Oggi una divagazione, ma fino a un certo punto.
Nel libro Italia Ride!, sempre acquistabile qui, facendo una sacrosanta sottoscrizione all’Anafi (poi in distribuzione “regolare” dall’inizio di dicembre, mancano solo quattro mesi, si può anche friggere sulla graticola sino ad allora) parlo di La Verne Harding a proposito del capitoletto su Picchiarello.
Con compiaciuta sorpresa vedo che oggi, 27 luglio, ne fa menzione l’interessantissimo sito Cartoon Research, in quello che è almeno il terzo post dedicato alla prima animatrice di Hollywood, prima e dopo anche autrice di fumetti.
In questo post ve ne sono alcuni esempi arcaici, con Cynical Susie.
Sotto, La Verne (che spesso troviamo scritto anche Laverne o LaVerne), taglia forte, è caricaturata da Gil Turner.
L’autore dei post, il ricercatore Tom Klein, spiega attraverso parole sue e altrui il mood del periodo.
“In the 1920s and the 1930s some women, especially college-educated women, chose to remain single… often part of a commitment to a career in social reform, academic life, or a profession. In spite of the discrimination women faced in the tight labor market, the Depression provided opportunities for these young women to become self-reliant.”
This was the case with LaVerne Harding. She came to realize how fortunate she was working for Lantz. She was likely averse to some of the risks that her male peers could more easily take, such as an offer to follow Tex Avery over to the Schlesinger studio in 1935, which Virgil Ross accepted and she declined. The majority of Universal animators zigzagged in and out of employment with Lantz during this decade, often maneuvering to work at Disney, but she stayed.
One aspect of being a self-reliant woman in the Thirties was the necessity of prudent decision-making, even extending to one’s personal life. As with other trailblazing career women of her generation, an offer of marriage was a loaded proposition that could undermine workplace ambitions—either from the husband, employer, or from the pressures of the norms of society. And like others, Harding simply chose never to marry.
With Lantz as her benefactor, she had a boss she could trust. Naturally, his investment in picking Harding had lots of upside for him, too. She was one of his staunchest allies, even continuing to work in 1940 when Lantz ran out of finances and credit during a critical period when he might have lost the studio. I’ll tell that story in more detail in just a moment.
Il cartoon di chiusura richiederebbe una lunga spiegazione. Ve la farò a voce quando e se v’incontro!