Monday, January 10, 2011

Gag Cartoons

I've always entertained the idea of being a gag or editorial cartoonist. The idea of telling a story in one panel was an alluring challenge. I admire those who do it well.

I inadvertently created an opportunity for myself to create a weekly cartoon at my job. At first, I rejected the the idea of doing the cartoon myself despite my companion enthusiastically suggesting otherwise. I thought it would be too time-consuming during a period when I wanted to concentrate on improving my drawing and make films.

Then I started reading "The Art of Harvey Kurtzman: The Mad Comic Genius of Comics" by Denis Kitchen and Paul Buhle. It was a Christmas present from my lovely parents (thank you, Mommy and Daddy!) that I hated having to put down. Not only is it full of wonderful Kurtzman art—roughs and finals—but the story of Kurtzman's professional career is fascinating.

I was struck by all of the different types of work Kurtzman did—posters, magazines, comics, advertising. He just kept drawing. It suddenly struck me that I need to do the same, just keep drawing. And doing a gag cartoon that requires no approval from anyone else is a GIFT! By giving myself a deadline of one finished cartoon per week, I'm forcing myself to stretch my creative muscles.

How silly of me to have almost passed on this tremendous opportunity! Although the cartoons I create are for my paying job and are therefore the property of my employer, I can still put them in my portfolio. So everyone wins!

Below are my original rough layout, where I was figuring out how to place all of the elements in the space so it communicates clearly. Below that is a rough pencil drawing that I will refine for the final. The text of the sign was typed in Photoshop.

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