September 21 is the birthday of one of my all-time greatest heroes, the late Charles M. Jones (1912-2002). Jones' work at Warner Bros. has been a huge influence on me, particularly his abilities to form well-rounded and believable characters and to create stunningly hilarious and subtle facial expressions. And he directed some of the finest and nicest-looking Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies ever made. The man, simply put, was a cartooning genius. Of course, he surrounded himself with equally genius colleagues - writer Michael Maltese, layout artist Maurice Noble, animators Ken Harris, Benny Washam, Lloyd Vaughan, Abe Levitow, etc. - but there is no denying that Jones himself was a true visionary leader when it came to creating great cartoons.
Thus, my tribute to a legend. The "actor with a pencil" himself, surrounded by many of the animated stars that he helped propel into the stratosphere of cartoon stardom. Not everyone I've met knows his name, but his work has impacted us all in one way or another.