November 24th, 2020

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Magazine Cartoons: James Montgomery Flagg’s Nervy Nat

James Montgomery Flagg

James Montgomery FlaggJames Montgomery FlaggJames Montgomery Flagg is best known for his iconic recruitment posters like the one above, but he was also an accomplished magazine illustrator and cartoonist as well.

In 1890 at the age of 12, James presented himself and a group of sketches at the offices of St. Nicholas Magazine, the leading illustrated children’s publication of the time. He was shown to the office of one of the editors who looked at his drawings and determined that he showed promise. The editor praised the boy’s work and encouraged his parents to seek out art training for him. Flagg took classes at the Art Students’ League in New York, and within two years, he was a regular contributor to St. Nicholas, and Life magazine, and eventually landed a staff position at Judge. Alongside great artists like Grant Hamilton and Eugene Zimmerman, Flagg flourished, becoming one of the top illustrators of his day.

James Montgomery Flagg

Flagg was very versatile, and his sketches of beautiful women were just as well drawn as his caricatured cartoons. He was outspoken and critical of the art community. He once said that "the difference between the artist and the illustrator is that the latter knows how to draw, eats three square meals a day, and can pay for them."

From 1903 to 1907, Flagg drew a comic strip for Judge titled, "Nervy Nat". It appears to be based on the early vaudeville perfomances of W.C. Fields. Here are some examples of the strip from 1906 and 1907.

James Montgomery Flagg
James Montgomery Flagg
James Montgomery Flagg
James Montgomery Flagg
James Montgomery Flagg
James Montgomery Flagg
James Montgomery Flagg
James Montgomery Flagg
James Montgomery Flagg
James Montgomery Flagg
James Montgomery Flagg
James Montgomery Flagg

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 @ 12:18 pm

November 23rd, 2020

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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 @ 12:06 pm

November 20th, 2020

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Animation: Terrytoons Studio Tour 1939

Terry Production Process

Carlo Vinci and Connie Rasinski

Terry Production Process

Bill Weiss, Paul Terry, unknown, Larry Silverman, Carlo Vinci

Recently, the family of the legendary animator, Carlo Vinci lent us two 8mm films to transfer for the archive. I’ll post about the other one soon, but today I have a special treat for you… a color film outlining the animation production process from Terrytoons in 1939!

Here are frame grabs of most of the people appearing in this short. If you can identify anyone, please let us know in the comments below.

Terrytoons Makin Em Move

Animator Carlo Vinci

Terrytoons Makin Em Move

Terrytoons Makin Em Move

Story Man Larry Silverman

Terrytoons Makin Em Move

Story Man Tommy Morrison

Terrytoons Makin Em Move

Music Director Phil Scheib and Director Connie Rasinski

Terrytoons Makin Em Move

Animator Jim Whipp and his assistant

Terrytoons Makin Em Move

Terrytoons Makin Em Move

Terrytoons Makin Em Move

Terrytoons Makin Em Move

Makin’ Em Move (Terry/1939)
(Quicktime 7 / 30.7 megs)

Here is the cartoon we see the artists working on in this film…

Terrytoons Harvest Time

Terrytoons Harvest Time

Terrytoons Harvest Time

Terrytoons Harvest Time

Harvest Time (Terry/1940)
(Quicktime 7 / 13.8 megs)

Mike Fontanelli shares this great collection of Terry-Toons lobby cards with us…

Terrytoons Lobby Card
Terrytoons Lobby Card
Terrytoons Lobby Card
Terrytoons Lobby Card
Terrytoons Lobby Card
Terrytoons Lobby Card
Terrytoons Lobby Card
Terrytoons Lobby Card

Stephen Worth
Director
Animation Resources

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 @ 11:41 am