by : Gene Deitch
Inspired by a real-life incident―getting his tie caught in a moving Moviola editing machine―Gene Deitch, cartoonist, animator, memoirist, renaissance man, created Nudnik, his Everyman character, a cross between Candide and Godot. The star of 12 Paramount-produced animated shorts that ran in theatres as an opening to the main movie in 1964 and 1965, Nudnik was one of Deitch’s most creatively personal and commercially successful creations in a long career of innovative and successful work, including the award-winning animated versions of Jules Feiffer’s Munro and Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are. Nudnik is the well-intentioned, kind, cheerful, but bumbling naif, inspired by and reflecting such archetypal characters as Jackie Gleason’s Poor Soul, Charlie Chaplin’s Tramp, and Charles Schulz’s Charlie Brown. He never gets a break, can’t do anything right, but somehow muddles through, dignity more or less intact. Nudnik Revealed! finally collects all of Deitch’s original drawings, sketches, model sheets, storyboards, and color “set-ups” that he drew during the Nudnik production season of ’64-’65, all reproduced from original art, showcasing his lively pencil line and his slick, authoritative pen and ink work. Deitch, a born storyteller and one of the great raconteurs of comics and animation, accompanies the copious examples of art with a running commentary―by turns, funny, spirited, and chock full of historical insights. Full-color illustrations throughout.