Harvey Eisenberg is a great conservative layout man. He can draw any object from any angle and compose a scene so that everything reads perfectly. Note that his BG elements do not at all look mechanical. Every shingle and brick is organic, yet fits within the patterns and forms that they sit on.
I would love to find a couple BG artists who could draw this well. Vincent Waller can and he drew great layouts in my cartoons and comics. He's of course in great demand even at wonky studios.
Milt Gross studies the real world. He has knowledge of many types of furniture, not just one stock chair or couch or cabinet.
He puts the appropriate types of furniture in the houses he draws, depending upon whether it's a mansion, or a regular middle class house. He cartoons them just enough to make them fun and he draws the rooms from really interesting angles.
He plays with the perspective just enough to goof things up and make 'em fun and wacky without being "wonky".
"Wonky" is when the window shapes are completely different shapes than the houses they sit on. Or everything in an image is on a different angle. Each house is on a crazy angle and nothing on the house actually follow the same angle. You see it all the time in modern cartoons. It's when the smaller shapes do not fit within the larger ones and the whole image of the scene is a chaotic jumble instead of an instantly understandable whole.
Here's a great down shot of a bedroom that reads perfectly, even though the perspective is very slightly off.
Obviously Gross really does understand perspective, and can make it form the most fun visual statements:
Gross is a master of composition. His BGs don't compete with the characters. They compose around them and give the scene specific flavor.
Here are some panels from my comics where we tried to make our BGs somewhat cartoony, while still using them to compose well with the characters:Of course, they aren't on the same level as Gross, Eisenberg or Ketcham and I'm not looking for an artist to imitate the "Spumco style". I just want to try to show the general goals I have for framing my stories and characters in atmospheres and environments.
I'm looking for an earthy down-home feel to the BGS. Not looking for high-style modern hipster style. I want the environments to feel like what real life feels like , only through a funny artist's perspective.
I need cartoonists who remember odd details and unique weird elements of growing up. This scene above is inspired by my own youth.
My Dad (like many Ottawa Dads in the 60s) was always building stuff to add to the house. This was an unfinished bathroom we had downstairs in the basement that must have stayed unfinished for years. It was dark and dingy and the walls were never completed. It had a funny smell , unique to moldy basements. I need BGs that evoke the actual smells of the different environments my artists have experienced.
I don't want every scene treated in the same hipster-impress the executive-flat, wonky style. If you are a cartoonist with a love for cartooning real life and environments and want to get our audience to feel the atmospheres and odd nooks and crannies that impressed your life (and you can draw perspective and have a wide knowledge of what things look like), then I want to bring your ideas and experiences to the world.
Jim Smith drew lots of great scenes in my cartoons and comics and is likely to do many more on the George Liquor Show. He could use some help. We all want to sit around and laugh about weird things that happened to us and sketch out the feelings of the environments they happened in..and try to draw them in styles that evoke the smells the best, not just draw every scene in the same house style.
COMPOSITIONS AND ANGLES TO REVEAL THE CHARACTERShttp://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/2007/08/dan-gordon-funny-animal-comics.htmlDan Gordon is great at designing his scenes with atmosphere. Atmosphere generated by the point of view of the characters. Look at all the great angles in his panels, and the motivated characters that are moving from scene to scene. It's all designed and framed to make you feel like you are part of the story.
Gordon invites you in and you become one of his dog gang and experience the world from their point of view.
In my George Liquor Show, I am going to tell stories from different points of view, Each character sees the world at different angles and in a different atmosphere of his own impressions and emotions.
George's POV is conservative and stable, Jimmy's is more cockeyed. The animals see everything from low angles and with a different understanding of how life works. Sody sees everything as fun and innocent with a touch of filth. The bad Catholic girls see the world for what it is: dirty low down, grimy, unfair, get what you can while it's available and confess later.