Bugs and Friends

bugsfriends-final-std_zpspczlekxuLike so many people my age, I grew up watching Looney Tunes on television. They were a staple of my childhood. Local stations would consistently play a line up every day in the afternoon hours leading up to dinner time. In the days before everything was readily available on You Tube or DVDs, I would watch and hope for a favorite or even possibly one I had never saw before (rare). I loved them all -  Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam, Tweety Bird, Sylvester. I loved the one-off shorts like One Froggy Evening or Rocket-Bye Baby. So much of the humor was beyond me – the clever word play, the historical references, celebrity caricatures all went over my head back then. I enjoyed the slapstick action and the over the top personalities. My love for these cartoons never went away and I grew to appreciate them more the older I got. It was thrilling to see these shorts I knew so well in a different light and on a different level. I think this constant rediscovering is what made these brilliant shorts endure after all these years.

This lead to my passion for animation. Warner Bros. shorts made me love the medium while Disney animation would make me pursue it as a career. I went on to study it in school and even worked at the Warner Bros. Studio Store when it opened at a local mall (I might have worked at the Disney Store if those sweaters weren’t so terrible). These characters were part of my childhood as well as my early adult years and I just loved them. I have such great respect for the animators that created them. Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng are heroes of mine. I remember meeting Chuck Jones ever so briefly during one of his appearances at the store. I was so star struck all I could mutter was “thank you”.

Fast forward to today and I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to create this image featuring Bugs Bunny and some of his famous on-screen co-stars. I was very nervous going into this project. Because I felt such a deep connection to these shorts and characters, I was terrified of messing it up. It’s been a while since I’ve drawn them and I did a lot of research to try and get everything just right. I don’t know if I succeeded but I thoroughly enjoyed the process. It was great to be back with these characters – re-watching the shorts and revisiting the old model sheets.

maruyama_photoMy thanks to the great folks at Dark Hall Mansion for inviting me to create this for them. A big thank you to Warner Bros. for their time and patience. It has been a wonderful experience. Like I said, I love these characters and I tried to put some of that love into this image. I sincerely hope you like it.

For more info on what will be available, visit the Dark Hall Mansion blog.

If you’d like to purchase a print, please visit the DARK HALL MANSION store website on Tuesday, November 15th – 12:30pm PST.

That’s all folks!

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