Thursday, August 17, 2006

Funny animals, zombie crowds


http://uncleeddiestheorycorner.blogspot.com/2006/07/why-cartoons-favor-zombie-audiences.html



I'm trying to design some characters for the Tenacious D video I'm doing.

I'm out of practice as a designer even though it's kind of what I used to exclusively do. So I'm trying to get inspired by other designers I like- Grim Natwick, Milt Gross, Bob Clampett, Jim Tyer and Katie Rice.

Actually, looking at Katie's designs is quite daunting.

It's so easy for an animation cartoonist to fall into a rut and start repeating the same old shapes and designs over and over again and then I see Katie inventing new ones every week and whole new styles..well it's pretty scary to try to compete with that, but I'm gonna try really hard to get some new styles or at least styles I'm not familiar with. I especially want to get as cartoony as I can, and writing all these articles about cartooniness is making me think about it all the time.

It's easier to talk about than do it!

But I'm gonna will myself to make it happen.

Wish me luck!

41 comments:

Jesse Oliver said...

Is that rabbit baesd on Katie Rice?

The Butcher said...

Those are cooler than most stuff I've seen from Spumco. What are they for?

Sean Worsham said...

Where are the zombie crowds? Or is that a reference to their behavior and reaction?

NARTHAX said...

Tyer. It's Jim Tyer.

:: smo :: said...

those animals on the top are really awesome! i haven't seen cartoony animal drawings of yours for a long time and i think they're definitely my favorite work of yours!

lookin good!

Morly said...

Both of the drawings (#1 and #2) with the hippo in them are excellent and very funny. Keep on that track!

Clarke (Csnyde) said...

Wow! - John these is so much godammn fun bursting through in these drawings.

I see a nice blending of all of those artists you mentioned, but most heavily a fusion of early Fleischer and Milt Gross in most of these sketches. And you must totally have Katie on the brain since those rabbits are all unmistakeably based on her unique and appealing appearance.

While I definitely get a lot of great insight and info out of your "other" types of posts, I must say that It has been far too long since you posted some of your drawings.

I can't imagine YOU being "rusty" when it comes to design and it definitely doesn't seem to be a problem here in my eyes. So anyway...keep at it ya slouch and post some more brilliant scribbles real soon.

Michael Amos said...

Hey John,

There are some really nice drawing here John - I always love to look at your loose rough drawings rather than the finished clean up and colour - so much life the in line and shapes!

The Hippo is really cool, and the crowd with the monkey on top is really nice. Love all the characters eyes, reminds me of Jim Tyer crazy eyes - they make the characters look really cartoony, full of movement even though it so only a still.

I want to see more! Post em!
Michael

Ryan G. said...

Those all look great John! I love that monkey.. That rabbit looks just like Katie. Good luck on the video!

R2K said...

great work! Cute bunny : )

Evan said...

the rabbit girl kinda looks like katie...

Lori said...

I rarely get excited about music videos, but I have to admit, I'm a little excited about this and your drawings never fail to make me completely happy. Thanks for posting 'em.

Josh "Just What the Doctor Ordered" Heisie said...

Wow, I love the chicken on the second page, and the Katie Rice bunny is pretty cool too.

Nathan Jones said...

Hey John,
I love your characters! Ive got a couple of new characters on my blog you can check out if you want. Im still new to the blog thing but id like to hear any feedback!

http://nathanjonesanimator.blogspot.com/

The Butcher said...

"I'm trying to design some characters for the Tenacious D video I'm doing."


I don't get it. If you're associated with better designers and you're a bit rusty at it, why don't you get them to do it? Is this exclusively your baby?

Hammerson said...

Brilliantly inventive drawings, especially that crowd shot with monkey, hippo, etc. The characters remind me both of Fleischers and Tyer, and yet they look really fresh and original. Can't wait to see them animated!

>> Actually, looking at Katie's designs is quite daunting. <<

Last week I tried to analyze and re-draw some of her characters, perhaps to understand better what she's doing, and it gave me even more appreciation for her designs. I took the drawings she posted in her blog several months ago (the post about the "mouth theory"), tried to copy them myself, and it really blew my mind. They look simple, natural and spontaneous at first look, and yet these are amazingly complex designs with such unique shapes and so much things going on in every drawing. Katie is a genius... and now she's a cartoon character too :-)
I love that rabbit in pictures no.4 and 5. Will you also transform Marlo into a cartoon character? Anyway, fantastic work.

C. A. M. Thompson said...

These are definitely some of the coolest drawings I've seen on this blog. Do more stuff along these lines.

Shawn said...

Good luck, John! But it looks like you're doing an okay job to me! Your designs intimidate the hell out of me. That's why we second-rate cartoonists have to rip you off all the time. Heheh!

The Katie Rice Bunny is great! Now THOSE are my favorite kinds of caricatures!

Chingyi said...

great work!
your drawings make me smile :)
oh and gooooood luck <3

LĂȘA said...

you don´t need luck, you have THE PENCIL..!

Patrick said...

That Katie Bunny is "HANDS DOWN" the best caraciture of Miss Rice I've seen in these blogs!! You Nailed her SLEEPY eyes!

DaveAlvarezStudio said...

I hear ya'. Before designing any new characters I have to detox from myself.

Gabriel said...

It's funny how obvious it is that the rabbit is Katie, even for us who have only seen her in some pics.

Vanoni! said...

These are excellent!
Zombie Crowd in Blue is fun as hell!

There are a few shapes here I wouldn't have thought about. That speaks to my own rut! I guess I'll have to take my clipboard and draw until I get all those recycled forms out of my head!

– C

Digi D said...

I know exactly how you feel. I'm currently in a rut, and it sucks to see everyone else comming up with great new designs all the time. Just keep looking at other people's work, and keep plugging away. I really like the blatant cartooniness of these drawings.

Kali Fontecchio said...

I love how you've mixed a bunch of cartoon styles together for these characters! Looking over them I can see the clampett influence, the early 30s influence, and the katie influence mixed so clearly and congruently!

Chloe Cumming said...

These are lovely John, I dig the dragons… dragons get a bad press, they’re often drawn so cheesy and humourless, I want more funny dragons in my life.

I recognise the phenomenon of talking about ideal theories of drawing being so much easier than living up to the words… Words are tricky little buggers! So seductive and distracting from the good stuff… But they can also help to lead you there.

I’m glad that you articulate yourself so well here and help to repair the unpleasant gap between the snotty dry canon of writing about cartoons and the immediately joyful experience people have of cartoons themselves. It’s important that there is someone willing to articulate this stuff from the position of visual understanding… of craft-based expertise, hand and eye stuff.

I find there’s a balance to be struck between written thoughts helping to clarify where I need to go, and the actual work itself being vital and dynamic enough to move beyond the rigours of theory… (Sorry for my fancypants UK English spelling)

Blogging is a very particular experience, there aren’t precedents for it, it has a very particular psychological effect… we’re all pioneers in this territory, kind of.

You must have a far greater awareness than I do of where ‘repetition’ comes from when you draw, being so intimately familiar with the styles of other cartoonists… I’m in awe of all these spheres of visual intelligence that are still quite new to me. I feel I’ve got a lot less good stuff mediating between me and naked nature.

Theories are fine and dandy but I kind of feel like I’m venturing into weird word-resistant territory when I pick up a pencil, where I’m kind of a retard still. Groping about for solutions... maybe there’s always a bit of that.

Talking about myself to make sense of your blog... again... sorry about that.

Aimee's Sketch Blog said...

Yea! Love them all!! You do not need any luck, John.
XOXOX, Aimee

Brian Romero said...

Ha! I love that Katie Rabbit. Katie has very distinct eyes.

Art F. said...

Freakin' great stuff John! i really like the Katie-lookin rabbit.

Ryan Kramer said...

get em john!

Ryan G. said...

Holy crap! John, you even drew the monkey's weiner!

lastangelman said...

You must have been really stoked when you drew these, John, it looks like the stuff by a younger person. Keep surrounding yourself with young talented girls, it's definitely rubbing off! The hormones loves the bunnies (I wanna pet the bunny!), the ducky looks very Katie R., where'd the dragon come from, that's very cool and different. Much much better than Freleng's dragon from Knighty Knight Bugs.

rex said...

These are awesome John!! I think these are some of the most appealing animal drawings I've ever seen!

Diana and Kelly said...

I like Wormy the best! her long lashes and stalked eyes.

Diana and Kelly said...

Wait. I just noticed the tortoise in the back. Of course I like Torty the best! Toothless creatures take the cake.

The Mighty Robolizard said...

That animal group picture is certainly 'da poo', in the greatest way possible. You mention a lot of inspirations, but I wonder, what about R. Crumb, a man who seems to have always revelled in the pure idea of hideous 'cartoony' motion. Fun.

Mitch K said...

The crowd drawing is AWESOME. The dragon is mighty cool. The Katie-Rice-Rabbit is wicked too.

Neat stuff!

Donald S. said...

There's something about pencil drawings that I love...

... especially these!

himynameiskyle said...

hey i was just wondering if i could use the first hippo drawing as a logo for my band?

does anyone know how i can get it touch with the guy who made these amazing drawings?

webmaster said...

it is very very funny and While I definitely get a lot of great insight and info out of your "other" types of posts, I must say that It has been far too long since you posted some of your drawings.

by
Tamil Actor ajith