Monday, February 16, 2009
Presidents Day naturally brings to mind Honest Abe, especially this year when we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Great Emancipator's birth. What better time to once again celebrate Walt Disney's Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. Controversial in its time before it debuted at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair, the show won over most skeptics when they actually saw what it was all about. In recent years, Walt's original presentation (which moved to Disneyland® Park in 1966) came to be considered old (stovepipe) hat by some, but that's like considering the Lincoln Memorial out-of-date or "irrelevant". To celebrate Walt Disney's original vision here's a conceptual artwork by the great and gentlemanly Sam McKim, whose renderings did so much to bring that powerful vision of Mr. Lincoln to life.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
In honor of St. Valentine’s Day (yesterday) here’s a Snow White Valentine in the form of the February 1938 cover of Mickey Mouse Magazine. This was published when Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was taking the world by storm, but one of the most interesting aspects of this lovely cover is that it’s rendered in the style of Gustav Tenggren, the Old World illustrator who was a stylist and pre-production artist for Snow White. His art was used for some publicity purposes (most famously the original one-sheet theatrical poster), and featured his interpretation of the characters, differing from the way they appeared in the film. As seen in this cover, which incorporates a piece of Tenggren publicity art, the Dwarfs were more gnome-like with gnarly fingers. Happy day-after- St. Valentine’s Day to all from the fairest one of all (that’s Snow White, not me).
Friday, February 13, 2009
2009 marks the 75th anniversary of the introduction of Donald Duck so I thought I would post about “the Duck” (as Walt and his artists referred to Donald) today. Donald has always been associated with the number 13 (after all, poor Donald has the darnedest luck—or as his theme song composed by Oliver Wallace put it, with a touch of irony, “Who gets stuck with all the bad luck? /Nobody but Donald Duck!”) and so Friday 13 is really the Duck’s day. To celebrate, here’s the "lucky" 13th issue of Donald’s comic-book showcase, Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories from October 1941. In this art from the Donald Duck newspaper comic strip drawn by Al Taliaferro (making a reference to the theatrical troupe of the Singer Midgets, who appeared as some of the Munchkins in the 1939 classic, The Wizard of Oz), it looks like the cigar-smoking nephews are the unlucky ones—but one way Donald is lucky is that this cover is not likely to be reprinted, for obvious reasons.
Monday, February 2, 2009
Today, February 2, 2009 marks the return of the comedy-action-adventure-suspense-satire-spy series, Chuck. Named in honor of its lead character, the lovable everygeek Chuck Bartowski (winningly played by the great Zachary Levi), this unique series is being presented tonight in 3-D. (If you didn’t happen to get your 3-D glasses, check out your local grocery store for the special displays or call 1.800.646.2904 to order a pair. The 3-D episode of Chuck will be on NBC.com starting tomorrow, February 2, and will also be available in an non-3-D format.) In honor of this geek-chic show’s return here’s the cover of Issue 5 (of 6) of the Chuck comic book, in which our hero’s parachute-less plummet from an airplane is (as usual) the least of his worries. This terrific cover is by Kristian Donaldson, and the comic itself is written by Peter Johnson and Zev Borow, with art by Jeremy Haun and Phil Noto. If you have not given this unusual TV show a try, please do, as it will be on Mondays for at least the next few weeks. As you will discover, there are so many reasons to love Chuck.