Wile E. Coyote has devised another plan to capture the elusive Road Runner. He has strung a guy wire from the top of an impossibly high cliff down to the roadway on the desert floor. His plan is to speed down the wire by balancing on a small wheel attached to the top of a football helmet he is wearing. As the Coyote begins the precarious act of balancing on his head, we begin to realize just what a mind-bogglingly stupid plan this is. But that isn't what makes the scene so funny. What makes the scene funny is that just as the Coyote achieves the necessary balance, the wire snaps, and he plunges down to the desert floor below. But it isn't just that the wire snaps which makes the scene funny: the wire snaps at exactly the correct moment - one second earlier or later and the laugh wouldn't be as big. If 100 people had to decide when to snap that wire, 99 of them would have gotten it wrong. Fortunately for all of us, the man in charge was Chuck Jones, and he knew exactly when to make the Coyote fall.
Chuck Jones is the legendary Warner Brothers cartoon director who brought us Wile E. Coyote and other great characters like Marvin Martian and Pepe le Pew. He has written a new book called Chuck Reducks - Drawing From the Fun Side of Life in which he offers some insight into the creation of such classic cartoons as "Duck Dodgers in the 24 ^ Century," "One Froggy Evening," and "What's Opera, Doc?" You will discover the artifice behind the art, and you will learn some of the secrets of creating timeless, classic comedy.
If you're looking for magic, how about this: Chuck Jones has managed to take drawings on a piece of paper and instill them with a life, a vitality, and a believability which has allowed them to remain as funny and fresh as when they were first created, almost fifty years ago. This is wizardry so profound that what you and I do pales in comparison. This is one of the best books I've read this year. I think you'll enjoy it, too. There are some serious secrets revealed here.
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