Grill o’ My Dreams

March 9, 2005

I begin today’s post with apologies and credit to Looney Tunes and Bugs Bunny. Readers always seem interested in knowing what or who influenced a cartoonist during the formative years. It’s a question that ranks right up there behind: “Where do you get your ideas?” “How far ahead do you work?” “Do you ever work in your underwear?” and “I don’t get it.” OK, that last one isn’t a question, but I hear it a lot. My lame stock answer usually is, “Oh, the same things that influenced other cartoonists my age,” meaning the same features that everyone else liked at the time I was a boy. Peanuts, for example. In reality, it can be a surprisingly complex question to answer. Every now and then, though, I am reminded of cartoon work that did influence me directly, and the old Warner Bros. Looney Tunes animated cartoons, originally produced for theater audiences of all ages, would be right up there. Even as a kid, I could appreciate a subtle, grown-up wit that absolutely was missing in the Disney cartoons that dominated the scene in my day. However, I would have to say I was a huge fan of Scrooge McDuck comic books and the work of Carl Barks. I think I may be the first person to apply the word “subtle” to a Bugs Bunny cartoon.