Monday, October 12, 2009

Blog Comment Etiquette

A bunch of cartoon fans actually getting along

a few people have suggested I put up a FAQ (whatever that is) about what this blog is for and what I expect in terms of behavior from commenters.

Well honestly 99.9% of the comments are fine with me and that's how many I post. I don't care, obviously, if people want to dissent and argue - to a point - as is evident from all the arguments in the comments.

However now and then I won't post a comment if it's really extreme or slanderous, so I thought I'd explain once for posterity just what kind of comments I'm not interesting in sharing with decent and mannered folk.

1) Extreme cursing:

I would ask you not to use the F word or even other foul language. It's rarely needed and you can get your points across without it. I've slipped a couple times myself and will avoid it from now on. I don't want the kids who are learning to draw from the Preston Blair books to be banned by their God-Fearing Parents. Really, any unnecessary cursing I would avoid. You may have already lost an otherwise good comment just because of an unfortunate word.

2) Long-winded comments:

Some folks like to post 1,000 word diatribes - sometimes without even a paragraph break. It's easy to make paragraphs, but if your post goes on for an interminable amount of scrolling, it's not fair to other posters or readers of comments.Usually it turns them away from the whole list of other people's comments and kills the thread. suggestion is - if you really want to write a long long post (or 4 in a row) why not write a really good teaser paragraph to draw interest to your subject, and then post a link to your own blog for the rest of your story. Then you will also get the benefit of all the other folks who want to really get into your detailed subject with you.

3) Argument for argument sake:

There are a couple of commenters who just instantly take the opposite position of anybody else's statement and then go on to argue about it for no other reason. If I say black, Debate genius says white. If I say white, then it's black. Then they argue about who knows the correct way to argue and who is an expert at reasoning until the original point of what was being argued is lost. This is of course an internet staple. Almost every thread on every site has long long circles of people yelling at each other about who is the best debater. I usually let these comments go by and just roll my eyes, but if the pest is persistent, then I get tired of it and just reject the string of redundant circular arguments. No one wants to read that stuff except the pest who posts it.

I remember pointing out that someone who doesn't draw but says he thinks visually can never prove it - without getting an artist to dig it out of his head, but that wasn't good enough, so he kept coming back with no way to prove his point except to say trust him, he sees pictures in his head.

4) Psychotic Rage:

There are obviously a handful of pure mental cases who use this and other blogs just to vent their rage against any and all comers. One has even admitted being in and out of mental hospitals and then goes on to blame the people who disagree with his screaming for picking on him just when they let him out. Yeesh. What am I supposed to do with that kind of stuff?

5) Those who can't do telling those who can that they are bums:

There is a small handful of wanna be artists who can barely scrawl a stick figure who get on and yell at top professionals present and past and pronounce with complete certainty who is good at what and who isn't - as if it's a fact. I say, if you are gonna criticize someone with actual skill and talent, you better be able to back it up with your own drawings and considerable experience in performing the same or similar tasks, so you know what you are talking about. Post a link to your own drawings and I'll make a post featuring your work and your criticism of someone who has achieved something amazing.

I'm all for arguments between skilled pros. For example, Pete Emslie and I might argue about the contrasting merits between Disney and Warner Bros. cartoons. We back up our arguments not only with our reasons, but a lot of experience doing our own work and teaching others.

It's OK to like one style over another, no matter whether you are a pro or haven't a talented bone in your body - and to freely say so. That's not the same thing as yelling with fury at respected artists with absolute certainty that masters are overrated or bums. I've seen this kind of outrageous stuff said about such giants as Rod Scribner, Grim Natwick, Ollie Johnston and many more people and I have no tolerance for that - and neither should anybody else.

6) People Who Try To Start Fights Just For Laughs

There are a couple psychos who are huge fans and collect all kinds of Spumco art who have nothing better to do than to try to revive long dead feuds between people who made some of their favorite cartoons. I have zero tolerance for that. To these people I say, take your pills, see your Dr. and go back to your hospital for treatment.

This kind of thing does nothing positive. Most of the artists they admire (and hate at the same time) are doing their best to try to make more cartoons in the style that these obsessed fans love. Trying to do good in a business that does nothing but offer obstacles in the way of making cartoons like Ren and Stimpy, Cow and Chicken, Dexter, etc.

7) Harassers and Stalkers

One has been caught by the cops so far. 2 more are being closed in on.

What this blog is for:

I've stated this a few times, but now I think I will remind people.

It's not to convince the world that there is only one kind of cartoon - my kind. I have no problem with there being room for unfunny flat cartoons, sentimental CG cartoons, retreads of Disney formula features, non-cartoony prime time cartoons and whatever other genres exist in animation.

For people who like any of those genres, there are tons of blogs and sites where you can go and talk or argue about who's the best arguer.

All I want to see happen is to have our business make at least a small place where cartoony cartoons can exist and flourish. There is no place at all right now, yet pure cartoons are what founded the whole business in the first place and made it the newest and most popular art of the 20th century.

We have been completely kicked out of the world our ancestors created. Is that fair? Is it too much to ask to have at least 10% of our business back?

Everything I have ever done in cartoons has been with that goal in mind - to make a place where cartoonists can be cartoonists and invent entertainment that can only happen in the magical creative world of cartooning.

I created characters in the 80s that completely went against everything everyone else was doing and 9 years later beat the unbeatable odds and finally sold Ren and Stimpy - then had to create a system from scratch that would allow cartoonists to do something they had never been allowed to do before and to constantly be encouraged to improve at it. I graciously invited lots of other cartoonists to jump in and take advantage of the whole setup I had put together and for awhile it changed the business and proved that regular people in the audience liked cartoony cartoons again. This led to a big boom in the TV business and for a few years cartoonists had it better than they had had it in 30 or 40 years.

But in the last few years that momentum has declined and cartoony cartoons - well drawn and acted ones have again all but vanished.

So in the meantime I have created this blog with the purpose of slowly building up an encyclopedia of cartoony techniques, clips of great cartoons, samples of great comic artists and illustrators. All for free with the hope that a few other like minded cartoonists and fans who miss the old qualities could learn about them on their own with the aid of my trial and error experiences and the introduction to tons of great cartoonists they might never have heard of.

Am I biased? Sure, but not as biased as most sites. I promote a ton of different cartoon styles:

My theory is, this could give the industry a chance again in the future because there might be enough really good funny cartoonists who can bring back what the readers of this blog enjoy about classic cartoons.

Would I rather be making lots of cartoons and keeping my mouth shut and not stirring up controversy? Sure. But since no one has encouraged it who is in a position to, in the meantime I'll give away information about how you can do it if you ever get a chance.

Maybe I'll even be able to take advantage of it before I kick off.


I started the private cartoon college blog for the first few artists that have really shown interest, talent, hard work and dedication. Those artists are improving with leaps and bounds and I'm sure they'll be happy to tell you so.

So with all this boring verbal crap, I'm letting everyone know that I welcome comments and even dissent and argument; I don't believe in "censorship" - but rudeness, psychosis, 3rd hand gossip and attacks intended to tear down honest attempts at bringing back cartoons are not going to be welcomed. Obviously.

If you love old cartoons and cartoony stuff, I would expect you to support this and all the other blogs and cartoonists who actually put their money where their mouths are.

Most of you do and I thank you for it.

This is about cartoons and that's what we share an interest in. So let's stick to it. If not, maybe I'll make the whole blog by invite only.


Iron maiden said...

I totally agree with you john

but I have a question If your not working on any cartoon right now,how are you making a living?

JohnK said...

I'm working on many things, even my own cartoons - but those are slow because I am paying for them.

Mykal said...

JohnK: I really enjoy your blog. I have learned a great deal about an art form that I love by reading your posts. Recently I was telling a friend what I liked about a panel from an old Atomic Mouse comic; why I found it so eye pleasing: The line of the characters' anatomy complimented one another - where one curved in, the other curved out.

If I remember right, I learned that on a post here where you were discussing Kurtzman's Hey Look.

Thanks for explaining comic art and animation so well. -- Mykal

Kali Fontecchio said...

That top photo is the coolest thing ever!

Kali Fontecchio said...

where'd you get it?

Andy 7 said...

Your pet peeves about blog trolls pretty much sums up why I don't like message boards in general. BTW the lead photo's pretty amazing!

Iron maiden said...

by the way john
are you allowed to show any of the george liqour episodes on your blog or protiac vibe dosent allow it

JohnK said...

The top photo is from Barbie's great collection.

so are some of the other images.

Barbie is a positive

Clean3d said...

Hey John,
first off, I want to thank you for running this blog. I recently started copying the Preston Blair book, and I can already tell it's going to result in huge improvements in my drawing.

On that note, I know you must have answered this a million times, but are you still looking at those studies if people post them? If so, where should I put a link?

Thanks again!

Trevor Thompson said...

Hey John, was it harder to do thick outlines for a show that was inked and painted by hand? Is it easier to do in Flash?

Louise Smythe said...

your blog is one of my favorites to read - i have learned a lot more than i would have had i not read it. thank you for all you are doing, john.

Anonymous said...

So we can't use the C word anymore? Kids ruin everything.

thomas said...

Besides the point being made; posts like this are really amusing. The photos that you use are "cartoony" without actually being cartoons.
I'm a fan of the blog, not in the biz, not a collector, but hope my comments add to the convo....

JohnK said...


I'm not sure I understand your question. We inked all our Flash cartoons by hand, then scanned them into the computer.

When they became vectorized the lines would change and we would have to try to change them back by "optimizing" them, which was an irritating process.

Maloni said...

Yes sir, Mr K. I learn a lot from this blog, especially quality control. I still think I owe you class tuition for the great inking tests in Adobe Illustrator you posted in the Summer of 2008. I'll honor that someday when I am back full swing the industry again.

Baby steps...

Niki said...

The kid with the Nintendo controllers strapped to him is kinda awesome.

C said...

I agree with the swearing bit. Not that I find those words offensive, just tiresome. I don't see the point in trying to win someone over to your side by swearing to death.

joAco said...

Hey John. I'm a casual commentarist of your blog, but a eager reader. It's hard to me to put my thoughts in english, but I always try it when I feel I need to.
I am a drawing fan (can see my work here, but not a good drawer, so I had to make myself a style based on my handicaps for drawing.
I love to dive in the complex world of animation and drawing, but i can help thinking about silly questions, like the one below.

You said that Dexter is a good cartoon (maybe Spumco's, right?) and I agree, but I couldn't stop thinking that the caracter design responds to what you called Flat. what's the difference in the character design from dexter to those cartoons?

I'd love you make a post about this, just to make that clear for me.

Bryce Johansen said...

I guess I'm guilt of being number five...

You don't mind having a little look at my ya john?

Bryce's Blog

Ed Choy Moorman said...

PLEASE do not do the last thing you suggested. I may not be commenting, but your blog has had a huge positive effect on my artistic development over the past year or so. I highly appreciate your insights, and that they are freely shared. Hell, I hope you get to make a book of your theories on what makes cartoons work someday. I'd buy it in a heartbeat. I imagine there'd be a good market for it, too.
Learn cartoon principles from "the Ren & Stimpy guy" - that's a pretty good hook. You might not outsell How to Draw Manga Book #471, but it'd be worth a shot.

nktoons said...

My favorite pic was the nintendo kid with the power glove....;)

Ricky Earl said...

Soo...err...if you make it private...can I get an invite...please?

Freckled Derelict said...

Here Here, Har Har and above all Well Said!
Your blog is such a mine of information I hope this helps keep it that way. Please don't make it private that would be such a loss!

Mr. Semaj said...

Differences aside, I stick around, because I really do appreciate the technical advice you're giving us. This blog is the reason why I bought a Preston Blair book a year and a half ago.

I had been antsy about George Liquor lately, because it seems in recent times everything outside the features has been working on a tentative basis. When one network isn't trying to make people watch something boring for the next half-decade, we keep hearing something cool might come up, but then they ultimately get people's hopes up over another no-show. (Cartoonstitute is the most recent example.)

And thanks a bunch for addressing the "argument for its own sake" problem. People should be able to express their likes and not-likes without trekking thru a minefield.

Lluis fuzzhound said...

Yeah John!!! great post!! just gotta say I have learned so much from your blog since I started reading it every day!!
I am forever gratefull... and I think little by little your goals will be met... so keep up the good fight!

Thank you!!

Paul ter Voorde said...

I wish you would set up some sort of mail box where people can show you their work without showing it to the rest of the world.

Because i been reading your blog for so long i figured i've been drawing too focused with digital tools, when i tried drawing on paper it took way too long and it just didn't turn out the way i wanted it to be.

I'm gonna get my butt on a night school for art that i found, hoping it will help me out.

Thanks for all the advice you give everybody!

JohnK said...

Hey Oliver

I'm trying to answer your email (about the hi rez frame grabs you made), but the replies keep bouncing back!

Lucky said...

Hey John,
here are some of my newest studies

I'd really like to apply for your cartoon college blog, I'd give it my all and even if you dont accept me can you please tell me what I need to get accepted?? Let me know and I'll keep working on getting in! Thanks John!

John said...

So if we geeks are to surivive, we have to NOT kill each other? Sounds good to me!

Victor said...

You ask for ettiqute, yet still come off as a self important tool?

Bravo John. Great example for the rising "artists".

lee artist said...

i was puting what i thought, i had no idea it may cause offence soss, i didnt write anything with negative intent, nor did it look it, i didnt think it was, so perhaps it is a diffrence of opinion

Chloe Cumming said...

Nicely put, this post needed to be posted. I admit I have been a little put off commenting once or twice by the random bitterness and pointless arguing perpetrated by some commenters. I'd hope that everyone could see your logic if they read this.

And thanks for including my little green drawing.

SunshineFox said...

Hey John, big fan of the blog, want to start practicing towards hopefully getting into school thing youve so graciously offer to those willing few.

Have a proposal question just for the sake of it. I know you usually dont post stuff from Manga or Anime, but Im curious how you feel about Eiichiro Oda the creator and artist of "One Piece" ??

I personally love it now, but when I first saw it I thought it was horrible, but after watching more, I began to notice little things like the way in a crowd scene he will go out of his way to give every character or person its own design no matter how bizarre.

Will leave with a link - maybe you could do a post about him sometime? (hope it works)

Oliver_A said...

7) Harassers and Stalkers

One has been caught by the cops so far. 2 more are being closed in on.

That's quite sad and disturbing to hear. :(

The problem with the internet (society?) is as usual: too much noise, very low signal level. I think one general golden rule should always be applied to discussions: treat others like you want to be treated by them. Especially if you are on someone else's property (your blog).

I think the biggest problem is that many people lack the attention span to listen and understand arguments. I personally see a culture of non-communication emerging, where everyone talks but few actually say something. I always equate this to the "newspeak" language Orwell was talking about 60 years ago.

Anyway, that's exactly why I really like this blog here. It's pure substance backed up by well defined points.

Jay said...

Just wanted to say thanks, John. You are an excellent teacher and I've learned a lot from your blog for the past few years. Thanks for being so generous with your time and knowledge.

Hans Flagon said...

The things John apparently dislikes? (such as perhaps anime, for example). He doesn't universally dislike them, and he has blogged several times here about the aspects he does like. I'm not sure if he has always keyworded those discussions the same way however, I'm not sure how I would go about searching for them.

A common gripe I see in the comments is complaints of how someone's favorite style seems to be slighted in passing by John, but they merely haven't been reading Stuff long enough to see where John has given the same style some love.

Shane Pierce said...

awesome man - totally agree and love your work. thanks for the blog, from a big fan

Kaiser Fate said...

Allow me to perform the asskissing I've been waiting to give you since I discovered this blog.

I have wanted to be a cartoonist since I was three years old, and even though I don't necessarily agree with all of your views of what makes a good animation, story or character design, I have always cited you as one of my alltime greatest inspirations. Ren and Stimpy was my favourite show when I was a kid for about ten billion different reasons, and I often think that the show really screwed me up in a good way in my formative years. I owe a lot to you for my admiration for free thinking and originality in cartoons.

With all that out of the way, the fact that you have decided to put up a blog teaching us aspiring cartoonists and animators your tips, tricks and insights for free is astonishing. Keep in mind that most animators these days (perhaps always? I'm too young to know) have always been totally self taught.
It's great to tune into the thoughts of someone I consider legendary in animation folklore every few days, and the fact that you respond to comments and coach people for free is a testament to how much you believe in cartoons.

Apologies for blatantly violating Etiquette Rule Number Two.

Ryan Dunlavey said...

John - Just wanted to say thanks for your awesome and endlessly inspiring blog.

Kris said...

I shouldn't be surprised you picked up a set of Serious Crazies, but I am.

There's a reason I usually avoid reading the comment threads, though. I learned pretty quick that there's very little to be gained from the comments. I read this blog because I value your knowledge and experience, not out of any interest in listening to the peanut gallery.

I'd head over to the invite-only cartoon school blog you recently started, but I'm probably not skilled enough for that yet.

mike f. said...

Hey Victor, what's an "ettiqute"? Is that some rising "artist" concept that I'm not acquainted with?

Rule #8
If you're going to leave smug, condescending insults, at least learn how to spell first.

384Sprites said...

I really enjoy your writing. Look forward to more.

Shawn Dickinson said...

This blog has always been bookmarked on my computer, and it's one of my very first stops when I log on every day. There's nothing like starting the day with real cartoon talk, and great images to back it up. All the haters can take a hike!

Geneva said...

I just thought I'd throw it out there that I just watched that Ub Iwerks cartoon with the eggs two nights ago!

Wishin' you the best, Mr. K!

jaystein said...

Thank you Mr K.
I've been lurking for a while and just joined up.

It took some courage to attempt to communicate with one of the great cartoonists of our time. You are an endless inspiration and your Blog is an invaluable resource.

I'm an illustrator working at being a cartoonist/animator and it's proving to be a rewarding challenge.

David Nethery said...

Good post, John ! Very well stated.

This almost brings me to tears:

"All I want to see happen is to have our business make at least a small place where cartoony cartoons can exist and flourish. There is no place at all right now, yet pure cartoons are what founded the whole business in the first place and made it the newest and most popular art of the 20th century.

We have been completely kicked out of the world our ancestors created. Is that fair? Is it too much to ask to have at least 10% of our business back?"

That about sums it up better than anything else I've read. Ain't it da truth .

I can never figure out why there is so much disdain in the industry for funny, drawn animation ? (I don't mean just your Spumco style of cartooning, but even mildly humorous drawing like in the best of the old Disney, Lantz, or non-Avery MGM cartoons would now be considered to have too much cartooniness by the people who run the animation business.)

WEIRDY said...

Hi John-

Keep on blogging. I love your blog because it's good food for thought. I don't agree with everything (I like 3D animation and even some anime) but it gets my brain going in the morning.
Please do some more postings on Sullivant. Do you still have that reference file I gave you when I worked for you? I thought I had made two copies, but it turns out that was the only one.

JohnK said...


I probably do, but there are so many good scans online now that I usually just link to those.

T' said...

Dear John,

I've found your blog of great value and would really be sorry to see it go to an invite-only status. While I'm not an animator nor really wish to be one, I've found a lot of your lessons to apply equally well to illustration and making comics. I don't always agree with you but at the very least, you make me think and look at art I thought I knew in a different way. You've made me examine and re-examine my own work to try and make it better.

Thanks for all you've offered. It's likely not said often enough.

Trevor Thompson said...


I'm not sure I understand your question.

I've never known much about traditional inking and painting, and when I started using Flash it was very difficult to get thin lines.

I always figured doing it the way you do, with varying thicknesses, would be hard to paint on cels. But the early Ren and Stimpy cartoons had only one size: thin.

I used to always wonder why that was, and if a R&S show had already started I could tell how new it was by the quality of the lines and the colors.

My pal Mike Peters draws his comic 'Mother Goose and Grimm' with a brush pen and when CBS made it into a Saturday morning show he said it was hard to find a studio that would do thick lines. I always wondered what the big deal was.

Trevor Thompson said...

PS: Thanks a billion for this blog. It's single-handedly responsible for my move to California next month. Don't punish the class because of a few disruptive brats.

Anonymous said...

Although I have never commented before, I read your blog just about every day and couldn't be more thankful for the valuable information on here, it has helped tremendously for all aspects of production in animation.

However I have always been curious about why their has been such harsh criticism over work done by Pixar? I know that it does not emphasize making a cartoon, cartoony (except for Presto) but I feel that they focus simply on telling a story. I would just love to hear a focused opinion about this topic sometime in the future.


JohnK said...

Well Trevor

in the 80s the lines in cartoons were really skinny and xeroxed. I didn't like that look and always pushed the studios to bring back inking, thick and thin lines and color lines here and there.

Everyone said it was too expensive.

I kept pushing anyway. Eventually we did a pilot for Ren and Stimpy and I got Bardel in Vancouver to ink the cartoon with brushes, thick and thin and with some color lines. It looked great.

When it came to the series, Nick said we couldn't afford to ink the cartoons and so we went back to xeroxing skinny lines - which I hated.

With each new project I pushed and pushed and eventually it all came back, although in different mediums - like Flash.

Or many times we faked it by penciling the lines in a thick and thin style - like on Boo Boo Runs Wild.

Mr. Tat said...

To see this free information become invite only would harm more than help. There may also be people who frequently lurk here but are afraid to post. :(

Ryan Cole said...

WoahwoahwoahwaitwaitWAIT. So if I bring your or anyone else's integrity as an artist into question, you may respond by going over my own drawings and gauging my own skills?


Quite frankly Mr K., I find this to be quite the elitist statement given your obvious lack of talent as an, as an arti...GAH, I CAN'T DO IT IT'S TOO DOUCHEY!

Tim DeMoor said...

I absolutely agree. The internet's so full of irate people who rant without purpose at times, so it's nice that you're careful about what gets posted!

I've learned a great deal from your site, so I'd like to thank you for posting such invaluable information, and if you'd ever like to pick apart my pathetic attempts at arting, I've got some of my work posted at

Also, your earlier posting about trying to pitch "Batman" to tee-vee execs. had me in hysterics. =)

Chris Rank said...

I just want to say thanks for keeping the torch lit man.

Really appreciate your blog.

Sven Hoek said...

If we can't use the C word, how can we describe the nice lady you worked for at Nick? Oh well.

Pedro Vargas said...

Very well said, John! Yeah it really is sad how the people have neglected such a great thing! No one likes to see fun stuff anymore.

talkingtj said...

just a question-off topic-how come no one ever released a c.d compilation of some or all of the music used in all of those great hanna barbera t.v cartoons? i have 2 c.d compilations of carl stallings musical cues, one warner brothers soundtrack featuring full scores from various cartoons, 2 compilations of tv cartoon theme music but none of that wonderful hanna barbera stuff. can you imagine-everything from ruff n ready to josie and the pussycats,occasionally i came across c.ds of old shows like fat albert or beany and cecil, but no hanna barbera, can you guys use your "vast hollywood contacts" and get this done, for me it would be a dream come true! another question- recently MAD MONSTER PARTY by rankin and bass was re-released on dvd, i cant tell how much i love this film, although its seriously flawed, i still have tremendous fun watching it and marvel at all the labor it must have taken to get it done-johh or eddie-care to review?

GoldDarkShadow said...

John K

For the past couple of months, i have looked at your blog and studied the cartoon principles and the old school cartoons and it has helped me a lot and my drawings have improved thanks to you.I still have a long way to go,but i'm getting there. I almost do not watch tv anymore because they show nothing but garbage on there and none of the cartoons have no meaning and they try to teach a lesson.In my opinion, cartoons are for entertainment.Mighty Mouse, The New Adventures that you made with Ralph Baski was a big Influence for me and it effects my drawings a lot. Thanks for the helpful Tips.

Your Fan
Abdur Olajuwon

Jennifer said...

7) Harassers and Stalkers

One has been caught by the cops so far. 2 more are being closed in on.

Wow, John. I'm sorry that you had to go through that.

I don't think that you're doing anything wrong by moderating your comments (and, no, I am not being a sycophant).

A good bit of your readers are aspiring animators in school, and most of your posts are quite educational. You don't want the aggro of having your blog flagged as inappropriate because someone wants to use "colorful metaphors" in the comment.

Side note and somewhat OT: Thank heavens the economy is getting better. I can start supporting good causes again, like the cartoon college. :)

BLKhorse said...

Hi Mr John K. I totally agree with you on all points, but I would be deeply saddened if you were to make this blog private. If you do, I hope I get an invite.

Anyway, I've been meaning to get your input on a couple animations that I've been working on, but not sure of any other way of getting in contact with you. I was looking for an email, but to no avail. So I'll give you a link to my blog and the animations.

here's my blog

and here are the animations

I know there isn't much yet, but any input would help. Thnk you for your time and your blog. I enjoy it on a daily basis.

The Artist Aficionado said...

John K., I completely agree with these rules. Almost all people including myself that come on here are genuine art lovers and listeners in what you have to say.

I think its a shame that like most websites, there are a few people that have to ruin the purpose of this blog. Though that goes without saying.

Caleb said...

Hi John,

I just wanted to say I love this blog, and I hope I haven't bugged you too much in the last 2 years. I've learned so much here that it's too much to list (and that's just the stuff that's actually sunk in). Thank you.

HemlockMan said...

Although I'm not a cartoonist and I'm not even a graphic artist, I so much enjoy reading this blog. One of the reasons that I get such a kick out of it is that it's one of the few blogs I've ever seen that has an obvious purpose, and one which seems (to me) to be effective.

I found out a long time ago not to post bad words here.

(Love the "psychotic" graphic!)

Alishea said...

I kept pushing anyway. Eventually we did a pilot for Ren and Stimpy and I got Bardel in Vancouver to ink the cartoon with brushes, thick and thin and with some color lines. It looked great.

What's a "pilot"?

Alex said...

"What's a "pilot"?"

It's the equivilent to a premier episode, or test episode of a television series (animated or otherwise).

Also, good to have the blog guidelines explained. It's never too late.

The Artist Aficionado said...

Also John with rule 5 It remains debatable. Because some people would want to have an in depth debate like myself. Then there are people that want to axe artists heads off(trolls).

With the Disney Eye Candy blog entry I was pointing out that Walt was never really an accomplished artist. He had a large staff of artists do all the beautiful visuals. I respect them much more Walt among many ruthless producers.

The Artist Aficionado said...

Check this out and the other 5 parts

JohnK said...

That's a good subject for a debate.

Walt actually could draw, but he had greater talents that none of his artists had-the ability to see talent in others, the ability to develop and cast the talent and the ability to organize a huge studio and achieve things that none of his artists ever even dreamed of.

The Artist Aficionado said...

Got a good point. Max Fleischer was the same way. That's the essence of a good producer and merchandising. I always had wished that that company was still around.

Torsten Adair said...

Mr. K, I have been an animation fan since 1981, when I was ten and the local stations would show old Warners and MGM cartoons after school.

While not everything here interests me, I do value what you do.

Please know that many of us do not comment much, but we do read and consider what you say.

drawingtherightway said...

Before I discovered this site, I had never even heard of Preston Blair! Then I bought his Animation 1 book. Thanks.

mike f. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fernando Sosa said...

You are in the right John and I support you decision

J Bahari said...

I know it will come full circle. I think this flat-flash animated style is reaching it's plateau. There is so much more thought,style and personality in the hand drawn, hand animated stuff. I have been following your blog for a while and have been a fan for many years. Keep teaching 'em the truth.

DirtyLeftFoot said...

Finding this blog was my saving grace. I am an aspiring animator (student, art school, not CalArts.) and it's really nice to get perspective from someone other than my professors. Every animator's got a different bias and it's interesting to get another take, especially from someone whose show I followed religiously as a kid, even though my mom wouldn't let me watch it. Dad did though!

My school's too "conceptual art" in every sector so getting solid information and tips on character animation proves more difficult than I wish it was. Thank you so much.

mike f. said...

Hey talkingtj,

I love MAD MONSTER PARTY, but I can't ever get anyone to watch it with me. (Psst - John and Eddie both hate it, the Philistines!)

By the way, a 4-CD box set of H-B music has been out for years (called Hanna-Barbera's Pic-a-Nic Basket of Cartoon Classics). Although it's currently out-of-print, it's still available "used" on Amazon:

Dan Jhonny Valentine said...

Thanks Jhon,look i iam gonna start soon grab my yools and the old papers,and get busy,i have some bad times now,but i will stick to animation,is my biggest dream of all,I can express everithyng trough it,and can tajke my mind off so many dark things,i;ll just need a little time,but please count on me,i will star showing you my work as i progress,is not gonna take long,i got the hand,i will be in''the zone'' no time,just bare with me..i am really a fan of old paper and pencils,i like the old style,i love the old style,the hardest and the best,i realize that the hardest way is also the best way.oww man i got so many ideas and just laugh sometimes by myself...Thanks,I am not working right now,but i will suport you as much as i can,doesen;t matter,i stii got some things to fix and get all my gear back on the drawning are the best Jhon K,dont overstimate yourself,but that is true.thanks again for having this,you have no idea how many years before i found your blog i was looking for someone to teach me animation, i lived all my life on the road since i can remeber,living on the streets,sleeping in cars all sort of inspiration,meeting all kind of people...this is what i want to do.

Dan Jhonny Valentine said...

I bet my toolbox that even aliens are watching Jhon K;s cartoons and laugh theyr minds off,and i am sure GOD has a very good sense of humor

Amanda H. said...

Here is my blog:

To be honest, its a not a good sample of my work and what I'm capable of. I only just got used to scanning my drawings and plus I tend to use pencil and draw kind of light so I have to do a bunch of extra stuff so the lines show up.

I'll love it if you could look at my drawings and give me advice and tell me what I need to work on. :)

AtomicTiki said...

I just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed reading your blog to date John. It's interesting, funny and above all honest.

The past few weeks or so have really come to life for me as I've been digging into some of the learning tools and concepts that are nestled here and there. You've given me access to a couple pieces of artistic equipment I've overlooked pretty well my whole life (who knew they were both lodged in my head all this time) as well I've greatly enjoyed reading through the online exercises and watching some real talented people progress.

I don't want to say I've learnt anything yet, but inspiring AND a much needed kick in the pants.

I'm just a lowly hobbyist but even now I'm trying to go from flat and horrible to somewhat less so.

I guess what I'm trying to say is you're making me want to learn crap I never thought about before, so, that's gotta be good.

Rebecca Gunn said...

All those seem fair enough. : ) I Should really comment more: I tend to lurk a bit

Also on the current debate. Agree with John, Walt may not of been a creative force visually as much as his artists, but I've heard many accounts that he was an inspirational storyteller and knew how to use that to inspire people

Also - Shameless Plug for my Devart : )

Matt said...

"unfunny flat cartoons"

I take it that you mean lazy Flash animated cartoons, and not cartoons with poor characterization?

Dave Woodward said...

Hey John. My name's Dave W. I just wanted to ask if you'd be interested in critiquing my work. My buddy & I host a web comic blog. I also make a comic strip for my college newspaper. The Spumco "style" has always been a key inspiration for my drawing style and I wanted to know if you really see any of that or what I could improve on. Here's the link.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Good Grief! Don't make it a private blog! By making it public you've reached a wide audience and planted seeds that a new generation of cartoonists could spring from. You've accomplished a lot here, but sometimes you get impatient and don't see it.

Jack G. said...

I appreciate all the time you put into this blog - many of the post have helped me.

Maybe I'll actually be able to draw cartoons the way I want to eventually.

So you've got some people with problems harrassing / stalking you? That's gotta be scary.

Hope you get to make the cartoons you dream to make.

n4nln said...

Professor K:

R&S was the first original thing on the telly in a very long time, for which I thank you. Even the music was hysterically funny.

Your blog, however, eclipses even R&S. Not being "in the biz", it never occurred to me that the history and development of cartooning could be the focus of illuminating, serious criticism and analysis. I grew up with all the great WB output and laughing myself silly at Droopy and the visual humor of the great Tom & Jerrys. To read commentary on how and why it's funny by someone with encyclopedic knowledge is a rare privilege. Your analysis of not just directors, but the way you dissected how the work of individual animators changed working for those directors is simply astonishing. You peeled back hundreds of layers I never knew were there and revealed something genuinely magical. More importantly, it makes the great cartoons even *more* fun to watch because of understanding the extremely subtle genius required to make them so funny.

I do hope you aren't forced to bolt the door because I can't imagine finding another graduate-level course in the structure and evolution of cartooning.

thanks again

A.M.Bush said...

haha so true.

there was a stretch of time where I wouldn't go to this blog because the comments kept making me vomit uncontrollably, and eventually it became really expensive to keep buying replacement keyboards.

Maximum Awesome said...

Mr. K,

Instead of restricting your blog to invitees, why not just restrict your comments to invitees?

kurtwil said...

Glad to have found this topic - will help with my future posts to this fascinating blog!

JohnK, I wonder how many of your collaborators are "long distance"?
Do you get help on coloring, camera, etc. from folks outside the LA area (I assume that's where you live)?

For that matter, how do folks who have been in the industry "present" themselves to you?

FYI my bg includes animation at dawn of computer ink/paint (30 minutes to paint one cel - oy.), going to Australia to help start a studio, briefly taught at CALARTS and eventually morphed into feature FX when animation biz collapsed.

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coloneljmoore said...

Hey John,

I've been a reader of this blog and really glad it's on the web. I do have a question for you. Do you have any thoughts on what could be done in 3D animation to make it more lifelike and cartoony? I personally feel that there is something lost in most all 3d cartoons i've seen, and I don't know that I've seen you speak much on the subject. If you agree with me, what do you think is the missing ingredient in so many computer generated cartoons?