‘Coogy’ Sunday Page Due from Herald Tribune
Cartoonist Irving Spector crossed the country 13 times in three years awhile back and thereby became infatuated with the desert in New Mexico and Arizona. “I remember everything in vivid detail,” he says. “I can draw it without seeing it.”
That helps explain the locale of his Sunday page, due May 27 from the New York Herald-Tribune Syndicate. The characters apparently stem from 20 years of animated cartooning and the result: “In animation, you get so you consider that animals are people.”
Mr. Specter’s career goes back almost, but not quite, to the age of 14. At 14, he tucked some of his drawings under his arm, hied from his home in Los Angeles to the Walt Disney studio, in Hollywood—only to learn that Mr. Disney was “out.” He came back that night though and noticing a light on at the back, gathered his courage and walked right into a story conference attended by, among others, Walt Disney.
“They all seemed amused and Mr. Disney was kind.” says Mr. Spector. “He told me there’d be a place for me at Disney’s when I finished school.”
As a matter of fact, the cartoonist (who has recently taught motion picture cartooning at the College of the City of New York) didn’t finish school. He left with half a year still to go at the age of 16, got a job with Universal Studios. A year and a half later he went to Disney’s as an assistant. and, at 20, he became an animator for Columbia Studios.
As a writer later for Warner Bros., he helped in the development of the “Bugs Bunny” type of humor (zany, wacky humor as opposed to sweet, cute animals, he explains.)
Mr. Spector’s animals, none of which struck us as sweet, include the title character, which has rather faint resemblance to a cougar and serves mainly as the interlocutor of the piece. Others are Big Moe, a bear; a tortoise; and Arresting Sam, a deputized dog.
The cartoonist, who is now connected with Famous Studios as a writer, started the strip as a small-sized Sunday filler in December.