Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Strange Parallels: Silver Age DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation!

A strange thought occurred to me – and this is all the more ironic because DC Comics is now owned by Warner Bros. – but you can equate the three main Silver Age editors at DC to the three main animation directors at Warner Bros.! 

Julius Schwartz = Chuck Jones (Visionary and most often the best at everything he did.) 

Mort Weisinger = Friz Freleng (Lesser than Jones, but still legendary in his own right.) 

Jack Schiff = Robert McKimson (The “Third Guy” about whom relatively little is known – and is generally underappreciated.) 

...Anyone else agree? 
WE appreciate you, Bob... and Jack too!


Anonymous said...

Hopefully, Freling got along with co-workers and subordinates better than Weisinger. DC writer Alvin Schwartz described Jack Schiff as "intelligent, caring, fair, and literate-a combination that Mort Weisinger was thoroughly lacking."

Joe Torcivia said...

Oh, yeah! Though I was thinking strictly within the context of what they did and how both they and their work are generally perceived by fans and followers, I would likely not want to have been Mort Weisinger’s FRIEND, much less his “employee” or freelancer!

That said, as Freleng is highly regarded – but decidedly second to Jones – so is Weisinger to Schwartz. …And Freleng *is* said to have had a touch of the fiery temper, thus inspiring Yosemite Sam.

I also think the McKimson / Schiff comparison is right on, as both men (as individuals) and their respective bodies of work should be more highly regarded than they are.

As outsiders removed by decades, of course, we’ll never really know. That’s how we end up with “legends”…

Chris Barat said...


Clever, but I don't know how far you can stretch this analogy. Didn't DC have many other editors on its minor titles (comedy, etc.)? Who would the Warners equivalents be to those folks.


Anonymous said...

McKimson and Schiff seem to be "the third one" or "that other guy." Kind of like Jules Munshin in "On the Town."

Joe Torcivia said...

Well, Chris, there’s always Arthur Davis. You could go forward to Rudy Larriva, and even Alex Lovy, if you choose to count his Cool Cat and Merlin efforts.

Or certainly backward to the great Bob Clampett and Tex Avery, much less Ben Hardaway, Jack King, and Harman and Ising.

That should be more than enough to cover the George Kashdans and Sheldon Mayers of DC. We can also count Whitney Ellsworth for DC, if we care to stretch it. If we just limit it to the sixties, Larriva and Lovy should suffice. Though WB clearly has plenty of depth on the bench.

But, for the prime period covered, it always comes down to that Big Three on both sides.

Anonymous said...

McKimson should get more credit for Foghorn Leghorn, Speedy Gonzalez, and the Tasmanian Devil, as well as for the definitive version of Bugs Bunny. Schiff gets blamed for the sci-fi trend in Batman in the early 1960's, but he should probably get more credit for reviving some of the classic villains when he edited the Annuals or Eighty-Page Giants.

Joe Torcivia said...

One of the great inequities is that Chuck Jones is universally hailed as the genius (Suuuper Genius?) behind the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote... Yet, despite the Tasmanian Devil being at or near the top of Warner’s most-merchandised characters, Robert McKimson gets no such plaudits!

I’ve often wondered if this is because he died in 1977, at about the time such creators were becoming universally recognized for their achievements, and was rarely interviewed, didn’t cultivate a fan-base, lecture at cons, etc.

I’m not sure when Jack Schiff passed, but I’d imagine a similar situation… didn’t get to do the convention circuit, etc. Go to this link to see just how pitiful the amount of knowledge on Jack Schiff really is.