August 31st, 2015

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Pinups: Jack Cole And More Great 50s Playboy Cartoonists

50s Playboy Cartoonists

Today, we continue our series of posts on the great cartoonists who worked for Playboy magazine over the years. Today, we feature artists from the late 1950s. Starting with…

JACK COLE

More than any other artist who worked at Playboy, Jack Cole was most responsible for establishing the tone and style of the single panel full page cartoons that appeared in its pages His watercolor technique was loose and free, but the overall impression was brilliantly planned out and remarkably expressive.

50s Plastic Man Jack Cole50s Plastic Man Jack ColeBorn in 1914 in New Castle Pennsylvania, Cole was a self-taught artist. At age 17, he bicycled across the country to Los Angeles and sold the story of his odyssey, along with his own illustrations, to Boy’s Life. After graduating from High School, he moved to New York and took up work in the comic book business. He moved up through the ranks at Harry A. Chesler, Centaur Publications and Lev Gleeson on a variety of crime and action comics. In 1940, he assisted WIll Eisner on The Spirit, ghosting the strip when Eisner was drafted during the War. He is best known though, as the creator of the Marvel superhero, Plastic Man.

In 1954, Cole began selling one panel "girlie" cartoons to various magazines, and his work caught the attention of the editors of the fledgling publication, Playboy. For the next few years, Cole’s cartoons appeared in every issue, until his untimely suicide in 1958. Here are a few of Cole’s beautiful watercolors from the late 1950s…

50s Playboy Cartoonist Jack Cole
50s Playboy Cartoonist Jack Cole
50s Playboy Cartoonist Jack Cole
50s Playboy Cartoonist Jack Cole
50s Playboy Cartoonist Jack Cole

Here’s a Valentine’s Day feature by Cole…

Jack Cole Shel Silverstein Valentine Gift

Jack Cole Shel Silverstein Valentine Gift

Jack Cole Shel Silverstein Valentine Gift

JACK DAVIS

When you think of Jack Davis, you probably think of his work with Harvey Kurtzman at Mad magazine, his covers for TV Guide, his advertising work and movie posters, and perhaps the Little Annie Fanny comics he painted for Kurtzman at Playboy. But you don’t normally think of him as a one-panel cartoonist. Here’s a rare example…

50s Playboy Cartoonist Jack Davis

CHARLES W. MILLER

I don’t have any info on Charles W. Miller. His tighter style is closer to the illustrators who worked for Colliers in the late 1940s than it is the washy, stylized work of Dedini, Sokol or Cole. But he was obviously a very accomplished artist- check out the sophisticated lighting in the second example for proof of that. If you know details of his biography, please post to the comments below.

50s Playboy Cartoonist Charles W Miller
50s Playboy Cartoonist Charles W Miller

AL STINE

Al Stine is still living, painting and teaching in South Carolina. In fact, he recently started doing editorial cartoons for the Anderson South Carolina Independent Mail. His masterful transparent watercolor technique really sets him apart. If you enjoy his work, drop him an email through his website- AlStine.com. It would be nice if someone out there would interview him and collect the info for our Biography Page.

50s Playboy Cartoonist Al Stine
50s Playboy Cartoonist Al Stine


If you’re a fan of Playboy artists like Cole, Dedini, Wilson and Sokol, you will want to get this great collection of cartoons, Playboy: 50 Years- The Cartoons. Check it out!

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

Magazine CartoonsMagazine Cartoons

This posting is part of the online Encyclopedia of Cartooning under the subject heading, Magazine Cartoons.

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Posted by admin @ 1:29 pm

August 28th, 2015

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Animation: A Drawing Lesson From Walter Lantz

Walter Lantz

Walter Lantz was one of animation’s pioneers. His career in animation went all the way back to 1917, when he was an assistant working at the Hearst cartoon studio under the supervision of Gregory LaCava. He became a director for Bray, creating the Dinky Doodle series, where he appeared in live action alongside the animated title character.

He moved to Hollywood in 1927 and worked for a time as a gag man for Mack Sennett and Hal Roach. A friendship with Universal studio chief, Carl Laemmle led to Lantz heading up his own studio at Universal. For the nearly half a century, Lantz produced great cartoons starring Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Andy Panda, Woody Woodpecker and Chilly Willy. He won ASIFA-Hollywood’s highest honor, the Winsor McCay Award in 1973.

Animation Resources supporter, Rich Borowy has been hard at work digitizing vintage television tapes from his personal collection for the Archive Database. Here is an example of the treasures he is contributing. This is an episode of the prime-time Woody Woodpecker Show from 1964. In this episode, Walter Lantz gives the kids in the audience a basic drawing lesson by showing a few of his staff artists at work. Included in this clip are Paul J. Smith and one of the few female animators from the golden age of animation, LaVerne Harding.

Walter Lantz Woody Woodpecker Show

Walter Lantz Woody Woodpecker Show

Walter Lantz Woody Woodpecker Show

The best part about this program is that it includes the original commercials… and they are all animated! There are Kellogg’s spots by Lantz’s own studio starring Woody, as well as examples from Hanna-Barbera and Jay Ward.

Walter Lantz Woody Woodpecker Show

Walter Lantz Woody Woodpecker Show

Walter Lantz Woody Woodpecker Show

Walter Lantz Woody Woodpecker Show

Click on the link below to see a clip from this great TV program. Many thanks to Rich Borowy for sharing this with us!

Walter Lantz Woody Woodpecker Show

Woody Woodpecker Show (Lantz/1964)
(Quicktime 7 / 13.8 megs)

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

INSTRUCTIONINSTRUCTION

This posting is part of an online series of articles dealing with Instruction.
Animated CartoonsAnimated Cartoons

This posting is part of the online Encyclopedia of Cartooning under the subject heading, Animation.

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Posted by admin @ 1:01 pm

August 27th, 2015

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Illustration: Rojankovsky’s Frog Went A Courtin

Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin

Animation Resources supporter, Kent Butterworth dropped by with a wonderful children’s book by the great illustrator Feodor Rojankovsky. Titled, Frog Went A-Courtin’, this book won the Caldicot Prize in 1955 for Best Children’s Picture Book of the year.

Rojankovsky was born in Russia in 1891, and served in the Russian army in the first World War. He spent some time in France, then emigrated to the United States when war broke out again in 1940. He was a prolific illustrator, creating over 100 picture books for Western Publishing’s Golden Books line and for other publishers as well. When asked how be began his interest in art, he replied…

Two great events determined the course of my childhood. l was taken to the zoo and saw the most marvelous creatures on earth: bears, tigers, monkeys and reindeer, and, while my admiration was running high, l was given a set of color crayons. Naturally, I began immediately to depict the animals which captured my imagination. Also when my eider brothers, who were in schools in the capital, came home for vacation, I tried to copy their drawings and to imitate their paintings.

Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin

Later when l went to school in Reval Tallinn, an ancient town on the shores of the Baltic sea, my love for art was enhanced and strengthened by a passion for nature. Tallinn was surrounded by forest. The sea presented wonderful opportunities for excursions and study of sea life. But there were also steamers, sailboats, flags, and all the excitement of a port. This was no less exciting than playing Red Indians or reading James Fenimore Cooper, the beloved author of all Russian children before, during, and after the Revolution.

SELECTED ILLUSTRATIONS FROM
FROG WENT A-COURTIN’

>Make sure to click on these to see them large. Rojankovsky was a master of texture, and the smaller size images don’t show that as well.

Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin
Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin
Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin
Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin
Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin
Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin
Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin
Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin
Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin
Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin
Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin
Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin
Rojankovsky Frog Went A Courtin

RojankovskyRojankovskyIf you like this book, you’re in luck… it’s still in print. You can find it at Amazon.

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 @ 2:06 pm