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  Local Artist Gets Caught in the Web
by FRED TOPEL                 Pacific Palisadian-Post
artoonist and screenwriter Dale Hale lives in a museum of culture.  Passing through his house, takes you past the Tuba Room, where his collection of historical jazz instruments reside; through the garage where he keeps two restored Morgans, one red and one green; and to his studio on whose walls hang framed comic strips from Hale's friends collected during his 45 years in the business.

      Living near the beach, in Rustic Canyon, for the past 37 years with his wife, Nona, Hale has enjoyed a successful career as a writer and cartoonist.  He wrote  stories and drew designs for Hanna Barbara Studios and Warner Bros. shorts. He created comic strips that appeared in newspapers worldwide.  His work has culminated in a Web site called Cartoons For Kids (
     I started out doing storyboards on 'The Flintstones',"   Hale recalls.  "then, I was a writer on the 'Beanie and Cecil' show where I wrote a ton of stories.  Cartoon shorts were really my specialties, 'Pink Panther's and Road Runner's."
     At the same time, he was writing comic strips.    "'Figments' is a comic strip I did for 15 years and it was in papers all over the world.  About 12 years ago I ended it because it was time to move onto other things.  'Figments' is based on how kids misinterpret what adults say.   Inspiration came from Hale's three Kids, Jenny, Kit and Kevin who are not 35, 37 and 39 respectively.  "You''re Getting Closer" a strip he did for eight years for King Features, is about communication with children and also appear worldwide and now on the Website.
    The original purpose of the Website was to showcase Hale's work.   He would be called to have a meeting with a young executive who admired his work but once he saw Hale was old enough to be their father, they would politely decline.
    "They just didn't want to work with their dad," Hale, 66 says.   "I decided to put a couple of pages up on the Web, a bio and samples of my work.  They can take a look at it and if they like it they won't be surprised to find out I'm an 'old guy'.  It saved me a lot of unproductive meetings (and time) I didn't have to go to.  Fortunately, many didn't care how old I was as long as I could be funny."
     Once he put up some pages, he put up more and more.   The site now contains over 150 pages.  Working with Webmaster Scott Hirsch Dale learned how to use the Web software himself. 
    "I'm really trying to stimulate the kids' imaginations and that's why there are so many different things going on.  If I went down one route, picked out one character and stayed with only that and they didn't like it, they wouldn't go beyond that point.  But if they have other place to go and finally run into something they do like, maybe they'll do something with it."
    Hale is very close to his children and grandchildren.   "Every-other Wednesday we have family dinner.  My oldest son is married and we have two grandkids.  Everybody shows up at about 6 o'clock and we sit around the table and find out what everyone's been doing for the last couple of weeks.  We laugh and kid each other a lot, sometimes bitch at each other and do all the things that families that get together and like each other do.  I'm a very lucky man!"

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