Sunday, June 13, 2010

Owen Fitzgerald Camera Angles

Owen Fitzgerald can stage scenes from any angle and make it look easy.
In this Dennis story about the family playing pool, every shot is a new angle.
Drawing poses of someone playing pool would be tricky enough even left to right, but Owen does it from every possible perspective, seemingly without effort.
And he still manages to make the posing look natural and balanced.
I wonder if the reason Owen Fitzgerald is not better known is that his work does look so effortless. It's incredibly subtle and sophisticated drawing - especially for cartoons - but you almost don't notice just because he makes it look simple.
Lesser artists are much more heralded and imitated than Fitzgerald - like the Archie artists who mostly draw everything left to right and can only draw wooden profiles, front views and 3/ views.
It's even more remarkable that he can solve all these difficult drawing problems- and do it in another person's style.
This is the kind of guy you would want heading your layout department.

30 comments:

Roberto Severino said...

Owen Fitzgerald's staging and posing techniques amaze me every time. He's almost like a magician. I also think he draws some of the cutest girls ever, besides other cartoonists like Howie Post and Dan Gordon.

Boomerang showed this awful Dennis the Menace show from the 80s yesterday. I didn't watch much of it, but it was very poorly drawn compared to the original comics. It makes me appreciate them even more.

RooniMan said...

I'm susprised. Not only can he draw in someone else's style, but draw it in so many angles.

Now thats real talent.

drawingtherightway said...

Fitzgerald was a master! I know that vanishing points are used to draw certain things in perspective such as buildings and stuff but is there any way to use vanishing points to put characters in a scene?

Andy J. Latham said...

I love the way he sticks to a solid colour for the background. At the start he establishes that the floor is blue and the walls are yellow. Then when we get into the pool game, he doesn't need to draw any details in the background - just show a colour. If we see blue, we know we're in a down-shot and if we see yellow we know we're in an up-shot. And that's before any characters or table have been drawn! Great stuff!

Commander Höek said...

I never noticed it was so complex until now, he just makes it look so easy!
Nice information John.

Mykal Banta said...

Great Stuff! I'm liking the new look of your blog!

talkingtj said...

you never realize how much work and thought go into these strips until you see something wrong, its all about desicions, professionalism and consideration.

Cali-4nia said...

Seems like such a waste to stick him layout, and not something where his abilities and skills would flourish!

Martin Juneau said...

The way he draw angles with not so much details makes the comic again more entertaining. Today format feels flat and uninspiring in comparaison.

Off topic, but did you know that Little Orphan Annie ended today after 86 years? It's one of those finals pages. http://imgsrv.gocomics.com/dim/?fh=bf0f12633d607bd6bc09456b4ea0afe2&w=900.0

Joey Lee said...

I first discovered owen fitzgerald through shane glines' site. Sadly, when I first saw his work, I saaid to myself, "wow this looks like decarlo!" When I delved deeper I was absolutely floored by the spontaneity of his drawings, and soon decarlo's work started to look incredibly stiff by comparison. Fitzgerald is a huge inspiration to me, and one of the reasons I really want to become a better artist. Thanks for posting so much of his material.

Elana Pritchard said...

It is a shame that such a talented artist/ draftsman did not get the credit he deserves.

AtomicTiki said...

I've never really seen "Dennis" artwork like this, are there any good collections you would recommend?

Thanks

kevin said...

Were do you get all these books john?

HemlockMan said...

Yeah, that guy was amazing. Where is he now? How old was that comic? Was he doing the early Dennis comic books, or did he come along later?

I like the old format for your blog better. This one is causing me some viewing problems. Information-heavy, I assume.

Marshall Birchbeer said...

This is the best damn blog from here to next Sunday. John K, you are a legend. thanks for all the great posts.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

THAT's Owen Fitzgerald!? Geez, the guy was incredible. As Rooni said, he even manages to mimic Ketchum's style perfectly!

kevin said...

I agree with marshall, I'm on here everyday because john your great, my favorite animatOr by far

JoeyCee said...

D the M was the berries...the wife is hotter than Betty Rubble

Ron Ferdinand said...

It's interesting to compare the two 'Masters'of the Dennis comic book. While Al Wiseman had a technical proficiency second to none, Fitzgerald's work literally jumped off the page with energy.

spøf said...

This is awesome! I'm so tired of how comics these days, especially alternative ones, use the exact same 'shot' and poses panel after panel after panel! It does look very plain and effortless in those pictures, but compared to what (most of) todays comics artists are doing it's wild and innovative!

JohnK said...

Hi Ron

thanks for posting.

I just checked out your Dennis page. You oughta put lots more Dennis comics up!

Ketcham musta been an amazing guy to surround himself with such a great crew.

I'm sure the fans would like to know more about all of you and how you work.

Ron Ferdinand said...

Hey, John!

I've been a fan of yours since Mighty Mouse. I started with Hank in '81 on the Marvel comic which lasted for 12 issues. Hank had started a training program and had already hired 2 artists.I moved from NY to Monterey, CA and became the third. Hank invested in a studio in Pebble Beach and Bob Bugg was doing the Sundays in Connecticut. Bob didn't want to relocate, so Hank started us on the Sundays. It was pretty grueling fun. Hank would send us out on sketching trips and would critique our sketchpads.Fred Toole was still involved with the writing at that point and would regale us with stories about the early days with Fitzgerald, Wiseman etc...
There were periodic visits to the studio by local artists like Preston Blair, Eldon Dedini and Gus Arriola,so it was a dream come true for a green kid from NY. Karen Matchette(another artist)and I visited Ed Benedict in the early 90's when he was in Carmel. Karen had started doing the Flintstones comic strip and Ed had agreed to give her some pointers. I mentioned you and your appreciation for his work and he said you'd just visited the week before. Ed said he had always wanted to show Hank the design superiority of the FOUR fingered hand over the FIVE fingered hand. THAT was a magical day.
I moved back to NY in '97 after Hank had closed the studio and we were all communicating via fax. I had 15 years of 9 to 5 workdays with Hank. He was an amazing guy and an incredible artist.

JohnK said...

Hi Ron

great stories!

I'd love to hear more!

You guys should make on online tutorial to share what you learned from Hank!

He must have been the best teacher ever.

Ron Ferdinand said...

In 2000, I suggested to Hank that he should do a how-to book. His answer was that he had enough to do keeping us in line. Of course, he left us all in 2001, so it was not to be.
Hank was really a 'lemme just show you how' type teacher. He'd just reach for the tracing paper, lay it over your work and VOILA!....there it was!

As for online tutorials, we couldn't come CLOSE to what you're doing here!

megabulk said...

The new look of your blog is great except for the text. Black on brown? It's really difficult to read, almost illegible.

Martin Juneau said...

I'm terribly shocked when i see peoples who draw stock figures characters and put a comic-book on it. After the comics-strips decline in the mid-1970's, we assist today to the degradation of comics as art today because peoples who can't draw well pretend they draw well to be hip and made it for moneys.

That's why i like better old comics from the middle of the 20th century. They have a lot of good sources you will ever found who was vanish today. Peoples who mastered some old comics to the young audience today have the bad trend to digitalise the panels and drawings backgrounds, eliminating the pure effect of what this comic really are at the first time.

Fitzgerald is without contradict one of the best drawings artists ever that i never have the chance to read his works as a kid. Thank you!

JohnK said...

Hey Ron

sounds like you've got some great stories.

I's love to interview you for the blog.

Interested?

Yowp said...

John, your conversation with Ron here is as enjoyable as any post.

I wonder if Owen's name would be better known if he had stayed at an animation studio for a length of time when layout people finally got credit (like Gribbroek and Noble). I gather Owen had two stops at Warners, the last one fairly brief.

Ron Ferdinand said...

Sure,John!

JohnK said...

How do I find you?