Thursday, May 21, 2015

CARICATURES OF...GUESS WHO?

Here they are: more caricatures of me! NO, I'M NOT A NARCISSIST! I just thought  artists might find these useful because they're drawn in so many different styles.

Okay, what do you think of this one (above) by Amid? I like the way the nose and muzzle leap out of the page.

For comparison, I just took a wide-angle picture of myself. Even on that setting I couldn't get the muzzle anywhere near as big as Amid drew it...and yet his version works fine.



Haw! I'd just gotten a haircut (above) when I happened to meet John. The caption reads: "The New, Improved Ed!"


Above, another of my haircuts, also by John. I think he lays in wait in the bushes outside the barber shop.


Mike did this one (above). I mentioned that I tried a new brand of soap, and this was the result.


Above, me with dog ears. By John, of course.


Me. John. Geez, this a beautiful drawing!


Above, me drawn by Katie. Yikes! I have a "V" shaped head!


Last but not least: me on a pizza-stained place mat. Artist unknown.


Saturday, May 16, 2015

RANDOM EDDIE DRAWINGS

 What the heck was this sketch (above) for? Was it for this Theory Corner site? I only remember that I started to copy Tee Hee's Kate Hepburn then changed my mind and drew it the way I like to draw women.

I made her a mystery woman..."Madam X."


Above, Ghengis's horse remembers the good old days before he and his master split up. 



These sketches (above) were for Disney's "Nightmare Ned." In this dream Ned lives in a dollhouse and invites his tormentors, The Evil Twins, in for a cup of tea.



Yikes! Looking like it's been stepped on several times, here's (above) more panels from the Ghengis storyboard.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

COMIC BOOK STAGING

I'm reading Mike Barrier's new book about the Golden Age of Dell comics. It's pretty impressive. I could happily blog for a month on subjects I've already read about and I'm less than a third of the way through. 

By way of a sample I thought I'd expand on Mike's discussion of rhythm in the Carl Barks duck stories. The opinions and the examples (badly scanned; sorry about that) are mostly mine but it's all informed by things that Mike wrote. Read it and see what you think.
   

Barks was expert at compressing a story into just the right number of panels. Read the page above where Donald's fishing boat sinks to the bottom of the sea then is yanked out by a whale and deposited on land. In the hands of a lesser storyteller that might have taken two pages at least. Barks does it in one. 


Here's (above) a detail showing the first two panels. Donald is pulled into the upside-down boat, then the cables go slack, then the boat is lowered into the water...and none of that is shown! All the information I just mentioned is implied in just one drawing that shows him already in the boat and shows the boat already submerged. 

Barks gets on with the plot and doesn't burden us with inessentials.


Above, another detail showing the second two panels. The ship settles on the bottom, the cabin floods, the ducks stress out, and the snagged whale doubles back. Amazingly, all this information is contained in only two panels!!!


One more detail: the whale doubles back pulling one of the cables with it. This could have been a large upshot panel showing the massive whale passing overhead. Instead it's handled in one simple side-shot. Imagine how flamboyantly Sterenko or Buscema or manga would have handled this. Not so with Barks. He tenaciously regards the whale's turn-around as just one more plot point.

Don't get me wrong. I don't mean to understate Barks' achievement here. He's established a powerful rhythm in the page and he rightly doesn't allow himself to digress with a  beauty shot of the whale.


Good page rhythm didn't exactly come natural to Barks, he had to figure it out. Here's (above) an earlier Barks story where the rhythm didn't work at all. So how did Barks make the change? The book hints that he got some help from Floyd Gottfredson. Mike quotes Barks account of a meeting they had:



Sorry for the crude scan. I didn't want to hurt the book's binding by pressing it on the scanner so I allowed the edge to blur. Anyway, Mike's interpretation of Gottfredson's advice was that Barks should give greater emphasis to the psychological aspects of his stories. Barks presumably did and the tighter focus might be what improved his staging.

Talking about Gottfredson, what do you think about his staging? I'm a huge fan of the man but I'm slightly put off by the Tin-Tin type regularity of the layouts. Even so, an artist who had difficulty with backgrounds could find few better influences .


Sunday, May 10, 2015

EDDIE DRAWINGS

Here's part of a doodle script I did for a film that was never made. We were between shows at Spumco and John allowed me to write this while we were were waiting for the next thing.

Doodling is a great way to do a script for first-time, try-out characters because you quickly find out whether the characters work visually. In this case the girl character worked fine, but the guy didn't.








Friday, May 08, 2015

MORE EDDIE CARICATURES

Here's more sketches that other artists did of me, starting with one above by John K. The man's incredible! He's always trying new techniques!


Bruce did this one (above). That's me in the middle. His Kent Butterworth on the extreme left is definitive and so is his Art Vitello. That's Art holding the cup of coffee.

Also in the picture: Rich Aarons, Ken Boyer, Girard Baldwin and Art Leonardi.


 What's going on here (above)? It's a John caricature, that's obvious. It looks like an Arab cab driver, or rather a camel driver, is taking me to L.A. while I count money for some reason. I have no idea what prompted this.

How do you like the camel driver's socks and sock garters?


Here's (above) how I draw myself: suave and slim with lots of hair. It's a lie I know, but I can't see myself any other way. 

  
Haw! Nobody else draws me as suave. I don't see how they can fail to see it. Above, an anonymous unsuave sketch of me geeking out over Chaplin. 


This one (above) was done by my daughter in McDonald's. She sees me as having an  immense stone face which is home to colonies of bacteria and scabs. Yikes!


Thursday, May 07, 2015

CLIFF MAY: ARCHITECT [EXPANDED]


Living in California has convinced me that the most interesting part of a modern house is the roof. Get the roof right and the design of the home under it just follows naturally...or at least it seems that way when the architect is Cliff May.


May was known as the inventor of the modern ranch house. It's a style that combines cowboy ranch hand and Wright-style modernism with traditional Japanese, Mexican and Mediterranean styles. May was largely self-taught so he disregarded orthodoxy and just combined elements he liked.


Here's (above) a small Cliff May courtyard. He could have paved it with grass or gravel but he gave it a smooth, hard, light-colored surface similar to the one inside the house. That makes the courtyard an extension of the living room, following Frank Lloyd Wright's dictum: "bring the outside in and the inside out."


 Wow! A sort of indoor picnic table (above)! I like to spread out when I work so this would make a perfect working space for me, and with the substitution of chairs for the benches, it's also a perfect dining table.

BTW, how do you like the dynamic sweep of this room? It's so cheerful, so optimistic, so American in the best sense of the word.


May wrestled with modernism and made it cozy. I can't stand the depressing factory-style modernism that we associate with Bauhaus. This (above) is modernism done right.



May was a developer as well as an architect and he tried to bring low cost modernism within the reach of the common working man. For that he had to rely on prefab parts but that proved to be difficult because, as a pioneer, he was the only buyer and couldn't benefit adequately from economies of scale. Not only that but different suppliers worked to different standards. Some nearly went broke and May had to start a loan business to keep them afloat. The projects put grey hairs on May and were reportedly "not fun."



May's reward for his labors was Mandalay, a home he designed for himself near his favorite city, Los Angeles. The house was mostly reworked by a new owner but some of the old structure remains. Here's (above) a picture of May's interior court yard which contains some of his books. He covered them in vellum to protect them from the elements.

Nifty, eh? Why isn't May better known?

BTW: A friend expressed no interest in May and said he didn't see what was so special about him. I was astonished. For his sake I'll put up a couple of examples (below) of how other lesser architects handled the modern ranch idea.

Here's (above) one example: it's not horrible but it's modern only to cash in on a trend. There's no philosophy here, no awareness of how a space can be enclosed in an exciting and stimulating way.


 Here's (above) squares with built-in awnings (Yawn!). Once again, it's modern just to cash in on a trend. This architect was told that large windows and plain, flat walls are the latest thing so that's what he did. Cliff May, on the other hand, started with a question: "How can I excite the person who lives here? How can I challenge him to be a better man?

Okay, 'nuff said.


Monday, May 04, 2015

THEORYBOY FOR SENIORS

WARNING: "Nothing obscene here, but it's probably not office or school safe.

UNCLE EDDIE: "Hi Folks! I've done special blog posts for both men and women in the past and they were pretty well received. I even did a couple just for kids. It occurred to me that I never did one for seniors. I'll remedy that right now.

Welcome to the ST. ANDREW HOME FOR SENIOR MEN."


GEORGE: "Hi, Uncle Eddie! Gee, a whole blog just for us! I'm overwhelmed."

UNCLE EDDIE: " 'Glad to be of service. What do you want to see? How about some pictures of trout fishing in the local lake? I have pictures of all the lures that people use there!"

GEORGE: "Why don't we do trout a little later? I'm thinking we might start off with a little...you know...a little pulchritude."

UNCLE EDDIE: "Pulchritude? Oh, yeah...right. Okay, Here's Wendy (above). She loves posing for stuff like this."

GEORGE: "Wow! She's great! Er, wait a minute....it looks like she's having a problem with one of her socks." 



UNCLE EDDIE: "Oh, yeah...I remember that. She had a back problem and she couldn't bend over to straighten it. We didn't think anyone would notice."


GEORGE: : "I always notice stuff like that. You should have brought me along. Haw! I'd have straightened it. Get it? Heh, heh, heh!"

UNCLE EDDIE: "Haw! Geez, George...what a horndog! And at your age, too!"


GEORGE: "Wait a minute, Uncle Eddie...Ted here wants to ask you a question...."

TED: "Hi, Uncle Eddie! Well, what I'm wandering is...well...do you have any pictures of a girl with...you know...a rack?"


UNCLE EDDIE: "A rack!!?? Er...well, um...I guess so.  Here's Magnolia. Is she rackable enough for you?"


SID: "Yeah, yeah, she's fine, Uncle Eddie. Okaaaay....now it's time to go for broke! I'm picturing...I'm picturing a young chippie, a full blown Dominatrix replete with spiked dog collar, a big old snake, and leather everything. Whaddaya say, whaddaya say?"

UNCLE EDDIE: "Huh? Leather? A SNAKE!!!!???? I don't know, Sid. I mean, this is a family blog and all that. I don't want to..."

SID: "Aw, I knew you'd wimp out."

UNCLE EDDIE: "I didn't say I was going to wimp out! I just....(Sigh!) Oh, okay..."



LATER:

AS UNCLE EDDIE PACKS UP TO LEAVE:

NURSE: "Did everything go alright? It was so nice of you to talk to the men. They're so starved for intellectual stimulation."