Saturday, February 19, 2011

Easy Riddle

QUESTION: "What comes to your mind when you look at this photo?"

ANSWER: "I have no idea what it is but it was certainly designed by Jack Kirby."

For the full story about what exactly the machine in the photo does, click here. Look here if you want me to belabor the obvious about Jack Kirby, and look here for a fun read about Kirby Machines.

By the way, my (nonexistent) secretary alerts me that this is the ONE HUNDREDTH ARTICLE posted in The Hayfamzone Blog. That was easy! This blog was initiated in the summer of 2006 and dedicated in every way to the Sense of Wonder that Jack Kirby couldn't help but create every time his pencil came down and glided along a piece of paper.
Hooray for Jack Kirby

Friday, February 18, 2011

A New Superman Cartoon

Back in the days before VCRs, I started a collection of animated cartoons on 16mm film. I still have them. Somewhere.

I own a couple of Daffy Duck reels and a couple of the UPA Dick Tracy shorts, but I especially gravitated toward the works of Max and Dave Fleischer, including their Popeye and Out of the Inkwell (featuring Koko the Clown!). But their Superman cartoons entranced me more than any of the others. The high-contrast colors in them are so memorably vibrant!

There were seventeen of the Fleischer Supermans, produced between 1941 and 1943. I collected three or four of them in the 16 mm format (or is it five or six?). I'm glad I hit the brakes before getting them all because a complete set of all seventeen on a DVD today costs less than just one of the 16 mm versions cost back then.

Now here's some great news you may not have heard. A contemporary animator named Robb Pratt has produced a new Superman cartoon. It is only one minute long and not a complete story, but it is beautiful and in the same vein as the Fleischer cartoons. I enjoyed it and you can too if you just look here.

And who can watch just one cartoon? Here is Superman in The Arctic Giant by the Fleischers, and here is a Dick Tracy, and here is a Koko the Clown. It's always a party in the hayfamzone!