Starting today, I’m going to regularly post the Warner Bros. Cartoons column from the studio’s in-house organ, Warner Club News.
This came about thanks to a query from our own Devon Baxter, which led me to the USC Cinematic Arts Library – whom I was aware had much of the Warner Bros. studio paper archive. Senior Librarian Ned Comstock has agreed to scan these for us – and I’m happy to post them here for all of our benefit.
These are a real time capsule, and contain interesting bits of information about the staff and their doings – personal and professional. Occasionally a special piece of art, caricatures and photos of the crew appear.
Ned says USC has these from the time Warners bought the Schlesinger studio (1944) all the way through the closing in 1962 (However, Ned warns, that not every issue is in their files – there will be gaps). Today we begin with the first four columns of 1944 (from September through December). The first one above is written by “Bugs Bunny” and has a nifty piece of original art. Who would you say drew it? McKimson perhaps, though the guard has a Freleng unit look…
The second “What’s Up, Doc?” column, below, has no byline – but it features a letter to Eddie Selzer from Jack Warner congratulating him on being appointed to head the department. The studio on Sunset has been painted and spruced up; there’s acknowledgement that Bob McKimson is now a director; Chuck Jones is working on a Snafu, Bob Clampett is experimenting with television; Bob Cannon, Freleng, Ray Katz and numerous ink & paint gals are named.
Tedd Pierce takes credit (as “Bugs Bunny”). Click this one to enlarge. Nice photo of producer Ed Selzer with John Burton, animators Rod Scribner and Dick Bickenbach, inker/painters The Woods Sisters and my (still-with-us) friend Enid Denbo. Lots of tid-bits for us to read into. Among them: Hubie Karp joins the story Department; Fred Abrams is now animating for Bob Clampett; and take note that many inkers (women) became inbetweeners and assistants during the war era. Doris Caballero and Mary Scalzo joined the ranks this month.
Michael Maltese takes over the page this month – and writes it in that “Walter Winchell/dot-dot-dot” gossip column style. So what do we learn? Eddie Selzer is giving the staff twice weekly movie screenings; Herr Meets Hare and Odor-able Kitty are “going over with a bang”; Mention of Dick Nelson as the voice of Eddie G. in Racketeer Rabbit; first listen to Carl Stallings “new ditty” for Bugs, entitled What’s Up Doc; some bio info on Tedd Pierce; and perhaps the first mention of Mel Blanc’s allergy to carrots!
Next Week: 1945