Encyclopedia of Cartoon Superstars

by John Cawley & Jim Korkis

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The Superstars...

  • Alvin and the Chipmunks
  • Betty Boop
  • Bugs Bunny
  • Casper
  • Coyote & Road Runner
  • Daffy Duck
  • Donald Duck
  • Droopy
  • Felix the Cat
  • Flintstones
  • Heckle & Jeckle
  • Huckleberry Hound
  • Mr. Magoo
  • Mickey Mouse
  • Mighty Mouse
  • Pink Panther
  • Porky Pig
  • Popeye
  • Rocky & Bullwinkle
  • Roger Rabbit
  • Scooby-Doo
  • Smurfs
  • Tom & Jerry
  • Woody Woodpecker
  • Yogi Bear

    Some backstory...

    In the late 1980s, Jim Korkis and I had teamed up on a number of ventures from selling books and collectibles at shows to writing articles for a few publications. We were asked by a small publisher about creating a few books, including one about How to Create Animation. I suggested we also do a book about the characters of animation. The publisher was not sure and preferred something about studios. My arguement was that very few people knew "who" created cartoon characters, but almost everyone knew "of" the characters. I thought a book of "biographies" of the characters would have a lot of appeal. We proposed calling it "Cartoon Superstars", picking the top 25 of the century. The publisher liked the idea, but felt that a "top 25" book would not sell as well as an "encyclopedia", so he gave the book a greenlight with the new title. As Jim and I came up with our list of Superstars, we wanted to be sure to cover as many studios as possible. After all, one could simply go to Disney and Warner Bros to come up with 25 popular characters. Of our list, the publisher only objected to one - The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He felt they were already past their prime and would be quickly forgotten. After some discussion, we finally settled on Roger Rabbit. Meanwhile, the publisher decided the format for the chapters. He felt each chapter should have an identical format that included a "summary" of key aspects and a listing of the top 5 videos. We agreed to the summary idea, but declined on the videos as those could go out of date... and on some of the characters there were little or no video releases. We also tossed in "creator quotes" which were random quotes on or by the characters that could be dropped around the pages as desired for design. Jim and I went back and viewed many cartoons and reviewed original sources. (A number of times we found that previous books were in error about various facts. Sadly some of those books are still in print and still offering faulty info.) We had two friends write forewords to the book - author Leonard Maltin and Disney director Jack Hanna. The cover was designed by me with final art by several animation pals.

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