I’m a bit late posting on this, but it’s never too late to acknowledge Pierre Floquet receiving the Society for Animation Studies’ 2011 McLaren-Lambart Award “for the Best Scholarly Book on animation” for his Le langage comique de Tex Avery, published in 2009 by L’Harmattan. Floquet, who’s on the faculty of IPB, Bordeaux University. His 1996 PhD thesis was “on linguistics applied to cinema, focusing on Tex Avery’s comic language.”
The McLaren-Lambart Award is named in memory of Norman McLaren and Evelyn Lambart and derives from the National Film Board of Canada’s initial involvement in the Award. The Society’s announcement notes:
This book, published in French …, is a detailed analysis of the cinematic nuances at play in the cartoons directed by Tex Avery at MGM from 1942-1951. With remarkably complex insights into Avery’s comic language, the author distills what at first glance might seem like a director’s reliance on coarse gags and repetitive formulae into a sophisticated colloquy with moviegoers. The manner in which Avery engages viewers on the nature of cinema has always been disarming, played for laughs instead of reflection, but French film scholars recognized him as an important auteur as early as the 1960s. This recent book in many ways is a fulfillment of this earlier recognition, a culminating study of Tex Avery’s influential body of work. Pierre Floquet’s writing on the concept of distantiation, from Althusser and especially Brecht, is essential. It points to a genuine concern with the form of the language of cartoons that is just as vital in any consideration of modern animation as it is with Avery’s œuvre.