I was sad this week to hear about the passing of Dave Butler, 16mm film collector, original art collector and founder of Bosko Video. I first met him at the Columbus Cinevent show in 1988, the second show I went to selling Snappy Video VHS tapes of old cartoons. Dave was there selling 16mm prints of Warner Bros. cartoons and other shorts, a lot of rare prints. Not long after that he formed Bosko Video, releasing a few collections of Warner Brothers Cartoons with the studio’s gag reels interspersed between them…very cool and completely impossible to see footage.
If memory serves, I believe Dave said he gotten of the films from Bob McKimson himself.. though I might be wrong about that… Over the course of a handful of years, Dave released a complete collection of Private Snafu cartoons and many other sets, including the first good quality set of the Fleischer’s Superman Cartoons I had seen. One of my best memories of Dave was sharing a table with him and two of the surviving Munchkins from the Wizard of Oz. Dave had found a rare nitrate print of ‘Terror of Tiny Town’ and often had Munchkins with him to sign copies of the film!
Dave later distributed some of my Snappy Video collections to comic book stores as well. My friend David Gerstein told me he got a few of them back then, with simple, two color covers. Dave was a consummate collector and loved cartoons, and in later years made quite a few videos on the local Pow-Wows held near his home in Wisconsin. He was a character and loved these films like so many of us do. He’ll be missed.
As my duties at the College for Creative Studies wind down for the semester, I find I’m often catching up with all the other stuff that either went into the back burner or forgotten, or though to and just not acted on. I’ve had a chance to work on the short film that has been in progress in some form all year, and happy to be able to finish a few other little projects. I’m getting back to a couple of bigger projects for Thunderbean as well, now that work is finished on helping on a good friend’s DVD/ Blu-ray.
A little while back I asked both here and at a few other places for suggestions on projects- the results have been a lot of great ideas here, on some of the forums and emails. These are super helpful, and keep me thinking about what projects to pursue with this little company. Some of them really are feasible, while others are still pipe dreams. A few things looked promising and have been stopped right now in their tracks, while other things are moving forward. Being able to work from original negatives and fine grains on projects right now is really a joy; I just wish everything had that kind of quality. I do hope to share stills soon on some of these.
Last week’s article by Chris Buchman led to some conversations this week about putting out a really good Christmas set in blu-ray… including both some of the common and not-so-common things in excellent quality- and that’s not-so-common for many of these shorts! If you had your druthers, what films would you put on a set like that- feel free to mention non-animated ones as well please! (I already know about Santa and the Three Bears, so no need to mention that one!). I’d love to see some mentions of some of the rarer things that have shown up through the years..
Christmas comes but once a year is for sure one of my favorite Christmas Cartoons of all time. I do hope that someday we’ll see absolutely stunning original material on the Fleischer Color Classics. So many kids saw this cartoon over and over in a reddish print on cheap VHS cartoon collections….I think I may have first seen it on ‘Matinee at the Bijou’.