Category: inspiration

American Gothic, the original by Grant Wood (l) and the Bugs Bunny version by Chuck Jones ®.

Wile E. Coyote and a young Charles M. Jones, illustration by Chuck Jones, graphite on 12 field animation paper, and found on page 35 in Chuck Amuck, his autobiography, published 1989.
“The coyote is a long, slim, sick and sorry-looking skeleton, with a gray wolfskin stretched over it, a tolerably bushy tail that forever sags down with a despairing expression of forsakenness and misery, a furtive and evil eye, and a long, sharp face, with slightly lifted lip and exposed teeth. He has a general slinking expression all over. The coyote is a living, breathing allegory of Want. He is always hungry. He is always poor, out of luck, and friendless. The meanest creatures despise him, and even the fleas would desert him for a velocipede. He is so spiritless and cowardly that even while his exposed teeth are pretending a threat, the rest of his face is apologizing for it. And he is so homely! -so scrawny, and ribby, and coarse-haired, and pitiful.”
-Mark Twain, Roughing It

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.

From the top: “Wish You Weren’t Here,” “Pepe le Pew’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,’ and “ACME Road,” acrylic on canvas, 14″ square, by Daniel Killen

“Matinee Review” by ______ ______, one of over 125 works of art donated anonymously to this year’s Red Dot Auction, a fundraiser that benefits the programs of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity