Sputnikfest 2014


Rahr-West Art Museum - click HERE for more info!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

In the last post I made note of Superman’s 75th Anniversary.  You may have heard news reports this past week about the 75th anniversary of another iconic character: Bugs Bunny.  The exact birthday of this “wascally wabbit” could be debated.  The anniversary most recently being celebrated marks 75 years since his first appearance as a rabbit being hunted by Porky Pig in “Porky’s Hare Hunt.”  Though he has some of the Bugs Bunny personality in that cartoon short (see image at right) he looks quite a bit different than the Bugs we know today.  Bug’s first recognizable appearance is in A Wild Hare in 1940 and he was first named on-screen as “Bugs Bunny” in Elmer’s Pet Rabbit in 1941. 
There is a Sputnik connection to the Bugs Bunny story, relating to a story featuring everyone’s favorite cartoon alien – Marvin the Martian.  Hareway to the Stars was released on March 29, 1958, only about 5 months after the Russians launched Sputnik I.  If you watch the video, check about 1:55 into it to see Bugs Bunny hit by an a recognizable cartoon representation of Sputnik I, complete with its distinctive “Beep-Beep-Beep” radio signal. 
This, and many other Bugs Bunny cartoon shorts are notable for the mid-century modern design elements incorporated into them, a topic explored on this interesting website.
There is a also a mid-century Sputnik connection to the Manitowoc story, where Sputnik 4 fell to earth in 1962.  Come visit Manitowoc, Wisconsin this September 7th and celebrate the anniversary of that event with us.  That’s it for this week.  Or – rather … “That’s All Folks.”  Planet Terry

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