December 17th, 2014


Illustration: Lawson Wood- The Monkey Painter

Lawson Wood's Monkeys

Lawson WoodLawson WoodLawson Wood is one of the most unusual artists of the golden age of magazine illustration, largely because of the subject he chose to illustrate- monkeys… well, to be scientifically accurate, most of them are apes, but to a cartoonist, a monkey is a monkey.

Wood was born in London in 1878 to a family already well outfitted with artists. He developed his skills swiftly, and by age 18 he was a published illustrator. By the early years of the 20th century, he was established as an artist adept at both "straight" subjects and humorous fantasy. His images of cave men and dinosaurs were particularly popular in England, but the paintings that brought him fame in America were his monkeys…

Lawson Wood's Monkeys

This album was brought to us to digitize by archive supporter, Mike Fontanelli, and it gives you a good idea of how much Wood got out of his silly subject matter. Wood’s Gran’pop Monkey and friends graced the cover of many issues of Colliers, and there was even talk of adapting the characters to star in a series of animated cartoons. Ub Iwerks was slated to produce the series, but the outbreak of war and the closing of Iwerks’ studio nipped the idea in the bud. However, Wood understood the value of merchandising early on; he even headed up his own toy manufacturing firm, and he died a very wealthy man in 1957.

Some people can’t get past the "kitsch factor" of Wood’s illustrations. But even those who hate his work have to grudgingly admit that he had wonderful painting technique. Love him or hate him, here is Lawson Wood…

Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Mike Fontanelli recently brought by a big stack of vintage Colliers magazines with Wood covers for us to scan as well. Check these babies out!

Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys

The other day, I was surfing blogs and I came across a post that popped my eyes on Will Finn’s blog, Small Room. It featured scans of a fabulous Wartime era calendar by Wood from Will’s collection. I dropped him a note and he generously brought it by for us to scan. Here are a few samples…

Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys
Lawson Wood's Monkeys

There are more images from this great calendar in Will’s article on Lawson Wood. If you haven’t bookmarked Will’s page yet, you should. Where else are you going to find inspiration and insight like the stuff on Will Finn’s Small Room?

For more info, see Bud Plant’s terrific Lawson Wood Bio. Many thanks to Will Finn and Mike Fontanelli for their generous support of this project.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

IllustrationIllustration

This posting is part of a series of articles comprising an online exhibit spotlighting Illustration.

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Posted by admin @ 1:42 pm

December 16th, 2014


Inbetweens: Wally Wood, the Michelangelo of Science Fiction Comics

Wally Wood Weird Science Fantasy

In 1950, Wally Wood convinced EC publisher William Gaines to create science fiction comic books. In Weird Science and Weird Fantasy (later combined into Weird Science Fantasy) Wood knocked the ball out of the park by pencilling and inking spectacular images that defined the way science fiction looked during the fifties.

During the 1970s, Wood’s health began to decline. He suffered from chronic headaches, alcoholism, kidney failure and strokes. The health problems led him to commit suicide in 1981. He left behind a legacy that will never be forgotten.

Here is a sampling of Wood’s work from around the net…

Wally Wood Weird Science Fantasy
Wally Wood Weird Science Fantasy
Wally Wood Weird Science Fantasy
Wally Wood Weird Science Fantasy
Wally Wood Weird Science Fantasy
Wally Wood Weird Science Fantasy
Wally Wood Weird Science Fantasy
Wally Wood Weird Science Fantasy
Wally Wood Weird Science Fantasy
Wally Wood Weird Science Fantasy
Wally Wood Weird Science Fantasy
Wally Wood Weird Science Fantasy
Wally Wood Weird Science Fantasy
Wally Wood Weird Science Fantasy

Wally had a tension in him, an intensity that he locked away in an internal steam boiler. I think it ate away his insides, and the work really used him up. I think he delivered some of the finest work that was ever drawn, and I think it’s to his credit that he put so much intensity into his work at great sacrifice to himself. –Harvey Kurtzman

Wally Wood Weird Science Fantasy
Wally Wood Weird Science FantasyWally Wood Weird Science Fantasy
Wally Wood Weird Science FantasyWally Wood Weird Science Fantasy
Wally Wood Weird Science FantasyWally Wood Weird Science Fantasy
Wally Wood Weird Science FantasyWally Wood Weird Science Fantasy
Wally Wood Weird Science FantasyWally Wood Weird Science Fantasy
Wally Wood Weird Science FantasyWally Wood Weird Science Fantasy
Wally Wood Weird Science FantasyWally Wood Weird Science Fantasy

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

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Posted by Stephen Worth @ 11:38 am

December 15th, 2014


KCET Artbound on Animation Resources

Artbound

KCET ARTBOUND: Animation Resources Aims To Build A Massive Digital Archive Of Cartoon Art

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Posted by Stephen Worth @ 10:30 am