A long, long time ago cartoonist were the toast of the town. They were as popular and twice as dashing as matinee idols, they dined with dignitaries and dipped their pens in different inkwells nightly. Oh, what a time to have been alive! Sure, whooping cough, World Wars, and syphilis were looming around every corner, but it was still the greatest time to have been an American cartoonist.
Flash forward to now. All of us have second jobs, eat at soup kitchens, or are under the tyrannical control of clueless art directors and women execs who resent that cartoon networks show cartoons anyway. O, bygone era. What happened? Where did we go wrong?
Sure, the fall of theatrical cartoons, print, and readers certainly didn’t help, but the blame falls on the shoulders of us, the cartoonist. How, pray tell, do we expect to be treated like the manly men that we are if we don’t look like men? Go to a comic convention or any animation studio… T-shirts and shorts and beards as far as the eye can see. Just because your work environment is ‘laid back’ or your boss is ‘really cool’ does not mean you should come to work in your jammie jam jams. Look, the world will respect us again, when we look like we belong on a bottle of Barbicide.
I know, I know. Before the onslaught of angry emails from slobs comes in to say, “Oh yeah, what about, blah blah blah, he’s famous and he wears sock and sandals!” I get it. Sometimes poorly dressed cartoonists slip through, and by the grace of God make it without fashion sense, but what are we doing talking about him? We are talking about you. I guarantee a lot more people will be doing the same if you dress dapper.
“I don’t worry about clothes; I am too busy making art!” As if the two are mutually-exclusive. All artists should care about clothes. You like color and pattern right? I am telling you, man. Let’s face it, clothes talk with word balloons. You ARE your art.
All hope isn’t lost. Let your old pal Josh give you the ins and outs of cartoonist fashion. While my career is hardly anything to envy, I got a hot girlfriend, so I must know a thing or two about this. Sit down and take it in. You are gonna need all the help you can get, dude.
If all else fails, and you are still confused, just ask yourself, “would uncle Walt approve?” and you’ll always be golden-age and mint like a comic from Steve Geppi’s collection of Donald Duck.
One last quick note, hey, I know everyone dresses like shit now ah’ days, there is no longer a dress code and social standard. I blame the hippies. But remember, we are better than everyone else, we are cartoonist!
Join me next blog post and I will be dispensing hair and make-up tips. Lord knows you ladies need ’em.
For further reading: the-manly-men-of-disney
This short displays more cynicism than anything else to ever come out of The Magic Kingdom® before or since. I think another reason this cartoon totally excels, I mean, besides the handsome backgrounds and animation, is that it circumvents the obstacle of Donald’s voice.
Also of note, Daisy Duck has never looked sexier. Qu-Quack! I wouldn’t mind throwin’ crumbs in that pond.
Sit back and enjoy, my love.
Happy birthday to unarguably the best cartoon director of all time!
I am but a bitter curmudgeon. I pretty much hate everything I am supposed to hate as well as plenty of things that I shouldn’t. I rant and rail against most modern institutions and pine for the days of yore that I didn’t even experience first hand. I mean, come on, if you don’t see how much worse pretty much everything is today, then you aren’t paying much attention. In fact, you are probably texting somebody right now, you @#$!
Of course, every now and again, particularly when I have been drinking, I let my guard down and give in to Pixar. Sure, they have never created anything as good as ‘Dumbo’, but I will give credit where credit is due, and I more or less, enjoyed every one of the films they’ve produced. Sure, some more than other (Cars being others) but, like it or not, they are the only animation studio that matters anymore.
I really liked Toy Story, despite the crude animation and, let’s face it, somewhat bland designs. I mean, like, they work fine in motion, but when you see your 57th pair of Buzz Lightyear jammie jam jams, the appeal is certainly gone. Kudos to the fine folks at Golden Books for being the patron of the modern masterpiece known as ‘Toy Story 3 : A Little Golden Book. ‘
Masterfully hand illustrated (delightfully off-model) by Adrian Molina, this book leaped off the end cap at Wal-Mart (Yes, I do indeed, suck) and into my shopping cart (with one wobbly wheel.) The colors are a lot more vivid than my scanner gives them credit for.
Oh my! Look at those squat proportions. Look at those large eyes with large pupils! If I had to define cartoon appeal, this would be it. Could you imagine if the whole movie looked like this?
I am pretty sure this scene won’t be as funny in the film. Look at that Buzz Lightyear. I want him tattooed on my face.
This is my favorite illustration in the book. Great lighting on this scene. I love Woody’s eyes. He sorta looks Dave Cooperesque here. (Meant as no slight to Adrian Molina. He is truly a rare jem of a talent, and only 24 years old too, ugh!)
I love this composition. Your eyes register the toys instantly, but the viewer still ‘reads’ the grime and trash, without looking cluttered and ugly. Why, even the garbage truck oozes with appeal!
How adorable! I want to crawl inside this book and live there forever.
In our conservative age of design, I think Disney and Pixar deserve extra credit for allowing what’s essentially the biggest property in the world to appear this far off-model. I think it’s good for kids, as it gives them the notion that there is more than one way to draw a slinky dog.
This book gets my highest possible recommendation. Available at all Wal Marts and wherever fine pieces of art are sold.
Because YOU demanded it. More giraffes!
Sometimes a client will change their mind when I am pretty far along in the process and ask for a completely new design for a character.
…and you know what? Sometimes the client is right.
This scene was cut on the account of the angry eyes. Apparently, hooded eyes frightens children, or so I was told many times. What? the same wee ones that are spray painting graffiti behind my house, or the fat tikes at home playing violent video games? Well, I guess kids in after school chess programs might be part of the upper crust and have more delicate sensibilities. I wouldn’t know, I don’t play chess.
Mistake No.1 Uh, oh. “Dot eyes”. I don’t know why I bother with them. Clients ALWAYS hate them. ALWAYS.
Mistake No.2 I made a black guy look black. When a client says they want a”multi-cultural cast,” what they really man is “Draw Caucasians and color them brown.”
For some kooky, goofy reason, this background was changed to green. Yes, everything fell apart after that.
As you no doubt have already guessed, The Indian robot turns into a house and the Italian ‘bot turns into the Leaning Tower Of Pisa AND the Effel Tower, of course(?)
I don’t remember anything about this one. I kinda like it. Painter is good for sponge effects.
This one looked really jagged and pixelated on the screen. Gotta keep those outlines, I guess.
New stuff to come, I promise.
I contemplated suicide today, but decided that I didn’t want my last piece of “art” to be an animated short about braces shaped like chess pieces.
Hey Kids! Here’s a fun design for you, this is to say, if you find skinny old birds with huge beaks a whole lotta fun. I know I do, kids. I know I do.
Customarily, I send clients lots of different sketches to choose from when “designing” a character for me to poorly “animate”. This time, however, I broke the mold then jumped the gun, took the bull by the horns and other metaphors I don’t quite understand. What I am trying t’say here is, sometimes a character’s greatness may not be apparent at first glance. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him dig it, y’know?
I think deserve a raise for coming up with this soon-to-be-beloved character for K**C****! I am more than sure they don’t mind me telling all of you that either.