A: So let's start with your time spent at The School of Visual Arts in New York City; tell me about your time and experiences with the school, and what eventually led you to being connected to Leonard Maltin as a research associate for his book, Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons?

JB: I only attended SVA for a year, took cartooning classing with Sam Gross and animation courses with Marty Abrams and Gil Miret. Met Tom Sito there. At the same time I also took a night course in animation history taught by Leonard Maltin at the New School for Social Research. Although I loved to draw, I soon discovered that I was more interested in the history of animation than actually doing it. And besides, in the mid-1970s there was very little work for even the most talented artists.

When I first took Leonard’s class, it was a “for credit” course and cost over $100 to enroll. There were only ten students in the class. Leonard and I became fast friends – and the following semester he changed the format of the class to allow anyone, via a cheap $5 single admission price to attend each lecture/screening. I became his assistant and the class ticket taker. I also instigated the idea that Leonard do a book on animation history – a companion to his books The Disney Films and The Great Movie Shorts.