Friday, 23 December 2011

Mike Pearse - The Great Bash Street Nativity Play

A while after I had posted several blogs praising Mike Pearse's fantastic Beano entries, I received a very nice email from a blog watcher;

"I am a MASSIVE fan of Mike Pearse and avidly collected the Beano for many years, collecting rather the sizeable collection of classics and 6 years solid of comics (which unfortunately got destroyed a few years back!)

I remember Mike Pearse as being one of the most inventive, funny artists, next to Tom Paterson. But it wasn't just his artistic talents that set him apart, it was his amazing way of storytelling. Reading the Beano would normally raise a smile or a giggle, but Mike Pearse's works would actually have me rolling in laughter, and his stuff still does to this day. Thank you so much for posting the halloween comic, I've been searching for those long comics for SO LONG!

Tell you what though, there are two more. The football one would be a joy to read, but the comic that sticks out further than anything else is the Christmas comic, the nativity play. I still speak about it to this day sometimes, and can't look at a nativity donkey the same way again, it left that much of a mark on me. If you posted that, I would be so grateful!"

So for you, Emma, that's exactly what I intend to do - the original story in all its unedited glory! Merry Christmas from the Signore Studios Blog! :D

NOTE: apart from the cover, which appears to be the work of David Parkins, everything else is Mike's stuff.

...and just for fun, here's an extra Pearse Bash Street comic which, so far as I know, was only available online via the Beano website. Thank Lord for the screenshot button! ;-)

I wonder, though, if "David" was intended to be a nod to the life-long Bash Street artist, David Sutherland...hmmm...

Monday, 5 December 2011

Tom & Jerry Kids - Secondary Stars

As with every other character within the animation world, many of the stars we've watched and remembered today each started out as a "bit-character" or antagonist in a previous star's short. Woody Woodpecker from Andy Panda, Snagglepuss from Quick Draw McGraw, the Blue Racer, Crazylegs Crane and the Japanese Beetle from Tijuana Toads...the list is endless.
Even Sheen from Jimmy Neutron, in a bizarre twist of fate, was given his own spin-off series..

In short, if a character has a wide enough appeal through personality or premise, then the producers understand that the audience would want to see more of them, often gaining entire spin-offs for themselves (though in case of Sheen, I'm perplexed. The kid is as likeable as a naked mole rat with anthrax).

And today's blog post is no exception. According to Pat Ventura's latest blog, when he was a writer on Hanna-Barbera's Tom and Jerry Kids series, he mentions the following:

"Being an artist, when I created a character for a cartoon sometimes I would also sketch a rough design and the producer would use it. Two of the characters even starred in a couple of their own cartoons."

In Pat's case, more than two secondary characters were given the spotlight treatment in later seasons, though not all penned by Pat - all who originally featured in the various Tom & Jerry / Spike & Tyke segments. So we'll see how Slowpoke Antonio, Kyle and Clyde Cat, Bernie Bird, Wildmouse and Calaboose Cal get on, shall we? B-)

Now arranged in a fancy Playlist!