RARA-AVIS: Hard-boiled cartoons

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 22 Jan 2002

Hey, John! You wrote:

>Your comment about filmmakers having a point of view struck a cord with me.
>I've been an animator for the past twenty-seven years, and of all the
>projects I was or (almost was) associated with, the one that I REALLY wished
>had gotten off the ground was the animated version of Will Eisner's THE
>SPIRIT. The property was in development for almost three years (1982-1984),
>but then got shelved forever (you know how that goes). It could have been
>the first hardboiled animated feature.

So what was the first hard-boiled animated feature? I'd have to say BATMAN: THE MASK OF THE PHANTASM (sp?) was hard-boiled, but somehow I doubt it was the first. I guess a case could be made for Ralph Bashki's earlier HEAVY TRAFFIC & FRITZ THE CAT, but to me they're more trippy freak show than hard-boiled, from what I remember.

Which ties into what Jim said about attitude being more important than content, when it comes to hard-boiled.


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