Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I keep mentioning that the 5th volume in this great series of CDs has been released. Definitely worth picking up.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The new issue of the Carl Barks Fan Club Pictorial has just been released. A great issue, as always.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The other book I just got from Disney Publishing is Disney During World War II: How the Walt Disney Studio Contributed to Victory in the War. Author John Baxter did a fine job on this volume. He unearthed some artwork that had never been seen before and summarized very well the different projects the Studio worked on during WWII. There is even new information that I had not seen anywhere else until now. This is a book that is well-worth picking up and which will complement nicely David Lesjak's recent volume Service with Character: The Disney Studios and World War II and Richard Shale's Donald Duck Joins Up.

Of course the book(s) I am really looking forward to on this subject is Paul F. Anderson's magnum opus on Disney and WWII which should be complete once Paul stops being the unfortunate protagonist of his own version of the Book of Job. Soon, hopefully. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I have just received two new books by Disney Publishing which I will review today and tomorrow. The first one is the long awaited Marc Davis: Walt Disney's Renaissance Man.

Needless to say, this is a "must have" and the type of book I wish existed for most of the key Disney artists. This is an absolute beauty encompassing all aspects of Marc's career, including his personal art, the notes he took during his trips, his work for Imagineering, etc. And it is written by a true "Who's Who" of Disney historians and Disney-history enthusiasts: Don Hahn, Andreas Deja, Mindy Johnson, Paula Sigman-Lowery, etc...

If you are reading this blog, this is clearly a book you should pick up right away. No second thoughts. Very, very clear endorsement on my part.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Indexing Project - Help Needed

The Walt's People book series urgently needs an index. Without one, its value to historians and enthusiasts is much more limited than it could and should be.

A few years ago, Paula Sigman-Lowery and Diane Disney Miller started working on the project with a small team of volunteers. Unfortunately Diane's passing last year put a temporary stop to the effort and Paula is no longer able to lead this project.

I need to find someone who would be willing and able to take Paula's place to lead this critical project. It would have to be someone who has a solid understanding of general Disney history and can identify themes that would be important to researchers. Unfortunately it is not just a matter of knowing the names and indexing the words. Good organizational skills are also critical, of course. And the volunteer should be detail-oriented, meticulous and willing to check and double-check.

Could anyone help? If so, please email me at didier.ghez@gmail.com A million thanks in advance.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I was excited to discover that not just one but two new books by Jim Korkis have been launched today by Theme Park Press. Since I wrote the foreword for the latest volume of The Vault of Walt that title was not a surprise, but Jim's compilation of Animation Anecdotes (non-Disney) was. I am really looking forward to getting both books soon.

Monday, September 22, 2014

This just in from Dave Mason:

[In Remembrance
Royal "Mickey" Clark
1918 - 2014

Royal Clark was among the most trusted life-long friends and business associates of the Walt Disney family.

He served as Executive Vice President of WED Enterprises, retiring in 1984. In addition, he served as Treasurer and as Vice President of Walt Disney's privately held company, RETLAW Enterprises.

For many years he served as Walt Disney's personal accountant and may be best known to Disney historians for the signature he would provide on thousands of documents for Walt and Lillian Disney, their family, and their business interests.

In 1961, Clark was instrumental in helping to facilitate Walt Disney and Roy Disney's merger of the Chouinard Art Institute and the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music to establish the California Institute of the Arts. He would provide invaluable service to the revitalized school during those early years as he effectively served on the CalArts Board of Trustees.
Royal Clark's steadfast service to Walt Disney is honored with the window that remains prominently displayed above the Carnation Café on Disneyland's Main Street, U.S.A.]

I had the pleasure of being asked a few months ago by my good friend Sasa Rakezic to write the introduction for a book that has now been released in Serbia: The complete reprints of the Mika Mis comic book strip from the '30s. I had always loved that weird version of Mickey Mouse and his bizarre adventures around the world and I therefore provided this introduction with tremendous pleasure. I just discovered the cover (above) and I am looking forward to getting a few copies of the book itself.

If you are interested in ordering teh book, you can email the publisher, Vuk Markovik at info@komiko.rs

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The blog will be updated again on September 22.
I have just received The Unauthorized Story of Walt Disney's Haunted Mansion by Jeff Baham and I can now confirm that this is one of the best Disney history books related to WED / WDI released in recent years. A "must have" for parks historians.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

This just in from Brad Abbott:

[I'm conducting research on the sponsors and lessees at Disneyland, from the parks opening in 1955 until the introduction of New Tomorrowland in 1967. I'm interested in how these companies/individuals came to find out about Disneyland, their decision process in becoming a part of the park, and how both parties were able to benefit (or not) from the relationship. Anyone with information/documents about the early corporate sponsors and small businesses and restaurants at the park that they'd be willing to share can contact me via e-mail (bnabbott@sbcglobal.net).]

Monday, September 08, 2014

I am very much looking forwars to this new book by Sam Gennaway, which, despite its name, is bound to be a great history book.

Friday, September 05, 2014

From what I understand, this newly released 3-Disc Mary Poppins album seems to contain a large part of the recordings from the story sessions that P.L. Travers attended at the Studio. It looks like a must-have.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

This just in from garry Apgar:

[Might Walt be referring here to the camera he took with him on his Grand Tour of Europe in 1935?

"A few months ago I took a trip, combining business and pleasure, to the east, through the canal, Cuba, Florida, etc.  Before starting, my first thought was for a 16 mm. camera.  The result was the Victor, not alone for its convenient portability, but for the many technical features that my newsreel experience had taught me to value.  With it I managed to bring back many hundred feet of interesting films of my vacation.  And from it I learned that, once you’ve made a start in cinematography, you can’t stop—you’re a cinematographer for life."

Walt Disney, “Mickey Mouse and 16 mm.”
American Cinematographer, March 1932, p. 36]

Actually, the Victor model that Walt was refering to in this 1932 article was an older one than the one (model Four) that he took with him on the 1935 according to this ad.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Would anyone of you have any rare documents (memos, story meeting notes, etc) linked to Make Mine Music, Fun and Fancy Free and Melody Time?

If so, could you please email me at didier.ghez@gmail.com?

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

It has been a while since I gave you an update of my ongoing projects and I thought that, with so much on my plate, now might be a good time. Here are the book projects I am currently involved with and which should be released over the next 18 months:

- Walt's People - Volume 15 (Theme Park Press). The manuscript is ready and is being checked by the contributors. I am hoping to see it released by December at the latest.

- The Drew As They Pleased - Volume 1 (Chronicle Books). The manuscript is ready and the illustrations have been selected. It focuses on Albert Hurter, Ferdinand Horvath, Gustaf Tenggren and Bianca Majolie. About 90% of the content will be released in book form for the first time ever. Planned release date: Fall 2015.

- Eric Larson's autobiography (Theme Park Press): I am hard at work on this with Joe Campana, JB Kaufman, and Dan Jeup. I am hoping to see it released by January of next year.

- The Wilfred Jackson / Ross Care letters (Theme Park Press): I am helping Ross put his correspondence in shape for release in book form. Some of the content is truly revolutionary, and while working on this project I managed to unearth some rare (never-seen-before) photos as well as... the lost diaries of Wilfred Jackson!!

- I also had the pleasure of writing a short introduction for the upcoming reprint of the Serbian comic book Mika Mis (Mickey Mouse) from the 1930s (more on this next month).

In addition to those "short term" projects, I have started working on Walt's People - Volume 16, They Drew As They Pleased - Volume 2, and on the editing of the Ward Kimball diaries. I wonder why I felt I needed a break two weeks ago ;-)