Archive | Chuck Jones

Happy Birthday! Chuck Jones at 100!!!

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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.

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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!

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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:

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And one of his Sunday color guides for the engravers:

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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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