We have something very special for this week’s T.G.I.F. Action The Flying FLICK. Everyday I go to my fave blog, Cartoon Brew, to see what fascinations Jerry Beck and Amid Amidi turn up. Jerry is a big, valued, supporter of Yoe Books and The ITCH Blog. Jerry just sent me this incredible treasure he found. It’s a 1920 Mutt and Jeff Cartoon, where our dynamic duo go on strike against their creator Bud Fisher. Fisher’s Mutt and Jeff comic strip, some people call it the very first comic strip, brought him fame and fortune. His characters were licensed to the fledging animation industry in New York. Fisher retained the copyright and made a huge fortune from syndication and merchandising and presumably the animated cartoons, too. . The mega-rich cartoonist owned the largest stable of thoroughbred horses in America and married a countess! I’m wondering if the well appointed mansion in this movie is actually Bud’s.
The Web site where Jerry found this rare cartoon says, “On Strike is one of more than 300 animated ‘half-reelers’ produced between 1913 and 1926 starring the popular American comic-strip characters Mutt and Jeff—and is unusual in featuring live-action shots of its creator. ” These cartoons were done at the studios of Raoul Barré and Charles Bowers. Click on the image below to watch the movie.
Mutt and Jeff interacting with Bud reminded me of this, one of my very favorite pieces of original art in my collection. It’s “politically correct” and political criticism of newspaper cartoonists angle is as current as today’s headlines. And the ending resolve is rich–humor at its darkest! Click on the image below to see a larger file.
Is there anything more inventive that Rube Goldberg’s inventions? Here’s the original real deal:
Rube’s inventions have been appropriated from advertising to college contests. I was a toy inventor at Marvin Glass and Associates, where the game Mousetrap was invented. When I found a Rube Goldberg book in their library, the owners admitted to me that they had been inspired by the cartoonist for the famous game. To be fair, other early cartoonists from Clair Dwiggins to Heath Robinson had their own popular inventions.
The many “live” versions include the following scene in the 1930 movie Rube Goldberg’s Soup to Nuts written by Goldberg himself. In addition to this “invention” the movie remarkably was the film debut of the comedic trio that later became known as… The Three Stooges! Click to below to enjoy.
Recently the band OK Go had as their latest video a truly remarkable Rube Goldberg invention. Click below to marvel!
Besides being a great comic strip artist, a brilliant comic book artist (my new book, The Complete Milt Gross Comic Books and Life Story collects over THREE HUNDRED zany comic book pages beautifully restored in color), Milt Gross also was involved in animation both in its early days in NYC at the turn if the century and later at MGM. The book in the lavishly illustrated introduction gives the whole scoop on his animation career and even reveals for the first time how he worked with Disney. Above is the nutszoid MGM Jitterbug Follies for this week’s FRIDAY FLICK on ITCH. Buy the book now, click here.
The Flintstones’ theme song like you’ve never heard it before–by a pair of gentlemen doing the song with hand farts–it’s a gas! (Next week, not hand farts, but amazing guitarist Zack Kim playing the Simpson’s theme song on TWO guitars at once!)