Nov 27, 2009

A Dynamite Disney Item that got away...

Hal King seems to have redrawn "Bacchus" as Fred Moore in departing Disney employee Sally Holmes' book

Some readers of Blackwing Diaries have noticed that my entries weren't as frequent after 2007 got going. Those who read everything I've written and have an excellent memory and/or know me personally can figure out why that was, but I do feel a not unpleasant nagging urge to keep it more up to date than I have.

Life will keep happening though, and while a recent(and not quite uncompleted) move, a change of jobs, and the signing of a book contract mean time's even more elusive, there are so many interesting and exciting things going on in animation now that I expect the Blackwing posts will appear much more often.

And then there's the flip side of writing: reading. In tandem with less blogging there's been substantially less reading of other blogs. Truthfully, this has bothered me more than neglecting to post on my own blog, as once one falls out of the habit it's difficult to keep up. And it seems more talented and uniquely interesting artists are starting blogs everyday. Thank goodness they're doing them, and that some veterans have decided it might be worth it to maintain an online place to post their own work, too.

There are probably three blogs I've never stopped checking almost every day: the ubiquitous Cartoon Brew, and two others-one by a writer, historian and critic, the other written by an animator and longtime owner of his own Manhattan studio:: Michael Barrier and Michael Sporn, respectively. I can't exhort all of you who are serious about animation too strongly to visit them on a regular basis. I know many often disagree with the opinions expressed in them-I certainly have-but they continually post important and rare material, as well as views, news and serious discussion about our medium that you're missing out if you don't have a look.

And those are just three. There are dozens more with marvelous stuff every day. This post is the result seeing of something I missed because I hadn't dropped by a blog in too long: in Mayerson On Animation, Mark Mayerson's blog, he shared a (sadly ended) Ebay auction item's webpage...and what an item: a woman named Sally Holmes who worked at Disney through the early 1940s left to start a family. In lieu of a going-away card a mind-boggling array of animators signed and illustrated her copy of the large, lush "Fantasia" book that had been published concurrent with that film's release (this isn't the first time I've seen that book used as a yearbook by Disney employees-Bob Thomas "Art Of Animation" book of the late 50s would serve that purpose a decade later).

You've got to see these to believe them. How about Ward Kimball doing his thing-and Milt Kahl finding Ward an irresistible act worth following. So to speak:


And of course, Fred Moore:
John Sibley:

A beautiful little painting by Jesse Marsh

He signed it, too.

There are loads more where that came from, including a NSFW Donald and Goofy (actually they're safe for our line of work, but if you work at a more conservative establishment, well...). The original seller's page is here. As he notes, this was sold a few months ago, so that's that. I'm sure it has a good home.


Autumn said...

I'm guessing that Milt Kahl's piece says "I can do almost anything that any of you other bastards can do" Might not be 100% accurate. All the same...still brilliant!

Jenny Lerew said...

Milt's line is "I can do almost anything that any of these other bastards can do"(if you click the picture it'll show the entire image-sorry about the cropping).

I think he's referring to Ward's drawing her the "gay 90's"-style risque image and if Ward did one in that mode, well, so can Milt. ; )

Floyd Norman said...

Ah, yes. A term of endearment Milt Kahl had for his friends and colleagues at Disney.

He also knew he could draw better than the rest of those "Lazy Bastards."

Those old guys were such fun.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Holy Mackerel! Nice drawings!!! Thanks for putting these up!

Brian Windsor said...

Thanks for posting the pics. I'm half a world away working in Iraq for a little while and your blog helps give me some sanity.

David Nethery said...

Do we know what Sally Holmes did at Disney before she left ? The eBay seller of the book says she left the studio in 1946

But I just noticed a comment over on the Disney History blog (Didier's blog) from a person called "OnTheLot" who says:

"Sally Homes was an Inbetweener with Disney from 1950-1958."

So , my question : does anyone else know if this is the same Sally Holmes ? (seems likely) She was a part of the dread Sleeping Beauty layoff of '58 . Does anyone know if she stayed in animation or was that all folks ? I hope "OnTheLot" will give more details , either here or on Didier Ghez's blog.

Floyd Norman said...

1958 seems wrong. I was in animation during the time and I don't remember Sally Holmes.

I'm guessing she left the studio in the forties. Milt Kahl even drew himself with hair. He didn't have hair by the time I got to Disney in the fifties.

Anonymous said...

What great artwork! I can always count on you to find the treasures.


Hans Perk said...

My directories place Sally Holmes at the studio in Burbank 1n March 1945 but not in July 1946. Thus her leaving in 1946 seems very plausible. (She was not among the 1941 strikers.)

March 16th, 1945 this is the configuration of G-wing:
Ken Peterson (Prod. Mgr.) 1G-2
Ken O'Brian 1G-3
Emma Choens 1G-4
Sylvia Niday 1G-4
Rae Medby 1G-5
Murray McClellan 1G-5
George Nicholas 1G-6
Sally Holmes 1G-7
Alice Shaw 1G-8
Ed Aardal 1G-9
Don Patterson 1G-10
Felix Alegre 1G-11
Hal Ambro 1G-12
Fred Peters 1G-14
John Walker 1G-14
Al Bertino 1G-15
Mique Nelson (BG) 1G-16
Mark Clifton 1G-18
Al Davis 1G-18
Co. De Bord 1G-18
Tom Martin 1G-18

Some very well-known names, many completely unknown ones. But this IS the Animation Dept, NOT I&P. Thus, short of her being a secretary, she seems to have been an assistant (for Geo. Nicholas, maybe?) or inbetweener...