When people think about the golden age of Warner Bros’ cartoons, the first name that comes to their minds is either Chuck Jones or Friz Freleng, which is understandable considering the contributions those two directors made not just to Warner Bros, but to the industry as a whole. However, it seems unfair that Robert McKimson and his siblings Charles and Tom weren’t given as much adulation and reverence, especially since the three of them together have been responsible for the look and feel of Warner Bros. cartoons more than anyone else in the industry.
Fortunately, Robert Mckimson’s son, Robert Jr., along with the Mckimsons’ industry peers have worked together to publish “I Say, I Say . . . Son!”: A Tribute to Legendary Animators Bob, Chuck, and Tom McKimson, which is a long overdue look at the art and history of the individuals who helped solidify the golden age of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, as well as helped define the look of Warner Bros’ flagship characters – particularly Bugs Bunny, whose overall look was improved and streamlined by McKimson Sr. in the early 40s.
The book starts with a poignant foreword from Ren and Stimpy creator John Kricfalusi, which explains his admiration for the McKimson brothers’ works, followed by an intro from veteran director Darrell Van Citters, who also shared the effects of the McKimsons’ work on his own.
Robert Jr then uses the majority of the text in the book to share his father’s long, storied history as he started out at Disney and the Romer Grey studio to the earliest days at Harman-Ising. Of course, this being a celebration of people who made a living off animation, it wouldn’t be complete without any art supporting the text; the book contains stunning pencil art from Bosko (from Schlesinger) and Binko (from Romer Grey) framing Bob Jr’s text.
As for the McKimson’s own art, the book also contains a ton – from reproductions of comics, animation layouts, model sheets, water color paintings, storyboards, and everything in between. The images you’ll see in the book are all beautiful and raw art from the McKimsons, not the cookie cutter cliparts featured in lesser books related to animation.
The book is available now through Amazon, in both Kindle (digital) and Hardcover formats: http://www.amazon.com/Say-Son-Legendary-Animators-McKimson/dp/1595800697