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My old Kamerade, Don Hahn, has begun a series of works documenting the Great 2D Renaissance of 1988-2003. Being producer of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Lion King and more, he should know.

courtesy of

His first salvo in this fusillade of research is THE ALCHEMY OF ANIMATION, available now in bookstores like Amazon.

It is a delightful confection that features a lot of never seen production drawings and images from Disney classics like Pinocchio, 101 Dalmations, Ratatouille, Jungle Book, there is even a section that looks behind the scenes of 3D films like Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach. It would be a great gift for the Disney fan in your life this Xmas, of course, after you finish reading DRAWING THE LINE!

Congrats, Le Grande Mustacheoux, on a great new work!

I just heard of the passing of former IATSE NY union rep Gerald Salvio at age 82. Gerald was originally a assistant effects cameraman before heading MPSC local #841 for 14 years. Gerald was a tough labor rep, in a tough part of the business. He once told me when I was a young beardless youth:" Eh, youse animators act like children! Ya'd sell yerselves fer peanuts if I let ya!" I was offended at the time, but Sometimes I don't wonder if he wasn't right.

My condolences to his family.
Quiz: Okay Disney fans, which one of these men was NOT one of the Nine Old Men?
A) Frank Thomas, B) Milt Kahl,C) Bill Tytla, D)Marc Davis, E)Eric Larson?

Yesterday’s Question Answered Below: Presidential wannabe John McCain is constantly referring to himself as a Maverick. So, what is a Maverick?
History for 10/8/2008
Birthdays: Eddie Rickenbacker, Rev Jesse Jackson, Juan Peron, David Carradine, Art Babbitt -the creator of Goofy, Chevy Chase, Paul Hogan, Rona Barrett, Ruben Mamoulian, Edward Zwick, Johnny Ramone, Sigourney Weaver is 59, Matt Damon is 38

Today is the feast day of Saint Demetrius of Thesalonikki

1777- British General Clinton tried to get a message through to Gentleman Johnny Burgoyne and his army trapped at Saratoga. He sent a Tory-Loyalist scout with a message rolled up and hidden in a solid silver capsule. When he was intercepted by the Americans, the loyalist swallowed the capsule before he was searched. He was given a heavy emetic "whereupon he soon produced the capsule, which he proceeded to grab and swallow again. Another emetic was administered and he produced the capsule again." The message was opened and read, then the man hanged as a spy." Euww! Just hang me.

1846- Battle of Old Woman's Gun. In 1846 as part of the Mexican War, United States forces had taken the pueblo of Los Angeles. But after a few weeks, the first Yankee mayor, a Lt. Gillespie, was such as a-hole that the Mexican citizens drove them out of town. On this day the US forces came up from their fleet anchored in San Pedro Harbor and tried to re-take the city. Mexican forces led by a rancher named Carillo routed the Yankees in part with an old 4 pound signal cannon that an old lady had buried in her front yard. She had hid the old gun when Gillespie ordered the poplulation disarmed. The Californios had no gun carriage so they lashed the old gun to a wagon rig. Six months later, the US forces finally overcame LA resistance and the town stayed in Yankee control.

1862-THE BATTLE OF PERRYVILLE- Union forces defeat General Baxton Bragg's Confederates and prevent Kentucky from joining the Confederacy. Abe Lincoln said: " I hope I have God on my side but I Must have Kentucky." The Confederates had actually pushed the Yankees off the field and were at the edge of victory, but Bragg overestimated the enemies strength the next day and ordered a general retreat, wasting everything they gained. His second in command General Kirby Smith resigned in disgust. The commander of the Union Army Gen. Don Carlos Buell, was so distracted with other business that he was hardly aware that his men had fought a battle. He was soon replaced.

1871- THE GREAT CHICAGO FIRE- Legend said in a shed behind 137 DeKoven St, Old Mrs. O'Leary's cow knocks over a lantern and starts a fire that burns down 17,500 buildings and kills 300 including the Mayor. The fire jumped the Chicago River and people rode their carriages into Lake Michigan and even jumped into open graves to escape. Eventually the firemen’s pumpers ran out of water and the Northside kept burning past Fullerton until it burned itself out when it hit open prairie. 300,000 were left homeless. One of the only downtown buildings to survive the inferno was Chicago’s beloved old water tower. The slaughter houses and grain elevators also survived so business could go on. Ironically the O'Leary house stayed intact, just the barn burned. Two journalists later admitted inventing the O’Leary cow story to sell newspapers.

1871-THE GREAT PESHTIGO FIRE- The most deadly fire in North American history occurred on the exact same day as the Chicago Fire, but this one was in Peshtigo Wisconsin. A forest fire started by loggers burning debris built into a firestorm (actually a flaming tornado) and destroyed a wooden town killing 1,200 in a town of 1,750, five times as many as the Chicago Fire. The tornado caught dozens of people during church services. Three hundred died trying to escape across a wooden bridge that caught fire and burned from both ends. Survivors saw "people and cows stagger a few feet and go down burning brightly, like so many pieces of pitch pine." A heavy rain fell the next day. One day late.

1907- Charles Frederick Dow, one of the founders of the Wall Street Journal, started his system of charting the average performance of industrial stocks, the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

1915- The Battle of Loos. British troops release poison gas at the German lines. The wind changes and blows it back on their own men. Doh!

1918- SERGANT YORK- simple Tennessee hillbilly Alvin York was drafted into the U.S. Army where his crack shot talents enabled him this day to shoot up an entire German regiment. He captured 300 prisoners alone with only his single shot Springfield rifle. He got the Medal of Honor and a tickertape parade. Then went back to the Ozarks where he resumed his life of making moonshine, hog calling and other rustic pursuits.

1929- British Imperial Airways shows the first in-flight movie.

1933- HOLLYWOOD ACTOR'S FIRST MASS PROTEST- When Franklin Roosevelt created the NRA to fix wages and prices to try and solve the Depression, he even went as far as to try to regulate Motion Picture rates and fees. The catch was the rates were drafted with the advice of friends of the studio heads in Washington. The actors went ballistic when they saw new rules such as a ceiling cap on actors salaries of $100,000 a year (the producers had no such cap), restriction of actors independant agents, and terms of an old salary contract would stay in effect even after the contract expired until it was renegotiated.
This night at the El Capitan theater on Hollywood Blvd. hundreds of moviestars met to draft a petition calling for rewriting of the codes. The activists included Paul Muni, Frederic March, Jeanette MacDonald, Groucho Marx and Boris Karloff. SAG president Frank Morgan (the Wizard of Oz) was considered politically too far left to face Roosevelt, so he stepped down in favor of comedian Eddie Cantor, who had helped Vaudeville acts unionize. In previous meetings at the El Capitan the earth tremors from the Great Long Beach Earthquake the previous March made actors reconvene in the Grauman's Chinese parking lot across the street. Cantor went to the president's retreat at Warm Springs Georgia with the petition and had the hated articles taken out of the code.

1935- Ozzie Nelson married Harriet. Ask your parents if you don't know.

1957- Walter O'Malley announced the move of the Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles.

1957- Jerry Lee Lewis recorded his hit Great Balls of Fire.

1967- In Bolivia guerrilla leader Ernesto Che' Guevara was taken and shot. Che' started as an Argentine doctor and was wracked with asthma most of his life. He had gone to Bolivia after quarreling with Fidel Castro about whether it was more important to export Cuban revolution the rest of Latin America or concentrate on building Cuba's economy. Thirty years later in 1997 his remains were identified and returned to Cuba for burial. Even today his legend remains powerful among poorer parts of the Spanish speaking world. It’s not uncommon to be walking the streets of Lima, Cartagena or even Madrid and see the familiar grafitti on a wall- " El Che’Vive ! "
Stephen Soderbergh has completed a bio film of Che with Benicio De Toro entitled the Argentine, but so far can not get an American studio to distribute it.

1970- Dissident Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsin was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. The Soviet State kept him in internal exile and refused to let him travel to accept his prize. He was exiled to America in 1974 and returned to Russia after the fall of communism.

1971- John Lennon first released the song Imagine.

2004- Home decorating guru Martha Stewart began serving her 5 month prison term for perjury and insider trading.
Yesterday’s Question: Presidential wannabe John McCain is constantly referring to himself as a Maverick. So, what is a Maverick?

Answer: In Texas in the 1800s Samuel Maverick had a large herd of cattle that he didn’t brand. So when cowboys came upon stray cattle without a brand, they called them Mavericks. Ironically, the great granddaughter of Sam Maverick, 82 year old Terrelitta Maverick says her family are and always have been progressive Liberals. Terrelitta said of John McCain: “ He’s a Republican, he’s branded.”

Sam Maverick