“WELL, WHEN HE STARTED TALKING, YOU KNOW WHAT HE SAID?”: FIRST EDITION OF GERALD MCBOING BOING
[SEUSS, Dr.]. Gerald McBoing Boing. New York: Simon & Schuster, (1952). Quarto, original yellow pictorial paper boards, pictorial endpapers; housed in a custom slipcase. $1400.
First book edition of Seuss’ sharp satire of intolerance, basis for the Academy Award-winning animated short, vividly illustrated by Mel Crawford.
Geisel sold a story to Capitol Records "concerning a boy who can make sounds but cannot speak words. Instinctively realizing that the tale was auditory in nature, Ted chose not to publish the story in written form. Consequently, the only record of how Ted pictured Gerald is his illustration for the album cover. In Gerald McBoing Boing, Ted had spawned yet another popular character… Gerald's popularity continued for decades after Ted abandoned him" (Cohen, 283-84). The United Productions of America (UPA) short based on Geisel's story rejected the realistic style associated with Disney productions, embracing instead a visual style based on caricature. Recognized immediately for its innovative new look and compelling story, Gerald McBoing Boing earned the 1950 Academy Award for Best Animated Short. This was the first book edition, published two years later, featuring illustrations adapted by Mel Crawford from the animation. Gerald would star in three more shorts in the 1950s as well as "The Gerald McBoing Boing Show," a UPA cartoon showcase and the first cartoon show to air in prime time. The character has been revived as recently as 2005 for a Cartoon Network series. First issue, with "A100100" on front pastedown. Issued without a dust jacket. Younger & Hirsch 25.
Scrape to pictorial pastedown, mild toning to preliminaries, text generally quite clean, minor color fading to front board as often, light rubbing to extremities. A near-fine copy.