Monday, April 13, 2009

Dick Briefer

Now here's some great cartooning! Dick Briefer combines huge contrasts with beautiful compositions, high individual style, cartooniness and a keen observation of the real world.

Well I can find a million things to like about this guy. The way he draws hands kills me, his love of shapes, his dynamic combination of cartooniness with tall proportions - a very hard combo to pull off!
God, every little shape is interesting, yet they all fit into a great hierarchy of an easy to read bold composition.

I don't know much about him, except for these Frankenstein comics and that he's some kind of super cartoonist - a genetic experiment, the Fedor of cartoons.


Mr. Cartoonist said...

He's got a great style, but I find the nose above the eyes to be a little unsettling.

I really like his loose brushline. I read somewhere that he eventually dispensed with pencil roughs, preferring to just start with the brush to capture his ideas.

Jonathon said...

Hey John, this is a bit off topic but when I saw it I thought of you. is a video of a collection of Disney 2d movies... Where dancing and 'chase' scenes appear to be traced nearly exactly from older films.

Anyway, always enjoy the read, thanks for posting :3

JohnK said...

Yeah it took me awhile to get used to the nose, but the rest is so great that I overlook it.

HemlockMan said...

I recall digging through my dad's warehouse of comics when I was a kid and finding a stash of Dick Briefer's FRANKENSTEIN comics. They puzzled me. I couldn't figure them out! What was this stuff? I read a few and put them aside. For some reason, these 50s books didn't appeal to my mid-60s kid sensibilities.

The anatomy he uses, especially the hands, reminds me of the work of Lee Brown Coye (who stole his style from an obscure artist named Alexander King--well obscure to me).

cartoonretro said...

Briefer is amazing. I have a bunch of his comics on Cartoon Retro.

Paul B said...

Great cover
I specially liked the one with frankenstein sticking out his head through the key hole. What a great Bgs, it-s all organic and beatuful

this is off topic but, here´s my bugs bunny comic cover attempt


please check it

Thanks for all John

Thomas said...

The gag with Frankenstein's shadow on the movie screen is pretty great.

In some of the cover art, is there a bit of a 20's moderne deco graphic style, like Tin Tin?
( the overhead view of the laboratory getting wrecked, and the one where he's throwing the safe on the robbers)

Unusual stuff.

Iritscen said...

I love broad curved perspectives like the vault-dropping cover and the standing-over-the-scientist cover. It's especially amazing how Briefer makes the entire vault scene so visible and understandable to the eyes, even the guys tied up under the balcony!

Niki said...

first I was confused about what was on his forehead, when I realized it was a nose I imediately became excited. I like the forehead nose! It makes frankenstien even more unique!

drawingtherightway said...

Is that monster of Frankenstein cover (the one with the monster and alligator or crocodile) part of a different series? It seems more serious and even the art style is more realistic.

Trevor Thompson said...

More realistic? I don't know.

That alligator's mouth doesn't feel real at all. The construction feels mushy, and I know: I'm the king of mushy construction.

Seriously, the alligator's mouth looks like it's seperate from his head. Anyone else see that?

But I like all the others! And that nose is too cool! Makes it feel more like he's put together with parts. Or, if you like, "constructed"! HA!

Okay, that's enough.

- trevor.

Thomas said...

The whole idea of domesticizing Frankenstein is an inspired idea, and he got there way before the Munsters.
All the Universal horror films of the 30's were part of the psychic and emotional landscape of the great depression.
Looks as though these comics are just after WWII; the beginning of American post-war prosperity.

Normalizing Frankenstein just puts a twist on the post- war boom; that the trauma of the great depression wasn't going to simply have a happy face drawn on it.

akira said...

wow cool! looks like another guy who influenced Charles Burns.

Anonymous said...

>>>The whole idea of domesticizing Frankenstein is an inspired idea, and he got there way before the Munsters.

The Munsters was and always will be the best show on televison.

These are great. I love all the old Monster stuff.

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Drawingtherightway, there was a whole middle period of this comic (in the early fifties, when horror was the new thing) when Frankenstein turned 'realistic' and had scary adventures.

smbhax said...

The expression on Frank's face as he's caught in the glare of the theater projector is priceless. What a great composition.

eeTeeD said...

you didn't mention what a great writer mr. briefer was. his stories were hilarious. his final caption in the first issue of "frankenstein comics" absolutely floored me.

also, he wasn't giving his comic book work his all. look at the quality of art on his frankenstein "try-out" comics strips and you can see that he was capable of incredibly slick and professional quality art.

Rick Roberts said...

Amazing. I never seen a single cartoonist make a unique characiture of Frankenstein. They all always look the same.

C. A. M. Thompson said...

I love when your blog shows me something I've never heard of that is completely amazing. I want that Boris Karload comic.