Nov 10, 2006 fri.
November 10th, 2006

More Wisdom of the Ancient Animators:

"If it ain't got a big sloppy dog, you ain't got comedy."
Joe Barbera, also attributed at times to Joe Ruby.

Birthdays: William Hogarth, Francois Couperin, King George II of England, Frederick Schiller, Claude Rains, Tim Rice, Richard Burton, Roy Scheider, Ann Reinking, MacKenzie Phillips, Russell Means, Sinbad, Brittany Murphy, George Fenneman-Groucho’s TV announcer, Peter Schneider, Sue Kroyer, Kellie Bea Cooper

1871- STANLEY FINDS LIVINGSTON- No one in England had heard from the famous African explorer-missionary Dr David Livingston for three years and he was feared dead. Henry Morton Stanley undertook the expedition partly as a publicity stunt funded by the Josef Pulitizer’s New York World newspaper. After one year of wandering through the jungle Stanley came upon the old missionary on the shores of Lake Tanganyika near Ujiji. Stanley introduced himself by saying: "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?" Stanley also proved Speeckes theory of the source of the Nile River as Lake Victoria Nyanzaa.

1950- Paramount's "Mice Meeting You" The first Herman and Katnip cartoon. Herman and Katnip were the over-the-line violent cartoon that Itchy and Scratchy of the Simpsons may have been based on.

1969- The children’s education show SESAME STREET premiered on PBS tv. The world is introduced to Bert & Ernie, Cookie Monster,, Big Bird and Mr Hooper.

1971- The US table tennis team arrived in Red China for a tour. Ping-Pong became an unlikely diplomatic tactic to begin the warming of relations between China and the US.

1975- S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald sinks at Whitefish Bay in Lake Superior, drowning all 29 crew members and causing a famous 70's folk song to happen.

1981- Innovative French film director Abel Gance died at age 92. Shortly before his death he saw his great widescreen movie Napoleon restored by British historian Kevin Brownlow and produced by Francis Ford Coppola with a live audience. Bronlow stretched a telephone cord out on stage so the old man could hear the wild cheers of the audience.

1982- The Vietnam Veterans Wall Monument designed by Maia Lin opened to the public in Washington D.C,

1995- Carolco, the Hollywood studio that produced many Arnold Schwarzenegger hits like "Total Recall" declared bankruptcy after producing $115 million dollar megaflop "Cutthroat Island" with Geena Davis.

November 9. 2006
November 9th, 2006

Dear Gang, I'm having a little trouble with my Earthlink mail this evening, so if anyone has come here wondering why I haven't answered their messages yet, I am attempting to alleviate the problem.
Birthdays: English King Edward VII, Stanford White, Marie Dressler, Ed Wynn, Claude Rains, Ann Sexton, Spiro Agnew, Tommy Dorsey, Dr. Carl Sagan, Whitey Herzog, Dorothy Dandridge, Dr. Herbert Kalmus the inventor of Technicolor film, Lou Ferrigno, Sisqo

In ancient Rome this was the Feast of Mania, like the Greek Anthesterion it was a time when the Gates of Underworld were said to be open and the shades of the dead could visit their old haunts. This is where we get the word Maniac.

1699- According to Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels this was the day Lemenual Gulliver was shipwrecked on the island of Liliput.

1911-The first Neon sign illuminated.

1964- First "Wizard of Id" comic strip published.

1965- "WHERE WERE YOU WHEN THE LIGHTS WENT OUT?" The first Great East Coast Blackout. A transformer near Rochester shorts out and the surge overloads station after station until the entire eastern seaboard from Boston to Delaware is in darkness for 12 hours. (nine months later there was a notable rise in the birthrate, there was nothing else to do....).

1966- In London Beatle John Lennon went to an art exhibit and met a Japanese avant garde photographer named Yoko Ono.

1981- The Screen Actor's Guild under President Ed Asner votes emergency moneys for striking PATCO air traffic controllers fired by the former SAG president, now U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

1979- National Public Radio goes on the air. The first US national news show with women as anchor reporters.

2004- The Jones Soda Pop Company of Seattle announced its new creation – Mashed Potato Flavored Soda. This was to follow up on their success last year of Roast Turkey and Gravy Soda.

November 8th, 2006

WowieKazowwie! No, that not one of my Polish ancestors, thats my reaction to the great review of DRAWING THE LINE on the website Jim Hill Media. Out of the Hickory State, its a great site on Disneyana and related animaton subjects. Merci and Gracias Jim!

November 08, 2006 weds
November 8th, 2006

Recently I was visiting my neighborhood comic book store when I chanced upon a wonderful tome I had been anticipating.

Artists seem to go in and out of fashion. Remember how a few years ago people seemed to never get enough N.C. Wyeth? And before that it was Leyndecker? Meanwhile Howard Pyle, Andrew Loomis, Pettigrew and their contemporaries lay in obscurity but for the most ardent researchers.

Wally Wood's name is not as well known as it was say, twenty years ago, but among his contemporaries he was a giant of the cartooning and fantasy illustration world, who came to a tragic end. This book by Steve Starger and J. David Spurlock is the most concise and thorough work on the life of this curious man I have read. They rely on many oral histories and reminiscences, plus comments from other great artists like Frank Miller, Will Eisner,R. Crumb, John Romita, art speigelman and Jack Davis. They all attest to Wood's amazing output.

Mad Magazine, Weird Science, Sally Forth, Mars Attacks. While some are action adventure cartoonists and some were comedy specialists, Wood moved easily in all mediums. His action/sci fi/fantasy was very dramatic, his comic work very funny, his sexy stuff very sexy and his sentimental work very, you know...sentimental. His Disneyland Orgy poster for an alternative magazine called the Realist in 1966 was so on-model, that many assumed it was done by moonlighting Disney animators. How could someone outside the studio precincts draw the characters that well?

courtesy of

This is probably the only part of the Disney poster I can show thats not pornographic.

This lonely man who ended his life with a .44 Magnum on Halloween night 1981 was one of the great cartoonists of the twentieth century. Hopefully books like Wally's World and the Wally Wood Sketchbook will help to restore the lustre to his brilliant career and introduce new interest in his work.
Birthdays: Roman Emperor Nerva, Bram Stoker, Sir Edmund Halley, June Havoc, Margaret Mitchell, Joe Flynn- the cranky captain in the 60’s TV comedy McHales Navy, Ricky Lee Jones, Bonny Raitt, Dr. Christiaan Barnard, Ester Rolle, Katherine Hepburn., Parker Posey, Gretchen Mol, Tara Reid

1789- Elijah Craig first distilled whiskey from Indian corn and strained it through a wool blanket. He lived in Bourbon County, Kentucky, so the stuff soon became popularly known as Bourbon.

1793- In one of the positive results of the Reign of Terror, the French Revolutionary Government opens the royal art collection of the Louvre to the public as a museum.

1805- Lewis and Clark stand on the sand at the Pacific Ocean near the mouth of the Columbia River.

1880- Famous actress Sarah Bernhardt made her American stage debut in La Dame aux Camelias. She made a further ten tours of the US, all billed as Farewell Appearances.

1887- Dentist-gunfighter Doc Holliday dies of tuberculosis or consumption at 35. He knew he had it for a long time, and in those days it was considered fatal and incurable. Some say this knowledge is what made him such a bold pistolero. But unfortunately for him, he won all his gunfights and died in bed anyway. His last words after taking a shot of whiskey were:" Well, I'll be damned!"

1929- New York’s Museum of Modern Art opened.

1943- The first one man show of American abstract painter named Jackson Pollock. Pollock later created his brushless dripping form of painting that earned him the nickname:”Jack the Dripper”.

1965- The Days of Our Lives soap opera first premiered on TV.

1966- Former actor and SAG president Ronald Reagan elected Governor of California.

1991- Marion Barry was re-elected Mayor of Washington D.C. despite serving time for smoking crack cocaine. Comedian Chris Rock wondered:” Who did he run against? Who was so bad you’d rather vote for a crackhead?”

" Vote, noun. The instrument of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country."

Ambrose Bierce, the Devil's Dictionary,1911

Birthdays: Francesco Zubaran, Madame Curie, Billy Graham is 88, Leon Trotsky –real name Lev Bronstein, Albert Camus, Al Hurt, Joni Mitchell, Joan Sutherland., Judy Tenuda, Clive Barnes

1914- THE MASS MOONING OF TSING-TAO- Japan had joined the allied side in World War One to attack German colonial holdings in China. The British Navy helped the Japanese Army attack the biggest German fortress in Asia, Tsingtao, home of their famous brewery, built in 1896. The surrendering Germans were angry that the British, their fellow white Europeans, with whom they had stomped the Chinese nationalists together, would aid another Asian race against them. Hadn’t that Englishman- Kipling wrote that poem about the “White Man’s Burden”? As the British troops marched in with the Japanese, the German P.O.W.'s executed a smart about-face, dropped trousers and executed a smart "group-mooning".

1917- RED OCTOBER, THE BOLSHEVIK REVOLUTION- As the guns of the battleship Aurora boomed out across Petrograd (St. Petersburg) Lenin's Bolsheviks stormed the Winter Palace and overthrew the provisional government and established the first Communist state, the Soviet Union. Two Bolsheviks sent to take over the telephone exchange had forgot to bring their weapons but succeeded nonetheless. Red Army leader Leon Trotsky had at one point lived in exile in New York. This day a Bronx newspaper proudly put as it's headline:" Bronx Boy Seizes Power in Russia !"

Comrades! Have you bought Comrade Sito's book yet? The story of the painter with her bra full of pushpins made me laugh until I plotz!"

1937- Reich Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels sent an emissary to Paris to talk Marlena Dietrich into coming home. But Germany’s greatest movie star hated the Nazis and all they stood for.

1945- The Weisbaden Mainfesto- at the end of World War Two thousands of priceless works of art plundered from museums across Europe were hidden by the Nazis in salt mines in Bavaria. The victorious Americans sent a squad of art curators to catalog the treasures, then were ordered to secretly ship them back to the U.S.. This order morally troubled the team, and a Colonel Obermeyer and a Captain William Farmer wrote a protest petition to the War Department and published it, saying we would be no better than the Nazis themselves if we took the artwork. Washington gave in to the embarrassment and the 200 works of Durer, Raphael, Titian and more were returned to their proper museums.

1956- Eugene O’Neill’s biographical masterpiece play “Long Days Journey into Night” first premiered.

1957- Communist East Germany debuted the Trabant automobile. Trabants or “Trebbies” quickly entered legend alongside Yugos and Edsels as one of the worst cars ever made. Eastern Europeans spent many happy hours on the side of the road trying to get them running and making dozens of Trebbie jokes. “Did you hear the Ministry of going to make Trebbies with dual extra long exhaust pipes? Why? Because then after it breaks down, at least you can use it as a wheelbarrow.”

1963- The movie “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” premiered at Hollywood’s new Cinerama Dome theater. Titles by animator Saul Bass, effects by Linwood Dunn and poster by Jack Davis.

1965- the first Pillsbury Doughboy commercial debuted. ‘Tee-hee-hee!”

1980- Rebel actor Steve McQueen died of cancer at age 50.

1991- “Even Me”-Los Angeles Laker Basketball star Irvin “Magic” Johnson admitted to the world that he was HIV –positive. He said he got it from casual sex and was retiring from the NBA. Coming soon after the death of movie star Rock Hudson , Magic Johnson’s example brought home to the world that HIV/AIDS wasn’t merely a “gay plague” but that straight people get it too. His life is also an example that an HIV positive person can still lead a full productive life.

1997- Someone published a stolen home video of Baywatch star Pamela Anderson and rock star Tommy Lee having graphic sex on their honeymoon, not to mention Tommy steering his boat with his John-Thomas. The Pamela-Tommy video became the most downloaded file on the Internet and rented video in history. In 1998 Pamela Anderson Lee was the subject of 1% of the Total Traffic on the entire World Wide Web!