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.

READ THE WHOLE HILARIOUS STORY HERE

25 comments:

Stone said...

a gag that was suggested on a show I worked on when a storyboard guy couldn't figure out more places for one character to look for another character that was hiding behind while ON THE MOON.

"he should pull back the curtain and look behind there." a nudge at fake moon landings being recorded on a soundstage...

all the storyboard artists laugh.

a few minutes later the guy comes back to the story room and says, "nah, no go."

the director said it was too cartoony.

>:O

Roberto Severino said...

This is how I'm going to teach my future kids how to read and hopefully they might become cartoonists with good instinct and taste themselves. I'm going to be as strict and cruel as I can with their entertainment if I ever become a parent myself. No poorly drawn coloring books, baggy pants, awful children's shows with dumb morals that the people who made them don't even practice themselves, obnoxious contemporary music, Twilight, nor Cartoon Network (they can watch the earlier Cartoon Cartoons though, but nothing else) among other things allowed in my house. It's all going to be about exposing them to these old funny animal comics, the wit of Groucho Marx, fun Disney cartoons, Terrytoons and then when they're old enough, I'll let them watch more violent stuff like Popeye, Fleischer, Warner Bros cartoons, and the Three Stooges for good measure, and then they can discover the rest on their own. They're going to be ahead of most of their peers, entertainment wise.

Seriously, this is the stuff that kids would want to read if they had access to them. Jim Tyer is a master of funny drawing and funny dialog. It makes me wonder how all these well-done comics disappeared from the mainstream.

RooniMan said...

The purity of Tyer's drawings make me feel like a kid again.

(On an unrelated note: Are frames from Terrytoons cartoons good for study?)

Ben W said...

The funniest part about the shooting to me is how his guns seem to shoot all different kinds of ammunition- he's wielding the now-legendary Winchester Shotgun-Rifle-Howitzer-Revolver. It just makes sense.

John Michael Pesina said...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/0e/MegaMind.JPG

A new bout of 'tude.

C said...

Huge jaws on dogs are funny.

Diana said...

I don't know why you like manly cartoons, but not raps about shooting babies / loads into the eyes of women?

JohnK said...

Serious advice to Roberto:

Don't do it! You better let your future offspring watch all kinds of stuff, otherwise they will rebel against you.

Just wean them on classic stuff too and maybe they'll figure it out for themselves.

Diana: There are songs about shooting babies???

Elana Pritchard said...

You are sooooo right- cartoon suicide is hilarious!

I know there are a lot of dead baby JOKES out there...

Mykal Banta said...

. . .and I like Jim Tyer.

Isaak said...

Speaking of shooting,

John

What did you think of the Russian Roulette gag in Ballot Box Bunny?

There is a shooting gag in South Park (and I will defend certain episodes of the show as great art, stress SOME) in which the Queen shoots herself. It is too graphic and removes all humor. Another instance of earlier cartoonists getting it right.

manuel said...

One reason for suicide (other than demonstrational or out of physical illness) is real depression (a very rare psychiatric illness).

I don't think a dog's hardened forehead is funny enough to use this ultimate state of sickness in a comic for kids.

But maybe I am a bit oldfashioned here, or simply don't get the good jokes.

ComiCrazys said...

Though Jim Tyer had been doing comics for ages, I really love this style as opposed to the earlier style with the great brush work. The same way I love Milt Gross' comic book comics way more than his newspaper strips.

There's so much more energy and movement in their later styles than their earlier, along with that false look of simplicity. I think kids can relate better to comics drawn "simply" because it looks like something they could draw themselves. Well, that... and the beatings! =)

Glad you all enjoy the site so much. I'll keep at it as long as you keep looking.

ComiCrazys said...

Sorry, one other point: Notice how much dialogue there is in each panel. That's perfect! Just enough to move the story along and add to the funny drawings. This is the same as the cartoons from that time. Just enough.

In contrast today's kids' comics and cartoons are so bogged down in words and dialogue that they are a real chore to read and watch.

I remember Chuck Jones saying that if you can close your eyes and listen to the soundtrack of a cartoon and still know what's going on, then it's not a cartoon but animated radio.

Shawn Dickinson said...

I wish I could draw comics this good!

JohnK said...

"What did you think of the Russian Roulette gag in Ballot Box Bunny?
"

I thought it was hilarious. Bad taste gags are funny when they are done in a ridiculous cartoony way. I don't like graphic violence though.

Roberto Severino said...

"Don't do it! You better let your future offspring watch all kinds of stuff, otherwise they will rebel against you.

Just wean them on classic stuff too and maybe they'll figure it out for themselves."

I never thought of it that way, but in a way, it actually makes sense. Who knew I'd be starting an indoctrinating counterculture among my own children without even knowing it! The 1960s counterculture and the Vietnam War changed the world forever, and in my opinion, for the worst, because a lot of young Americans were rebelling against established principles and standards, and it eventually lead to rampant LSD and other drug use across the country, Scooby-Doo (that's what I'd like to call cartoon anarchy. It went against everything Hanna-Barbera stood for, and ruined their reputation forever), M.A.S.H., and a total disrespect of authority. I don't know too much about the subject, but in my opinion, I think that era is still influencing our modern culture, and I think animation has been affected by it for a long while now, hence all those "hip" executives you talk about in your posts.

Long story short, I'll take your advice, and be very open-minded about their entertainment, letting them watch all sorts of stuff, but also a good balance of classic material (that includes classic movies with good man leads and role-models like Cary Grant and Clark Gable). Besides, there's plenty of stuff that I have a guilty pleasure for anyway that I know I would never be able to defend.

"I thought it was hilarious. Bad taste gags are funny when they are done in a ridiculous cartoony way. I don't like graphic violence though."

Yay! I hope that means you've warmed up to Friz Freleng's cartoons. They're not that bad, you know, even though he obviously wasn't the best director. I've always liked a lot of his cartoons from the 1940s and early 1930s to tell you the truth, especially as a kid. I even liked The Pink Panther cartoons. There I said it. Sorry to disappoint you, John. I hope you don't kill me.

ComiCrazys said...

John, I really must say again that you should be doing kids comics. You have so many characters and stories that I'm sure will never make it to the public that it is a crime... A CRIME, I TELL YA! not to get them out there.

John K's Comics & Stories done in a nice fat hardcover treatment would really be a delight! Many original Ren & Stimpy fans have kids now and looong for a return to those thrilling days of yesteryear when you revolutionized cartoons. Now you can do the same for kids comics with all new material that's not based on some lousy existing cartoon but straight from the brain that once gave us hope in cartoons.

Craig Yoe and others are proving classic comics still sell. Imagine how well new material in your classic style would sell? Bring along manly cartoonist Eddie as well, since he's finally talking about doing a comic for his site.

Kids need you, John!!!

K. Nacht said...

"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."

Beautifully expressed, John. I'm glad to hear you say it.

Guy Cx said...

I think when the subject is "outstanding cartoony violence", you're probably on top of the list, John. People, just watch Ren and Stimpy's "Man's Best Friend" and you'll see what I'm talking about. Probably my favorite Ren and Stimpy's episode.

Isaak said...

Thank you for replying.

What do you think of the release of 80s cartoons?

I'm peeved I preferred Tiny Toons over Looney Toons as a youngster, mainly because of its bright colors. Now I can only recollect dated 90s jokes from the former. Hopefully my tastes have matured.

There is also gallows humor in The Incredibles:

"I saved your life"

"No, you ruined my death"

Isaak said...

I meant release on DVD while Coal Black, All that and Rabbit Stew and other of the Censored 11 are forbidden on mainstream DVD.#

By the way, are you ever going to do a post analyzing all of the Censored 11?

glamaFez said...

One of your best posts ever. Larry MacDougall can't touch this stuff.

Martin Juneau said...

No offense Roberto, but you going too strict so far. Let your kids what they like, educate them, show them how real life works and they will thanks you later.

I start to feel that it's nothing wrong to be hip or cool as long it's not for the negativism. I remember being that before but in a negative way. My drawings was crude, no sense of anatomy and was major Sonic and Anime knock-offs and my attitude wasn't the same as i have now. My clothing style was awkward despite i take weights since i left school. Sure we can have some nerves to the next generation because they don't look to be influenced positively.

What i am today? Sure i have lots of nerves and worrying but i like living currently with their highs and downs. My attitude changed too. I being more approcah to normal peoples than before. Of course i'm more use to be hip today but in a positive way, that what i don't see in modern cartoons and comics. And my drawing style is much alive than before since i made a comic i finished 1 month ago after 1 year of works. I learned so much about construction, line of action and hierarchy since 3 months. (Not by this blog.)

I just hope you won't will be cranky later like i try to be. Trust me, it makes you more nervous and angry than you can think of.

dukakidd said...

Hi John i wasnt sure if you were aware but joe murray is launching a cartoon website with the intent of putting up cartoons that are good but executives and stuff wouldn't want to do. i have no idea if you know joe at all but you should talk to him about it.