Sunday, October 14, 2007

More Great Milt Gross

Wow. Just a couple years ago, you could barely find Milt Gross comics anywhere.
Now thanks the the Animation Archive and collectors like Marc Deckter, all this killer stuff is being made available to all us lucky cartoon fans.

Gross is amazing. He never seems to run out of funny shapes and designs.

What's that middle balloon attached to?

If only crazy people really wore hot dogs on their heads instead of starting wars, we'd all be much happier.

This silhouette is a work of art just by itself. It's almost psychedelic. I'm getting a flashback...

Funny kids.

He doesn't just draw a fat lady. He makes her a special kind of fatty. She's a big block of lipids. Nice contrast between her and the little guy following!

Lots more Here! Please thank Steve and Marc and encourage them properly to continue their beneficent natures.


Nico said...

wow, such great stuff here.

i like how Gross draws girls!! Like the 2nd and 3rd to last that you posted!

Pete Emslie said...

Hey John,

I understand the appeal that Milt's work has for you, as he draws funny cartoons that have a real spark of life and personality. However, I would like to play devil's advocate a bit here, as I would question whether his work would translate well to animation. Some cartoonists seem to have been made for the print medium, as there is so much one can get away with when not having to worry about continuity from one drawing to another as in animation inbetweens. (A favourite of mine, Ronald Searle, also comes to mind.) Also, Milt's cartoons are not based on solid construction principles per se, though neither would I call them graphically flat. There is a sense of volume to them, but it is loosely handled as is often the case in print cartoons.

So, do you think Milt's work would translate to film animation as is, or do you believe it would require some adaptation to that medium? If you yourself had to animate his drawings, how might you approach it? The reason I am curious about this is because I sometimes receive student assignments that have the same qualities: a flair for life and personality but lacking in constructed form. In these situations I usually tell them that, whereas their work has that spark of life and whimsical design, it seems ill-suited to animation, and I may draw an overlay to show how it might be adapted.

Your thoughts?

William said...

Whoa! I was just studying my copy of He Done Her Wrong on the can and then I come in to check my RSS feeds and here this is!

He is an astute observer of how hilarious life and people is. ...Are.

JohnK said...

Hi Pete

well Milt Gross has been animated. He directed 2 cartoons for MGM that I've posted before. (He was also an animator himself, in the 20s)

I think his still drawings have more life than most animation I've seen, especially today.

You're right, it's not perfectly constructed so I wouldn't encourage 1st or 2nd year students to attempt something so stylized until they understand traditional drawing and animation principles.

I can think of all kinds of ways to adapt his work to animation, partly stylized, partly full. His drawings give me tons of ideas! (Big House Blues has 2 Milt Gross characters in it, both animation very stylized to match the drawings)

I wish he could have continued making cartoons at MGM. I think he would have hit his stride with the animators within a year and they would have really contributed a lot to the medium.

Clampett adapted a lot of Gross ideas and techniques and did some wildly inventive stuff.

Kali Fontecchio said...

These are genius!!!

I especially the looooooooove the panel with ant-eater! There should be more in cartoons, they're so funny!

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Man, every time I see a new Gross drawing it's like a vacation on a tropical island!

Barbara said...

Dude, I love Milt! ...I feel so bummed that this guy hasn't been in my life before now.

Anonymous said...

There's a funny looking bulldog in one of the Count Screwloose comics. There's some great stuff in that post.

Bill Field said...

The bathtub and the balloons! Haw Haw Haw!I spewed my coffee when I read your caption--OK, how did he get away with that? We all know where that middle balloon is tied, look at the shadow even! Was Milt as crazy as his cartoons? I can see his influence on Big House Blues clearly, if you stuck a Napoleon Hat on the dog that tells them about the "Big Sleep", you'd have Milt's wacky dog with the anteater!Milt's work is so full of life, even in one panel--THAT reminds me of Roger Ramjet- how the great drawings more than make up for the lack of movement...
yes---teach us how to be GROSS--- Milt that is. Pete's comments are so helpful also, here and on his blog-- Thankya, PETE! John--- as usual,you are a great mentor, thanks for all your help!

Joel Bryan said...

I think I love those out of context as much if not more than I would within a context. They're nutty in the best of all possible ways.

Brandon said...

"So, do you think Milt's work would translate to film animation as is, or do you believe it would require some adaptation to that medium?"

I've been thinking about this question myself. I've seen Gross's MGM shorts, and they just don't have they same energy or silliness as his drawings.

However, the other day I was talking with a friend about why I like early Dragon Ball episodes so much(not Dragon Ball Z) and I realized its because they have that same sense of humor as a Milt Gross comic, but they're able to do it with animation too.

Granted, the animation is limited and choppy, but it uses funny poses and designs very well.

Akira Toriyama knew as much about anatomy and structure as Milt Gross, but he also knew that you could draw a hilarious picture without that.

He also thought perverts were funny.

Tony L. said...

My parents were great friends with Milt Gross and my brother and I now have three original oil paintings (including a mural he did as a housewarming present for us in 1955 featuring all of his characters and a personal inscription)by him as well as a wonderful pen and ink. We're currently investigating the market, if any, for his works.. either through galleries, collectors or museums. Does anyone know of serious Milt Gross collectors who might be interested in his works.?