Wow-it’s been awhile since my last post. I’ve been trying to catch up on Jetpack Jr.-trying to give myself a little lead time so that deadlines( self-imposed) aren’t breathing down my neck before I post. Unfortunately, it just takes me too darn long to get the strips to completion and I can’t seem to gain any time. And that means, on the list of priorities, the blog–and then social media–(all the stuff you have to do to get the word out) falls lower and lower. I find that a disappointing turn of events; I like writing the blog. Not that I have many readers, but if popularity was my main motivator, I don’t think I’d still be doing the blog, the comic strip–or much of anything, for that matter.
Nevertheless, here’s the news:
If you read my UPA post a few weeks back, or if you’re interested in the history of UPA and animation; be sure to check out When Magoo Flew: The Rise and Fall of Animation Studio UPA by Adam Abraham(Wesleyan University Press). This is the definitive history of the ground-breaking animation studio that brought us Mr. Magoo and Gerald McBoing Boing, filled with all the backstage info and gossip you could want about animation luminaries such as John Hubley, Bobe Cannon, Paul Julian, Jules Engel, Gene Deitch, David Hilberman, Zachary Schwartz and Stephen Bosustow. It’s a story by turns inspirational and heart-rending, as the studio travels to the heights of innovation and achievement in its mid-50’s heyday, to its inglorious ending, sold off as so much scrap in the early 1970’s by a rather callous and tasteless producer, Henry G. Saperstein. The research is thorough, the voices are clear, and the writing is thoroughly engaging. I couldn’t put it down. Do yourself a favor–get yourself a copy and head out to the nearest beach, lakefront, pool–wherever you do your summer reading.
And if you’re looking to stay in a UPA frame of mind–check out this wonderful, career-spanning interview with the great Gene Deitch at BOING! the podcast! Settle back and enjoy a relaxed yet informative hourlong discussion with the genial host, Todd (also know as Togotooner) and the legendary Gene Deitch as he discusses his career from its beginnings at CBS radio through his halcyon days at UPA and Terrytoons( Tom Terrific and Silly Sidney) right through to his most recent work.
I’ll close today’s post with something I’ve been fiddling with–hoping to bring a few more folks Jetpack Jr.’s way–a couple of animated gifs of recent strips. I’ve done gifs before, but not of my comics. A student of mine, Doug Hurtado, actually constructs his comics as gifs–and they works so well, I thought it was worth a shot with my own stuff. (talk about an old dog learning new tricks. But it goes to show–you’re never too old to learn something! Thanks, Douglas!)
So, then–without further ado, Jetpack Jr. –in GIF form! Hope you dig ’em! See ya soon–