Animation Block Party 2017!
I had a great time this past week at the Animation Block Party in New York. It’s really fun event that you shouldn’t miss if you are interested in what is happening in animation right now. The highlights for me were being on a panel about old cartoon preservation with Tommy Stathes, David Gerstein and Charlie Judkins. All great cartoon folks! I also was able to attend one of Tommy’s famous Cartoon Carnival showings. If you’re a cartoon fan and in New York, this is as close as youll get to the old 16mm screenings as you’ll get- a wonderful night.
Charlie Judkins, besides also being a cartoon historian, plays a mean piano along with many of Tommy Stathes’ Cartoons on Film releases – and live at his events! Here’s Charlie playing ‘The Barrelhouse Rag’ earlier this year. He has also produced a CD recently.
The other highlight was being lucky enough to be on the Raggedy Ann and Andy – a Musical Adventure panel, hosted by our own Jerry Beck, with Dan Haskett and Doug Crane, who both did excellent work on this feature. It was nice that the film got a proper 35mm presentation on its 40th anniversary – and fun to hear some of their stories. Many of the people in the audience were children, and a large percentage had never seen the film.
IN THUNDERBEAN NEWS…
…it’s been another week full of dubbing and sending. All the older ‘Special’ discs are now out the door, so watch your mailbox if you had any of those older sets coming. This leaves us to the work on finishing a whole series of other things here. Thanks as always to everyone for supporting these things.
We’ve launched a pre-order for ‘Cartoon Commercials Volume 2’ Blu-ray/ DVD. Im happy to have a set of old commercials in progress again. Volume 1 was in 2007- so its about time for another. Details for the set are posted here on the IAD forum, a great place for golden age cartoon information and discussion!
We’ve also been releasing titles under the ‘Snappy Video’ label- now repurposed for non-animated releases. This week we’ve started a pre-order for Count Dracula and his Vampire Bride. Off topic here I know (A long way from Willie Whopper!) but here’s the pre-order page anyway!
Some Off Model Adventures:
If I ever need to not think about anything for a few minutes, I go to the Facebook group page: Off Model and Loving It. Its a closed group, but if you manage to join, its full of amazing images of many classic cartoon characters in depictions that are far from what made them great! Many of the images are laugh-out-loud funny. The ‘Wise Puppet’ (above right) is one of my favorite things of all time – although, ‘Specialman’ (above, center) should get at least get notice.
Over the weekend, Mary and I were driving around ‘Downriver’ near Detroit (about 36 miles from where I sit here in Ann Arbor, Michigan). The downriver communities include some pretty industrial areas. One of the highlights of this weekend for me was exploring a little neighborhood near ‘Zug Island’ on the Detroit River in River Rouge, Michigan. One of the steel plants has a white brick wall separating the neighborhood from a mammoth steel mill/ factory. On the neighborhood side, the wall contains an incredibly long, continuing series of mural paintings- all by amateur artists. It looks as if one artist painted quite a few, and was getting better as they went. My guess is that many were done by teenagers that lived in that very neighborhood. Mary suggested I shoot a video while slowly going down the road, so here it is. My guess is that the mural started sometime in the mid 80s and continued through the early 90s judging by the various characters on the wall. Its pretty fun and a great candidate for great off-model folk art.
Have a good week everyone!