Wednesday, 26 August 2015

"My Favourite Duck"

One afternoon at "Marion Carson Elementary" I had a minor scuffle with a student during a soccer game. When I came back from school I felt a sense of melancholia. Later I went to the “Nose Hill Library” with my father. I was browsing for a book about my favorite comic book artist, Carl Barks. Unable to locate what I wanted, I went to the information counter and asked the woman if there were any books on Carl Barks. She was not knowledgeable about comic books, however she redirected my query to Joey one of her associates who was on an expert on that field. 

Immediately we struck up an enlightening conversation about Carl Barks, that I recall to this day. He had told me how Barks’ identity remained a mystery to his readers. However many readers recognized Barks’ work and drawing style, and began to call him the “Good Duck Artist”. One way I could verify that it was his story, was how his wife Gare Barks, when lettering his stories would leave the circle on exclamation marks closed. We talked about how both Don and the nephews differed from the cartoons and the comics. He could not stand how the character was constantly squawking and there was no rationale to his anger. It was very difficult to understand him and the nephews. We had talked about Paul Murry's creation of Super Goof who would eat goobers to attain his powers. How adventurous Mickey Mouse was in Floyd Gottferdson's comic strips. He told me about non related comic book series i.e. Marge’s “Little Lulu and Will Eisner’s “The Spirit”.

My knowledge of the creations Carl Barks was known for lacked. I assumed he had created, Donald’s nephews, Daisy Duck, Grandma Duck, and Ludwig Von Drake. He told me that comic strip artist Al Taliaferro was responsible for their creations, but he was not sure about Ludwig. One of his goofs was in certain comic book panels, was to draw a fourth nephew. We came up with names for him like Phooey and Ratatouille was a suggestion that we both chuckled at. He asked if I read the infamous “Square Eggs Story”. It was a comic that I was not familiar with. Before the library was closing, Joey asked if I could wait for him while he went to the workroom. I waited at the counter feeling happy at how I had a friend who shared a mutual interest. He returned with a light blue hardcover book, which was … volume 3, set 1 of “The Carl Barks Library”. He asked if I would like to borrow it for sometime. I was surprised that he had trusted ME a person that he recently met.

Right then and there I pictured this scene from "Moaning Lisa" of Lisa hearing the soothing tones of a saxophone.
I gravitated to how it must feel of meeting a friend who shares  a mutual interest.  
The diverse elements that collate in creating a cool comic-book cover. 
I was bursting over with euphoria, similarly as how Uncle Scrooge would feel when swimming through his money as I held that book. The front of the book reprinted Carl Bark’s splendid cover for “Lost In The Andes” (FC#223) I liked how Donald’s pose with him holding one of the square eggs. Hewy, Dewy, and Louie look excited about their discovery. The vibrant coloring from Donald’s sky blue shirt to the nephews yellow and red added to the aesthetics. Barks simple yet effective covers pique the reader’s interest in the story.

On the way home, when I skimmed through the book I found it odd that the comics were printed in black and white. Before each story, the cover that originally accompanied it, was reproduced on a glossy paper, usually one of Carl Barks’ paintings was on the reverse side. I vividly recall how it was a treat seeing the covers for the first time.

I previously read “Christmas on Bear Mountain” (FC#178) in Abeville Press’ compilation of Uncle Scrooge stories. I compared the two versions side by side; I discovered that several panels were removed in Abeville Press’ Scrooge book. For the first time I saw how the story was originally presented. When I went to bed I would have read most of it if it were not for school the next day.

Having not finished the book I took it with me to school that day. We were forced to stay inside during recess due to it raining heavily. Many of my peers complained about staying indoors for recess, but it did not bother me one bit. I soaked in the artistry of “the Good Artist” while others were playing. “The Old Castle’s Secret” was a tale that suited the somber weather that day. The ethereal elements from the abandoned castle with dark halls, the old McDuck cemetery, the misty moors, and the threating “ghost” matched the ambience of the rainy weather that day. It was printed in black and white; The shading of the castle’s bricks added to the moodiness.

The order in which the stories were printed was commendable. Everywhere Don, the nephews, and Uncle Scrooge trekked to they were calling me for a new adventure. Who could resist it? Except for being paid 30 cents an hour.I was intrigued with the concept of square eggs. What would they feel like?  When I arrived home from school I read “Lost In The Andes”.

The Plainawfulians spoke English with a heavy Southern Accent was written very well. The design of the little square chicks was cute. The nephew’s description of the square chicks soft as sole leather made me feel as if I held them. After all he endured it was revealed that the roosters used for breeding were both male. Defeat was written all over him with his slumped shoulder, and a tear from his cheek. The riled expression on his face was priceless when the chef asked mentioned “Ham and Eggs? Cheese Omelete? Roast Chicken?” It was clever of Carl Barks of having a police car proceeding to the diner. Instead of illustrating the aftermath he wreaked upon the diner, he left it up to the reader’s imagination of what may have occurred. There were supplementary materials like a storyboard from an unproduced cartoon about square eggs.

As I read this on a rainy day I imagined what it would be like stumbling your way amidst the fog.  The thin lines as the fog and the Ducks in silhouette adds to the mysteriousness.  
The perspective as the Ducks gaze on the hamlet (egglett) of Plainawful is impressive.
A series of humorous one-page Donald gags followed the story. One where he undergoes an extreme physical regimen that allows him to fit into his tuxedo. To indicate the rapid pace he worked out, he drew a series of swirls amongst the bodybuilding arsenal, as he exclaims “Three more days of this I can squeeze my middle through a doughnut!” When Daisy asked him how the tuxedo fits. “It fits like a dream, toots – my waist that is.” In the last panel, we see him wear a tuxedo that is now too broad for his shoulders.  

After reading I was inspired to recreate the drawing of Donald as seen below. In order to verify the accuracy of the length of his bill from his face, I looked back and forth between the cover and what I was drawing. I was satisfied by how similar it appeared. I went over the blue pencil drawing with pastels. I remember the pride that sent me racing upstairs to show my mother the final work. 
My first attempt of drawing Donald Duck. I made sure to capture the small details as the wrinkles in his bowtie. 
“The Golden Christmas Tree” was a “tree-mendous” story of Hewy, Dewy, and Louie wanting a golden Christmas tree. Testosterone trickled through me when I viewed Donald cross the chasm using a snowball. I was invested in the safety of the kids when the witch had them. Carl Barks development of Donald into a complex personality was impressive. He has always appealed to me for how his emotions would momentarily change. For example, initially he was doubtful and scared from being under the clutches of the witch. Upon retreating from her cabin, he realizes how he has not thwarted the witch, and his nephews are still in danger. He was resolutely determined in rescuing the kids. It was an interesting dynamic between the characters as in the cartoons they quarrelled. The sequence where he had a battle with the witch was clever.
Notice how Donald is not distracted by the advances of the Witch as a snitching siren.  As archaic as his response is in the upper right corner it was a good line. 
It was a fine time where my love for the Disney Ducks was flowering. There was no looking back once I had crossed the infamous… “Duck Zone”. I could not get enough of the Duck be it in the cartoons and comics. I borrowed,  "The Disney Studio Story", a book on Disney short subjects that I religiously looked at. It was a treat to see pictures of cartoons that I never saw before. I was making one of my archeological discoveries in the basement, where by chance I would unearth a recording of a Disney cartoon. Ho! What luck! As I found “The Mad Hermit Of Chimney Butte” an installment of “Walt Disney Presents”. The eponymous Hermit (Donald Duck) has cut of all ties of human existence, due to his inability of finding peace and quiet (as depicted with clips from earlier cartoons). The cartoons included in this special were a treat, as I saw many of them for the first time. Of the shorts showcased here "Beezy Bear" and "Hook, Lion, and Stinker" were memorable.  
"Slide Donald Slide" (1949) another in a series of battles between Donald and Spike the Bee was included. Spike the Bee locking Donald in his shower allowing him the opportunity of listening to classical music.
Him conducting the classic music to Donald's squawking as he tries to unlock the door was funny.
Of the shorts excerpted “Beezy Bear” was a honey of a cartoon. There were many mirth-inducing moments among them, Humphrey’s anguish while he witnessed Donald tasting the honey. The vocals expressions provided by sound-effects man Jimmy McDonald enhanced his suffering. 
"Oh boy.. oh boy.. 100% pure" exclaims Donald as he is delighted by the sweetness of the honey. A year later, when I would have pancakes for breakfast I drizzled honey and whipped cream on them, as it would not seem odd that I would quote this line. 
One of his attempts of crossing the barbed wire fence was using a sign for a fencepost, to gain access without being unscathed. He then threatened the bees through a series of grunting sounds; meanwhile the Ranger removed the fencepost. When the bees were chasing our bruin he attempted to dive underneath the fencepost, only to be distressed that it no longer existed. The figure, the frazzled face, and the skidding sound effects as he prevented breaking through the barrier were well executed by the animator. The aftermath of this scheme proved to be unsuccessful as a tuft of fur was snagged onto the broken barb fence, the Ranger placed it on his head was hysterical. Lastly Humphrey acted as a snake charmer using a hose in order to acquire the sticky substance from far away, however Donald’s observation of it disappearing caused him to suck from the other end of the hose. I was impressed by the synchronization of the music to the rate of the honey travelling through the tube.
“Hook, Lion, and Stinker” followed it, where Louie the Mountain Lion and his cub as they attempted to purloin the fish Donald caught. It was good seeing Donald having the upper hand in thwarting of the mountain lions in each of their schemes. For instance, he saw Louie's paw reach out of the window for the fish only to move it and instead to grab a flaming lump of coal from the stove. The cartoon showcased  Donald to exclaim my favorite catchphrases of his "Oh, yeah!" when he discover the cub stealing his fish, and "So!" when he hears them knocking on the door. The unforgettable running gag of Louie the Lion’s son plucking pellets from his posterior much to his discomfort was amusing. The metallic clinking sound as his son put the pellet in a bowl enhanced it. 

 It was interesting seeing Walt interacting with one of his creations.
Preceding it was an episode of “The Woody Woodpecker Show” consisting of “Robin Hoody Woody”, “Rock-A-Bye Gator”, and many others. From watching the credits I became aware of voice artist Daws Butler, a regular player in the Walter Lantz cartoons. He did a great job supplying a haughty British voice for the Sheriff of Nottingham. A line that delighted me was the Sherriff exclaiming, “I hate blackbirds pie!” as he shooed away the blackbirds that were fleeing from his mouth.
In “Rock-A-Bye Gator” a running gag was when Woody would play “Rock A Bye Baby” to surrender him into sleep. A clever gag was when he used semaphores to conduct the song to render Gabby Gator sleepy.  “I’ve been tricked,” he says before dozing.  I laughed my head off, when Woody accidentally mentioned a word that rhymed with food (“Now he’s in a sleeping mood.) would arouse him (“Did you say food?). Laverne Harding’s model of Woody Woodpecker was appealing. He looked cute with his small stature and his topknot facing upward.  I deduced that Daws also voiced Huckleberry Hound, as the voice he provided for Gabby Gator was in an almost similar register. I would be seen at either home or school mimicking Woody’s laugh and pretending to peck people.
When I saw his name listed  as director in the credits of "The Mad Hermit of Chmney Butte", immediately I saw his name as director of "Rock-A-Bye Gator". I was surprised that he was "that guy" who directed the Donald Duck cartoons. The first individual in animation I identified, you could call him a "Jack Hannah" of all trades.
A zany gag after Donald reaches the top of the branch where the Aracuan is he hits him with a mallet, then
inserts a cigar that once is lighted skyrockets him down.
On another day I found “CLOWN OF THE JUNGLE” (1947) a fascinating Donald entry, as it was unlike any Disney cartoon I had seen. My curiosity had been kindled after having seen a snapshot of this cartoon from a book on Disney short subjects. My father told me that this cartoon was hardly ever aired on T.V. The zany Aracuan Bird irritated Donald as he interfered in his photographic attempts made for an interesting pairing.The gags had an air of Tex Avery diffused through them, for instance when he repeatedly extended the legs of a camera tripod to see the Aracuan Bird on a tree branch. One scene of his prey painting a door onto a rock with Donald ramming towards it echoed a gag used frequently in a Warner Bros. cartoon. 
How I loved the song of the Aracuan Bird provided by Pinto Clovig. The animation of him going through a series of hysterics before being obliterated was done well.
The music added to the frantic efforts of Donald taking a picture of his prey. Donald with his incisors out annihilating the Aracuan Bird with his machine gun was an intricate display of his primitive instinct. Donald appeared to have been elated by his demise was short-lived, as he discovers him unscathed by the blasts. The shock was too intense for him that he acted like the Aracuan. It seemed frightening at first seeing him fumbling his lips, popping in and out, and running in circles but was amusing in later viewings.  The ending of the straight character replicating the zany behaviour of his foe had Tex Avery written all over.  

Around this period I was among several students as announcer reading the events occurring in our school. It was a great time when I was one of the students in charge of deciding what music to play before starting the announcements. Most of them complained about playing Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” repeatedly to Mr. Stewart, the vice principal. He suggested that they follow my lead of selecting their favorite artist then asking for his approval of it being played. It was awesome playing a snippet of Jean Michel Jarre an artist in the electronic genre, and The Carpenters. I would read a brief blurb about the artist after playing their song. My friends Ian and Spencer were thrilled to hear my voice on the speaker.

A Father's Day card made by yours truly. If I had more time to scour for images I would have selected better comic book covers.  

Thursday, 16 July 2015

"Tales From the Barkside"

A massive apology for those were excited in viewing the second part of my blog post last year. This was scheduled for publication the following week, however due to personal reasons I was disillusioned in continuing it. I feel terrible for the late Chris Barat not having seen this entry, as he would have been fond of it. I regret not having commented as regularly on his blog, as I was shy in posting on his comment board. His comment on my last post "It seems that you got just as much, if not more, inspiration from the DUCKTALES version of Scrooge as you did from the classic comics version! That's what I like to see!" remains a catalyst in conveying my experiences. This goes out to you, Chris wherever you are. Now on with the post. 

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

"A Taste of Hanna-Barbera"


As a child in elementary school, I enjoyed Sundays as “Snooper and Blabber”, and “Snagglepuss” cartoons would air. I adored Snagglepuss’ catchphrase, “Exit, Stage Left”, he exclaimed when leaving an uncomfortable situation. The pose with his arms in level with his shoulder and his feet in the air is perfect as he delivered those words was perfect.
I was in my chemistry teacher’s class when we were marking a take-home test. There were st
udents who had not finished the test. In deciding what to do, she mentioned while shooing away the students, “I don’t care if you Exit Stage Left! Whatever you have to do just go. “ It evoked a smile, as I adored the reference. Possibly I was the only one who caught it!

In high school when we would be studying a Shakespearean play; I saw the stage direction “Exit Stage Left”. I became aware that Mike Maltese’s inspiration for the mountain lion was Shakespeare. When I read a line in a Shakespeare play that seemed familiar; I would say to myself didn’t Snagglepuss utter that particular dialogue?

Mike Maltese had cut his teeth, his tongue even at “Elizabethan” prose in earlier cartoons “Rabbit Hood” and “Robin Hood Daffy”. In the later short, Daffy Duck pretending to be Robin Hood exclaims “Look no further, good friar, for I am he for whomst thou seekest. I am Robin Hood.” I always enjoyed the archaic terms he sprinkles when talking. How he inserts the word, even. The beginning of “Charge The Lion” shows how colourful Maltese's dialogue is.

Snagglepuss:"$15 reward capture for Snagglepuss. Wanted for attempted sheep stealing. Description: not too bright. Not too bright? Where do they get that stuff. Why, I was so bright, my mother called me Sunny. Let's see how bright they are when they look for a lion with a big black mustache. Not bad. It makes me look distingue. Handsome even."
Hunter:"Stick the up, Snagglepuss."
Snagglepuss:"Stick them up, indeed. What makes you think I'm the one you seeketh."
Hunter: "Well, you don't look very bright to me. "
Snagglepuss:"Is that so? Look at the mustache.Do I bear a resemblance to that stupid-looking lion. Remotest,even"
Hunter (draws a moustache): "Now you do!"
Snagglepuss: "Exit, mustache and all, stage left."
In his first appearance “Lamb Chopped”, Quick Draw says, “I’ll teach you to steal sheeps.” The mountain lion responds, “Really my friend, that’s not ‘ne-cess-ararry’. I already know how. Stealing sheeps is my destiny.” I adore the effrontery he has to respond to Quick Draw’s rhetorical question. Animator Ken Muse raises the character’s eyebrows and his eyelids are half open adds to the smugness. I am more amazed at how Daws Butler can keep the conversation between the two. As an antagonist he was always in control of the situation. When he received his own series, his theatrical tendcies were accentuated; He would be a victim of circumstance. Occasionally, he would steal sheep.
Alliteration being one of the literary devices I like to use in my writing. Mike Maltese’s employment of alliteration adds to the humor of the scene. In the first entry of his series, “Major Operation”, Snagglepuss in a cage relates to Major Minor. The tête-à-tête between him and his adversary Major Minor is displayed. It would be an excellent opportunity for Mike to seize the scene with his wonderful word play.

Snagglepuss: “I was captured in Cambodia while cavorting with a Cambodian.”
Major Minor: "But didn't I shoot you in the Mato Grosso?"
Snagglepuss:"Negative. I beleive you got me below the equator, or was it in the left clavicle?"


"He’s the boss, he’s a pip, he’s the championship" as the theme song succinctly describe him to a tee.  A “T.C”, even as a certain mountain lion would phrase.

As a “single-digiter” this video attracted me to this fabulous feline. The vest he donned on added to his flair as a smooth operator. The purple vest was a strong contrast to his yellow fur. All animals in the “Hanna-Barbara” universe wear assorted accoutrements (Hats, bowtie, bandana, collars, sweaters, and a vest) I thought it added to the aesthetics of the characters, instead of acting as a shortcut of animating the head. I was captivated hearing the cadence provided by Arnold Stang.  The “Biko-esque” voice suited him, especially when pitching ideas to his fellow feline or avoiding punishment from Officer Dibble. 
Out of all “Hanna-Barbera” creations, none is more talented at the power of persuasion than him.  (You could argue a case about who would be more convincing at the craft between Hokey Wolf and him. I will let you concoct at conclusion.) As demonstrated in “The Case Of The Absent Anteater”, Officer Dibble in his latest attempt of catching T.C. breaking a rule. He disguises himself, while spying on him and Benny The Ball breaking into a dog shelter, in order to obtain their anteater. Officer Mahoney arrives on the scene ready to arrest the perpetrators. Officer Dibble demands that Mahoney arrest them for. 

Mahoney: "What dog? That's the missing anteater. There's a reward out for him"

Top Cat: "True. And I want you to share it. Here, boys. Live it up a little."  
Dibble: "Trying to bribe us? It ain't going to work. Take them in, Mahoney."
Top Cat:"You heard him, Mahoney. Slap the cuffs on these innocent wrists."
Dibble: "Pay no attention, Mahoney. He's a master at snow jobs." 
Top Cat:"Thank you. As I was saying, you can depend on me. Nary a word about this regrettable incident. Your, secret is safe." 
Mahoney: "Secret? What secret?"
Top Cat:"Oh, yes. I don't blame you for covering up. Benny, can't you see it in tomorrow's headlines. Two patrolmen caught with hot anteater."
Dibble:"What are you talking about? You gave him to me!"
Top Cat:"That's what I'll tell them when they grill me at headquarters The hot lights, the harsh voices. I'll try not to crack."
Dibble:"Now, wait a minute, T.C."
Top Cat:"That's right. You've always wanted to meet the Commissioner. It should be a colourful ceremony. The Commisioner stripping you of your uniform before a nationwide TV audience. What a rating you'll have"
Dibble:"No, T.C. no! Look, give me another chance."
Mahoney: "Yeah. He didn't mean any harm."
Top Cat: "But when I think of the times I wanted to use his police telephone the countless rebuffs"
Dibble:"You can use it whenever, you like, T.C. In fact, I'll have an extension put in your trash can."
Top Cat:"No, no. I couldn't let you, Dibble. Make it one of those color phones. Yellow, that goes with my eyes."  

Dibble: "Yellow? Sure thing. Good."
Top Cat:"Be sure it has one of those little lights in the dial. Very chic. Come Benny, we need our shuteye."
Mahoney:"But what do we do with this anteater. The zoo is closed for the night."
Top Cat:":"So it is. Play a little ball with him. Take him to an all-night movie.The hours will pass. Good evening, gentleman" 
Mahoney:"What happened? Where did we go wrong?"
Dibble:"It's no use. Don't try to figure it out. Top Cat just ain't human."
Under the feline's persuasive charm, no one can escape it. I like his body language, with his arms crossed.

He relies on his ingenuity in inventing the latest scheme or improving his way of living for him and his crew. In “The Long Hot Winter” sees Top Cat and his friends freezing in the alley. He researches an old statute in order for his companions to spend the winter in in Dibble’s abode. 

One of his ploys in securing Dibble’s domicile is by phoning the press. Hokey Wolf in “Tricks and Treats” would employ a similar tactic. He feigns fracturing of his tibia in an animal trap. 
He threatens to sue Farmer Smith for cruelty to animals, especially during “Be Kind To Animals Week”. He proposes to stay at the farmer’s house until his condition improves. While the farmer’s away, Hokey and Ding-Boy raid the fridge for goodies. Hokey then calls the humane society protecting his position in Farmer Smith’s house. It is an interesting approach to a similar set up. How they both feel fresh.

There are moments where Top Cat has demonstrated moments of tenderness. In "T.C. Minds The Baby" when foraging for food in the city. They come across a "pic-a-nic" basket, therein lies, a baby, on the stoop of an abandoned building. They first try dumping him in old Man McGuilicutty's homes, but change their mind. Top Cat decides to drop him off at the orphanage. Benny the Ball explains how despite being taken care of, there is a lack of love. Finally, they convince him in letting the baby be apart of their group, in order to take care of him. 
In "Dibble's Birthday" he considers hocking all the presents that his friends obtained for Officer Dibble's birthdayInitially, he is reluctant of giving away all the presents, until he receives the disapproval from his members that he warms up to the idea.
Despite the troubles that T.C. and his crew cause Officer Dibble, they tolerate each other. In "Farewell Officer Dibble", when Officer Dibble has been replaced by, Charlie, the police commissioners nephew, who turns out to less lenient for T.C and his gang. They device a scheme that will secure Dibble his position. 
I always wish I had the smooth-talking charm T.C posses; In reality I am more like Huckleberry Hound. (One of my favorite shows outside of the “Hanna Barbera” productions is “The A-Team”. One of the members Faceman uses his “gift of the gab” in procuring whatever items the team needs. It is reminiscent of the cons that T.C. devises.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

"That Old 'H-B' Magic"


He speaks with an exaggerated drawl, which covers the dumb, goofy, and lovable qualities. The contrast of personalities works perfectly between the pairing of the lawman and his sidekick Baba Looey. One character is fast while another is slow. Baba Boy is in control of the situation in difference to the ineptitude Quick Draw McGraw displays.

I like Quick Draw’s catchphrase, “I’ll do the thinnin’ around here. And doooon’t you forget it!” He wants to be in charge, but in reality it is Baba Looey who is in command. Daws extends the words “and”,” don’t”, and “it” for comedic effect. Who can't forget his classic line "Hold on thar!" when he is attempting to catch the latest outlaw.  The stupidity he unleashes is what speaks to me. In “Shooting Room Only” when the narrator asks what he is doing in town? He responds, with, a silly spoonerism, “What I can I you for do? Foo for you? I mean, do for you? 

Another example is demonstrated in “Bad Guys Disguise”. When Tombstone Jones asks him How fast can you draw a gun?” Our hero whips out a drawing pad and pencil. Later he and Baba Looey dress up as “defenseless wider woman” and baby in order to retrieve the goods. He bashes Tombstone with an umbrella to the tune of “Shave and a Hair Cut”. The villain praises him, “Oh, you got real spunk, m’am. Lucky for me you cain’t draw a gun.” He responds with Whom can’t draw a gun?” as he once again pulls out his drawing pad and pencil. Tombstone Jones sees through his disguise. He asks the audience, “How did he know it was me?”
Only a goofy character like, Quick Draw was capable of mixing shooting, and blowing the smoke out of his gun. One of the running gags is how he will be the recipient of the inevitable gunshot, explosion, and possibly every calamity a cartoon character can withstand. “Masking For Trouble” sees him as the Master Avenger, prior to his alter ego El Kabong. He shoots his foot when he is unable to get the gun unstuck from his holster.

In “Chopping Spree” when Knotty Pine casually throws an axe, which happens to land into a hollow log where our hero happens to be hiding. Shortly, he is running with the sharp instrument sticking from his posterior. (Looks like he suffered quite an axe-ident. I am surprised Mike Maltese missed that pun) The spirit of a cartoon character can never be demolished! Although, lookout for that anvil falling. Like all Butler creations, when they loudly yelped or yowled in pain, you could sense the alarming pain they suffered. I will utter a “That smarts!” when injuring myself. For example, I prepared “scramb-led eggs” for the breakfast. I failed to take sight that the stove was on where I placed the plate. When I picked up the plate immediately I released it due to the scorching heat. “Ouch, ooch, ouch!” I expressed while I soaked my fingers in the cool water.
The appearances of “bis-ket” hungry dog Snuffles and his alter ego “El Kabong” adds freshness to the series. The animation of euphoric Snuffles as he hugged himself, while he ascended into the air was hilarious. The multitude of “Mmmms” Daws Butler provided for him enhanced the sensation he experienced. I liked when he doesn’t receive a treat, he will mutter (“Rassa’ Frassin”) under his breath and usually bite Quick Draw. 
El Kabong  hollers “Ole” as he swings from a rope, while bashing the baddies with a guitar (Or as it is properly referred to as a “Kabonger”) always delights me.  In “El Kabong Strikes Again”, Mike Maltese lampoons how in the Douglas Fairbanks films there was a mystery of who the hero is underneath the mask. It is not extremely difficult to recognize a character with a distinct profile like Quick Draw McGraw.

Señorita: Thank you, El Kabong. And may I see the handsome face behind the mask of my hero El Kabong?
El Kabong: Well, it is kind of handsome in a wretched sort of way.”

She is revolted upon seeing Quick Draw’s face and departs with the stolen money. It is a terrific twist on the traditional ending where the heroine happily runs away the hero.
In the El-Kabong series Maltese tinkered with the idea of how during a swordfight, the protagonist and villain will breakout with a civil conversation. In “Who Is El Kabong” when he is sword fighting with the villain Norton South. The sword fight is temporarily halted.

South: By the way, Kabong, I got your letter. I must say your grammar is atrocious. 
El Kabong: It are? 
As grammatically incorrect as El Kabong’s response “It are?” sounds. I prefer using it to “It is”. 


I have always enjoyed cartoon series where the protagonist wears a fedora, trench coat. 

What "Hanna-Barbera" were masters at in starting their studio was twisting the conventional pairing of animals. How about a cat and a dog (Ruff and Reddy)? A cat and a mouse as detectives. What makes it perfect is while they're working in unison, moments of anarchy can arise. 

In "Bear-ly Able" when apprehending the Big Bad Wolf who is in drag. Snooper is about to run after him, however the Wolf trips him and places the wig on him. Blabber runs into the room only to notice his unconscious partner. "It's the wolf! That wig don't fool me!

I like how involved Blabber is in clobbering Snooper with a cane. He says to the wolf standing next to him: "Boy, Snoop is sure going to proud of me by the way I caught you, huh?". "He sure is sonny," replies the Wolf. Blabber shakes his head realizing what he has done. "Oh boy!" he expresses in embarrassment. 
"Does that mean I don't pass my private eye diploma?" inquires Blabber. The infuriated Snooper then plops the wig on Blabber's head. "Come back you little 'squeak-pip' and let me give you your diploma," says Snoop as he chases his assistant with a cane.

Mike Maltese did a terrific turn of events with them chasing one another, instead of capturing the wolf. I liked how Phillip Green's score entitled "Custard Pie Capers" adds to the hilarity of the scene. "I don't know why I always say I am sorry Snoop," exclaims Blabber as the camera irises. It makes light of how the cartoons will usually end with him adoring his superior. 

There will be situations where Snooper will allow Blabber to be in charge instead of an assistant. It was very nice of him as it gives Blab a sense of importance, which is crucial in a partnership. Especially as it is of the cat and mouse variety. In "Eenie, Geenie, Minie, Mo!", Blabber is in tears of the prospect of him being the leader.
Prior to receiving a case Snooper will answer the client's phone in a rhyming motto.  For example in "Real Gone Ghosts": "When other's fail, we'll stay on their trail." It was a perfect exhibition of the rhyming couplets that Maltese wrote for "Beep Beep The Road Runner" comic book stories for Western Publishing.

The recurring clients who kept on hiring the pair made it interesting: Mr. and Mrs. J. Evil Scientist (a family who are known for their ghoulish eccentricities), or how about Toot Suite the french flea. There was the perfect opportunity for them to be involved with the fairy-tale characters ("The Three Bears", "Cinderella", "Jack and The Beanstalk",). Maltese could include his wrangling of the traditional fairy-tale as he had done with Bugs and Daffy. How about the "Dragnet" style interrogation that Snooper employs on the Jack in "Fee Fi Fo Fumble".   
Snoop will never stoop to violating his humanity, no matter how tempting the fee is. In the ending of "De-Duck-Tives" he forfeits the $30,000 reward, and allows the Tralfrazian duck to meet his mother, namely Blabber dressed as a duck. 

I enjoy how since it was a parody on detective series, the fourth-wall was shattered. In "Case Of The Purloined Parrot" Snooper enlightens the audience "Purloined means stolen, incase you've flunked English." Or in "Creepy Chiller" Snooper alerts the viewers "Greetin’s, lovers of spine-chilling stories. If you are the scary type, do not watch this show. You had best go prune a daffodil, or something.”
"Halt in the name of the private eye's writer's room!" exclaims Snooper. 


My mother tells me when I was a couple of months old; my dad would hold me while watching “Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy”. (“Inca-didentally” one of my nicknames was inspired by Augie.)
He would proudly say Doggie Daddy’s catchphrase: “Dats my boy who did that!”

The pride he exuded from him regardless of how significant or slight Augie’s accomplishments were. I always enjoy it.In “Fuss N’ Feathers” Augie is pretending to be a chef. He is taking down his Doggie’s breakfast order in Fractured-french. “I will take three eggs le ‘scramb-led,” requests Doggie Daddy. “Three eggs ‘le scramb-led’ coming. Arrevderci, mon Papa,” says Augie. Doggie Daddy remarks to the audience “That’s my boy whose speakin’ Lithuanian.” That line was generated a gyser of guffaws from my dad and I.

"Pup Plays Pop" during lunch Augie persuades Doggie for an extra slice of chocolate cake. 

Doggie:"But Augie, every loving son of mine. Two peices of choclate cake should be 'suf-fuff-icent' for lunch."
Augie(energetically jumps): "Do I hear three? Huh. Do I? Do I?"
Doggie (points):"Stop the motor! Stop the motor!"
Augie:"You mean like, Oliver Twist, I'm to go empty plated?" 
Doggie:"I mean like, Little Jack Horner, you go sit in the corner. Now go."
Augie"Some day, when I'm a father. I'll know how to make my son happy."

The displeasure Augie exhibits in his voice, the frowning expression, adds to the authenticity of his emotion he is experiencing. Maltese tinkers with the structure of a father and son sitcom. Augie then becomes the father, while Doggie is the son. The requests that Augie has for Doggie begins to have taken it's toll on him. On a tricycle, he whizzes past a police officer who pulls him over.

Irish Cop:"Now what's the big idea of son?"
Doggie:"I'm not the son officer. I'm what's left of the father."
Irish Cop:"This is a new one. What's your story?"
Doggie:"Well, it all started 'inner-cintly at break-a-fast, when I had to go and open my big mouth. Now, my son has been feeding it ever since." 
Augie: Now eat your rutabaga sand-a-which and your radish malted milk, and then we'll go to the amusement park. 
Irish Cop:"I'll take it from here."
I like how the scene is layed out from the perspective of Augie with the fisticuffs dangling from the police officer.The animation of him tilting his neck as he gulps, adds to his trepidation of being arrested.  He instantaneously surrenders in acting his age. It demonstrates the charm of being a child is problem free, in contrast to the responsibilities that an adult faces. The shot of Augie hugging Doggie Daddy's feet in addition to being cute shot, emphasizes the security he needs.
What I appreciate is how Maltese straddles the line between sweet and silliness. It does not come off preachy. 

Augie:"And daddy dear, I promise from now on I'll only have two peices;Providing I can have three slices for lunch.

Doggie: "I would have been awfully disappointed if he hadn't said that."

All father's wishes for the best interests for their son; Doggie Daddy is no exception. "Watch Dog Augie" Doggie wants to know why Augie hasn't finished his homework to allow him to go to college. In reality he is reading a book entitled "How To Be A Watch Dog", eventually he can follow in his father's footsteps.

In "Party Pooper Pop", Augie comes early from attending the neighbour's birthday party. He explains: "It's like I said dad. I'm not cut out for fun and frolic. I'm the studious type." Within the span of three seasons, Maltese matured him from the hyper-active pup to the boy genius. As an outcast from my colleagues in high school; It is a line that epitomizes my reclusiveness.

When listening to their characterizations, you can extract the respect and tenderness in their relationship. Daws Butler and Doug Young’s performances, as Augie and dear Doggie Daddy enhanced Michael Maltese’s droll dialogue. Maltese would utilize the preformer’s additions to the cartoon, as seen in “Little Wonder”.
Doggie takes Augie to the museum in order to improve his IQ. 

Augie:(points to the exhibition): "What's that thing over there?

Doggie: "That's a 'pre-hysterical monster, Augie boy"
Augie: "It looks to me like turkey leftovers."
Doggie: "To be more exact, it is a - 'Tyrondo-roarious Rex'."

I enjoyed how he mispronounced words, it adds to his clumsiness as a parent. 

He asks Augie to split an atom "scien-teh-tifically", by using a walnut for practice. Augie determines the distance where he can catapult a huge boulder from a tree onto the walnut. Instead, it demolishes into their house.  

Augie:“Dad, I miscalculated the wind velocity. Are you hurt?”
Doggie:“Just a little around the edges Augie."
Augie:“It’s no use-disappointed dad, I’m just an average boy whose got the best dad in the whole world.”

Doggie:“Heh-heh-heh. That’s my average boy, who loves his dad, and I’m glad he don’t need an IQ for that.”
Despite the damage Augie has caused, in the least he is calm. Once again Maltese at work with the right quotient of silly and sweet. It is an extremely touching line.

When Augie would make Doggie Daddy proud, he delivers a hearty, “Dat’s my boy who did dat”; the affection they expressed reverberated into my relationship with my father. When viewing other dynamics between dad and son, I have yet to see a father and son who cared for each other like they did.

“Heh..heh.. it’s not like every offspring can type a blog post like dat!”