Out Of The Inkwell: The Tantalizing Fly


For today’s piece I offer the Max and Dave Fleischer cartoon The Tantalizing Fly, a quite short (under four minutes!) bit from 1919 that includes the cartoonists’ typical sort of free-flowing strangeness and wonderfully mutable world, in which both Max Fleischer and his cartoon Koko the Clown can’t get to whatever they meant to do today as there’s a fly which won’t stop bothering them. It’s funny, yes; it’s also impressive to see that it’s done, since so much of it involves interactions between cartoon Koko and a real-looking fly. The cartoon also gets a bit recursive as Koko grabs hold of the pen and starts drawing on his own … well, it’s easier to see than to read about. Do enjoy, I hope.

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Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there. He/him.

2 thoughts on “Out Of The Inkwell: The Tantalizing Fly”

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed. I’m a bit disappointed there’s not more early cartoons in archive.org or on other sites I feel confident are, well, archival. I’d hate to recommend a great cartoon to someone and find it’s gone missing later.

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