Cartoonist

A cartoonist (also comic strip creator) is a visual artist who specializes in drawing cartoons. This work is often created for entertainment, political commentary, or advertising. Cartoonists may work in many formats, such as booklets, comic strips, comic books, editorial cartoons, graphic novels, manuals, gag cartoons, graphic design, illustrations, storyboards, posters, shirts, books, advertisements, greeting cards, magazines, newspapers, and video game packaging.

History

In the West

The English satirist and editorial cartoonist William Hogarth, who emerged In the 18th century, has been credited with pioneering Western sequential art. His work ranged from realistic portraiture to comic strip-like series of pictures called "modern moral subjects". Much of his work poked fun at contemporary politics and customs; illustrations in such style are often referred to as "Hogarthian".[1] Following the work of Hogarth, political cartoons began to develop in England in the latter part of the 18th century under the direction of its great exponents, James Gillray and Thomas Rowlandson, both from London. Gillray explored the use of the medium for lampooning and caricature, calling the king (George III), prime ministers and generals to account, and has been referred to as the father of the political cartoon.[2]

While never a professional cartoonist, Benjamin Franklin is credited with having the first cartoon published in an American newspaper.[3] In the 19th century, professional cartoonists such as Thomas Nast introduced other familiar American political symbols, such as the Republican elephant.[3]

Benjamin Franklin - Join or Die
Benjamin Franklin's Join, or Die (1754), credited as the first cartoon published in an American newspaper.
Charles Dana Gibson 02
Charles Dana Gibson was an influential American cartoonist in the early 20th century.

During the 20th century, numerous magazines carried single-panel gag cartoons by such freelance cartoonists as Charles Addams, Irwin Caplan, Chon Day, Clyde Lamb, and John Norment. These were almost always published in black and white, although Collier's often carried cartoons in color. The debut of Playboy introduced full-page color cartoons by Jack Cole, Eldon Dedini, Roy Raymonde and others. Single-panel cartoonists syndicated to newspapers included Dave Breger, Hank Ketcham, George Lichty, Fred Neher, Irving Phillips, and J. R. Williams.

Comics

Comic strips received widespread distribution to mainstream newspapers by syndicates[4] such as the Universal Press Syndicate, United Media, or King Features. Sunday strips go to a coloring company such as American Color before they are published.

Some comic strip creators publish in the alternative press or on the Internet. Comic strip artists may also sometimes work in book-length form, creating graphic novels. Both vintage and current strips receive reprints in book collections.

The major comic book publishers (such as Marvel or DC) utilize teams of cartoonists to produce the art (typically separating pencil work, inking and lettering while the color is added digitally by colorists). When a consistent artistic style is wanted among different cartoonists (such as Archie Comics), character model sheets may be used as reference.

Calum MacKenzie, in his preface to the exhibition catalog, The Scottish Cartoonists (Glasgow Print Studio Gallery, 1979) defined the selection criteria:

The difference between a cartoonist and an illustrator was the same as the difference between a comedian and a comedy actor—the former both deliver their own lines and take full responsibility for them, the latter could always hide behind the fact that it was not his entire creation.[5]
Winsor McCay - Little Nemo film still - drawing
Dip pens have traditionally been a popular drawing tool for cartoonists.

There are many books of cartoons in both paperback and hardcover, such as the collections of cartoons from The New Yorker. Prior to the 1960s, cartoons were mostly ignored by museums and art galleries. In 1968, the cartoonist and comedian Roger Price opened the first New York City gallery devoted exclusively to cartoons, mainly work by the leading magazine gag cartoonists. Today, there are several museums devoted to cartoons, notably the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, run by curator Jenny E. Robb at Ohio State University.

Creation

Comics artists usually sketch a drawing in pencil before going over the drawing in India ink, using either a dip pen or a brush. Artists may also use a lightbox to create the final image in ink. Some artists, Brian Bolland, for example, use computer graphics, with the published work as the first physical appearance of the artwork. By many definitions (including McCloud's, above), the definition of comics extends to digital media such as webcomics and the mobile comic.

The nature of the comics work being created determines the number of people who work on its creation, with successful comic strips and comic books being produced through a studio system, in which an artist assembles a team of assistants to help create the work. However, works from independent companies, self-publishers, or those of a more personal nature can be produced by a single creator.

Within the comic book industry of North America, the studio system has come to be the main method of creation. Through its use by the industry, the roles have become heavily codified, and the managing of the studio has become the company's responsibility, with an editor discharging the management duties. The editor assembles a number of creators and oversees the work to publication.

Any number of people can assist in the creation of a comic book in this way, from a plotter, a breakdown artist, a penciller, an inker, a scripter, a letterer, and a colorist, with some roles being performed by the same person.

In contrast, a comic strip tends to be the work of a sole creator, usually termed a cartoonist. However, it is not unusual for a cartoonist to employ the studio method, particularly when a strip become successful. Mort Walker employed a studio, while Bill Watterson and Charles Schulz did not. Gag, political, and editorial cartoonists tend to work alone as well, though a cartoonist may use assistants.

Web cartoonist

Many artists have used the web since its inception to publish their works online. This eventually led to the creation of webcomics thanks in part to many titles being able to be read for free and anyone being able to publish them. Many of the artists who create these webcomics are known as web cartoonists due to the fact that the vast majority of webcomics are considered to be online versions of comic-strips and cartoons rather than full-fledged comic books like digital comics. It is hard to pinpoint when the actual term was created but the earliest use was 2001 with the Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards. Some well known web cartoonists include Randall Munroe of xkcd, Jeph Jacques of Questionable Content and Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik of Penny Arcade.

Art styles

ScottMcCloud Angouleme2000
Scott McCloud, whose work Understanding Comics identified the different styles of art used within comics.

While almost all comics art is in some sense abbreviated, and also while every artist who has produced comics work brings their own individual approach to bear, some broader art styles have been identified. Comic strip artists Cliff Sterrett, Frank King, and Gus Arriola often used unusual, colorful backgrounds, sometimes veering into abstract art.

The basic styles have been identified as realistic and cartoony, with a huge middle ground for which R. Fiore has coined the phrase liberal. Fiore has also expressed distaste with the terms realistic and cartoony, preferring the terms literal and freestyle, respectively.[6]

Scott McCloud has created "The Big Triangle"[7] as a tool for thinking about comics art. He places the realistic representation in the bottom left corner, with iconic representation, or cartoony art, in the bottom right, and a third identifier, abstraction of image, at the apex of the triangle. This allows placement and grouping of artists by triangulation.

  • The cartoony style uses comic effects and a variation of line widths for expression. Characters tend to have rounded, simplified anatomy. Noted exponents of this style are Carl Barks and Jeff Smith.[6]
  • The realistic style, also referred to as the adventure style is the one developed for use within the adventure strips of the 1930s. They required a less cartoony look, focusing more on realistic anatomy and shapes, and used the illustrations found in pulp magazines as a basis. This style became the basis of the superhero comic book style since Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel originally worked Superman up for publication as an adventure strip.[8]

McCloud also notes that in several traditions, there is a tendency to have the main characters drawn rather simplistic and cartoony, while the backgrounds and environment are depicted realistically. Thus, he argues, the reader easily identifies with the characters, (as they are similar to one's idea of self), whilst being immersed into a world, that's three-dimensional and textured.[9] Good examples of this phenomenon include Hergé's The Adventures of Tintin (in his "personal trademark" Ligne claire style), Will Eisner's Spirit and Osamu Tezuka's Buddha, among many others.

Tools

Artists use a variety of pencils, paint brushes, or paper, typically Bristol board, and a waterproof ink.[10] When inking, many artists preferred to use a Winsor & Newton Series 7, #3 brush as the main tool, which could be used in conjunction with other brushes, dip pens, a fountain pen, and/or a variety of technical pens or markers. Mechanical tints can be employed to add grey tone to an image. An artist might paint with acrylics, gouache, poster paints, or watercolors. Color can also be achieved through crayons, pastels or colored pencils.

Eraser, rulers, templates, set squares and a T-square assist in creating lines and shapes. A drawing table provides an angled work surface with lamps sometimes attached to the table. A light box allows an artist to trace his pencil work when inking, allowing for a looser finish. Knives and scalpels fill a variety of needs, including cutting board or scraping off mistakes. A cutting mat aids paper trimming. Process white is a thick opaque white material for covering mistakes. Adhesives and tapes help composite an image from different sources.

See also

References

  1. ^ The British Museum. Beer Street, William Hogarth - Fine Art Print Archived 2010-03-03 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 11 April 2010.
  2. ^ "Satire, sewers and statesmen: why James Gillray was king of the cartoon". The Guardian. 16 June 2015.
  3. ^ a b Hess & Northrop 2011, p. 24.
  4. ^ "The Comics Reporter". Retrieved 17 November 2009.
  5. ^ MacKenzie, Calum. The Scottish Cartoonists. Glasgow Print Studio Gallery, 1979.
  6. ^ a b Fiore 2010.
  7. ^ "The Big Triangle". scottmccloud.com. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  8. ^ Santos, 1998. The Golden Era... June 1938 to 1945, Part I
  9. ^ McCloud 1993, p. 48.
  10. ^ "16 essential art tools for artists".

Works cited

Further reading

  • Steve Edgell, Tim Pilcher, Brad Brooks, The Complete Cartooning Course: Principles, Practices, Techniques (London: Barron's, 2001).

External links

Societies and organizations

Communities

Cartoon

A cartoon is a type of illustration, possibly animated, typically in a non-realistic or semi-realistic style. The specific meaning has evolved over time, but the modern usage usually refers to either: an image or series of images intended for satire, caricature, or humor; or a motion picture that relies on a sequence of illustrations for its animation. Someone who creates cartoons in the first sense is called a cartoonist, and in the second sense they are usually called an animator.

The concept originated in the Middle Ages, and first described a preparatory drawing for a piece of art, such as a painting, fresco, tapestry, or stained glass window. In the 19th century, beginning in Punch magazine in 1843, cartoon came to refer – ironically at first – to humorous illustrations in magazines and newspapers. In the early 20th century, it began to refer to animated films which resembled print cartoons.

Chuck Jones

Charles Martin Jones (September 21, 1912 – February 22, 2002) was an American animator, filmmaker, cartoonist, author, artist, and screenwriter, best known for his work with Warner Bros. Cartoons on the Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts. He wrote, produced, and/or directed many classic animated cartoon shorts starring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, Pepé Le Pew, Porky Pig, Michigan J. Frog, the Three Bears, and a slew of other Warner characters.

After his career at Warner Bros. ended in 1962, Jones started Sib Tower 12 Productions, and began producing cartoons for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, including a new series of Tom and Jerry shorts and the television adaptation of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. He later started his own studio, Chuck Jones Enterprises, which created several one-shot specials, and periodically worked on Looney Tunes related works.

Jones was nominated for an Oscar eight times and won three times, receiving awards for the cartoons For Scent-imental Reasons, So Much for So Little, and The Dot and the Line. He received an Honorary Academy Award in 1996 for his work in the animation industry. Film historian Leonard Maltin has praised Jones' work at Warner Bros., MGM and Chuck Jones Enterprises. He also said that the "feud" that there may have been between Jones and colleague Bob Clampett was mainly because they were so different from each other. In Jerry Beck's The 50 Greatest Cartoons, ten of the entries were directed by Jones, with four out of the five top cartoons (including first place) being Jones shorts.

Comic strip

A comic strip is a sequence of drawings arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative, often serialized, with text in balloons and captions. Traditionally, throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, these have been published in newspapers and magazines, with horizontal strips printed in black-and-white in daily newspapers, while Sunday newspapers offered longer sequences in special color comics sections. With the development of the internet, they began to appear online as webcomics. There were more than 200 different comic strips and daily cartoon panels in South Korea alone each day for most of the 20th century, for a total of at least 7,300,000 episodes.Strips are written and drawn by a comics artist or cartoonist. As the name implies, comic strips can be humorous (for example, "gag-a-day" strips such as Blondie, Bringing Up Father, Marmaduke, and Pearls Before Swine).

Starting in the late 1920s, comic strips expanded from their mirthful origins to feature adventure stories, as seen in Popeye, Captain Easy, Buck Rogers, Tarzan, and The Adventures of Tintin. Soap-opera continuity strips such as Judge Parker and Mary Worth gained popularity in the 1940s. All are called, generically, comic strips, though cartoonist Will Eisner has suggested that "sequential art" would be a better genre-neutral name.In the UK and the rest of Europe, comic strips are also serialized in comic book magazines, with a strip's story sometimes continuing over three pages or more. Comic strips have appeared in American magazines such as Liberty and Boys' Life and also on the front covers of magazines, such as the Flossy Frills series on The American Weekly Sunday newspaper supplement.

David Mostyn (cartoonist)

David Mostyn is a British cartoonist and commercial illustrator who drew for D.C. Thomson from the early 1980s to present.

Editorial cartoon

An editorial cartoon, also known as a political cartoon, is a drawing containing a commentary expressing the artist's opinion. An artist who writes and draws such images is known as an editorial cartoonist. They typically combine artistic skill, hyperbole and satire in order to question authority and draw attention to corruption, political violence and other social ills.Developed in England in the latter part of the 18th century, James Gillray was a pioneer of the political cartoon. Founded in 1841, the British periodical Punch appropriated the term cartoon to refer to its political cartoons, which led to the term's widespread use.

Editorial cartoonist

An editorial cartoonist, also known as a political cartoonist, is an artist who draws editorial cartoons that contain some level of political or social commentary. Their cartoons are used to convey and question an aspect of daily news or current affairs in a national or international context. Political cartoonists generally adopt a caricaturist style of drawing, to capture the likeness of a politician or subject. They may also employ humor or satire to ridicule an individual or group, emphasize their point of view or comment on a particular event.

Gordon Bell (cartoonist)

Gordon Bell (1934 – 13 February 2014) was a British cartoonist, best known for humorous strips for D. C. Thomson's weekly comics, including "Pup Parade" in The Beano and "Spoofer McGraw" in Sparky.

Jawed Iqbal

Jawed Iqbal is a newspaper and pint media cartoonist of Pakistan.

Jeff Smith (cartoonist)

Jeff Smith (born February 27, 1960) is an American cartoonist. He is best known as the creator of the self-published comic book series Bone.

Jim Davis (cartoonist)

James Robert Davis (born July 28, 1945) is an American cartoonist, best known as the creator of the comic strips Garfield and U.S. Acres (a.k.a. Orson's Farm). Published since 1978, Garfield is one of the world's most widely syndicated comic strips. Davis's other comics work includes Tumbleweeds, Gnorm Gnat and Mr. Potato Head.

Davis wrote or co-wrote all of the Garfield TV specials for CBS, originally broadcast between 1982 and 1991. He also produced the Garfield & Friends Saturday Morning series, which aired on the channel from 1988 to 1994. Davis was the writer and executive producer for a series of CGI direct-to-video feature films about Garfield, as well as an executive producer for the CGI animated TV series The Garfield Show.

K. Shankar Pillai

Kesava Shankara Pillai (31 July 1902 – 26 December 1989), better known as Shankar, was an Indian cartoonist. He is considered the father of political cartooning in India. He founded Shankar's Weekly, India's Punch in 1948. Shankar's Weekly also produced cartoonists like Abu Abraham, Ranga and Kutty, he closed down the magazine during the Emergency of 25 June 1975. From then on he turned to making children laugh and enjoy life.

He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1976, the second highest civilian honour given by the Govt. of India. Today he is most remembered for setting up Children's Book Trust established 1957 and Shankar's International Dolls Museum in 1965.

Leslie Ward

Sir Leslie Matthew Ward (21 November 1851 – 15 May 1922 London) was a British portrait artist and caricaturist who over four decades painted 1,325 portraits which were regularly published by Vanity Fair, under the pseudonyms "Spy" and "Drawl". The portraits were produced as watercolours and turned into chromolithographs for publication in the magazine. These were then usually reproduced on better paper and sold as prints. Such was his influence in the genre that all Vanity Fair caricatures are sometimes referred to as "Spy cartoons" regardless of who the artist actually was.

Early portraits, almost always full-length (judges at the bench being the main exception), had a stronger element of caricature and usually distorted the proportions of the body, with a very large head and upper body supported on much smaller lower parts. Later, as he became socially accepted in the society in which he moved to gain access to his subjects, and not wishing to cause offence, his style developed into what he called "characteristic portraits", being less of a caricature and more of an actual portrait of the subject, using realistic body proportions.

Mauricio de Sousa

Mauricio Araújo de Sousa (Portuguese pronunciation: [mawˈɾisju dʒi ˈsowzɐ] born October 27, 1935) is a Brazilian cartoonist who has created over 200 characters for his popular series of children's comic books.At 17 years of age, he worked for a daily newspaper called Folha da Manhã as a crime reporter. In 1959, Sousa quit that job and began his comic book career, and created Monica's Gang. Sousa's characters were inspired by children he knew from his childhood and by his own children. His later style is slightly reminiscent of that of Osamu Tezuka, a famous Japanese manga artist and personal friend.

National Cartoonists Society

The National Cartoonists Society (NCS) is an organization of professional cartoonists in the United States. It presents the National Cartoonists Society Awards. The Society was born in 1946 when groups of cartoonists got together to entertain the troops. They enjoyed each other's company and decided to meet on a regular basis.NCS members work in many branches of the profession, including advertising, animation, newspaper comic strips and syndicated single-panel cartoons, comic books, editorial cartoons, gag cartoons, graphic novels, greeting cards, magazine and book illustration. Only recently has the National Cartoonists Society embraced web comics. Membership is limited to established professional cartoonists, with a few exceptions of outstanding persons in affiliated fields. The NCS is not a guild or labor union.

The organization's stated primary purposes are "to advance the ideals and standards of professional cartooning in its many forms", "to promote and foster a social, cultural and intellectual interchange among professional cartoonists of all types" and "to stimulate and encourage interest in and acceptance of the art of cartooning by aspiring cartoonists, students and the general public."

Print syndication

Print syndication distributes news articles, columns, political cartoons, comic strips and other features to newspapers, magazines and websites. The syndicates offer reprint rights and grant permissions to other parties for republishing content of which they own and/or represent copyrights. Other terms for the service include a newspaper syndicate, a press syndicate, and a feature syndicate.

The syndicate is an agency that offers features from notable journalists and authorities as well as reliable and established cartoonists. It fills a need among smaller weekly and daily newspapers for material that helps them compete with large urban papers, at a much lesser cost than if the client were to purchase the material themselves. Generally, syndicates sell their material to one client in each territory.

Typical syndicated features are advice columns (parenting, health, finance, gardening, cooking, etc.), humor columns, editorial opinion, critic's reviews, and gossip columns. Some syndicates specialize in one type of feature, such as comic strips.

Reg Carter

Reginald Arthur Lay Carter (6 December 1886, Southwold, Blything, East Suffolk - 24 April 1949 in Cuckfield, Sussex) was a British cartoonist.

Carter created the cartoon ostrich Big Eggo that appeared on the front cover of the first Beano. On 30 July 1938, the cover strip featuring Big Eggo was drawn by Carter. Carter worked for the Beano drawing Big Eggo and other strips until his death in 1949.

Seth (cartoonist)

Seth is the pen name of Gregory Gallant (born September 16, 1962), a Canadian cartoonist best known for his series Palookaville and his mock-autobiographical graphic novel It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken (1996).

Seth draws in a style influenced by the classic cartoonists of The New Yorker. His work is highly nostalgic, especially for the early-to-mid-20th Century period, and of Southern Ontario. His work also shows a great depth and breadth of knowledge of the history of comics and cartooning.

Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards

The Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards (WCCA) were annual awards in which established webcartoonists nominated and selected outstanding webcomics. The awards were held between 2001 and 2008, were mentioned in a The New York Times column on webcomics in 2005, and have been mentioned as a tool for librarians.

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