Born in 1920, he attended Chouinard Art Institute and was soon hired as an assistant animator by the Walt Disney Studio where (he said) he worked on Snow White and Dumbo, but mainly on shorts. His Disney stint was interrupted by a 1939 trip to New York when he decided to travel and explore the market for other kinds of work. In Manhattan, he hooked up with a couple of artists working in the then-new comic book industry, and Pete labored for several months for different "shops," pitching in on assembly lines to produce comic book stories for an array of publishers. In later years, he could never remember what he did then or where it appeared but researchers have suggested he did some comics for Funnies, Incorporated, the firm which supplied Marvel (then Timely) with its earliest comics, and also worked in a shop that supplied material to Fawcett, publishers of Captain Marvel. Pete did recall that what he did was mainly in an adventure style and not the "funny animal" genre he would work for most of his career.
After eighteen months in New York, he returned to Hollywood and to Disney, then went to work for Warner Brothers in 1946, receiving his first screen credit on the second Pepe LePew cartoon, Scent-imental Over You (1947). He worked mostly in backgrounds until around 1950 and was especially proud to have designed and painted all the backgrounds on Fast and Furry-ous, the first Road Runner cartoon, directed (of course) by Chuck Jones. Later, Pete was a key layout man, primarily in director Robert McKimson's unit, and you can see his screen credit on most of the Foghorn Leghorn cartoons and many others.
Robert McKimson became a close friend, as did the director's brothers, Tom and Charles, who also drew. All three brothers were moonlighting for Western Publishing Company doing work on their activity books (coloring books, kids' books, etc.) and comic books, and Charles later became an Art Director for the firm. Starting around 1947, Charles and Pete drew the Roy Rogers newspaper strip which Western helped assemble, and which was signed "Al McKimson." Contrary to published reports elsewhere, there was no such McKimson. It was just their names put together. Later, Pete did a stint on both the Gene Autry newspaper strip and comic book, as well as drawing the Roy Rogers comic book, but he came to dislike the more illustrative work and soon switched over, pretty much forever, to the cartoony stuff. He later did the Mr. Magoo newspaper strip for its entire run, a long period of the Little Lulu newspaper strip, and many many weeks worth of the Hanna-Barbera newspaper strips (The Flintstones and Yogi Bear), as well as fill-ins for almost all the Disney newspaper strips, including an extended period as the main artist on Donald Duck.
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December 27, 2003Website: http://petealvarado.com Favorite Creators:
Peter J Alvarado Jr. - 'Pete Alvarado' is a favorite creator of 1 userNotes:
Updated by his son, Peter J Alvarado, III on 9/11/06