Friday, June 04, 2010

Ketcham/Fitzgerald Houses

This house is a basically simple design. But it's the dynamic angles they are drawn in that impress.
There is a misleading looseness to these drawings that might make you think they are hastily thought out.
But underneath the sketchy lines are some really difficult angles, killer posing and clever staging. The line style is just Fitzgerald's way of imposing some of Ketcham's style on top of his own unique compositions and designs.
Y'know it's astounding that you never see this art talked about in any of the comics history books.
Until Shane Glines started promoting Owen Fitzgerald on Cartoon Retro, the poor guy had never gotten much (if any) public notice. Yet he has to be in the top 10 or 20 comic/cartoon artists in history as far as talent, style, skill and versatility goes.
He was a very humble guy too. I had been a huge fan of his Bob Hope and Starlet O'Hara comics for years and never knew his name. He ended up doing some work on Beany and Cecil for me, and I didn't realize who he was until somoene later told me. I talked to him on the phone and told him how big a fan I was and he seemed amazed that anyone even cared or knew about his work.
This is the same artist! The guy now known to be one of the best pretty girl cartoonists.

If I had to guess Fitzgerald's influences I would say...George Clark, Lichty, Hurst and then all the animation principles he absorbed working on classic cartoons. What do you think, Shane?

To think that he ended up anonymously working on horrible Saturday morning cartoons like Scooby Doo as a layout artist.