Archive | Chuck Jones

Septembers LOAC Wheel of Fortune: Just For Laughs! Redux

I know, I know — I said I had something planned for September, so we’d do our second humor-based spin of the LOAC Wheel of Fortune later in the autumn. I weighed the options and decided the idea I had for September would work even better if I held it back until October. That certainly appealed to me, since now I had a clear path to doing our focus on our funniest “funnies” in back-to-back installments. Hoo-hah!

You’ll notice that just before and just after our fiftieth release, we offered two delightful single-volume books, Cartoon Monarch: Otto Soglow and the Little King and that splendid rare find, Chuck Jones: The Dream That Never Was. (I visited the Chuck Jones Gallery during a June visit to San Diego — a highly-recommended destination, if you’re a Jones-booster like me!) I also like to count myself in the forefront of Cliff Sterrett fans, so it’s a grand pleasure that we have offered readers Polly and Her Pals in two beautiful oversized “Champagne Edition” offerings, plus a year’s worth of dailies from 1933 in one of our LOAC Essentials books. Like Blondie, the earliest installments of The Family Circus are something I’m proud we’ve collected and preserved for 21st Century audiences. The humor offerings in our second hundred titles is weighted toward Walt Disney offerings, and notice that as the year has progressed, as Silly Symphonies Volume 4 indicates, our march toward our 200th Library of American Comics book is getting mighty close to that goal. Here’s the list, in order of release:

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Back to the Shelves

Several years ago we took some time in this space to show you what my LOAC bookshelf looked like. I shelve my books in alphabetical order by author, or by publisher where that makes more sense — for instance, while my William Saroyans are under “S”, my Fantastic Fours are under “M”, with the rest of my Marvel Comics collections. My Library of American Comics titles are therefore under “L,” and then shelved alphabetically in a logical way (well, logical to me, anyway), as you can see:

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Happy Birthday! Chuck Jones at 100!!!


One of my many obligations as a cartoon fan who is also a parent is to make sure my children are introduced to the classics and the nostalgic. My son, Peter, is three years old and it should come as no surprise that he loves Looney Tunes, though not every Looney Tune. As we poured through the first two volumes of the DVD sets, I became aware that he would only laugh out loud for specific cartoons. I started keeping track of which ones: Water, Water Every Hare; One Froggy Evening; Feed the Kitty; Bully for Bugs.

What do all of these cartoons have in common? They are all directed by Chuck Jones. Even little Peter’s toddler mind could recognize, albeit subconsciously, the specific humour found in Chuck Jones’s direction—and most importantly, he found it funny.

Chuck ended his autobiography, Chuck Amuck, with a story about Ray Bradbury’s fifty-fifth birthday party. One smartalec partygoer asked Ray, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Ray replied, “I want to be fourteen years old like Chuck Jones.”

I would say that Chuck not only thought like a fourteen year old, but like a three year old and an eighty year old as well.

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of a legend whose gift to the world was creating entertainment that could be enjoyed by any age from any generation. We miss you, Chuck, but at least we get to enjoy your spirit through the legacy you’ve left behind.

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Chuck Jones: The Dream That Never Was

We all harbor a secret wish that we could find a previously unseen project by one of the greatest figures in animation history.

Well, wish no more—celebrating the 2012 centennial of Chuck Jones’s birth, we at the Library of American Comics will unveil Chuck Jones: The Dream That Never Was.


The Academy Award-winning director of “Duck Amuck,”  “What’s Opera, Doc,” “How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” and other timeless classics, created dozens of cartoon characters throughout his decades-long career: Pepé Le Pew, Marvin the Martian, Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote…and Crawford, an accident prone, nine-year-old boy whose daily routine includes surviving his own boyhood.ChuckJones-1

Chuck Jones: The Dream That Never Was follows the twenty-seven year journey it took Jones to bring “Crawford” to the public, from conception to storyboard to newspaper strip. This incredible volume is loaded with never-before-seen sketches, drawings, storyboards and production notes, and the six-month run of the Crawford newspaper comic strip from 1978. Accompanying the artwork is a biography of Chuck Jones’s career in the sixties and seventies and how it influenced the creation of Chuck’s only foray into the world of comic strips.

The book will reproduce twenty-six pages of rare storyboards, such as these!



Produced with the full coöperation of the Chuck Jones family, the book was conceived by Kurtis Finday, who says, “My first surprise when I started researching the Crawford comic strip was how little people knew about it. My second surprise was the treasure trove of Chuck Jones art we would find. Crawford just kept popping up in places I didn’t expect, making the history of this little-known character incredibly rich.” The book is edited by Findlay and Dean Mullaney, and designed by Lorraine Turner.

Here are several of Chuck Jones’s sketches:

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The original artwork for two of his daily strips:


And one of his Sunday color guides for the engravers:


And these are just a handful of samples of what’s in the book. Chuck Jones: The Dream That Never Was is a dream come true in that almost all the art is being reproduced from Chuck Jones’s originals! It is a gold mine of previously unknown artwork that is a must for all fans of animation and comics. This hardcover archival edition will be released in November.





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