If you'll Google my name -- Rudy Perz -- you'll get the real story.
I was a creative director at Leo Burnett advertising agency and Marty
was an artist in my group.
Marty has been selling Doughboy drawings on eBay, claiming to be the
originator. He's wrong, two ways; first he's not the originator, and
second, he's illegally selling a licensed trademark. Recently, the
General Mills (they own Pillsbury) lawyers have notified eBay.
I'm open to answer questions.
P.S. I have talked to Marty on the phone and have written him a letter
telling him to cut the crap.
Thank you very much for writing! It is an honor to hear from you and I
appreciate your taking action to straighten out the confusion on who
really created the Pillsbury Doughboy, definitely a Pop Culture icon.
I had to search my own site to see where we even mentioned that. I see
it was written up by PCR writer Brandon Jones in a Splash Page segment
from last December regarding the Tampa Comic Con attended by Nodell
(apparently he was selling Doughboy drawings there, too). I did not
attend that Con, but I remember his billing as "legendary creator of
Green Lantern". I trust that is also not in dispute.
I took your advice and "Googled" your name. You are, no doubt, the
creator of "Poppin' Fresh, the Pillsbury Doughboy". In defense of Mr.
Nodell, perhaps if pressed for an answer he'd admit to your creating
it, but maybe he helped design the actual figure? When you
communicated to Marty via phone and email to "cut the crap", was he
receptive to clarifying his role? I would be disappointed to learn
he'd refuse to acknowledge you and still selling drawings on Ebay.
I will publish your letter in this week's Nolan's Pop Culture Review.
Hopefully, Mart will see it, too.
Once again, thanks so much for writing.
Nolan B. Canova
Nolan's Pop Culture Review
The World of Nolan
I appreciate your letter. Short of starting a war, here are some more
pieces of the puzzle:
A few years ago, I got a phone call from a Palm Beach or West Palm
Beach editor who said he was doing a story on Marty Nodell creating
the Pillsbury Doughboy. I told him Marty was an artist in my group and
had nothing to do with the concept or design. He may have done some
storyboards but so did other artists in the group. I gave the editor
the facts -- I don't know if he ever did the story.
When I talked to Marty a few months ago, I asked him where he got the
idea that he created the Doughboy. He said, as best as I can
remember: "these things get started and they build." He never
clarified or denied.
I'm a writer not an artist. After I thought of the concept of a
"dough something" hopping out of a package of biscuits I sketched my
thoughts which came up looking like Casper the Ghost. I discussed my
sketch and concept with Milt Schaffer, a Leo Burnett animation expert
and he came up with the design of the Doughboy which is still being
When I mentioned Milt Schaffer to Marty he said he didn't remember him.
When I asked Marty what he's doing on eBay, selling drawings as the
originator of the Pillsbury Doughboy, he dismissed knowing anything
Thanks for your interest.