Thursday, July 7, 2011

Jerry Beck- of Cartoon Research- won't discuss the origins of Bugs?

I still don't understand the attitude of Jerry Beck. He initially told me he'd be willing to study the matter of the Hardaway drawing, at a cost of 100 per day. He asked me, "what are your plans for the drawing?". He said, among other things, "nice drawing, the initials only heighten the mystery". Then, after a couple months of him trying to "make time" he took a totally different attitude. I then started a thread on the animation history forum at The Animation Show website which asked the question of why Hardaway's name appeared in the index of Beck's book but neither Bugs Hardaway nor his work appeared anywhere in the book.  Ultimately, Jerry Beck deleted the thread.
 I asked why the subject couldn't be discussed.
Jerry Beck responded;

"I'll let David Gerstien explain it to you in this thread at GAC:
http://forums.goldenagecartoons.com/showthread.php?t=10228
There was some heavy last minute editing which caused that omission.
I will be deleting this thread in a few hours"


One of the moderators of the GAC forum, Tom Stathes, responded Nov 14 of 2007;

Perhaps the topic you're bringing up has some legal issues attached to it that prevent public discussion.


Huh? What legal issues could prevent discussion of cartoonists and their cartoons?
I still can't understand why a 60 year old subject would require "heavy last minute editing".
I still can't understand what "legal issues" David Gerstein  and Tom Stathes are talking about.
I still can't understand those who have offered specific, informed, enthusiastic, opinions of the drawing initially, only to offer a contradictory opinion months later.
I still can't understand why several of Hardaway's contemporaries would give him credit for the design of the character and its personality, but 70 years later some self described cartoon historians and secretive cartoon club members would attempt to eliminate his input.
I still can't understand why a cartoon history enthusiast with the website called "Cartoon Research" would prevent discussion of the gordian knot of animation history.

I do understand dishonesty.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

More emails from Thad Komorowski regarding the creation of Bugs Bunny

I just got another email from Thad Komorowski.
Months ago after offering several insightful comments on the Hardaway drawing Thad showed it to his super secret cartoon club called Apatoons which includes the likes of Leonard Maltin and Jerry Beck. After this meeting his attitude completely changed. When I asked why, he replied, "I changed my mind".  He offered no reasoning to contradict what he'd said previously. His initial observations were insightful, and detailed, they make sense. Read them for yourself. Most of them are posted on this blog. I'd be happy to forward any of them.
It seems to me that the people interested in animation history who've have collected a paycheck from Warner Brothers don't want the truth to be told about Hardaway's contribution. For example, (as previously mentioned on this blog) Jerry Beck deleted Hardaway from his book (Art of Warner Bros) but not from the index because of "heavy last minute editing". Jerry Beck also deleted the thread on the "Animation Show" forum discussing the creation of Bugs Bunny because, "legal reasons prevent discussion". Theses and other examples of the attempts to erase Hardaway's contributions are already posted on this blog.

As mentioned, I just received a new email from Thad Komorowski. He must have come across the posted emails. He writes," Clearly, my opinion changed after private altercations from others, which are no business of yours.

It's clear to me that his opinion changed not because of any new information or history but because of some "private altercation". Maybe someday Thad will find the courage to tell the truth.
I remain of the opinion that first person accounts of the events surrounding the creation of the character are much more reliable and trustworthy than the revisionist version of events offered by animation enthusiasts such as Jerry Beck. Who are you going to believe, Mel Blanc and Virgil Ross, or Jerry Beck and Steve Schnieder?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Emails from Thad Komorowski and his impressions of the Hardaway drawing

I showed the drawing some years ago to Thad Komorowski who is a long time animation enthusiast. He's maintained several different blogs concerning identifying animators and their work, and he's moderated a couple of the forums that purport to discuss animation history. I'm posting these because Thad's attitude changed completely after presenting the drawing to his secret cartoon club called Apatoons. He offered lengthy descriptions of the quality and professionalism of the drawing as well as his understanding of the plight of Hardaway initially, then some months later, he bad mouthed me on a forum as "the crazy guy with the fake drawing". His mysterious about face is similar to the turn around in the attitude of Jerry Beck. After exchanging a few emails and phone calls Jerry Beck told me he'd be willing to research the subject of Hardaway's drawing at a cost of 100 dollars a day, he said it would take about 3 days. Then, some months later, he dismissed the subject as idiotic and deleted the discussion thread from the forum citing "legal reasons".. Jerry Beck also eliminated Hardaway from his book Art of Warner Brothers", but left him in the index.  The Warner Brothers artist Kirk Mueller also immediately recognized the drawing as Hardaway's and promised to contact others and respond to me. He also did an about face and would not respond .



















Thursday, November 4, 2010

Letter from Ted Cauger son of A.V. Cauger

Here's a letter from Ted Cauger, son of Arthur Verne Cauger, to Harry Truman.




Here's an article from BoxOffice magazine describing a tribute dinner for A.V. Cauger.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Speedy Rabbit and Cecil Turtle

In the Warner Brothers Cartoon "Tortoise beats Hare" Cecil the Turtle addresses the rabbit as "Speedy" three times, at 4:23, 5:25, and at 7:02. The cartoon can be viewed here, http://www.fancast.com/tv/Looney-Tunes/101210/1601923119/Tortoise-Beats-Hare/videos .

Friday, October 15, 2010

"Bugs" Hardaway in 1921

I came across a book published in Kansas City, Missouri, it's titled "Boomer Jones" and it was written by James W. Earp. The interesting thing to me is that it was illustrated by "Bugs" Hardaway, in 1921. The nickname was Hardaway's for at least 17 years before the creation of the famous rabbit.

An interesting post from Jennifer Hardaway (the grandaughter of Bugs Hardaway) sheds light on how her grandfather got his nickname. Her story is different than the story told by many animation enthusiasts. Her version is linked here, http://www.cartoonbrew.com/classic/bugs-hardaway-wwi-letters-found.html , it is at the bottom of the page.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Creators of life: a history of animation

I became aware of a book recently that was published in 1975 titled "Creators of life: a history of animation" authored by Donald Heraldson. I've yet to read the whole book but the excerpt I have read from page 77 goes like this, "Tex Avery, Bob Clampett, and Chuck Jones have been credited with Bugs' design, but a more probable explanation is from Robert Mckimson who states that the rabbit was designed by and named for a Warner animator called "Bugs" Hardaway working as an assistant to animator Chuck Thorsen.
This statement from Mckimson not only reinforces the contribution by Hardaway that I've proposed but illuminates the significance of the "Hi'ya Chuck" on the artwork.
The excerpt can be read here, http://books.google.com/books?ei=9He0TOzfD4u4sAPm5Ii3CA&ct=result&id=JA3WAAAAMAAJ&dq=creators+of+life%3A+a+history+of+animation&q=hardaway .

The documented memories of the first person witnesses to the creation of the character's personality (Virgil Ross, Mel Blanc, and Robert Mckimson) are in direct opposition to the opinions that have been offered by authors Michael Barrier, Steve Schneider and Jerry Beck some 50 years after the fact. In my opinion, these authors are not just misinformed, they have purposefully attempted to eliminate the contributions of Hardaway. This concerted effort is evident in the deletion of Hardaway's contribution in Beck's book (although he is listed in the index), in the miss-characterization of Mckimson's memories in Schneider's book, in the unreferenced and erroneous story of the characters naming offered by Barrier, and the list goes on...