Friday, June 06, 2008

CARTOON VS MAN or FUN VS NONE

Which one is evil?


Remember your evil aunt or uncle who would give you socks and underwear for Christmas instead of a toy? What causes someone to do such an awful thing?
There is a certain type of human that doesn't understand kids and fun. The same kind of problem applies to coloring books.
Here is a great one from the 40s. It looks like a Clampett cartoon. Porky even has an ass-head! Whoever made this book understands kids.




When I was a kid, I would only color in coloring books that starred cartoon characters. Any other kind of coloring book was a lie, created by monsters who hated kids.




I especially loved the coloring books that had beautifully painted covers, as these would inspire us to color carefully within the lines and have high standards in all things in life.
This kid grew up to become an animation critic, because he couldn't quite cut it.





BOB MCKIMSON COLORING BOOK!Who wouldn't want a coloring book filled with drawings by an actual star animator!





But then....there came the ugliest of inventions: MAN coloring books!
This kind of thing had to be invented by the same weirdo who gave kids socks and underwear and called them presents. "Here kids! Color your Dad!"Color the Man and his hairy baby.
Color seed of Man.
Here's fish with man face to color.
Here is man with Mammoth Chipmunk. Who will win?I can't imagine anything being more fun for a kid to color than a blind man, can you?

I remember as a kid wondering about how this kind of stuff ever got made and what kind of retard would think a kid would like it? I thought "Thank God, the animated cartoons aren't like this!" Then came Scooby Doo, the 70s and my life and all my beliefs about fun were shattered.

Whole empires have been built around the socks and underwear entertainment theory: Filmation, Dic, Dreamworks.http://animated-views.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/12/star-trek.jpg

You can bet 99% of the executives in cartoons give their kids socks, underwear and tax forms for their birthdays!

61 comments:

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Hilarious, and so painfully true! Whoever thought of man coloring books is probably roasting in hell right now.

Sven Hoek said...

It's bad enough they made it about "Boring-Man", but then the drawings are awful too, just to make sure it was no fun. Can you imagine what happened to the poor kids who had to look at that junk? Any coloring book that is not a cartoon should be burned.

The Looney Toons books look awesome though.

MasterK said...

Hilarious post! I completely agree. I often see stuff like the man coloring books in stores and on kids menus in restaurants. I think, who in the world would buy this crap and fall for it? But unfortunately, kids don't know better. Whenever I end up stuck with this crap as my only avenue of entertainment, I just draw all the characters smoking cigars.

Peggy said...

A MAN TO COLOR! That's the best tagline ever. I'd figure you'd love that book just for that line!

I fully expect to see that on a George Liquor coloring book someday.

Shawn said...

>>Whoever thought of man coloring books is probably roasting in hell right now.<<

Hahaha!

Timefishblue said...

So funny! The worst part about colouring a blind man is that he could never appreciate what a good job you did.

Aaron said...

That made me laugh

Doug said...

How sad for the children who got socks and underwear cartoons growing up. I actually would watch pretty much anything and everything so at least I wasn't completely brainwashed. Thanks, John, for writing this blog...it's one of the most valuable resources in the vast online cartoon world. I wish there were more great guys like you around.

Adam T said...

I fully support man coloring books. Coloring books should teach kids important life lessons and prepare them for their future, they shouldn't be brainless time wasters used to sell my kid some Saturday morning cartoon show.

I'm working tirelessly to mold my son into the man I am so he can one day buy a luxury home, fill it with the finest furnishings, and marry the girl who will make him the envy of his friends.

Besides kids are going to color anyway! Just put crayons in their hands and make them sit at their miniature desks. I figure while they're scribbling wax everywhere they may as well learn about physical disabilities and botany too. You're killing two birds with one stone with those coloring books. You get a moments peace and they're learning something USEFUL for once. What could possibly be wrong with that?

You don't even have a child of your own so how can you possibly understand!

Booo Tooons Ltd. said...

Fortunately, the latter has more or less died out.

The last thing I saw that remotely resembled that was a Mister Rogers coloring book. Although, to his credit, there was only one picture of Rogers himself to colour; the rest were the Make Believe characters in a nice, cartoony style.

But yeah, who want's to colour a trolley?

And that colour scheme on the Hound pages suggests to me that guy later worked for Tiny Toons ( no offense, Eddie ).

- trevor.

PS: Man, Clampett and McKimson-penned drawings! What a rarity! Betcha Dave Feiss didn't do the drawings for the Cow and Chicken books!

Barbara said...

That is the weirdest thing I've ever seen..but it makes sense. Even authoritarian parents have to give their kids something.

warren said...

HAHA! Whoever created this colouring book, well, I don't know what they think of kids, but they really like animals...

hungry bear bum

Colouring books are so simple, why are they done so wrong?

Sherm said...

Thanks for making me laugh out loud like a crazy person.

Evan said...

i love when you do posts like this.

Colter said...

I had an uncle give me a savings bond when I was little, and then take it back when I was a teenager!

Not only was it a horrible gift for a kid, he took it away when it might have come in handy!

HemlockMan said...

When I was a kid, I always thought of McKimson as the guy who drew the big mouths. All of his characters seemed to be big-mouthed louts, which I liked, as I thought they were quite funny.

vicki said...

i may or may not have just pissed myself laughing.
alone.
in my room.


this is why i love you ever so deeply, Mr. K. oh so deep.

Troy Little said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

MAN TO COLOUR.... Frikken brilliant.

Jim Rockford said...

Coloring a blind man with a seeing eye dog? OH JOY!
Today it would be color the gay wedding scene!
I remember seeing a bunch of P.C. coloring books in the late 80's.
I always hated it when adults market stuff towards kids with an agenda.
Even cartoon tv commercials like the ones for Breakfast cereals like Lucky Charms,etc had to have the obligitory handicapped kid in a wheelchair and of course a token black or asian kid!

Any parent that would buy a boring coloring book like that for a kid,obviously couldnt remember what it was like to be one.

I ALWAYS wanted the coloring books with cartoon characters!
Any normal kid would.

That Beany & Cecil one has cool cover artwork,I like the McKimson one too!

Funny post!

Vincent Waller said...

Color the blind man, made me laugh out loud.

Hryma said...

"When I was a kid, I would only color in coloring books that starred cartoon characters"

I bet everyone who reads this blog would lovee to see your coloring John!;)

Thanks for posting that 'Flinstones meet the Gruesomes' that's awesome, there should be toys of them.

Nico said...

Hey John, at Millie's Pancake House in Tucson, they have TONS of these Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig and Hanna-Barbera coloring books for the kids to play with while you wait for your food. It's incredible! Another reason why that place is so cool!

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

There was no such thing as a good coloring book when I was little. Just alot of Power Rangers, Babar and modern day equivelents of "Man" Coloring books. I was never a huge fan of coloring.

I agree with what you say here, although the man book is hilarious. For all the wrong reasons, however.

Coloring the handicapped is FUN!

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

Adam T:
Let your kid have some fun!

Kris said...

I think every kid shared your exact feelings on that one. I tried to be a thoughtful kid so I really tried to find things to like about Man coloring books when someone gave me one. I would give it a sporting effort but the drawings seemed engineered to be boring! And this kind of coloring book even smelled different from normal coloring books.

I liked the concept of coloring dinosaurs and horses, but somehow these artists managed to mess that whole idea up, so I'd do maybe two pages and give up on it. And go draw my own pictures instead.

Mitch K said...

When I was a kid, I got a Daffy Duck coloring book... but it wasn't very entertaining! You see, Daffy duck was on every page, and he was already coloured solid BLACK!!

Mr. Semaj said...

My family used to have a lot of fun with coloring books. Even my mom and older sister would take a crack at a couple pages, injecting their own color schemes. (I still remember my mom coloring Pinocchio with GREEN pants.)

This de-evolution kinda reminds me of what's happening to cereal these days:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2093/2213144512_b34ac37499.jpg

Lord help us. :(

Trevour said...

That Bugs and Porky rollerskating together is perhaps the finest coloring book page in the history of mankind!

I think I should save these pics and print 'em out when my niece is old enough to hold crayons. Heaven forbid she ends up with a Bratz or Dora The Explorer coloring book.

ted said...

The funniest thing I've seen in awhile! Thank you sir.

Bitter Animator said...

This is one of the funniest things I've read here. Cheered me up no end.

Very funny and, yes, true. The blind man one cracked me up.

Thanks. I can't tell you how much I needed that laugh.

C. A. M. Thompson said...

Oh god I hate that Star Trek cartoon so much. Everybody looks the same! The entire 1970's needs to go to hell too.

Those coloring books on the other hand are pure joy, except for the man one. I didn't even know they made coloring books for Bugs Bunny during the 40's.

lastangelman said...

Jumpin' Jehosephet! That Bob McKimson coloring book is beautiful! My god, why don't they re-issue real good coloring books like that? It's a crying shame kids can't buy and color that book anymore.

Gabriele_Gabba said...

Man, john your humour is priceless, i was rolling over here! That book is hideous! I've seen so many realistic colourbooks in my short time, and i gotta say each one more disgusting than the next.

I think these 'animators' lost their own colour as a result of the horrid soul leeching nature of the executives, just look at this poor soul!

http://tinyurl.com/4nfwqw

Oh dear! ;P

CatfishMaw said...

I want to tell you how profound an effect your blog has on me. I'm 17 and I love drawing, but I don't really know much about it. Like any good kid, I used to collect comics, and though I don't have the space or money right now to really pursue drawing, I like to think that it plays a big part in my life. I grew up watching Looney Tunes and enjoying Richard Elson's Sonic the Hedgehog, and though I never identified any deep, almost ideological reasons for these feelings, I began to notice differences between what I knew and loved as vibrant cartoons and... well, insults to children like Scooby Doo.

I remember Scooby Doo always being boring, and it wasn't just because of the subject matter, though the writing was poor. It was the animation style. Nothing unexpected happened to these robotic, lifeless characters. I don't even understand why the colours are so dull! I always thought that they could at least try to make up for lazy animation with primary colours. Apparently not.

As someone without your experience, reading and understanding of this industry, it pleases me that there are 'professionals' who share my opinions. In fact, it looks as though I might be justified for thinking these things!

As I said, I can't claim to understand many of these issues in detail, but your blog posts always seem to strike a chord with me. Thank you for writing.

Anthony Rizzo said...

Hey John,

Couple of Sody Pops for ya to check out! Is it cool to comment here? Or should we link you in the proper posts for the character?

Here she is anyways:

Click here!

Thanks!

Yr pal,

-Anthony

Chloe Cumming said...

It actually says 'A man to color'! I love that! And he's a proper lumpy man too.

I was weird, I liked those colouring books with geometric tessellating shapes. They encouraged creativity, abstract shit, oh yes, and an understanding of trippy geometric formations. My parents were hippies you see.

with the serious boring man things, I imagine perpetrating rude satiric mockery on every page. There's no other way.

Chris E. said...

I actually remember the horror of realistic coloring books. I also hated coloring books featuring no-name characters that were just stylishly ugly. That man coloring book is just horrendous. Look at all of those lines that discontinue and not close together. Kids would know to color within the lines, but what do they do with trash like this?

Chris E. said...

I guess I should also note that the way the man's eyes are drawn, he'll be colored with the dreaded flesh-colored eyes.

David Germain said...

I know you don't care for Star Wars and all, but I think showing a live action example doesn't really support your point very well. It would be better to use images from the upcoming "animated" feature .

The guys who wrote and designed that give their kids gonorrhoea for Christmas and birthdays. >:P

Adam T said...

I just wanted to add that the Quickdraw coloring book is probably the best in the bunch. Each one of those pages imply some fun backstory to it. With very few lines you get a whole lot of food for your kid's imagination.

Nico said...

Han shoots first.

Dan said...

"I can't imagine anything being more fun for a kid to color than a blind man, can you?"

LOL

Tim said...

Wow, this took me back. I remember those MAN coloring books - horribly boring to look at, read, AND color - not the least of which was because it was impossible to color in the lines with crayons because the drawings were already overly detailed. It's pretty freakin' hard to color something drawn by some guy who doesn't give a crap if you can color it or not. Did I mention boring? Why would anyone think this is a good idea? Aghh.

Amy said...

Though I enjoy Star Trek: TAS, I am a firm believer in Frank Miller's quote.
"The more realistic you make something, the less believable it becomes."

Lex said...

That's not a man...
That's a Yogi.


No wait, that's a man.

They might as well make a "Cheeses of the world" colouring book. Actually, that might be fun.

Elana said...

right on brother
death to evil boring grownups who miss the point of life!

SoleilSmile said...

Jinkies, this post was funny. I laughed out loud over my zinfnadel! However...
Joohnnnn, why can't you appreciate different styles and genres? This world would be so boring if everything was the same or just a slight variant of a set ideal.
Shame on yououuu.
I love 40's cartoons as much as you do, but I also love action adventure cartoons like Josie and the Pussycats, Superfriends, Bruce Timm, Transformers, G.I. Joe, Jem and anime.

JohnK said...

I worked on half of that stuff and if you had told any of us at the time that kids would grow and tell us they loved what we hated making, we wouldn't have believed it.

SoleilSmile said...

I feel the same way about my sentences on Futurama and Dilbert John. However, Futurama is like some cult cartoon now. Go fig. Kids like what they like.
Hey, are the Man coloring books text books? That's what they seem like to me. I think I had books like those in elementary school. I liked them, because I got to learn kiddie science as I colored. Yeah, I know. I'm on my way to being an unfun exec. Draw a picture of Sody shooting me if you need to vent.

Elliot Cowan said...

Bob Burrud appears to be cradling his own likeness in primate form.

Subject #645-3 said...

Man, those "Man" coloring books sucked. "Oh look, a crappy horrible looking detailed man. I don't want to color him, but the book says I must." Those color books are turning out kids into midget accountants. I have no idea what I just said, either.

peggy- "I fully expect one day to see a George Liquor coloring book someday."

Me too. That would be awesome.

Scott said...

I agree with your post, but lay off the Wookie John...

; )

Brendan Body said...

Great post John. Love the blind man.

BTW I saw Les Triplettes de Belleville by Sylvain Chomet at the weekend. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this film in a post sometime.

Roberto González said...

I'm not a big Star Wars fan, but I think those movies are enjoyable. They are life-action stuff that can't really be compared with the other things you're talking about. The old trilogy is actually kind of funny, new one is overly serious, but I don't hate it either.

I completely agree with the other things you said.

Paige said...

Hilarious!

Guess this was the origin of the "flesh" crayon.

Beck said...

lmao socks and tax forms. Genius.

Various said...

Hmm... the name of that "Beany" colouring book, when combined with its logo's yellow and red colour scheme, reminds me of something...

Speaking of which, I was wondering how familiar you are with British comics like The Beano and Buster? It'd be interesting to see you recommend some British cartoonists' artwork as good examples to follow, for a change. :)

Fuzzy Duck said...

Hilarious and so very true!

r8r said...

good grief -- I can practically SMELL the crayon on those colored pages...! thanks for bringing that back.

Steve Carras said...

"...I fully suppor man coloring books..they shouldn't be brainless time wasters used to sell my kid some Saturday morning cartoon show...."

Adam....what are YOU smoking? :)

Hopefully that WAS just some satirical comment and point there!
LOL

SoleilSmile said...

Can we have a Socks For Christmas special? Please?