Sunday, May 31, 2009

new characters

Blen and Kubercheebie are He Hog's favorite cartoon characters. They also live in his eyelashes. They constantly mutate to adapt the ever changing environmental forces in a pig's coarse eye hairs.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Ranger's Wife part 2

Ranger Smith shows up at Wifey's door with flowers and candy. "Boy, what a suprise this'll be!" He says as he rings the doorbell.

Continued here...

New Ranger Smith Story

Ranger Smith is sitting in his cabin at his desk pining.
He stares longingly at a picture on his desk and sighs.

"How long have I been out here in this God-forsaken wilderness? Keeping order in the forest. And for what? The bears hate me. The trees drop their mess all over the forest floor. "
Mrs. Smith
We see the picture and it's of a very pretty young lady in her wedding veil. She looks lovingly at Ranger Smith. "Gee, I miss Mary." says Ranger Smith. "How long ago were we married? It must have been 10 years since I've seen her. You know, I think I'll take a break from Jellystone and enjoy that honeymoon we put off."
Just then he gets a call from the park supervisor about a rumor that some park bear is causing trouble and Smith better get to the bottom of it. "Yogi! That's it! I'm tired of getting to the bottom of every bear problem! And it's always Yogi's bottom!

The heck with this, I'm going to go home to Mary and forget about bear bottoms for awhile."


Ranger Smith goes to Yogi's cave and tells Yogi he's had enough of him and his childish antics. Yogi and Boo Boo are in bed. Boo Boo cries when he finds out Ranger Smith is leaving them. "Good riddance to discipline and rules!" shouts Yogi!

Ranger Smith leaves, "Well that's a load off! Now to lead a decent human life with my beautiful wife, Mary!"

The Meanest Bird Of All

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Howie Post's Attributes

Howie Post is by far my favorite Harvey comics cartoonist. He has the most fun style. It's like he is caricaturing the Harvey house style and bringing out all its best elements.
"Appeal" is more than just a principle. To me it's the sum of the other fundamental skills. It's controlling your visual skills in a way that makes the result the most enjoyable and exciting to look at.

For me, without appeal a cartoon is not worth watching or reading. It's the appeal that first grabs your attention and draws you in to the story, to see if there is anything else that's worth your time. I know that's very old-fashioned thinking. When I was a kid, it went without saying. You read the comics and read the cartoons first because they were fun to look at. If they were ugly, you wouldn't get far enough in to find out if they had other attributes.

Howie Post has tons of appeal. Real eye candy.

Great Backgrounds
His backgrounds are cartoony, stylish and inventive. Oh... and bold!

Design and Style
He has the strongest graphic style of any of the Harvey cartoonists.

His compositions are not only totally clear functionally - they go much farther than that; they are designs in themselves.

His characters are very cartoony. It's rare to see strong style and cartooniness working so seamlessly together.

Actually all the girls Howie draws are very cute. Poil, Audrey, Wendy, Lucretia and the rest.

Howie's stories have some really magical characters and designs.

I'm going to do some posts on each of these aspects of Howie's work.


7 great reasons to love Howie Post!
and maybe more...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I copied some Eisenberg drawings to find out how he combines stylization with construction and will share what I discovered...

Eisenberg Subtleties Studies

George Baker's Sad Sack Evolves

I love seeing the progression of a talented cartoonists' style. When I was a kid, I bought all the Harvey Comics' Sad Sack books, just for George Baker's covers. Unfortunately the insides were mostly drawn by a very generic boring artist, but the covers were wildly stylish.

Baker's early style was not anywhere near as extreme as it became, but you can see the beginnings of his signature approach.
He was very good at drawing scenes from slightly high angles, looking down on his characters.


As his cartoons became more and more angular, he still maintained a gruff kind of regular joe feel to his work. He didn't become stylish to prove he was high class. I think his style just evolved naturally, a bit at a time.

Watch how the dog evolves over time...

MIDDLE PERIODBaker was great at feet, whether they were human feet or dog paws. Stylish, but firmly planted on the ground. You can't draw a horizontal line through the left and right foot as you can with most characters today.

Great use of composition and hierarchy!

His late period was extremely harsh stylistically, but I love it. It's so uniquely his own style, and doesn't seem self-conscious at all to me.
I love how solid his backgrounds are, and the feet keep getting better and better.

No matter how stylish and severe, Baker's drawings got he still maintained some basic skills-his great compositions, and dynamic perspectives and angles. He really had a talent for planting his characters' feet solidly on the ground plane.
The dog always show off Baker's talent for mixing high stylistic license with solidly thought out perspective and construction.
His vehicles were fantastic!

Aren't these beautiful? - in a manly, chunky gritty way?

I've struggled in the animation business with all the controls and systems set in place to stop styles and regular characters from evolving naturally. Many producers think it's a sin for characters to ever change and they make huge model sheet binders filled with arbitrary constrictions to clamp down on any individuality or inspiration, or just plain stop the process of slow natural evolution. Studios beat this into their cartoonists, until they finally get to the point where they are afraid to let their natural feelings or personality guide their drawings.

The other extreme is when young cartoonists think they need to express their unique personality through an artificially created personal "style". This usually consists of skipping the steps of learning basic drawing skills in general and going right to copying someone else's already established style superficially or or doing a slight variation of a school of style. This also gets in the way of natural evolution and the ability to express one's self.