Dad's Cartoon 'Mort of the Moon' 12-2012


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mort panel 1
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My Dad's Cartoon 'Mort of the Moon'
    I took a trip last month to see my brother Errol and his wife Sarah to pick up some of the stuff from my parents old home. This was a cartoon my dad had made in the sixties.
    He had made sketches of the cartoon panels and detailed sketches of some scenes he envisioned. The ones here labeled Mort-1 .... Mort-5 were redrawn on thicker stock and inked in with india ink. These five he sent to United Feature Syndicate in April 1966. He apparently sent them with an enclosed SASE manila envelope for them to send them back.

    I scanned in the inked drawings and the scene sketches and the scanned pics are all at the bottom of the page. This set of panels is the cover panel showing all of his characters.


    A link to the newpaper cartoon publishing company.
    A link to a web page on United Feature Syndicate


    Note that on all of these pictures there is a very large picture that will appear if you click on the picture. In windows internet explorer -- click on the pic again to zoom. Hit the back arrow to get back to the main webpage.


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My Dad's Cartoon 'Mort of the Moon' panel set 2
    This appears to be the opening set with depictions of Mort's arrival by stork. He is not around to ask but it would appear that some imagination is required in picturing his characters and their situation. I am not sure if air is a requirement for the characters and the cheese trees would seem to indicate a level of comedy is intended.

    Some of this stuff appears derivative but just go along with it -- the stork also brought Dumbo into the cartoon world and the technology behind the really small capsule that brought us Superman as a baby seems to leave a lot unexplained. Perhaps he intended to expand and explain if his cartoon was accepted for publication.

    I love Mort's moon cat and lolipop and it would appear cheese tree beetles were a common problem on the moon. Note the shadow of something falling from the sky ......





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My Dad's Cartoon 'Mort of the Moon' panel set 3
    Crashing through the dome is a Tor-Idd robot. Check out Mort and his cat clinging to FullMoon's legs. Note the robot's antenae -- in the same place as Bender's in Futurama.

    I am reminded of Luke Skywalker's farm in Star Wars. They needed some robot workers When you see the robot projecting his story remember this is at least 10 years before George Lucas had R2D2 project a hologram of Princess Leia -- perhaps great minds think alike.

    The black glop on Idd's face is somehow removed in the last panel. Mom's question 'Where did it come from?' sets the storyline for the rest of the panel sets.
    A link to a webpage with a few pictures about Tatooine.
    A link to a web page with recent pictures of Tatooine.





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My Dad's Cartoon 'Mort of the Moon' panel set 4
    "The Cage" is the first pilot episode of the Star Trek: The Original Series science fiction series. It was completed in early 1965 (with a copyright date of 1964), but not broadcast on television in its complete form until the autumn of 1988. Star Trek had the projection storyline for the pilot showed in the cage episode as a kind of court proceeding on the crew's breaking into a restricted planet. But note that the 'Cage' with Jeffery Hunter was not shown complete until 1988 and the parts of that pilot used in the new pilot with William Shatner were not shown until September 1966 (after these panels were sent back to dad).

    Star Trek also had an episode where Spock's brain was missing and he was controlled while brainless with a radio controller similar to the one Mort's dad built.

    I love the moon table but as always there are some strange anomalies in the details. The lights are out on the robot indicator panel for robots 2 and 3 (Idd is robot #1) but the current gages are all at the same point? In the previous panel set dad pulls off one antenae and shows a bare-headed Idd in profile but in this panel Idd is shown face-on and oddly enough he has two antenae.


    A link to a webpage with a few details on 'The Cage'.
    A link to a web page with Star Trek info.


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My Dad's Cartoon 'Mort of the Moon' panel set 5
    This is the last complete panel set. A lot more needs to be explained. See the individual panels below for some scenes that might help fill in the details.

    Note the similarities to robots in general. There was a robot in 'The Black Hole' and robots in 'Forbidden Planet' and the 'Lost in Space Series'. Three little robots were in 'Silent Running' and they were named Huey, Dewey, and Louie -- after Donald Duck's nephews. In 'Forbidden Planet' the monster was a creature created by the idd (the reptile portion of the brain of the chief scientist Walter Pigeon). The Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon science fiction serials had space ships similar to the one dad drew but not as boxy -- remember that he could not have seen the Star Trek shuttle.




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My Dad's Cartoon 'Mort of the Moon' panel set 5 (alternate story)
    This appears to be the same as the inked panel set 5 but note the crossed out panels (redone in the submitted #5 set). This was on a kind of onion paper that has yellowed creating the off color. In the single sketches below -- you can see that he did them at work on his lunch hour or breaks. They are on the back side of papers he used at work. He used a pretty light pencil so if I adjusted the scan parameters to darken the pencil -- some of the grids and text on the back of the papers shows through.

    Some of the single panels are dated with dates from 1960 through 1966.

    Note that in the preliminary sketch the skeleton king is telling the robots to get him a 'moon man' but in the submitted panels it is changed to something called 'TonDon'.




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My Dad's Cartoon 'Mort of the Moon' panel set 3 (I started to color it)

    I wondered what a colored panel would look like -- and started coloring it with 'Paint Shop Pro'. Does anyone care to try coloring the panels?? I have a shareware version of PSP. What color do you think a cheese tree on the moon should be??

    Note that the number of panels is for a Sunday edition and would have been colored in 1966. In his papers was a complete set of 1935 sunday paper Buck Rogers cartoons that someone had reduced to 8.5 x 11 inch sheets -- they were uncolored. If there is any interest in this webpage I could scan them in and put them up.




stoneden
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My Dad's Cartoon 'Mort of the Moon' individual panels, etc.