Wile E. Coyote’s tail was directly inspired by Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kunagawa” of 1829. The first Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote cartoon, “Fast and Furry-ous” appeared in theaters 120 years later in 1949, 70 years ago this year.
Top: First model sheet for Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, circa 1945, graphite on paper, by Chuck Jones.
2nd: detail of Coyote’s tail.
3rd: “The Great Wave off Kunagawa” wood block print (with detail inset) by Hokusai from his suite, “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, circa 1829-1833.