Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Johnny Hart and more!

Hey I found another great comics blog:

It's filled with a lot of great cartoonists I didn't even know about and a bunch I did, but didn't know about some of their less famous work.

Bud Blake did a lot of stuff I didn't know about...The sonuvagun could sure draw.
I love this early Mort Walker stuff. I used to draw Beetle Bailey all the time when I was a kid.Here's an especially weird and interesting artist. Klaus Nordling.He has a few posts about Johnny Hart, creator of B.C. and Wizard of Id.
These comics had a great influence on me. I loved the interaction of all the distinct characters, the great staging and continuity, but what I thought was most unique about it was the sincere humanity of it.
Johnny Hart and his crew (Brant Parker and others) had a way of drawing expressions and attitudes that reflected the real life cynicism of men and boys. I had never seen this in earlier strips. I think it was a revolution.Johnny also had a funny way of drawing pain. You really felt the charactor's agony from the gnashed teeth and hideous grimaces he (they) drew. I'll try to find some good pain faces in my own collection...

When I read his strips, I was always amazed that they ever made it into the funny pages, because they weren't all upbeat, safe and happy like most humor comics. They had a new kind of honesty and observation of the way we humans really are. Like dirty socks.

Hank Ketcham of course, is a genius and the site has lots of rare early stuff...
What beautiful layout and composition!

Hunt around the site for many cartoon treasures!


more roughs to come later today...


Paul B said...

thanks! that was what i was searching for! new shapes, funny styles, a diferent kind of constructions, like Gross or Kurtzman!

now i have new material for inspiration.


Enef said...


It's a very good stuff to discover!
Various attitudes and great ideas in theses cartoons!
I'm always atonished to see how much the "oldies" did a so modern and fresh work! In brief: some lessons!
In a certain way, it reminds me some drawings of a French drawer called Hubuc.
When i was a kid ( well, i'm young, i know), i was reading some old book from the 60's of him.
He's not very famous.
It's maybe stupid to say that, anyway, i've always thought he was very good in his job and in his way.
Maybe it could interess you:

A pic i've found on the web.


Melton Bing said...

So... essentially... everything good has already happened and there's no hope for mankind's progress outside of a very rigid perameter arbitrarily imposed at random by one's sense of nostalgia?

As Gilbert said over a century ago about his own period, "The Court of Josephine was culture's balmiest day..." Good thing he didn't see the good stuff yet!

Paul B said...

hahahhah i had a great time with those Bimbo comics

hahah they have some really funny character designs


perspex said...

the Beetle Bailey "Private Coo-Coo" strip... THAT, everybody is what cartooning is ALL about!

perspex said...

BC... sigh... it was once a brilliant, brilliant strip... then suddenly, it went all...preachy? I heard that in his last years, Johnny Hart "found" the "light", and decided to start sucking really bad.
it's too bad that those strips have been taken over by hacks (Hagar the [literally] Horrible, anyone?)

stop the inanity!

perspex said...

i almost forgot...BUD BLAKE?!?!? are you kidding me? i think he's one of the more underrated cartoonists!

I say his name and people go, "uhhh, who?"
"Tiger!" I shout. "meh- he's okay i guess..."

*slaps forehead*

yikes! i LOVE his art!!!

Mr. Cartoonist said...

Anybody see a place on there to subscribe to the feed? I can't find it.

Jack Ruttan said...

Comics went through a period of minimalist "cool" with Hart, Schulz, even Bud Blake, which was kind of a reaction to the goofiness which had gone before (and I think that John K. has done something to bring back). Also think of UPA in Animation.

Sort of like having Bob Newhart and Nichols & May after Bob Hope, and the 3 Stooges.

trevor said...


I think this is the first time I've ever disagreed with you, John! Thinking.... yep, been a fan since I was eight ( Mighty Mouse ) and haven't disagreed with you ever... until now.

Johnny Hart, talented? Are you serious?

There's a lot to dislike about B.C., but the biggest reason I avoid it when reviewing the comics page ( which is a quick read now considering that 80% of the fun and excitement has been ruled out, squashed down to a third the size of legibility and reduced to xeroxed talking heads in some cases ) is the fact that I don't read comics to get preached to.

In the later years, B.C. seemed to be hell-bent ( pun intended ) on sending me to Heaven. Every other time I read it, Hart seemed to be preaching about his crush on Jesus. And his cartoon was about cavemen! Not Adam and Eve! There were no cavemen in the fucking Bible! Darwin wasn't a Creationist.

Besides, if you're gonna talk about modern newspaper comic artists, why not mention guys who actually have a unique voice, style and the ability to draw beyond stick figures.


Brooke McEldowney
Jim Borgman
Mike Peters ( mentor and friend )
Berke Breathed
Aaron McGruder
Gary Larson
Garry Trudeau

...and the king of all that is fun, well-worded and an absolute dream to view... Bill Watterson.

Jeez, gimme a break. Johnny fuckin' Hart. What are you, high?

I could draw a more entertaining cartoon with a broken crayon on a paper napkin.

A small one.

In the dark.


- trevor.

PS: I suppose next you'll tell me that the best humor in the comics page comes from the likes of Snuffy Smith and Family Circus.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Hey, guys!

I don't mind if you comment on my site too. I like a little bit of 'intullactual' banter. and to Trevor I say: stop judging the past through the eyes of the present. Your opinion is a modern one in all respects: set in stone, based on a limited amount of exposure, judgemental rather than searching for new truths. The worst qualities of your generation. Man, you are all worse than the baby-boomers in your doubtless ego-absorbsion. Never mind, I'm just a selfdoubting good for nothing post-boomer letting off some steam.

But I do get the impression that your dismissal of Hart as a cartoonist is not based on your going to my blog and actually having a look. I give many samples of Hart's flawless timing and cartooning skills. John K. even adds one of his own (which I am not sure if I included it): Hart's wonderfull way of showing pain.

My whole intention, by the way, is not to show Hart 'used to be good'. I think the qualities of his strip remained into the eighties. And even then, they did sometimes surface. In fact the 'good stuff' disappeared long before Hart 'found religion'. Somewhere in the eighties, he changed the strip from being character-driven to being gag-driven and dropped his cartoonic aspects in favor of people sitting aroud telling each other various jokes. The religious aspects of the strip were always there, from the beginning (although they did get worse, they were never as bad or preachy as some people say). I also think his grandson Mason is one of the few comic strip inheritors who has brought his strip back to the qualities of it's original good years. I suggest you find some soruce for the strip and have a really good look, before you bother other people with your loudly yelled opinion.

Oh and by the way, I do intend to show you some stuff to convince you of the genious of Family Circus' Bill Keane. Reserve jugdement until then.

trevor said...

Ger Apeldoorn:

I will come to your blog and see what you're on about. Personally, I LOVE it when someone can prove me wrong, and I'm eager to learn more.

But, the truth is, you correctly point out my age, and what you should realize is that I never saw any of the 'good' stuff. I started noticing B.C. because of the awesome carved-rock graphic on the Sunday page, and immediately took to it, at the age of seven, because it was the first comic I could accurately imitate with my pencils.

I'm still an admirer of 'The Wizard of Id' for the same reason, it just strikes me as odd that John ( who knows as well as I do that the newspaper comics page, like most animated cartoons today, are mostly horrible ) wouldn't want to showcase some of the artists in the last few years who are really several cuts above the rest.

If you're going to say that ninety per cent of everything in one area is crap, then let's talk about the ten per cent that's good.

Would you agree with that?

As for Bill Keane, I used to be a huge fan and had several Family Circus books. I was taken by the art style, but when I got a little older, say six or seven, I realized that, again, I was being preached to by someone who wasn't very funny.

In fact, the last time I ever laughed out loud at a Bill Keane cartoon was in 1997 when, for April Fools Day, the comics page had all the artists switch strips and Scott Adams did Family Circus and Bill did Dilbert. It was actually very clever and funny, plus it was interesting seeing Bill's spin on Scott's style.

At the end of the day, like most and regardless of age, I remember the good cartoons I saw in my youth, and knew they were better then, so it just upsets me when things get worse. Especially when, with minimal effort, they could be as good or even better.

But enough from me. I don't want to bother anyone here, most of all my hero, John K.

I'm comin' to your blog now. And I'm bringin' my modern attitudes with me. :P

- trevor.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Trevor and I are taking it over to my blog. I agree with him that John K. rocks. Not only as a cartoonist, but also as a theorist (if there is such a word). I love a good discussion and I don't think he will have minded our little headbutt either.

For those who agree with Trevor, come over to my blog and have a look at some of those great cartoons John pointed out. As well as P.T. Bimbo by Howie Schneider, another of those 'stick figures' artists. Maybe John can enlighten us about the use and value of stick figure drawing in animation.

John Sammis said...

Dear Mr. Kricfalusi

Have you seen the Abbott and Costello comics by Lily Renee and Eric Peters? They seem much in line with the approach of both Klaus Nordling and Dick Briefer.