Thursday, October 26, 2006

Milt Gross

For your viewing pleasure, here's just one bouyant panel from Milt Gross' Cartoon Tour Of New York, courtesy of the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive, which is already a veritable Dead Sea Scrolls of comic art. Steven Worth and the crew there are doing exciting things and have already digitized thousands of classic animated films, comics, illustrations and historic memorabilia.

To see the rest of this jewel from Milt's mighty pen:
Milt Gross' Cartoon Tour Of New York, Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

The mention of this mega-talented artist dovetails nicely into my last (October 22) posting. After creating two brilliant (not to mention iconoclastic, irreverent and aggressively "non p.c.") MGM cartoons,
Jitterbug Follies and Wanted: No Master, both starring his "Count Screwloose & J.R. The Wonder Dog" characters, Gross was unceremoniously fired by Fred Quimby, the Metro sales executive inexplicably installed as head of their new animation studio. Thus ended what would have undoubtedly been a historic contribution to U.S. animation; Gross would have clearly given Bob Clampett some spirited competition for "king of the black and white cartoon" in the late 30's.

I don't know if Quimby quite gets the Eddie Selzer "what does all this laughter have to do with the making of animated cartoons?" booby prize, but he's certainly close. He fired Milt Gross and didn't think Tex Avery cartoons were funny.

Milt and Tex got the last laugh. Even now, when it comes to comics, Milt remains the gold standard.


Philippe de Largilliere said...

Happy to meet you !
A man from France ... an artist

paul etcheverry said...

Delighted to meet you as well - we artists, writers, musicians and archivists need to stick together -and really hope I get the chance to travel to France one of these days.

Things are good in San Francisco. The jazz festival is here. Hooray!