Tagged: Cartoon Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • feedwordpress 08:01:27 on 2017/08/12 Permalink
    Tags: , , Bertha Benz, Cartoon, Destination Earth, driving, , , ,   

    “Propaganda does not deceive people; it merely helps them to deceive themselves”*… 

     

    Produced at the height of the Cold War [1956], and made at the behest of the American Petroleum Institute (still the biggest lobby for the U.S. oil and gas industry), this great little promotional film from John Sutherland Studios [producer of other such gems as “Rhapsody of Steel,” “A is for Atom,” and “Wise Use of Credit’; c.f. here] champions not only the wonders of oil as might be expected, but also free-market capitalism. The surprisingly humorous cartoon tells the story of how the suspiciously Stalin-like leader of Mars, named Ogg, sends a rather calamity-prone citizen to Earth to find a better power source for his poorly-running “state limousine”. The exploring Martian, of course, lands in the United States and soon discovers the many and myriad delights of petroleum, and that, in contrast to his home planet, competition between companies is rife. His take-home lesson (and one drilled into the viewer on numerous occasions) is that “competing for the customer’s dollar” is key to the success of the oil industry and, of course, the thriving country as a whole. Delivering the news to Ogg back on Mars, the leader replies defiantly that “competition is downright un-Martian”, but the ordinary Martians are not to be deterred and soon rise up to overthrow Ogg and set up a thriving oil industry (and capitalist culture) of their own — the short ending with the slogan “destination unlimited” writ proudly across the screen…

    Via Public Domain Review, and the Internet Archive.

    * Eric Hoffer

    ###

    As we fill ‘er up, we might recall that it was on this date in 1888 that Bertha Benz, wife of inventor Karl Benz made the first motor tour. Without her husband’s knowledge, she borrowed one of his cars and with their teenage sons travelled 180 km to visit relatives for 5 days. She drove her sons, Richard and Eugen, 14 and 15 years old, in Benz’s newly-constructed “Patent Motorwagen” automobile, from Mannheim to Pforzheim– a distance of more than 106 km (66 miles).  She thus became the first person to drive an automobile over more than just a very short distance… and in so doing, brought her husband’s handiwork worldwide attention, securing his company’s first sales.

    The Benz Patent-Motorwagen Number 3 of 1886, used by Bertha Benz for the highly publicized first long distance road trip

    source

     

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:16 on 2017/07/04 Permalink
    Tags: , Cartoon, court room, , , , , trials,   

    “Good reporting should have the same standard as in a courtroom – beyond a reasonable doubt”*… 

     

    John Hinckley, failed assassin of Ronald Reagan, shown by artist Freda Reiter in front of a television broadcasting his obsession, Jodie Foster.

    Courtroom sketches in the United States date back to the 17th Century Salem Witch Trials, and were a necessary staple of reporting on court cases up until recent years when the courtroom was off-limits to photographers and television cameras. It wasn’t until 2014 that all 50 states allowed cameras in the courtroom, though by the late ‘80s most states already had.

    As portraits that exist solely out of the necessity for historically documenting legal proceedings, such sketches have never been considered high art, but a current exhibition of sketches housed at the Library of Congress shines a spotlight on some of the talents behind these documents.

    The Library of Congress’ exhibition, “Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustrations,” features a selection of the Library’s collection of more than 10,000 courtroom drawings, many of which were donated to the library by the estates of the artists themselves…

    More background and examples from the show at Dangerous Minds; details on the exhibition, which runs through October 28, at the Library of Congress.

    * Barbara Demick

    ###

    As we remark that “photography always acknowledged there were cameras before photography,” we might send fiendishly-ingenious birthday greetings to Reuben Garrett Lucius “Rube” Goldberg; he was born on this date in 1883.  A cartoonist, sculptor, author, engineer, and inventor, he is best remembered as a satirist of the American obsession with technology for his series of “Invention” cartoons which used a string of outlandish tools, people, plants, and steps to accomplish simple, everyday tasks in the most complicated possible way. (His work has inspired a number of “Rube Goldberg competitions,” the best-known of which, readers may recall, has been profiled here.)

    Goldberg was a founder and the first president of the National Cartoonists Society, and he is the namesake of the Reuben Award, which the organization awards to the Cartoonist of the Year.

     source

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:04 on 2017/05/03 Permalink
    Tags: Cartoon, , chef, , , , Sylvester, Tweety,   

    “I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage”*… 

     

    Although he achieved almost unthinkable fame for the Victorian era, the life of chef Alexis Soyer is now considered a fairly obscure topic, infrequently discussed outside culinary circles. Soyer was born in 1810, in France, to a working-class family. His older brother, a Paris chef, helped secure an apprenticeship for Alexis with the highly regarded Georg Rignon, for whom he began working at the tender age of 11. When Soyer moved on, it was to Maison Douix, one of the most famous restaurants in Paris. After a year, he became chef de cuisine. He was 17…

    By the time of his death, in 1848, “Soyer’s death is a great disaster,” wrote Florence Nightingale. “He has no successor.”  The story of “The first celebrity chef.”

    * Erma Bombeck

    ###

    As we dig in, we might recall that it was on this date in 1947 that Sylvester the Cat tried to have Tweety Bird for lunch in the Warner Brothers cartoon Tweetie Pie, which won Warner Bros. its first Academy Award for Best Short Subject (Cartoons).

     

     
  • feedwordpress 09:01:29 on 2016/12/07 Permalink
    Tags: Cartoon, , , Ideal, Robert the Robot, , , ,   

    “You want to know what a robot’s designed for”*… 

     

    In examining the history of famous robots, you’d be forgiven for overlooking a 1950s children’s toy named Robert.

    Robert the Robot, who was a product of the once-mighty Ideal Toy Company, didn’t do much, at least compared to the standards set by science fiction at the time. Unlike the helpful humanoids of Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot, Robert was just a 14-inch-tall hunk of plastic that could utter a few phrases, wheel around with a tethered remote control, and grip objects in his mechanical arms.

    Still, Robert deserves credit for being the first plastic toy robot made in the United States, and the first toy robot to become [as your correspondent, a delighted recipient of Robert as a Christmas gift, can attest] an American sensation. He was the subject of children’s songs, enjoyed a Hollywood film cameo, and was quickly imitated by rival toy makers. He also preceded the industrial robotics boom by several years, capturing people’s imagination long before we truly understood what robots could do…

    Before Rosie and R2-D2 became pop culture icons, a humble toy named Robert paved the way: “The 1950s Toy Robot Sensation That Time Forgot.”

    * Daniel H. Wilson

    ###

    As we turn the crank, we might spare a thought for Rube Goldberg; he died on this date in 1970. A cartoonist, sculptor, author, engineer, and inventor, he is best remembered as a satirist of the American obsession with technology; his series of “Invention” cartoons used a string of outlandish tools, people, plants, and steps to accomplish simple, everyday tasks in the most complicated possible way. (His work has inspired a number of “Rube Goldberg competitions,” the best-known of which, readers may recall, has been profiled here.)

    The self-operating napkin

    source

    Goldberg was a founder and the first president of the National Cartoonists Society, and he is the namesake of the Reuben Award, which the organization awards to the Cartoonist of the Year.

     source

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:45 on 2016/08/17 Permalink
    Tags: , Cartoon, Émile Cohl, Fantasmagorie, , , , peep shows, tunnel books, ,   

    “Being virtually killed by a virtual laser in a virtual space is just as effective as the real thing, because you are as dead as you think you are.”*… 

     

    Long before Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, the paper peep show—a small, layered diorama that expands like an accordion to create the illusion of depth—was a way for audiences in the 19th century to peer into times and places beyond their own experience. A popular souvenir in their day, peep shows brought to life scenes of the completion of the Thames Tunnel and the Great Exhibition of 1851 to masquerade balls and theatrical stage sets. Now, they’re delightful pieces of ephemera from another time that suggest that desire for immersion in other worlds stretches back centuries…

    Peep shows, also known as tunnel books, are widely considered to be the ancestors of animation and film. Peering through a peep show in the 21st century might as well be an analog version of virtual reality—one that transports you to a different time altogether…

    Take a peek at “Paper Peep Shows Were The Virtual Reality Of The 19th Century.”

    * Douglas Adams

    ###

    As we don the goggles, we might recall that it was on this date in 1908 that Émile Cohl‘s Fantasmagorie was released.  Considered by film scholars to be the first animated cartoon, it had tremendous influence not only on the future of animation, but also on early nature films.

     

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:34 on 2016/07/27 Permalink
    Tags: A Wild Hare, Bugs Bunny, Cartoon, , , , log, Onbashira, Tex Avery,   

    “The sweat of hard work is not to be displayed. It is much more graceful to appear favored by the gods.”*… 

     

    If riding a giant log down a steep mountain sounds like an ideal way to spend a quiet spring afternoon, the Onbashira Festival is for you. Held every 6 years in Nagano, Japan, the festival involves moving enormous logs over difficult terrain completely by hand with the help of thickly braided ropes and an occasional assist from gravity as the logs barrel down hills. The purpose is to symbolically renew a nearby shrine where each log is eventually placed to support the foundation of several shrine buildings. The event has reportedly continued uninterrupted for 1,200 years…

    email readers click here for video

    More at: “A Glimpse into Onbashira, the Dangerous Japanese Log Moving Festival.”

    * Maxine Hong Kingston

    ###

    As we fulminate on flumes, we might recall that it was on this date in 1940 that the Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies animated short “A Wild Hare”– the first “official” Bugs Bunny cartoon– premiered (though readers will recall that Bugs [or at least, his prototype] made his inaugural screen appearance two years earlier).  Directed by Tex Avery, “A Wild Hare” was nominated for an Academy Award.

    source

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:48 on 2016/07/04 Permalink
    Tags: , Cartoon, , , , , , ,   

    “Nothing can better cure the anthropocentrism that is the author of all our ills than to cast ourselves into the physics of the infinitely large (or the infinitely small)”*… 

     

    From illustrator John Hendrix, a series of graphics (based on an essay by Gregory Laughlin)–  see them all (and in larger sizes) at “How Big Can Life Get?

    * Julio Cortázar, Around the Day in Eighty Worlds

    ###

    As we step on the scales, we might send fiendishly ingenious birthday greetings to Rube Goldberg; he was born on this date in 1883.  A cartoonist, sculptor, author, engineer, and inventor, he is best remembered as a satirist of the American obsession with technology for his series of “Invention” cartoons which used a string of outlandish tools, people, plants, and steps to accomplish simple, everyday tasks in the most complicated possible way. (His work has inspired a number of “Rube Goldberg competitions,” the best-known of which, readers may recall, has been profilled here.)

    Goldberg was a founder and the first president of the National Cartoonists Society, and he is the namesake of the Reuben Award, which the organization awards to the Cartoonist of the Year.

     source

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:18 on 2016/07/03 Permalink
    Tags: , Cartoon, , Dwarf, gilligans island, , Jim Backus, Mr. Magoo, Snow White,   

    “Magic mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?”*… 

     

    A display of concept drawings by the seminal movie artist Albert Hurter have shed new light on some of the rejected characters who didn’t make the cut in Walt Disney’s 1937 film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

    The final lineup – Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy and Dopey – was selected from a pool of around 50 brainstormed by his team; in the Grimms’ original 1812 story, the dwarves are anonymous.

    Although many of the ultimately rejected names – including Jumpy, Deafy, Dizzey, Hickey, Wheezy, Baldy, Gabby, Nifty, Sniffy, Swift, Lazy, Puffy, Stuffy, Tubby, Shorty and Burpy – were already known, the artwork reveals how close some of them came to actual animation. The drawings were sold as part of an auction of 400 pieces at Bonhams in New York that raised a total of £500,000…

    More at “Burpy, Baldy, Deafy … auctioned artwork reveals rejected Snow White dwarves.”

    * The Evil Queen, Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

    ###

    As we whistle while we work, we might spare a thought for James Gilmore “Jim” Backus; he died on this date in 1989.  A voice and screen actor, Backus appeared in myriad television and radio programs and films, from Francis in the Navy and Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town to Rebel Without a Cause and Hurry Sundown.  But he is surely best remembered as Thurston Howell, III, on the 1960s sitcom Gilligan’s Island, and as the voice of the amusingly visually-challenged cartoon character Mr. Magoo,

     source

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:46 on 2016/06/15 Permalink
    Tags: , avant-garde, Cartoon, Herb Lubalin, , , , , Ralph Ginzburg, Saul Steinberg,   

    “This is the last avant-garde. Bold new forms. The power to shock.”*… 

     

    Avant Garde was a seminal, but somewhat obscure, magazine, launched in 1968, that broke taboos, rattled some nerves, and made more than a few enemies. The brainchild of Ralph Ginzburg, am adventurous publisher, it was the third major collaboration between Ginzburg and Herb Lubalin, the magazine’s widely-admired art director.

    Avant Garde is the magazine that gave birth to a much maligned and equally lauded typeface of the same name. A typeface that reveled in the mutability of letterforms, exhibited brilliantly by its extensive set of ligatured characters. The magazine’s logo, which inspired the typeface, is a perfect encapsulation of what the magazine represented in 1968, the year the magazine launched: exciting, vibrant, edgy, with just the right amount of playfulness to move it out of the corporateness its geometric sans serif forms might otherwise imply. The magazine ran for 3 years, spanning 14 square-sized issues, and only folded due to Ralph Ginzburg losing his long-running legal battle with the US government over obscenity charges (partly stemming from Ralph’s and Herb’s first collaboration, Eros magazine)…

    Now Alexander Tochilovsky and The Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography at the Cooper Union have digitized the entire run of Avant Garde and made it available on the web.

    * Don DeLillo, White Noise

    ###

    As we speculate on The Shock of the New, we might send masterfully-observed birthday greetings to Saul Erik Steinberg; he was born on this date in 1914.  A cartoonist and illustrator (best known for his work for The New Yorker, most notably View of the World from 9th Avenue), he described himself as “a writer who draws.”

    People who see a drawing in the New Yorker will think automatically that it’s funny because it is a cartoon. If they see it in a museum, they think it is artistic; and if they find it in a fortune cookie they think it is a prediction.

    –  Saul Steinberg

     source

     

     
  • feedwordpress 09:01:37 on 2016/03/13 Permalink
    Tags: , Cartoon, Clement Greenberg, Frank Bellew, Gretchen Henderson, , Kokoschka, Thomas Nast, , , Uncle Sam   

    “Beauty belongs to the sphere of the simple, the ordinary, whilst ugliness is something extraordinary”*… 

     

    Oskar Kokoschka – “Prometheus Triptych” (left hand panel)

    source

    What’s the ugliest
    Part of your body?
    What’s the ugliest
    Part of your body?
    Some say your nose
    Some say your toes
    (I think it’s your mind)
    But I think it’s YOUR MIND

    Frank Zappa

    … Art holds up a mirror to shifting attitudes. Initial tags of ‘ugly’ sometimes get forgotten as once-derided subjects become valued. Impressionism of the 19th century – now featured in blockbuster exhibits – was initially compared to mushy food and rotting flesh. When Henri Matisse’s works showed in the US at the Armory Show of 1913, critics lambasted his art as ‘ugly’, while art students in Chicago burned an effigy of his Blue Nude in front of the Art Institute. The same institution mounted a major retrospective of his work a century later. Jazz and rock’n’roll were once considered ‘ugly’ music, threatening to corrupt entire generations.

    In the face of ‘ugly’ slurs, some artists embraced the word. The painter Paul Gauguin called ugliness ‘the touchstone of our modern art’. The poet and translator Ezra Pound encouraged a ‘cult of ugliness’. The composer Charles H H Parry praised ugliness in music, without which ‘there would not be any progress in either social or artistic things’. The critic Clement Greenberg lauded Jackson Pollock’s abstract expressionism as ‘not afraid to look ugly – all profoundly original art looks ugly at first’…

    From Gretchen Henderson‘s essay “The history of ugliness shows that there is no such thing.”  And for artist Oskar Kokoschka’s thoughts, see “On Making Ugly Art.”

    * “Beauty belongs to the sphere of the simple, the ordinary, whilst ugliness is something extraordinary, and there is no question but that every ardent imagination prefers in lubricity, the extraordinary to the commonplace”
    ― Marquis de Sade

    ###

    As we gaze into our mirrors, we might recall that it was on this date in 1852 that “Uncle Sam” first appeared as a cartoon figure in the New York Lantern weekly newspaper.  Thomas Nast, the famed Harpers cartoonist who created the political party mascots and Santa Claus, is widely– but incorrectly– credited with creating the Uncle Sam archetype.  While Nast certainly helped create the modern impression of the character, and popularize it, he was just 12 years old when the original cartoon appeared.  It was the creation of Frank Bellew.

     source

     

     
c
compose new post
j
next post/next comment
k
previous post/previous comment
r
reply
e
edit
o
show/hide comments
t
go to top
l
go to login
h
show/hide help
esc
cancel