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Saturday, February 28, 2009

"Casper" - 1950 Stat Model Sheet

While not in the same league as Disney, I certainly remember watching Casper cartoons on the TV. Here are a few Casper items from the Famous Studio...

1950 Casper Stat Model Sheet

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

Casper Model Sheet. Dated "4/13/50." Stat model sheet of Casper. On bottom row, Casper is shown lifting a little boy. Glossy paper. [Item: 14”W X 11.5”H] Acquired 1999. SeqID-0431

Friday, February 27, 2009

"Casey Bats Again" (1954) - Fred Moore Signed Color Pastel

In some of the Disney films, the women were written stronger than other media of the day. In my opinion (in retrospect), they were more independent and self-reliant than some of the male characters.

The Bat Girl from "Casey Bats Again" is along that line. While on the screen briefly, there is no question that she is self-assured. No false pretense. A real "what you see is what you get" person.

Fred Moore Signed Pastel Concept

Here's the write-up on Fred Moore from Wiki (and there are tons of other informational sites as well):

Robert Fred Moore (September 7, 1911 - November 23, 1952), was an American artist and character animator for Walt Disney Productions. Often called "Freddie", he was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Despite limited formal art training, he rose to prominence at Disney very quickly in the early thirties due to his great natural talent and the tremendous appeal of his drawings, which is still greatly admired by animators and animation fans.

Moore is best known for being the resident specialist in the animation of Mickey Mouse. He is most notable for re-designing the character in 1938 for his landmark role as The Sorcerer's Apprentice in Fantasia, a look which remains Mickey's official look to this day. His animation of the earlier Mickey design was especially memorable in the 1938 short Brave Little Tailor, the last significant appearance of the "pie-eyed" Mickey.

Moore's other significant work at the studio included "The Three Little Pigs", on which he was the principal animator; animation supervision of the dwarfs in "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"; most of Lampwick in "Pinocchio" (all of the poolroom scene and until halfway through his transformation to a donkey); and Timothy the mouse in "Dumbo". Moore animated some of the later scenes of the White Rabbit in "Alice In Wonderland", and did the mermaids in the Mermaid Lagoon for "Peter Pan".

Moore was well-known around the studio for his drawings of innocently sexy, often nude, women, referred to as "Freddie Moore Girls." Some of his girl designs found their way into Disney films: for example, the centaurettes in Fantasia and the teenage girls in the "All the Cats Join In" segment of Make Mine Music. (In "All The Cats Join In", Moore personally animated the sequence at the beginning, when the girl answers the telephone and then quickly showers and dresses, through to her scene putting on lipstick in front of her mirror). Moore's enduring influence can also be seen in the design of Casey's daughters in the 1954 short "Casey Bats Again". His girl drawings remain iconic and influential. A model sheet for Ariel in the 1989 Disney film The Little Mermaid" made specific distinctions between the design of that character and a "Freddie Moore Girl".

Moore's drawings and design style have come to epitomize the formative years of the studio in between Ub Iwerks' departure in 1931 and the ascension of the "Nine Old Men", after which studio design was dominated by animator Milt Kahl, along with storyboard artist Bill Peet, and later production designer Ken Anderson. During the 1930s, Moore, Art Babbitt, Norm Ferguson, Bill Tytla, and Ham Luske were the dominant Disney animators whose pioneering work culminated in 1937 with the breakthrough of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs".

Moore was a close friend of fellow animators Ward Kimball and Walt Kelly, though he apparently had a quieter and more reserved nature than either of them. Many surviving gag drawings by Kelly from the period of "Pinocchio" show Kimball as the corrupt Lampwick, with boyish Moore as Pinocchio. Moore and Kimball were also caricatured as song and dance men in the 1941 Mickey Mouse short "The Nifty Nineties". Moore makes a brief (and quiet) live-action appearance in the 1941 feature "The Reluctant Dragon", along with Kimball and animator Norm Ferguson during one of the studio tour sequences.

Fred Moore left the Disney Studios in 1946 and worked for Walter Lantz, where he redesigned the character Woody Woodpecker during a two-year stint that ended with his return to Disney in 1948.

Moore was already at work animating the mermaids and the lost boys for Peter Pan when both he and his second wife, Virginia, were injured in a traffic accident early on the evening of Saturday, November 22, 1952, when their car was struck head-on while she made a U-turn on a rural highway through Big Tujunga Canyon near the Angeles National Forest. The Moores were reportedly returning from a day spent watching a football game with fellow Disney artist Jack Kinney. Moore died the following day at St. Joseph's Hospital in Burbank, California from a cerebral hemorrhage resulting from a concussion. Moore is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills) in a plot overlooking the Disney Studios.

Fred Moore was posthumously inducted as a Disney Legend by the studio in 1995, and posthumously received the industry's Winsor McKay Award in 1983.

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

From “Casey Bats Again” (1954). Color pastel sketch of the Bat Girl signed by Fred Moore. [Frame: 17”W x 15.5”H; Image: 12”W x 10”H] Acquired 2004. SeqID-1161

Seller: Finally, a signed Fred Moore concept from “Casey Bats Again”. If you are into Moore’s work you know how difficult it is to find signed ones. (Also, a great baseball piece.)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

"Bambi" (1941) [1 of 9] - Thumper and Lady Bunny Oil

A very unusual oil background and cels of Tumpter and Lady Bunny. This is one of the more striking pieces in our collection. A fantastic piece. And we framed it accordingly.

The scene was also the basis for one of the Disney Catalog covers (also below).


Forgot one... Darn it.

Here's the Bambi cover of "Eyes and Ears" drawn by Don Williams -- this cover was signed by Don.

Don Williams Signed Bambi Cover

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

From “Bambi” (1942). Thumper being "Twiterpated" by Lady Bunny. Cels of Thumper and “Lady Bunny” on an original oil master background. Marked 2002-10.2-14. An oil background is unusual, since water color was the traditional medium. [11.5"W x 8.25"H] Acquired 1996. SeqID-0167 Updated: 7/16/2005

Reference: This image was the inspiration for the cover of a Disney catalog. SeqID-0038
Reference: This image is part of a sequence illustrated in a book written by animators Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas. Thomas, Frank & Johnston, Ollie. Too Funny for Words. NY: Abbeville Press, 1987. ISBN 0-89659-747-4. SeqID 1503.


From Don Williams’ recreation from “Bambi” (1939/1995). Bambi is featured on the cover of this "Eyes & Ears" publication (magazine for Walt Disney World). This is the December 21, 1995 issue; Volume 25, Number 51. The cover artwork is signed by Don Williams. [Item: 11"W x 17"H] Acquired 1997. SeqID-0261 11/29/2008

Actress Jane Randolph and Ice Capades star Donna Atwood acted as live-action references for Bambi and Thumper's misadventure on ice.

Don “Ducky” Williams ( 12/2/2008: Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, Don "Ducky" Williams wrote his first letter to Walt Disney at age 10. His desire to be a Disney artist intensified as Don grew up, but had to be put on hold while he spent four years in the U.S. Navy. After his tour of duty, he returned to Massachusetts and became employed at a local savings bank, Don still yearned to be with Disney and spent much of his spare time drawing and painting the Disney characters. After much determination and perseverance, Don left the bank and moved to Florida to pursue his life long dream, which was realized in 1980. Now, after nearly 30 years with Disney's Yellow Shoes, The acclaimed Senior Character artist, Don "Ducky Williams has drawn literally thousands of Disney stars for books, lithographs, brochures, magazine ads, and television.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"Bambi" (1942) [2 of 9] - Marc Davis Charcoal Story Board

If you have read any of my posts on picking out artwork, you know I'm a big believer in the "Decisive Moment" -- a moment that summarizes a historical moment. A moment that defines a character or defines a movie. Using this approach can help you decide which piece to buy because those moments tend to define value.

The moment where Bambi meets Faline for the first time is such a moment. And this charcoal concept by Marc Davis was a great piece to acquire. His surprise. Her shy (but self-confident) gaze...

Marc Davis Charcoal Storyboard Concept

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

From “Bambi” (1942). Charcoal story board drawing of Bambi seeing Faline’s reflection in the pond. A story board drawing of Bambi as he first sees Faline's reflection of in the water. The drawing was done by Marc Davis and was originally sold by Courvoisier Galleries of San Francisco. It bears the Courvoisier Galleries Certificate of Authenticity on the back. [10”W x 8”H] SeqID-1160

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Bambi" (1942) [3 of 9] - Tyrus Wong Watercolor Concept

This tiny 4x5 watercolor is fantastic. It's on the wall next to the charcoal piece (previous post). People walk right up to it and study it's flow and line. Fantastic framing and positioning of Bambi (off center). Excellent example of how to portray rain and create a sense of wind... Amazing!

It's in an oversized frame to draw attention to the piece and the frame is a darkened bamboo.

Tyrus Wong Watercolor

Here is some additional information on Tyrus Wong from Wikipedia:

Wong and his father immigrated to the United States from China in 1919. When he attended Benjamin Franklin Junior High in Pasadena, his teachers noticed Wong's artistic ability and arranged for a summer scholarship at the Otis Art Institute. Wong was hooked and decided to leave junior high for a full time studentship at Otis. Since his family was poor, he worked as a janitor at this school and walked for miles just to attend classes. It paid off as Wong had a lucrative career as an artist in Hollywood.

He has done everything from working as a greeting card designer to Warner Bros. film production illustrator (1942-1968), from drawing set designs and storyboard for several movies to being a Disney inspirational sketch artist (1938-1941). It was his lush pastels that served as inspiration for Bambi (1942) where he was the lead artist of the project.

Tyrus Wong left Disney studios shortly after finishing Bambi, due to repercussions from the Disney animators' strike. Later, he has designed Christmas cards, where some have sold over 1 million copies.

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

From “Bambi” (1942). Color concept sketch with trees, leaves, Bambi. Tyrus Wong and has a very Japanese feel to the overall image. [Frame: 15.5”W x 14.5”H; Item: 4-3/8"w X 3-5/16"h] SeqID-0263 7/27/2005

Monday, February 23, 2009

"Bambi" (1942) [4 of 9] - Charcoal Concept of Bambi and Mother

Two emotions hit you. A kind of quiet bonding AND a dark sense of danger.

Almost anyone that sees this on our wall stops to look more closely. It is arresting. A tone poem of sorts. I don't know the artist that drew this, but I thought it was a fantastic piece...

I also thought the piece was interesting because the Mother in obviously the main character in the scene (to escape from the fire) and Bambi is just emerging from the woods -- unaware that he is about to emerge from youth to adulthood. But, hey, I'm probably reading too much into the whole thing...

By the way, have you ever noticed that there are very few Limited Editions or Sericels of scenes after Bambi's mother gets shot? When you ask most people about Bambi, their favorite scenes are from pre-shot sequences. I've often thought there is a great parallel between Disney's use of the sound of the shot (instead of the graphic "Oh, my God they've killed Kenny!" approach) and Hitchcock's almost-graphic scenes that leave much more to the imagination than the current breed of slasher-shock flicks.

Charcoal of Bambi and Mother

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

From “Bambi” (1942). Charcoal concept sketch of Bambi and his mother in the woods. [Image: 8-3/8"W x 6-1/4"H; Frame: 15-5/8"W x 13-3/8"H] SeqID-0221 8/3/2005

2718 Hyperion Post On The Art Corner

A very informative posting by Jeff Pepper on Disneyland's Art Corner

Check it out...

Thanks, Jeff

Sunday, February 22, 2009

"Bambi" (1942) [5 of 9] - The 'REAL' Story Behind Bambi

In some of the material I picked up at auction were these short memo written by William Hosie (Publicity Department). In the memos, he talks about starting to generate publicity for "Bambi" six months before the release.

One of the concepts Hosie proposes are potential stories about the author's childhood and how his experiences with a bully show up in Bambi. You certainly think of Bambi in a different light after reading his notes...!

Bambi And The Bully!

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

“Bambicopy Hosie” (1942). Two pages written by William A. Hosie (Publicity Department) providing justification for Disney exceeding the $5,000 per set construction cost limits set by the War Production Board. Two additional pages highlighting the similarity between Bambi and the original author. [Item: 8.5”W x 11”H] Acquired 2004. SeqID-1189

2/10/2009 email from Dave Smith: Hosie was William A. Hosie, who was in our Publicity Department from August 1940 to March 1947. I have no other information about him, other than he died in 1995 in New Hampshire.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

"Bambi" (1942) [6 of 9] - Wm. Hosie Draft Memo to War Production Board

In our case, after collecting cels for a while we started to collect pencil drawings, then model sheets, then backgrounds and then I started to pick up photographs, scrapbooks and memos -- material that started to give you a feel for the Disney Studio "iceburg." Here's an excellent example... (By the way, I had searched for information about Hosie for years and was unable to fill in any blanks until I wrote Dave Smith last week -- see his note in the Database Notes -- Thanks, Dave!)

To limit non-war effort expenditures, the U.S. Government War Production Board limited Hollywood movies to $5,000 per set for construction costs. Using the Consumer Price Index, $5,000 in 1942 is about the same as $64,000 in 2007 (the latest data set year).

Apparently, when the Disney Studios forwarded their budget for Bambi to the War Production Board it included the costs associated with the Multiplane Camera. The War Production Board evidently disallowed those anticipated expenditures indicating they exceeded the $5,000 limit.

Below are the draft memos written by William A. Hosie (Publicity Department) that were going to be forwarded to the War Department as part of the Studio's argument that since the Multiplane Camera was going to be used for a number of difference scenes (or "sets") the real cost per set was much lower than the $5,000 limit.

World War II and its impact on all of America is dramatically underestimated today. These notes provide a glimpse into the far reaching restrictions that were imposed in all walks of life... (If any of you can decipther the hand written notes, please let me know!)

Wm. Hosie Draft Memo to the War Production Board

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

“Bambicopy Hosie” (1942). Three pages written by William A. Hosie (Publicity Department) providing justification for Disney exceeding the $5,000 per set construction cost limits set by the War Production Board. Two additional pages highlighting the similarity between Bambi and the original author. [Item: 8.5”W x 11”H] Acquired 2004. SeqID-1189

2/10/2009 email from Dave Smith: Hosie was William A. Hosie, who was in our Publicity Department from August 1940 to March 1947. I have no other information about him, other than he died in 1995 in New Hampshire.

Friday, February 20, 2009

"Bambi" (1942) [7 of 9] - New York Graphic Society Poster

This was a very striking, large (24" x 27") Bambi poster. It was in pretty good shape and had a nice "feel" to it. And, once again, we could put this in our low humidity environment and add some color to the walls. [see the next posting]

Bambi New York Graphic Society Poster

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

From “Bambi” (1942). WALT DISNEY POSTER where "Bambi Meets His Forest Friends" printed lower left Copyright New York Graphic Society, Fine Art Publishers, Published with the cooperation of Walt Disney Productions, Calif. CONDITION: Bambi poster with several tears on the border of the poster, and soiling around the edges of the poster. [Image: 24”W x 27”H] SeqID-0948

Thursday, February 19, 2009

"Bambi" (1942;1989 ) [8 of 9] - Bambi and Thumper Limited Edition

Not everything in a collection needs to be original... If you have a number of pieces from a film, sometimes you'll see a Sericel or Limited Edition that just looks great and can be part of a wall grouping that helps in the education process as you talk interested folks through the animation or collection process. OR, as it was in our case, you want some color that you can put on the walls in a low humidity environment.

Our Colorado home is at 8,500-feet and the humidity in the house can be as low as 10% during the winter (it would be even lower if we had forced hot air heat instead of out hot water baseboard heat -- since forced hot air heat actually dries out the air even more). For this reason, all of our cels are in the basement were we can keep the humidity to about 30% (which is about as much as our humidifiers can pump out). In the rest of the house we have pencil work. This is great, but you miss the color of the cels. For this reason, we've picked up a few Limited Editions over the years that don't suffer the problems older cels experience -- where the paint separates from the acetate.

Colorful Bambi Limited Edition

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

From “Bambi” (1942; 1989). Bambi Flower and Thumper in a Limited Edition cel (#384/500). In the flowers when Flower is first introduced. A very popular image. [Image: 15-5/8"W x 11-5/8"H; Frame: 23-3/4"W x 19-3/4"H] Acquired 1989. SeqID-0028 8/3/2005
Pre-production began in 1936 and was intended to be Disney's second full-length animated film after Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). Disney's perfection and quest for realism delayed the project significantly, so that Pinocchio (1940), Fantasia (1940), Reluctant Dragon, The (1941) and Dumbo (1941) were released earlier than Bambi.

Some scenes of woodland creatures and the forest fire are unused footage from Pinocchio (1940).
The hunter who shoots Bambi's mother was originally going to be included as a character in the movie. But, for a man to shoot the mother of the hero, he would have to be clearly cruel and villainous for children to accept him. Since Disney didn't want to be seen as maligning hunters as evil, the character was cut and never shown in the final version of the film.

Thumper was created by Marc Davis (1913-2000) was one of the most talented artists at and a main animator for Disney Studios. Some of the animated characters he designed were Thumper from “Bambi” (1942), Cinderella from “Cinderella” (1951), Tinker Bell in “Peter Pan” (1953), Maleficent and Briar Rose in “Sleeping Beauty” (1959) and Cruella De Vil in “101 Dalmatians” (1961). Thumper was created by Marc Davis (1913-2000) was one of the most talented artists at and a main animator for Disney Studios. Some of the animated characters he designed were Thumper from “Bambi” (1942), Cinderella from “Cinderella” (1951), Tinker Bell in “Peter Pan” (1953), Maleficent and Briar Rose in “Sleeping Beauty” (1959) and Cruella De Vil in “101 Dalmatians” (1961).

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"Bambi" (1942) [9 of 9] - Sketch Book

OK. I'm going to start posting our collection of Bambi material. Hope you enjoy it.

If you are interested in the Disney's artistic transformation to bring the study of art to cartooning, then this is an excellent book. A number of excellent examples of the anatomical drawings of deer as the animators sought to create more realistic movement and physicality. By the way, Disney produced a number of sketch books for the major releases. We don't have all of them, but a majority of them. We were fortunate enough to pick up at least two copies of each: one for reference and one we left sealed in the original plastic for re-sale at a later date. I just re-read the last sentence and realized how "hard core" we had become!

Bambi Sketch Book

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

Walt Disney Studios. Walt Disney’s Bambi: The Sketch-Book Series. Bedford, MA: Applewood Books. [9.5”W x 12”H; in slip cover] Limited edition: 1,057/3,000. SeqID-1496

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"Bambi" (1942) - Series to start tomorrow


Starting tomorrow, a 9-post installment of Bambi related material

"Brave Little Tailor" (1936) [1 of 2] - Stat Model Sheet

Nice set of images. This appears to be a 1st generation sheet (which are becoming increasingly rare).

Mickey & Minnie Model Sheet

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

From “Brave Little Tailor” (1936). Stat model sheet of Mickey and Minnie dress in medieval garb. 2 hole punch on left side. Notes: "RM-14"; "M59B" “Director WOR Story J Kinney Animator F. Moore” “Walt Disney Prod. Ltd.” stamp [Item: 12"W X 10"H] Acquired 2000. SeqID-0474

Reference: Image match in “Mickey Mouse” pg. 160.

Monday, February 16, 2009

"Brave Little Tailor" (1937) [2 of 2] - Director's Pencil of Mickey

This is a great little piece. Most of the time, you see Mickey with a smile, but not this time! Which is one of the reasons it has a special quality. Timing marks indicate that it's a Director's Drawing...

Depressed Mickey

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

From “Brave Little Tailor” (1937). Director's pencil sketch of Mickey looking down with head in hand. "40-41-42-43" "40 JER" "Reg #7A" [12"W X 10h] SeqID-0473

Sunday, February 15, 2009

"Black Cauldron" (1985) [1 of 4] - Two-Page Background and Layout Sheet

The detail in this two-page background is really fantastic. Super detail. Also with this background was the Layout Sheet signed by Don Griffith...

Two-Page Background (click to enlarge)

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

From “Black Cauldron” (1985). A 2-page layout background of the Black Cauldron coming out of the earth. Notes: "SQ 70 SEQ 007 0128" Attached is layout direction sheet. Layout notes: Layout Man "Don Griffith"; "Long Shot -- Cloud shadow starts to cover characters. Nothing on the back. [Unframed Image: 30"W X 12-1/2"H. Layout sheet: 7-5/8"W X 9-3/8"H] Acquired 1996. SeqID-0646

Saturday, February 14, 2009

"Black Cauldron" (1985) [2 of 4] - Two-Page Background

This is a great background. Two pages wide and with great detail...

Two-Page Background (click to enlarge)

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

From “Black Cauldron” (1985). A 2-page concept of the dungeon. Shows in the center a carving block and the pot to the right. [Unframed Item: 30"W X 12-1/2"H] Acquired 1996. SeqID-0645 9/21/2005

Friday, February 13, 2009

"Black Cauldron" (1985) [3 of 4] - Pencil of Three Witches

A great, full image of the Witches with outstanding facial expressions...

Three Witches

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

From “Black Cauldron” (1985). Pencil sketch of the Three witches huddled together discussion the potential deal presented to them -- trade the cauldron for a sword. Notes: "nods head" "SC 2 SEQ 7.1 0128" "We'll trade the cauldron for the sword" [Unframed Item: 15-1/2"W X 12-1/2"H] Acquired 1996. SeqID-0262 8/3/2005

Thursday, February 12, 2009

"Black Cauldron" (1985) [4 of 4] - Background and Gurgi

[A series of images from the film.]

A great pencil background and a sketch of Gurgi slowly going up the stairs. First, a Photoshop combining of the two and then the originals...

Background of Stairs and Gurgi

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

From “Black Cauldron” (1985). Consists of two pencil concept sketches attributed to Bill Frake -- (183A) Concept drawing looking up the stairs at a door from the bottom. Heavy, rough pencil with red framing marks. Concept background sketch. Nothing on back. (183B) Concept pencil drawing of Gurgi going up #1 stairs. "SC69 SEQ 009 PROD 0128" "Gurgi slowly sneaks up stairs -- watching the flow of mist from under door Goes up to door (begins to push it open)" [A-Staircase: 15-1/2"W X 12-1/2"H. B-Gurgi: 15-1/2"W X 12-1/2"H] Acquired 1996. SeqID-0184A&B

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"Winnie Winkle" - 1927 & 1930 Martin Branner Pages

When I first saw these strips created by a former vaudeville star, Martin Branner (1888-1970), I was unaware that there were strips centered around women in the late 1920's. Not only that, but this was a working woman who was strong and independent.

Branner's strip first appeared in 1920 and lasted until Branner died in 1970, which places it in the "Top 10 Longest Running Strip of All Time." During its run, it became the role model for strips like "Brenda Star" and "Kathy" and is credited as the beginning of all "working woman" strips.

Martin Branner's "Winnie Winkle"

We decided to frame all three of the strips in one frame so the viewer could read all three of the pages and get an appreciation for the unique aspects of Branner's effort.

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

From Martin Branner’s “Winnie Winkle” (1927-1930). Three Winnie Winkle strips. (Top) “Winnie Winkle: Wrong number" (1927). Done by Martin Branner (1888-1970). "6-15" Copyright 1927 by Chicago Tribune. "June 5th (92)" (Middle) “Winnie Winkle: Ready - Set - Go” (1930). Typewriting endurance contest. Done by Martin Branner. "Tues Oct. 21" Copyright 1930 Chicago Tribune. "OK KH" (Bottom) “Winnie Winkle: Out of Print" (1930). Done by Martin Branner. "Oct. 23" Copyright 1930 Chicago Tribune. "OK KH" [3 @ Item: 23-1/8"W x 6 15/16"H] Acquired 1998. SeqID-0353 Updated: 7/25/2005

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"Tarzan" [1 of 2] - 1939 Burne Hogarth Fan Card

This is one of my favorite Tarzan pieces: a fan card signed by Burne Hogarth. Hogarth is probably the most popular Tarzan artist.

I have a number of these artwork cards drawn by the artists to fans. It seems that this form of fan appreciation (a note, a drawing and a signature) was most popular from the mid-1930's to the mid-1940's. After this period, the artists simply sent autographs out.

Burne Hogarth Fan Card

Here is some additional background information on Tarzan from

In 1927 Joe Neebe, an advertising man, approached Edgar Rice Burroughs with the idea of adapting Tarzan for the newspaper comics. At this time the "funnies" were just that ~ humorous cartoons like Barney Google or Mutt and Jeff. Others, like Little Orphan Annie, were similar to serials, with each day's adventure continuing on to the next day's installment. This is what Neebe had in mind for Tarzan.

Neebe hired Hal Foster to adapt Tarzan of the Apes for the daily newspaper strip. Foster would achieve his greatest fame as the creator of Prince Valiant, but at the time he started with Tarzan he was an advertising illustrator. The Tarzan strip debuted on January 7, 1929 (the same day as the first Buck Rogers strip). Foster managed to cram the first Tarzan novel into ten weeks (sixty daily strips altogether). Eventually this strip was published in book form, technically making it the first Tarzan comic book.

Foster's dynamic retelling of the Tarzan story was a welcome change from the usual comic fare, and soon newspapers across the country were clamoring to carry the strip. But if Tarzan in a black-and-white daily strip was something ~ wait until Tarzan hit the Sunday color comics! This debuted in March of 1931. First illustrated by Rex Maxon, after six months (and a lot of pressure from Burroughs) he was replaced by Foster, who quickly made Tarzan the first thing America wanted to read Sunday morning. All the wild adventure that Hollywood couldn't get into a movie was in full display in Foster's pages.

When Hal Foster left Tarzan in 1936 in order to work on Prince Valiant, he handed the reigns over to Burne Hogarth, who quickly made Tarzan into one of the most vivid and action-packed comics ever seen. His mastery of human and animal forms, the unconventionality of his layout, and his ability to make the images leap off the page earned Hogarth the title "The Michaelangelo of the Comics."

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

Description: Original Artwork on Card Stock BURNE HOGARTH Tarzan signed "Dear Caspar: Glad you like the Tarzan Page. Here he is close up - and he signs his name -Hogarth- Best of Luck! December 1939," Note: The Burne Hogarth inked sketch is exceptional, and rare. Condition: Condition is Near Fine. [Item 6”W x 3”H] SeqID-0827 Updated: 5/21/2008

Monday, February 9, 2009

"Tarzan: Return to the Apes" [2 of 2] - 1946 Ruben Moriera Sunday Page

Ruben Moriera ("Rubimor") is not considered as good an artist for the Tarzan artist as Burne Hogarth, but his storyline was more interesting.

I thought this Sunday page was extremely interesting. In this page, Tarzan returns to the jungle and most of the frames provide some small insight into the elements of the environment he missed. The page also introduced "Ke-Lak," the leader of the Apes, that played a pivotal role for much of Moriera's tenure doing Tarzan.

Rubimor's 1946 Sunday "Tarzan" Page

Here's some additional background from
Rubimor: (Ruben Moreira) (6/27/1922 - 5/21/1984, Puerto Rico) Ruben Moreira moved from his native Puerto Rico to the USA. Here, he took over the 'Tarzan' Sunday page from Burne Hogarth. He drew the strip from 1945 to 1947 under the pseudonym "Rubimor." His style was less spectacular then Hogarth's, yet his storytelling had a resemblance to the writing of Tarzan's creator, Edgar Rice Burroughs. In the 1950s he drew for DC Comics, working on titles such as 'Wonder Woman' and 'Roy Raymond'. He retired from comics in 1962 and returned to Puerto Rico.

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

From “Tarzan: Return to the Apes” by Edgar Rice Burroughs & Ruben Moriera (1946). Original artwork for Tarzan Sunday page by Ruben Moriera (or Moreira) and signed “Rubimor.” 1946, United Features Syndicate, pen and ink with brush on heavy paper, for the Sunday page dated 3/3/46; with slight dust soiling, some chips in outside margins, otherwise in good condition. NOTE: "Copr 1946, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. Distr. by United Features Syndicate, Inc."; A "Vandercook" sticker. [Item: 19.75"W x 26.5"H] Acquired 2000. SeqID-0698 Updated: 7/31/2005

Sunday, February 8, 2009

"The Newlyweds" - 1908 George McManus Watercolor (Signed)

Here is an interesting piece by George McManus. McManus was a good friend of Windsor McCay and McCay's film "Gertie the Dinosaur" (1914) may have been a result of a bet between the two. McManus evidently went on tour with McCay as he presented his new film. There has been some talk that McCay and McManus passed their time on the tour drawing the first animated porn film -- but I have not seen any specific evidence of this... But, it's an interesting thought.

The framing is unusual. The original 1908 frame was saved by a re-framing done in the 1940's.

"The Newlyweds" by George McManus

Here are some comments by the seller:
Here’s an interesting piece by George McManus of Maggie & Jiggs fame. These 3 signed watercolors by McManus are Specialty pieces he did of the 3 main characters from his ''Newlyweds'' strip in 1908. They are still in the original frame and in excellent condition. As you know, watercolors by strip artists are tough to come by. Thought you might like it. You know, one of the interesting things about it was how remarkably popular the strip was and that it only lasted for about 18 months! Using the idea of the remarkably beautiful woman married to the rather plain (or down right ugly) husband was a VERY unique thing at the time. It was a "gag" that became so integrated into American culture that you don't even think of it as a gag any more. but McManus did it first. The taste of the American public was growing and maturing at a fantastic rate. The measure of what was considered "beautiful" was changing almost alarmingly fast. McManus was one of the first artists in America to see the trend moving away from the "well rounded" woman to the more modern ideal of the slim, intelligent "backbone of the family" image. This basic theme carried through to his Maggie & Jiggs strip, who's instant popularity caused the demise of the earlier effort. Historically it's important because it was his first major success and it put McManus in the "right place at the right time" to develop the later strip. The actual art done for "The Newlyweds" was probably the best pure art McManus ever produced and the three paintings.

Here is the Wikipedia entry on McManus:
George McManus (January 23, 1884 – October 22, 1954) is an American cartoonist best known as the creator of Irish immigrant Jiggs and his wife Maggie, the central characters in his syndicated comic strip, Bringing Up Father. Born in St. Louis, Missouri of Irish parents, McManus had an innate gift for drawing and a sense of humor. He dropped out of school at age 15 to join the art department of the St. Louis Republic, where he created his first comic strip, Alma and Oliver. In 1904, after winning some money, he headed for New York City and a job with the prestigious New York World, where he worked on several short-lived strips, including Snoozer, The Merry Marcelene, Ready Money Ladies, Cheerful Charlie' and 'Nibsby the Newsboy in Funny Fairyland, Panhandle Pete and Let George Do It. In 1904, when McManus created the first American family strip, The Newlyweds, about an elegant young couple and their baby Snookums, the popularity of the strip prompted The New York American to invite McManus to join their paper, which he did from 1912 on. Renaming The Newlyweds as Their Only Child, he continued that strip and launched other daily strips: Rosie's Beau, Love Affairs of a Mutton Head, Spareribs and Gravy and Bringing Up Father. Syndicated internationally by King Features Syndicate, Bringing Up Father achieved great success and was produced by McManus from 1913 until his death, when Vernon Greene and Frank Fletcher took over. In 1995, the strip was one of 20 included in the "Comic Strip Classics" series of commemorative United States postage stamps. McManus died in 1954 in Santa Monica, California and was interred in the Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, New York.

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

From George McManus’ “The Newlyweds” (1908). From George McManus’ “The Newlyweds” (1908). 3 signed watercolors by McManus are specialty pieces he did of the 3 main characters from his ''Newlyweds'' strip in 1908. Artwork is mounted in two frames: the original art and 1908 frame were placed in a larger frame in the 1940’s. [Images: 3 @ 8.5”W x 10.5”H; Frame: 31.5”W x 15”H] Acquired 2004. SeqID-1192 Updated: 7/16/2005

Saturday, February 7, 2009

"Nancy" - 1947 Pen and Ink by Ernie Bushmiller

I saw this piece when I had my company and was working through the issues of customer service. I thought it was an odd-ball piece that seemed to strike a cord with me at the time.

Nancy Pen & Ink

Here's some information on Bushmiller from Wikipedia...

Ernest Paul "Ernie" Bushmiller, Jr. (1905 - 1982) was an American cartoonist, best known for creating the long-running daily comic strip Nancy. Bushmiller's work has been repeatedly addressed by other artists: Andy Warhol made a 1961 painting based on "Nancy"; the artist and poet Joe Brainard made numerous works based on Nancy; and many cartoonists have produced work directly inspired by or commenting on Bushmiller's art, including Art Spiegelman, Bill Griffith, Mark Newgarden and Chris Ware. The American Heritage Dictionary uses a Bushmiller "Nancy" strip to illustrate its entry on "comic strip."
He was born in the Bronx on August 23, 1905 of immigrant parents. His father was also an artist. Bushmiller quit school at 14 to work as a copy boy at the New York World newspaper. At night, he took art classes at the National Academy of Design. Bushmiller married Abby Bohnet in 1930. They had no children.
In 1925, cartoonist Larry Whittington, creator of the comic strip Fritzi Ritz, left to produce another strip, Mazie the Model. Bushmiller then took over Fritzi Ritz, ghostwriting it, before eventually taking over officially. Bushmiller's name would not appear on the strip until May 1926. In 1933, Bushmiller introduced the character of Nancy, Fritzi's niece, to the strip. The character proved popular, and her appearances became more frequent and Aunt Fritzi's less frequent, so much so that the strip was renamed Nancy in 1938. Bushmiller also created the comic strip Phil Fumble, which ran from 1932 through 1938. Bushmiller worked briefly for film comedian Harold Lloyd in 1931, writing gags for the film, Movie Crazy.
Bushmiller was one of the founding members of the National Cartoonists Society. He received their Humor Comic Strip Award, and their Reuben Award in 1976 for his work on Nancy. In 1979, Bushmiller was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, but continued to produce the strip with the help of assistants Will Johnson and Al Plastino. On August 15, 1982, Bushmiller died of a heart attack.

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

From “Nancy” (1947) by Ernie Bushmiller. A pen & ink of Nancy and customer service. Dated 9/2/1947. "Complaint Department." [Image: 18 5/8"w x 5 1/8"h. Frame: 24.5"w x 11"h] Acquired 1992. SeqID-0093

Friday, February 6, 2009

"Three Caballeros" (1945) [1 of 2] - Model Sheet

While the color of this image might give the impression that it is a photostat, it is an actual pencil drawing -- complete with erasures. While it's not in great shape, it's nice to have something from the film. I really liked the light pencil drawings of the legs and body features under the loose fitting cloths...

"The Kid" Model Sheet

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

From “The Three Caballeros: The Flying Gauchito Section” (1945). The Kid from the Flying Gauchito segment. Model sheet of The Kid. [Unframed Item: 15.25"W x 12.5"H] Acquired 1997. SeqID-0437 8/3/2005

Thursday, February 5, 2009

"The Three Caballeros" (1945) [2 of 2] - Panchioto Promo Photo

Here's is another promotional photo for theaters, newspapers and magazines. Nice characterization of Panchito.

Panchito Photo

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

From “The Three Caballeros: ‘Baia’ and ‘La Pinata’ Sequences” (1945). Promotional photo of Panchito. Scrapbook photo. [Unframed: 10"W x 8"H] Acquired 2003. SeqID-1419

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Goofy Stuff [1 of 5] - Model Sheets in "Disney Dogs"

I just received a copy of "Disney Dogs" for my birthday from my wife, Jenny (thanks, honey!). A nice book with a number of excellent images...

Disney Dogs (2008)

As I was thumbing through the pages, I came to the section on Goofy. Some of the images looked oddly familiar. Sure enough, they were from model sheets I just finished posting...

For example, here is a scan of page 127... Notice the slight difference in the descriptive material next to the drawing...

Page 127 and Model Sheet SeqID-0502

Here is a scan of page 127 -- a large image of Goofy. On the model sheet, the same image can be seen on the upper left.

Page 127 and Model Sheet SeqID-0296

I have to say, it is a great feeling when you pick up a publication and see the same or similar artwork featured!

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

Disney Editions. “Disney Dogs.” New York: Disney Enterprises, 2008. ISBN: 978-14231-0920-4. [8”W x 8”H] Acquired 2009. SeqID-1952