Friday, January 20, 2006

Norm McCabe, Last Living WB Director, Dies

We are sorry to report that Norm McCabe died on Wednesday at the age of 94. He was the last living man to direct during the Warner Bros. cartoon stuido's golden era.

Born on February 10, 1911 in England, he soon moved to the United Staes and joined Leon Schlesinger Productions in 1934 as an assistant animator. He became a full animator with a 1936 Porky Pig cartoon called "Porky In The Northwoods" and soon was a key member of Bob Clampett's crew. In 1939 he took co-director credits with Bob Clampett during Clampett's brief leave from the studio, but later took over Tex Avery's unit in 1941 when Avery was fired.

McCabe's tenure (working exclusively on the black-and-white Looney Tunes) was marred by some unfortunate racial and ethnic caricatures in his pictures; acceptable at the time, these characterizations made some of his films undistributable in syndication. By the time of his final WB cartoon, "Tokio Jokio", McCabe concentrated on making pictures for the military and education and advertising concerns.

McCabe later surfaced as an animator for DePatie-Freleng Productions, and even later as an animator for the resurrected Warner Bros. cartoon studio, working on such productions as "The Duxorcist", "Tiny Toon Adventures" and "Animaniacs". He was an amazing man, working full days well into his eighties, and a valuable resource to the newer generation of Warner Bros. artists.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Dennis Marks dies

Mark Evanier reports the death of Dennis Marks. He was a veteran animation writer who with Heywood Kling wrote the majority of the Batfink cartoons.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Another Man Of Letters

I've been informed that the March 2006 Games Magazine is now available on newsstands, and one of the puzzles therein (as you can doubtless tell by the sidebar) is a 17x authored by the owner of this website called "Double Depression". I've run into a major construction dry spell, so this might be it for a while. Happy solving!