The Funny (And Forgotten) Stick Figures of Norman Z. McLeod

While combing through an online copy of a 1920s magazine just for amateur movie makers (it’s called, in case you’re curious, Amateur Movie Makers) I stumbled across a name that seemed familiar: “Norman McLeod”. Hmm, why did that ring a bell?

He was mentioned in an article on “art titles” (title cards with illustrations) which referred to “the famous skeleton cartoons” which “were made familiar by the clever pen of Norman McLeod, who has illustrated Christie Comedy titles for a number of years.” (You might be picturing Silly Symphony-style skeletons, but they were actually stick figures.) Having seen a few of the Christie Comedies, I had a little “ah-ha!” moment of now knowing who was behind those funny cartoons.

title-norman-loose change '28 1

Loose Change (1928)

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Gertie the Dinosaur!

One of the most enduring vaudeville stars was not a man, woman, child, or even technically an animal.  It was a drawing of an animal–Gertie the Dinosaur, one of our earliest animated characters.  She was brought to life by the talents of the great Windsor McCay .

” ‘Sup.”

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