Living Life inside the Lines: Tales from the Golden Age of Animation

Overview

Martha Sigall worked with all the classic cartoon characters-Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tom & Jerry, Droopy Dawg, Beany & Cecil, Tweety, and Porky Pig-and the madcap artists who created them-Chuck Jones, Tex Avery, Bob Clampett, Frank Tashlin, Friz Freleng, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, Bill Melendez, and Ben (Bugs) Hardaway.

As a teenager Sigall became an apprentice painter working in the Golden Age of Hollywood at the Leon Schlesinger studio, making $12.75 per week ...

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Overview

Martha Sigall worked with all the classic cartoon characters-Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tom & Jerry, Droopy Dawg, Beany & Cecil, Tweety, and Porky Pig-and the madcap artists who created them-Chuck Jones, Tex Avery, Bob Clampett, Frank Tashlin, Friz Freleng, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, Bill Melendez, and Ben (Bugs) Hardaway.

As a teenager Sigall became an apprentice painter working in the Golden Age of Hollywood at the Leon Schlesinger studio, making $12.75 per week coloring animation cels that would introduce Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd to the world. She recounts her wild and wonderful experiences with the Warner Bros. cartoon crew, working and laughing all day with the animators, partying all night with the Looney Tunes gang on the bowling and baseball teams, and participating in weekend scavenger hunts. She was president of the in-house "Looney Tunes Club," co-wrote the company gossip column, and performed in the company's theatrical troupe.

After World War II, Martha joined MGM Animation (Tom & Jerry, Tex Avery) in Culver City as an assistant in the camera room and later freelanced her ink and paint services, creating art for many classic features, shorts, commercials, and TV series-including Garfield, Peanuts, and The Pink Panther.

Written with warmth, humor, and a touch of nostalgia, this is a rarely told story of what it was like to be a part of a team of artists who were creating masterpieces of animation. Martha recalls her lifelong friendships with writer Michael Maltese, animators Ben Washam, Ken Harris, Herman Cohen, Paul Smith, Bob Matz, and many others. She writes of her experiences of being a woman in a male-dominated industry, particularly during the war years when she was one of the first women camera operators in the industry.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The coolest thing about Martha is that she was part of it all. She was there at Leon Schlesinger's studio and later at the MGM animation unit. She was friends with Chuck Jones, Bob Clampett, Tex Avery, Bill Hanna, Joe Barbera, Friz Freleng, Frank Tashlin, Michael Maltese, and on and on."

—Jerry Beck, from the foreword

"Living Life inside the Lines is a delightful chronicle of what it was like to work in the legendary Looney Tunes cartoon studio, written by a woman who was instrumental in the creation of some of the greatest cartoons ever made. With characteristic charm and humor, Martha Sigall has written a wonderfully entertaining memoir of an era in Hollywood when genius punched a time clock twice a day and created hilarity in between. Living Life inside the Lines is not only destined to become a mandatory, one-of-a-kind source for animation writers, scholars and fans, it is also the best book yet written about Hollywood's Golden Age of Cartoons."

—Michael Mallory, animation writer and author of Hanna-Barbera Cartoons

"Martha Sigall, the doyen of animation, introduces us, in a highly personal and spirited fashion, to the lives of the famous artists in the cartoon world. Most of us have worked with these geniuses but only in their mature years. It's a joyous and enlightening read."

—June Foray, voice of Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Granny

"How lucky we are that Martha Sigall has given us this 'time trip' to the heyday of Hollywood animation. Her memories are precise—and priceless."

—Leonard Maltin

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578067497
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
  • Publication date: 3/21/2005
  • Pages: 245
  • Sales rank: 1,451,409
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Recipient of numerous awards for her artistry, Martha Sigall, Culver City, California, worked in animation production from 1936 to 1989.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Ch. 1 The beginning, 1932 3
Ch. 2 My first day in animation 12
Ch. 3 The techniques of ink and paint 19
Ch. 4 The cast of characters 23
Ch. 5 Production terminology 42
Ch. 6 The boys of Termite Terrace 46
Ch. 7 Tales from Termite Terrace 94
Ch. 8 The ink and paint department 106
Ch. 9 The ink and paint gals 110
Ch. 10 Working conditions 116
Ch. 11 Studio romances 119
Ch. 12 Strikes 140
Ch. 13 World War II 144
Ch. 14 Departing Schlesinger's 148
Ch. 15 Graphic films, here I come 151
Ch. 16 MGM cartoons 161
Ch. 17 Celine miles ink and paint 184
Ch. 18 World events of the 1950s and 1960s 187
Ch. 19 Lisberger Productions 189
Ch. 20 Kurtz and friends 192
Ch. 21 Film fair 195
Ch. 22 Bill Melendez Productions 197
Ch. 23 Censorship and the black list 200
Ch. 24 Other happenings 205
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