Saturday, 30 March 2013

The Best Laid Plans of Terry Mice and Men

In the early 1950s, announcers on radio programmes would say something like “This show was transcribed for broadcast at this more convenient time.” We do the same thing here at the Tralfaz blog. Posts are written about six weeks in advance, placed on hold and then they’re automatically posted on a certain date. There’s always a danger that someone else will get the same idea for a post and put it on line while our version is still waiting in the Tralfaz queue.

And that’s what’s happened to my post about Frank Moser.

Moser was a pioneer animator who was beset by tragedy. His daughter died of sleeping sickness. His wife killed herself over it (click on story to the right). He went into the cartoon business with Paul Terry who eased him out, then lost a lawsuit over it. He was sued—and lost—after a freak traffic accident involving the son of the man who kidnapped the Lindbergh baby (which is so bizarre, no one could make it up).

He didn’t even have the respect of all his staff. Said Manny Davis, a long-time director at Terrytoons: “He was a very clever guy with his pencil, but he wasn't funny. He was very, very fast, could make the stuff move nicely in those days. But he really had no sense of humor; he couldn't get a gag over. We were always at odds about that.”

Some background about Moser’s life and career was cobbled together, stuff I hadn’t found in various books, and a nice little post was put together. The trouble is, someone else has done the same thing. And Alex Jay has done it so thoroughly and with so much more excellent information I didn’t find that it’s pointless for me to bother with my post. So I direct you to the Stripper’s Guide blog and find the time to read about a man forgotten in animation except by hard-core Golden and Silent Age fans.

This means a new post that hasn’t been transcribed for a more convenient time will be juggled into our usual Saturday animation history spot.

1 comment:

  1. A very sad story. Moser's wife was named Isabel, btw. He had already drawn up a family caricature Christmas card (minus Marjorie) for that year, which presumably was never mailed.