A slightly longer version of this essay was originally released in the magazine Animation Blast number 9.
John Dunn had the bad luck of coming into his prime just as his chosen medium was dying. Dunn (1920-1983) was truly the last of a breed: A story artist who understood the short format and who could draw gags as well as he could write them. Despite the fact that he got his first short credit in 1961, well after TV had struck a death blow to the short subject, Dunn remained a creative powerhouse for decades. He wrote more shorts in the 1960s and 1970s than any other storyman in the business. While the dreary circumstances of the era often kept his ideas from being executed to their fullest potential, his virtual anonymity today is undeserved. Dunn was a one-of-a-kind artist, equally talented as a writer, storyboard artist, and character designer. He was the last great storyman of the theatrical shorts era. […]