Monday, December 13, 2021

Meet: Tyrus Wong..First Asian Cartoon Animator/ Disney

Talking about a true artist legend you might not heard about, Tyrus Wong was definitely that hands down. 


  Tyrus Wong (October 25, 1910 –-- December 30, 2016) was a Chinese-born American artist who lived to be 106 years of age. As a kid, Wong immigrated to America with his dad, leaving his mom and sister. Wong’s skill and interest in art emerged at an early age and his dad motivated it by having him practice calligraphy on newspaper.Tyrus participated in the Otis Art Institute on a complete scholarship, Wong worked as a janitor at Otis College. He walked for miles to attend classes. He graduated from Otis in 1930 and began working at Disney as a inbetweener. When pre-production started on “ Bambi", Wong painted several small images of a deer in a forest that captured Walt Disney attention. Those sketches became the basis for the style of the movie.

One Important Note :In the years that followed, he endured poverty, discrimination and chronic lack of recognition, not only for his work at Disney but also for his fine art, before finding acclaim in his 90s.

Soon after finishing Bambi, Wong was fired from Disney studios as an effect of the Disney animator 

strike. After leaving Disney, Wong worked at Warner Bros Studios for 26 years as a production illustrator.                                

Later, he developed popular greeting cards for Hallmark Cards. Wong retired in 1968 however developed and made hand made flying kite's for pleasure.

Some of his popular paintings consist of Self Picture (late 1920s), Fire ( 1939 ), Reclining Nude (1940s), East ( 1984) and West ( 1984 ). Wong was included in Mark Wexler'' s 2009 documentary How To Live Forever, where he discussed his day-to-day lifestyle and his view on immortality, and in Pamela Tom'' s 2015 documentary Tyrus. For even more great history on Mr. Wong, go to the side bar of this blog and click on his picture.

Friday, December 10, 2021

The Real Betty Boop ! Was An African -American Singer ?

 Well, this well known cartoon character has some history drama behind it. Esther Jones is the name of the real Betty Boop. The iconic animation character Betty Boop was motivated by a Black jazz singer in Harlem. Presented by cartoonist Max Fleischer in 1930, the caricature of allure age flapper was the very first and most popular sex object in animation. Betty Boop is best known for her revealing gown, curvaceous figure, and signature vocals “& Boop Oop A Doop”! While there has actually been debate throughout the years, the inspiration has been traced back to Esther Jones who was nick named as "Baby Esther" and performed frequently in the Cotton Club during the 1920s. Nonetheless, after the notorious Hays Code forced morality restrictions on film, the sexual and psychological undertones of Miss Boop were nearly entirely eliminated. The character was essentially relegated to a more demure profession girl in later years, yet Betty Boop remained a household name for years.

Esther was understood for using phrases like  "Boop-oop-a-doop"  (which would later end up being a signature of the cartoons). Yet, while the Betty Boop creators had acknowledged that Baby Esther is the real deal, the majority of people credit Helen Kane. Why? Helen Kane had in her head to take the credit. Movies soon followed Helen'' s stage success, and by 1930, she was among America's most-loved increasing stars. Her wacky flapper sex appeal and special singing design ensured that there was no one quite like Helen Kane. 

BUT Helen had a trick. You see, that act that made her so special, she had stolen it, from a black singer named ... "Baby Esther". In 1928 Helen Kane made arrangements to see Baby Esther perform and carried out her act months later, Helen was performing those signature scats to adoring audiences.

Court Fight: Helen Kane lost her $ 250,000 violation claim versus the creators of Betty Boop in court because she couldn't show that her singing style, quirks and look was special. Most flappers of the 1920s and 1930s, looked comparable to Kane. She also was not able to prove any of this in court.  Edward J. McGoldrick ruled in favor of the Fleischer Studios and Paramount Pictures after evaluating the proof that was given up in court. After losing the claim, Kane appealed her case and continued to pursue the Betty Boop character, and was later told by another Judge, that... being Judge Crew, that back then a voice, specifically a voice that was not her own might not be copyrighted. So what about Baby Esthers ? Did she submit a lawsuit ?... Despite being the factor that Kane's case was dismissed, "Baby Esther Jones" was never called to testify. The teenage star had returned to America after doing a trip in South America and was performing in the states at the time of the suit. Though Paramount admitted that Betty Boop's singing design was based upon Baby Esther Jones, the studio never offered her a cent for using her likeness and image in producing the commonly successful animation. The studio argued in court it did not owe settlement to Jones because she was presumed dead.

Esther Jones was quite alive and still active in show organization at the time. Paramount simply refused to offer money to a Black (Negro) performer they owed in part for their rampant successes.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Meet Jackie Ormes....First Black Woman Cartoonist


Ormes was born August 1, 1911 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to parents William Winfield Jackson and Mary Brown Jackson. Mary was a housewife who became a single parent when her spouse passed away from motor car mishap in 1917. Jackie and her sibling, Delores Jackson, were briefly raised by their auntie and uncle as an outcome. Eventually, Jackie'' s mom remarried and the household moved to the nearby city of Monongahela. Ormes drew and wrote throughout high school. She was arts editor for the 1929–-- 1930 Monongahela High School Yearbook where her earliest efforts as a cartoonist can be seen in the lively caricatures of her school' s students and teachers. After high school, Ormes acquired her first task as a proofreader for the Pittsburgh Carrier in 1930. Ormes likewise finished freelance pieces on police beats, court cases, and human interest topics. Eventually she began to produce comics for the newspaper and established her career as a cartoonist. While she delighted in "" a terrific profession running around town, looking into everything the law would permit, and blogging about it," "what she truly desired to do was draw. Her first cartoon, Torchy Brown in Dixie to Harlem ran for 12 months in between 1937 and 1938. Ormes moved to Chicago in 1942. She quickly began writing periodic articles and, briefly, a social column for The Chicago Protector, among the nation'' s leading black newspapers, a weekly at that time. For a couple of months at the end of the war, her single panel cartoon, Candy, about an attractive and wisecracking housemaid, appeared in the Defender; the panel ranged from March 24 to July 21, 1945. In 1946, Ormes created the cartoon Patty Jo 'n' Ginger which ran for 11 years. This was among her most prominent comic strips.

The popularity of the cartoon caused the production of  Patty Jo doll in 1947, the first African American doll based upon a comic character. With functions painted on by the cartoonist herself, the doll is now an extremely treasured item for collectors.

Zelda Jackie Ormes died in Salem, Ohio on December 26, 1985 at the age of 74. For more in depth info on Jackie, go to the side bar of this websites and tap on her picture.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Popeye The Sailor Was A Real Person ?

 Elzie Segar, the creator of the comic, happen to know a guy in Illinois named Frank “Rocky" Fiegel who inspired the character Popeye. Frank  Fiegel was born January 27, 1868 in Poland. He was a retired sailor contracted by Wiebusch pub in the city of Chester, Illinois, to tidy and maintain order in the pub. He had a track record to be constantly associated with bouncing not wanted patrons out of the bar. So believe it or not he actually had a deformed left eye and he had some pretty good fighting skills. The man became a local legend. He constantly smoked his pipe all the time, so he spoke only with one side of his mouth, like the character Popeye we knew as kids; and he was toothless, Fiegel did not use spinach to get stronger but was more of a drinker, and instead of a sailor he was in fact a bartender. TOO !  TOO! the way- they also raised a statue of Frank in his hometown..... 

Elzie Segar the creator was born December 8th 1894 Chester IL and died October 13 1938 Santa Monica CA. As a young guy Segar worked as a house painter, sign painter, and motion-picture projectionist. After having many of his cartoons declined, he took a correspondence course in cartooning.He strove on a correspondence course in cartooning from W.L. Evans, of Cleveland, Ohio, in which he had invested $20. He said that after work he "" lit up the oil lights about midnight and dealt with the course up until 3 a.m."" Segar transferred to Chicago where he met Richard Felton Outcault.Outcault encouraged him and presented him at the Chicago Herald. On March 12, 1916, the Herald published Segar'' s initially comic, Charlie Chaplin'' sFunny Capers, which ran for a little over a year. In 1918, he proceeded to Hearst'' s Chicago Evening American where he created Looping the Loop. Segar wed Myrtle Johnson the very same year; they had two kids. He took his household and moved to New York and started working for King Features Syndicate.He began by drawing Thimble Theatre for the New York Journal. The strip made its launching on December 19, 1919, and featured the characters Olive Oyl, Castor Oyl, and Ham and Gravy, who were the comic'' s leads for about a decade. In January of 1929, when Castor Oyl needed a mariner to navigate his ship to Dice Island, Castor chose up an old salt down by the docks called Popeye. The Popeye character "" took the program"" and ended up being the irreversible highlighted character.The rest is history!