Monday, February 16, 2009

Olympic Toons

Over the holiday weekend, there was some rare free time to do a bit of cleaning and reading. Among the finds on my "desk" at home was a Reader's Digest "Last Laugh" cartoon torn out of an edition in which my Edelman boss' husband appeared last summer.

A few clicks later, I've learned that the illustrator in this case is Adam McCauley of San Francisco, and he has an interesting website and blog. I think some of his work also appeared on a San Francisco 2012 (versus New York and other cities) Olympic bid poster, but could not find confirmation online thus far.

McCauley's style is likeable and reminiscent of a Chicago-based favorite, Chris Ware, who I hope will get a commission from the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid folks (with Ware being a hometown guy and all -- hopefully his stuff is not too edgy).

Speaking of edgy, check out McCauley's take on popular Disney characters (hilarious!)

The whole searching thing got me started on Olympic cartoon finds in general, and the gem of that search was the discovery that there is an Olympic connection to "Tron" (yes, that Tron, the 1980s sci-fi film).

Turns out Tron's director, Steven Lisberger, was the guy behind the animated Olympic-inspired "Animalympics" features that were intended to air in conjunction with the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow (pulled by NBC due to the boycott, according to at least one source). Billy Crystal, Gilda Radner and Harry Shearer all contributed, as did Michael Fremer (he apparently did some sound mixing for "Animalympics" and "Tron" as well as "The Shining" -- who knew there was an Olympic connection to "Wendy, Give Me The Bat ... I'm Not Gonna Hurt You" and all?).

I still remember watching the winter "Anamalympics" broadcast on HBO or some other cable network at a neighbor's house in Oklahoma during the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics. I think it was around the time "Tron" came out on Beta at the rental counter.

Will have to keep searching for other Olympic cartoons later. In the meantime, will be studying McCauley's works and looking forward to "TR2N" (that's "Tron 2") one of these days. Could it be the next "Space Olympics?"

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