Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Delightful Nonsense

Jim Tyer. What an enigma!
There is a rumor that he not only drew his own comics; he wrote them too, and it seems likely because his stories are so much weirder than the other Terrytoons comics.His drawings break just enough rules to make them look crazy. He doesn't break every rule though, as many cartoons today do.
As funny as his drawings look, the dialogue is almost as funny to me.

I think Jim Tyer comics are great entertainment for kids, because they are distilled silliness - exactly what kids expect from cartoons. ...and what everyone else used to expect, but have been trained against.

They aren't drawn as crazy as his animation, although you can find some pretty funny images now and again.
I think Tyer has 2 audiences.

1) kids: his comic books. You can actually see the individual drawings and read silly stories.

2) Cartoon connoisseurs - his animation is wacky in a way that the average person probably doesn't really notice, but hardened animation fans who look really close at everything do.

This makes some people hate him and accuse him of being wacky for wacky sake or having no control.

Others think he is a lovable rebel. I'm not sure he is rebelling on purpose, or if he is just oblivious to the stories he is animating for. By all accounts he was a very conservative Christian Republican in real life. They don't make Republicans like thy used to! Chester Gould is another perfect Repubican as Mike F and I were discussing last night.

It does seem like his animaton completely distracts from the stories, which at a controlled studio like Warner Bros. would be a fault.

But at Terrytoons, I think it's a plus because the stories and direction are so poor that you need someone to punch them up by not caring about them and who'll just make every scene crazy and fun to watch - regardless of the context.
He does have moments of control in his animation, where it looks like something is moving a certain way on purpose, rather than just being a string of random accidents.

If I had some Terrytoons on DVD, I could show you some of the stuff. I wish they would release them. It would be a service to humanity.

I do have a tape I made years ago of a few minutes of his wildest animation cut together, but don't know how to transfer it to digital. Anyone in the LA area want to help me?


Thanks to Chris Lopez for his great site! He is reviving tons of great cartoon art and comics that should have been reprinted in books long ago.


TJ said...

"I'm getting sappy from drinking all this sap!"

Hey John, if you can't find anyone else, I could easily transfer your tapes to digital. I live in the area.

"Wood isn't a good diet for mice."

Delightful nonsense indeed.

teyem said...

I can help you transfer it to digital. If no one has offered yet.

Shoot me an email.

HemlockMan said...

When I was a really little kid I enjoyed the Terrytoons. When I got a little older there was something about them that seemed like cheating to me. Then one day one of my dad's college professor pals was hanging around the house talking to my dad about some political bull and he saw me watching a Terrytoons cartoon. He came over and he explained to me the concept of "looping" and showed me how Paul Terry used a lot of looping to cut corners and save money. And I'm pretty sure that's where my concept of "cheating" came from.

Fortunately for me, he never critiqued Hanna Barbera cartoons while I was trying to watch them!

Looking forward to the transfer of the video tape.

I think I mentioned here how I once bumped into Paul Terry's daughter at a small comic convention in a NC military town. She had nothing of his comics and she bought a few of those from me, and complained that he'd sold his company for a song and that no one seemed to remember her dad.


HemlockMan said...

Forgot to mention---the "O-HO! A maiden!" panel is great! That's crazy hilarity at work!

I agree with your comment about wacky Republicans of old. Chester Gould--he may have been a right wing sack of doo-doo, but he was one sick-o when it came to comics--just weirdness sometimes for the sake of weirdness. That's pretty liberal in my book.

Bob said...

Chester Gould is great!! Today I'm going to do some cartoon studies and when I scan them I will also scan this awesome chester gould strip I found. You gotta see it the silhouettes are beautiful! Anyways Chester's characters are really funny, terrible dialogue, and the profiles he draws are hilarious.

David R said...

I realized I was wasting your time with my blog posts because I was not demonstrating a commitment to learning the fundamentals. I am now working through the Blair book in order and following the instructions. I even manipulated some of the heads as the instructions suggest. More to follow.


Preston Blair 1

Trevor Thompson said...

What kind of tape is it on, John? Just regular VHS?

John Pannozzi said...

" By all accounts he was a very conservative Christian Republican in real life. They don't make Republicans like thy used to! Chester Gould is another perfect Repubican as Mike F and I were discussing last night."
Reminds me of the fact that some people can not wrap their heads around the fact that Doug TenNapel, the creator of Earthworm Jim, one of the craziest video games of all time, is a rather conservative Christian.

ThomasHjorthaab said...

Happy birthday John

Zoran Taylor said...

Oh crap, that right! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Patrick McMicheal said...

Happy-Ass Birthday John!

Trevor Thompson said...

Happy Birthday Mr. K.!

carlo guillot said...

Happy B-day John!

JohnK said...

Thanks a lot!

One foot in the grave...

Kali Fontecchio said...

Oh John yer silly!

You have the coolest birthday ever today!

NUMBER 9, NUMNBER 9, NUMBER 9........................

Degeaffusunuman said...

Happy Birthday dude. i read your blog every day

Mr. Semaj said...

Happy Triple-Nine Birthday!

Oliver_A said...

Dear John,

>>>Thanks a lot!

One foot in the grave...<<<

nah, it coud be worse. Like, being born in the 80's, growing up watching saturday morning cartoons, being indoctrinated the corporate brainwash that cartoons are BLAND and NOT FUN. Plus, statistically speaking, famous cartoonists live much longer than regular people.

kurtwil said...

John, if you are still trying to solve the transfer problem:

if you have an evil computer around your office, there are relatively cheap devices you can hook to it to capture the VHS and make digital files out of it for posting to WEB, etc. I've had to do that myself from time to time.

Circuit City's bust but BEST BUY should have those boxes. One mfr of them is ADS.

You can also get or possibly rent one of those dual VHS/DVD decks, and recopy the VHS to DVD. Provided the VHS tape is not encoded with Macrovision (anything you got off TV should be ok). Once the stuff is on DVD there are lots of ways to get it off the DVD as a digital file.

If you want more info just let me know!