Monthly Archives: November 2012

Valerie Kausen at the Bradford Animation Festival

The talented Valerie Kausen is the special guest of honor at the Bradford Animation Festival at the National Media Museum in the United Kingdom. They screened "The Magical World of Chuck Jones" on the big screen for the first time in 20 years (Valerie was a producer) while Chuck Jones short cartoons played in other venues. The Festival ends on the 17th…so if you're in the Bradford, U.K. area (near Manchester) skootchy on over and see what's happening. (In case you were wondering, "Skootchy" is a technical term that means "come on down".)

BAF Chuck Jones centenary

BAF Valerie Magical World

Valerie, 20 years ago.

BAF Magical World

BAF Chuck Magical World

It's always wonderful to poke around in the Chuck Jones archives (what some people call 'curating' — but isn't everyone a curator? 'Poking around' sounds like more fun to me) to see what might be just right for an exhibition (big or small) like the works selected for Bradford Animation Festival's Chuck Jones Centenary Tribute.

BAF display 1

In the photo above, Chuck demonstrates how three of the characters he developed and/or created are drawn in a similar way: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote. These drawings are featured on pages 132, 133 of "Chuck Reducks: Drawing From the Fun Side of Life" by Chuck Jones.

BAF display 2

The five drawings in the photograph above are from three of the many archive boxes filled with Chuck Jones sketches–animals, children, conveyances. BTW, if you want a baby to look like a baby, don't give it a cigar to smoke (see image lower left.)

BAF display 3

These last drawings appeared in Chuck Jones's autobiography, "Chuck Amuck: the Life and Times of an Animated Cartoonist". Clockwise from upper left, Johnson the cat, Teddy, a dachshund in a wet suit (drawn during the pre-production for Jones's "The White Seal"), a 1941 caricature holiday card from his Unit A at Leon Schlesinger Productions and Johnson with his tongue depressor.

 

PEANUTS Animator Larry Leichliter to Appear at Chuck Jones Gallery–San Diego & Costa Mesa

Show sign for website 8 x 6 72dpi

PEANUTS™ Characters Magically
Appear in San Diego & Costa Mesa!

It’s
Magic, Charlie Brown
to Premier at Gallery 

Exhibition
at the Chuck Jones Gallery Honors Larry Leichliter,

Animator
of PEANUTS™ Animated Specials

Costa Mesa,
CA
—In a rare public
appearance, Larry Leichliter, PEANUTS
animation artist will be the special guest-of-honor at both Chuck Jones Galleries in California on Saturday, December 1st (San Diego, 5 to 8 PM) and Sunday, December 2nd (Costa Mesa, 12:30 PM to 3 PM) as the galleries unveil original production art from “It’s Magic, Charlie
Brown!”, a 1981 television special produced by Bill Melendez, directed by Phil
Roman; Leichliter was one of the animators who worked on this film. The
reception and exhibition at the galleries will feature original production art,
limited edition cel art and rare sold-out cel art editions from many of the
most famous PEANUTS television specials of the last 40 years.  Mr. Leichliter will also be signing and
dedicating art purchased at this event.   

The San Diego Chuck Jones Gallery is located at 232 Fifth Avenue in the city's historic GasLamp Quarter. The Costa Mesa Chuck Jones Gallery can be found at 3321 Hyland Avenue in Orange County's newest shopping destination, South Coast Collection (SoCo).

Mr. Leichliter’s
career in animation began in the 1960s working for Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera
at their studio creating animation for television.  While there, he worked alongside some of the
most renowned animators of the “Golden Age” of animation including Iwao
Takamoto and Wiley Ito.  Likening working
in animation to that of the life of a nomad, Leichliter’s career included
stints with Ralph Bakshi where he was able to work with the great animator, Irv
Spence (known for his fluid animation of MGM’s Tom & Jerry cartoons of the 1950s) and before he hung his hat
at Bill Melendez Productions, the home of the Peanuts television specials, advertising and films.   Leichliter has also directed several
animation shows for Nickelodeon including SpongeBob
SquarePants
and Hey, Arnold!

About the galleries:  The Chuck Jones Gallery 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 Orange and San Diego County 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 Costa Mesa gallery at 866-248-2556 or the San Diego gallery at 888-294-9880. The Chuck Jones Gallery may be found online at www.ChuckJones.com.  Blog: Chuck
Redux
.

Mr. Leichliter
is available for phone interviews prior to the show and onsite the day of the
event.  Photos of exhibition art for
publication are available upon request. 

 

How Creativity Works (sometimes)

Chuck Redux stumbled across this poem by Frank O'Hara, one of mid-century America's great poets and critics, the other day, as one does when surfing the internet and over the intervening days as it has sunk in and had time to percolate, CR has come to think of it as a poem about the nature of creativity and thinks you will too.

Why I Am Not A Painter

I am not a painter, I am a poet.
Why? I think I would rather be
a painter, but I am not. Well,

for instance, Mike Goldberg
is starting a painting. I drop in.
“Sit down and have a drink” he
says. I drink; we drink. I look
up. “You have SARDINES in it.”
“Yes, it needed something there.”
“Oh.” I go and the days go by
and I drop in again. The painting
is going on, and I go, and the days
go by. I drop in. The painting is
finished. “Where’s SARDINES?”
All that’s left is just
letters, “It was too much,” Mike says.

But me? One day I am thinking of
a color: orange. I write a line
about orange. Pretty soon it is a
whole page of words, not lines.
Then another page. There should be
so much more, not of orange, of
words, of how terrible orange is
and life. Days go by. It is even in
prose, I am a real poet. My poem
is finished and I haven’t mentioned
orange yet. It’s twelve poems, I call
it ORANGES. And one day in a gallery
I see Mike’s painting, called SARDINES

“From the Acme Catalog” a Sunday Crossword by Merl Reagle

In the Sunday, October 21, 2012 issue of "The Washington Post Magazine" they published a crossword puzzle by the indomitable Merl Reagle titled "From the Acme Catalog". It features clues from eight different Chuck Jones cartoons and one from Robert McKimson's "Boston Quackie" of 1957 that involve products ordered by Wile E. Coyote (except for McKimson's "Boston Quackie" when it is ordered by Daffy Duck). Results (and laughs) guaranteed! 

Many thanks to long-time collector of Chuck Jones artwork, Bill, for sharing this puzzle with all of us. Enjoy! (Click on the puzzle for a larger, printable version.)

From the Acme Catalog Merl Reagle crossword

 

“Simpsons” Storyboard Artist Stephen Reis at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity

Writing from Costa Mesa: This reporter was fortunate enough to witness "Simpsons" storyboard artist, Stephen Reis (center in photo below) in action this past Saturday, November 3rd, at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity during their "Great, Grand Chuck Jones Family Happening!" With a sharp pencil in each hand (many thanks to Pencils.com for the gift of Chuck Jones's preferred drawing instrument, the Blackwing 602, which all of those in attendance were able to use), Reis wowed those lucky aspirants with his dexterity and command of character design.  

Reis drawing of mr. burns
How to draw Mr. Burns was one of many character studies led by Stephen Reis. 

Over a three-hour period, over 30 students of animation, both young and old alike, learned from one of the most creative storyboard and character design artists working in animation today. By the end of the session and because of his guidance and nurturing manner each student had produced a group of characters from "The Simpsons". Smiles all around!

Everyone at the Center extends a heartfelt thank you to Stephen and we look forward to his return in the future!

Reis with students 72 dpi
Photo by Stephen Russo.