Chuck Jones: Conversations
Marc Elias · From fps #2 · May 1, 2005 | Never pass up a chance to give one of your heroes a standing ovation, because you never know how long they will be around for you to celebrate. About a decade ago, I attended an event at the Rialto repertory cinema on Montreal's Parc Avenue. At that time, renowned cartoon director Chuck Jones was in the midst of a long-overdue critical revival of his place in film and comedy history, capped by the release of the first volume of his autobiography. During the event, Jones spoke a few words, answered some questions and enjoyed with us a special selection of his finest shorts, highlighted by classics such as Bully for Bugs, What's Opera, Doc?, One Froggy Evening, and at least one of his many Road Runner films. Seeing the shorts on the big screen after a lifetime of the Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Hour was a thrill, and the great man's anecdotes and speaking style were charming and informative. But the main reason I was there was to stand up and give Chuck Jones a rousing, heartfelt ovation, a simple thank-you from a devoted fan who had derived incalculable pleasure—if not a complete world view—from his cartoons. As I stood and applauded with a couple hundred of my fellow Montrealers, I spotted a friend (coincidentally, the editor of this magazine) across the aisle, and we knew we were both there for the very same reason.

Chuck Jones: Conversations
Edited by Maureen Furniss
University Press of Mississippi, 2005
215 pages

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Some years later, this same friend and editor made a contact at Jones' production company (I still have the business card, complete with full-color cel of Elmer and Bugs in full pas-de-deux from What's Opera, Doc?, on my office bulletin board), and offered me the chance to conduct a telephone interview with Chuck Jones himself. Despite the depth of my admiration for Jones (or perhaps because of it), I panicked, and turned the opportunity down, certain I would end up simply slavering over the poor octogenarian until I put him to sleep before I could get a question in. My regrets over my cowardice would have made "not passing up the chance to interview one of your heroes" my second piece of advice to fps readers, were it not for this small book from Maureen Furniss and the University Press of Mississippi.

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You'll find it and many other articles in the May 2005 issue of fps, available as a free download.
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