Sunday, April 02, 2006

Barber Shop 8 -upside down mouth + links to great cartoon art

Here are 3 more pages. We're almost done! What theories do you have?

If you wanna know the secrets of this inking style go to Shane Glines' site and ask him since he did it.
BTW, he has the best cartoon resource site in existence, so if you want to see some art from the last century's greatest cartoonists and illustrators pay him the 5 bucks a month and learn something!

Seriously, the artwork on the site is stunning! Shane is the best friend of cartoonists who want to better themselves.
Here's a couple free samples: There's tons more at Shane's Web Museum!
This is a page from a Milt Gross comic. Milt is the ultimate cartoonist and I will write a post about him later. He was a big inspiration to Bob Clampett and hundreds of other cartoonists and animators too.
Here's an illustration from Earl Oliver Hurst - a great stylist! Go learn about him!

Here's another great site that has lots of animation/cartoon and illustration art!


benj said...

NICE comic book pages John!
Keep'em coming:D

ncross said...

Hey John,
One theory you haven't touched on yet is FRAMING.
I especially notice it in these pages-like how the barber and George frame around the center of interest, in this case, Jimmy.
You don't see to much of that in animated cartoons these days! Layout is dead!

P.C. unfunny said...

Very nice John,I still can't belive your comic isn't on newsstands across the country.Since you brought up Fleischer at the end of your post, Amid posted footage of an un-released Betty Boop movie at Cartoon Brew.I couldn't hold in my emotions when I saw that clip,it's beautiful.

Nightsleeper said...

Haha, the dynamism in Barber Shop is awesomely fun!

makinita said...

those pages are wonderfull

lyris said...

I love Jimmy's little smile on the last page!

Stephen Worth said...

Yikes! I saw that Betty Boop clip and I couldn't hold in my lunch! Those guys completely don't get what Betty Boop is all about. They don't even know not to dawdle on shots of Betty's profile! What a horrible mushy mess.

Go here and watch the REAL Betty Boop, not some Broadway showtune sissy version of her...

See ya

Charlie J. said...

Were the old yogi bear cartoons written with scripts or with storyboards?

JohnK said...

>>You don't see to much of that in animated cartoons these days! Layout is dead!

Hi Nick

have you had some direct experience in this lately?

Hey send me some of your R and S work, so I can blog about it.

The Butcher said...

The drawing of Jimmy when George says "He's a good boy!" is the funniest thing I've seen in a long time. No matter what expression Jimmy makes, he always looks retarded. You can always tell he's a moron. I love it.

Anonymous said...

Harvey is one of the funniest looking characters I've seen in long time.

Joel Bryan said...

Cool art. And thanks for the links and the names... time for larnin' me up how to do some a them funny drawins!

I'm looking forward to the Milt Gross post, too.

I notice the last image on each page leads directly to the first image on the succeeding page, which keeps the reader from falsely judging there to be a time or location jump.

It aids the continuity... for example the first page where the barber slaps the aftershave onto Jimmy- action. The first panel in the next page where Jimmy's face burns- reaction. The reader is compelled to connect the first moment to the second, ensuring a smoother reading experience!

Pedro Vargas said...

WOW! John, you truly are a cartoon genius! I say that because of that one expression George makes when Harvey slaps the after shave on Jimmy's face. It's that one little eye that sticks out of George's face. It's incredibly funny. I love the way how you distort something on a character's face so it can show what the character's feeling, but also for the audience to feel that expression as well. You go all the way with an expression. I love that!



jorge garrido said...

Where is the upside down mouth?

I love how the barber creates anticipation for when he slaps the alcohol or aftershave or whatever on Jimmy by holding his arms out in one frame and SMACKING him with them in the next. It really creates natural timing for the joke, sort of like when George Burns would puff on his cigar before a punchline. That's the only theory I could make out.

Man, that Milt Gross comic is awesome! So cartoony!

The face on Jimmy when George pats him like a dog is priceless! It's so naive and innocent!

I love how the Barber's eyes are round.. yet they're not.

And I also love the reference to Fibber McGee and Molly in how the Barber calls James "Johnny." "That ain't the way I hear'd it, Johnny!"

Peggy said...

I like the way the end of this story kinda calls everything George and the barber are saying into question: "He's a good boy." matched with Jimmy looking like the complete idiot he is.

The two surface narratives - Jimmy's First Haircut, and George and Harvey bitching about Kids Today - are really well-intertwined. One becomes a comment on the other, and we continue to wonder if the opinions of these two old bastards are something we're being asked to share, or to mock.

And yay for threats of writing about Milt Gross! Seeing you using Gross eyes in one drawing of a scene, and completely different eyes in another drawing, was part of what really started me on the chain of thought that led to me comprehending how to pick and choose from one's influences.

Honolulu Dogfight said...

I'm glad you're posting this stuff, and you are spot on about CartoonRetro. It's been the best money I've spent ever. Those South American guys he's putting up lately are amazing.

Eric said...

I still want to see Wilbur Cobb..

ncross said...

"have you had some direct experience in this lately?"

heh, well my main reason for saying layout is dead is because 90% of animation production now is computer animation. And there is usually no such thing as a layout department anymore. BG design is done even before storyboards so when it comes to setting up the scenes, the characters are just dropped onto a bg with only a passing concern for their placement. It's sort of a horrible system actually--I'm afraid that any theories that make for a strong layout will soon be lost to the ages!

Chet said...

Hey John,

Nice post, I like it too many.

Ok i got a therory, Eyes should never be completley circular,they can be circles but not to the point to where it looks like they were drawn with a compass.

Ali said...

I love George Liquor. A series devoted to George Liquor would make me float with joy.

JohnK said...


I'm proud of you.

You are getting smart!

jorge garrido said...

>>I still want to see Wilbur Cobb..

That reminds me of my favourite line from R&S ever: "Ok, Stimpy, stop all this Cobb-foolery!"

Chet said...


why,thank you

Anonymous said...

Another message that could be portrayed in this comic is that if you're "Blindly Obedient" you must be retarded!

Jhhl said...

John and fans of John:
If you don't have it already, go find a copy of Milt Gross's novel, I SHOULDA ATE THE ECLAIR, not so much for the illustrations, but for the completely insane dialogue - heavily Yiddish accented, but mind bending and addictive -and a matching absurd plot. Like his drawings, there's a lot going on, all the time, simultaneously.

Jimmy's barber experience covers all the bases of barberous behavior. The only thing left is the sweeping of his head and neck with a little brush and a dusting of talcum powder! Every pose, a masterpiece!

David Germain said...

Censor Monkeys
Hey, John et al., I finished a comic not too long ago. It's up on my blog right now. It's only 6 pages long, it shouldn't be too long a read. Everyone is free to click that link and check it out as well as tell me what I did right or what I did wrong. :)

David Germain said...

Ok i got a therory, Eyes should never be completley circular,they can be circles but not to the point to where it looks like they were drawn with a compass.

Back in animation school, I was drawing a cuy with some crazily shaped eyes in order to express an emotion of some kind (I completely forget what I was drawing at the time). One of the other students came up to me and tried correcting me saying "eyes are supposed to be round". But, this was that guy I mentioned before who drew like a seven year old and somehow did more walking around than drawing (as well as other crappy stuff). So, let me just suffice it to say that I definitely more than agree with John K/Chet/Chuck Jones' eye shape philosophy, ESPCIALLY after what that jackass at animation school said.

Craig D said...

I really like this barbershop comic. Puts in in mind of the AMERICAN SPLENDOR slice-of-life sort of thing.

Shane's line work is fantastic. It really puts the cherry on the top of all the other elements.


Aimee's Sketch Blog said...

I was very excited to find Jessica Borutski Tee's @ CafePress:

Eric C. said...

Hey John,

This is pretty importaint.

I've noticed that you've changed in taste. Your more of a adult humor style cartoonist other that the cartoonist that you were before. Do you find sex to be funnier than past projects like the original Ren & Stimpy ?
I've noticed APC changed Ren & Stimpy character wise. Ren's not as brutal but more of a sexually active character and Stimpy seems to have a speech impediment and seems to be quiet at times. Not enough character from the past. It's like your starting all over again with new characters. Is that what APC is, new forms of Ren & Stimpy but in a adult form and thinking nothing more but adult situations ? I'm not trying to put you down Mr. K. don't hear me wrong, I'm just curious to see you as a creative artist changing what you've done before., Now I noticed on the early episodes that It was Ren who was the quiet one.


Count Screwloose said...

Bring on the Milt!

Is diss a system?


JohnK said...

>>I've noticed that you've changed in taste. Your more of a adult humor style cartoonist other that the cartoonist that you were before. Do you find sex to be funnier than past projects like the original Ren & Stimpy ?

No, not really. Spike told me specifically to add male humor which amounts to sex. But I've always liked sex myself, so it wasn't a leap.I imagine some other people like a bit of sex in their lives too.

The characters still have tons of personality and only one episode is really about sex.

Onward and Upward is all character and acting with millions of funny as hell expressions and back and forth confict between Ren and Stimpy. Stimpy's Pregnant has the deepest character study of any cartoon I've ever done. You can see some of the acting poses in a post from about a week ago-"Lost Episodes".

My 3 biggest priorities have always been-jokes, surprises and acting. Then every imaginable type of art and music and sound I can squeeze into the cartoons.

APC are the richest cartoons I've done yet and we just got started.In every public screening they bring the house down.

Hopefully we will continue with the killer talent that made those cartoons and we'll try lots more new things.

Btw, all but one of the "new" Ren and Stimpys were written by the original writers 15 years ago. They are all the same style, just with better drawings now.

P.C. Unfunny said...

"Stimpy's Pregnant has the deepest character study of any cartoon I've ever done."

Even more so then "Ren seeks help" ? This I gotta see.

JohnK said...

>>Even more so then "Ren seeks help" ? This I gotta see.

Yeah, and it is both Ren and Stimpy. RSH help focuses on Ren. But yeah, obviously RSH is all about personality, not sex.

Jason Rutberg said...

I remember first seeing Ren and Stimpy at an dance club that played industrial music called the "Control Factory" in Los Angeles about 13 years ago. It was wild, there was this music playing by people like Ministry and these stacked TV's playing Ren and Stimpy. It was a brilliant marketing strategy.

You definitely have some skill John. I like Sody Pop. The thing that always tripped me out was the close ups with an extreme level of detail - where normally the characters were animated with a reduced level of detail.

You might also be able to appreciate this information I have to share with you as comic art and pen and ink drawings are share the same medium.

Dr. Mark Taylor, of Atlanta Live Media, is auctioning a 75 piece, 100 year old, family collection of pencil and ink drawings by artist Charles S. Gibson (1892-1973) not to be confused with Charles Dana Gibson (1867-1944), who created the Gibson Girl. They are really nice pieces of artwork.

I REALLY wish I could embed the pictures in this post for you. This is all pen & ink drawings and some of the structures are very impressive.

There are also some pretty impressive muscle drawings in this collection - of the face, arms, legs, etc. These would be the kind you could use for close ups of your characters.

So if you are interested, check it out. Who knows, it might inspire you :)