Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Picture

This is the photo that inspired the first drawings of Ren.

I thought it was funny to see a psychotic chihuahua in a cute sweater and I imagined him doing everything possible to get it off.I also imagined his master putting him outside where the bigger bully dogs would make fun of him.

These aren't the first drawings of him, but they were based on my initial doodles. I do have some very early doodles somewhere around here and I'll put 'em up soon. I don't think I have the very first sketches, but I have some from that period. Maybe Joel Fajnor has some. He's the guy that urged me to put Ren and Stimpy together. We worked together at Calico Creations in 1979 and used to crack each other up all day doing wacky drawings and crazy voices. (He's a great cartoonist and designer and all around talented man.)

We both did the Peter Lorre voice all day long, which must have driven all the other animators crazy at work.

35 comments:

Larry Levine said...

Very cool!!!

Omar Momani said...

i love the big dog
i like how did you draw his back

gabriel said...

cool, this is history

Kali Fontecchio said...

He's adorable!

Chloe Cumming said...

That's a good idea for a cartoon.

It kind of makes me want to draw chihuahuas, but I'd be onto a loser if I was competing with the history of Ren.

Then again I started drawing Brock thinking I'd be influenced by the way you draw him, and it doesn't necessarily work like that.

You're my hero xx

AnArchyAl said...

i love that story. that a simple picture could bring forth so much! i love how all you see of the chihuahua's master is the very bottom of the legs like mr. pipe, or tom's owner...or cow and chicken's parents!

RooniMan said...

It all started with a photograph.

Oisin O'Sullivan said...

this is a great post.
I was actually thinking of asking you if you could post some drawings you did from when you were around 17/18, if you had them. Just to see ho far along you were at that stage.
Could you do that, Mr. Kricfalusi?

JohnK said...

sure. I don't mind being made fun of. There are lots of young cartoonists who are way ahead of where I was.

Roberto Severino said...

These are very interesting drawings. I've always wondered something though. Where did you get the idea for both Ren's first and last name from? They're both very unusual names. Did you make them up from your head?

I was watching another Joan Crawford picture today and some of her expressions reminded me of what you sometimes did with Ren by the way. She's a very versatile actress, in my opinion. I still have got to see Mildred Pierce if I can.

"There are lots of young cartoonists who are way ahead of where I was."

Hahahaha! You were probably way ahead of where I currently am right now with my cartooning, that's for sure. I'd love to see more of your drawings from your teenage years.

Sean Lally said...

what age were you when you started making up your own characters and stuff, John K?

Isaak said...

Did you always know what Stimpy would look like, because the model you have is very close to the final version?

Do you have a project up your sleeve?
If you get another success, are you going to ignore the middleman and try to go to a channel you created or are you done with tv.

The influence for the Snorks was the crying of children when Log was taken away.

I love log.

Oisin O'Sullivan said...

"sure"

cool, thanks.

Scrawnypumpkinseed said...

Cool post. I really love these early drawings of Ren and Stimpy.

I especially love Rens huge eyes and Massive ears. Looks like he could fly with those things.

Also here is an early picture of Ren, Stimpy and George from an older post
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_mJ4lc_Q9Q6k/S9e4NtuLa6I/AAAAAAAAnpI/WtH9gLhRXiI/s1600/Ren_%26_Stimpy_-_draw3.jpg

Erik said...

Thanks! This is a treat.

I realy enjoy sketchbooks and
concepts arts, Some times even more than the actualy final products.

I'm also curious about your earlier drawings, when i was 16,17
i was in my Marvel comics period... :P

MistahB said...

hehe I love seeing early drawings of past shows sometimes I liked those designs than their final layout.

Paul B said...

Your first drawings of Ren seems to be more cartoony that the Ren from the series, they have more contrasts (gigantic ears and eyes, very skinny body, very small size).
Why do you change that?

Paul B said...

the feet were also bigger

JohnK said...

I didn't. There were about 15 layout artists and not all drew as cartoony.

Paul B said...

Oh, I see. You have to make it more easy for the others.

Thanks!

DougVH said...

Hey John,
Where did Ren Hoek's last name come from? I've always been curious about that, because it's also part of my last name. Maybe we are related? ;)

Payo said...

Is that an Elliott Erwitt photograph?

Erik said...

"Where did Ren Hoek's last name come from? I've always been curious about that, because it's also part of my last name"

Maybe it's dutch! :P

Hoek in dutch means corner,
we pronounce it like hook.

but anyway i think John Knows his own characters better than i do

Daniel Og said...

that dog is fucking crazy!
that's poetically beautyfull. so rich in possibility it's scary. and the fact that he is kind of married to an imbecile cat tops it.

ren and stimpy are the most beautyfull characters in the world. it's like having a tom and jerry with a more subtle and diverse relationship...
it's david lynch and chuck jones working together. and it came to cartoons as a renaissance. nothing was the same since it. I REMEMBER. it came in a time when all alternative cartooning was kind of social or political. it made two stupid dogs possible, and therefore, every money making cartoon after it too.
you deserve to have anything out of your head put in at least paper.

i really wish you would go back animating them, just get a good lawyer now to guarantee no one will stop you and make sure you will be left alone to produce what god made you for.

(i'm very good at kissing ass, but it's all true!)

Trevor Thompson said...

Does Stimpy have an equally unique origin? What about their names? Where do the words "Hoëk" and "Stimpy" come from?

Stephen Worth said...

The photo is by Elliott Erwitt, a really great street photographer who did a whole series on crazy looking dogs. Fun stuff!

Pokey said...

Nice chihuahua..btw Hoek is pronounced "Hork". Sparky..right on about how many cartoon veterans hated "Roger Rabbit". Maurice Noble did as well..

Isaak said...

What did Mel Blanc think of the film, considering it was almost the last film he voiced? Or was he sick by then?

Pete said...

Great to see how Ren began, John. Does he really date back to 1979? How did he spend the '80s?

Jeff Read said...

About Chihuahuas and sweaters:

The tiny body of a Chihuahua dissipates heat much more rapidly than larger dogs. Their short fur just isn't enough to keep them warm in envrionments like, say, late autumn or early winter in New York City. So the sweater serves a functional purpose beyond making Mummy's little snuggums look adorable: it helps keep the dog from freezing to death.

Of course that overlooks the first rule of cartooning, which is that should accuracy come into conflict with funniness, accuracy always gets the axe.

TheGhoul said...

Hey John!!!!,Im going to be going to art school next month to Laguna collage of art and design,But I still don't know what Ill be majoring in.I always wanted to be an animator,but I was always told that animation is dieing out and there's no jobs.So My question to you is how difficult is it to get a job animating??????

Shannon Hoek said...

What are your plans for Ren & Stimpy in the future? Or is it done and overwith?

Humphrey Erm said...

There's a German film called "Friendship" that came out January of this year. There's a character they meet on their way to San Francisco, who gives them a drawing similar to Ren and Stimpy. Because it is based on a true story, I was wondering if it actually was you who met, and picked up the two East German Hitchhikers. Here's a screenshot from the trailer showing the drawing he gave them.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs112.ash2/38918_414377412694_509722694_4851838_4104142_n.jpg

If you do remember, or if it is true, could you maybe either respond to me, or even better write a blog post telling the story from your point of view. It would be really interesting. I really recommend the movie as well! If nothing else, to see the apparent portrayal of you.

Andrés Alvarez said...

So incredible, Man I was only a year old when this stuff was done amazing to see the rise of two great characters!

Mandy said...

I stumbled on your blog today and it took my a few minutes to realize who you are. This made my day! Thank you for "I Miss You". That's still one of my favorite videos of all time.

Mandy
Nestled in Nostalgia