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Felix the Cat


Felix the Cat, the creation of Pat Sullivan and Otto Messmer, is perhaps one of the most famous and long-lived cartoon animals ever — pre-dating even Mickey Mouse. In the 1950’s, Joe Oriolo created a well-known series of cartoon shorts for Trans Lux Productions, which helped to bring Felix and his friends (and enemies!) to a new generation. Since the 1980’s, control of the “Felix Empire” has belonged to Joe’s son, Don Oriolo. Don has overseen the creation and distribution of Felix’s image on numerous products and in numerous media. Many of the images of Felix used for these were drawn and painted by Don himself.  Now, IDW Publishing have collected Don Oriolo’s works together in a new full-color hardcover book, Felix the Cat Paintings. Check it out at Amazon, before it hits the shelves early next year. The book features a forward by comic book historian Craig Yoe, as well as essays from cartoon aficionados like Jerry Beck, Mark Evanier, David Gerstein, and Paul Castiglia.

image c. 2013 Don Oriolo

The Wonderful, Wonderful Cat

Comic historians differ as to who exactly created the iconic character Felix the Cat: Joe Sullivan or his employee, Otto Messmer. To further complicate things, after his world-wide fame as a star of animated shorts (and being the first cartoon character ever represented by a balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade), Felix appeared in a series of comic strip and comic book adventures in the 1940’s and 1950’s — some of which were drawn by Otto Messmer, and some by Joe Oriolo, but which were usually credited to Joe Sullivan. Got all that? It’s just one of the many facts presented in the introduction to Felix the Cat’s Greatest Comic Book Tails, in paperback now from IDW Publishing. After the opening essay by Craig Yoe and Don Oriolo (Joe’s son), be prepared for more than 200 of black & white and full-color comics. Righty-oh! More information is available at Amazon.

image c. 2011 IDW Publishing

More Classic Funny Animals

Felix the Cat is, of course, one of the classic funny animals from both comic strips and early animation. Now IDW is collecting together the former in Felix the Cat: The Great Comic Book Tails (coming in hardcover this June). Felix’s original artist, Otto Messmer, wrote and drew the bulk of Felix comic strips and comic book stories for Dell and Harvey during comic books’ “Golden Age”. Now IDW presents more than 200 pages of full-color comics, showcasing the magical cat’s journeys on his flying carpet to surreal lands, past times, and Toy Land. Comic historian Craig Yoe edited the collection and wrote the behind-the-scenes introduction.