Saturday, May 28, 2011

When Bob Clampett went to Mars

Footage from a Bob Clampett presentation, featuring a project he worked on in 1936, "John Carter of Mars." It was never completed.
I find it interesting for three reasons:
  1.  Effective use of a limited color palate (reds and blues).
  2.  Remarkably good animation for the mid 1930s.
  3. Clampett is best remembered for his insanely brilliant Loony Tunes cartoons: Porky in Wackyland, The Great Piggy Bank Robbery, Big SnoozeRussian Rhapsody etc..   Yet this master of goofy characters could draw, animate and direct realistic characters too.  Did his skill at the latter help with the former?  Did the skill, planning and thinking required for projects like "Mars" help prime his brain for becoming a Warner Brothers legend?
I wouldn't surprise me.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Pose Woes

When posing for a picture, I think I'm standing like this:
The problem is, I'm really standing more like this:
There's a gap between what I'm doing and what I think I'm doing.
So while I think I'm standing up straight  I'm actually posed like a pile of old tiresOr I think I'm leaning in towards the next person when, in fact, I'm bent sideways like a broken pencil.   It drives me crazy.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dingbats! Dingbats! Dingbats!

If you've lived in in Los Angeles, you've seen dingbats.  They're those boxy apartments that sprang up the 1950s and 1960s.   You know the ones:  Stucco blocks held up on poles (or walls) so you can park under them.   Some are plain, but many are adorned with garish details- glittery tile, funky sconces, and often a name splashed across the front.
These names always suggested something far different than "Standard Issue Boxy Dwelling:"
The Capri!
The Monte Carlo!
Kona Kai!
The Argyle!
The Stardust!

Some great (and ugly, and so-tacky-they're-wonderful) examples can be seen here, here and here.
And to think when  I was a kid I thought all apartments looked like this. 

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Circus Peanuts: Something's Rotten in Candyland.

Guest Blogger: Fred, Maple-Nut Truffle
What is it with Circus Peanuts?
Nobody likes them.  Yet they're on display at every store. Meanwhile class act candy like Swedish Fish, Spice Drops, Dumdum Pops, and Wax Lips get second-class status.
Why do Circus Peanuts get all that shelf space?  They're gross:  Band Aid colored.  Rubbery.  Ugly.  They look like something  that should be floating in a lab jar.  And why are they called "Circus Peanuts?"  Did they get their start as a sideshow exhibit?  Maybe you'll find them, if you're lucky.
Let's compare myself, a Maple-Nut Truffle, with a  Circus Peanut.

Maple-Nut Truffle
Circus Peanut

Decadent cocoa butter coating

Rich Buttercream center

Made with 100% pure Vermont maple syrup, farm fresh dairy, and spring harvested Hawaiian cane sugar

Looks like a pupae

Erases pencil marks

Probably emits toxic vapors when heated

So clearly I'm the superior candy.  Yet can you find me at most supermarkets and drugstores?  No!  But you'll find plenty of Circus Peanuts What's going on?
The Dumdum Pops and I have a theory.  The Circus Peanuts are blackmailing their way onto the nations shelves.   I suspect organized crime is involved.   It's the only explanation, I tell ya.