Sunday 14 March 2021

Flintstones Weekend Comics, October 1964

Four comics this month. The blog has posted the last one before but this is the whole month's worth.

The layouts are excellent. October 4th features a silhouette panel, October 18th has a great target background and rain effects in the last few panels, and Dino sneaks in an appearance in the last two comics (does he have a doll's arm in his mouth on the 18th). Betty is absent again.

October 4, 1964.

October 11, 1964

October 18, 1964

October 25, 1964.

Saturday 6 March 2021

Don Messick Helps Others

Don Messick was Hanna-Barbera’s first major supporting character actor. Except when Joe Barbera went on a kick of finding “different voices” in 1959 (hence the hiring of Doug Young and Elliot Field, Hal Smith and several others), Don M. seems to have been the go-to guy in almost every series for incidental and one-shot roles. Finally he became a star when a Great Dane series hit the CBS airwaves in 1969.

I only met Don Messick through my TV set and what I see in the papers, as Will Rogers would say, but he always strikes me as a pretty unruffled and helpful guy, unaffected by the pitfalls of egos and celebrity-ism that make some show-bizzers feel oh-so-superior. If you’ve never read Mark Evanier’s Messick memorial, go here. Even if you have, it’s excellent and worth reading again.

Don flew to Racine, Wisconsin in 1990 to help in a benefit. It appears a local hospital brought him in his Christmas fund-raising drive against cancer. He doesn’t say an awful lot in this story by the Journal Times but any comments from him are good to see in print. This appeared in the November 26th edition, along with the photo.

Messick would succumb to a lengthy illness in 1997.

The house imagination built
Animators draw theme of Christmas House

By Jans Rider
Journal Times
Don Messick's first inkling that his voice had the potential to someday team up with some of the nation's top animated characters came after a crackle and a change of pitch during his teens.
It was then Messick began to realize his voice flexibility and possibilities.
Today he can be heard as the voice of Scooby Doo, Bamm Bamm, Astro the Dog, Boo Boo Bear, Papa Smurf, Dr. Benton Quest from "Johnny Quest" [sic] and Ranger Smith from "Yogi Bear."
He was just one of several talented voices and animators Sunday at St. Luke's Hospital's 1990 Christmas House for Cancer, at 11th and Main streets, and the Spectacular Salute to Animation at the Masonic Lodge, 11th Street and Wisconsin Avenue.
Familiar phrases
As a stream of guests flowed through the hall, Messick uttered the familiar phrases of his characters into a microphone and signed autographs for the public. At the young age of 15, Messick, who was raised in Maryland, wrote and performed on his own radio show. After high school he decided to attend acting school in Baltimore. Through the years he did live television puppet shows and radio shows.
By 1957, he began working for Hanna Barbera cartoons.
His favorite cartoon character voice is Scooby Doo, he said with a grin, a voice he has done for 20 years.
"Perhaps it's because he is my longest running voice-over. He also has so many human-like qualities, and I think I'm particularly partial to dogs," he said, smiling.
Currently, Messick does the voice of Hampton J. Pig, a character on a show called "Tiny Toon Adventures," produced by Steven Spielberg for Warner Brothers. "It's a No. 1 show that just began airing nationally in September," he said.
Just a few feet from Messick's booth were three animators for Walt Disney Studios.
Captive audience
Ed Murietta, of Burbank, Calif., who worked on "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" and "Oliver and Company," had a captive audience as he took less than a minute to draw a quick clear sketch of Mickey Mouse.
Murietta has worked seven years for Disney studios, he said. On display at his table were a few of his sketches including Winnie the Pooh, Mickey Mouse and Roger Rabbit. He said he enjoys drawing Roger Rabbit the most.
Mickey Mouse is the most difficult to draw because the rodent is so identifiable to his public and any alteration in the character will be spotted quickly.
"Disney artwork is very structured. Every character is structured because they have to animate. Every character is designed with animation in mind," he said.
24 drawings per second
To cover one second of onscreen animation, Murietta and his assistants must produce 24 drawings of the character which, for example, might be blinking an eye of cracking a smile, he said.
Pat Boelter, a hospital spokeswoman, said the hospital decided to salute animation this year because there are so many anniversaries of shows and characters in 1990. To name a few, the Flintstones turned 25, Betty Boop became 60, and Disneyland is celebrating its 35th anniversary.
Boelter said Messick was invited to the salute because he has been a legendary voice for many of the country's animated characters.
"We wanted him to be a part of the celebration," she said.
Joining Messick and animator Murietta were Michael Horowitz, an animator who has worked on Disney mainstays such as Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse and Goofy, and Dave Pacheco, the creator of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" and "The Little Mermaid."
Demonstrations, appearances and displays will continue through Dec. 9 at the Masonic Temple. Boelter expects attendance to reach 40,000, up about 10,000 from last year's events.

My thanks to Devon Baxter for clipping the article.