Sunday, 10 February 2019

A Blogging Friend Farewell

It’s always a little saddening when a blog you look forward to reading comes to an end. To the right, you see a picture of Steven Hartley. In the tree to the far right, you’ll see a link to his blog Likely Looney, Mostly Merrie.

Steven has found life has rolled on to a point where he really doesn’t have time to post any more.

When he started his blog, I wonder if he’d ever accomplish his goal. It was very, very ambitious. He proposed to review every cartoon released by the Warner Bros. studio, from the cute Harman-Ising “Sinkin’ in the Bathtub” in 1930 to whatever wretched, uncharming Cool Cat cartoon ended things in 1969. That’s more than a thousand shorts. Finding the cartoons (many have never been released on home video), clipping frames from them, coding the text, all of it involves an incredible amount of work.

It’s miraculous he got as far as he did. His reviews stop in 1944. He got through Hugh and Rudy, the tedious Buddy era, and all of Tex Avery. It’s a shame he missed my favourite period—the last half of the ‘40s when Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng were at their peak in my estimation.

Steven was also hamstrung at the outset by the fact that he lives in England and was 16. He couldn’t possibly get all the American ‘30s pop culture references, the same as teenaged Americans would look with puzzlement at the words “Bob Monkhouse.”

Age 16 to 22 doesn’t seem like a long span, but it’s a time when one’s life changes, sometimes drastically. Steven is on to other things, which is unfortunate for those who liked seeing what he had to say and whether his viewpoint about the cartoons matched our own.

My best thoughts and thanks go out to Steve for all his hours upon hours of work.

There are too many blogs which I enjoyed reading which have gone dormant. They were full of insight and knowledge about the old theatrical cartoons and I learned an awful lot. But life doesn’t stand still. We’re not in 2011 any more. We move on. Fortunately, many of the dead blogs are still up and one can go back and read the posts again and again.

In case you’re wondering, posts in this blog have been banked to appear for almost the next six months. You’ll keep seeing Jack Benny every Sunday, a cartoon article reprint on Saturdays, something about old radio or TV shows or stars every Wednesday into August, Tex Avery once a week, and notes and frames from various cartoon studios the rest of the time.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I noticed that, but he did say maybe, as I'd love to read reviews of later WB cartoons from mid -1940s on and (thanks to Keith Scott) the unbilled voices and such! Didn't noticer your tribute..I did mkine on Facebook..