Saturday, June 25, 2016

Dan Gordon's Sketches

Dan Gordon was one of the originals at Hanna-Barbera, providing story sketches for the Ruff and Reddy series in 1957. Gordon was originally an architectural draughtsman (he was employed as one according the U.S. Censuses in 1920 and 1930). Whether he went into animation before his younger brother George is unclear, but the two of them both worked for the Van Beuren and Terrytoons studios in New York (with Joe Barbera) before he moved on to employment after the war on comic books, then with the John Sutherland and Transfilm industrial studios in the ‘50s.

Gordon seems to have worked on all of Hanna-Barbera’s series (possibly excluding Top Cat) until 1965 when he vanished from the studio. Heritage Auctions recently accepted bids on a number of items to which Gordon’s name was attached. Whether he drew them all is open for discussion.

First some great sketches that appear to have been made in preparation for The Jetsons (1962). There are some nice concepts here.



Next are some panels of either the Flintstones or Flagstones (the series’ original name). These drawings are definitely by Gordon, though the dialogue appears to have been scribbled in by Joe Barbera. They’re from “The Swimming Pool,” the first episode put into production, though the dialogue isn’t verbatim what’s in the finished cartoon.



Finally, some great sketches of Yogi Bear for a Kellogg’s Corn Flakes commercial. I don’t know whether these are Gordon’s. Yogi’s very attractively drawn and I like the crowing rooster on the package.



Gordon left the studio around the start of 1961 to work for Quartet, the commercial studio eventually run by Hanna-Barbera alumnus Mike Lah (he was Bill Hanna’s brother-in-law) but returned by the time Magilla Gorilla was in production then seems to have left again around the time Secret Squirrel and Atom Ant were being made in 1965. Gordon died five or six years later (I have not found a definitive source on when or where). He was one of a number of fine cartoon artists who put their stamp on the early (and best) Hanna-Barbera comedy series.

9 comments:

  1. Pretty awesome. Like the Yogi drawings, especially the sleepy Yogi. But love those Flagstone drawings!

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  2. Dan worked on development of MAGILLA GORILLA. Although the show was mediocre at best, Dan's version of the ape wore much more animatable attire than Iwao's version. Dan's MAGILLA wore a T-shirt, "Gilligan" beach hat and best of all, no !?!$&@!?! shoes. I own a few of these appealing concept drawings by Mr. Gordon so I'm not imagining 'em.

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    1. Thanks for the differentation, Scott Shaw!!!!SC

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  3. Damn!! So much appealing! Thanks for sharing, love dan gordon drawings

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  4. I absolutely love the sheet that has Fred and Barney dressed in space age clothing! This is great stuff.

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  5. Why did the artists sketch in what appears to be red pencil at times?

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    1. Hi, bhart1518. This post answers your question: http://yowpyowp.blogspot.com/2015/09/king-size-surprise-storyboard.html

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  6. Love Dan Gordon's work, especially " The Flagstones " But, I've always leaned toward the early look, or unrefined days of the H-B Studios.

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  7. What a rare treat-- I especially love those chunky Flintstones storyboard panels.Thanks for posting these!

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