I have already lost what person brought this to my attention. I apologize. The important thing is the Animation Obsessive web site has a delightful bit of news. For Halloween, it declared, We’ve Made a Rare Animation Artbook Free to All.
The book is animation historian Amid Amidi’s Cartoon Modern: Style and Design in Fifties Animation. It’s a book I remember wanting but not being able to get, back in the young days of 2006. But Amidi expressed his desire, some years ago, to have the book scanned and released as “a high-quality PDF”, and so it has come to pass. You can download the book from Animation Obsessive’s site directly. Amidi has also placed a copy with the good people at archive.org.
I haven’t had time to read it yet. It’s bubbling near the top of my reading pile, for whenever I finish Paul C Tumey’s Screwball: The Cartoonists Who Made The Funnies Funny. (It’s about the early-20th-century zany-screwball cartoonists. You know, the people who invented characters leaping backwards out of the panel when they heard the punch line.) Still, I know Amidi’s book is a massive study of the UPA Style that took over so much of animation in the middle of the 20th century. We’re still living in its wake. It’s worth a few hundred megabytes to read about, or at least look at grand pictures.