Monday, June 28, 2010

Jim Tyer Likes You

Boy, talk about "Man Cartoonists". Jim Tyer is the definition of one. This guy had the power to shoot his pure funny thoughts straight from his brain through his pencil to hit the paper unfiltered by preconceived rules, model sheets or second-guessing. He just drew what he felt - and he felt that kids deserved fun.
That's kind of how I draw storyboards, but I always intend to "fix" things later in layout. Then something about the translation process from storyboard through animation tends to soften everything. My own latent conservative ideas also fight the purity of the initial cartoon thought and I have to constantly counter those urges. Tyer doesn't seem to have that problem.
I think Jim Tyer should be written up in comic book history as one of the the very top storytellers. His comics are so funny and give kids just what they expect from cartoons.
Jim knew how much every red-blooded kid in short pants longs for a good suicide gag.
Who today has the generosity to animate funny bullets in the head?
Jim was a cartoon Santa.
He knows how much we love teeth and punches. Punching teeth delivers an exponential amount of cartoon nutrition.
Even Jim Tyer has some vanity - just to make sure you knew that he was going out of his way to please you, he added text describing his drawing of "ugly clawed feet", because after all - kids and cartoonists know instinctively which parts of the body are the ugliest-and therefore the most fun to laugh at.

Somehow when funny little human kids grow up, many of them forget this important fact; some of them turn around and become animation executives or go to Cal Arts and then actually go around erasing ugly clawed feet, cracked smelly teeth, stubbly armpits and the like from the drawings that honest and pure cartoonists are itching to give you. Can you imagine the heartlessness of purposely making cartoons uncartoony? I can't.
Aaaaah... another sensless violent assault. Terrytoons allowed Jim to show off the time tested fact, that more bullets are funnier than less. Ever see his animated gunfights? They are cartoon Heaven.
Jim also remembers to mix in a smidgeon of morality into his violent frenzies.
Tyer ends with a lesson on politics: Superheroes can afford to be communists.

Thanks to Chris Lopez for scanning so many great comics and cartoon drawings from lost heroes like Jim Tyer.