Friday, April 27, 2012

Number 1147: Ron Santi's Three Mouseketeers, from the beginning

This strip, the initial offering from the first issue of Funny Stuff, published by DC Comics in 1944, is by Ron Santi. I've never been able to get much information on Santi, except for this note I got from a relative of Santi's, Blaise Picchi, in 2009. It's in response to a Santi strip, "Bulldog Drumhead," I showed in Pappy's #557.
I am not sure what this website is about. I was googling the name of my deceased Uncle, Ron Santi, and I hit your website. My uncle Ron was an animator in the 30's, 40's, and 50's. He has been forgotten. No one seems to know him although he worked for Looney Tunes, Terrytunes, Disney. He animated Heckle & Jeckle, invented Frosty the Snowman. I don't know about Bulldog Drummond and I cannot recognize his artwork, he kept so little of it. His real name was Romolo A. Santi, known as Ronnie. If you think we are talking about the same man, contact me. I don't want to put my email address down here. Contact me through Facebook: Blaise Picchi
Ms. Picchi, if you come across this blog, I hope by now you have found out more about your uncle. We'd all be interested in learning anything we can of him. If anyone out there worked with Santi in animation or the comics maybe they could tell us what they know.

As you can see by the artwork on this feature, Santi was a superb funny animal illustrator. The details and effort he poured into every panel is awe-inspiring. He probably could not have been paid enough for the work he put into "The Three Mouseketeers." I have more early issues of Funny Stuff, and in the future will be featuring more of this artist's work. As a caution, knowing how I am, and my scheduling, no one should hold their breath while waiting.


Rodrigo Baeza said...

Beautiful work, from an artist that was unknown to me until now.

Jerry Bails's WHO'S WHO lists the following credits for Ronald Santi:

BULLDOG DRUMHEAD (pen/ink/) 1944-46
Covers (pen/ink/) 1944-46
Filler (pen/ink/) 1946
HARRY THE HORSE (pen/ink/) 1946
HUGO HORNSPRED (pen/ink/) 1945-46
J. RUFUS LION (pen/ink/) 1945-48
SQUEAL PORKCHOPS (pen/ink/) 1946
Support (let/) 1944-46 on his own features
SWEENY AND WILLY (pen/ink/) 1946-48
WHO'S WHO IN ZOOVILLE (wr/pen/ink/) 1944-46

Filler (wr/pen/ink/) 1942

NEVER A DULL MOMENT (pen/ink/) 1944

Gumba G Gadwa said...

Beautiful art, but too bad, like most always, the coloring isn't up to snuff.

There were times where you could sense the colorist got to another panel and said "How many figures did he draw in this panel? Well, they're all going to be blue!"

It's amazing how many great but almost unknown single story, or 5-10 story artists out there in this time period just faded away.

The scroll on the bottom are a good reminder that at one time, if you had a war, everybody had to sacrifice as a whole.

Pappy said...

Thanks, Rodrigo! Trust the late Jerry Bails to have such a comprehensive list. The guy was amazing, and is missed.

It appears that Ron Santi left comics after 1946, unless there's more work of his that hasn't been identified.

Pappy said...

Gumba, DC had at least one colorist--I'm thinking of the person who colored Boy Commandos, for instance--who had a lot of panels where the characters were all one color. Ace Comics did it routinely, and it can be attractive if you look at the page as a single entity, balancing out the panels in your eye and how the individual elements complement each other.

However, I don't doubt your scenario. Colorist thinking, "Jeez, this guy is obsessive with all his detail. Guess I'll just blob one color over it." I think a lot of Jack Kirby panels were similarly handled.

Unknown said...

I have finally come across this blog. You ask me to come back if I find out more about my uncle, Ron Santi. I'm afraid I only know what I knew when I first contacted you. Though, I do know, because he said so, that he did Heckle & Jeckle. He also said he created Frosty the Snowman but was never given credit for it. I think he left animation sometime in the early 50's. I know that he moved to Miami Florida in 1955 or 56 and when to work for Florida Power & Light as an industrial artist. He told me that he created "Ready Kilowat". He quit art, couldn't make a living at it, sometime in the 1960s and spent the rest of his life working for the State of New York's road department. He spent the last 25 or 30 years living in Tarrytown, NY. In died in 1986 at the age of 75 and is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in North Tarrytown, New York (The home of Terry Toons, I believe). In the final few years of his life he took up oil painting and portraiture. I have one of his oil portraits. His wife is still alive. He has two daughters and 2 grandchildren.
If you want to read a short biography of him and see a photo, look him up on the website "" under the name of Romolo Santi.
Mr. (not Ms) Blaise Picchi