Web Extras: Hogan’s Alley #19

Even with as much as we packed into Hogan’s Alley #19, we have material that we wanted to share with readers. So here, we want to present some content that we think you’ll find worth your time. (And if seeing this material moves you to purchase a copy of Hogan’s Alley #19, so much the better!) First up:

UPA’s “Dick Tracy” Television Cartoon

If you’ve read Hogan’s Alley #19, you saw Jim Korkis’ article about the numerous (and largely ill-fated) attempts to adapt Dick Tracy to television animation. Accompanying that article were illustrations from UPA’s Tracy series. Animation veteran Robert Alvarez (currently animation director for Cartoon Network’s Regular Show) supplied us with the UPA art, and we are privileged to present more of it here. We also wanted to let Robert explain in his own words how he came into possession of such a special set of animation artifacts:

“I have been working in television animation now for the past 45 years. My journey into this industry began when I was in the seventh grade. My interest in comic books and cartoon began at very early age. It was in the seventh grade that I met my friend of many years Tim Walker. Tim and I would ride our bikes after school to studios like Hanna-Barbera, Format Films, and of course UPA.  Our first destination was always the trash cans. We would dig through the cigarette butts and coffee grinds looking for any treasure. Hanna-Barbera usually  threw out animation cels on a regular basis. UPA usually only threw out paper drawings or copies of production artwork.

“During those many bike trips to UPA I came across model sheets and layouts from the Magoo TV series. On several occasions I found model sheet, layouts and some storyboards from the Dick Tracy series. This was great for me, because I was already a fan of the Dick Tracy comic strip.

“Over the course of my teenage years, Tim and I returned to UPA many times. We usually came away with something for our efforts. The last time I went by the studio was in the early 1980s. The studio was going to be demolished because Roy Disney Jr. had purchased the property and wanted to tear down the studio and build his own office building. It was a sad time seeing a part of my youth being taken away by the wrecking ball.  My friend Tim drove by one morning on his way into work and pulled up the parking lot sign from the studio. He quickly threw into his car and drove off with a piece of animation history, which he still has to this day.

“Sometimes I wish Tim and I were kids again just so we could go on one of those adventures just one more time.”

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