comic art by Tex Avery

Although the legendary animator Tex Avery wasn't really a comic book artist in his own right, his work has been an inspiration for many authors all over the world, including Chuck JonesJohn Kricfalusi, Peter Bagge, René Goscinny, Albert UderzoMarcel Gotlib, and Hanco Kolk.

Frederick "Tex" Avery was born in Taylor, Texas, in 1908, which explains his nickname. Avery was interested in animation from an early age, but his initial desire was to become a cartoonist. He attended North Dallas High School and, as a student, he created comic strips, cartoons, and illustrations for the school's annual and a monthly magazine. He subsequently spent a summer studying art at the Chicago Art Institute. Avery moved to California in the early thirties and entered the animation field as a painter. His first job was working on 'Oswald the Lucky Rabbit' cartoons for Walter Lantz. There he learned the entire animation process and soon became a storyboard artist.

High school drawing by Tex Avery
Drawing for his high school paper by Fred Avery

In 1935, Tex went to work for Leon Schlesinger (later Warner Bros.), where he created 'Porky Pig', 'Daffy Duck', and the personality of Bugs Bunny, for the 'Looney Tunes' series. Avery's cartoons stood out among many of his contemporaties in animation at the time. They are brimful with wild, outrageous and physically impossible gags, frenetic chase scenes, aggressive violence, sly sexual innuendo and characters who frequently break the fourth wall. This madcap style inspired his colleagues at Warners, including Chuck Jones, Bob Clampett, Friz Freleng, Frank Tashlin, Bob McKimson, but was also copied by their rivals at Universal (Walter Lantz) and MGM (William Hanna and Joseph Barbera).


In 1941 Avery joined MGM after a disagreement with Warners. There, he created several characters, with 'Droopy' being the most popular one. Many regard his time at this company to be his golden age. Here he directed many classic cartoons that still entertain audiences to this day, including 'Blitz Wolf' (1942), 'Red Hot Riding Hood' (1943), 'Who Killed Who?' (1943), 'What's Buzzin' Buzzard?' (1943), 'Screwball Squirrel' (1944), 'The Screwy Truant' (1945), 'Slap Happy Lion' (1947), 'King-Size Canary' (1947), 'Little 'Tinker' (1948), 'Half-Pint Pygmy' (1948), 'Lucky Ducky' (1948), 'Bad Luck Blackie' (1949), 'Ventriloquist Cat' (1950), 'Symphony In Slang' (1951) and 'Magical Maestro' (1952). In 1993 'Magical Maestro' was included in the American National Film Registry, where it will be preserved for all time as a "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant work."

In 1954, Tex left MGM right before the studio stopped making theatrical shorts. He then joined the world of TV commercials where the Raid bug spray ads and Frito Bandito where among his creations. Tex Avery died in August 1980, leaving behind a legacy of comic characters and a style that still inspires animators and comic artists all over the world. 

Frito Bandito, by Tex Avery

Series and books by Tex Avery in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


If you want to help us continue and improve our ever- expanding database, we would appreciate your donation through Paypal.