Wednesday 25 December 2019

A Holiday Yowp to You and Yours

Santa Season greetings from your retired blogger, Yowp. Enjoy this fine character compilation (artist unidentified) who came up with this wonderful drawing for the studio’s 25th anniversary in 1982.

Yes, Yogi Bear didn’t get his own show until 1961, but let’s be charitable during the Christmas holidays.

Again, thanks for reading over the last decade.

Saturday 7 December 2019

Art Lozzi

The sad news has been passed on to me by Jerry Beck, through an obit in the Los Angeles Times, that the last original artist at the Hanna-Barbera studio, Art Lozzi, has passed away in Greece.

He was 90 years of age.

Arminio Lozzi was born on October 22, 1929 in Everett, Massachusetts to Guido Antonio and Elena Lozzi. His father was a shoemaker from Vittorito, in the province of Abruzzi, Italy, who came to the U.S. from Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1926 (coincidentally, his father was a week shy of 90 when he died). Lozzi went to art school in Boston and, at 21, was president of the Students Art Gallery, which displayed the works of local artists age 18 to 22. His older sister Adele was a painter as well.

Lozzi had worked at MGM along with Fernando Montealegre and Bob Gentle. After Hanna-Barbera opened at the old Chaplin studio at 1416 North La Brea Avenue in Hollywood in 1957, the three of them formed the original background department. Lozzi left in the 1960s to design interiors for Hilton Hotels and a cruise ship line, settling in Athens.

One of my favourite Lozzi backgrounds is in the Huckleberry Hound cartoon “Little Red Riding Huck.”

Here are two from “Yogi in the City,” from the Yogi Bear Show; I’ve never posted the second one before. Many of Lozzi’s backgrounds featured blue tones, even though the cartoons first aired in black and white.

Art told animator John Kricfalusi that he and Monte never airbrushed; they worked in acrylics and pastels, and pointed out there really was no time to airbrush as the backgrounds had to be churned out. Here’s a “limited” background from the Snagglepuss cartoon “Paws For Applause.” The colours are well-chosen and would show up as a range of greys on a black and white set. It’s simple enough that there is nothing that would distract the viewers’ eyes from the characters playing in the foreground.

Another Snagglepuss, “Arrow Error.” I believe the varied grass colours come courtesy of a sponge (background artists used rollers at times as well). The lettering is likely by Art Goble.

These two are from “Foxy Proxy,” with Fibber Fox. Excellent colours and the designs of the trees are inspired. One tree is transparent!

“A Wooin’ Bruin” features Lozzi’s lumpy clouds (which somehow fit the mountains in the background) and round and fan shaped blooms on trees.

Lozzi also worked with Quick Draw McGraw. This background is from “Mine Your Manners.”

More blue tints and lumpy mountains in “Missile Bound Yogi.”

One last example—this is from the Yogi Bear cartoon “Loco Locomotive.” You can find more examples of Lozzi’s work on this cartoon in this post.

No, the Yowp blog is not coming back. This is a special post to honour the work of Art Lozzi. I’m sure the many early Hanna-Barbera fans who read this blog wish to extend their sympathies to his sister and her family (Lozzi, it appears, never married). He is one of many artists who made the original Hanna-Barbera series enjoyable to watch.