Saturday, November 29, 2008

King Features Syndicate Cartoons, 1960-1964

We are doing a comprehensive filmography of the King Features Syndicate cartoon series produced between 1960 and 1964. This includes the "Popeye" cartoons from 1960-1962 and the "Comic Kings" from 1960-1964. (Yes, some of the earliest pilots in this series were done in 1960.) Al Brodax, who was executive producer on all these projects, was involved with other animated projects in the 60's, including two other TV cartoon series, "The Beatles" and "Cool McCool", and the film "Yellow Submarine".

Check out the page here. filmographic stuff that I don't quite have will be entertained via comments to this blog post, or via e-mail if you are one of my regular correspondents. We have a good cross-section of Popeyes and Krazy Kats, most of the Snuffy Smith and all the Beetle Bailey cartoons.

Here's what we need on the Popeyes:

  • a smattering of the Jack Kinney and Paramount credits - these cartoons all carried episode-specific credits

  • directors on the Gerry Ray cartoons - all other credits are the same - the director is either Tom McDonald or Bob Bemiller

  • which Rembrandt Films (Gene Deitch) titles were subcontracted to Halas & Batchelor - these cartoons had no other credits

  • all the Larry Harmon cartoons carried the same credits so we have them all by default - yes, I know some of them did not carry Gordon Zahler's music credit

  • I also need confirmation that there was a total of 219 cartoons. The contract with Al Brodax was for 220 shorts.

We need two Snuffy Smith credits - "The Hat" and "The Method and Maw", both of which were Paramount theatrical releases. Beetle Bailey is complete, thanks to that series' recent DVD release.

The Krazy Kats are a mess. We're not even sure if the credits we have are correct, as there was great variation in the title cards as shown on the "Advantage Collection" DVD that is my source for this information. We did find some Gerry Ray titles in the mix and even one from Jack Kinney which may have been the first pilot.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Macy's Parade Broadcast (Including Birthday Wishes for Milton Delugg)

In the past several years, I've been increasingly turned off by NBC's telecast of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, due to the increased amount of commercialism and promotion of NBC-owned properties. It's almost like watching something from Disney, in which nothing outside their universe matters.

I'll give the parade a try again today and let you know how long I last through it. (NOTE: I did make it to the end this year. The NBC pluggery was confined to the earliest part of the parade, when nothing much was actually happening in Herald Square.)

You can't, however, mention the NBC parade coverage with at least making note that its musical director is the legendary bandleader and composer Milton Delugg, who will mark his 90th birthday next Tuesday. Although he's mostly retired now, Delugg still provides musical backing for one or two new production numbers and has built up a library of background music cues for the parade, some of which date back to the 1970's. He has been aided in this task over the years by associates such as his wife Anne, George Brackman, and more recently John Rodby.

Born in Los Angeles on December 2, 1918, Milton Delugg was one of TV's first bandleaders on the landmark late-night show "Broadway Open House" beginning in 1950, acted as comedic foil to Paul Winchell on many of his programs, and was bandleader immediately before Doc Severinsen on "The Tonight Show". But he is probably best remembered as the leader of the "Band With A Thug" on "The Gong Show" from 1976-1980. On top of all that he wrote a few songs that have become standards such as "Hoop-Dee-Doo" (a collaboration with Frank Loesser) and "Orange Colored Sky" (with lyrics by Willie Stein).

Sunday, November 23, 2008

New On Our Blogroll

"Spectorphile" ( is a new blog devoted to the life and works of animator and comics artist Irv Spector, featuring artifacts from a collection of his artwork curated by his son Paul. Irv Spector was most prominent in animation at the Fleischer and Famous/Paramount cartoon studios first as a writer and story sketch artist, then, in the 1960's, as an animator. He also has some twists, turns and anomalies in his career, such as the one cartoon he directed at DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, "Corn on the Cop" (a Warner Bros. release which, interestingly enough, was written by Friz Freleng). He also worked for Hal Seeger on comic books published under Seeger's Stanhall banner.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

More on Dave Rose

Here is some more information on former Warner Bros. layout artist Dave Rose, who passed away in 2006 at the age of 95...

Meanwhile, at Shea...

The famous scoreboard takes its final bow.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Must Be A Slow Day At The Home...

What makes this one funny is that Warner Bros. once actually had an artist on staff named Dave Rose, who later became a respected courtroom illustrator.

Apology To Our Readers

We want to apologize for some shenanigans that have recently occurred with our home page redirect. Apparently there was a redirect to something called "hosttracker" which had a whole bunch of crap links on the front page for about three seconds, then redirected to our correct page on blogspot. We pledge that this never happens again.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Emru Townsend dies

Sad to report of the death of Emru Townsend, one of my old online acquaintances from back in the days of the old BIX. Emru died on Tuesday at the age of 39. He and Harry McCracken ran the BIX Animation Conference (as message boards there were called) and I was a frequent contributor. We were pretty much the Three Musketeers back then.

Last year, Emru was diagnosed with leukemia and a complicating condition called monosomy-7. Emru appealed through the internet for a bone marrow transplant - donors matching Emru's blood type and ethnicity are scarce. Although a match was eventually found and Emru did have the bone marrow transplant, it was pretty much too late for Emru.

Please read what Harry has to say on his blog about Emru. Then, consider signing up with a donor registry. You never know whose life you may save someday.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Bess Mess '08

At first glance, this looks like any other garbage can in Atlantic City, in the middle of the city's new shopping district.

However, if you look carefully, you will see that it is actually sitting in an indented part of the sidewalk, alongside the plaque honoring Miss America 1946, Marilyn Buferd. If you walk back a couple of yards, you will find Venus Ramey, Miss America 1944.

The garbage can is sitting exactly where the plaque for Miss America 1945 would be.

You might have heard of her. Bess Myerson.

You might remember her from a little show she did called "I've Got A Secret", or perhaps as a ranking New York City official, who had to resign her positions when her lover was convicted of buying off a judge so her daughter could go work for Myerson in the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs.

I'm outraged, I tell you.

I'll have to investigate further, if time permits.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Election Stuff

1. I'm okay with the election of Barack Obama. I voted for him because I felt that he has the right stuff to lead modern America.

What is interesting to me is that President-Elect Obama is the first President who is younger than me (by just a few months)... he's the youngest chief executive we've had in some time.

Now, about McCain... Yes, he is an American Hero. Presidential material? Maybe in any other non-Obama year. But I think what really dragged him down was the Sarah Palin sideshow. Gubernatorial? Yes. Vice-presidential? Not quite yet.

(Personal to Pres.-Elect Obama - you're going to get that puppy for your girls - have you considered a Cavatese? They are such wonderful, loving doggies... if my seven-month-old Cavatese is any indication.)

2. Negative campaigning will bite you right in the butt. Right, former Senator Elizabeth Dole? The Dole Family's service to Washington has come to a sad end, as Libby shot herself in the foot with this negative campaign ad and allowed Kay Hagen to pretty much slide into her Senate seat. It's presented by CNN reporter Campbell Brown.

3. Al Franken's in flux. The Democrat, a former air personality on left-leaning "Air America" and former apprentice writer for "Saturday Night Live" (sharing a salary with Tom Davis), ran for Senate in Minnesota, the state that has given us such political paragons as former governor Jesse "The Body" Ventura. Al is less than half a percentage point behind his opponent, incumbent Norm Coleman, so a recount will become necessary by rule of law. Neither man has conceded the election to his opponent, and the presence of a third candidate in the race (Dean Barkley) may changed the chemistry somewhat. Some pundit websites were actually calling this race in Franken's favor when I went to bed last night shortly after the Obama love-fest in Chicago ended. This one won't be over for some time, so why not grab some snacks and rent a movie? Perhaps "Stuart Saves His Family"...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008