger Baseball Stadium.

1961- Humorist writer George F. Kaufman died. He wanted put on his headstone: "Over My Dead Body!"

1973- London animator Richard Williams closed down his Soho studio for a month so his staff could be lectured by Disney legend Art Babbitt. The notes from these lectures have been xeroxed and rexeroxed and have become the most famous unpublished animation manual of all time.

Great website
June 1st, 2007

Scary Clowns and Republicans on Black Velvet.

Now you can order your own portrait of Vice Pres. Dick Cheney on black velvet! Life is Good!

June 1, 2007 Friday
June 1st, 2007

Welcome to June, from Iunius, the month of Juno, queen of the Roman gods.

1939- HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUPERMAN- Joe Seigel and Jerry Shuster, two aspiring cartoonists in High School create a character called “Superman”. Jewish kids, they had read about the Nazis racial concept of the Aryan supremacy based on Frederich Nietzche's concept of the Superman. They wanted to show a Superman could be on the American side. Clark Kent's name was a combination of Clark Gable and Kent Taylor, two actors they admired, Metropolis was from the Fritz Lang movie. On this day they sell all the rights to their characters to Detective Comics (D.C.) for $130.

When the first megabudget Richard Donner Superman movie was being made in the 1976, and Marlon Brando was paid one million dollars for eight minutes of work, Neal Adams and the National Cartoonist's Society pointed out that Seigel and Schuster were now poverty stricken. They never received a nickel of the multi-millions their creation had generated. Seigel was blind on disability and Schuster delivered sandwiches from a local deli. The bad publicity forced Warner Bros and DC Comics to award them and their families pensions for life.

Mrs. Schuster, the model for Lois Lane, told fellow cartoonists recently :" Cartoonists should all stick together! On your own you have no power! Your're just dirt under their (the bosses) feet!"


Birthdays: Brigham Young, Marilyn Monroe would be 80!, Pat Boone, Mikhail Glinka, Red Grooms, Karl Von Clausewitz, Andy Griffith, Morgan Freeman is 69, Nelson Riddle, Lisa Hartman, Cleavon Little, Frederica Von Stade, Powers Booth, Rene Aubergjenois, Lisa Hartman, Brian Cox, Josef Pujol *

*Pujol was famous throughout late Victorian Europe as Le Petomane- The Fartiste- who could fart musical melodies and snuff candles at great distances. He performed an entire evening’s concert for crowned heads and would finish by farting La Marseillaise.

1813- In battle with a British warship, HMS Leopard, dying Captain Lawrence, of the U.S.S. Chesapeake, cried:" Don't Give Up the Ship!" They don't but he died anyway.

1876- Eighteen-year old Milton Hershey opened his first candy store. Hershey's goes on to become the largest candy maker in the U.S. The Hershey’s chocolate kiss is so named because the machine that creates the candy looks like it is kissing the conveyor belt.

1931- Swiss artist Albert Hurter joined the Disney staff, giving the look of cartoons like Snow White a more Germanic storybook look.

1933 - Charlie Chaplin wed actress Paulette Goddard

1936 - "Lux Radio Theater" moved from NYC to Hollywood.

1942- British actor Leslie Howard, who played Ashley in" Gone with the Wind " and Henry Higgins in the first film of "Pygmalion" joined the RAF as a fighter pilot in World War Two. This day he was shot down and killed by the Luftwaffe over the English Channel.

1961 - FM multiplex stereo broadcasting 1st heard

1966 - George Harrison is impressed by Ravi Shankar's concert in London.

1967 –FORTY YEARS AGO- Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in the US and it immediately goes gold.

1968 - Simon & Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" hits #1

1979- Gannett News Services began USA Today, called by some critic's- 'MacPaper'.

1980- Ted Turner started CNN 24-hour news channel.

2001- In Katmandu, Nepal Crown Prince Dipendra quarreled so much with his mother and father, the King Birenda and Queen Aiswarya, about his upcoming marriage that he came to dinner and shot them to death. He also killed four other members of the royal family and then himself. This was the largest massacre of a royal family since Czar Nicholas II’s family was executed in 1918. Next day, a Nepalese government spokesman labeled the incident an “accident”. Dipendra was in a coma for several days before dying and in those few days a government council declared him king anyway.

May 31st, Thursday
May 31st, 2007

Recquiescant im Pace, Charles Nelson Reilly, 1931-2007. We animation folks will always remember you for Lidsville, All Dogs Go to Heaven, Rock-a-Doodle and Uncle Crock's Block. In showbiz Valhalla say hello to Paul Lynde, Franklin Pangborn and Billie DeWolf for us poor mortals.

Birthdays: King Manuel Ist of Portugal –1495, Walt Whitman, Fred Allen, Clint Eastwood, Don Ameche, Prince Ranier, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, Ranier Fassbinder, Brooke Shields, Joe Namath, Richie Valens, Tom Berenger, Denholm Elliot, Peter Yarrow, Lea Thompson, John Bonzo Bonham of Led Zepplin, Colin Ferrell

1873- SCHLEIMANN FOUND TROY. German archaeologist Heinrich Schleimann unearthed the horde of gold known as Priam's Treasure in a mound near Hysarlik Turkey. This proved this site was the Troy of Homer and the Trojan War was not a myth but a real historical event. There were actually 9 Troys on the site- from a Bronze Age village to a Late Roman Empire city. The Troy of the Trojan War was Troy number 4. It showed signs of destruction by fire.

1879- New York’s Madison Square Garden opened. Designed to resemble a Venetian Palazzo.

1884-Happy Birthday Kellogg’s Corn Flakes! Dr. John Harvey Kellogg of Battle Creek Michigan patents "flaked cereal and the process for making same." He felt whole foods like Corn Flakes could help gentle Victorian people curb their urge to sexual excesses. Hmm…should I mud wrestle Nicole Kidmann or have a bowl of corn flakes? Decisions, decisions.

1901-THE BOER WAR ENDS. English troops entered Praetoria; Boer survivors signed the Treaty of Vereeniging. On a troopship returning from South Africa, volunteer doctor Arthur Conan-Doyle was told by a Welsh doctor of a legend of a big ghostly dog that attacked people on the moors of his home estate. Conan-Doyle thought this would be a swell story for his character Sherlock Holmes. The Hound of the Baskervilles was the result.

1928- The song “ Old Man River “sung by Pail Robeson came out as a single.

1957- Malaya received its independence from Britain.

1958 - Dick Dale invents "surf music" with "Let's Go Trippin"

1969- John Lennon and Yoko Ono record "Give Peace a Chance." It became the theme song of the Anti-Vietnam War movement. Because of this song and Lennon’s support of the Hippie protestors the Nixon White House kept a file on him. Lennon spent most of 1972-73 under a constant threat of 60-day deportation from the US. The Republican who suggested the INS revoke Lennons visa was Sen. Strom Thurmond.

1979- The nation of Rhodesia reformed as the Republic of Zimbabwe.

1984- Martial arts movie star Steven Seagal married soap opera star Adrienne LaRussa. But what Adrienne didn’t know was he already had a wife named Miyako Fujetani and two kids waiting for him in Japan. A few months after this he fell for another actress named Kelly LeBrock.

1985- John Sculley was a former exec from Pepsi brought in by Apple Computer companies founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak to help run the company. This day his solution to help the company run better was to fire Steve Jobs. Wozniak retired and Sculley eventually moved on and Steve Jobs runs the reinvigorated Apple as well as PIXAR and Disney.

1989- "Skinhead Day at the Magic Kingdom" Disneyland refused to admit a rally of skinheads, Nazis and Klansmen.

1990- Television sitcom Seinfeld premiered. It was based on a tv special about the standup comedian called the Seinfeld Chronicles. No Soup for You!

1995- A young Mexican-American Tejana singer named Selena was gaining a growing crossover appeal in pop music and there seemed no limit. This day her career was cut short when she was shot and killed by the Yolanda Saldivia, the president of the Selena Fan club.

2000- The first Survivor show premiered, shepherding in the neverending scourge of TV Reality shows.

Here are just a few more images from John Underwood's great book on Grand Central Airport 1923-1959.
Just click on an image to enlarge it.

Looking down Flower St towards Sonora Blvd in 1929. If you know the area you know we are overlooking the Walt Disney Imagineering Main Building where the theme parks are conceived and built. The little house is the Kitter Farm, where the family cooked meals for wayward aviators who dropped in. In the 1960s a bowling alley was there, but Disney bought it in 1988 and converted it into part of the WDI complex.

The Grand Central Airport in 1940 and the terminal today.

Last I heard the terminal was owned by Disney but I don't know of any plans to restore it. Down the block on the corner of Grandview and Airway is a large aluminum shed. This was once the hangar and tool shed for Howard Hughes Hughes Aircraft.
Other cinema inhabitants of the area included Toon Disney, the ARL Research Library, now moved, Stan Winston's Creature shop and John Van Vliet's efx house Available Light.

Birthdays: Czar Peter the Great, Benny Goodman, Mel Blanc, Stepin Fetchit, Keir Dullea, Boris Pasternak, Irving Thalberg, Milt Neil, Howard Hawks, Gale Sayers, Michael J. Pollard, Wynonna

1431- At Place de Vieux-Marche’, in English controlled Rouen, Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. She was 19. The Maid of Orleans was made a saint in 1920. Her last request was for a priest to hold up high a Crucifix so she could pray aloud above the flames. When one English knight watched the maid call out to Christ as she died, he exclaimed in grief: "Brothers, we are lost because I think we have just killed a Saint! ".

1821 - James Boyd patents Rubber Fire Hose.

1848 William Young patents the ice cream freezer.

1930- The Lockheed Terminal rededicated as Burbank Airport.

1935 - Babe Ruth's final game, he goes hitless for Braves against Phillies

1955- The New York chapter of the Catholic League of Decency pressured Loews Theater on Broadway to take down a giant 30-foot billboard of Marilyn Monroe trying to push her skirt down.
Me? indecent? Jiminy!

1972- Director choreographer Bob Fosse filmed a live performance of Liza Minelli’s one-woman show Liza with a Z. It was telecast in Sept. and became a sensation.

1994 - Death of Baron Marcel Bich, Italian-born French engineer and industrialist who created an empire through his disposable BIC pens, lighters and razors.