Friday, November 17, 2017

Painting cartoons

Good painters don't always equal good cartoonists. Good cartoonists don't always equal good painters. I think it's hard to put those two world into one world where both make sense and even harder for both to be exceptional. Pound is an exception. Todd School, Mark Ryden, Dave Cooper and Robert Williams (Low Brow artists). It takes time to formulate the kind of approach that your cartoon work needs to build its strength and message. I started off essentially painting really closely over Lynch's concepts, but Lynch wasn't a realistic painter. He was a great cartoonist who painted some really awesome paintings in a different kind of non-realistic style. I think Bunk fits into that world. Robert Crumb the same thing. Those are Underground Comix guys. The majority have no real clue to the way painting works, but Pound, Williams and Schorr do in their cartoon paintings. You have to understand the rules and know how to push them and push them some more. Make them you're own. Have the confidence to bend them and don't just rely on simply the Pound-copying method. I think a lot of painters disregard this kind of artwork, but it's unfortunate because I guarantee that the best painter out there can't make a decent GPK if they give them a decade to do so. You have to love cartooning and have loved it since you were a kid. Cartooning is a language. You either speak it or you don't and if you haven't started since you were a kid it's very hard to be good at it now. From what I briefly read yesterday JungHwa didn't know what GPKs were until much later. It's unfortunate. GPKs changed us all. The groundwork is there for all of us if we know what they really are. A piece of them is in our soul. If we understand its satire. Its take on the language of our world and our fears. To understand the references and the underlying history of how they were shaped by playing card games, Looney Tunes (and Surrealism), Mad Magazine, Underground Comix scene and lastly Low Brow Art.(Unfortunately GPKs commercialism is what has retarded their fine art status, but that is another story). To be a cartoonist who let all this push and pull you while including your personal story and adding all these other pivotal artistic moments in an artist's life is what makes your vision unique and is what can make you great at it. If you just like copying a photograph or a picture or a model and not use that creative spark (imagination) then you are just a craftsman. It is fine if you are. You can be pretty successful at it, but you can't teach imagination and you can't teach determination and applying all your skills and all your history into the work you do. It's just too many things going on. You have to be a wielder of magic. That is what it takes to be a good creative cartoon realistic painter.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cartoon Stuff Part 1

The R. Crumb Coffee Table Art Book was one of the first books I purchased of Robert Crumb sometime in the turn of the century. The other one was "R. Crumb's Carload of Comics.

It didn't really register in my head what the impact of these books would mean to me. As a kid I collected cartoon animal books and drew them quite often. I was into animal books of any kind moreso than superhero books at least in the early parts of my childhood. I loved video games that had animal characters like BattleToads which is obviously inspired by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I also had the TMNT video games. The first one being uniquely an 8-bit looking game while the "Arcade" sequel was a badly colored version of the arcade, but your imagination filled the blanks.

I often drew Marvel and DC characters in anthropomorphic versions of themselves. I was into TMNT and made my own board game. It had 100 separate spaces to move across on the board game. It handed out pizzas and Pepsi 2-Litter drinks to the players to avoid losing a turn or dying.

I used to draw with Berol Markers (now Sandford Prismacolor) and Pilot Razor pens that after a decade have created fading purple marks around the images. They are no good! 

I was deeply into cartoons and horror stuff and they always seem to go so well together. I was pretty fascinated by horror movies of the 80's and 90's so the art I was drawing was evident of that focus. Some time in high school I started putting my child art into sketchbooks glued with badly rubber cement and now the art is pretty badly marked around the edges.

I was still heavily looking at comics and sometime in the late 80's=early 90's my mom got my a skateboard, some Batman figures from the new Tim Burton movie and two "graphic novels by the best writers of comics Alan Moore and Frank Miller. The Dark Knight Returns and The Killing Joke. I was so in love with these two books. I still have the original novels today. So it was no coincidence I decided to draw on of the images from TDKR. I can still smell and hear the marker streaking through the poster board (the matte side).

Another book I collected was a series by CFW Enterprises which I'm not sure if they still exist. The did a short run of comic book anthologies every month. The included Robo Warriors, Tales of the Kung-Fu Warriors, Tales of the Ninja Warriors & Shred. The cover is my favorite comic cover of all time. I think it just had this amazing impact not only visually, but because it was one of the first comic book (magazine in this case) that I ordered from the back of a comic. When it arrived in the mail it felt better than Christmas. I didn't know it was Ted McKeever who painted this and I didn't know about Eddy Current until many years later which then became another one of my favorite comic book series. I met Ted McKeever by chance sometime in the 2000's with some friends from work that went to a comic book convention in Ft. Lauderdale. He was great and I showed him my work and have me some advice. Frank Miller, Tec McKeever and Simon Bisley were the most instrumental creators that made me get into doing art as a career. Brom came later and created the kind of paintings I wanted to paint one day. 

I loved this one tale in there called Human Disease. I was so into skateboarding and even did a few comic things of my own, but it rarely went on to more than a page or two. My attention span then and today are the same. I move on to something else before I get really into something. It take a lot of discipline for me to stick with one thing. The only thing I can say I have stuck with are the cartoon kid stuff which I will go into a little later.

I got in contact with the artist Frank Gomez who ended up having a short run on several mainstream publishers, but from what I saw it just didn't have the vibe of the work he did in Shred. A pretty obscure indie book. It only lasted for 8 issues. I think CFW cancelled all their books and strickly worked on actual Ninja and Martial Arts magazines for the martial arts aficionados. You can buy ninja stars and kitana blades and that sort of thing. Not anything I cared for. I just wanted to read comic books that weren't about muscle dudes and porn star looking babes though I did like having the gal posters in my room of "real" women or so I thought at the time. I had that poster of Sandi Korn (Taylor). I think she was a regular guest in the Howard Stern show which I watched a little too much as a kid. Product of my father working late shifts at his job...thank goodness.

So this post was mostly for the R.Crumb books that got me hooked on Crumb for life. I didn't have friends that liked the same stuff growing up. I had a few comic book friends, but they all liked the typical stuff. I found a lot of these special artist I admired by chance or they ended up having a popular book that sold in an art store. This was before the internet where you can find almost anything these days of you search for the right things, but often it's more of a stumbling into something sort of thing.

The R. Crumb Coffee Table Art Book I own is a unique book. It actually is upside-down in a a few pages. I think it's usually called a misprinted book, but for a while I thought a lot of these were misprinted. So far I haven't found any online. If anyone knows of any please let me know.

Here are some pics of them all upside down.

If you are interested in purchasing the book it's available here.

More on Cartoon Stuff soon!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dennis the Menace x 2

This is the most fascinating example of coincidence in the history of anything creative...well in my opinion on this day anyways.  Dennis the Menace in the US is a classic troublemaker icon which probably inspired the likes of  Calvin & Hobbes and countless other pre-adolescent American boy images.  Well I didn't know some time ago there was a Dennis the Menace in the UK...thanks to the internet.  The wikipedia page on Dennis tells about how both of these comic strips began in March the same year (1951) just 5 days apart.  By sheer coincidence and similar creative waves at around the same time these two separate yet similar characters with the same name came about.  Something like this would be almost impossible to recreate today with the speed of the internet without one being the "copier", but in 1951 it was pretty remarkable.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Dogs, Elizabethan Collars and Music

My dog Bubba is always chewing himself where it becomes this nasty bloody whole in his fur.  I don't know one area in his body he has not thoroughly destroyed.  He has a lot of allergy problems and sometimes he needs to be stopped from further damaging his beautiful shiba inu coat.  I always thought his Elizabethan Collar looked like a lamp shade or looked twistedly like one of those classic RCA dog images.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Basil Gogos Frankenstein Painting

Original photo used to create one of the classic paintings of Frankenstein. One I used as reference to create Creatura 8. The lack of color photography or high expense of it may have influenced the artist to exaggerate the colors even more.  So the question I have in mind is whether it is okay to use a photograph directly if you have full right to?  In this case it is an assignment and the artist is an illustrator.  Basil Gogo's used the image and painted in the way he is best known for.  His palette is unmistakably his own and the mood he has created is almost unapparent in the bland photo reference to the left.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Frankenstein and Dracula Creatura Paintings

I love classic monsters from Hollywood, but who doesn't right?  I started my Creatura series in 2008 with some Garbage Pail Kids images and slowly evolved into monsters.  My Creaturas are images where I combine at least two images together in a painting to make one completely new image yet still having those unique shapes of the original images.  Sometimes it doesn't work and sometimes it does.  It takes a bot of work to make it work in preproduction and during the painting process itself.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Weird Image Inspiration

In this set I have no idea which came first since I don't know who the artist on the right is.  The one on the left is Glen Fabry in one of the paintings done for the comic book Preacher.  I just thought it was particular that an image of a winged demon on top of another figure one resembling the act of sex and the other in the act of sex.  Strange and full of impact and debatable on whether one was inspired by the other.