Cartoons and Caricatures

Friday, September 08, 2006

What I think Cartoons Should be.

Dear cartoonist everywhere,

If you are a cartoonist or an animator, you may not view cartoons the same way I do. I decided to post my own opinions on what I think good cartoons are and the reasons for it. I am not a cartoonist or an animator and I hope that any cartoonist out there who might read this will find this imformation useful. Because without you cartoon makers, I won't be able to watch any of the cartoons I enjoy. So, here it is...


1. Writing

Write with pictures.

Cartoons are a visual medium. They tell stories by pictures not by words. Many of the worst cartoons generally over do it with dialog. Whenever something is being described by words that could have easily been shown by pictures it takes away from the cartoon experience. It's much like the annoying guy at the water cooler who won't shut-up.

Imagine if you can turn the sound down completely, will you still know what's going on in the cartoon. Is the humor still funny.

Easy on the Dialog.

In the writing of a cartoon, dialog should be last resort. Example: If a character says, "I'm going to the store!" There is a missed opportunity you could have shown him going to the store. I'd rather see him going than hear him talk about it.

Dialog doesn't even have to have anything to do with the cartoon. The character can be saying nonsense and it wouldn't matter because the scenes were told visually.

Layers and Layers.

Layers are the puns, the jokes, the actions, the color, the soul, and the main drive of a cartoon. The more layers a cartoon has the richer it feels and makes for a better cartoon with repeatability.

One way of doing this is by applying layers upon layers of humor, action, and other elements. First you have the main focus, then secondary, and third and so forth. Each layer being less foreground and more background as they leave the main focal point.

The first time I watch a cartoon scene I notice the first layer. This is the main focus of the scene and usually the main drive to move the cartoon forward. Then I notice the secondary layers, then the third and so fourth. Those elements usually have nothing to do with the cartoon or are backplots of the cartoon with purpose to be revealed in later scenes.

The more layers the cartoon has, without overriding each other, the more times I'm willing to watch the cartoon. It's the difference to me between a classic cartoon and a dull cartoon.

Feeling and Emotion

Either happy, funny, sad, or angry, it doesn't matter. However your feeling when your writing, animating, or painting doesn't mean a thing if it is not communicated to the audience. You can be screaming tears from your heart to your pen and swear you drew something moving or funny. If the audience doesn't see it, it is not there.

Feeling in a cartoon is what is actually communicated to the audience, and is not always what the writer intended.


3. Visual Appearance

The look of the cartoon determines its flavor and sets the mood of the cartoon. There are too many opinions about what a good look and feel is to just narrow it down to just one style. So, I'll tell you what I like personally.

Smooth Animation

The more cells the better. If a cartoon's animation appears choppy I tend to drift away from the scene. I get to focusing how bad it looks and not getting involved with the cartoons natural progression. If the cartoon animation is smooth and flows, I forget I'm watching animation and the layers of the cartoon come out more vividly.

4. Timing

Saturday, August 26, 2006

"Apollo At The Beach"

Here's a logo for a band I did.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

This isn't much, but I'll post it anyway. No gag or nothing. It's nobody. Yet she does have upper arms like popeye, though not as swollen.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sorry, but I'm not a fan

Saturday, August 12, 2006

S'more ruff sketches

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Some really quick drawings.