Monday, May 28, 2007

Agent Jade

Catching up on my spy movies lately. Wish there were more girl spies? This is Agent Jade. She will kick your ass.

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Ollie Johnston

This weekend I went to the home of one of my heros. A friend of mine from work (thanks Ken) mentioned that in a pennysaver mag, you know the one, one of the junk mails that comes in with the post, had advertised an estate sale by an "Ollie J". From the address he figured out that it was indeed the estate sale of the famed Disney Directing Animator and co-author of "The Illusion of Life", the bible of animation. What an event to find out about. Ollie Johnston has moved up north now with family.

Incredible. I was amazed to walk up the drive to his house and see those small railroad tracks I had heard about, circling through the gardens. I could only imagine the visitors he had throughout the years from the animation circles. I am very happy to have gotten the chance to visit his home.

Inside there was all sorts of artwork (a little original work and of course expensive) and story boards (photo copies, hand coloured) in all shapes of boxes, ready to be browsed through. Also Ollie's library of books and records and various nick-nacks scattered throughout in various rooms.

So what did I pick up? Well, here are some the following bits and pieces....
(all images are copyright of their respective owners and are published here for review only.)

A pic of both Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas. I'm sure this has been well seen as it was a publicity pic from Disney.......

Now this next image on sixteen field animation paper is fantastic. It has pinholes in it from being placed on a corkboard and all the wrinkles you'd expect from a used piece of flipped animation paper. I wonder where he had this pinned up. If anyone knows who these people are I would greatly appreciate it. I'll email a few guys I think may know and see if I can get some answers on this. Could that be Marc Davis second from the right? I think that that is Ollie on the left....I'll update later if I get an answer about this.......

Thank you very much DAVID. Wow, that was quick. I knew I'd seen it before and couldn't place my finger on it. The drawing is by Vic Partch, and the people are from left to right.....Ollie Johnston, Ken O'Brien, Vip Partch, and as "The Illusion of Life" says, on page 143, this is "Vip's version of Ollie Johnston's animation unit. When told he had to get an inbetweener to move the work faster, Vip caricatured the only type of personality he felt he could control." Excellent. Thanks so much Dave. Everyone go visit to say thanks. Thanks also to AMID from Cartoon Brew for compiling other accounts of visits to Ollie's house.

Now, I also picked up this book which I never knew existed. It's called "The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin", written by Idries Shah and illustrated by Richard Williams. This predates "The Thief and the Cobbler" and you can definitely see a style which he continued into the film. I was so happy to find this book. Knowing that this was Ollie's, you can bet that this book has found a good home. Here are the front and back slipcased covers.

Here are a couple of illustrations from the inside of the book. Absolutely stunning drawings. I'll be treasuring this unexpected find.

Image of Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston copyright Disney
Images of "The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin" copyright Mulla Nasrudin Enterprises Ltd. 1966

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Monday, May 14, 2007


Busy as hell right now, but here's one to keep things going....

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Sunday, May 06, 2007


"Peig" was a book that was beaten into us when we were school kids. It was part of the school program from which there was no escape. Harsh rural Ireland from the old days. Poverty, piety, grim tales of life on the west of the country. An elderly woman, Peig Sayers, bent over with age, covered with a black shawl, recounting stories in her life, dictated because of illiteracy to the Irish Folklore Commission. They gathered stories so they wouldn't be lost. Harsh life on the Blasket Islands, off the west coast of my country. This book was the staple for anyone growing up around my age.
Can't say it was fun. And this was the book they were trying to teach the Irish language from and inspire a new generation.
How things have changed. Now everytime I go back, thankfully, I see the language growing again.

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