Saturday, August 12, 2006

I LOVE CROWDS!

I love crowd shots. They remind me how much fun it is to be with a lot of people who like the same things I like. One of my all-time favorite crowd photos is this one (above) in what appears to be a nightclub. The people look like they came out of an old master's painting like Gericault's "Raft of Medusa." This is every performers dream, to be surrounded by listeners who "get it," who are on the same wavelength. Click on the picture to see the detail.

Crowds look better in magazines than in newspapers. Papers just can't resolve the faces, at least not photo faces. Drawn crowds like the Wood drawing above look good in any print medium. If you're a print cartoonist learn how to draw funny crowds!


I know who did this crowd: Weegee the great New York tabloid photographer. A gambler's just been shot and a torrent of humanity streams out of the tenaments to get a look. It has that gritty 50's feeling. Humanity is portrayed as consisting of angels and demons with every shade between.

26 comments:

Pedro Vargas said...

I like to look at mosh pits in photos. When I look at one I feel like I'm in there physically or remind me of a time I was at a mosh pit. The people look crazy as hell. I find it very fun to watch.

Freckled Derelict said...

Eddie your in the Wood crowd drawing as the guy with glasses second on the right reading a paper.
Every one wants to caricature you!

Chris said...

Man, it's intimidating enough just getting one character down. Crowds are scary. I guess everyone does want to caricature you. After regretting not getting one from you the other night I decided to do a few of you. I've posted them on my blog. Thanks Uncle Eddie!

cableclair said...

Crowds are thrilling. And there's something about 50's pictures that is so awesome to me. Maybe because there is so much smoke in them and everything looks like a scene out of a film noir movie. Smoking might be unhealthy as can be but it adds such an awesome mood and atmosphere to pictures and movies.

cableclair said...

P.S. that last picture, the woman with her eyes closed in dead middle looks so much like my grandma it's scary.

MickFred said...

yeah i agree
that smokey bunch look all together classic. i wonder if todays photos will be regarded as highly in the future... i some how doubt it

kp said...

Crowd pictures are awesome. I love different concert photos because everyone's so into what's going on: Whether it's at a bone-shaking, beer-sloshing metal mosh or a 'lounge lizard'-type gig and there's some screaming old ladies extending a feeble hand to try and get a piece of him!

David Germain said...

And there's something about 50's pictures that is so awesome to me.

Well, the headline Kruschev Gives West Ultimatum kind of places that picture in the 1950's too. ;)

Anonymous said...

Remember in one of your first posts you wrote of how modern animation is ruined by scripts involving a BILLION characters? Crowds? And that the ideal setup is one, or at most maybe 3? I know you're not talking animation here but it'd be a funny side by side: "I hate crowds! /I love crowds!"

I'll bet there's a way(as with the "zombie" Clampett BG in the earlier post of yours--that screen cap)that a crowd such as the one in the nightclub photo could be made so cool and intriguing in a cartoon...but it's take a very radical approach--not too much detail--lots of smoke, perhaps.

Shawn said...

Yes! I love the crowds too! Drawings of crowds are my favorite, like the one's Wally Wood draws! I draw lots of crowd scenes in my comics too. It takes FOREVER to finish a panel, but it's fun to look at when it's finished. The best crowd drawings are the one's where everyone in the crowd is doing something completely different, and you can just stare at the art forever and keep noticing new funny things.

Hey, Eddie! I noticed you're also a Will Elder fan! You've got great taste! Do you like Jack Davis??? Jack Davis drew amazing crowds in the early MADs!

Anonymous said...

I love crowd shots even more than architecture photos! Good show.

Anonymous said...

I love crowd shots even more than architecture photos! Good show.w.

John a said...

Apparently the key to drawing a good crowd scene is to draw lots of funny noses and give them something to do. I love Wally Wood.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Anonymous: No contradiction. I love crowds in magazines and can't stand them in animation.

On a related subject, nobody should ever do a sports cartoon in Saturday Morning animation. They're not funny and they just can't be animated right.

Chris: Funny caricatures, except you didn't find a way to make me look like Cary Grant.

Cable: True, so true! This country lost a lot when we cut down on smoking.

Chris said...

Sorry Uncle Eddie, I'll try again.

Eric O. Costello said...

There's a hidden gag in that Wood cartoon. If you look at the left, the newspaper with the "Raid Nabs 2 in Red Love Nest" headline, you can just make out that the paper is probably the very staid New York Herald-Tribune (deceased 1967). Whereas the paper on the right, with the Nikita ref, is clearly the wild and wooly Hearst tabloid, the New York Daily Mirror (deceased 1963). The cartoonist, aside from putting in a few dated newspapers (like the market crashing), has put in a subtle gag switching the kind of stuff you'd see in one paper with another.

Judging from the Mid-East crisis ref, my gut tells me this cartoon is post-Suez (late '56), and pre-61, with all those guys wearing hats.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

John A: Funny noses and give them something to do. That's actually a pretty good analysis!

Eric: Fascinating!

Shawn: I love Davis's work for Mad in the 50s and early 60s!

Vanoni! said...

Crowd scenes are wonderful!
I love Wood AND Davis' AND Elder's crowds.

Time to work on my own crowds!

– Corbett

PS: Thursday night - I laughed at the caricature you drew for me the whole way home. Drove my wife nuts. (Though she said she loved it, too!)

Kali Fontecchio said...

Carl Dreyer's crowd scenes are the best! They have so much energy (usually toward hating the hapless victim). Especially the way he films them- extremely close-up and then spinning the camera- holy buttocks! I didn't get a chance to ask you last night, but have you seen/like Day of Wrath?

Freckled Derelict said...

Eddie,
I piggybacked on your crowd theory in my last post. Let me know what you think!

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Kali: Day of Wrath? Is that the one about witches? I saw that a long time ago and loved it but can't remember much.

I'll bet Dryer is good with crowds. A couple of memorable crowd scs.: the milling sailors in Battleship Potemkin and the crowd scenes in a Harold Lloyd film, I can't remember the name, where he tries to win over a girl at a carnival.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Freckled: The photos on your site were interesting. My favorite was the one were everybody was wearing glasses.

ryan said...

damn these crowd pictures are crazy! thanks for posting them!

the one of the night club is SO COOL

Kali Fontecchio said...

Ya Day of Wrath is the period piece with the burning of witches etc.- we gotta have a movie night!

Potempkin is a great example Eddie! The baby carriage scene with all the people fleeing is great too!

I think Number, Please is the Harold Lloyd movie you have in mind. I love the scene with him in front of the funhouse mirrors- so cute!

Hammerson said...

>> Ya Day of Wrath is the period piece with the burning of witches etc.- we gotta have a movie night!<<

A superb film, and probably Dreyer's most accessible work. Be sure to get or rent Criterion DVD. It has an excellent print and fine video transfer. For many years, this movie was available only in muddy prints with poor contrast.

Anonymous said...

Hey there Eddie you fantastic guy, my sister loves that smokey night club singer shot. She wants to know any info about it, so she can maybe buy a print for her wall or something like that.

I'll try and convince her to buy some johnk prints or if you have anything for sale, or something like that as well.

cheers,
Chris