BACK to Blog Posts

April 6, 2007 Good Friday
April 6th, 2007

When I started in animation, the only way you could hope to study some great animation was by sharing pirated xeroxes from stuff in the Disney morgue. Now all this cool stuff is available on the The ASIFA Animation virtual Archives. The estates of Les Clark, Mike Lah, Herb Klynn, Grim Natwick, John K. and many more have donated priceless art.

This week the Archives scored a new coup when the estate of famed cartoonist Milt Caniff donated a thick stack of Terry and the Pirates dailies. They feature Caniff's superb inking, research and the kind of detail you just can't get into comic strips now.

Last month the Archives recorded it's largest number of hits yet, over 160,000. This moves it into Pam Anderson type numbers. Big Congrats to Steve Worth and all the volunteers.
Check it out.

Birthdays: Raphael of Urbino, Sacajawea, Ram Dass, Butch Cassidy, Gustav Moreau, Lowell Thomas, Merle Haggard, Billy Dee Williams, George Reeves, Michelle Phillips, Andre Previn, Barry Levinson, Roy Thinnes, Zak Braff is 34, John Ratzenberger
1520- Renaissance artist RAPHAEL died at 37 on his birthday. Vasari wrote of the great artist: " He pursued pleasures and love affairs without moderation. On one occasion he went to excess, and returned home with a violent fever whereof he died soon after." Michelangelo, Leonardo and Titian lived to great old age. Raphael dying at 35 was considered a tragedy, burning out from overwork.

1906-THE FIRST ANIMATED FILM- Cartoonist James Stuart Blackton created sensation when Edison filmed him doing sequential drawings and they seemed to come alive. The film was The Humorous Phases of Funny Faces. Blackton made a fortune, lost it and was hit by a bus in 1941. But his animated antics paved the way for Mickey, Bugs, Bart, Gollum and Laura Croft.

1931- The Little Orphan Annie radio show premiered. Remember kids to drink your Ovaltine and get out your de-coder rings.

1933- the Screen Writer's Guild, later the WGA, formed. It took about seven years for them to unionize screenwriting in Hollywood. Jack Warner called them : "Communists, Radical Bastards and Soap Box Sons of B*tches !" David O. Selznik, who prided himself on running a writer-friendly studio, when told of the Guild's formation told them: "What? You put a picket line in front of my studio and I'll mount a machine gun on the roof and mow you all down !!" Despite these protestations the Guild today represents all Hollywood writers.

1951- Happy Birthday AstroBoy! According to the 1951 comic book by Osamu Tezuka, today Professor Elephant completed the little boy with the suction cup feet and pointed hairdo. Originally called Tetsuwan Atomo, he was named Astro Boy when Mushi Prod released the animated version theatrically in 1961.

Remember when machine guns came out of his butt cheeks?

1956- Elvis Presley signed his first movie deal with Paramount Pictures.

1974- ABBA, a new disco phenomenon from Sweden is introduced to the world when they win a Eurovision song contest. Mama Mia!