Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Beany and Cecil Comics

Here are some comics drawn by Don Christensen, in Willie Ito's style.
Don actually worked for Clampett in the 30s on those black and white Porkys I love. He also drew tons of comic books in the 40s and 50s under the name "Don Arr".
It's interesting to see guys from the 30s adapting to a more modern angular style.
Clampett introduced me to Don at a comicon one year. They seemed still very friendly to each other and I just stood there dumbstruck in front of these guys that made such great cartoons.

15 comments:

RooniMan said...

Interesting find. Another cartoonist down... Check!

David Germain said...

When did Don Christensen work for Clampett? The only writers I see credited on Clampett's cartoons are mostly Warren Foster and Ernest Gee (as well as Melvin Millar every so often). I see Don's name on some of Norm McCabe's cartoons though. Maybe Don worked for Clampett uncredited. Too many artists worked without credit in those days sadly.

That is a great Beany & Cecil comic. I wonder how it ends.

thomas said...

The page layout is pretty unique. The irregular shapes of the panels seem arbitrary.
Guess I kind of like the informallity of it.

Niki said...

"They seemed still very friendly to each other and I just stood there dumbstruck in front of these guys that made such great cartoons."

Just like me and my dad's friends.

Shawn Dickinson said...

Is this the original art? This is great!!!

BadIdeaSociety said...

I don't get it John. Why would it be weird to see a guy who developed his craft in the golden era of cartoons adapting to the angular style of limited animation? Don Christensen was a tremendous talent.

Lohen said...

Wow! You are an amazing treasure hunter!

JohnK said...

It's interesting because some classic animators eagerly made the transition and some didn't quite get it.

Compare Scribner and McKimson's work in the 50s more stylized cartoons. Scribner totally embraced it, McKimson tried it but you could tell he was resisting.

Willie Ito was sort of in the middle, having been Chuck Jones' cleanup and layout artist. His drawings were rooted in 40s forms, but the curves in the forms had been angled off on the bends.

His Beany and Cecil redesign looks a lot like Jones' style - only without the curlycues and effeminate touches.

Don's own style was kind a conservative 40s style, and these Beany Pages show him struggling a bit with where to put the angles. But the overall design of Ito still shows through.

Kingfish said...

Hey John- this is off-topic and I apologize for that...

My wife asked me for a list of great animators, Illustrators and cartoonists that she can have her students do a research paper on.

I gave her a huge list, and she noticed that there were no women on there. It is what it is I guess, but I thought maybe you'd have some suggestions of female cartoonists or illustrators?

Chuey said...

Growing up...I always thought Cecli was drawn as a sock puppet. It was kinda scary. To this day, it still looks like a sock puppet.

Rusty said...

Can you tell us about any other Golden Age animators you met? Most of us would love to know their secrets to making these beautiful cartoons.

Rusty said...

The transition from Golden Age to Limited Animation seemed to go smoothly first but then ended up chaotic.

Hannah Barbera's early television work was inventive and very well stylized. The Ed Benedict style brought life to cartoons that used fewer frames than the Golden Age. Crusader Rabbit don't know if it counts as animation but it has wonderful illustrations and it reminds me of classic radio theater.

Then by the end of sixties it was the beginning of the end the dark ages of animation we had companies like Flimation misusing the medium of limited animation by abandoning certain very important principals. They were paving the way for the eighties.

HemlockMan said...

Those are nice pages. From your own collection?

Yowp said...

Interesting, John. I thought Christensen only worked with McCabe. Was he in the unit when Norm took over from Clampett?

Dishonest John and Cecil were the best parts of the cartoon. Beany and the Captain were kind of creepy.

Yowp

Dan said...

Why does the Big Bad Wolf remind me of the Disney version? lOL