An insider's account of the wild and wacky teams that created cartoon classics for Warner Bros. and MGM Animation
Martha Sigall worked with all the classic cartoon characters-Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tom & Jerry, Droopy Dawg, Beany & Cecil, Tweety, and Porky Pig-and the madcap artists who created them-Chuck Jones, Tex Avery, Bob Clampett, Frank Tashlin, Friz Freleng, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, Bill Melendez, and Ben (Bugs) Hardaway.
As a teenager Sigall became an apprentice painter working in the Golden Age of Hollywood at the Leon Schlesinger studio, making $12.75 per week coloring animation cels that would introduce Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd to the world. She recounts her wild and wonderful experiences with the Warner Bros. cartoon crew, working and laughing all day with the animators, partying all night with the Looney Tunes gang on the bowling and baseball teams, and participating in weekend scavenger hunts. She was president of the in-house "Looney Tunes Club," co-wrote the company gossip column, and performed in the company's theatrical troupe.
After World War II, Martha joined MGM Animation (Tom & Jerry, Tex Avery) in Culver City as an assistant in the camera room and later freelanced her ink and paint services, creating art for many classic features, shorts, commercials, and TV series-including Garfield, Peanuts, and The Pink Panther.
Written with warmth, humor, and a touch of nostalgia, this is a rarely told story of what it was like to be a part of a team of artists who were creating masterpieces of animation. Martha recalls her lifelong friendships with writer Michael Maltese, animators Ben Washam, Ken Harris, Herman Cohen, Paul Smith, Bob Matz, and many others. She writes of her experiences of being a woman in a male-dominated industry, particularly during the war years when she was one of the first women camera operators in the industry.
Recipient of numerous awards for her artistry, Martha Sigall, Culver City, California, worked in animation production from 1936 to 1989.
Photo: Mike Lah and the author in cutouts-courtesy of the author
224 pp., 74 b&w illustrations, index