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
Hope springs eternal. Original watercolor on Arches paper, 10″ x 30.5″ by Chuck Jones, circa early 1990s.
“A fanatic is someone who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his
aim.” American philosopher George Santayana may or may not have been
familiar with the machinations of Wile E. Coyote, but his quote about
fanatics encapsulates all that’s wrong with the Coyote’s approach (and
for our pleasure, all that’s right.) The quote wouldn’t have been out of
place on those wonderful Burma Shave signs that were a mainstay in the
middle of the last century on the highways and byways of the American
New from the Chuck Jones archive is this beautiful and funny visual
interpretation of the quote.
Michael Fiacco,center right, our Director of Special Exhibitions, gets some help installing “The Chuck Jones Experience” from our gallery assistants, Scott Ryder, left, and John Yasutomi. Wile E. Coyote was there to offer his opinion as well. (He kept muttering something about the Acme Corporation…)
“The Chuck Jones Experience” POPUP opens tomorrow and runs through August 15 at the Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art at 611 S. Coast Hwy. in Laguna Beach. Open seven days a week from 11 to 6 PM. Tomorrow is Laguna’s first Thursday Gallery Walk. Be sure to stop in and view the rare, vintage layout drawings and other ephemera from the Chuck Jones Museum as well as view Chuck Jones’s incredible contemporary graphics and originals.
Grand opening on Saturday, August 3rd, from 3 to 7 PM. Be there!
#chuckjones #vintagedrawings #classicanimation #exhibition #lagunabeach @lgoca @michaelfiacco325 #wileecoyote https://www.instagram.com/p/B0mMvs6jsUD/?igshid=1bagbeae3zvnm
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.
Top: Original layout drawing, graphite on 12 field animation paper, by Chuck Jones for his 1954 short animated film, “Claws for Alarm,” starring Porky Pig and Sylvester. Please note that Sylvester* is mute in Chuck Jones cartoons.
Bottom: Original background layout, graphite with red pencil on 12 field animation paper, by Maurice Noble.
*Sylvester is from the Latin for wooded, silvestris, and felis silvestris, aka “wild cat”.
Acrobats, original oil on canvas, 20″ x 16″, by Chuck Jones, circa 1995.
“The author, O. Henry, taught me about the value of the unexpected. He once wrote about the noise of flowers and the smell of birds–the birds were chickens and the flowers, dried sunflowers rattling against a wall.” –Chuck Jones