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Fred Seibert's Blog

Archive for January, 2010


My mentors: Lilliana & George Seibert

January 29th, 2010

Lilliana & George Seibert
George & Lilliana Seibert at the Harbor Pharmacy, 1958

Most of the mentorsI’ve written about have been work companions and no one I’ve worked with has had the same impact as George and Lilliana Seibert. It would have been their 60th anniversary today (George passed away in 2002) so it’s a great day to honor them.

Yes, Lilliana and George are my parents. And yes, most people can point to their parents as the prime influence on them, but I’m not going to completely bore you with too much personal biography. This blog is focused on work and my folks were my first bosses at their suburban pharmacy. The takeaway from my first work experience has shaped most of what I’ve done since. I picked up my complete love of work with them, and found out that for me “work to live” is not an option. “Live to work” is much more like it. I didn’t become a workaholic –I like my personal time as much as anyone– but I absorbed the real joy of the process of work itself.

I worked* in their store for more than 20 years. [Read more…]

You’re welcome.

January 29th, 2010

Frederator Postcards Series 8.14
Frederator Postcard Series 8.14, mailed January 29, 2010    

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More Frederator Postcards: Series 1-8, 1998-2010

@ Jon Kane’s house.

January 26th, 2010

Jon Kane

Optic Nerve’s Jon Kane and I met because I really loved the pioneering mix “No Sell Out” by Malcolm X & Keith LeBlanc, on Tommy Boy Records. (It’s too long a story to recount here right now.) After a bumpy start we’ve worked together awesomely ever since.

Carrie and I visited Jon at his Red Hook (Brooklyn) HQ yesterday. We canceled the project that had initiated the visit to begin with, so I thought we’d just be BS’ing about this and that. But as usual with a great creative collaborator we ended up agreeing to work on a project together. Can’t wait to get started.Malcolm X & Keith LeBlanc

Kevin Lofton & Fab 5 Freddy in the house.

January 26th, 2010

Kevin Lofton & Fab 5 FreddyAnimation director Kevin Lofton was back at Frederator/NY, and this time he brought a special guest star, hip-hop pioneer Fab 5 Freddy. We were all discussing feature projects, and maybe we’ve just about got one. Thanks for coming over guys.

@ Nathan Sawaya’s house.

January 26th, 2010

Nathan Sawaya

Just as I was about to post, Bailee Desrocher’s Lego “Click” post popped up on the Channel Frederator blog. It must be the Lego animation moment.

Carrie Miller and I went around the corner late last week to visit artist Nathan Sawaya’s studio. I was virtually introduced to Nathan’s work when I saw a commissioned piece on his work on my friend Liz Gebhardt’s blog. I immediately contacted him for a top secret Frederator Fredbot project. More in a month or two.


Lego artist Nathan Sawaya

Where it all began.

January 23rd, 2010

The visual Craft of William Golden

Talk about unsung heroes. For those of you interested in graphic design or broadcasting or branding or marketing –or you’re just a media freak like me– you really should read this book, The Visual Craft of William Golden (hit ‘Full Screen’ up above, or download a PDF; it’ll be easy).

William Golden is the father of broadcast design, having been completely responsible, under Frank Stanton and owner William Paley, for the look and feel of the television network of the Columbia Broadcasting Company (CBS to you younger viewers), the first network to take into account every single aspect of it’s image and vocabulary. Most famous for the most famous TV logo of all time, the CBS eye, Golden was a philosopher and an artist in the most philistine moment of the 1950s. He was the man who was able to make one believe Paley’s conceit that his network of “I Love Lucy” and “The Beverly Hillbillies” was actually “the Tiffany Network.”

Golden wasn’t just about the logo, as a quick visual inspection of the book will bear out (but, check out the cool ways it was used, obviously but subtly, like on page 32). But, read it instead, you’ll get some great insights as to how a great creative work is done even at a behemoth like a TV network.

One quick, related, digression. George Lois used to tell me the story of his early job working under Golden’s art director Kurt Weiss, the man who actually designed the CBS logo. His gig was redrawing an original CBS type font, a Didot variation. Lois told me he worked for weeks on the “8″ alone because Golden insisted that the cross lines couldn’t actually meet, and George had to do it over hundreds of times to meet his exacting expectations.

Sadly, Golden is only known among broadcast design freaks like me (I had to become one to figure out how to do my job at MTV). He passed away (young, at 48) and the reins were handed to senior designer Lou Dorfsman who, unfairly, got the lion’s share of the credit for origination as the network matured and publicity accrued in the 60s and 70s.

Like I said, take a little time to read this hard to find book. It was rewarding to me the first time I sat down with a rare copy in the 80s, and it’s wisdom has only become richer over time.


(video via grain edit and Lined & Unlined)

Frederator Postcard Series 8.13, mailed January 22, 2010

January 22nd, 2010

Frederator Postcards Series 8.13
Frederator Postcard Series 8.13, mailed January 22, 2010   
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More Frederator Postcards: Series 1-8, 1998-2010

John K’s a special guy.

January 19th, 2010

4260001580_e53cab5f72_o.jpg
Letter from Amir Avni to John Kricfalusi, 1998

Ben Relles, Barely Political/Barely Digital guru, sent this around the other day from a great website, Letters of Note.

John K remembers what it’s like to be a fan with great aspirations, and always goes *way* out of his way to help artists. Amir, the letter writer, is now a fourth year Sheridan College animation student, but here he was 14 year old with talent. Bravo John!

Enjoy our holiday.

January 18th, 2010


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Michigan, March 14, 1968

As the son of a fifth generation American from a small farm town in New York, and a World War II political refugee from Eastern Europe, and I have so thoroughly embedded the hopes of the United States that most of the time I’m unaware of it. But I am completely the result of a special place.

And every once in a while a too rare time comes up, and this Martin Luther King Day, combined with the unspeakable tragedy in Haiti have risen to remind me.

As close readers and friends are well aware I’m from the liberal/progressive side of America, and for many years I often suppressed my consciousness of the great opportunities our people have. Not anymore. When I worked for Ted Turner he wouldn’t close his company on MLK Day, for some unknown reason, and my irritation morphed into a clear, passion for what he represented to all of us. Every since then, I’ve have a growing pride in our country, without at all forsaking my political and policy views. Thank goodness.

I’m rarely so public about my views; we’re in the cartoon business, not advocacy. But today I can’t help myself. While we’re having the day off in America, take a minute for reflection. We’ve got a great deal going, yes?

American Flag

Coming soon!

January 17th, 2010

Original Cartoons, Volume 2

The long awaited sequel from Frederator Books. Including the first published (!) interview with Eric Homan, a short essay by Bob Osher, the postcards in Series 6, 7, & 8, previews of Series 9 & 10, and more!

We’re aiming for March, 2010.