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Saturday, June 14, 2014

Items Up For Auction

Here's the link to the July 1-2, 2014 Heritage Auction site that displays the items from our collection that are up for auction.

July 1-2, 2014 Heritage Animation Auction - Cowan Items

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Collection Going To Auction

For a variety of reasons, we've decided to part ways with our animation collection of over 3,000 items.

The first major auction will be hosted by Heritage Auctions and will take place July 1-2, 2014. 

Many of the items we purchased were at the height of the market and I am afraid that many will be sold at a substantial discount. Ah, if there were only a market for the Beanie Babies...

If you are interested, here is a link to this upcoming auction...

Heritage Auction 7093, July 1-2, 2014

My thanks to all that have visited my site over the years.

Happy Collecting!

Bob Cowan

Sunday, July 10, 2011

"Dumbo" (1941) [Series] - Giraffe Pastel

Well, I realized that I had not finished posting the art from "Dumbo."  A couple of items left...

This is a great little storyboard piece showing four giraffes in the circus parade -- one flexing its neck to pass under a wire.  A little humor!

Pastel Storyboard of Giraffes In Parade
(click to enlarge)


From “Dumbo” (1941).  Pastel of giraffe ducking under a banner during the circus parade.  References on page: “P-212”; “47” [8.25W x 8.75H]  SeqID-0267

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"Robin Hood" (1973) - More Background

There were some great comments about the background that I just posted.  I thought I'd put up a higher resolution copy of the background (fully image).  Enjoy!

"Robin Hood" (1973) - Robin & Marian Key Set-up on Master Background

Here is a great 35-inch wide piece from Robin Hood.  Consists of cels of (1) Robin and Marian, (2) church doors, (3) detail edging of rocks on a watercolor pan master background.  A great piece...

----- DATABASE NOTES -----

From “Robin Hood” (1973).  The water color master background of the church when Robin Hood and Maid Marian leave after the wedding (no markings on the back of the background). The cels are key setup.  Consists of (1) watercolor pan master, (2) cel with detail edging of rocks, (3) cel of church doors, (4) cel of Robin and Marian arm-in-arm.  [35-1/8”W x 12.5”H]  SeqID 0398  7/15/2005

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"Dumbo" (1941) [Series] - Crow Pencils

More Dumbo items from the Cowan Collection...

OK. Let me get started again....  Continuing with some nice pencils of the Crows from Dumbo.  One of the more interesting items is a sketch of the Crows with their names and mark up directions. My guess is that the names were added at a later time, but it does provide some insight as to the process of getting everyone's name correct...

From Wikipedia:
The crow characters in the film are in fact African-American caricatures; the leader crow voiced by Caucasian Cliff Edwards is officially named "Jim Crow". The other crows are voiced by African-American actors, all members of the Hall Johnson Choir.
 The Crows
(Click to Enlarge)

----- DATABASE NOTES -----

From Dumbo (1941).  A pencil sketch of crows with red mark up directions, names of crows.  "2006.12.212.0"  "cel 1  1st set up  24B"  10”H X 12"W  Circa 1941  Acquired 2000. SeqID-0500

From Dumbo (1941).  A pencil sketch of Dandy (Jim) Crow.  "2006.19.18.0"  "8 of 19.1"  "36" "Reg to BG"  10h X 12"W

From Dumbo (1941).  A pencil sketch of the crows sitting on a telephone line.  Pencil in red.  "2006.19.229.0"  "C9"  10h X 12"W.  Circa 1941. Unframed Item: 12"W x 10"H  SeqID-0498  Acquired 2000.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Off Line For a Bit

Sorry about not posting material.  I had a heart attack and am just getting back in the grove.

No history, Not over weight. I run 5 days a week. Eat well.... Ah, well.  And it was a big one - I gather that only about 1% survive more than 4 hours....   I guess there are more blogs I need to write before I can sign-off!

More soon.....  !



Monday, April 26, 2010

"Dumbo" (1941) [Series] - Stat Model Sheets

More Dumbo material from the Cowan Collection...

Original model sheets are difficult to find. However, model sheets offer an amazing view into the creative mind of the artist responsible for the character. Stat (early versions of the photocopy process) model sheets offer a great deal of appeal. Here are a few from Dumbo:

Stat Model Sheets
(click to enlarge)

----- DATABASE NOTES -----

From Dumbo (1941).  A stat model sheet of Casey Jones, Jr.  "Revised Casey Jones Jr."  "-2006-"  "1-2-41"  Dimensions: 14w X 11h. Acquired 2000. SeqID-0496.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

"Dumbo" (1941) [Series] - "Dumbo -- The Story of the Little Elephant With the Big Ears

Copyrighted in 1939, here is "Walt Disney's Dumbo -- The Story Of The Little Elephant With Big Ears."  The book notes:  "Suggested by the story, 'Dumbo, The Flying Elephant," by Helen Aberson and Harold Pearl."  Sometimes it's nice to have a range of items related to a film to show that part of creating a part of an American Institution is cross-marketing...

Dumbo -- The Story of the Little Elephant with the Big Ears
(Click to Enlarge)

----- DATABASE NOTES -----

Walt Disney's "Dumbo -- The Story of the Little Elephant With the Big Ears."  An old book of Dumbo.  Distributed by Winkler & Ramen (NY), printed by Western Printing and Lithographing Company.  The book notes: "Suggested by the story, 'Dumbo, The Flying Elephant," by Helen Aberson and Harold Pearl. Copyright, 1939, Roll-A-Book Publishing."  20 pages. [Item: 10"W x 9"H]  SeqID 0037
Found in an old children's bookstore in New Orleans.  Some minor discoloration on interior pages. 

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010


OK... Next series of postings will be Dumbo items in the collection...


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"Elmer Elephant" (1936) [Series] - Pencils

Here are the last items from our collection of "Elmer Elephant" items...

Finally, a few pencils from the film. I especially like the Elmer and Tillie poses...

 Elmer Elephant Pencils

----- DATABASE NOTES -----

From "Elmer Elephant" (1936). Black and red pencil sketch of Elmer Elephant.  [12"W x 10"H]  SeqID-0487

From "Elmer Elephant" (1936). Black and red pencil sketch of Tillie Tiger.  [12"W x 10"H]  SeqID-0488

From "Elmer Elephant" (1936). Black and red pencil clean up sketch of the monkey and ostrich.  [12"W x 10"H] SeqID-0489

From "Elmer Elephant" (1936). Pencil sketch of tiger, hippo, monkey, fox, bear and lion running to catch Elmer.  [12"W x 10"H]  SeqID-0486.

Monday, April 12, 2010

"Elmer Elephant" (1936) [Series] - Credits

More on Elmer Elephant...

Major Pepperidge asked whether or not I knew any information on the people responsible for the character development -- since the film had a different "look" than some of the other films.

Here's some data from

Characters: Elmer Elephant, Joe Giraffe, Joey Hippo, Tillie Tiger (voice : Bernice Hansen)
Director : Wilfred Jackson
Animation: Ward Kimball, Hamilton Luske, Paul Hopkins, Al Eugster, Gerry Geronomi
Story: Earl Hurd, Bianca Majolie, Roy Williams

And from the entry in Wikipedia:

Elmer Elephant is a Silly Symphonies cartoon short produced by The Walt Disney Company, directed by Wilfred Jackson and released on March 28, 1936.

The short tells the story of a timid elephant named Elmer. In this story, he is invited to Tillie Tiger's birthday party, bringing her a bouquet of flowers. Tillie loves Elmer, but the other animal kids make fun of his nose and cruelly mock him when Tillie isn't around to defend him. Brokenhearted by their teasing, Elmer leaves the party and cries in front of the nearby pond, but is reassured by a nearby giraffe who admits to him that he used to suffer the same teasing about his neck. Just then, a fire breaks out at Tillie's treehouse with her still in it, and the rescue efforts by the other children prove futile. With the help of the giraffe and some pelicans who resemble Jimmy Durante, Elmer successfully puts out the fire and rescues Tillie.

Elmer would later go on to star in a serial in the Silly Symphonies comic strip, even getting his own strip which unfortunately did not last long. And like the Three Little Pigs before him, he would also become a popular character in merchandising. However, with the exceptions of the crowd shots in the later Silly Symphonies short Toby Tortoise Returns and a cameo appearance in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Elmer was never again featured in animation. (He never even appeared in crowd shots on House of Mouse.)

Today, the Elmer Elephant short can be viewed on the Silly Symphonies DVD set in the first wave of the Walt Disney Treasures line. It has also been included as a bonus feature, alongside fellow Silly Symphony short The Flying Mouse, on both DVD releases for Dumbo. From 1983 through 1997, his short was also the featured subject of DTV's music video of "Owner of a Lonely Heart" by Yes.

Friday, April 9, 2010

"Elmer Elephant" (1936) [Series] - 1st and 2nd Generation Stat Model Sheets

More from Elmer Elephant...

There are some 1st and 2nd generation stat model sheets from "Elmer Elephant." There is nothing "wrong" about picking up any of the early "stat" copies made by the Studio. Still great images and there were certainly a limited number of copies made...

1st Generation Stat Model Sheet

2nd Generation Stat Model Sheets

----- DATABASE NOTES -----

From "Elmer Elephant" (1936). A 1st generation stat model sheet of Elmer Elephant, pelican, Joe Giraffe, Tillie Tiger, hippo, monkey, fox, bear and lion. [14.5"W x 13.5"H]  SeqID-0485

From “Elmer Elephant” (1936).  A second generation stat model sheet of Elmer (Elephant Character).  "S-No 33"  In pencil: "256-863"  Red "U" before "S-No 33"   A Silly Symphony film directed by Wilfred Jackson.  [Unframed item: 11w X 14h] Acquired 2000. SeqID-0484

From “Elmer Elephant” (1936).  A second generation stat model sheet of Tillie Tiger.  "S-No. 33"  "661-321"  A Silly Symphony film directed by Wilfred Jackson. [Unframed item: 14w X 11h] Acquired 2000. SeqID-0483

Thursday, April 8, 2010

"Elmer Elephant" (1936) [Series] - Various Pencils and Models

Here's a collection of "Elmer Elephant" items...

I seem to recall reading (although I can't remember where or even if my recollection is accurate), that there was a feeling at Disney that Elmer would be "the next big thing" in an effort to broaden the line of recognizable characters. To my thinking, Elmer was the iconic Nerd of his time -- picked on by those at school, some who liked a girl that would never notice him....  You get the picture...  in the same genre as "Ugly Better" or "Mean Girls" or one of a dozen coming-of-age films. While interesting, the Elmer Project never really developed any traction. But the characters were cute and I could certainly picture a line of plush toys....

In this first posting, here are items from the Ingeborg Willy Scrapbook...

Elmer Elephant Scrap

The Bully

Another Bully

----- DATABASE NOTES -----

From "Elmer Elephant" (1936). Pencil sketch of Elmer Elephant from the Ingeborg Willy Scrapbook.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

"Duck Tales" - Mike Royer Commerical Art

More from "Duck Tales".....

What appears on the screen may be only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to animation artwork. There is a huge amount of material of original art that is developed for commercial, licensed use.  Here are some pieces drawn by the creative Mike Royer....

Citrus World Concept Art

"Launchpad" Art

Here's some background on Mike from his web site (
Drawn to Southern California, spring 1965, by the lure of a career in Comic Art, Mike spent his first 14 years in comic books, comic strips, and TV animation. Beginning as RUSS Manning's assistant on MAGNUS, ROBOT FIGHTER and TARZAN comic books (at the end of their working relationship Mike lettered and inked the last 6 months of Russ's TARZAN syndicated Sunday strip and the first 4 months of the daily and Sunday syndicated STAR WARS, late 1970s) and then inking and pencilling for Western Publishing (Gold Key). Mike inked such West Coast talents as Sparky Moore, Mike Arens, Paul Norris, and Doug Wildley.

His drawing asignments were on TARZAN, SPACE GHOST, coloring books, puzzles, etc. for Western and doing layout on network animation series like SPIDERMAN. At Gold Key he wrote/adapted and drew SPEED BUGGY, BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KIDS, TARZAN, MAGNUS, and designed and executed covers for Hanna-Barbera TV ADVENTURE HEROES, etc. Mike contributed to James Warren's CREEPY, EERIE, and VAMPERELLA magazines and began drawing the comic panel CRUSIN' record album covers (over 2 dozen to date), many of which he's scripted.

For East coast firms, Mike inked artists Don Heck, Steve Ditko, Ramona Fraden and others, but during this period he is best known to comic fans for his decade as letterer/inker for legendary Jack Kirby at National and then Marvel.

From late Spring 1979, Mike spent the next 14 years on staff with the Walt Disney Company in the creative department of their Consumer Product/Licensing division, addressing the areas of book publishing, comic books and strips, and all forms of themepark and licensed merchandise as a character artist/product designer, performing as idea man, concept and final line artist, and sometime inker.

At Disney, Mike designed and art directed the DICK TRACY and 3-D ROCKETEER comic book Music Company read-alongs. He created the "new look" that launched the massive WINNIE THE POOH licensing program in late 1993. Featured in a 43 minute video "How To Draw Pooh" sent to over 40 licensees, Mike takes no small amount of pride in the fact that POOH soon (and still) outsold Mickey Mouse worldwide.

June 1993 Mike left his staff position to spend the next 7 years full time free lancing for The Disney Store's creative group, becoming their "Main POOH Man" and creating 3-D products utilizing Disney characters.

Since Spring 2000 Mike has functioned as an Art service doing pencil work on a wide variety of projects, including creating character Orthographic Turns and environment "floor plans" for computer game animators, DIGIMON products, on screen icons for FOX FAMILY CHANNEL and FOX KIDS NETWORK, READER RABBIT work books, RESCUE HEROES toy packaging, etc.

Spring 2001 found Mike and Laurie, his lovely wife and concept collaborater, returning to his birth state, Oregon, settling in Medford, and in the process returned to his career roots. And in the last few years he's found time to ink such luminaries as Steve Rude and Eric Larsen, to name a couple. Mike continues to create Disney character art for limited edition collector pin sets and does "recreations". He strongly believes that his passion, attention to detail and accuracy, and his commitment to integrity will keep him at the board for a long time to come.

----- DATABASE NOTES -----

From “Duck Tales” (circa 1989).  On thin tracing paper. Suggestions for a variety of items that could be sold to kids in the Duck Tales theme. For Citrus World. Gyro, Scrooge, Webby, Launchpad, Doofus. Done by Mike Royer. [Item: 17-3/4"W x 14"H]  SeqID 0036

From “Duck Tales” (circa 1989).  An excellent watercolor of Launchpad running in his flight suit. Signed by Mike Royer. [Image: 8-9/16"W x 10-3/8"H]  SeqID 0035

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Winnie The Pooh Cel and Richards' Background

Rob Richards recently posted some great backgrounds from Winnie the Pooh.Since our first cel was a Winnie the Pooh piece, I took note...

One of the backgrounds had a number of "hunny pots" in the background. I decided to super our first Winnie cel on the background and loved the result!

Richards Background

Our First Winnie Cel

Composite Image

Thanks, Rob!