Monthly Archives: June 2009

Chuck Jones: 100% Charlie Dog

100% CHARLIE DOG

Rescued by Chuck Jones from the Warner Bros. character
pound where he had been abandoned, Charlie Dog had first appeared in Bob
Clampett’s 1941 Porky’s Pooch.   Jones, however, had found an altogether
different dog upon his release from the ‘pound’ and it is this dog that debuted
in Jones’ Little Orphan Airedale of
1947.

“Charlie Dog is one of my favorite characters.  I don’t understand him, but I do like
him.  He is so unquestionably a dog.  Charlie is merely trying to find a master and
a home, which are perfectly natural ambitions for any dog.  Comedy is always concerned with simple
matters such as this.”—Chuck Jones,
Chuck
Reducks, Drawing From the Fun Side of the Life

GICLEE105

Filmography, all directed by Jones:

  • ·       
    Little
    Orphan Airedale
    (1947) with Porky
  • ·       
    The
    Awful Orphan
    (1949) with Porky
  • ·       
    Often
    an Orphan
    (1949) with Porky
  • ·       
    Dog
    Gone South
    (1950) with Colonel Shuffle and Belvedere
  • ·        
    A Hound
    for Trouble
    (1951)

Although foreshadowed in Little Orphan Airedale, it wasn’t until Often an Orphan that Charlie Dog produced his greatest sales pitch,
to be whatever you need him to be. 
Whether it’s 50 percent Pointer (pointing), 50 percent Boxer (boxing),
50 percent Setter (setting), 50 percent Spitz (into a spittoon, no less!), 50
percent Pinscher (ouch!) or 100 percent Labrador Retriever!  He says, “If you doubt my word, get me a
labrador and I’ll retrieve it!”

Best
of all, Charlie Dog is 100 percent “St. Bernard” in the latest limited edition fine art creation from Chuck Jones.  In 100% Charlie Dog, we find Charlie Dog
purveying his pedigree 11 different times! 
Measuring 24” x 17.5”, 100%
Charlie Dog
has been based upon original drawings by Chuck Jones and produced in an edition of only 200; it
bears the official signature mark of Chuck Jones.

Chuck Jones’ letters to his daughter, Linda

 # 18 Post:

Tuesday, October 14, 52

Dear Linda;

Do you realize that nothing has ever happened at ten:fifteen in the morning? No empires have been founded, no continents discovered, no Pasteur or Koch ever came bounding out of his laboratory at ten:fifteen screaming, “Eureka!!” It is not recorded to my knowledge that any covenant was ever signed, no armistice consummated, no declaration of war effected at this time. Ice cream, coca-cola, and bobby pins were all discovered deep in the stilly night. The first giraffe was seen by the first man in the misty rays of dawn. Nothing very good or startling at all ever happened at ten fifteen A.M.

Why then am I writing to you at this time? Well…..having checked, I find I have nothing to fear, it is now ten-twenty-three, so this may be a literary masterpiece after all.

Yesterday was Columbus Day, a day set aside to honor the city of Columbus, Ohio. All the banks closed their doors and huddled behind green shades. Why is this? I’ve never seen anybody so avid about holidays as are banks. They take everything off, just like Bun Rab in Pogo: Columbus Day, Admission Day, Mulligan’s Feast Day, Arbor Day, Be Kind to Azaleas Day, Pine Tree Day, Boy Scouts of America Day and every other obscure holiday honored with an English name. I’m told that by some curious financial hanky-panky the bank makes money by not doing business, a pleasant but rather unclear idea. If this is so, why open your doors ever? Keep ‘em closed, I say, and roll in pelf. (Do you suppose banks take off Judy Holliday?)

My painting class with [Don] Graham goes swimmingly. He is a great man, a marvelous teacher, but I find no way to tell him so. He has absolutely no idea he is good and he has no machinery with which to accept a compliment. I try to tell him how much I appreciate what he has done for me, how his clean clear thinking has helped me to understand my job here at the studio so much better, indeed has given me greater ability to draw, keener appreciation of drawing, a faith in my own judgment so necessary in creative work and a relaxed attitude toward drawing itself. It doesn’t get through to him at all. I guess he thinks I’m just trying to be nice.

Your letters came this morning like a fresh sweet happy breeze. I’m so very happy that you are happy. We will bring some round dance records and instructions with us two weeks from Saturday, the 1st of November. Yahoo!! Friendship is not precisely love, but it has been known to serve until love comes along. The structure of this paragrapf is far from perfect, but look at all the things it says. (How do you like ‘paragrapf?)

Lots and lots plus lots add lots multiply lots to lots of love……

thine grizzly sire…

Daddy

Chuck Jones’ letters to his daughter, Linda

# 18 Post:

Tuesday, October 14, 52

Dear Linda;

Do you realize that nothing has ever happened at ten:fifteen in the morning?  No empires have been founded, no continents discovered, no Pasteur or Koch ever came bounding out of his laboratory at ten:fifteen screaming, “Eureka!!”  It is not recorded to my knowledge that any covenant was ever signed, no armistice consummated, no declaration of war effected at this time.  Ice cream, coca-cola, and bobby pins were all discovered deep in the stilly night.  The first giraffe was seen by the first man in the misty rays of dawn.  Nothing very good or startling at all ever happened at ten fifteen A.M.  Why then am I writing to you at this time?  Well…..having checked, I find I have nothing to fear, it is now ten-twenty-three, so this may be a literary masterpiece after all.

Yesterday was Columbus Day, a day set aside to honor the city of Columbus, Ohio.  All the banks closed their doors and huddled behind green shades.  Why is this?  I’ve never seen anybody so avid about holidays as are banks.  They take everything off, just like Bun Rab in Pogo:  Columbus Day, Admission Day, Mulligan’s Feast Day, Arbor Day, Be Kind to Azaleas Day, Pine Tree Day, Boy Scouts of America Day and every other obscure holiday honored with an English name.  I’m told that by some curious financial hanky-panky the bank makes money by not doing business, a pleasant but rather unclear idea.  If this is so, why open your doors ever?  Keep ‘em closed, I say, and roll in pelf.  (Do you suppose banks take off Judy Holliday?)

My painting class with [Don] Graham goes swimmingly.  He is a great man, a marvelous teacher, but I find no way to tell him so.  He has absolutely no idea he is good and he has no machinery with which to accept a compliment.  I try to tell him how much I appreciate what he has done for me, how his clean clear thinking has helped me to understand my job here at the studio so much better, indeed has given me greater ability to draw, keener appreciation of drawing, a faith in my own judgment so necessary in creative work and a relaxed attitude toward drawing itself.  It doesn’t get through to him at all.  I guess he thinks I’m just trying to be nice.

Your letters came this morning like a fresh sweet happy breeze.  I’m so very happy that you are happy.    We will bring some round dance records and instructions with us two weeks from Saturday, the 1st of November.  Yahoo!! Friendship is not precisely love, but it has been known to serve until love comes along.  The structure of this paragrapf is far from perfect, but look at all the things it says.  (How do you like ‘paragrapf?)

Lots and lots plus lots add lots multiply lots to lots of love……thine grizzly sire…

Daddy

Jim Lee: Super Hero Super Artist

San Diego, CA—Chuck
Jones Gallery announced today that superhero comic book artist, Jim Lee, will
be the special guest of honor at a one-man exhibition of his new graphic work
and original paintings on Thursday, July 23rd from 7 to 9 PM at 232
Fifth Avenue in the historic Gaslamp District of downtown San Diego.   Known
for his deft and exquisite drawings of Marvel
Comic’s
X-Men and DC Comics’ Superman & Batman
along with a host of other original characters, Mr. Lee will kick-off the 40th
anniversary of Comic-con with this
one-man exhibition of limited edition prints and original works of art.  The artist will dedicate artwork purchased at
the event. 

Jim Lee_Heroes 72dpi

 

Although he seemed destined to follow in his father’s professional
footsteps (a medical doctor) Lee’s enrollment in an elective art course during
his time at Princeton University (where he graduated with a degree in
Psychology in 1986) sidelined that career track as  he followed his re-awakened love of drawing
and pursued his dream of becoming a comic book illustrator.

 

Over the next half-dozen years, Lee’s meteoric rise as one
of the pre-eminent illustrators of comic books was propelled by his work at Marvel Comics.  There, he began working on the beloved group
of immortals, X-Men, and over the
next decade crafted them into the contemporary superheroes of the modern age of
comic books.  With their all too human
flaws powered by their superhuman abilities, X-Men are one of today’s most read comic book series.  His X-Men
#1
is still the best-selling of all comic books with over 8 million
sold. 

 For Tomorrow 72dpi

 

Lee’s break with Marvel came in 1992, when he and six other
artists broke away and formed their own company, Image Comics.  While with Image,
he continued to create his own group of characters and comics under the title Wildstorm.  In 1998 Lee sold Wildstorm to DC Comics
and began working on the famed DC characters, Superman and Batman &
Robin.  His brilliant line drawings, also
known as ‘pencils’ in the trade are considered some of the most dynamic and
powerful in comic book history. 

Knightwatch 72dpi

 

In talking about the artist's work ethic, Lee has said,
"Sometimes I wonder if we ever really improve as artists or if the nirvana
derived from completing a piece blinds us enough to love what we have created
and move on to the next piece. If we could see the work as it is, with years of
reflection in the here and now, how many images would end up in the trash
rather than on the racks?"

Batman San Prospero 72dpi

 

The Chuck Jones Gallery, located in the heart of San Diego’s
historic Gaslamp District at 232 Fifth Ave., is the destination for art
collectors and visitors from around the world. 
Owned by Linda Jones Enterprises, the publisher and distributor of the
art of the legendary animation creator and director, Chuck Jones, it is the
only gallery in San Diego devoted to the art of the animated film.  Included in the on-going display is art from
all major animation studios as well as original paintings and limited edition
fine art from a variety of internationally known artists and photographers
whose work is entertainment related.  For
more information please call the gallery at 888-294-9880.  

Chuck Jones: Zip N’ Snort

2009 is the 60th anniversary of the first appearance of the iconic characters created by Chuck Jones, Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner, and to celebrate this significant milestone three new hand-painted cel art editions will be released throughout the year; one each on the birthdays of Linda Jones (July 25,) Chuck Jones (September 21) and Craig Kausen, Chuck's grandson (November 22.)  Each image has been carefully selected to represent an important moment in the film life of these legendary characters. 

The first cel art edition to be released is the 12 field vertical pan, Zip N' Snort, created from the final 83402-TRAIN   scene of the short animated cartoon of the same title.  Bowing in theaters nationwide on January 21, 1961, Zip N' Snort was directed and written by Chuck Jones, with layouts by Maurice Noble and animation by Richard Thompson, Bob Bransford, Tom Ray and Ken Harris.  Backgrounds were painted by Philip DeGuard, the film editor was Treg Brown and musical direction was provided by Milt Franklyn. 

"In the Road Runner cartoons, we hoped to evoke sympathy for the Coyote.  It is the basis for the series:  the Coyote tries by any means to capture the Road Runner, ostensibly and at first to eat him, but this motive has become beclouded, and it has become, in my mind at least, a question of loss of dignity that forces him to continue.  And who is the Coyote's enemy?  Why, the Coyote.  The Road Runner has never touched him, never even startled him intentionally beyond coming up behind the Coyote occasionally and going "Beep Beep!"

"No, the only enemy the Coyote has is his overwhelming stubbornness.  Like all of us, at least some of the time, he persists in a course of action long after he has forgotten his original reasons for embarking on it. [Chuck does quote American philosopher, George Santayana, "A fanatic is someone who doubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim."–RP]

"The Coyote is a history of my own frustration and war with all tools, multiplied only slightly.  I can remember that my wife and daughter would start to weep bitterly and seek hiding places whenever they saw me head toward the tool drawer, if only to hang a picture.  I have never reached into that devilish drawer without starting a chain of errors and disasters of various but inevitable proportions.  Like any other man, I would rather succeed in what I can't do than do what I have successfully done before.  I have never reached into that drawer without encountering one of those spiny things you stick flowers in.  We don't keep that thing in that drawer, but it is always there.  I count it a good day when I get only one spine under a fingernail.  I tried to get the spiny thing out of the drawer once, but found out that the last time, when it had stuck to four fingers at once and been in fact lifted a few inches out of its nest in the resulting shriek, it had fallen on a tube of glue, puncturing the tube and affixing itself to the drawer for all time.  I have tried lackadaisically from time to time to remove it, and  have succeeded in breaking a rattail file, a kitchen knife, three fingernails, a nail file, a pair of manicure scissors, an eggbeater (in one of my more fanciful efforts), and a window, when the tail of the rattail file separated from the rattail file."  –Chuck Jones, writing in Chuck Amuck

For more information about Zip N' Snort, please visit www.ChuckJones.com.  For information about the suite of three cel art editions celebrating the 60th anniversary (see image below) may be found by clicking here.

WEC RR 60th Suite 72dpi

Chuck Jones Doodles: A Glimpse into Genius (Part 1)

When I was preparing for a recent event, I came across some doodles by Chuck that seemed to me a glimpse into the way his genius expressed itself.  I imagined Chuck sitting in his studio, likely talking on the phone while his hand casually sketched whatever bubbled out. 

I'm sure there was seldom an intent when he started a doodle, but instead, he absentmindedly allowed it to occur. 

I think I most enjoy the way that there is no pattern or distinct symmetry, while at the same time, there is wonderful design and grace that dances from the page.

I wish I had a stop action recounting of how some of these doodles came to life to experience how they started and stopped. 

As you'll see, many times a name or a phone number or a note is embedded into the doodle as the real basis for the pad lying before him.

Please enjoy.

Craig

SKDO-01-001
SKDO-01-023 SKDO-01-002
SKDO-01-018
 SKDO-01-009

Chuck Jones’ letters to his daughter, Linda

# 17 Post:

Monday, Oct. 13, 1952

Dearest Linda;

My gosh, it was nice to hear your voice Saturday.  It sounded so happy and full of fun.  I would say that I have missed your face most, but I have missed your voice, too.

Your grades sounded good to me.  I really can’t argue with anything as long as you do the very best you can and your very best is good indeed.

You know how often I have commented on the wide variety of experience one can get through square dancing?  Well, yesterday we got another example of it.  One of the men we dance with is an ex-fireman and so through him we went down to Engine 17 station house and spent about four hours with the firemen, climbing all over the equipment, talking and asking them questions. 

We went over to their training ground and watched them test and set up their ladders, nets, aerials (those are the huge ladders set on the trucks), hoses and so on.  We climbed the aerial to the top of a building, where these fearless characters walked daintily along ledges seventy feet above the ground.  They were showing off, of course, but it was impressive nevertheless.  They are wonderful men, some absolutely fearless, some able to conquer fear, but interesting and high capable. 

The technology involved is absolutely staggering.  These men approach a fire as a cabinetmaker to wood.  They know precisely how to go about it and they have equipment to match nearly any situation.  Darndest gadgets, designed to do everything from snapping a padlock off to moving a standing freight car that is in the way.  They have battering rams, odd shaped rakes for rubbish, probes, huge shears capable of cutting steel pipe, garden hose with special nozzles that fit over any faucet to handle small house fires, breathing apparatus that supplies pure oxygen as you need it, not in a steady blast.  A funny sidelight on this piece of equipment is that they always take one along when they attend a fireman’s convention where there’s to be a lot of drinking.  It seems a few sniffs of oxygen will cure the squiffiest fireman.  Oxygen just burns up all the alcohol in the body. 

Do you know what the most effective liquid is to put out a fire in a cotton bale?  Kerosene!  According to the chief, kerosene will penetrate where water will not.  It cools the fire and thereby kills it.  Kerosene itself will not burn.  You can toss a match into a pail of it quite safely.  It has to have a wick, which will draw the fumes up from the liquid.  In other words, it’s the fumes as does the burning. 

We even got a short trip in the chief’s car, siren blasting, through the industrial district.  It turned out to be a false alarm, but it was nonetheless very thrilling.  Oh, I forgot to tell you that this station is in the heart of the industrial section, 7th and Santa Fe, which is right on the edge of the Los Angeles River.  

No space for anything more today.  Keep up the good work.

All my love and a bundle of xs……

Daddy

Chuck Jones’ letters to his daughter, Linda

# 17 Post:

Monday, Oct. 13, 1952

Dearest Linda;

My gosh, it was nice to hear your voice Saturday.  It sounded so happy and full of fun.  I would say that I have missed your mind most, but I have missed your voice, too.

Your grades sounded good to me.  I really can’t argue with anything as long as you do the very best you can and your very best is good indeed.

You know how often I have commented on the wide variety of experience one can get through square dancing?  Well, yesterday we got another example of it.  One of the men we dance with is an ex-fireman and so through him we went down to Engine 17 stationhouse and spent about four hours with the firemen, climbing all over the equipment, talking and asking them questions. 

We went over to their training ground and watched them test and set up their ladders, nets, aerials (those are the huge ladders set on the trucks), hoses and so on.  We climbed the aerial to the top of a building, where these fearless characters walked daintily along ledges seventy feet above the ground.  They were showing off, of course, but it was impressive nevertheless.  They are wonderful men, some absolutely fearless, some able to conquer fear, but interesting and high capable. 

The technology involved is absolutely staggering.  These men approach a fire as a cabinetmaker to wood.  They know precisely how to go about it and they have equipment to match nearly any situation.  Darndest gadgets, designed to do everything from snapping a padlock off to moving a standing freight car that is in the way.  They have battering rams, odd shaped rakes for rubbish, probes, huge shears capable of cutting steel pipe, garden hose with special nozzles that fit over any faucet to handle small house fires, breathing apparatus that supplies pure oxygen as you need it, not in a steady blast.  A funny sidelight on this piece of equipment is that they always take one along when they attend a fireman’s convention where there’s to be a lot of drinking.  It seems a few sniffs of oxygen will cure the squiffiest fireman.  Oxygen just burns up all the alcohol in the body. 

Do you know what the most effective liquid is to put out a fire in a cotton bale?  Kerosene!  According to the chief, kerosene will penetrate where water will not.  It cools the fire and thereby kills it.  Kerosene itself will not burn.  You can toss a match into a pail of it quite safely.  It has to have a wick, which will draw the fumes up from the liquid.  In other words, it’s the fumes as does the burning. 

We even got a short trip in the chief’s car, siren blasting, through the industrial district.  It turned out to be a false alarm, but it was nonetheless very thrilling.  Oh, I forgot to tell you that this station is in the heart of the industrial section, 7th and Santa Fe, which is right on the edge of the Los Angeles River.  

No space for anything more today.  Keep up the good work.

All my love and a bundle of xs……

Daddy