Chuck Amuck: The Life and Times of an Animated Cartoonist is a sort of autobiography of Chuck Jones, the brilliant Warner Brothers animator who created such enduring characters as Wile E. Coyote and Marvin the Martian. Like his best cartoons, Jones skips around to the fun parts, giving a bit of childhood here, a few words of drawing advice there, and a good yarn wherever one fits. Jones also manages to work in a detailed yet somehow never boring description of the long and silly process of making a cartoon. Jones is refreshingly generous about spreading credit around to others. He fondly remembers art teachers, tips his hat to fellow directors and mentors Friz Freleng and Tex Avery, and gives the reader a new appreciation of the layout men who create the backgrounds for animated features. Most engaging are Jones's accounts of office life at Warner Brothers, which sounds like just as much fun as you hope it would be. Jones recounts stories of drawing tables wired to wake up sleeping animators when the boss approached and Cal Howard, a gag writer who ran an illegal commissary out of his metal-lined desk. The book is filled with sketches and color plates of much-loved moments from Warner Brothers cartoons and even includes a quick Road Runner and Coyote scene that comes to life when the pages are flipped. Highly recommended for kids who like to draw and adults who have not lost their appreciation for Looney Toons. --Ali Davis
From Publishers Weekly
The director of Bugs Bunny cartoons and inventor of Roadrunner, Coyote and Pepe Le Pew reminisces about family life and work at Warner Brothers, paying tribute to directors, animators, writers and a sound-effects specialist. PW characterized this as a "short, unpretentious, amusing memoir." Illustrated. Author tour.
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