Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Allow me to introduce myself

Hidey ho surfers, since this is my first post I thought I should get started by explaining how I got started in this field.

For one thing, I've been watching old cartoons on PD VHS tapes since I was born. At any given moment, you could find me as a toddler sitting patiently watching Jasper in a Jam, Daffy Duck and the Dinosaur, Minnie's Yoo Hoo, Smile Darn Ya Smile, among many others.When I reached about age 5 I went into a phase that I've never come out of: collector.

Besides old things in general, it was at this time that I started collecting VHS tapes of classic cartoons wherever I could find and afford them. I owe my family alot of credit for supporting my interests and footing the bill for many of those old videotapes.

A couple years later, my father found some old silent 16mm Castle Films prints of 30s Terrytoons and a Mickey Mouse film as well. I was fascinated by them, but thought "What are these round things?" We asked around and discovered that my Godfather had a projector and was able to show me the films my father found. Ever since I sat down and watched those primitive cartoons flickering on a white sheet against the wall, I was hooked.

Where, do you ask, did silent cartoons come into the picture? It was a bit of manifest destiny. Before I was even born, my mother bought The Disney Studio Story. It sat displayed on my bedroom shelf for several years before I started flipping through it. Being that I grew up watching old black and white cartoons like Smile Darn Ya Smile, the images of Alice Comedies and Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in the book started me on a quest to find those films.

I did eventually find a videotape of silent Disney cartoons released by Video Images, courtesy of the huge Movies Unlimited catalog. My father was generous to buy the $20 or so tape, this being much more expensive than the little PD videos I had been collecting. Then again, when the video came, I was hooked.My next exposure to silents came soon thereafter. This was the period when the F.W. Woolworth Co. stores were closing in New York. At a local Woolworth's there was a video bin...inside were old PD videos that must have been leftover from the 80s. Some of these were from an obscure company called Nippon Ltd., one series of videos of which was called Hide & Shriek. This series boasted "scary" or "oddball" cartoons and short films. On one video was a print of The Pet, a c1921 Winsor McCay classic. From that point on my interest in silent cartoons snowballed to what it has become today.

The rest is history!Now, for your enjoyment, are some snapshots of [some of] my collection.


Craig D said...

Welcome to the blogosphere, Tom!

Linda Glover said...

Looking forward to reading more of your posts, Tom!

BJWanlund said...

Thanks Tom. Wow, you got hooked at an early age like I did.


Ray Pointer said...

I don't know what impressed me more, the blog or the film stack pic. Looks like my downstairs back hallway.

Craig D said...

OK, Tom! I've rented the truck, now let's go do our good deed for the day and help Ray clean out his back hallway!

Tommy José Stathes said...

You're too funny, eggman! :-D