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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Auction (VIII) - Ub Iwerks (I)

Happy Easter, Friends!

IwerksLetter(Item #450)
Today we look at Ub Iwerks, who is, of course, all over my blog.
Ub and Walt Disney went back a long way in Kansas City between 1920 and 1923 when Walt left for Hollywood. Then in 1924, June 14th to be exact, Walt wrote a letter to Ub, suggesting how he could get to California, all expenses paid. Recently shown on Cartoon Brew, this landmark letter is now up for sale at the upcoming auction!

Ub had already made up his mind when Walt wrote this happy letter to him asking him not to change his mind about it. One can clearly read how small the studio was - Walt and one assistant doing all drawings, two girls inking and painting, and Roy doing the books -
Disney Bros. had quite a way to go to becoming the empire of today!

On the last page, "The boys at the Arabian Knights" refers to the Arabian Nights studio ("A Thousand and One Laughs") formed by Hugh Harman, Rudy Ising and Max Maxwell, the "left-overs" of Laugh-O-grams, Walt's K.C. studio, who started their own outfit after Walt left, buying their equipment and furniture from the estate. Harman and Ising would later join Walt, of course, and then have their own illustrious careers as starters of several other famous animation studios.

The ending of the letter is maybe most famous: "Don't hesitate - Do it now - P.D.Q. [Pretty Darn Quick] - P.S. I wouldn't live in K.C. now if you gave me the place - yep - you bet - Hooray for Hollywood - !!"

After reading the letter, he packed up his mother and traveled Out West, in Virginia Davis' father's Cadillac, as suggested by Walt in the letter. The auction catalog sports two fun images of Ub and his car, but I do not know enough about cars to say that this is that Cadillac...
[Sold for $247,800 incl. 'Buyer's Premium...']

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Anonymous Steven Hartley says...

Interesting! I think I saw that posted on Cartoon Brew not long ago.

I hope you had a Good Easter, I went up to visit my Grandmother, whose husband passed away last year. My grandfather had a cousin named Norman Thelwell who was a cartoonist on ponies. He's sort of my great-uncle. I've got a few books on him. Though I never met him, neither has my grandma.

Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 10:33:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Hans Perk says...

Same thing, but resolution may be better. Anyway, I like it, and I think it deserves all the attention it can get! Also, I don't remember it being up for auction at the time, but as with everything, I can be wrong. (But do I care? ;-)

Ok - I am HAVING to ask: what is this quaint British custom of being "cartoonist on ponies"???
Did he draw on the side of a pony? Or was he seated on one as he drew? Or should I think of something completely different?

Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 10:46:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Steven Hartley says...

Thelwell was famous for his drawings of fat ponies and fat girls. He was a very skilled watercolourist. I wouldn't assume that his drawings would be in the auction but I've seen his stuff in displays.

There's lots of drawings of it on Google. No, he didn't draw on ponies but he drew them as funny stuff. His older cousin (my grandad) Ron used to live near each other in Merseyside. Their fathers were brothers. Ron was also a good drawer but he had a different career in designing.

Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 10:53:00 AM PDT  

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