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Daffy Campaigns in O.C. for Another Feather in His Cap

July 25, 1997|DENNIS McLELLAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Daffy Duck for president?

In the Looney Tunes world of veteran Warner Bros. animator Chuck Jones, anything is possible.

Jones officially opened the Daffy Duck for President campaign headquarters Thursday at the Chuck Jones Showroom in Corona del Mar.

Though a small contingent of press--and several dozen Daffy supporters--turned up at the red, white and blue balloon-festooned gallery, the wise-quacking candidate was nowhere in sight.

Still, Jones took the opportunity to unveil his latest book, "Daffy Duck for President."

Who says Hollywood-style hoopla is dead?

The 28-page book, published by Warner Bros. Worldwide Publishing, displays Jones' inimitable--and highly collectible--artistry by featuring his rough pencil drawings and watercolor renderings.

The slim tome tells the tale of Daffy Duck's scheme to run for president so he can pass a law to outlaw rabbits. Bugs Bunny throws up a roadblock by informing Daffy that the president can't pass laws, and the madcap mallard proceeds to receive a comic civics lesson in the three branches of American government.

The publisher bills "Daffy Duck for President" as Jones' "wry affirmation of the democratic process."

The book grew out of a storyboard Jones wrote and drew more than a decade ago for a cartoon short that was never made.

The idea, Jones said, was to show children how the government works.

"There had been word from Congress that they wanted to do something for children, so I figured, 'Well, I might as well start in the area where I'm most ignorant,' " said the bearded artist, looking like a Southern gentleman in a Panama hat--"my Rhett Butler hat"--and tan suit.

Jones, 84, whose career in animation began at age 19, is a self-described midwife in the development of Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny and fathered others.

Daffy Duck was the perfect character to pluck out of Jones' cartoon stable for the book's lead role, he said.

"I've always worked with Daffy this way: He's ignorant where I'm ignorant," Jones said. "Daffy is Everyduck. I didn't have to leave home to know Daffy. I am Daffy.

Like his Warner Bros. cartoons, the book is not aimed only at children.

"You ask the average person whether the president can make a law or not and see whether they need this story," Jones said, with a grin.

In honor of Daffy Duck's entry into the political fray, the post office in Corona del Mar has created a Daffy Duck for President commemorative cancellation mark, which will be available on five collectible envelopes at the Jones showroom, 3636 E. Pacific Coast Highway.

The U.S. Postal Service, which issued a commemorative Bugs Bunny stamp in May and has a line of Bugs stamp-related products for sale, will sell the book at post offices nationwide later this year.

Until then, the book will be sold exclusively at the Corona del Mar showroom for $15, which includes a Bugs Bunny stamp with the commemorative cancellation on a blank inside page.

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