As I mentioned recently, I happened to be in LA on Friday for work–and that night happened to be the one on which ASIFA-Hollywood through a birthday bash for June Foray at Pickwick Gardens in Burbank. I attended, of course (as did people such as Jerry Beck, Ray Pointer, Earl Kress, Mark Evanier, Floyd Norman, Mark Evanier, Tom Kenny, organizer Steve Worth, and many others) and had a thoroughly enjoyable time.
Sources say that June was born in 1917, but that’s clearly a laughable error–the woman whose birthday we celebrated looked more like she was born in 1937 or so. Here she is cutting into her cake:
And here’s a video, badly shot by me, in which she addresses her well-wishers. Interestingly enough, her talk is mostly about the art of animation and ASIFA, which she’s long supported, not about June Foray:
June Foray is more than one of the greatest voice actors ever to work in the business and one of our last living links to the golden age of the artform; she’s a delightful person. It was only when I was driving back to my hotel that it dawned on me that she neither mentioned any of her work nor did any of her voices, unless you count the one she gives the “young girl” she mentions in the above video. But I didn’t mind a bit…
I’ll probably weigh in on the controversy over the new Charles Schulz biography once I’ve had a chance to read it. But for now, here’s another Schulz-related item: When I was perusing birthday cards in a Boston CVS recently, I came across this one decorated with images of Charlie Brown and Snoopy as they appeared at the very start of their careers:
This is the only current product I’ve seen with retro Schulz drawings–but I suspect it’s part of an attempt to bring very early Peanuts back into fashion on new merchandise. That makes sense from a business standpoint–presumably, Disney has made hundreds of millions from items using the 1930s version of Mickey Mouse over the past forty years or so. I wouldn’t be startled if the success of the Fantagraphics Complete Peanuts has inspired this revival, and I kind of like it.
But am I wrong in remembering that Charles Schulz wasn’t crazy about his early work–and in fact didn’t even like using that much of it in books about the history of the strip? And if so, how would he feel about 1950 Charlie Brown bumping late-model Charlie Brown off a Hallmark card?