----- DATABASE NOTES -----
From “Water Babies” (1935). The Babies (#40) are riding two fish coming out of the water. Some color direction on the sketch. [Image: 11-3/16"H x 8.5"H; Frame: 19-5/8"W x 16.5"H] Acquired 1990. SeqID-0145
NOTE: Use the "Content By Category" (right side) to find films and characters. This blog is for Animation and Comic related images, artifacts, and commentary on holdings in The Cowan Collection. Copyright by original holders.
I really had not done too much research into the background of Little Toot and I was amazed at what I found! While Little Toot was a large part of Gramatky's work, his artwork is fascinating.Hi there, Bob,Linda Gramatky Smith
Loved finding your blog with the pastel design sketches from "Melody Time" and "Little Toot".
My dad was Hardie Gramatky and I know he would have loved that the story of a child (tug) trying to please his dad resonated with you too.
Joseph Shuster was born in Toronto, Ontario, the son of Jewish immigrants. His father Julius, an immigrant from Rotterdam, South Holland, the Netherlands, and his mother Ida, who had come from Kiev in Ukraine, were barely able to make ends meet. As a youngster, Shuster worked as a newspaper boy for the Toronto Daily Star and, as a hobby, he liked to sketch. He had one sister, Jean Peavy. One cousin is comedian Frank Shuster of the Canadian comedy team Wayne and Shuster.
When Joe Shuster was 10, his family moved to Cleveland, Ohio. In Cleveland, Shuster attended Glenville High School and befriended his later collaborator, writer Jerry Siegel, with whom he began publishing a science fiction fanzine. The duo broke into comics at Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson's National Allied Publications, the future DC Comics, working on the landmark New Fun — the first comic-book series to consist solely of original material rather than using any reprinted newspaper comic strips — debuting with the musketeer swashbuckler "Henri Duval" and the supernatural crime-fighter strip Doctor Occult, both in New Fun #6 (Oct. 1935).
Siegel and Shuster used an early version of the character that would become Superman in short stories and in a 1933 comic-strip proposal. In 1938, after that proposal had languished among others at National, editor Vin Sullivan chose it as the cover feature for National's Action Comics #1 (June 1938). The following year, Siegel & Shuster initiated the syndicated Superman comic strip.
When Superman first appeared, Superman's alter ego Clark Kent worked for the Daily Star newspaper, named by Shuster after the Toronto Daily Star, his old employer in Toronto. According to an interview he gave a few months before his death, he modeled the cityscape of Superman's home city, Metropolis, on that of his old hometown. When the comic strip received international distribution, the company permanently changed the name to The Daily Planet.
In the same interview, Shuster stated that he modeled the look of Clark Kent after both himself and movie star Harold Lloyd, and that of Superman after Douglas Fairbanks Sr. He modeled Lois Lane after Joanne Carter, the woman who would later marry Jerry Siegel
Shuster became famous as the co-creator of one of the most well-known and commercially successful fictional characters of the 20th century. National Allied Publications claimed copyright to his and Siegel's work, and when the company refused to compensate them to the degree they believed appropriate, Siegel and Shuster, in 1946, near the end of their 10-year contract to produce Superman stories, sued National over rights to the characters. They ultimately settled the claim for $94 000 after the court ruled against them — but that the rights to Superman had been validly purchased by the publisher when they bought the first Superman story. After the bitter legal wrangling, Shuster and Siegel's byline was dropped by DC comics.
In 1947, the team rejoined editor Sullivan, by now the founder and publisher of the comic-book company Magazine Enterprises where they created the short-lived comical crime-fighter Funnyman. While Siegel continued to write comics for a variety of publishers, Shuster largely dropped out of sight.
Shuster continued to draw comics after the failure of Funnyman, although exactly what he drew is uncertain. Comics historian Ted White wrote that Shuster continued to draw horror stories into the 1950s. In 1964, when Shuster was living on Long Island with his elderly mother, he was reported to be earning his living as a freelance cartoonist; he was also "trying to paint pop art — serious comic strips — and hope[d] eventually to promote a one-man show in some chic Manhattan gallery". At one point, his worsening eyesight prevented him from drawing, and he worked as a deliveryman in order to earn a living. By 1976, Shuster was almost blind and living in a California nursing home.
In 1967, when the Superman copyright came up for renewal, Siegel launched a second lawsuit, which also proved unsuccessful.
In 1975, Siegel launched a publicity campaign, in which Shuster participated, protesting DC Comics' treatment of him and Shuster. In the face of a great deal of negative publicity over their handling of the affair (and due to the upcoming Superman movie), DC's parent company Warner Communications reinstated the byline dropped more than thirty years earlier and granted the pair a lifetime pension of $20,000 a year plus health benefits. Joe Shuster died in Los Angeles, California in 1992.
Wayne Boring (who also used the pseudonym of "Jack Harmon") was born in Minnesota in 1905. His early flare for drawing led him to enroll in art schools, including the Minnesota School of Art and the Chicago Art Institute.
He began in the comic business in 1937 by ghosting detective strips by mail such as Slam Bradley, Spy and Dr.Occult for the studio of artist Joe Shuster and writer Jerry Siegel, who had joined DC (then called National Periodical Publications), the year before they created the character that would be known as Superman.
Boring was one of the earliest ghosts to work on the Superman comic strip, and would eventually take it over completely. He left Shuster's shop in 1942, after he was hired by DC to work for them directly. The following year Stan Kaye started inking Boring's pencils on a regular basis, which began an historic team-up that lasted almost two decades.
In 1948, when Siegel and Shuster had quit DC and launched a copyright lawsuit against them (which they would ultimately lose), the door was swung wide open for Boring. Siegel and Shuster's departure from National also coincided closely with editor Mort Weisinger's taking control of the Superman series back from Jack Schiff.
Also being one of the first artists to ever do a ghost job on the Superman comic itself, Boring's work soon grew so popular with the fans that he took over the character, drawing it throughout the decade of the late '40s, and '50s. In the early '60s most Superman duties were handed down to new Superman artist Swan.
While Boring's '50s version of Superman was being printed, the first run of The Adventures Of Superman TV series (1951-1957) began airing, which starred George Reeves, the greatest actor who will ever portray the Man Of Steel.
Boring's work is easily recognizable, being composed of well-applied influences of artists like Alex Raymond of Flash Gordon fame, meshing with his own highly stylized sci-fi oriented artwork.
He was still working at DC in 1967 when he was dismissed during an all-out purge of several "old school" artists. That purge also included George Papp (creator of Green Arrow) and Sheldon Moldoff (creator of Green Lantern).
However, he still wasn't done yet, as he embarked upon more syndicated strip work, such as ghosting backgrounds for Hal Foster's epic Prince Valiant Sunday page from 1968 until 1972, as well as ghosting Sam Leff's Davy Jones strip.
For a short period after 1972, Boring even worked at Marvel on a few titles, ironically including Captain Marvel, which had once been embroiled in a lawsuit over its resemblance to the Superman comic (Captain Marvel's publisher, Fawcett, had lost).
But eventually Boring decided that was enough, and he left the comics field entirely. In his golden years he could still be found working, though, part-time as a bank security guard, before a heart attack claimed him in 1987.
His incredible decade-plus run on the Superman comic rivals even the great 1960s decade run by Jack Kirby on Fantastic Four for Marvel comics. His style easily managed to rise above the more cartoonish look of Superman co-creator Shuster and the more calculated and conservative line work of Swan.
As a result, Boring's work on Superman still remains the best version of the most popular character in comics history.
I enjoy reading your blog. Thank you for sharing items from your collection, but a special thank you for the research work and putting the items in context for us.
I remember seeing Harry Holt at WDW and thinking he was just another talented local crew member. I had no idea of his pedigree, which is only becoming available now…as a consequence of generous folks such as yourself. I found a photo I took of Harry back in 1991. In case you don't have one, you may want to include it in the file with his drawings.
Ross Anderson, Brockville, ON Canada
You might be able to see some of the artwork he produced by enlarging the items on the wall.
I'm pretty sure this was taken at "Tony's" just inside the park -- which is were we picked up 1 of his items. It seems like we picked up the other drawing from another location, but I can't seem to remember which of the 2 or 3 other locations might have been his work area.
Ross, thanks so much for sharing your recollections we me -- and "Thanks" for letting me share your email and photo with those that read this blog....
It is indeed rare to have the drawings to the cell setup. In this case, the animation of Ferdinand is according to the draft attributed to the very Milt Kahl you mention as Ferdinand's voice. The initials on the clean-up are HK, which maybe could be Hal King, who was born June 5th., 1913, started work at Disney July 20th., 1936, worked most of his life as animator, retired August 28th., 1973 and passed away in Laguna Beach at the age of 73 on October 28th., 1986. I believe I read somewhere that Pete Docter is working on a book about him, which is high time.