A major book on my reference shelf is Warren Dotz/Masud
Husain’s 2003 trade paperback Meet Mr. Product. It’s the ultimate guide to
classic iconic advertising mascot characters – and I always have by my desk
while writing about classic cartoons.
From Toucan Sam to Choo Choo Charlie and “Mr. Bubble”, it’s
a catalog of well-known (and some not so well-known) trademarks – many of them
just as famous for being animated in commercials or industrial films.
Beautifully art directed, and filled with delightful, eye-catching
images, Meet Mr. Product is essential.
So it is with great relief and joy that inform you the book
has just been reprinted – in hardcover – and that Dotz and Husain have created
a Volume 2 companion book – Mr. Product Vol. 2 (Insight Editions).
The first book covers practically all the iconic characters
from the 1930s through the 60s. Volume 2 takes an in-depth look at the
advertising mascots from 1960 through 1985. Quisp, Charlie Tuna, Orange Bird,
Kool-Aid Man, The Noid, Frankenberry, on and on…
An 80-page introduction discusses the trends that informed
the creation of the characters – Beatniks, Super heroes and Secret Agents – and
gives special attention to a variety of super-stars like Goofy Grape, Ronald McDonald
and the Tootsie Pop Owl.
This is important stuff! Not only is the range of cartooning
styles diverse and fascinating, but it’s just plain fun to thumb through the
pages, recalling all these colorful creatures that have influenced our lives.
These two books are put together with intelligence and
flair. If you are a cartoonist, animator, art director, or just a pop culture
junkie like me – these is a must have. Highly recommended!