It's a universal truth indeed. Great art can not save bad writing. It's flashier than text and can give the illusion, but the stregth has to be in both text AND art.
That's why the artists should do the writing.
There was so much valuable truth in those pages. Eerily sounds like the problem with the animation industry today. Too much style (which is really just a bunch of recycled cliches), incessant dialog, and extremely thick inking in most TV cartoons and not enough substance and good drawings.I attempted one of Milt Gross' drawings yesterday. Here's the link to my study if you want to see it.
http://illustrationart.blogspot.com/2008/04/paul-coker-jr.htmlI love Coker.All the Rankin and Bass puppet interpretation of his stuff is great, and his Mad output is fantastic.His shapes are always appealing, I think I can see a hank ketcham influence in his stuff.
The book that these excerpts are from is "The Art of Humourous Illustration" by Nick Meglin. It dates back to 1973, when very little was being published on cartooning (or animation), and is still one of the best books on the subject of print cartoons. Many of the subjects interviewed were popular cartoonists working at MAD Magazine at the time, including Coker, Jack Davis, Mort Drucker and Sergio Aragones. What's great is that you really get some insight as to how these guys worked, the media they used, etc. My favourite subject is Jack Davis who seems like a real character, especially when he tells about trying to meet a tight deadline while on a fishing trip, using stream water to mix his paints and working in the dark by the light of his car headlights!
Exactly John. The artist should be the writer and vice versa. It's both sides of the same coin of telling a story.Why some "suit" somehwere decided they should be two different people I'll never know. It's never made sense and I can't think of a single example of a commitee doing a better job than a single vision.
This type of warts and all characterization has really disappeared. Maybe King of the Hill...Even when ugly is tried, as in Ugly Americans, it still comes off as slick and distanced. There no real investment in the characters. There's just the poor drawing that is supposed to be ironic, but isn't.
Pete, it is a great book. I had posted the interview with Johnny Hart previously. I guess I should've included the cover again. My apologies to Mr. Meglin. =)
The same can be explain with Europpean comics these days. No one of them are so good unlike we having 30-40 years ago in my side of country. (Tough they like better Tintin or Asterix but just because it's mainstream and well know.)This is such a investment to creating something fresh and ahead of our time these days in any mediums. Instead like Roberto says, they want a style before have substance and logic. This is illogical at my opinion.
He certainly is an amazing illustrator.
Todays lesson: Great art does not save a terrible story. And it may work the other way, good story does not save a cartoon with bad art.All in all, art and story must be in perfect harmony with each other.
I mean like Roberto says. Sorry i writing too fast.
I agree. It's better when the artist does the writing and drawing. They have a better idea what to write about than the non-artist anyway.These are pretty illustrations!
Paul Coker's always fun, and his comments on his industry do seem to parallel animation. Sad in both cases.An aside: Watching the old Popeye short NEVER KICK A WOMAN, the closeup of the Mae West character fondling Popeye revealed an odd flicker about her flat bustline - the shape of a breast! I'm guessing that completed scene was censored by the Hays board,and the Fleischers then altered and repainted 'Mae's' cel with the flatter shape before reshooting the scene, leaving a faint ghost of the original inked outline revealing what she __had__ looked like. You can find that cartoon on the Warner Brothers Popeye The Sailor, Vol. 1.
Hey John (and other commenters),When drawing studies how much attention do you pay to the analyzing (or measuring) of proportions. Do you just use your fingers or do you use a ruler? Also how close can one get to copying a drawing. I can never seem to get very close, is it just my inexperience or is it very hard to make a drawing match up to the original?
Is Coker an artist who you would consider to have an "itchy" style?
Blotchy, not itchy.
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