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Mel Blanc: The Man of a Thousand Voices (hardback) Hardcover – November 11, 2012
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Throughout the book there is commentary from Mel's son, Noel, taken from an unpublished biography that Noel wrote about his father. Noel's words appear in bold print. There is considerable detail written about Mel's near fatal car accident in 1961, the impact Bugs Bunny made in reviving him from a coma, and the long road to recovery that lay ahead in a full body cast. You'll see pictures of Mel during that time period and read about all the effort made by the various cartoon studios to turn his hospital room, and later, his home, into a temporary recording studio.
Ohmart's book features many, many, MANY facts about a man who became one of the most busiest actors in radio, cartoons, and records...and later added television appearances to his long list of credits.
Speaking of credits...this book gives a detailed account on everything that Mel Blanc took part in from the early days of his career through his final projects in 1989. It's truly a fabulous, unique, and addictive kind of book for those who are not only fans of Mel Blanc but of classic animated cartoons in general, whether theatrically released or made-for-TV. You get a cartoon-by-cartoon snapshot detailing Mel's involvement in the project, however major or minor it might've been; plus, you get a complete overview of his recording career and the comedy records that were released on him and the numerous radio programs that he either guest starred in or had recurring characters in. An entire separate book could've easily been published to examine these credits but they've all been collected and presented within this one book.
The book is also filled with quotes and remembrances by a long list of celebrities in an out of animation that Mel worked with or were inspired by. Mel's friendship with Jack Benny is explored in more detail in this book, too. The book is lengthy but this shouldn't be a surprise for an actor of Mel's considerable longevity. Before hitting national radio in the late '30s, right around the time he was just starting his decades long run with Warner Brothers cartoons, Mel was a feature on local radio for a period of years in Oregon. In addition to the written word there are plenty of pictures throughout. Some of the images, I assume, are exclusive to the book as I hadn't seen quite a few of them until now.
Practically all facets of the entertainment industry that existed from the 1920's through the late 1980's, Mel Blanc at some point played a part in. Though his lasting legacy is the theatrical cartoons he did for Warner Brothers, his voice was heard on the radio, on records, and on television for decades. His voice is still being heard...repeats of "The Flintstones" and "The Jetsons", for example, continue to air to this day on Boomerang. Mel played the roles of Barney Rubble and Dino on "The Flintstones" and Mr. Spacely on "The Jetsons". In each series he also provided voices for incidental characters, too, in addition to his main roles.
Everything about the book's presentation is great and the details are extraordinary.
This is an interesting book and one that incorporates unpublished source material from a memoir/bio by his son Noel.
What you get here is an amazing account of life as probably the most successful voice artist ever who became a legend on radio, tv, and those amazing WB cartoons.
Despite a near fatal car crash, Mel was sort of like a Timex watch. He took one hell of a licking yet still managed to keep ticking.
I'm not going to regurgitate the information imparted in the other very good reviews found here, except to say that this was truly an amazing story that blended both the public Blanc with the private Blanc. Despite size and scope, this book was a quick, engaging, and informative book that seemingly missed nothing. I found this sort of amazing because through most of his life quite literally Blanc was superhuman. He was a one man traveling band who was always working and always in motion.
If you love cartoons and all of Blanc's spontaneous voices and characters, I know you'll love this book. Author Ben Ohmart did a great job on this one.
Most recent customer reviews
Ben Ohmart, who owns Bear Manor Media, wrote and published this book, a detailed...Read more
I'm enjoying the kindle version very much. I'm a Mel Blanc fan.