Saturday, June 19, 2010

Less Lines, More Thought and More Life

I think that it's more daring to draw cartoons with just a few lines and details than it is to do fake "realistic" animation.
You can't hide your ideas and skills under a lot of non-essential surface extras.
In my opinion, Irv Spector here draws a million times better than all those nasty Filmation like humanoid mannequin cartoons.

In just a few lines, he shows characters with attitudes, acting, construction, design and life. Life. That, more than anything else is what's missing from cartoons today.
But here it is in all its natural looking glory.
Spector's compositions are really fun and clever too.

This is a gifted cartoonist who thinks. He doesn't just draw by rote or current trend-thinking.
This is his own unique style, but it uses all the general important principles common to most skilled cartoonists.
Even before I look close at the individual details of a panel, the whole composition jumps out at me and says "This is art!". It's coordinates a pile of difficult techniques, skills, principles and style in such a way that it makes a point - and is pleasing to the eye.
This is obviously a free-wheeling individual style that is not hampered by second-guessing what a cartoon is "supposed to be" or by tons of executives telling him how to draw.
Lots and lots of energy in just a few well-placed lines.

Compare to no energy and no commitment to a design or statement:These Filmation style characters look like they are stuck together out of individual pieces of broken glass. There is no line of action, no construction, no expression, no contrasting attitudes and no real tools of good drawing. They are not even "realistic" as I assume they meant to be. They are merely lacking in life and animation so to the executive brain that makes them like live action - only without the "live". It's design by committee and reflects nobody's particular idea or vision.

Spector is the complete opposite of the corporate fear style above.

Not only are his individual panels fun and lively...

But Spector's continuity and the way he balances his panels against each other is full of energy and contrasts.
This is cartooning doing what it does best, expressing an individual's view of the world using the tools cartoons have that other media lacks.
He is using the media to its advantage rather than fighting against it.

Lots more great Coogy strips by Irv Spector!