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My Loving Fans

Gene Deitch looks at his diverse fan base, which ranges from lovers of Tom Terrific to his work on Weston Woods Studios projects.

An excerpt from Gene Deitchs How to Succeed in Animation (Dont Let a Little Thing Like Failure Stop You!).

Some of Genes fans know him only as the CAT-toonist

Some of Genes fans know him only as the CAT-toonist" who drew the cartoons and covers for the old Record Changer magazine in the mid-40s and 50s.

My fans seldom meet. They are few and they are diverse. I am virtually unknown in the mass media. My name rings no bells in the gossipy movie biz. My fans are isolated. They rarely know each other, but they do love me... YES! They really love me!

I may have the most diverse fanhood going:

  • There are those ancient Mouldy Fygges, the hard-line traditional jazz and blues fans who only know me as the fanatic CAT-toonist who drew the cartoons and covers for the old Record Changer magazine in the mid-40s and 50s.

  • There are those intense comic strip researchers who even know about my short-lived daily and Sunday newspaper feature for United Features Syndicate, Terrble Thompson, the progenitor of Tom Terrific.

  • There may be one or two who remember my work at The Jam Handy Organization in Detroit, where I first made use of my UPA roots and laid the foundation for whatever I did later.

  • There are the dedicated animation historians who recognize the pioneering work I directed in the palmy days of animated TV commercials.

  • There are the animation historians who especially love the obscure, and many of my efforts fall neatly into that category. They are obsessed with my truncated renaissance at CBS-Terrytoons in the mid-50s, and even find praise for the films I did there that sank like stones in the corporate pool.
Gene will always be remembered for Tom Terrific by Baby Boomers and for Terrytoons by animation historians.

Gene will always be remembered for Tom Terrific by Baby Boomers and for Terrytoons by animation historians.

  • There are the Baby Boomers raised on Tom Terrific, Mighty Manfred and Crabby Appleton. (Tom Terrific was my one creation that actually entered the language.)

  • There are those Tom & Jerry freaks who are even willing to include my 12 efforts in the T&J pantheon. Go figure.

  • There are those who know me by my Rembrandt Films productions, which brought me an Oscar and four nominations. They know Munro, and even Nudnik, my own favorite personal creation.

  • There are even quite a few who somehow manage to admire the series of Popeye and Krazy Kat cartoons I did for King Features Television.

  • There are all those schoolteachers and librarians around the world who only know me for my 25 years of animation adaptations of the finest childrens picture books, such as Where The Wild Things Are, and In The Night Kitchen, for Weston Woods Studios of Connecticut.

  • There may be a lot of tiny tots who would love me for the 53 short films I did of the Dick Bruna Miffy books, for which I also wrote a bag full of very nice songs.

  • And now there are those dedicate traditional blues fans who really do love me for having privately recorded John Lee Hooker in 1949, and for preserving the tapes for 50 years.

If you put all those few those hardy few together in one good-sized projection room, they would surely ignore each other as total strangers!

To read more about Genes adventures in the animation world, visit Genes .

Gene Deitch is one of the last surviving members of the original Hollywood UPA studio of 1946 and the instigator of the CBS-Terrytoons renaissance of 1956-1958. He was also: animation department chief of the Detroit Jam Handy Organization; 1949-1951, creative chief of UPA-New York, 1951-1954; director at John Hubleys Storyboard Inc., New York, 1955; president of Gene Deitch Associates Inc., New York, 1958-1960; creative director for Rembrandt Films, 1960-1968; and star director for Weston Woods Studios, Inc., Weston, Connecticut, 1968-1993. He has worked for more than 40 years with the Prague animation studio, Bratri v Triku.

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