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Friday, February 23, 2024

Another Giant Leaves Us

This morning I received the news that Selby Daley Kelly passed away over the 4th of July weekend.

Selby was a pioneer woman animator and a tireless campaigner against the discrimination that relegated her and other talented female artists to the anonymity of the Ink and Paint pool at the Disney studio.
Selby was the head of the paint mixing department at the studio at the time of SNOW WHITE. She is pictured in the original 1938 program from Radio City Music Hall.

Selby is also pictured in many of the 'strike' photographs at Disney in 1941; at the time, she was dating Art Babbitt and so was very active in the union.
She was once President of the Screen Cartoonists' Guild and ran her own animation studios in the USA and Mexico with Roger Daley, her first husband.

Selby was a published children's book illustrator when she applied to Disney in 1936 as an animator. "They laughed at me and told me to go across the street to the Ink and Paint department."

A conversation:
Selby: "They paid me $15.00 a week."
me: "It was the Depression."
"Well, I gave up a job at the drugstore that paid twenty."
She described Walt Disney as a 'benevolent despot' toward the women and told me that if a woman walked into the Animation Building for any reason, she would be fired. Animators could visit Ink and Paint.

"We were told that women can't animate."
"We just can't."

Inkers could not afford the commissary on their low salaries, so they had a 'sandwich wagon' instead.

"I met my first husband in Chuck Jones' unit, and I also met my second husband in Chuck Jones' unit."

Walt Kelly apparently used to watch Margaret Selby walk to the Ink and Paint building, but though they worked in the same studio, they never met until thirty years later.

Selby told me something once that I have never forgotten.

"My first husband was as talented as my second husband. But he was a perfectionist and was never happy with the result. Kelly was satisfied to get it 80% right, and leave it at that."

(Arguably, 80% of Walt Kelly is 150% of most of our efforts...the man was a drawing dynamo.)

Selby was a very good friend of mine for many years after we met at Zanders'.

I interviewed her in 1983 for Cartoonist PROfiles magazine. The interview will be posted on this blog.

Farewell, Selby. I hope in the Big Studio in the Sky, the women can and do work with 'the boys'.

Monday, November 07, 2022



Frank and Ollie were right.

And I have a new blog on Substack. Why? Well, I might want to sell something there eventually. You can never tell.

Read all about it here.

Wednesday, October 05, 2022

Fantasy-Animation Interview October 2022

I was interviewed for this podcast and they asked excellent questions.  Look at some of the others, too, it's a very interesting site.

The picture of me was my official Disney portrait, taken in 1995. If you look carefully at my shirt, you will see little Mickey Mouse hands and feet and pants in the pattern. Subtle.

Tuesday, October 04, 2022

A nice shout out from a nice site

 If you aren't visiting the Animation World Network site regularly, you should be. It covers 'worldwide' animation, not just the usual suspects. There are articles, reviews, and blogs...and today, there's this: along with a review.

Writing a book or making a film and showing either one publicly means you listen to people who say its mom wrote it funny. (I left out the ugly part, and I want people to think I wrote it funny.)

So, we'll see what develops.

Monday, October 03, 2022

 Leonard Maltin and Jessie Maltin were kind enough to mention HOW I  FINALLY GOT TO LIVE A CAT'S LIFE on their  October 2 HAPPY SUNDAY livestream.  The review comes at 1 :01 :30.    Thank you, Jessie and Leonard. 

Sunday, October 02, 2022

No More Teachers...No More Books...except that last part isn't true.

 The book launched on October 1, and since it is the weekend, some things only will appear on Monday.

The first: Shipping. This is already happening, or so I am told. Good.  The second: Ebooks. Now, I know very little about the latter object, but they are the modern way to read a book. So, they are available. They are also listed at two different prices on ebook sites. This is a mistake. The higher price is the correct one. Just so you know. Ah, Mondays.

There are fifty 'diary entries' and four Pandemic Postage Stamps in How I Finally Got to Live A Cat's Life.  I drew more than fifty cartoons during the past two years. Many more. There wasn't a whole lot else to do, and not all the scary stories involved viruses.

But the other cartoons weren't cute little diary entries with cats. They were about an 'influencer' who wasn't imaginary like Sleazy Homemaker-- he was real.

He even got elected to high office.

Originally, I was going to have my diary be a novelty 'two books in one' like FLIPSVILLE/SQUARESVILLE  by Stan and Jan Berenstain.  *Yes, that is how their name is spelled and any 'alternate' is not from a 'mandela effect' --it's from functional illiteracy. You're welcome.  (And the line from SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS is "MAGIC mirror on the wall." You're welcome.) 
I believe that the Berenstains invented the technique. One character's viewpoint was seen on even numbered pages; the other's was there too, on the odd pages,  upside down, and you'd turn the book over to read the second version on the odd numbered pages. The back cover would become the front and vice versa.

So you'd read cute cartoons about cats on one side of my book, and a horror story about a horrible man on the other side. And no publisher wanted anything to do with this concept. Actually I didn't, either. I could have done this version when I self published, but I thought...the cartoons would be dated by the time the book came out. And I couldn't stand to look at the ugly faces.

Sadly, they aren't dated at all. A friend said that he, and perhaps others, would be willing to look at the ugly faces. Eager, even.

So, they will be posted here. You're welcome.

This one was just updated, because this record WILL NOT stop repeating, and it's being played by an entire party. (actually, we're the ones being played). The reference, for those of you Not In the Know, is to Leslie Gore's hit IT'S MY PARTY AND I'LL CRY IF I WANT TO. 

I'll get to the others later on. There are about twenty of them. I can't stand drawing any more...but someone wants to see them. You're welcome.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Retired From Sheridan Today

 But that's NOT all, folks!  The book is released tomorrow, and there will be some exciting new announcements next week!

Stay tuned. This page is easy to update, and I have a link from  my portfolio site,

Go there to look at films. Come here to see stuff I can't put on that other page, including over fifty cartoons about...well, you'll have to wait for the update.