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Issue #1

Letter From The Editor

Hey all! Welcome to the WBC’s newsletter, The Looney Bin! I’m Dot and I’ll be your hostess tonight… Oh, wait…wrong speech. Gimme a sec here… Ah, got it! I’m Dot and I’ll be editing this newsletter. We’ve tried to get this project off the ground before, but never had much luck. This particular issue of the Looney Bin! Will be a compilation of things that were supposed to be in the original newsletter . If you have something that you would like to see published in this newsletter, please e-mail it to me at harley@toonzone.net Thanks! I hope you enjoy everything you see and read here!

Dot
Editor-In-Chief
SROTW (Supreme Ruler of the World)

Memories
By Emilia "The Joker" Farmerie

   I looked out the window at the pouring rain. It looked like someone had turned the hose on the glass. The day looked like I felt. Oh, I look happy enough. I always look happy, what with my eternal grin, emerald hair and dead-white skin. I look like a clown for Pete’s Sake! But what is on the outside is the opposite of the inside.

   I had spent the whole week with a new therapist who loves to bring out the memories I have hidden away in my mind. The ones about my past, my childhood, even the ones about my wife. Those are the most painful.

   It all started a decade ago, when I was twenty-four. I had just met the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. We talked for awhile, which amazed me because I had never been a ladies’ man at all. Everything I said she laughed at, and not in the mocking way I was used to. This woman actually cared about my feelings!

   The tall, red-haired lady told me her name was Jeannie. I smiled and told her that I was Jack Napier. "Oohh," she had replied. "I like that name!" I was flattered of course. Normally people don’t bother to ask me my name.

   Jeannie and I fast became friends. Over the years, our friendship turned into love. I ended up marrying her when I was twenty-seven. The only thing wrong was that I had quit my job as a lab assistant to become a comedian. I thought I had the talent to pull it off. Boy I was wrong!

   Jeannie and I lived in poverty for a few years, trying to make ends meet. Then came the fateful day when she told me she was pregnant. Sure, I was happy at the time. Ecstatic, really. But with no money, how were we going to bring up a child?

     I came up with the idea to pull off some big crime to get rich quick. I got in touch with two men whom I thought could help me. Everything was going fine until Jeannie died.

     I was with the men when I received word of my wife’s death. They had just told me when to be at the crime scene when a cop walked into the bar, looking for me. The cop brought me outside to tell me the news. The night had been gray and dismal. The clouds looked like they were going to burst at any second, shedding tears for my beloved Jeannie. My whole life ended that day.

     I somehow made it back to the bar to tell the gangsters that I wouldn’t be involved with the robbing of the Ace Chemical Plant anymore. They told me I was involved. They didn’t care about Jeannie’s death. All they cared about was getting in, getting out, and getting rich. I told them that they didn’t understand. "My wife just died," I told them. They told me that I was the one who didn’t understand.

     With cruel laughs and a not so reassuring pat on the back, they got up and left. I just sat there watching my whole world tumble down, feeling utterly alone and terrified. Feeling the tears rise, I let my head drop to the table.

     A sudden roar of thunder brings me back to the present, away from the screaming, crying horrible memories. I blink, trying to force the tears away. It never helps…

The End


 tlb013.jpg (1483 bytes)
Auugghh! A Pop Quiz!!!
An Animaniacs Quiz by Babs

 

How often do you watch Animaniacs? Do you watch it so much that you know every little detail about every episode? Give these a try:

1. What did Rita scratch on the wall of the cell in "When Rita Met Runt"?

  1. "Cats Rule"
  2. "Humans Stink"
  3. "Dogs Suck"
  4. None of the Above

2. Which of the following has not (yet) been a part of a plan by Pinky and the Brain to take over the world?

  1. The Presidential Elections
  2. Subliminal Messages
  3. A Children’s Show
  4. None of the Above

3. What was the name of Slappy’s neighbor in "I Got Yer Can"?tlb014.jpg (4175 bytes)

  1. Candi Chipmunk
  2. Becky Beaver
  3. Gloria Gopher
  4. Heidi Chipmunk

4. What did "Mermaid Mindy" chase?

  1. a dolphin
  2. a jellyfish
  3. a seahorse
  4. a whale

5. What did the Goodfeathers tell the owl they were in "We’re No Pigeons"?

  1. spaghetti birds
  2. calzoni birds
  3. macaroni birds
  4. fettucini birds

6. Which of the following has Katie Ka-boom not overreacted about?

  1. a sweater she needed to wear
  2. a pimple
  3. a date that was late
  4. a bad hair day

7. Which Shakespearean play was not used in "Animaniacs"?

  1. Hamlet
  2. A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  3. Much Ado About Nothing
  4. Macbeth

tlb015.jpg (3710 bytes)8. What was the name of the sociologist who wanted the Hip Hippos to move back to the jungle?

  1. Jane Allgood
  2. Joyce Brothers
  3. Alice Organism
  4. Gina Embryo

9. Which of the following historic events did "The Flame" play a part in?

  1. The writing (and signing) of the Declaration of Independence
  2. The writing of the Constitution
  3. The ride of Paul Revere
  4. both a & c

10. What was the "Chairman of the Board"'s story about...at first?

  1. hamburgers
  2. cheese ball
  3. potato chips
  4. pretzels

Match the following song titles (1l-15)with the cartoons they were sung in (a-e)...

11. "Flat in Gay Paree"
12. "Scorsese's Head"
13. "Writin' Hooey"
14. "If I Were the Godpigeon"
15. "You'll Never Laugh Alone"

a. "West Side Pigeons"
b. "Pigeon on the Roof'
c. "Clown and Out"
d. "Les Miseranimals"
e. "Roll Over, Beethoven"

Then, for 16-19, write down the original titles of the songs that they're parodies of:

16) "Flat in Gay Paree"            _________________

17) "Scorsese's Head"             _________________

18) "Writin' Hooey"                 _________________

19) "If I Were the Godpigeon" _________________

Finally, fill in the missing words and phrases to Slappy's new theme song: "She's a (20)_____________ old critter. She's bitter, we warn ya She lives in a (21-22: 2 words)_________________ in Burbank, California Along with her nephew, he says (22)______________, he's cheerful When his aunt starts to rant, she gives him an earful She's (23)_____________, he's (24)___________, it's generation (25)_____________! Take a whirl with the squirrels, Skippy and Slappy!

That's the end of "this" quiz. If you want a quick evaluation, send your answers to me at fgbh76c; else, keep track of your own answers and check them with the answers in the next issue of The Looney Bin! Good luck! =)


The History of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: Part One

   The year is 1929. Two men named Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising have been let go by Universal Pictures, where they made a series of cartoons starring "Oswald the Lucky Rabbit." the two former employees of Walt Disney now had to find a movie studio to distribute their cartoons. They made a three-minute film called "Bosko the Talk-ink Kid" to show prospective studios. The cartoon was probably the first in which actual speech was synchronized with animated drawings. They couldn't find a buyer for their cartoons, until the met Leon Schlesinger. Leon was a close friend of the Warner Brothers, and persuaded them to distribute a series of Bosko cartoons. His selling point was that Warner Bros. could use the cartoons to promote songs from their feature films and several music companies.

   "Looney Tunes" was the first series of cartoons made by Warner Bros. The first cartoon was called "Sinkin' in the Bathtub" and starred Bosko and his girlfriend Honey. Released on May 6,1930, it was basically a Disney-like cartoon, with the characters moving along with the music. The rest of the "Looney Tunes" continued in the same way, but they were popular. They were so popular in fact, that Warner Bros. decided to release a second series of cartoons, called "Merrie Melodies.

   "Merrie Melodies" first cartoon was "Lady Play Your Mandolin," released in August of 1931. It starred a character named Foxy, the most flagrant Mickey Mouse clone. Foxy and other characters such as Piggy and Goopy Geer were the first "Merrie Melodies" stars, but they were soon dropped. For many years forward, "Merrie Melodies" was a series of "one shot" cartoons, which means the characters in them were never seen again, they were only used once. "Looney Tunes" is where WB stars such as Bosko and Honey, and those that followed made their living. Hugh Harman directed the "Looney Tunes," while Rudolph Ising handled the "Merrie Melodies, although animator Friz Freleng directed a few in both series.

   This all continued nicely until mid-1933, when Harman and Ising split from Leon Schlesinger due to money differences. They went to MGM, where they continued to make cartoons. Their MGM cartoons continued to feature Bosko, who changed in appearance from a non-human character to a black boy, until 1938.

   After the departure of Harman and Ising, Leon Schlesinger worked quickly to put together a new cartoon studio. He hired cartoonists away from Disney and other studios, and even lured back Harman-lsing personnel like Friz Freleng and Bob Clampett. Once in operation, the new cartoon studio pinned all its hopes in a character created by cartoonist Melvin "tubby" Millar named Buddy. Through 23 cartoons from 1933 to 1935, Buddy proved to be distinctly forgettable.

   Probably more interesting from this time are the Merrie Melodies, which used lyrics from Warner songs to inspire a story. With the cartoon "Honeymoon Hotel," Leon Schlesinger made Warner Bros. first color cartoon. A few more color cartoons were made, but until 1936, they used a process called two-strip technicolor, which means that only two of the three primary colors were used--red and green. Walt Disney was under an exclusive contract with Technicolor at the time, so he could only use the three color process to make cartoons. Starting with the 1934 Merrie Melody "Those Beautiful Dames," all Merrie Melodies were made in color, but Looney Tunes continued in black and white until 1943.

   The man assigned to most of the Merrie Melodies from this time was Friz Freleng. Probably the most important director, Isadore "Friz" Freleng directed more Warner Bros. cartoons than anyone else--about 266. He was also the man who directed the cartoon that would change the course of all future cartoons to come out of the studio. Called "I haven't Got a Hat," the cartoon starred a group of children putting on a show at their school. Among them were two puppies named Ham and Ex, Little Kitty, Oliver Owl, Tommy Turtle, a cat named Beans, and most important of all--a short, fat stuttering pig named Porky. It was Porky Pig who would really put Warner Bros. on the map.


tlb016.jpg (6353 bytes)Special Thanks To:

Babs, Colin, Vester, Yakko, Bugs, and Emilia

See you next issue!

 

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