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The Art of Jay Ward Productions Hardcover – November 18, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Oxberry Press, LLC; 1st edition (November 18, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615847862
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615847863
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 9.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #480,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Here is a perfect Christmas present for any dyed-in-the-wool cartoon fan: an affectionate, informative, lavishly illustrated history of Jay Ward Productions, written by an animation insider. Van Citters has scoured the Ward archives for model sheets, storyboard drawings, and finished artwork to help tell the story of the can-do company that played by its own rules and created Rocky and his Friends, The Bullwinkle Show, and the long-running Cap n Crunch commercials, to name just a few of its notable achievements. Individual profiles of directors, writers, animators, layout personnel, and other contributors give us a clearer picture of the creative team behind some of the funniest animated series in television history. The Ward style also reflected modern graphic design a result of the fact that key studio personnel got their training at the Walt Disney studio in the 1940s before breaking off to work with the forward-thinking UPA. The Art of Jay Ward Productions offers an embarrassment of riches that are well worth savoring. --Leonard Maltin's Movie Crazy



Who would ve thought that two great books (and I mean Tony-the-Tiger Grrrreat! ) would emerge from the history of Jay Ward Productions? The first one you should all have in your library already Keith Scott s incredible The Moose That Roared (2000). Animator Darrell Van Citters unearthed a treasure trove of rare Ward Studio artwork while compiling his tome on Mr. Magoo s Christmas Carol. He supplemented that with a ton of additional artwork, interviews, artists bios and history that makes this book the perfect compliment to Scott s definitive history. Together you get the entire picture of the Ward oeuvre. But make no mistake, Van Citters book stands on its own It s beautifully written and produced, packed with art, photos and new behind-the-scenes facts about this trail blazing (and still inspirational) TV cartoon factory. --Jerry Beck, Cartoon Research

About the Author

Darrell Van Citters is a well-known director and producer with over thirty five years experience in animation, having worked at The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. and Chuck Jones Productions. He is a keen student of animation history and his experience as an animator, director and producer gives him a well-rounded perspective for writing about animation. His first book was the critically praised Mr. Magoo s Christmas Carol: The Making of the First Animated Christmas Special which, due to the overlap in personnel between UPA and Jay Ward, led him to write this book.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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The book is beautifully designed and well printed.
JPS
As well as a good range of visuals, this book is also includes an extensively researched written history of the studio.
Kazammo!
If you are a fan of animation in general, you will greatly enjoy this book.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A.J. on December 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book is AMAZING! A MUST HAVE for fans of animation history or the many years and works of the Jay Ward Studio! A very well written journey through the history of Jay Ward Studio with wonderful stories from some of the original studio artists, a beautiful layout and an absolute treasure chest of unseen artwork.
I loved Darrell Van Citters' first book, the Collector's Edition of Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol and have to say, this one is even better! This is sure to be a classic and is definitely the Bible on the Jay Ward Studios.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Thad Komorowski on December 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover
If you're like me, you might have thought a phrase like "the art of Jay Ward" was something of an oxymoron. Darrell Van Citters's The Art of Jay Ward Productions is the first book of its kind, in that its presentation of the art itself successfully destroys a lot of mythology surrounding some beloved animated cartoons.

I'm not above being converted, and Citters has done just that by filling some 300 pages with primarily excellent artwork from the various Ward productions. The herculean task is particularly impressive considering art from the shows was largely considered lost and that readers might be prejudiced against the idea that there was any merit to the actual cartooning.

Early in the book's text , Citters sums up the merit and skill of the studio in the best description I've ever read: "Design at Ward's had a looser approach that was more akin to handwriting. The drawings seemed to spontaneously flow out of the pencil rather than being consciously shaped by the strokes of the artist's hand."

We can finally put the misconceptions to rest and attach other names to the work besides the rightfully celebrated writer Bill Scott and voice actress June Foray. You'll finally see just how solid the work of Bill Hurtz and Pete Burness (a veteran of the MGM, Warner, and UPA studios) really was, and how masterful Al Shean and Shirley Silvey were at the lost art of functional funny drawings.

Citters included everything, and I mean everything he could get his hands on, including development art, storyboards, layouts, backgrounds, and finished cels. All your pals are here: the moose and squirrel, Dudley, Peabody, Fractured Fairy Tales, George of the Jungle, Super Chicken...
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gord Wilson VINE VOICE on January 8, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are three ways to view this 350 page, hardback, color-drenched, oversize coffee table book. One is as a dazzlingly attractive, endlessly fascinating art book, all the better because so much of it will be familiar to anyone who's ever had the good fortune to see Rocky and Bullwinkle, George of the Jungle, or even Quisp or Captain Crunch on TV, which is at least a million of us. The second is to read the captions under all the pictures, which will make you wonder about the amazing talents that produced this amazing art. The third is to read the book, which I might term "The Writing About the Art of Jay Ward Productions. Coffee table books are usually quickly-produced, cut and paste productions, you note. Yes, but as anyone who had the good fortune to read his book "Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol" knows, not when the author is DVC.

DVC is a one-man Wikipedia. He doesn't just edit these books, he writes a compendium of tributes to the unsung heroes behind the scenes, and sings them in an ecstatic, enthralling way. Not only animators, but designers, layout persons, directors, and artists. He also explains the difference between theatrical animation and TV cartoons, and the difference it made and makes. The only other book I've read that deals with the exigencies of TV cartoons this well is Joe Murray's Creating Animated Cartoons With Character. See also my Amazon Guide, which I'll write after this review, because this new, stripped down way to write reviews on Amazon doesn't seem to let you link to other products, like Joe Murray's book. I think I'll call it a guide to Darrell Van Citters, although I don't pretend it will be exhaustive, as his work is everywhere I look.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David B Shepherd on December 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Darrell Van Citters offers up another delightful visual compendium, THE ART OF JAY WARD PRODUCTIONS. Especially wonderful (and poignant): all the capsule biographies and circa dates of the many artists involved in Jay Ward Productions. Highly recommended!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Any fans of animation should definitely pick this book up while it's still available.

As an artist myself the imagery in a book like this is always what I look at first. The Art of Jay Ward Productions doesn't disappoint. Despite not typically being recognized for their artistry, I’ve always loved Jay Ward’s wacky brand of 1960’s animation, and this book shows it off really well. This 352 page book presents a great variety of quick sketches, character designs & model sheets, story boards, finished illustrations, cels, background art and a lot more production visuals. The artwork is beautifully reproduced and there are a number of large images, especially background art work, allowing a clear look at all the details. Quite a feat of given the amount of artwork that has been lost over time.

As well as a good range of visuals, this book is also includes an extensively researched written history of the studio. Much of the history is recorded while chronologically following each show including Rocky and Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right, George of the jungle, as well as the lesser known characters, commercials and unsold series.

Throughout the book are also several profiles of artists that worked on the shows in different capacities. While I personally don't find these as interesting as the rest of the written content (I actually only read a few of them), i'm glad they're in there. They allow credit to be given to the people who worked behind the scenes and often miss out on getting the recognition they deserve. It also demonstrates the care and respect author Darrell Van Citters has for the craft and people of Jay Ward Productions.

This book was certainly more than what i was expecting, with much better visuals than i was anticipating and a historical account that i found very interesting.

A fantastic book for anyone interested in animation and its history.
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