The caption in the Life/Google archive for the photo above (by Allan Grant) reads: “Carlo Vinci, artist drawing cartoon at Hanna-barbara [sic] productions.” Taken in 1960, the year Hanna Barbera became the force in television animation with The Flintstones, when it debuted on the ABC network on prime time. The image below has the caption: “Joe Barbera (R), [with] partner Bill Hanna (L), creators of animated cartoons.”
Although animated documentaries are one of the most exciting areas of filmmaking today, in an interview for Comingsoon.net, Waltz with Bashir director Ari Forman in discussing the problems getting funding, notes,
The problem was clearing the film as an animated documentary. This was the main problem, because people sit in documentary funds, they get 10 times less money than people in fiction, and then they have to spend the money, and they think, “Should I spend it on animation? Is animation a documentary? Is it real? Will people believe the story? Is it true?” They gave me a hard time. It was too risky for them, and today, I don’t give a damn. If I would do it now, I would declare it as a fiction film, animated, and this is it. Raise the money, work…
Steve Hulett, on The Animation Guild blog, noted this story by Joel Feingold from The Brooklyn Daily Eagle on Max Fleischer’s days as a cartoonist at the paper from 1901 to 1905. It also reprints several examples of his work, including the one on the left, from August 1902, noting “Chawles’ resemblance to Betty Boop.” (Unfortunately, the quality of the images leaves much to be desired.)
The story tells of Fleischer’s career at the paper, where he began working as a $2 a week errand boy at age 17 in 1900. It also notes,
In 1901, Fleischer’s art began appearing in the Daily Eagle–little filler drawings, one-panel cartoons, and eventually photographs. By 1902, Max had taken the cartoonist’s moniker Mack, and his work proliferated in the Eagle’s pages. Fleischer sometimes drew editorial cartoons, though rarely the explicitly political ones–these were reserved for older and less whimsical staff artists. Max’s real specialty was the short, funny cartoon. …
While Fleischer’s one-panel sketches often took the form of sly or truly strange social comment … his multi-panel comic-strips were built on ridiculous physical comedy. At a time when the conventions of the comic-strip were still hazy–Pulitzer had only begun running comic-strips in 1897–the young Max Fleischer saw beyond the multi-panel strip to an action-oriented, fluid medium. Even in 1902, Fleischer wanted to be making moving cartoons.