Friday, October 31, 2014

Bugs and Co. via Don Gunn

This Bugs Bunny story comes from Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies No. 71, September 1947; and features the artwork of Don Gunn who, like so many of this era, began his professional life as an animator (Disney, 30s and early 40s). Very nice.

10 comments:

  1. Don Gunn is an artist unknown to me, but I enjoyed his style and his sharp depiction of the familiar characters. I have trouble sometimes detecting the individual styles of the artists who drew these comics. About the only one I know for sure is Tony Strobl, so I appreciate it when you point out someone whose work I was up 'til now unfamiliar with. Thanks!

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    1. Pappy: I'm in the same boat much of the time myself. For some reason, Gunn I can spot a lot of the time as well as Al Hubbard and Dan Gormley. Of course, even when I think I know, like your recent Harvey question regarding Warren Kremer, I can be wrong. I'm wrong a lot, in fact!

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  2. Interesting to see stories Bugs helping Elmer. But Bugs characterization is still faithful to the cartoons for its his sharp thinking that finally leads to him and Elmer becoming financial successes. It reminds me of the way Friz Freleng portrayed Bugs--his Bugs comes up with a quick, successful solution to a problem at the last moment.

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    1. Great insights, Shade - Thanks for taking the time!

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    2. Thank YOU, Mykal for providing good historical information on a field that's still somewhat underappreciated and misunderstood.

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    3. Thank YOU, Mykal for providing good historical information on a field that's still somewhat underappreciated and misunderstood.

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  3. Mykal:

    This was always a really difficult era, particularly for LOONEY TUNES and other Warner Bros. comics, to make artist identifications.

    There were artists that didn’t become as prolific or well-known throughout the Dell / Western line and, as a result, remain unjustly obscure today. Obscure, at least as comic book artists, even if they had separate careers in animation.

    Honestly, if I just pulled this book out of my collection and looked at it, I would have guessed (…and that’s all it would be, a “guess”) it was Roger Armstrong – on the basis of his being more prolific in these titles, and that of the incidental character’s inking / shading on his jacket on page one. I believe Armstrong tended to do that in his work, back then.

    But, looking closer still, it looks as if certain “design elements” (such as Bugs’ mouth and other components of his character) tended to repeat often, as if the artist were working tightly off of a model sheet, and not venturing too far from it. And, that might tend to eliminate a better draftsman like Armstrong. Perhaps Armstrong INKED this story, accounting for the “jacket-thing” I mention.

    The frustrating – and simultaneously “fun” – thing about all this is that we’ll never truly know everything about it, and must remain four-color archeologists.

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  4. It's that working closely off of a model sheet part that makes it so rough. Artists were instructed to make it all look the same. Thanks for the insights, Joe.

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  5. Oh, and Mykal… I want to make it absolutely clear that, with my previous comments, in no way was I even hinting that the artist here was not Don Gunn. More that positive IDs were a bit harder to ascertain during this period of LOONEY TUNES and other Dell Warner Bros. comics – as opposed to later, when the more familiar and better known styles of artists like Tony Strobl, Phil De Lara, Pete Alvarado, and Fred Abranz came to dominate these comics.

    I really think it’s great that you continue to highlight these unfortunately “forgotten” comics and the artists that so superbly crafted them.

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  6. No Worries, Joe! I didn't think that.

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