Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Composition 15 - Jim Smith Treats


Here's a Jim layout drawn in the style of N.C. Wyeth, beautifully painted by Bill Wray.While collecting up art for the Spumco book, Jim and I came up with a lot of rare stuff.
Jim's studies for Space Madness...

Here's a character we created for a new Mighty Mouse pitch around 1994. He is the head of the crime syndicate in Catville and his name is "The Big Puss". Jim is great at drawing mass and power.

Here's a Phil layout from the first Ren and Stimpy cartoon.
Jim is an all around cartoonist who did just about every job imaginable on Ren and Stimpy and other Spumco cartoons. He came up with story ideas, drew storyboards, designed characters and backgrounds, did layouts...whew

He even did some color keys.Jim is the guy who I've collaborated with the most in the last couple decades. For my taste, he is one of the best cartoonists ever. He totally has his own unique style and isn't part of a school of styles. There aren't many artists like that, and thats what makes him so valuable to the cartoons I like to make. He has many talents no one else (including me) has and I rely on him to do all the hard stuff.

He's a master of composition and solidity. Here are some of his sketches for a George Liquor cartoon called Sunday Drive To Mars. The crummy unshaded one just above is mine.
He has a way of mixing cartoon and illustration techniques. He's the only artist I've ever seen who can make something look serious and funny at the same time. His work is like a caricature of seriousness. That made him perfect for not only Ren and Stimpy, but The Ripping Friends.
Here's some spectacular work from a secret project.


There will be lots more great Jim art in the Spumco book and a chapter all about the bastard. I hope you are as jealous as I am of his talent.

Oh, and incidentally he also did the music for the opening and closing titles of Ren and Stimpy as part of "Der Screamin' Lederhosen". The man seems to have every creative talent.
Ralph Bakshi portrait drawn by Jim, painted by Simone Dupuis.

45 comments:

GoldDarkShadow said...

Is the secret project still in the works, or its not going anymore because that looks like it was going to be a epic cartoon.

Trey Brown said...

absolutely fantastic! Jim's my idol. I totally agree with him being "the serious caricature". He's got the best way to tell precise emotion while maintaining those incredible BGs. He's obviously one of the most underrated BG artist's. I had to watch every episode of ren and stimpy so dilligently before I could even take a step back and dissect anything because he gets his audience so invested in his storytelling.

James said...

I said this many times before, he is one of my favorite artists, cartoonists, caricaturists, story teller, one talented musician, and a real great guy. He does it all, and is good at it too.

Nate said...

jim's drawings are so awesome.

Trey Brown said...

I drew a caricature of you on my blog recently!

treydoodles.blogspot.com

(sorry, im still running Tiger OSX and my finicky browser wont let me hyperlink)

Craig said...

You and Jim definitely talk the same language. It's imperative to have that, and a blessing to find.

Nate said...

lookit those eraser marks on the crystal ball! awesome!

diego cumplido said...

I've enjoyed a lot the last two posts... thanks!

Trevor Thompson said...

I can't wait.

Chip Butty said...

I can't wait for this book!! Any foreseeable release date?

Shawn Dickinson said...

Great stuff! Jim is the best!

Shawn Dickinson said...

The Big Puss' muzzle looks like what Andre the Giant's wife must see when they're in the shower together.

NineInchNachos said...

Is there a way to pre-order your book sir? Where can we learn more about the spumco book? Will it be ready by Christmas??? :)

Paul B said...

PFFFFFFFFFFFffffff!!!!

you've blown my mind again....



STOP DOING THAT!!!!!

The Artist Aficionado said...

Does Jim still work with you on side projects? You two as an animation team are an unstoppable duo.

Gad said...

god, i wish one day i could draw like that


that secret project thing looks sooooo interesting, i would die to see more of that stuff

Iron maiden said...

HEY JOHN

Is the secret project on hiatus or decline completley
Id really love to know

Forbidden Hippo said...

I had to comment after seeing the painting of Bakshi. Fire Dogs 2 is one of the funniest things I ever saw. That particular painting makes me laugh so much. The first time I watched it I was with my pal, and right when he grabs Rens hand and it cuts to that shot, my friend just goes "Uh-Oh", because even though you have no idea whats going on yet, you somehow understand that this is an unstable man who is dangerous.

I love the final painting in that cartoon of Bakshi sitting up in bed when his eyes suddenly turn red right before that whole crazy axe scene. But that shot of him after grabbing Rens hand is chilling. Funny and scary at the same time.

HemlockMan said...

Amazing. I'm not jealous, of course. Just impressed.

Nice touch on the "Space Madness" illustrations...my favorite cartoon.

Ollie said...

I love Jim's art. He's amazing! That secret project looks great. Are you involved with that as well or is it just something Jim's working on?

Also, in reply to the last post I just wanna say that your blog is the best. I've learned alot about cartoons and good art and you also introduced me to the awesomness of Kirk Douglas and Robert Mitchum.

Ryan G. said...

Yes sir..Im a proud owner of a few of his layouts. He is the man!

Iron maiden said...

HEY JOHN

i find this article and according to this article it says you wanted to be a guitarist

here

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_XwGYOcz2ASU/RXI7sKNXAbI/AAAAAAAAAOU/d50xN3axBKI/s1600-h/rsexp_pg13.jpg

and this article shows your drawings you did as a kid

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_XwGYOcz2ASU/RXI7saNXAcI/AAAAAAAAAOc/V_R3GRJKdBg/s1600-h/rsexp_pg14.jpg

Emmett said...

I got one of Jim Smith's books this past summer at a festival in New York. His work has a spark that is big and unique. I studied the book intensely (at least for a few months) trying to figure out what made his style so appealing (I admit I've been lazy the last few months). Looking forward to the Spumco book.

nktoons said...

The Jim Smith/Bill Wray collaboration is worth the post alone, there talents contain soooo much appeal!

patrick said...

He makes volume funny, as Eddie once said.

Bryce Johansen said...

Wow he did the intro music to ren & stimpy...

when I was young, I wasn't allowed to watch ren and stimpy but I still tried to sneak in quick views of it before my parents noticed...

The intro music was one of the most memorable parts of the show to me.

John said...

Jim is one of the greats!

I've stuck print-outs of 'George Liquor on Mars' above my drawing board, to remind me what funny looks like.

Dan Lee said...

seriously, some amazing stuff there! i can't wait for this book.

Mellanumi said...

Man, I CANNOT wait for this Spumco book! I bought Jim Smith's sketchbook "Naked Are the Dead" (???? I think that was the title) -- and the art just blew me away. Also, I used to collect the Spumco comic books, the big, large-size format one. Whenever it's been exhausting at work, I just flip through these books and laugh.

Mellanumi said...

Not to detract from Jim Smith, but another artist who I think does phenomenal caricatures is Tom Richmond, a Mad artist. Here is his site:

http://www.tomrichmond.com/blog/

Click on the caricatures tab at the top of the screen, and have fun.

ThomasHjorthaab said...

wow, fantastic!
Everytime you talk about that book, I'm getting more exited when I thought I couldn't:)

I'm working hard on construction John, and soon I'll post the stuff, and leave you a link...

Matthew McDaniel said...

I am addicted to this blog.

jaystein said...

Mr. Smith is one of the good ones man.

Sven Hoek said...

That was Jim Smith on that cool guitar intro?!? Great stuff Jim. Ok, now Im a little jealous.

Im grateful you guys are shsring your talents and insight into making funny pictures.

Computers ruined music, I hope the same hasnt happened to cartoons.
Take a listen to all the computer generated music of the 80s. I know some of you are nostalgic for that stuff, but compared to what came before it, it was not an improvement. Seeing what Flash has done to cartoons I really hope that Johns students can make a difference in the landscape of cartooning by actually learning to draw and being passionate and uncompromising about the art.

Mr. Fun said...

God I have loved this man's style ever since I first saw it. Just awe-inspiring!!

Vincent Waller said...

He is a natural wonder and should be protected just like our national parks.

chrisallison said...

YOU RULE, JIM!

RAKninja said...

god i love the paintings of bakshi done for firedogs 2. actually firedogs 2 is one of my favorite cartoons of all time.

dancing platypuss said...

wow man , the big bad cat is pretty cool....
and the layouts are pretty cool,so direct .. loved them.
remember first time i saw ren and stimpy.. it was like col at last brand new old cartoons!!!
congrats for the blog :)

Jim Smith said...

Thanks for the treat John and to all the nice comments. I forgot about that scary giant Stimpy. John can convince me to do the craziest stuff and that not just in cartooning.

Jim Smith said...

I found the original sketch for that Wyeth bg and will post it on my blog.

Tom said...

I love Jim's work! Thanks for sharing this art with us, John. I am pumped for the SPUMCO book!!

talkingtj said...

jim smith rules!! i only wish he could put out a comic book special or something making fun of super heroes and such..maybe dark horse would be interested!

Chris leonido said...

I cant wait for the book, having a chapter of Jim Smith is just great. Considering that he is one of my favorite artists...What is Jim's secret project anyways?

Andrew Mortlock said...

Jim Smith did the theme song too!?! He's an utter genius!!