This month¬†I set up another display in the Hernando Public Library in my hometown of Hernando, MS. It’s in the west lobby entrance off of Commerce Street. They have two display cases that they let locals decorate- one large one (on the right in the photo above) and one smaller one (on the left). Normally the display lasts for a month, but mine gets to stay up for two months- January and February. My wife Nicki and I have done several other displays since we’ve gotten married- Star Wars, Harry Potter, hockey, the Batman TV show’s 50th anniversary, DC Comics, and a comics/live action themed one. They’ve always goten a positive reaction from visitors and we always have a lot of fun putting them up.

This new one is a mix of animation art (original painted cels, background art, animation drawings, character sheets, storyboards, animation bible)¬†and original comic book and comic strip art (pages, covers, and pencil roughs) taken from my collection. I’ve been collection animation art for a few years now, and comic art since the ’90s. I really wished I had started sooner.

I added some of my toys, statues, books, and DVDs related to the animation art, too. I like to include¬†books in¬†the displays- not only because it’s a library, but because I love books! I’ve got several on animation and making comics. Hopefully folks will want to “check out” some themselves.

  

On the left side of the big case I mostly have Batman art from “Batman: The Animated Series” (BTAS) and “Batman Beyond“, along with a Hulk cel and background. The left photo shows a “Batman Beyond” pencil drawing and painted animation cel from that series.

I also have some comic book production art (top center and bottom left and right). The¬†“Batman Beyond” art (top right) shows the pencil drawing and painted cel.

On the shelf below above my BTAS Batmobile are two storyboards from “Batman: The Animated Series“. They are hand drawn and you can see where they used post-it notes to replace a previous drawing that needed to be changed for a shot.

  

This show is one of my all time favorites. It was heavily influenced by the early 1940’s Fleischer Superman cartoons, and in turn heavily influenced other animation after it. In it’s second season it was re-titled “The Adventures of Batman & Robin“and later “The New Batman Adventures“, and spun off movies, games, and other series such as “Superman: The Animated Series“, “Justice League“, “Justice League Unlimited¬†“, and¬†¬†“Batman Beyond“.

  

I have two Batman maquettes on display, along with a BTAS show bible (which is a reference document with¬†information on a television series’ characters, settings, designs, and other elements) and a Warner Bros. animation art book. It’s a favorite of mine, and has one of the coolest covers!

The Harley Quinn¬†maquette¬†is probably one of my favorite collectibles. I had a couple kids walk by while I was setting up and ask me if I would GIVE them the Harley statue. “Uh, NO!!!” I’ve gotten to meet both of Harley’s creators– artist Bruce Timm and writer Paul Dini, at the San Diego Comic Con and have an original Harley drawing by Bruce.

Moving on, the right side of the display features items from the animated “Beetlejuice“, “The Ghost Busters/Ghostbusters“, and “The Real Ghostbusters” series.

At the center of the bottom shelf is a cel and a background from the animated “Beetlejuice” cartoon featuring the ghost with the most himself.¬†The hand painted cel is on a separate layer from the painted background. I found out recently at the Memphis Comic Expo that my table neighbor, artist Kyle Baker, is a big animated Beetlejuice fan!

To the left and right of the color cel are original animation pencil drawings, and to the side of those (on the side walls) and below it are character model sheets. Traditional hand drawn animation is usually done at 24 frames per secondРwhich means for every second of animation/movement an animator has to pencil 24 drawings! A lead animator will do the most dramatic poses, and then the go-between/fill-in artists draw the frames in-between to create the illusion of movement in the cartoon.

  

Model sheets help when many artists are involved in the making of an animated film to help maintain continuity in characters from scene to scene. The one on the left is a head character study showing different facial expressions by Beetlejuice, and the one in the bottom of the picture on the right is a character and prop sheet.

  

I’ve got a few Beetlejuice kids meal toys and my DVD copies of the series 3 seasons and Halloween special. I’ve been a big Beetlejuice fan for years, and occasionally cosplay as him. I even proposed to my wife dressed as him!

The middle shelf above Beetlejuice has some FilmationThe Ghost Busters/Ghostbusters” items. There’s the original live action “The Ghost Busters” TV show on DVD on the left, and the “Ghostbusters” cartoon series on the right. The three animation cels in the back are of Tracy the gorilla, who was played in the live action TV show by actor and Hollywood historian Bob Burns (that’s a sketch card of Tracy on the left that I drew).

Fun fact- Bob, who is listed as Tracy The Gorrilla’s trainer in the TV show, is not only famous for monkeying around, but he and his wife Kathy have a HUGE collection of Hollywood memorabilia which includes the King Kong stop motion armature puppet from the¬†original black and white movie. They also have a cameo in Peter Jackson’s remake of “King Kong“, and are in the DVD special features with the Kong puppet. Check out his book “It Came From Bob’s Basement” or the documentary “Beast Wishes: The Bob and Kathy Burns Movie“.

Jake Kong Jr. and Eddie Spencer Jr. (who’s with Tracy in the center cel) are the sons of the original Ghost Busters from the live action TV series (starring F-Troop co-stars Forrest Tucker¬†as Kong and Larry Storch as Spencer), and¬†Tracy worked with their fathers. Tracy wore a propeller beanie cap (and other hats) on the show, and wore more of a Fedora in the cartoon. The live action show had an old jalopy, and the cartoon show had a flying car. The cartoon¬†“Ghostbusters” is responsible for the “Real” in the animated series “The Real Ghostbusters“.

And speaking of that show, the top shelf has a few real¬†“The Real Ghostbusters” animation drawings and cels, Season 1 DVD, “Ghostbusters” DVD, and “Beetlejuice“DVD.

The story behind the different “Ghost Busters/Ghostbusters/Real Ghostbusters“..? Well, as I’ve heard it- first came the live action show “The Ghost Busters” by Filmation¬†in 1975 with Spencer, Tracy, and Kong, then the 1984 Columbia Pictures¬†live action movie “Ghostbusters” we all know with Egon, Ray, Peter, and Winston (which Columbia¬†ended up paying Filmation¬†$$$ to license¬†the name). After that movie was a hit¬†and Columbia didn’t go with¬†Filmation¬†for an animated series (Columbia went¬†with DiC instead),¬†Filmation¬†then developed “Ghostbusters” in 1986 based off their old TV show. This¬†prompted¬†Columbia to name¬†their cartoon show “The Real Ghostbusters” (1986-1992) to distinguish it from the Filmation series. That show was followed up in 1997 by “Extreme Ghostbusters“. We’ve also had the “Ghostbusters II” movie sequel in 1989, the recent 2016¬†live action movie reboot, plus several video games and comics. The Filmation live action and animated series are pretty much¬†unknown to most folks thanks to their short runs and the popularity of the Columbia Pictures¬†Ghostbusters franchise, but growing up it was my Ghostbusters.

  

Across the entry hall in the smaller display case I have original comic pages and the final printed comics they were created for. The top shelf is “The Waiting Place” art by Mike Norton (left), and “Jane’s World” (right) by Paige Braddock. The¬†“Jane’s World” comic I got from Paige at a National Cartoonists ¬†Society meeting in Georgia, and I won the original cover art at the same SEC/NCS show. Paige worked with Charles “Sparky” Schulz– creator of “Peanuts“.

I did an art trade with Mike for the art while he was living in Memphis back in the ’90s. He asked me what I would charge to do a head sculpt of one of TWP characters. I asked if he would trade the original cover art to TWP #3. He wasn’t sure where that art was, but said if he ever found it he would give it to me and asked if I’d like to have two pages of my choosing instead. I said sure and picked 2 hockey pages from that issue.

A few years later we were both attending¬†Comic Geek Speak‘s 300th episode celebration in Reading, PA¬†. They had¬†set us up next to each other and there waiting for me on my table was the cover art I had asked for! I have a few other art pieces by Mike, but these are my favorites.

  

The bottom shelf has (left) “How To Make Webcomics” book, an original comic page from “Harley Quinn” (featuring J’onn J’onzz/Martian Manhunter), (right) an animated Batman comic page (by Joe Staton and Terry Beatty), “Making Comics” book (by Scott McCloud), and along the bottom are pencil layouts for Greg CravensThe Buckets” syndicated comic strip¬†and some of my drawing tools.

I like¬†that you can see some of the red color hold lines on the Batman page. It’s done by the inker to show the colorist where an area of color should be different from the area next to it (usually for shading), but without inking it in black. Sometimes a color hold will be a black area that is done as a different color for effect.

  

In the middle of the bottom shelf is a copy of DC Comic’sAlpha Centurion¬†Special #1” and an original comic page from that issue¬†by artist Dean Zachary¬†(and inker Pam Eklund). Dean’s a friend and another local Memphis artist. Nicki and I have gotten lots of art from him over the years, including one comic page featuring Batman and Oracle. The ink work on this one is really nice, and you can see how much bigger the original comic pages are drawn when next to the final printed comic book. I really wanted to showcase the quality of hand drawn art that goes behind making comics and animation, and I hope this display gets people to appreciating those artists’ hard work and talent.

  

Our library is very comics friendly, has had comic creators and authors do guest speaking, and we’ve donated comics/trade paper backs/graphic novels to them over the years. If you’re in the area or don’t mind making the short drive from Memphis, Southaven, or Olive Branch, MS I hope you can check out the display and our local library. If you do stop by- don’t forget to stop by The Dip” (Velvet Cream) or Area 51 Ice Cream¬†afterwards for a bite to eat!¬†ūüėČ


First Regional Library (Hernando)

370 West Commerce
Hernando, MS 38632
(662) 429-4439 phone

https://www.firstregional.org/hernando.html

established 1950

HOURS:
MONDAY  9:30-7:00
TUESDAY 9:30-7:00
WEDNESDAY 9:30-7:00 
THURSDAY 9:30-7:00
FRIDAY 9:30-5:30
SATURDAY 9:30-5:00
SUNDAY CLOSED