Search For Treasures

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everybody!!

May everyone get what their heart desires!

May those who are less unfortunate this time of year find hope and healing. I send my love to all of you!

Joyeaux Noel!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Alice in Comicbook Land Pt. 5 (Finis)

We're in the final stretch people. How will Alice fare in the Queen's makeshift trial? Probably not well. And we're off!

Here's a little cursory sum up of the whole comic. For those of you who weren't paying attention the first time.

Thank you for taking the time to read through this. I hope you've all enjoyed it. It was a nice little comic. It skipped other parts of the film (the Walrus and the Carpenter, all of the songs, etc.) but it was entertaining enough. However, Riey Thompson may not have been the best pick for drawing this. His drawing chops probably were not up to the task of drawing a more realistic character like Alice. Still, he did a good job.

Coming up soon: More Carl Barks and Uncle Scrooge!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Richard Williams Commercials

Richard Williams is a fascinating figure in animation history. He was a man with great ambitions for animation, but unfortunately was undone by his lack of financial stability.

During the 1970s, he brought some of the best of the Golden Age animators such as Art Babbitt, Ken Harris, and Grim Natwick to England to teach his animators how it all was done. That helped improve the quality of the animated commercials Richard Williams provided by lightyears. Here are some samples of the work his studio did.

The only issue I have with these is Williams' insistence of animating on ones. Now, in some cases, it could be beneficial such as if you were animating in a more realistic fashion. However, it can be a bad habit if you are animating more cartoony characters such as Goofy and Donald Duck in the Fanta commercials. Doing it all on ones gives the feeling as if they're somewhat floating and not entirely grounded.

I hope to reach that level of expertise that Richard Williams and his animators reached in these commercials.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

More of Gulbransson's Magic Line

Today, I give you more of Olaf Gulbransson and his magic lines. They flow so smoothly, like a classical symphony. These are the rest of them from the book on Simplicissimus I have.

"Excuse me, please, don't you have anything depraved here? But not too bad, so a man can take his wife along."

Calm Sea
"You have such charm, Fred! I admire your tastefully composed personality."

"And bring me back a fig leaf from Italy. I can't afford a suit any more."

The Last Foothold
"I don't believe in God any more, I don't believe in people any more-and now you want to make me sick of cards, too!"

After Dinner
"Of course, you still have to hold that big gawky boy on your lap!"
"Let me alone. You need your paper for your digestion, I need my motherly love."

"The tedesco can't even do that without his book!"

The Power of Music
"When I hear them play, I love them both. After the concert I prefer a prizefighter."

I hope you've enjoyed them.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Bob and Ray and MAD

Hello fellow bloggers and those who like my rambling. We have more MAD goodness. THis time we're going back to even earlier in MAD's history. In the mid to late 1950s, MAD would often bring in guest writers to write articles for them. Among them would be famous humorists such as Wally Cox and Jean Shepherd (the man behind A Christmas Story). Even the famous Danny Kaye contributed one or two things to the magazine.

These particular comic-strip articles (it feels weird calling these things just articles) are from, and starring, the incredible comedy duo of Bob and Ray.

Bob and Ray was made up of Robert Brackett Elliott (b. March 26, 1923) and Raymond Walter Goulding (March 20, 1922 - March 24, 1990).

They were mainly radio comedians, specializing in needling radio's pretentiousness, sentimentality, and silliness, according to author and cultural critic Gerald Nachman. They were sharp satirists who blazed the trail for future comedians such as Mort Sahl, Jonathan Winters, and Bob Newhart. Though they were mainstays of radio, they did do television off and on. They hosted a TV version of their show on NBC from 1951 - 1953.

These comics use the duo's classic character, radio/TV interviewer Wally Ballou (winner of 16 diction awards). He is played by Bob Elliott. The men he interviews are portrayed by Ray Goulding.


From MAD Issue No. 36 (December 1957)
Illustrated by Mort Drucker

I love the Henry Syverson flavored cartoons in this. Mort Drucker was probably inspired by him, or at least appreciated his work.

From MAD Issue No. 41 (September 1958)
Illustrated by Mort Drucker

I greatly admire these, not the least of which is the astonishing work of Mort Drucker. He perfectly captured the attitude and sensibility of Bob and Ray's humor. His artwork also adds another dimension to it.

Both comics/articles perfectly capture the atmosphere of early television. The first comic is the banality of the studio interview. You see people rushing around in the back, albeit in a more cartoony way, but it wholly encapsulates that spirit. The second one caricatures the whole unpredictable facet of television. Writing and art coalesce into a hilarious send-up of the medium and those that participate in it.

Notice how in the two articles, Ray's characters do not look exactly the same. In the first one, he appears more as the devious, greasy scumbag he plays. In the rocket launch episode, he is shown more as a portly middle-aged man with an overabundant feeling of self-worth. Drucker's cartoons show the distinct difference in nature between the characters, all through his powerful cartooning. As David Apatoff said, Drucker approached each caricature and article with a clean slate. No one Drucker cartoon looks exactly alike.

Mort Drucker's work fits Bob and Ray as much as George Cruikshank matches the world of Charles Dickens.

Sadly, after the 1950s, MAD no longer used outside writers, preferring to stick with their own staff. Real shame.

More MAD goodness to come, amongst other things.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Jack Rickard: Under appreciated MAD genius

Hello Everybody!! I'm finally back!! This time I bring the MAD goodness of Jack Rickard. To me, he is an under-appreciated artist. When I hear discussions of the MAD cartoonists, many people cite Don Martin, Sergio Aragones, and Mort Drucker. I want to add another Jack Rickard into the discussion. He was just as talented and creative as the other men. I guess because he died earlier than the others (he died in 1983) is why.

Below I have an article from MAD Issue no. 104 (July 1966) that proves my point.

These are absolutely beautiful drawings!! They're also funny and bitingly satiric. He can accurately satirize the human body and its language. That is a true gift.

Here we see him show us the psychology of two students at Mediocrity University through body language alone. These are two people only concerned their next hit of dope or the next rock concert. They live for today only. You can also see they are quite annoyed to be interviewed by the dean and some bimbo from MAD.

I especially love this piece. Jack Rickard gives us three different type of people. There is no generic look for people in his work. Each drawing stands out as an individual. Why can't we have people like this working in animation. There would be so much more variety in character design.

Actually it looks like he might be influenced by Paul Coker Jr. by the way he uses line.

I hope you've enjoyed. I'll try to get more of my MAD collection online. Later days!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Olaf Gulbransson: Master of Line

Today kiddies, I bring you more German cartoon goodness!! This time, we have the undisputed master of line, Olaf Gulbransson! This is the man that Al Hirschfeld looked to for inspiration.

Olaf Gulbransson was born in Oslo, Norway on May 26, 1873. At 17 years old, he began to contribute illustrations to Norwegian magazines such as Tyrihans, the Norwegian satirical magazine. During this time, he studied at the prestigious Academie Colarossi in Paris. He began to contribute to Simplicissimus in 1902. In 1929, be became a professor at the art academy of Munich. I would love to have him as my teacher.

He was a well-known artist, even gaining an exhibition at the art academy in Berlin in 1933. Two days later, the Nazi party shut it down. He continued to contribute to the magazine until it's cancellation in 1944.

He died in Tegernsee, Germany on September 18, 1958.

I shall be translating from the original German.

"You have no children, Mr. Guschelhauer?"
"No, we aren't acrobats, you know."

In the Night Spot
"Miss, do you too have something in your character that you constantly have to fight against?"

A Friendly Suggestion
"We can now bring the stories in the Bible into agreement with the natural sciences. According to the latest research, Adam did not accept the apple from Eve; our first mother therefore gave it to a gorilla. An thus Darwin's theory is proven."

Isadora Duncan
"Orpheus and Eurydice. Rhythmic study based on Euripides' Bacchae. Bacchus and Ariadne, a dance based on Titian's painting of the name. "Mein kleine Danz is finished"."

"Min, I wish you could have the same sensation that I do of seeing the inventors of the splendid grammatical construction facere non possum ut non or quin walking amongst these ruins in the flesh." *

A Fit of Debility
"Look at that!" ... "Eh, old man, now I've got to help you up again?"

The Height of Fashion
Inspired by Rabindranath Tagore, fashionable Berlin practices contemplation of the navel.

*Appendage: This is the town of Tivoli outside of Rome. The Latin construction admired by this Gymnasium teacher means "I cannot help (doing something)".

All of these cartoons and translations come from a book called Simplicimuss, a collection of 180 cartoons from the magazine, collected and edited by Stanley Aplebaum.

I hope you enjoyed this first batch of Gulbransson cartoons. Stay tuned for more!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Alice in Comicbook Land Pt. 4

Here we are again with Alice's adventures in Looneyville! Hope you enjoy the ride!

See you next time!!