Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

For all you new-year bargain-hunters out there, here's a Pink Panther comic strip (from TV Comic #1099, 6th January 1973) for you to enjoy:

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Xmas!

A very merry christmas to all!

And here's my present to you good folks: A Looney Tunes comic strip featuring Sylvester (TV Comic #1045, 25th December 1971). Artwork by Bill Titcombe.

Enjoy! Ho, ho, ho!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Coming Soon in 2009

This blog will largely focus on comic strips throughout the next year, but I will still throw in the occasional classic/unusual cartoon clip.
Due to other commitments, I decided to delay my new series of UK Annuals posts until January. Sorry for not posting anything on this recently, but I reckon the New Year will be the ideal time to launch it. Nevertheless, I will reveal that the first post will be dedicated to the very first Tom & Jerry annual, published in 1966.
Also, I plan to post another topic very shortly, to run alongside the Annuals: Six of the Best, a selection of comic strips from TV Comic, combining the classic American cartoon characters with the British comic strip style. Watch out for Bugs Bunny, Droopy, Road Runner, and even Deputy Dawg!
But there will be previews during the run-up to Xmas and New Year, all of which will be Yuletide-related. To kick-off with, enjoy some mistletoe fun with Tom & Jerry (from TV Comic #940, 20th December 1969). Artwork by Bill Titcombe:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Count Catula & The Were-Mouse (a.k.a. Tom & Jerry)

As Halloween is now upon us, enjoy this creepy Tom & Jerry comic strip, published by the UK's TV Comic (#1036, week ending 23rd October 1971). Artwork by Bill Titcombe:

Watch out for more British T&J comic strips on this blog soon!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

R&TVP Redrawns - Off To The Races (Ups 'N' Downs)

Firstly, apologies for the recent lack of posts, as I've been quite busy recently.

These series of R&TVP posts will come to an end today, partly because of problems with my Windows Movie Maker software, and also because I'm more keen on starting a series of posts about UK cartoon annuals and British versions of Tom & Jerry, Bugs Bunny, and Barney Bear comic strips. But I will end this series with a true WTF redrawn! I intended to post this as a big, surprising finale. but my uploaded copy was already discovered by a GAC Forum member ( click here! ). That'll teach me to upload it a day early!

Nevertheless, I'll present the most bizarre redrawn ever - Off To The Races.

This is based on Ups 'N' Downs, a 1931 Looney Tune starring Bosko. At first glance, it looks as if it is a better-looking effort compared to some of the others featured on my blog. That is, until the bad guy throws a grenade at Bosko and his mechanical horse, which then explodes. At that point, it gets really, REALLY bizarre - the ending is completely different to the original, with extremely crappy-looking original Korean animation, off-model characters, and, to add insult to injury, the original soundtrack is replaced by terribly-corny music (thankfully, it's quite brief). One may assume that the source material came without its ending, hence the entirely-new one!

For those of you who haven't seen either or both versions, I recommend seeing the original first:

And if you're brave enough to see this redrawn, here it is:

That's the end of my R&TVP posts. I hope some of you enjoyed watching them, and to those who are now virtually blind after overdosing on these redrawns, I beg you to accept my sincere apologies (hee! hee! hee!).

Now, on to the annuals...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Tweety is a GIRL...

...well, according to Britain's TV Comic.

From the late-60's to the comic's demise in 1984, potentially thousands of young British readers were led to believe that Tweety was a girl (this was in the days before Warner Brothers started to market Tweety merchandise to girls, hence the current confusion), while children on the other side of the pond were reading the Dell Comics versions where the canary is clearly referenced as male.

Hard to believe, ain't it? But alas, I provide the proof.

Below are five examples of where Tweety is often referred to as a she. Enjoy or weep, it's up to you.





BTW, I will be posting more of these British LT strips in the future, along with the TV Comic versions of the Tom & Jerry, Pink Panther, Barney Bear, and Droopy comic strips.

Monday, August 25, 2008

R&TVP Redrawns - Jack Frost

Jack Frost is a redrawn version of a ComiColor cartoon of the same title (the original was released on Christmas Eve 1934) . It is sourced from a B&W silent print, hence the corny music score added by Radio & Television Packagers.

One bizzare thing about this redrawn is that Jack Frost is coloured Pink/Red, which gives the impression that he is rather hot in the cold winter conditions (either that, or the retracers really believed that the bear is being chased by an elderly nudist!).

Anyway, here's the redrawn. See how it grabs you (and, most importantly, where?):

And the far-more-impressive original:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Coming Soon - Retro UK Annuals!

Starting next month, there will be a new series of posts about classic British annuals, featuring your favourite classic cartoon characters.

The British annual has been a long-standing Christmas tradition that dates back to the early 20th century, to tie in with a comic or magazine, a film, a TV series, toys, and yes, even classic animation. These are usually dated by next year's date, to ensure that the last remaining copies remain saleable after the new year,.

The first cartoon character to get his own annual was Felix the Cat in 1923 (dated 1924), and Mickey Mouse first got his in 193o (same again, dated the next year). However, its heyday was in the 1970s, when even a Terrytoons character got his own annual! Classic cartoon annuals are still being published today, although not on a big scale as it was then.

The vast majority of the annuals during the 60's-mid 80's (most of the featured annuals will be from this period) consisted of vintage American comic strips, mostly from Dell comics. It may be viewed as a "cheat" during that time, but it was (and still is, if you buy them on eBay) an economical and longer-lasting way of viewing these classic strips. However, there is one exception: TV Comic, a weekly magazine featuring British-drawn strips based on cartoons and other TV shows, published their own annuals, which consists of our very own Tom & Jerry, Bugs Bunny, Barney Bear, and Pink Panther cartoon strips. Examples of these will be shown in due course.

In this series, I will be posting a selection of pages from each annual featured, which will include first pages of comic strips and illustrated stories, but I will include a complete comic strip in each post. I will also include some of the activity pages and cover illustrations.

Below are some scans of what to expect very shortly.

There will be a few more R&TVP Redrawns posts before this new series starts, but I hope the above images are enough to whet you appetite!

Monday, July 21, 2008

R&TVP Redrawns - On Duty (One More Time)

On Duty is Radio & Television Packagers' redrawn version of One More Time, the third Merrie Melodie ever made (released 3rd October 1931), and the last to feature Harman-Ising's short-lived character Foxy. This redrawn was sourced from a silent print, so you don't get to hear Frank Marsales' music score performed by Abe Lyman's Brunswick Recording Orchestra to ease the pain of watching it!

However, if you like to watch this version with stock music and sound effects, here it is for your viewing (dis)pleasure (apologies for the sound being out-of-synch):

And here's the original in all its glory:

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Feline Follies - My Very First Commentary

Inspired by Matthew Hunter's wonderful commentary vids on his Misce-Looney-Ous blog, I decided to try my hand on this commentary lark, and I'm (almost) proud to present my debut - a fan's opinion of Felix's debut cartoon Feline Follies. As this is my very first time doing this, I can only apologise if I sounded rather nervous (you won't believe how many takes I did!). I must also stress that this is a fan commentary, so I could be talking utter crap.

And yep, it really is my voice! And no, I can't believe it, too!


Monday, June 16, 2008

R&TVP Redrawns - The Inventor (Felix Turns The Tide)

Today's post features another redrawn Felix short - Felix Turns The Tide, re-named by famed bootleggers Astra TV as The Inventor (in which Radio & Television Packagers used their version as the source print).

This is one of the most bizarre (and badly executed) redrawns I had the (mis)fortune to witness. Felix is redrawn ORANGE, for starters! And alas, they forgot to include Felix's closing remark.

But anyway, for you redrawns fans out there, here it is:

Normally I would post a complete original, but would you like to see the Astra TV print instead? Fortunately, Tom Stathes owns a copy, and he specially transferred and uploaded it onto his blog. Click here to read his wonderful article (and watch the vid, of course), and be sure to check out his other Astra TV posts too.

Monday, June 09, 2008

R&TVP Redrawns - The Steadfast Tin Soldier (The Brave Tin Soldier)

Today's post features the R&TVP redrawn The Steadfast Tin Soldier, which is based on the Ub Iwerk's ComiColor short The Brave Tin Soldier (released 7th April 1934). The source material is a B&W silent version, but unlike some of the others already featured on this blog, this one has a fairly decent music score:

The Brave Tin Soldier - Redrawn
Uploaded by ldglover

Of course, the original and best:

Still plenty more redrawns to watch out for (if you're brave enough, that is)!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

R&TVP Redrawns - Cinderella (Once Upon A Time)

Today's redrawn, Cinderella, was originally a 1936 Techicolor cartoon called Once Upon A Time, produced by Audio Productions for Metropolitan Life Insurance. This cartoon features a charming original song, with music by Edwin E. Ludwig and words by Frank W. Speidell.

This R&TVP cartoon is, IMHO, one of the worst-looking redrawns I've ever seen. Have fun spotting the mistakes when comparing it to the original:

Once Upon A Time - Redrawn
Uploaded by ldglover

Monday, May 12, 2008

R&TVP Redrawns - Ain't Nature Grand

And just when you thought I abandoned the redrawns topic for good...

(cue evil laugh): MWAHAAHAAAHAAAAAHAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!

Today's post is the Bosko short "Ain't Nature Grand". It's one of the earliest Bosko cartoons (can't pinpoint the release date, but it was released sometime in 1930-31), and is typical Harman-Ising fare.

Here's the redrawn version (in which the main body is complete and, with the exception of the end music, comes with its original soundtrack):

And if you don't want to watch the redrawn, or if you're looking for a comparison, here's the original (albeit a Sunset/Guild Films print):

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

R&TVP Redrawns - The Dancing Bear

Another redrawn for you to enjoy (or retch)!

The Dancing Bear is a redrawn version of the Farmer Al Falfa Terrytoon of the same name, released 15th Ocrober 1937. As per usual, the technical quality of the redrawn is utter crap. Mind you, the majority of the 1930's Terrytoons were not fantastically animated in the first place.

Voila la redrawn:

The Dancing Bear - Redrawn
Uploaded by ldglover

You will notice that the opening title card (redrawn from a 1950's Astra TV print, the source material used for the above version) on my copy has been partially-obscured (not by me, but by a UK home video company), to avoid showing a trademarked cartoon character. But I've managed to locate a screenshot of the whole "offending" title:

And here's the original (albeit a bootleg TV) version for comparision:

The Dancing Bear - Original
Uploaded by ldglover

Thanks to Tom Stathes for the valuable info!

Friday, April 04, 2008

R&TVP Redrawns - Barnyard Frolics (Moonlight For Two)

Barnyard Frolics is a redrawn version of the WB Merrie Melodie Moonlight For Two, released in 11th June 1932. It is a typical early Harman-Ising cartoon, full of posing, dancing, and singing.

The print used as the basis of this redrawn is a silent version, so expect the corny music and sound effects added on by Radio & Television Packagers (which makes this version so awful it's strangely entertaining). Unfortunately, my copy has the audio a little out of synch. Enjoy (if you dare):

Moonlight For Two - Redrawn
Uploaded by ldglover

And of course, here's the original for comparison:

Moonlight For Two - Original
Uploaded by ldglover

Friday, March 21, 2008

R&TVP Redrawns - Country Boy Rabbit

As it's now Easter, what's better fitting than posting a cartoon starring some Easter bunnies? Well.....not Easter bunnies to be exact, but this redrawn does star a lot of rabbits!
Country Boy Rabbit is a redrawn version of the two-strip technicolor Merrie Melodie short "Country Boy". The source print used is an edited, possibly damaged B&W print - the charming opening song is incomplete, and it's missing the final end gag!
For your enjoyment (or disgust), I now present the redrawn:

And here's the complete original for comparison:

Sunday, March 09, 2008

R&TVP Redrawns - Puss in Boots

Today's post will focus on the R&TVP redrawn cartoon Puss in Boots, which was originally a Ub Iwerk's ComiColor (that's right, the original is in COLOUR - albeit two-strip) cartoon (released 17th May 1934). The source material was obviously a B&W print with piss-poor audio, and the resulting technical quality of this redrawn is really, really crap.
So, if you've done something really naughty today, punish yourself by watching this abomination (or laugh-fest, if you love watching these redrawns):

Puss in Boots - redrawn
Uploaded by ldglover

And to make yourself feel better again, here's the original for comparison:

Puss in Boots - original
Uploaded by ldglover

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Radio & Television Packagers redrawns

During the 1960's, when B&W cartoons were beginning to have little or no commercial value (or so they think), Warner Brothers and NTA decided to commission Fred Ladd's company Color Systems to redraw their respective B&W cartoons (Porky Pig and Betty Boop) in colour. The results may have been impressive at that time, but nowadays (especially in the computer-colourising age which can give much better results in colourising cartoons) one can be appalled by the poor technical quality in the redrawn animation (not every frame is traced, momentary missing limbs etc.), psychedelic colour scheme, and poor film stock.
Of course, we all moan about these redrawns, and we hardcore animation fans prefer to see these cartoons as originally intended. But the sad truth is, these redrawns still kept the spirit of the originals in the public consciousness, and has enabled many fans to seek out the originals, resulting in a big demand to see them on DVD and other media. You could say that the redrawing process was a necessary evil at that time.
There were other companies that commissioned redrawns later on. Turner, in 1986, invited Entecolor Technologies (formerly Color Systems) to redraw their B&W Popeye and Merrie Melodies cartoons, which was a rather strange decision as they were starting to colourise their feature films using a computer process. While the technical quality and colour palette was somewhat better than the redrawn Porky's and Betty's, plenty of mistakes were still made.
But perhaps the worst-looking redrawns of them all were commissioned by Radio & Television Packagers (who I shall refer to as R&TVP). They gave Color Systems a batch of (presumably) home-movie prints of (mostly) public-domain cartoons during the early 70's. Unfortunately, what R&TVP didn't know is that many of the cartoons do exist in their original colour! Also, they failed to realise that some of them were silent versions of sound cartoons (they will later add corny music to those redrawns). On one cartoon, they had the ending redrawn to something completely different!!! The result is a series of redrawns that are sooooooooo bad, they are actually quite entertaining in their own unique way.
Here is a complete list of the 43 R&TVP cartoons, as compiled by Richard Jebe and Pietro Shakarian:

"Toy Shop" – "We're in the Money" (1933), WB
"Ain't Nature Grand?" – 1931 WB of the same name
"Barnyard Frolic" – "Moonlight for Two" (1931), WB
"Bosko's Woodland Daze" – 1932 WB of the same name
"Country Boy Rabbit" – "The Country Boy" (1935), WB (originally color)
"Magazine Rack" – "I Like Mountain Music" (1933), WB
"Off To The Races" – "Ups 'N Downs" (1931), WB
"On Duty" – "One More Time" (1931), WB
"Accidents Won't Happen" – 1925 Mutt and Jeff of the same name
"The Invisible Revenge" – 1925 Mutt and Jeff of the same name
"Where Am I?" – 1925 Mutt and Jeff of the same name
"Mixing In Mexico" – 1925 Mutt and Jeff of the same name
"Oceans Of Trouble" – 1925 Mutt and Jeff of the same name
"Soda Jerks" – 1925 Mutt and Jeff of the same name
"When Hell Froze Over" – 1926 Mutt and Jeff of the same name
"The Adventures Of Mutt And Jeff And Bugoff" – "Slick Sleuths" (1926), Mutt and Jeff
"Dog Missing" – "Dog Gone" (1926), Mutt and Jeff
"Egyptian Daze" – "Mummy O' Mine" (1926), Mutt and Jeff
"The Mail Pilot" – 1927 Aesop's Film Fable of the same name
"The Under Dog" – 1929 Aesop's Film Fable of the same name
"Tuning In" – 1929 Van Beuren of the same name
"Love Bugs" – "Fly Hi" (1931), Van Beuren
"Art For Art's Sake" – 1934 Van Beuren of the same name
"The Villian Pursues Her" – "Sinister Stuff" (1934), Van Beuren
"Chinese Lanterns" – "Japanese Lanterns" (1935), Van Beuren (originally color)
"Batter Up" – "Play Ball" (1932), Terrytoons
"Spring Cleaning" – "Kiko's Cleaning Day" (1937), Terrytoons
"The Dancing Bear" – 1937 Terrytoon on the same name
"Lumberjack" - "The Saw Mill Mystery" (1937), Terrytoons
"Music And Charm" - "The Villain Still Pursued Her" (1937), Terrytoons
"The Inventor" – "Felix Turns the Tide" (1922), Sullivan
"Sunken Treasure" – "Felix Braves the Briny" (1926), Sullivan
"Misses His Swiss" – "Felix Misses His Swiss" (1926), Sullivan
"Scoots Through Scotland" – "Felix Scoots Through Scotland" (1926), Sullivan
"Mr. Do–All" – "Jack From All Trades" (1927), Sullivan
"Jack Frost" – 1934 Iwerks of the same name (originally color)
"Puss in Boots" – 1934 Iwerks of the same name (originally color)
"The Steadfast Tin Soldier" – "The Brave Tin Soldier" (1934), Iwerks (originally color)
"Cinderella" - "Once Upon a Time" (circa 1937), Audio Productions
"Big City" – 1947 UK Bubbles and Squeek cartoon of the same name
“Grampus & Scrappy” - The Big Game (1928), Aesop's Fable

"They Shall Not Pass" – Mutt and Jeff
"Double Performance" - Unknown

In these series of posts (yes, I'll be posting these, so be warned - lol),I shall be posting specially-selected redrawns, along (where possible) with their originals for comparison.
And to start off with, here's a redrawn version of Felix Misses His Swiss, starring the title character as a burgundy-coloured cat!. Unfortunately, I don't have the original to upload, but according to David Gerstein, the final scenes were missing from the original source print, so you will see a fake (clover-shaped???) iris-out before it reaches a satisfying conclusion.

Did the re-tracers really believe that Felix was grabbing his gonads at the beginning of the cartoon (lol)?
For this series, as these will mostly be public-domain cartoons, I've decided to abandon imposing a time-limit on their availability.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Cartoon Lookalikes

A couple of cartoon lookalikes for you today.

Recently, I caught a glimpse of a DVD cover of Are You Being Served?, and the picture of a scowling Mrs Slocombe (Mollie Sugden)...

...instantly reminded me of Chicken Pie in the Herman cartoon Scrappily Married.
And why does the map of my native West Country...
...always remind me of the head of a certain aardvark?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Rare Felix Cards

Below are scans taken from a set of very rare Felix the Cat cards that I managed to obtain a few years ago. Little is known about about the origins of these, but it is beleved that these came as a gift from either confectionary or tobacco products that were sold in Britain during the late 20's or early 30's. If any of you guys know more about these, please let me know.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Lost Columbia Cartoons - Kitty Caddy

Kitty Caddy (which only survives in soundtrack form in the Columbia archives) is one of the last Screen Gems cartoons to be made, produced in the Harry Binder - Ray Katz era. It features a cat & dog's attempts to play a peaceful game of golf, but it turns out anything but peaceful, especially when Bob Hope and Bing Crosby keep stealing the scenes (and something else besides). One note: you see the cat & dog holding hands when they arrive in the park - are they more than just friends (tee-hee!)?

Out of all the lost toons, this is one of the better shorts, and I'm proud to present this in its entirety. Enjoy!

Kitty Caddy
Uploaded by ldglover
Available to view for 1 month.

And that's all, folks (I know. Wrong tagline for these cartoons)! It took a long time (for reasons I won't go into), but this series of lost Columbia cartoons has finally drawn to a close. I hope that you enjoyed viewing these clips, and I also hope that those of you who haven't or have little of these cartoons in your collection will seek out for more, and not just these lost toons. Many of these are by no means classics, but are certainly underappreciated.

Watch out for my new series of posts about the crappiest-looking redrawns ever, and I will be posting more Columbia cartoons in the future.

Thanks for reading the Lost Columbia Cartoons series!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Lost Columbia Cartoons - Major Google

Major Google was the last of the Barney Google cartoon quartet, and, like the previous three, this is a lacklustre effort. Even with the absence of sound on the surviving home movie prints, you can still visually see why the transfer from printed to animated cartoon was not successful.

The cartoon apparantly survives in the Columbia archives as a B&W print (don't know if it is with or without sound) and a redrawn (but silent) version. I've managed to obtain copies of two silent, truncated home movie versions. Sadly, there's not enough material to make a almost-complete reconstruction as each one is 2-and-a-half minutes long and only a few differences in each print. However, I've uploaded the best-looking of the two prints for your viewing pleasure.

As always, the video will be available to view for a month.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Lost Columbia Cartoons - Dreams on Ice

This 1939 cartoon, directed by Sid Marcus, is apparantly non-existant in the Columbia archives, but does survive in the collectors'/traders' circuits as a 16mm B&W print. This is one of a handful of "Sparky" cartoons, where he attempts to do ice-skating by flooding his bedroom with water and opening his window to let the freezing wind through.

IMHO it's a drab, Disney-esque cartoon, but nevertheless, here's the complete short for you to enjoy:

Available to view for 1 month.

The Lost Columbia Cartoons - The Herring Murder Mystery / Hollywood Sweepstales

A double-bill of short clips for you, today.

The Herring Murder Mystery (a 1943 cartoon which apparantly only exists in the Columbia archives as a segment of the first two minutes) features the story of a herring pickler, who, after being arrested - and thrown into the sea - by the fish police, is on trial for murder (well, he did pickle them to death!).

Presenting here is a short segment from a complete print. Personally, it's shad roe, shad roe, shad roe to me!

Another short clip below is taken from Hollywood Sweepstakes, a 1939 cartoon (directed by Ben Harrison) that is officially missing in the Columbia archives (but survives among us collectors as a 16mm colour print). It does feature a host of celebrity characitures, but they're mostly token - it's really about a pony's attempt to win a derby. Here's the second half of this cartoon for you to enjoy:

Clips are available to view for a month.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Lost Columbia Cartoons - Kickapoo Juice

Hi gang! At long last, I'm able to start posting the remaining "lost" cartoons.

Kickapoo Juice (which currently exists in the Columbia archives as a B&W print) was the fifth and last Li'l Abner cartoon to be released (in 1944). Producer Dave Fleischer bought the animation rights to this famous cartoon strip, hoping to turn this character into a movie success in a similar way as Popeye was. However, this was not to be.

I've seen all five cartoons, but can't really comment on how bad (or indeed, how good) these adaptations were, as I've never read the strips. What I can say is that these cartoons, although not truly awful, are not particularly memorable or funny.

Nevertheless, I'm proud to present this cartoon complete and uncut, and is available to view on this blog for 1 month. Enjoy!

Kickapoo Juice
Uploaded by ldglover

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A New Year, And A New Look!

Hi, guys! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

And I decided that this is the perfect time to relaunch my blog, not only with a new template, but also with a brand new (and dangerously-titled) name. The inspiration for this comes from the title of a series of cartoon strips I drew for my University magazine, before the new millenium (an example can be seen by clicking on the image below):

Throughout January, I will be finishing off my series of posts about the "lost" Columbia cartoons. The remaining cartoons to be posted here include:

Major Google
Hollywood Sweepstakes
Dreams on Ice
The Herring Murder Mystery
Kickapoo Juice
Kitty Caddy.

And starting this February, I will be making a series of posts regarding the worst-looking redrawn cartoons ever: The Radio & Television Packagers cartoons. These will include specially-selected video clips, with (where possible) the originals. Just to whet your apppetite (or to warn you), here are some hilarious-looking frames taking from the beginning of the redrawn version of Felix Misses His Swiss:

I didn't know Felix had a weak bladder!

Also, I've decided to change the links section to include only those that contains info about the classic cartoons. But if you have a blog (which can be almost-anything) and is interested in becoming one of my "blogger buddies" (where we promote each other's blogs), let me know in the comments section. Cheers!