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Archive for August, 2008


New Orleans 100.

August 30th, 2008

 

The New Orleans 100

Since August 2005, I’ve put up nine posts about the problems our country’s faced since the horrors that nature and man have reaped. Unfortunately, I assume there will be many more. As many on the ground have observed, it’s going to be at least a decade before we begin to repair at least the surface damage.

I’ve suggest, and you’ve followed up on, a number of ways to help the devasted area, whether it’s a straight donation or buying records or posters who funnel your payments to help centers. And you should continue to do do: CNN’s set up a special page that can help you figure out the best place for you to participate.

There’s really a dilemma. Things are terrible, and things are improving. The New Orleans 100 was set up by All Day Buffet to highlight the good works that are making New Orleans and the area better, with links to lots of the organizaitons you can help. Take a look, maybe something will strike your fancy.

Americans deserve better than we’ve done for them so far. Please help.

(via Twink Fly Me To…)

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Carlos, is that you?

August 28th, 2008

I was ‘following’ on my tumblr dashboard and was about to reblog this image when I spied our friend Carlos Ramos peeking out of the upper left corner. Wassup with that?

Meet the Flintstones?

August 25th, 2008

From Always Use Zip Code: One day, I read somewhere that the postmaster of Bedrock, Colorado grew so tired of processing mail addressed to Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble that they had a stamp made especially for rejecting such mail.

I had to see this, so I mailed a letter to the the 850 person town of Bedrock. The results did not disappoint.

(via Mike Hudek’s Tumblog)

Doin’ the mess around.*

August 25th, 2008

1996 Hanna-Barbera Cartoons Calendar

Boy, did I mess this one up. Not the calendar, the series: The Real Jonny Quest. I take full responsibility for all the bungling.

We tried to do the right thing, at least we got a very cool calendar. Sorry fans, seriously.

*With apologies to Ahmet Ertegun & Ray Charles

Ballads week.

August 22nd, 2008

First Kiss

It’s Ballads Week! over at Kathleen Loves Music!

I’ve been having such a ball since I moved my music blog over to tumblr (it’s so much easier) that I’ve actually started programming the thing. Whether it’s the Tribute to Isaac Hayes the week he passed away,  or the five versions I posted of James Brown’s funk innovation “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag,” I’m finding it a hoot to share the music I like with the tumblr community in addition to my friend Kathleen, whom I set the site up for in the beginning.

Coming up? So far I’m planning theme weeks about (of course) Cartoon Music, Modern Blues, the Nat “King” Cole Trio, One Hit Wonders of the 60s, and White Blues. Any thoughts, lemme know.

My 2008 bookshelf.

August 22nd, 2008

Some people get their cultural from comics, or movies, or the ponies. Me, it’s work, music, and books. And when my friend and NNN/tumblr investor Bijan Sabet posted about Goodreads, which he said was “sort of like last.fm for books” it reminded me what a reading junkie I am. Interestingly, my years in cartoons have once again proven to me that even the most interesting animators are the most curious, often well read, people. So, while I’m on vacation, aside from reading, I thought it might be useful to review my year’s reading list so far. Since I now read almost everything on my Kindle, my shelves aren’t quite as burdened as the picture above, but, it’s still a heavy load.

(By the way, for those who wonder, like I do, when I get the time, I read in the elevator, the subway, taxis, airplanes, and when I put my kids to bed.)

I’m not going to post about the billions of picture books I’m always getting (like the incredible “Wacky Packages”, a must have,

a five Frederator read

nullnullnullnullnull)

because this post would go on even longer.

       

Rhythm and the Blues by Jerry Wexler and David Ritts

nullnullnullnull (a four Frederator read)

I posted when I started this book last week. It follows the story of an atheist New York Jew who fell in love with the rhythm of Black America and found his love in bringing the story to the world. The great record producer of everyone from Aretha Franklin to Ray Charles to Bob Dylan to Wilson Pickett (and hundreds more) Jerry is one of my prime professional role models and I’m inspired to hear his stories as often as I can. He follows the credo of “Does it have heart? Make it!”

Hit and Run by Lawrence Block

nullnullnullnull (a four Frederator read)

Mystery fiction is the beginning and the end for me. In fact, I can’t remember when the last time I read anything else. I love Lawrence Block because he writes genre books as if they were “serious” fiction, and I read him always ending up feeling more of the human condition when I’m done. Block is an exceptional writer [Read more…]

Another year, a bunch of cool cartoons.

August 21st, 2008

1997 Hanna-Barbera Cartoons Calendar

By the time this calendar was published in late 1997, I’d left Hanna-Barbera for Frederator. But, not without a lot of pride in the great, original series that were finally getting under way from our first shorts program, like Dexter’s Laboratory, Cow & Chicken, and Johnny Bravo. And, lo and behold, to this day Cartoon Network Studios has kept up my tradition of cool calendars for their friends.

…..

1997 Hanna-Barbera Cartoons Calendar

Credits from the back cover:

Concept/Art Direction/Design: Patrick Raske / Barbis & Raske

Creative Directors: Julie Prendiville Roux /Jeff Gelberg

Contributing Art Directors: Mardel Castetter, Jim Scott / Night Network, Inc.

Production Manager: Ken Weisbrod
Production Coordinator: Karin Kittel
Production Artist: Andrew Theo
Executive Assistant: Dennis Delrogh

Printing: ColorGraphics, Jon Sobel

TM & ©1998 Hanna-Barbera Inc. A Time Warner Company. All rights reserved. All characters and related elements depicted herein are trademarks and copyrighted by Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc. or Cartoon Network Studios, Inc.

Cow and Chicken
Created by David Feiss

Johnn Bravo
Created by Van Partible

Dexter’s Laboratory
Created by Genndy Tartakovsky

What day is that?

August 20th, 2008

Hanna-Barbera Cartoons Calendar

Whenever I get a little free time (like now, on vacation) I pull crap off of my shelves and scan it for posterity. Like these two Hanna-Barbera Cartoons calendars from the 90s (I posted 1995 on last summer’s vacation).

Hanna-Barbera Cartoons Calendar

Over the years I’ve collected all sorts of stuff that have pop culture images printed on them (skateboards, glasses, calendars, et cetera) and when I got to Hanna-Barbera it seemed to me the studio was in need of some image repair. Calendars were my obsession of that moment, so we put together some incredible design talent and photographers (SpotCo and Mark Hill for 1994, HB in-house talent in 1995) and spiffed ourselves up a little.

Jerry Wexler, R.I.P.

August 16th, 2008

Jerry Wexler recording with Aretha Franklin, circa early 1970s

It might seem odd to remember a great record producer on a cartoon blog, but it’s probably just as odd to take cartoon producing lessons from a great rhythm & blues producer (the producer who coined the term ‘rhythm and blues’, not so incidentally), like I sort of did. But when I was coming up there was no place to learn to be a producer (if it is indeed possible to learn such a thing) so I took my inspiration from the great record men I could read about. Like Jerry Wexler.

Ironically, I’d started re-reading Jerry’s autobiography just this week when I got word he’d passed away yesterday in Florida.

Jerry is my number one producer hero, which is saying something considering my dozen other favorites including the likes George Martin or Berry Gordy or Quincy Jones. The thing I most admired most about him was the finesse to allow musicians to play exactly how they wanted to play, but somehow coax mega hits out of them at the same time. A rare, sometimes, seemingly unique ability.

Sure, the music made my antennae go up (Aretha, Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, Bob Dylan, Dusty Springfield, the list is almost incalculable), his company too (he was a partner in the great Atlantic Records), and the fact he was a Manhattan-ite in love with Black music. I’ve heard he could be an irracible jerk (he who casts the first stone….). But, unlike a lot of the other great producers who were often highly trained arrangers or musicians or engineers themselves, Jerry seemed that he was just a fan first and foremost (I say “seemed” because he was a highly skilled writer and journalist before joining Atlantic in his 30’s).

Jerry just loved music. He married his fandom and knowledge to his impeccable instincts for talent. (He convinced Carole King and Gerry Goffin to write “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” after musing about John Henry’s term “natural man” and shouting out to them on a New York street to write a song with that title. He hummed a favorite country song to Patti Page and she sold millions on “The Tennesee Waltz”).

You can read more and better about Jerry Wexler in thousands of places. Do it, you’ll enjoy yourself. But, in the meantime, I realized that without thinking about it over at my music blog I’ve posted five tracks that Jerry produced or caused to be produced in the last few weeks alone. They’re the best way to hear what I’m talking about. Jerry Wexler made us all a lot richer.

Aretha Franklin > Rock Steady

King Curtis > Hold On, I’m Comin’

Carla Thomas > B-A-B-Y

Sam & Dave > I Thank You

Otis Redding > (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

Late to the WALL-E party.

August 14th, 2008

As usual, I’m very late to the party, but I wanted to say a few words about Floyd Bishop’s fabulous Pixar debate.

(Immediate background: I just returned from seeing WALL-E with my family. My 13 year old was somewhat bored but appreciated the theme; my 11 year old saw it for the second time, surprised how much he loved it the first time out; my wife loved it both times she saw it; I was way impressed but not deeply engaged.)

I love everything Pixar does, for every reason imaginable, not the least being it’s the only studio (Frederator excluded, of course) that relies on animator trained folks as their primary writers (Lasseter, Stanton, Doctor, Bird, et al). And it really shows in the unique quality of the movies. And, of course, [Read more…]