Wednesday, February 26, 2014

COYOTE VS ACME the 14 year old "lawsuit" filed in the New Yorker 2/26/1990

                                              Friz Freeling and Chuck Jones created iconic cartoon characters and images.
Fourteen years ago a  brilliant piece of satire titled Coyote vs Acme
was written by  Ian Frazier and published in 
The New Yorker, February 26, 1990, p. 42--43.
 This is the one spot the courtroom and those cartoons meet.

Below is a selection from the article and the link:

Also below is a choice video:
Acme Batman Outfits:
Guaranteed for the Life of the User

Acme Rocket Skates
Coyote V. Acme
Wile E. Coyote, Plaintiff
Acme Company, Defendant

Opening Statement of Mr. Harold Schoff, attorney for Mr. Coyote:

My client, Mr. Wile E. Coyote, a resident of Arizona and contiguous states, does hereby bring suit for damages against the Acme Company, manufacturer and retail distributor of assorted merchandise, incorporated in Delaware and doing business in every state, district, and territory. Mr. Coyote seeks compensation for personal injuries, loss of business income, and mental suffering causes as a direct result of the actions and/or gross negligence of said company, under Title 15 of the United States Code, Chapter 47, section 2072, subsection (a), relating to product liability.

Mr. Coyote states that on eighty-five separate occasions he has purchased of the Acme Company (hereinafter, "Defendant"), through that company's mail-order department, certain products which did cause him bodily injury due to defects in manufacture or improper cautionary labeling. Sales slips made out to Mr. Coyote as proof of purchase are at present in the possession of the Court, marked Exhibit A. Such injuries sustained by Mr. Coyote have temporarily restricted his ability to make a living in his profession of predator. Mr. Coyote is self-employed and thus not eligible for Workmen's Compensation.

Mr. Coyote states that on occasions too numerous to list in this document he has suffered mishaps with explosives purchased of Defendant: the Acme "Little Giant" Firecracker, the Acme Self-Guided Aerial Bomb, etc. (For a full listing, see the Acme Mail Order Explosives Catalogue and attached deposition, entered in evidence as Exhibit C.) Indeed, it is safe to say that not once has an explosive purchased of Defendant by Mr. Coyote performed in an expected manner. To cite just one example: At the expense of much time and personal effort, Mr. Coyote constructed around the outer rim of a butte a wooden trough beginning at the top of the butte and spiraling downward around it to some few feet above a black X painted on the desert floor. The trough was designed in such a way that a spherical explosive of the type sold by Defendant would roll easily and swiftly down to the point of detonation indicated by the X. Mr. Coyote placed a generous pile of birdseed directly on the X, and then, carrying the spherical Acme Bomb (Catalog #78-832), climbed to the top of the butte. Mr. Coyote's prey, seeing the birdseed, approached, and Mr. Coyote proceeded to light the fuse. In an instant, the fuse burned down to the stem, causing the bomb to detonate.

In addition to reducing all Mr. Coyote's careful preparations to naught, the premature detonation of Defendant's product resulted in the following disfigurements to Mr. Coyote:

1              Severe singeing of the hair on the head, neck, and muzzle.
2              Sooty discoloration.
3              Fracture of the left ear at the stem, causing the ear to dangle in the aftershock with a creaking noise.
4              Full or partial combustion of whiskers, producing kinking, frazzling, and ashy disintegration.
5              Radical widening of the eyes, due to brow and lid charring.

Note the lawsuit is still awaiting a ruling,  hopefully some day to be continued. 
Laugh on!

Sunday, February 23, 2014


Bill Robles' first job for local CBS television in 1970 was covering the 9-month long murder trial of cult leader Charles Manson and his Family members. Robles was awarded the prestigious Gold Medal from the Los Angeles Art Directors Club for his work on that trial. He was also awarded three Broadcast Designers Association Gold Medals. In 2003 he received the Los Angeles Society of Illustrators Lifetime Achievement Award.  
In 2005, Emmy-nominated artist Bill Robles made news himself while covering the Michael Jackson trial when Jackson approached Robles about his courtroom portrait of Jackson and his attorneys. He was also interviewed by CNN's Anderson Cooper regarding his work on the Jackson trial.

Other notable court cases covered: Roman Polanski, Patty Hearst, O.J. Simpson, Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski, and James Holmes. His major clients include CBS, NBC, CNN, FOX News, Reuters and the Associated Press. He also works for various entertainment clients and was a member of the prestigious illustrators studio Group West.

Below is a selection of Bill Robles illustrations for various commercial clients
Miles Davis for music company client 

Moroccan Vendors for commercial client

John Muir Poster for Graphic Process
Private Commission Dog Portrait 

Illustration for commercial magazine 

Space Shuttle Illustration for NASA

Below is a selection of Bill Robles courtroom artwork
Michael Jackson with attorneys( note drawing that Jackson liked)
Patty Hearst in Los Angeles Court

John Delorean Pre Trial Hearing Los Angeles Federal Court

Studies of the Manson girls during trial 1970

Charles Manson in lockup ( after outburst) during trial 1970

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Artist Aggie Kenny won an Emmy for her work on the Mitchell-Stans trial for the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite. Kenny covered the United States Supreme Court for over 30 years, and numerous other cases including: James Earl Ray, David Berkowitz ( Son of Sam), Oliver North, and the recent the  trial of Jerry Sandusky. Upcoming in March, her artwork can be seen on the CNN's new series Death Row Stories. info Her highly-regarded artwork of the World Trade Center responders, “Artist as Witness – the 9/11Responders,” was exhibited at The New York City Police Museum. Media clients include CBS, ABC, NBC, ESPN, PBS, CNN, Washington Post, New York Newsday, Reuters, AP, Billboard and TV Guide. 

Select Courtroom Illustrations by Aggie Kenny

Larry Flynt during hearing in the United States Supreme Court in 1987, Flynt seated in gold plated wheel chair listening to the argument in the case of Hustler Magazine vs Falwell .  Transcript of the Supreme Court argument  SCOTUS transcript of Hustler v Falwell     Link to movie clip of the same scene

Paul Castellano seated during trial in 1985 weeks before his shooting death in front of Sparks Steakhouse in Manhattan on December 16, 1985. Link to the story of the  testimony of  Sammy " the Bull" Gravano describing the hit.
Jerry Sandusky seated during trial in Belleville PA courthouse.  Link to collection of stories about the case.

Aggie Kenny's artwork of the 9/11 Responders that was shown at the New York City Police Museum, then traveled to Washington DC, and was shown at the Senate Russell building

Wall Street Journal article about Aggie Kenny and her 9/11 artwork 

Responders walking on the WTC site near the "Taj tent" 4/24/2002

9/11 Responders sleeping in a tent on the WTC site 4/10/ 2002

Firemen awaiting of their fallen comrades. 3/25/2002

Aggie Kenny covered the Stand Up Records'  Akumal Comedy Festival April 2013 in Akumal Mexico. This April, she will be drawing the festival again April 30-May 3rd. 
Links about the festival below 

La Cancha, in Akumal Mexico 4/13/2013

Saturday, February 8, 2014


Today begins a series of mini bios on the artists in the upcoming book,
Illustrated Courtroom: 50 Years of Court Art, leading up to the book's release in March.
We start with Howard Brodie considered by many to be the "dean of courtroom art" and who was inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame with notable artists Rockell Kent and Norman Rockwell.

From the New York Times obit. 

Howard Joe Brodie was born on Nov. 28, 1915, in Oakland and attended high school in San Francisco. After winning a drawing contest sponsored by The San Francisco Examiner, he was sent by the newspaper to study at the California School of Fine Arts in preparation for a job as a staff artist. He later worked for The San Francisco Chronicle and Life magazine.
Mr. Brodie was a staff artist at TheSan Francisco Chronicle when he enlisted in the Army during World War II. He was sent to the South Pacific as a combat artist and covered the last days of the Guadalcanal campaign.
Below are Brodie's Guadalcanal scenes from 1942-43. 
These drawings are in the Library of Congress

    Soldiers going up the Matanakau River  - Guadalcanal by Howard Brodie  1943

 Inscribed on drawing: 
"3 Soldiers carrying a Jap prisoner who wouldn't walk and wanted to die"
 Howard Brodie 1942-43

Patrol in Action by Howard Brodie
  • Inscribed on cover sheet: This was witnessed across the 
  • ridge upon which I was standing. I also used field 
  • glasses. Guadalcanal.

Howard started working for CBS news covering the  trial of 1964 Lee HarveyOswald

 assassin, Jack Ruby. Prior to that he covered the trial of Tokyo Rose in San Francisco.  He’s 

illustrated numerous notable courtroom battles including those of Charles Manson, Klaus 

Barbie, the Watergate players, the Chicago Seven and Patty Hearst. His work is in the 

Library of Congress and the Air Force Art Collection.

Below are select courtroom drawings 

Charles Manson seated during trial 1970 by Howard Brodie

HR Haldeman during Watergate by Howard Brodie 

First Juror Max Causey during the trial of Jack Ruby 1964 by Howard Brodie