Wednesday, November 08, 2006

In comic stores today....

For the first time in a while, I think, I've got work out in a comic book.
CARTOON NETWORK'S ACTION PACK #7 is out today, and I've got 3 pages of KIDS NEXT DOOR comics in there.
I'm posting a page here, just my inks, before the letters and colors. I kind of like it better this way, but that's just me.
And I do want to thank Uncle Phil Rynda for his help with the page layout.

Maybe there's other fun stuff in there to read, I dunno. I kind of can't look at the usual comic book adaptations of animated shows. I'm not sure where this theory came from, but generally today, artists adapting animation to comics draw, or are instructed to draw the art as if it were for a coloring book. No blacks, no depth, hardly even any variation in line. I suppose to licensing people this keeps the art more in the style of the animated shows, more "On Model", if you will. But it makes it hard for me to look at, honestly.
My favorite animation-to-comics adaptation is Carl Bark's Donald Duck. Barks, knowing he needed to have Donald read on the page immediately, changed the character's blue sailor tunic to black, soon into his run on the feature.
Of course, in the early nineties, when I first started running into Disney licensing artists, we would trade stories about our favorite Disney cartoonists. I mentioned that Barks was, next to Gottfredson, perhaps my favorite and recieved a cool " Oh, yes. He's fine, I suppose, but his Duck is always off model" response.


Marc Crisafulli said...

Why wring the individuality from a cartoonist?
That's what cartoonists do BEST!

Any comic book cartoonist should
--WITHIN REASON--be given ample leeway to depict a given property the way they personally see fit. Screw up the colors some, mess with the models a little! The more enthusiastic the cartoonist is, the better the job will turn out.

And speaking of Barks, I never cared much for that Whatsizname Rosa guy. I hope I'm not ruffling any feathers there. But I always thought William Van Horn had a tremendous knack for capturing the zany side of Barks, sound effects and all.

sdestefano said...

I'm with you, Marc.
Animated cartoons and comic books are very similar, but they are two different mediums. In my opinion, animated characters work best when adapted to the new medium, rather than translated verbatim.
I've never used the word "verbatim" before in a post, it feels awesome.
Of course, I've been fortunate with a lot of my licensing work, in that both DC and Nickelodeon editors recognize that when I do comics for them, I'm bringing my own bag of tricks to the party. My DEXTER'S LAB story from a few years back got attention as being interesting looking, but that would never have happened had the licensing folk, baffeled by my approach to the story, not thrown up their hands and left the decision with Genndy. Genndy seemed to like my vision of his characters, and the job got printed as it was.
On occasion, I do wish I could've been around for the DELL days of licensed comics, where, if a long eared grey character with buck teeth and a carrot said "What's up, Doc?", then, by God, it was probably Bugs Bunny, regardless of what a licensing executive said.

Finally, no ruffled feathers on me. Personally, I'm not much of a Rosa fan (knuckles on ducks? Why?)---but have great affection for Van Horn's take on the character.
Good to hear from you, Marc!

Mega said...

nice work stephen, always dug your work! id have to agree with cartoon/comic book adaptations, the majority just feel too hokey for me.

Matthew I. Jenkins said...

I always keep copies of that Dex issue you did next to me when doing new Dex pages for CNBP. It seems to help. I've been trying to break away from the "on model" brainwashing that is still in effect. Some are better than others, but I whole-heartily agree that the marketing people just GET IN THE F@#&*NG WAY. In some cases getting so bad a may have to bow out on some stuff. I've even had writers on a show tell me my keys were off model when I was the one who designed the character! Beautiful page by the way. Can you post the other two?

g-fifty said...

sweet sweet stuff man. awesome blog.

kaNO! said...

dude... I thought you hated KND!!

sdestefano said...

I hate Nazis and tomatos. KND is a cartoon which is just not my cup of tea.

william wray said...

How did you make that show look good? Genius!