December 14th, 2018

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Comic Strips: Cady and Fisher- Masters of the Bird’s Eye View

Right Around Home by Dudley Fisher
Dudley Fisher

Harrison CadyHarrison CadyHarrison Cady was one of the most famous and prolific cartoonists of the early decades of the 20th century. Although he is best known as the illustrator of Thornton W. Burgess’ Peter Rabbit series of books, and the cartoonist behind the newspaper comic bearing the same name, Cady was an active illustrator as well. His illustrations and comics appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, The Ladies Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Life, St. Nicholas Magazine and Boys’ Life.

These “bird’s eye views” are masterpieces of visual organization. Instead of just one overall composition, there are dozens spread all through the image. The amount of planning and pencil milage that must have gone into these complex images is impressive.

Animation Resources supporter, Jonathan Barli of Digital Funnies contributed these amazing scans to the archive database. Jonathan is hard at work on an important project- documenting and restoring early cartoons and comics in digital form. When I spoke to him about Animation Resources, he instantly understood what we are trying to do. Jonathan has donated high resolution TIFF images of his entire collection to Animation Resources.

Here is a selection of Cady’s Birds’ Eye View illustrations for Boys’ Life magazine…

Harrison Cady
Harrison Cady
Harrison Cady
Harrison Cady
Harrison Cady
Harrison Cady

Here is a similar format comic… "Right Around Home".

Right Around Home by Dudley FisherRight Around Home by Dudley FisherDudley Fisher was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1890. He studied to be an architect, but dropped out to take a job as a layout artist at the Columbus Dispatch. After returning from WWI, Fisher created a comic strip called "Jolly Jingles". Year after year, he cranked out rhyming verse until he couldn’t stand it any more. In December of 1937 he decided to take a break from jingles and draw what Christmas on his grandmother’s farm would be like (if he had a grandmother and she lived on a farm!) He drew it as one big full page panel and readers immediately took to it and clamored for more. King Features picked up the strip and titled it "Right Around Home". These great Sunday pages date from early in the run- 1939.

Right Around Home by Dudley Fisher
Right Around Home by Dudley Fisher
Right Around Home by Dudley Fisher
Right Around Home by Dudley Fisher
Right Around Home by Dudley Fisher
Right Around Home by Dudley Fisher
Right Around Home by Dudley Fisher
Right Around Home by Dudley Fisher
Right Around Home by Dudley Fisher
Right Around Home by Dudley Fisher
Right Around Home by Dudley Fisher

When asked by a young artist what sorts of pens and paper to use to draw cartoons, Fisher recommended not worrying about things like that, saying "I feel certain that Michaelangelo could have done a masterpiece on meat wrapping paper with a toothbrush and shoe polish. It’s all got to come out of the artist- not the ink bottle."

Thanks for the wonderful scans, Jonathan!

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

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

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Posted by admin @ 12:38 pm

December 12th, 2018

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Students: Are You This Dedicated?

Yesterday, I received an email that changed the way I think about the world we live in and the work we do here at Animation Resources…

Zim Copy

A gentleman sent me photos of a hand drawn book that he had found. It consisted of a cover to cover copy of “How To Draw Funny Pictures” by E. C Matthews and Eugene "Zim" Zimmerman. He told me that the book consisted of over 80 carefully drawn pages, each one dated with a date from the early Spring to the Fall of 1940. He asked me what it could have been made for. I started to explain that it looked like a student’s copy of the book, but then I stopped and thought for a moment…

Zim Copy

Why would a student copy a book text and all? It was a mystery. But the more I thought about it, the more the explanation became clear.. This book was published in 1928. By 1940, it would have been long out of print. The only place a student could access a copy was at the public library. But back then, they didn’t have Xerox machines or cell phones with cameras. The only way a student could get a copy of the book for himself would be to copy it by hand. This student obviously saw the incredible value of these lessons and wanted a copy of them to work with… so he spent week after week for months going to the library to copy every page by hand. Think about that for a minute. Imagine the dedication it would take to resolve yourself to copy a whole book by hand just so you would always have access to its information.

Zim Copy

Today, we’re spoiled. If we want to see great artwork, we can Google it up from the internet. If we want a book to study, we just order it from Amazon and it’s delivered to our doorstep in two days. We take it for granted that all of this information is available to us so easily. We don’t have to spend the time that this artist did. I can’t even fathom how precious this sketchbook copy must have been to him. He invested his time and energy into fully absorbing it page after page, week after week, until the information became a part of him. As he got deeper into the book, he must have grown as an artist as well.

Zim Copy

Now I’m not recommending that students hand copy important books. But I do want to get across the idea that the material artists feed their brains with is important to their growth. We should appreciate the motherlode of great reference material we have access to. Animation Resources republished the entire Zim Course for its members— over 700 pages of great lessons, advice and inspiration. I’m sure a lot of you have it sitting on your hard drives and you’ve spent some time browsing it. But have you spent the time and energy to absorb it to the degree that this artist did? We should all have that much dedication!

Zim Copy

Every other month, Animation Resources publishes an e-book just as great as this one. They’re jam packed with valuable and relevant information from the past to help you grow as an artist. Ralph Bakshi once commented that he hopes the kid artists out there appreciate the treasures that Animation Resources shares with them. Ralph didn’t have those sorts of opportunities when he was first starting out. But today, artists who are members of Animation Resources get the good stuff that he he spent years researching and seeking out handed to them every other month as a convenient digital download.

Zim Copy

If you are an artist who is interested in bettering yourself with new ideas, new skills and great inspiration and you aren’t a member of Animation Resources, you should ask yourself if you are as dedicated to reaching your goals as this artist was. Do you appreciate the work Animation Resources is doing? If so, why haven’t you joined yet?

Every other month, you can receive a Reference Pack with an e-book and downloadable animated films… the sort of thing that would have made the artist who meticulously copied this book jump for joy. Support the group that supports your growth as an artist. Dedicate yourself to helping us raise the bar for cartooning, illustration and animation. It’s worth it. The foundation of knowledge from the past will help us create a whole new world that surpasses the Golden Age. What are you waiting for?

CLICK To Join Animation Resources
https://animationresources.org/membership/levels/

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Posted by Stephen Worth @ 12:00 pm

December 10th, 2018

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Illustration: Tenggren’s D’Aulnoy, Good Dog and Winged Horse

Tenggren

Just in case you aren’t convinced yet that Gustaf Tenggren is one of the most amazing children’s book illustrators of all time, here are three more persuasive arguments. These two books were published in 1923 and 1924, a very busy period for Tenggren. He had recently relocated to New York City, and he illustrated no less than eight books in a very short period of time. Make sure to click through the links to our other Tenggren posts at the bottom of this article to see more of his beautiful work.

D’AULNOY’S FAIRY TALES

Tenggren
Tenggren
Tenggren
Tenggren
Tenggren
Tenggren
Tenggren
Tenggren
Tenggren
Tenggren

THE GOOD DOG BOOK

Tenggren
Tenggren
Tenggren
Tenggren
Tenggren

SMALL FRY AND THE WINGED HORSE

Gustaf Tenggren Small Fry and the Winged Horse

This book, Small Fry and the Winged Horse was first published in 1927. Notice how confident and swift his brushstrokes are… how well he conveys the texture of foliage, fabric, fur and the sea… and how clear and interesing his compositions are. His expressions and body poses are always full of life, particularly when he is depicting children.

Gustaf Tenggren Small Fry and the Winged Horse

Gustaf Tenggren Small Fry and the Winged Horse

Gustaf Tenggren Small Fry and the Winged Horse

Gustaf Tenggren Small Fry and the Winged Horse

Gustaf Tenggren Small Fry and the Winged Horse

Gustaf Tenggren Small Fry and the Winged Horse

Gustaf Tenggren Small Fry and the Winged Horse

Gustaf Tenggren Small Fry and the Winged Horse

Gustaf Tenggren Small Fry and the Winged Horse

Gustaf Tenggren Small Fry and the Winged Horse

Gustaf Tenggren Small Fry and the Winged Horse

Lines and Colors posted a nice feature on Tenggren this week.

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 @ 12:30 pm