I found a treasure trove of Dan Gordon comics at Greatest Ape.
What I like most about Gordon s that although he has an obvious animation background, he resists following exact inbred animation formula in his posing, design and composition.
His scenes exude raw energy and life. It reminds me of storyboards that were drawn for classic cartoons. It has a sort of coarse unfinished look to it - but only unfinished in the sense that it didn't go through 10 stages of toning down the ideas on the animation assembly line.
I can imagine animators wanting to put everything on model, and making the construction perfect, but that would only lesson the liveliness or originality of Gordon's style and storytelling.
Dan's scenes have a sense that all the characters are really there, they aren't mere generic cartoon characters mindlessly following animation principles.
I like his little human touches-like this dog laughing so hard that he's crying-and digging the tear out of his eye. It's not something you would expect to see in an animated cartoon.
His sense of cuteness is quirky too, not the generic 40s "animation-cute". True cuteness has an element of ignorance in it.
I like the combination of Mammy's angry expression with the cartoon symbolism of skulls in her eyes. Double the impact. Dan Gordon's comics are full of visual ideas.
He also has a kind of crude-elegance. His style pretends to be earthy and unpretentious, yet it's very thoughtful and principled at the same time. Check out the hierarchy in his grouping of the dogs. They together create a winding shaped form, rather than a scatter about as a chaotic crowd.
I love when real cartoonists try to draw realistic humans. Their heads are always too big, but I find that funny.
Gordon varies his camera angles of characters' points of view which adds dynamism and continuity to the emotions and stories.
You can't go wrong with Satan. He's a real a child pleaser in cartoons - right up there with Hitler.
I wonder who colored these comics? I think they really take advantage of the medium. I love the somber mood in these panels. Hard to pull off with basically primary and secondary colors.
Even though his characters are sort of awkward and crunchy, they still fit within well thought out compositions.
He's one of the top "happy-cartoonists", up there with Clampett, Gross and Wolverton.
His drawings are just plain fun. Not all cartoonists can achieve this.
Wolves covet pigs' arses. I wonder of that breaks their commandments?
Look how dynamic this simple scene of a bunch of happy ignorant animals simply walking is.
This comic cover is a work of cartoon art. It screams FUN INSIDE!
Here's Dan Gordon drawing in Milt Gross' style. Neat combination.
Here's a beautiful and dynamic page layout filled with a variety of angles.
Hair tubs are always funny.
You don't see a lot of over the shoulder shots in cartoons; they usually look really awkward. This does too but he pulls it off by making it funny.
Gordon's neighborhood world feels very real, gritty and inviting. It's full of nooks and crannies, sheds, basements, rickety stairs and things of that ilk that are usually disregarded in generic cartoons.
Even though Gordon's comics are mostly about talking animals, they have a lot of humanity to them.