I’ve been gathering stuff for our producer this morning and came across this gag book published many years ago. The copy remains in pristine condition and it’s difficult to believe this wacky experiment began because a guy named John Cawley thought people might have an interest in the zany gags cartoonists tend to draw about each other.
Actually, this was a book that was never intended to be a book. The art (if you can call it that) was literally ripped off the walls or garnered from the personal collections of animation artists who enjoy this kind of thing. Some of the original artwork no longer existed and had to be replaced with photocopies. Mr. Cawley, who happens to be a fan of animation approached me with the idea of publishing a gag book based on the zany gags that were meant to be seen by the staff of local animation studios. Cawley thought the gags would have appeal to those outside the cartoon business, so the daunting task of creating the book fell to him. The book was first published in 1992 and surprisingly enough the wacky look inside the cartoon studios managed to find an audience. If I recall correctly, some of the bosses of animation studios even requested a copy.
Some years later, I self published a follow up entitled, “Son of Faster, Cheaper,” and even that book proved to be somewhat of a success. The local animation union, The Animation Guild even requested nearly six hundred copies of my book to hand out as a holiday gift. Nothing ever really changes in the cartoon business. Even though the cartoon bosses of years past have since passed on, the animation business still retains its zany sensibility and animation bosses who run todays enterprises remain as clueless as ever. There is one major difference, however. What was once considered a marginal component of the movie and television business now commands a good deal more respect. No longer a step child, animation often out earns its live-action counterpart and feature films in particular rake in millions of dollars. But, as I said, one thing remains consistant. Animation artists can expect to work their butts off in the trenches while those who occupy the executive suites do a good deal better.