Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Disney bullpen, 1954, by John Sparey

Courtesy of the artist, John Sparey, the above view of the Disney bullpen ... ... hangs in the hallway of our Guild headquarters building. John writes:
The time period is fairly specific. We returned from the end of [the] Lady and the Tramp layoff [and] were settling in to work on the new Disneyland TV show. It would have been mid-1954. The setting is the first-floot bullpen in B wing of the Animation Building. All the furnishings are accurate. It's morning coffee break. The lineup from the left is Clyde Horak, Gary Mooney, Dick Hoffman, John Sparey, Bill Mahood, Bob Carr in the corner, Jack Fergus on the desk, and Wes Herschenson (brother of one-time U.S. Senate candidate Bruce) in the foreground. Jack and Chuck were the "old timers" -- they had started before the rest of us. Clyde was the "new kid" coming in some time after us. All the rest [of us] started in two training classes a few weeks apart in early 1953. Gary was the only occupant of the bullpen at this point in time. He had once been a child extra and could now be thought of as a "pre-hippie." Jack wore moccasins and hus crewcut just barely cleared the tops of doorways. But I never saw him duck or cringe. I later came up with a title for this picture: "You think THAT'S funny ... wait until you hear this one!"
-- John Sparey Go here for an index of our posts of John Sparey art.

5 comments:

Jenny said...

THAT is one of the coolest things I've ever seen...not to mention--I don't believe I've ever heard of any of these guys--talk about an unsung labor force! At Disney's! I hope it has a place of honor in the new building.

And what's almost eerie is that this looks so contemporary. Even some of the caricatures look like people in the business I know and have known--50 years later.

floyd norman said...

Oh my lord, I remember those days. I think I recognize Gary Mooney and Chuck Williams. I can't remember the names of the rest of those guys, but I sure remember them.

Thanks, John Sparey. I always loved your stuff.

Jason said...

I love to look through old B/W photos to imagine what it was like back in the day. It amazes me I get that same feeling with this picture. A characature of that era for us to enjoy many years later. Great image. I got lost in it for a few minutes. Thanks

Steven E. Gordon said...

John was always drawing very 'biting' gags about the studios he worked in and pinning them up for all to see - even the bosses (who weren't always pleased at being poked fun of). It's a shame he's never published them in some form.
He also had a big sketchbook of charicatures of the guys he worked with over the years. That would make another priceless book or web-site. The ANimation Archive should try to get hold of these and scan them for their project.

Michael Polvani said...

HEY!
I thought I would mention a little something about one of those unsung heroes in the drawing.

I used to work at a studio with Wes Herschenson back in the mid-eighties and he was one of a hand full of talented artists that would give me the "time of day". He was always very kind and giving of his knowledge and experience....not only about the business and the art form....but also about life in general.
He was that way with EVERYONE, not just me.
He was fun to be around. A breath of fresh air (not to say that others there weren't).

It was a real privilege to have known and worked with him before his untimely and sudden passing.

All the best to you Wes.....and thanks!!

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