Joe Barbera's First Cartoon Storyboard Group (c. 1935).Click the image to load the highest resolution version.
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DescriptionJoe Barbera's First Cartoon Storyboard Group (c. 1935). This historic group of forty-three animation storyboard drawings represents the very first cartoon script written by Joseph Barbera. Joe began his career as an animator for the Van Beuren Studio; when he went to work for Paul Terry's animation studio, he tried his hand at writing and storyboarding a Kiko the Kangaroo cartoon. Joe relates the story in his autobiography: "As cartoon characters go, Kiko the Kangaroo was just terrible, but he had more promise than any of the others." Joe crafted a storyline where Kiko is in an airplane race against a handlebar-mustachioed dog named Dirty Doug. Director Manny Davis liked what he saw, and made arrangements to present it to Paul Terry himself. Terry passed on the story, but "I was, quite honestly, not in the least disappointed. I had proven to myself that I could do a storyboard, and that I had gained the experience of presenting it. For now, that was enough."
The drawings wound up with Joe's mother, who passed them on to a nephew, and they have stayed in the Barbera family until now. This group of yellowing 3-top peghole paper drawings kicked off the career of one of the most important men in the industry, one half of the famous team of Hanna-Barbera. If you were to write a list of the five most important people in the history of animation, as well as the history of television, Joe's name would be on both lists.
The art is in graphite and brown pencil on 12-field animation paper, with image areas ranging from approximately 7.25" x 5.5" to 9.25" x 7.25". The overall condition is Very Good. Included with the artwork, which is still in its original folder, is a hand-written note from Joe to his nephew, plus an autographed copy of Joe's autobiography, My Life in 'Toons: From Flatbush to Bedrock in Under a Century.
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