The gag is the key for a cartoon success. In my opinion there’s nothing as expressive as an humoristic situation taken to the extreme and absolute exaggeration. Slapstick. TOM and JERRY are heirs to the creators of the genre: Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy… hence, their stories were a gag after another. A beginning and a closure without excessive pretensions is enough excuse to chain as many gags as possible to fill a story and reach the time and number of pages determined by the publisher. That was my idea of working when I saw myself writing for T&J. To be faithful to the spirit of the characters. To be able to do that you only need two things: to want, and to be let to do it.
My will was there, and I was very lucky to work for SEMIC PRESS, EGMONT SWEDEN after, a publisher that never interfered in my job. The owner of the characters, MGM (Ted Turner), didn’t interfere either. And that’s how I started the most productive age of my career to nowhere, ha ha! With the freedom I enjoyed, a rare privilege in the business of writing for multinational’s characters, I could give Tom and Jerry the character they had lost for decades where there was an excess of words and total absence of gags. I memorized all the TOM & JERRY shortcuts, especially the ones from middle 40’s to early 50’s (the best period in my opinion). With that school in mind, I jumped into the gag pool and swam as well as I could.
Probably there are no comics in the market that refect that clearly the mood of the characters as the ones I wrote since early 90’s. It’s not a medal I can wear myself, as always, it’s a merit that the reader gives you, the one you really work for in the end.
Here there are some gags from different stories. They are shown in chronological order so the evolution of the art shows with the pass of time.