Archive for the ‘newspaper’ Category

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Editorial Cartoons: Len Norris, Master of Just About Everything

Len Norris

After the holidays, my pal Jo-Jo Baptista showed me a paperback book of political cartoons he picked up in a junk store when he was visiting his family. It was by a cartoonist I had never heard of before… Len Norris. The second I opened the book, I started to get excited. This guy had everything- great compositions, stylish design, solidly constructed characters, flawless perspective, funny drawings, great fabric folds, expressive hand poses, wild looking kids and animals- and he seemed to be able to draw anything from any angle. He caricatured automobiles and trains as well as the insides of gothic cathedrals and department stores, and depicted fabulous mansions as easily as he drew middle class living rooms. What a talent!

Len NorrisLen NorrisI did a little Googling and discovered that Norris worked as Art Director for Macleans magazines for a few years after WWII, then began a 27 year run as editorial cartoonist for the Vancouver Sun. Norris would lampoon stories from the paper, which he would refer to in a tiny box at the top or on the headline of a paper in a character’s hand. Today, without an understanding of the topical context, some of the gags are pretty puzzling. But it doesn’t matter- Norris’ drawings are spectacular.

It’s clear that Norris was inspired by the work of Ronald Searle, as are many current day animators. But Norris takes Searle’s ornamental line and wraps it around completely solid forms. This is exactly the sort of translation that a character designer would need to do if he wanted to adapt Searle’s style to an animatable model. But Norris isn’t just a Searle imitator. His characters are keenly observed and capture the spirit of Canadian culture in the 1950s. Look at these fantastic editorial cartoons and see if you don’t agree with Walt Kelly who was quoted as saying that Len Norris was “the best in the business”.

Len Norris
Len Norris
Len Norris
Len Norris
Len Norris
Len Norris
Len Norris
Len Norris
Len Norris
Len Norris
Len Norris
Len Norris
Len Norris
Len Norris
Len Norris
Len Norris
Len Norris
Len Norris
Len Norris
Len Norris
Len Norris
Len Norris
Len Norris
Len Norris
Len Norris
Len Norris
Len Norris
Len Norris
Len Norris
Len Norris

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resource

Editorial CartoonsEditorial Cartoons

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

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Comic Strips: Jimmy Swinnerton

Jimmy Swinnerton Little Jimmy

Today, in David Apatoff’s great blog Illustration Art I read the amazing life story of pioneer newspaper cartoonist Jimmy Swinnerton. David’s article is titled, Jimmy Swinnerton At The Dawn of Comic Strips, and it’s well worth reading.

David’s vivid history lesson inspired me to dig into our collection and post some more examples of Swinnerton’s pioneering genius. These images were donated by Jonathan Barli of Digital Funnies. Jonathan contributed thousands of high resolution scans of rare newspaper comics two years ago, and we are just now finishing up processing the images for inclusion in our database.

As I always say when I post newspaper comics… if you’re one of those folks who don’t click on the images because you don’t think it’s worth the time it takes to read… YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE MISSING!

Jimmy Swinnerton Little Jimmy
Jimmy Swinnerton Little Jimmy
Jimmy Swinnerton Little Jimmy
Jimmy Swinnerton Little Jimmy
Jimmy Swinnerton Little Jimmy
Jimmy Swinnerton Little Jimmy
Jimmy Swinnerton Little Jimmy

Here are some magazine illustrations by Swinnerton from the late 20s…

Jimmy Swinnerton Little Jimmy
Jimmy Swinnerton Little Jimmy
Jimmy Swinnerton Little Jimmy
Jimmy Swinnerton Little Jimmy
Jimmy Swinnerton Little Jimmy
Jimmy Swinnerton Little Jimmy
Jimmy Swinnerton Little Jimmy
Jimmy Swinnerton Little Jimmy
Jimmy Swinnerton Little Jimmy

Many thanks to Jonathan Barli and David Apatoff for their great work!

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

Newspaper ComicsNewspaper Comics
This posting is part of the online Encyclopedia of Cartooning under the subject heading, Newspaper Comics.

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Sports Cartooning: Master of the Sports Page, Karl Hubenthal

Karl Hubenthal

Karl HubenthalKarl HubenthalBefore the development of high speed film stock and long telephoto lenses, newspapers’ sports pages were illustrated with cartoons, not photographs. To be perfectly honest, one baseball game looks pretty much like any other in still photos, so it was the job of the sports cartoonist to get across the spirit of the game in his drawings. Ozark collected clippings by the greatest of all sports cartoonists, Willard Mullin, as well as one I had never heard of before, Karl Hubenthal. Hubenthal drew for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, and although I grew up in Los Angeles, my family subscribed to the L.A. Times. I had no idea that this genius cartoonist was working in my own hometown up into the 1980s. His cartoons have phenomenal energy and sense of humor as well as solid draftsmanship.

Bob Staake has created a fantastic website devoted to “Hubie”, as Karl Hubenthal was known to his friends. There’s a fascinating biography as well as a must-read article written by Hubenthal in 1966 titled, “Reflections of an Editorial Cartoonist”. You should take the time to click through and read these. Hubenthal’s career and philosophy are a model for young cartoonists. He studied under Herriman and Mullin, and considered himself part of the continuity of the history of cartooning that stretched back to Daumier, Gillray and Hogarth. There aren’t many cartoonists today with that sort of foundation in the history of their artform.

Here. courtesy of the clip file of Jack Ozark are some great examples of the work of Karl Hubenthal…

DALIES

Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal

SPECIAL EDITION COVERS

Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal

POLITICAL CARTOONS

Karl Hubenthal
Karl Hubenthal

There are a lot more great cartoons in the Ozark files. Let me know in the comments if you would like to see more.

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Archive

Editorial CartoonsEditorial Cartoons

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