Tuesday, May 22, 2007
GRIN AND BEAR IT by George "Lichty" Lichtenstein is a lot of fun to look at. These cartoons are reproduced from the above collection, copyright 1968 Publishers Hall Syndicate. The panel began in 1932, but most of the cartoons in this collection appear to be contemporary to that decade.
Even though the cartoons are dated (student protests, women's lib, the cold war, etc.), the style -- "loose and pretty carefree, with plenty of distorting" -- is what draws me in.
"The Lichty Style" is, according to this site, an animation term for a smearing a characters' actions. This is interesting since Lichty was a newspaper panel cartoonist and did not, so far as I can find out, work in animation. That's a nice tribute.
I find the characters all doughy and just a little spooky since they all kinda look alike.
Lichty won the NCS Newspaper Panel Cartoon Division Award 4 times: 1956, 1960, 1962 and 1964.
Above, the knights, the castle -- there's enough detail and knowledge to telegraph the Middle Ages look. That shadow under the the knights in the middleground pops them out and makes them the focus.
Mr. Lichty (1905-1982) draws us in using angles and, occasionally, like Danziger, a bird's eye view.
Even with this one -- the room is slightly askew. Even the couch is at an angle. I liked the pedestal ashtray -- not something a cartoonist chooses to draw today.
After 1974, the panel was taken over by the team of Ralph Dunagin and Fred Wagner. It's still going today, syndicated by King Features.
More here from Don Markstein's Toonpedia.