Max Fleischer at The Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Max Fleischer Brooklyn Eagle cartoonSteve 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.

Jack Zander

Jack Zander, the veteran New York producer who began his career during Hollywood’s Golden Age of Animation, died on Monday at age 99. Among his accomplishments as an animator was animating Jerry in Puss Gets the Boot (1940), the first Tom and Jerry cartoon. However, after the war he established and ran two of New York’s best commercial houses, Pelican and Zander’s Animation Parlour.

Mark Mayerson, who worked at Zander’s Animation Parlour in the 1970s, has posted a warmly felt tribute and memoir on his blog; comments by several artists who worked for him, including Nancy Bieman and Tom Sito, have also been added. Sito also wrote this piece in Zander’s honor on his own blog.

I only met Zander once, during the early days of my research into the history of animation unions, as he had served as president of the Screen Cartoonist Guild before becoming a producer. At the time, I was still exploring my topic and Zander was gracious enough to tolerate my sometimes uninformed queries. However, to judge by all who told me of their experience working for Zander, he was not a person who ever forgot his roots as a working artist and treated his employees accordingly.