This week we have a special Hound Dog Hero. Obviously Huck is re-creating the famous pose of Clark Kent as he is about to change into the Man of Steel. Now what makes this different is that instead of a "S" shield on his chest, I changed it to a "H" shield. So I really can't call him Clark Kent.
68 years ago, a crazy woodpecker started pecking holes in Andy Panda's house and drove his Father nuts trying to get rid of him. The woodpecker proved to be so popular that he was given his own cartoon series.
His name, Woody Woodpecker. No tree or head was ever safe again!
It was on this date - November 18, 1928, 80 years ago - that one of the most important events in the history of animation debuted. The first cartoon with sound was released to the movie going public. In the bouncy little cartoon titled "Steamboat Willie" we are introduced to Mickey Mouse, Walt Disney's newest animated star and the beginning of Disney's entertainment empire.
Mickey was an over-night sensation. His films were so popular that almost immediately Mickey Mouse's image was on all types of merchandise. A magazine was published starring Mickey and all his friends, and a newspaper strip debuted in many of America's papers. And it was due to this popularity that Disney had the funds to create many firsts in the field of animation. In the "Silly Symphony" series, "Flowers and Trees" (1932) it was the first animated short to be produced in Technicolor. In 1937 Disney produces the first feature length animated film, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs".
But it all started with a little mouse. "Steamboat Willie" shows the playfulness of Mickey as he bounces along to music that plays through-out the cartoon. It is this playfulness and the singing and dancing in his following 'toons that the world falls in love with. We are also introduced to Mickey's girlfriend, Minnie Mouse who like Mickey, sings and dances to the delight of movie-going audiences. The short also introduces "Peg-Legged Pete" or "Black Pete" as he his later called, as Mickey's antagonist. Through-out Mickey's career in films and in print, Black Pete will be the mouse's enemy and constantly make life miserable for him.
Overtime in Mickey's cartoons we are introduced to his friends. Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar, Goofy and more all dance and sing along in the musical based shorts. In the Silly Symphony "The Wise Little Hen" Donald Duck makes his debut. The response to the duck's antics is so great that he soon appears with Mickey and the gang and in 1937, begins his long successful run in his own shorts.
To celebrate his 80th Anniversary, The United States Post Office issued a stamp of Mickey in his Steamboat Willie outfit. Mickey Mouse has had a long and successful career and is still as popular today as he was when he debuted in 1928.
Lately I've been watching my old VHS tapes of the Three Stooges. When I got my first VCR many moons ago, the first thing I started taping was the Stooges. Finally I could watch my favorite shows anytime I wanted! My Mother was so pleased, she went from hearing "NYUK! NYUK! NYUK!" and "WOO! WOO! WOO!" after I got home from school to ALL THE TIME! I love the Stooges! Anytime I want a good laugh, I can pop a tape or a disc in their players and enjoy some classic slapstick humor. I got to see them in 1969 at Kennywood Park with Curly-Joe DeRita. I didn't get to have my picture taken with them, I was just 6 years old and my Mom said that I was laughing so hard that they had to take me to the First Aid Station to give me oxygen. Pittsburgh has a big history with the Stooges. It was the first place they played in 1959 when they became very popular due to their classic shorts being played on TV. They appeared at the old Holiday House in Monroeville Pa. The Stooges were scheduled to play the club for 2 weeks, but due to over-whelming demand, stayed for 6 weeks!
I've done many sketch's of the Stooges over the years, for myself and for others. Here they are in a classic comical pose, in tuxedos. My favorites of their films are when they are in High Soceity and bringing the Hoi Polloi down to our size. They always seem to end in a great pie fight!
Curly is my favorite of the Stooges. Truly a great comedic talent. During their heyday, Hollywood never really gave the Stooges their due do to the violent nature of their comedies. But they have always had the best accolades of all, the love from their fans.
In recent years Hollywood seems to have accepted the Stooges as the comedic genius' that they are. Twice prime time specials have played on ABC and NBC in the past two decades honoring their work. Marathons of their shorts play on many different cable networks.
Over the years it has been proven time and time again, all the world loves a Stooge! Three of them!
Sometime in the 80's, I started doing sketches of Heroes and Cartoon Characters teaming up. The idea was to take a theme and use it to bring the most unlikely of choices together. Eventually I decided it didn't have to be Super-Heroes and Characters, but something that would bring two characters together. Above we have Popeye and The 3 Stooges in a pose that is typical for both. In the early days of Television, The Stooges and Popeye were often paired in kid show afternoon packages. The case was true here in Pittsburgh, everyday you could see them on WTAE's "Adventure Time" with Paul Shannon.
This sketch shows best my original premise, a cartoon character fighting a villain you wouldn't think he could fight. Mighty Mouse vs. The Rhino! I always thought that this one was the best I ever did.
Here was my Tribute to R.F. Outcault, The Comic Creator who started it all, and Charles M. Schulz, the creator of the most successful newspaper strip ever. The theme that brings these two characters together? They're bald-headed little kids!
Hey everyone. Sorry I'm late with this. I've got a lot going on lately and didn't have a chance to post, so I thought I would show you some original pencils of past Heroes. And as an added bonus, a preview of an upcoming Hero.
I picked up the third volume of the Popeye Black & White Cartoons today. This set has the final run of the Fleischer produced cartoons and the beginning of the Famous Studios shorts. This set is significant because it contains Popeye's WWII cartoons, some never seen on TV at all!
If you purchase the DVD collection from Best Buy you get a mini comic book that reprints in part the classic "Plunder Island" story from Segar's Sunday pages from 1933-34. This story introduces Alice the Goon to Thimble Theatre.
The above four pages show the climatic fight between Popeye and Alice (who was a slave of the Sea Hag) and the realization that Alice is indeed a female. It also introduces her young son. Segar never revealed the baby's name.
Six years ago when I wrote my first Popeye story, I reintroduced the son of Alice the Goon and named him....Alex the Goon.
That's were I came up with the name....and it has taken on a life of it's own. One day I hope to convince King Features Syndicate to publish the story and make a life long dream come true.
It was on this date in 1927 that Artist/Comic Creator Steve Ditko was born. Notorious for not having his picture taken and when giving interviews, talking about his beliefs instead of himself or his artwork. But he could poke fun at himself as seen in the drawing above.
Probably most famous for creating the Amazing Spider-man with Stan Lee, Ditko's style was a perfect match for the "creepy" look that Lee wanted for is idea of an insect based hero.
Ditko's other collaboration with Lee for Marvel Comics was the magic based Super-Hero, Dr. Strange. Ditko's style for drawing strange and other-worldly settings was perfect for The Sorcerer Supreme.
Later on in 1960's, Ditko created The Creeper for DC Comics.
Around the same time for Charlton Comics (were Ditko got his start in the 1950's), He created The Question. The Question, along with the Creeper and Hawk and Dove at DC Comics, were based in the teachings of Ayn Rand's Objectivism, the beliefs Ditko strongly believed in.
Ditko has had a long and prolific career. He has put his unique stamp on everything he has worked on, and held fast to his personal beliefs, even if it meant losing an assignment.
Steve Ditko is a Comic Creator that we can all aspire to.