Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A GRIM NATWICK WALK


Here's some Grim Natwick animation from Ub Iwerk's "Soda Squirt." The guy is clearly gay and I hesitated to post it lest I offend some Theory Corner readers. In the end I couldn't help myself. It's just so funny!




















Thanks to Marc Deckter for the great frame grabs!











WHAT IS A GIRL?

Here's a drawing I did for an ad advertising a show I used to work on. I had to cut and paste with real Scotch Tape and scissors because I didn't know how to use Photoshop. Anyway, this is the way I and a lot of other artists (I think we all took our cue from ace girl artist Lynne Naylor in those days) used to draw girls. I went on like this for years then one day it occured to me that I wasn't drawing them right. They just weren't funny enough. After thinking about it I decided to simplify things by starting with a fundamental question:

WHAT IS A GIRL?

No sooner had I asked the question than the answer popped into my mind. Like all great truths it was really simple. What is a girl? A girl is a guy with long hair and breasts! Why hadn't I thought of it before?

In the light of this revelation I further realized that the greatest girl artist ever was Don Martin. His girls pass with highest honors because they look just like men. And funny? They're as funny as a girl could possibly be!

Then it occurred to me to ask, "Why are we always drawing beautiful girls?" Beautiful girls aren't funny (except for Katie Rice's girls)! Funny girls are always too skinny or too fat, too old or too young. They include old bitties and battle-axes, gossipy teens and mean girl scouts. Blogger won't let me type in the font I need and it's screwing up my sentense spacing so I think I'll end this. BTW, these last 2 drawings are by by Milt Gross


Monday, May 29, 2006

Some Fun Modern Art

These are two pictures by Gary Panter, a modern painter who showed lots of promise early on but who seems to have lost interest in color and, so far as I know, is now doing black & white, punk-style comic books. Ok, it's not fine art but it's fun art. I'd love to have a big canvas of "Elvis Zombie" hanging in my living room.
Here's two by Phillip Burke who used to paint rock stars for Rolling Stone. He insisted that the subjects pose live, in his studo. He'd set them up near a sunny window and paint from natural light using oils . The original portrait of Mailer (above) was six feet high. Agove, another one by Burke. He seems to have been influenced by Matisse portraits. Once again, it's not fine art but it's kinda fun to look at.
For comparison here's a couple of Rubens sketches which are indisputably fine art. I love these drawings but seeing them doesn't make me want to give up on Elvis Zombie.
What do you think?

Sunday, May 28, 2006

A TERRIFIC CARICATURE LESSON!

Here's two pictures of me. The top one was drawn by Mike Fontanelli and is influenced a bit by John K's caricature style. The bottom one was drawn 100% by John and was used in a Ren & Stimpy episode called "Onward and Upward."

I find it shocking that two pictures of the same man can be so different. Evidently I'm still recognizably me even when the back of my head sticks out like a torpedo, as it does in Mike's sketch above. It doesn't matter that my head doesn't really have that shape. 

As long as my most recognizable unique features are still there (the nose, teeth,dog ears and chinless neck) a lot of the other features can apparently be changed at will, without harming the likeness.


What this demonstrates is that a caricaturist is not confined to exaggerating what he sees. We only have to do that for the most significant parts. We can make up other parts. We can put something in just because its funny, as long as in some sense it still feels like the person we're drawing.

I don't know about you but I find that liberating!


Friday, May 26, 2006

S-u-i-c-i-d-e!

The holiday weekend's starting and I don't think too many people will be reading this blog over the next three days. Good! Now's the time to sneak in a couple of serious posts! Brace yourself because here comes...
WHY SUICIDE SUCKS!

Everybody's had a bad patch when everything seemed dark and insufferable. I imagine that everybody (except Alicia) has at least once thought about doing themselves in. It's an appealing alternative to misery. If some painless way could be found to do it then why not? Here are the reasons why I believe it's a bad idea.

1) There are very few painless ways.

2) Your death would demoralize the people who love you and have helped you.

3) Your enemies would triumph. Your cause would be lost.

4) This is the big one! Let me make a whole paragraph out of this.....



The fourth and final point, the thing that all this was leading up to, is this: you probably won't do it and morbidly thinking about it all the time will just sap your energy. The fact is that for most people the little things in life...the feeling of air on your skin, the way grass smells... are collectively so profound and so satisfying that you could never bear to put them behind you. There must be a reason why so many people consider suicide and so few people actually do it. I think the reason is that we're hot-wired to enjoy our senses. We're hot-wired to be survivors. Think about suicide all you want but the overwhelming odds are that you won't do it.

Now if you're not going to do it, then thinking about it all the time is an energy drain. If you're going to slog through life anyway, and the statistics say that you will, then you'd be foolish to spend time walking around with the ball and chain of despair around you. If you're going to persevere through all that misery anyway then you may as well charge into it with both fists swinging.

My hunch is that when a person finally and definitively commits to living, no matter how miserable it gets, then he feels a burden removed from his shoulders. The problems that were bothering him seem easier to deal with because he can devote his total energy to them. That's the harm brought about by thoughts of suicide, that they take a person who may have an energy deficit and steal even more energy from him.

In the Dark Ages, when nobody's life was secure and misery was the common lot of most people, Europeans developed the idea that despair was an unforgivable sin. Imagine that! Genocide could be forgiven but not hopelessness! Maybe they knew something that we don't. Maybe that's the idea that led them out of the Dark Ages.

What do you think?

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Vincent Waller: the Man and the Legend

In case you don't know, Vincent is an ace Spumco director and a heck of a nice guy to boot. "So what?", you're saying to yourself, "The world is full of talented, nice guys!" No it's not, not like this. Vincent, in addition to everything else, is... a CHICK MAGNET! I don't mean he's attractive to women. Nothing as common as that. I mean women go nuts when he's around. Crazy! They can't keep their hands off him! If Vincent is in a restaurant the women in the room will, one by one, make excuses to leave their boyfriends and discreetly drop their phone numbers onto Vincent's table. He picks up his waterglass and there's a phone number on the bottom. Checks from the waitress have a number. Girls' foreheads have numbers. Knuckles and eyelids have numbers. The mind boggles to think what else might have numbers!


Now I know what you're thinking, that Vincent must spend his whole day calling those numbers like a fiend on fire. Actually, he doesn't. Getting piles of unsolicited phone numbers is so common an experience for Vincent that he throws most of them away without looking at them. Just casually tosses them!


Once again I know what you're thinking: surely Vincent is a horrible human being. Surely the gods balance great gifts with great liabilities. Well, you'd be wrong. He's the nicest guy you'll ever meet. When my nosehairs get too long he always brings the subject up indirectly by telling me a story about how he deals with his own nosehairs. John, by contrast, would say "Holy Crap! There's a f-----g TREE growing out of your nose!!!!


So here's a tip of the theory hat to Vincent Waller, chick magnet and gentleman!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Culture Corner (wipe your feet before coming in)


Greetingth Poetry Loverth!!!!

Here's my best poem. I wrote it in a pastry restaurant surrounded by old ladies.


The Pastry Restaurant Poet

by Eddie Fitzgerald



Here I am in a pastry restaurant,

Crying and all alone.

Nobody loves me,

I am like a thrown-out bone.



Mediterranean faces smile across from me,

But is the glee I see,

Pho-o-ney?



I don't know,

I'm just a poet,

Nursing my cup of tea,

Writing and getting a ...

(a waitress puts a lit candle on my table)

...candle!?

Can it really be?



An ounce of human warmth!

Oh, my heart does sing!

Go now my secret friend!

I'll not forget this thing!



System of putrid relationships,

Your time is drawing nigh!

for the sake of love, sweet love,

In your face we'll throw the pie!

...............!

The Future of Prime-Time TV Animation #1


OK, here it is! The future of prime-time TV animation lies with dramatic, over-the-top, fully animated, 2D, series programs! Here's the way they might look: Lots of intense acting. Cartoony styles are great for this.
Cartoon drawings are more forgiving of mistakes. They make it possible to animate faster.
No, the guy below isn't grabbing her breast. It looks like that because I had to draw fast from the TV screen and didn't have time to correct it.
Cartoony drawings allow for a lot of distortion. Never the same drawing twice.
It's a chance to bring real cartooning back to TV.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Just a little bit of eye candy while I try to figure out how Blogger works

How do you put text inbetween pictures? It looks like I just did it but I don't know how I did it. And how do you change the order of pictures? I tried cutting and pasting and clicking and dragging but nothing worked. Grrrrrr!Both of these pictures of me were drawn by John K...well, sort of. The color picture, which is gigantic in the original, is my redrawing of a tiny black and white caricature that John did of me. The inscription sounds like I'm taking credit for it but John wrote that on the original so I dutifully inscribed it. I kinda like it, even with the misspelling. It's as if the subject of the picture was giving a gift to his own psyche. I'll bet psyches don't get many gifts!





Monday, May 22, 2006

Welcome to Uncle Eddie's Theory Corner!


Welcome to Uncle Eddie's Theory Corner!

C'mon in! Have a seat in the theory chair! Can I get you a drink?

Coke? Juice? Beer? What did you say? You want bottled water!?

You mean hippie water? For Pete's sake, whaddaya want that stuff for?

How do you know some hippie didn't pee in it? Olga! Will you get

my guest some tap water? And put a twist of lemon in it! Nothing's

too good for a visitor! OK, let's get down to the first theory!