Sunday, February 04, 2007

DO YOU PLAY WITH YOUR NOSE WHILE THINKING?


I do. These pictures were assembled from the margins of papers I was doodling on while thinking yesterday. These aren't good drawings but I include them here because they help make a point, namely that without cartooning we'd never be able to record a lot of the little things in life.

I don't know about you but my life doesn't contain many super events. When I'm not working most of my day consists of waiting while old ladies argue with the cashier, trying to eat while driving, complaining about the state of the world, oogling girls, trying to find a pen that works, etc. Illustrators like super hero artists aren't interested in stuff like this. If cartoonists didn't draw it then it would go completely unrecorded by artists.

I just saw a DVD of "Cars" and was struck by how little "small event" acting the film contained. The cars displayed fear of the dark, shyness and awkwardness when the story required it but these were clearly subordinated to the story and were never allowed to dominate whole sequences. For contrast think of how W.C. Fields devoted entire sequences of his movies to micro events like trying to shave when someone was blocking his view of the mirror. 

18 comments:

Sean Worsham said...

Good point Eddie,

We need short cartoons like the Looney Tunes, Aardman and Ren and Stimpy to record such events. I was a bit surprised that a broad animated movie like Cars where it's about "how special mundane Americana life could be if we slowed down a little" contained such little animation which shows the car characters personalitly traits and nuances a little deeper. If this movie was about slowing down why didn't it slow down to show such nuances? I guess the world will never know. Maybe in future movies? We can only hope.

Or maybe it's because cars don't have noses? ;D hahahha just kidding.

Justin said...

I don't play with my nose, but I play with my hair a lot. And I don't really have long hair.

LĂȘA said...

I play with my beard...

Gabriel said...

I noticed i have a horrid uncontrolable habit of making faces while i draw. They match the character's expressions, of course. If they're angry, my face is angry too. I can't help it!

About the drawings: i love your blog, Eddie, but if there's a problem here it's the lack of more of your stuff!

PCUnfunny said...

I play with my mustache.

Max Ward said...

I stare at my fork when waiting for my food, and struggle to get my cell phone out of my pocket while I am driving.

Anonymous said...

most of my day consists of waiting while old ladies argue with the cashier, trying to eat while driving, complaining about the state of the world, oogling girls, trying to find a pen that works, etc. Illustrators like super hero artists aren't interested in stuff like this. If cartoonists didn't draw it then it would go completely unrecorded by artists."

Norman Rockwell did exactly what you describe--moment for moment. People gossiping, waiting in line, oogling girls, saying grace at dinner. Playing.
Arguing. etc. So did many others, but Rockwell's the best known. They were all illustrators.
OTOH a lot of cartoonists don't bother with the little things you mention at all.

Anonymous said...

It is perfectly normal to make expressions when one draws cartoons. It would be abnormal if one did not.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Anonymous: I don't think I was very clear about it but the illustrators I was referring to are illustrators who do character designs, storyboards and layouts in the animation industry. Sorry, I was building on a previous post I did on the subject and I didn't mention that.

Norman Rockwell did indeed do a great job of capturing life's little moments and I wish he'd had a bigger influence on his fellow magazine illustrators. The problem is that doing a painting like Rockwell does, actually 2 or 3 paintings if you count the studies together with the model photo session, research for costumes and props, preliminary sketches, etc., is like mounting a military campaign. Cartooning takes less time. If we had to rely on painters to cover the small events we'd end up with a woefully small number of pictures.

True, a lot of cartoonists don't show an interest in the things I describe. An article like this has the dual purpose of needling animation illustrators and provoking cartoonists to wake up to the kind of subject matter their craft does best.

I can tell you're an illustrator at heart and that's fine. Good animation illustrators have my deepest respect. The thing is that illustrators and designers dominate comedic animation and don't need my help. Cartoonists on the other hand are shivering orphans with threadbare blankets wandering shoeless in the snow. It would be nice if they could find a home again in the cartoon industry.

Anonymous said...

No, I'm a cartoonist at heart. At least, I think so. Most "illustrators" bore me--there's an element of pomposity and Art that just bugs.

But then, who defines the absolute terms? Perhaps as you would define it I am an illustrator.

I didn't see the earlier post. I'll look it up.

Anonymous said...

is there any "cartooning" going on outside of John k's stuff in animation today? I havent seen any. especially on teletoon in Canada where I live. Has any Canadians in the animation industry had to deal with Madeleine Levesque? Shes a complete fucking bitch who is the epitome of the braindead animation exec John K describes in his posts

Anonymous said...

Are there any cartoonists working anywhere for that matter? The whole Fantagraphics Chris Ware Art Spiegelmann scene is fucking pretentious bullshit, the funny pages are terrible, animation is all flat and stylized, Mad Magazine is irrelevant, that about covers it

david gemmill said...

ahhahha these are great. i wish people would take cartoons seriously again. maybe one day it will happen. I am gonna try to help.

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean, Eddie. I had to set my little sister on fire to keep warm this winter. She didn't put off much heat. But, boy! Did she every get mad at me. I sold our house (which was our car) to buy her an ice cream, she fells much better now. I fell bad though. It's supposed to be colder tomorrow. :)

Ryan G. said...

Yes Eddie. Its the subtle things that make a good story.

Kali Fontecchio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kali Fontecchio said...

Do you pick your nose while thinking, Eddie? Or do you pick your nose when you don't want to think?

That movie was great- especially your grandfather...fool!

Ahahahaha!

NateBear said...

i think that's all i cartoon about. in fact i once did a highly detailed 6-page full-color comic about me trying to put my contacts in.