There’s not much I’m going to say about Thad Komorowski’s just published book, “Sick Little Monkeys: The Unauthorized Ren & Stimpy Story”, except BUY THIS BOOK!! Thad has definitely put together a fine chronicle of probably the greatest made for TV cartoon ever made. It’s available directly from the publisher and through Amazon.
I was finally able to get around to reading Robert McKimson Jr.’s biography of his father, Robert McKimson and uncles Tom and Chuck who all spent time as animators at Warner Bros. Though the text largely focuses on Bob McKimson, for those like me that know next to nothing about Tom or Chuck it is very informative. Starting with Bob and Tom’s beginnings as assistant animators at Walt Disney Studios to their stops at Romer Grey Pictures, Harman-Ising Productions and eventually all three of them working together at Warner Bros.
The foreword was written by John Kricfalusi, of Ren and Stimpy fame, is filled with his usual enthusiasm for Bob McKimson’s animation and directorial work. If you’ve read John’s blog regularly you’ll probably know there’s no bigger champion of McKimson than him. The introduction is delivered by Darrel Van Citters and highlights Bob’s importance to the Warner Bros. cartoons look and characters.
The book as whole mostly highlights Bob’s career as and an animator and director but considering the impact the man had on probably the greatest cartoons studio ever I don’t see that as a bad thing. Bob was a superior draftsman and also animated at a fast pace. Tom’s work with Western Publishing gets it’s own chapter, which is loaded with illustrations. Starting with his time as a freelancer to his ascension to role of art director for all the comic book lines. Chuck also started working with Western Publishing after the Warner Bros. studio closed down.
I mentioned the illustrations, and this book is loaded from cover to cover. All three McKimson’s are well represented with artwork. There’s loads of model sheets, layouts, animation drawings and comic book art. A lot of which I haven’t seen reprinted anywhere else. I haven’t had time to soak it all up, but this is definitely one of the best animation related books out there. A must for Warner Bros. fans!
I posted this cartoon a couple of years ago (twice I think) but forgot both times to include the model sheet for Zesty Relish Jr. And since I haven’t uploaded a decent model sheet in a long time, here ya go. This was printed in Draw! Magazine #6, which you should own. There’s two great interviews, one will creator Bill Wray and the other with collaborator and all-around super cartoonist and swell guy, Stephen DeStefano.
I posted to interior covers from issue #46 of Our Gang With Tom and Jerry some time back that featured Tex Avery’s Buzzards and El Wolfo from the Harman/Ising short “The Hungry Wolf”. I came across another issue with the guys again featured on the interior covers. These are from issue #45. I have no idea who the artist was on these. I don’t think they appeared in any issue after 46, but I may be wrong as my collection is far from complete.
As much as I admire the skill of Disney animators and others like Ken Harris, Ken Muse, Virgil Ross and Bob McKimson, I really get fired up over animators like Irv Spence, Bob Cannon, Rod Scribner, Pat Matthews, Emery Hawkins, Michael Lah and of course Jim Tyer. I find myself just watching Tyer’s work over and over. I just love funny drawings and they don’t get much funnier than his.
This is Jim Tyer’s animation from the opening of “Prehistoric Perils”. I don’t recall off hand of Tyer animating musical bits in any other Mighty Mouse cartoon. I wish he would have though, this is much more entertaining than what the other animators were doing. There’s some great animation when Mighty Mouse breaks through the TV screen too. Watch his eyes.