Saturday, June 27, 2009

2 of My Favorite Cartoonists Contrasted

I like Harvey Eisenberg and Milt Gross for some traits they have in common and some that distinguish them. Their main difference is that Harvey is very conservative and Gross is very radical creatively. Harvey uses construction, Gross doesn't. But they share many other controls or the use of principles.
Harvey's compositions seem to be very carefully, logically thought out while Gross' seem more spontaneous and anarchic. They may look anarchic on the surface but they still are full of negative shapes, clear posing and the BGs are composed around the characters. They are filled with what could be considered mistakes -like tangents, but that adds to the spontaneity of his images.
Opposing Angles
They both compose their characters in reaction to each other using opposing angles.

They both use interesting angles in their BG compositions and frame the bgs around the characters.

Action, Acting
Gross uses line of action but also goes beyond the limitation, while Eisenberg pretty much sticks to the rules. Gross' poses seem much more lively than Eisenberg's. Eisenberg uses great control and the classic principles to make his images read clearly and have good artistic pleasing balance.
BG Composition
Gross tries to get more observation and grit into his BG scenes, and uses more interesting shapes. Eisenberg is able to draw dynamic angles but is very careful about it.

Eisenberg can be wacky, but in a very conservative way. Gross is always wacky and in constantly inventive ways.

Gross really uses shapes to keep his images full of contrast, inventiveness and interest. Eisenberg sticks to a handful of stock animation shapes, plus a few of his own stylistic inventions. His construction is very careful with some purposeful cheats, while Gross ignores construction altogether. He gets away with it because he has so many other artistic principles in his work to hold the images together.
Panel Layout
Gross' panels are all different shapes and angles, while Eisenberg's are mostly rectangles.

Gross is the far more creative cartoonist, but I also really admire Eisenberg's control and discipline. Eisenberg is born to layout. Gross is born to genius.

I love both these guys and they each have their place. My own style is somewhere in between the 2 approaches. I wish I was as inventive as Gross and as controlled as Eisenberg.

See the whole comics here: