Friday, July 30, 2010

S.N.A.F.U. Alert

It's a five-alarm cartoon nerd emergency, gang. Code Red!

Thunderbean Animation has announced it will be releasing the most complete, best-looking collection of "Private Snafu" cartoons ever assembled come this October.

"Private What?" you ask.

These are cartoons that were produced during WWII to be shown to armed forces. Imagine cartoons made by the Warner Brothers studio, produced during their absolute peak with Dr. Seuss thrown in for good measure.

That's what these are.

Here are a few screen shot from "Rumors" (Friz Freleng, dir.) and "Booby Traps (Bob Clampett, dir.) The pictoral quality is stunning on these!


An off-hand remark ("Good day for a bombing!") gets amplified all out of proportion until the entire base has been convinced that they have lost the war. Pvt. Snafu ends up in a padded cell while he is taunted by the "baloney" he had let loose.

This one was scripted by Dr. Seuss.


A little WWII-era cheesecake for our fighting boys!

Even though the enemy has fled, soldiers should be on the lookout for booby traps that have been left behind. Note the characteristic Rod Scribner pose. Those teeth!

Snafu manages to blow himself to kingdom come for not taking heed.

I'll try to remember to post further info once this set hits the street.

This looks to be the cartoon DVD release of the year.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Breakin' Like A Mighty Wind

On New Years Eve, 1992 NBC broadcast "A Spinal Tap Reunion" as a TV Special.

This was ten years after Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer and Michael McKean were seen as the Heavy-Metal Band Spinal Tap but eleven years before the same three guys became The Folksmen in "A Mighty Wind.

Yet, here we find The Folksmen on the concert bill to open for Spinal Tap's Reunion concert at the Royal Albert Hall! (Note MTV dreamboat Martha Quinn!)

Backstage, we find them warming up by singing "Blood On The Coal" which is a folksong about a mining disaster and a train derailment.

I wonder if this was the first appearance of The Folksmen? "Blood On The Coal" would later appear on the soundtrack album for "A Mighty Wind."

It also makes me wonder about how long a typical gestation period is for the ideas these guys come up with.

Oh, well - I thought it was interesting.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

CD's CDs

I bought and installed my first CD-R drive back in 1999. It was a balky device that would run at the amazing speed of 2x. About one in three discs would have to be scrapped and redone thanks to the "buffer under run" gambit.

But, boy was I in heaven!

As a fan of mid-sixties garage bands I had spent the previous twenty years buying compilation LPs of obscure tracks. Now here was an opportunity to make my own nearly commercial grade comps!

But what good are CD-Rs without artwork to stuff in their jewel cases?

PowerPoint to the rescue!

Here are some random examples of inserts I've slapped together.

One category of comps are the ones I assemble by either transferring tracks from vinyl or cassettes or downloading from other "sixties-geek" websites. I usually just pick a song title from whatever group I've assembled and use that to name the collection-of-the-moment.

I like to use as much white space as possible to save on the old ink cartridge. It also looks "cleaner" to my eye.

Another category is where a fellow garage band enthusiast has created his own collection of tacks, but might not have done any artwork.

Once again, PowerPoint to the rescue!

Note: The bassist on the "World Without Fuzz" cover has a Vox violin-shaped bass just like one I used to own.

In looking around my hard drive, I found an insert that I ultimately didn't use. In fact, I had completely forgotten about it.

An Internet acquaintance (hi, Lee!) had published the artwork from a mid-sixties Tom & Jerry story and I thought that would pretty funny to use for one of my comps:

Somehow, It must not have filled the bill because I ultimately made new artwork and retitled the same collection of tracks:

Yes, I am a nerd.