Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Grin and Bear It by George Lichty

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.


Snowman Expert said...

One of my favorite cartonists and a good lesson for me as I remind myself to draw instinctively and loose for my New Yorker sketches. I will attempt to find a book of his on Amazon or something. I was surprised by your "seven year" comment regarding submitting to New Yorker and part of me thinks you were joking.

Other cartoonists like David Sipress explained they waited 15 years before breaking in. Amazing. It was suggested I appear every week in the office but lately my schedule is so instense (I'm designing my upcoming book as well as regular jobs, ex; I have a cartoon in this upcoming Sunday Times sports), it's every other week at best right now.

Kevin Langley said...

Hello Mike,

This is a great post! I've been looking around for more info on Lichty after reading about his influence on Rod Scribner. I'm familiar with Grin and Bear It but hadn't really seen any of Lichty's comics. Thanks for sharing.

Great blog BTW, consider it bookmarked and linked.

Walter Loyd Lilly said...

...I now follow the modern-day one (after having read Lichty's original on a long-gone New York Sunday newspaper called THE NEW YORK COLUMN) .
It's nicely drawn but one source of fascination ` or was , about 1&3/4 years back ~ is that they seemed to be more or less repurposing/re-making old " hippie/protestor/longhair " jokes as Occupy jokes ! Oh and I think I've seen clearly 100% repeated drawings given new captions , is that something you (on any comic , not just GABI) you've ever written about ?????????

Walter Loyd Lilly said...

...I now follow the modern-day version (having grown up on the Nixon-era New York newspaper called THE NEW YORK COLUMN that served as a refuge for a whole lot of " lesser " comic strips left orphaned by NYC's great contraction in the number of newspapers by the end of the Sixties) , and enjoy it.........
But especially about 2 years back , when the modern GABI seemed to be recycling old " hippie/longhair/protestor " jokes repurposed as Occupy jokes !!!!!!!!!

HankPym said...

The strip has now been discontinued by KFS ~ :-( Sniff .

Spel Chekker said...

Grin and Bear It
Regarding horsepower, Lichty said, "The American Public doesn't like to dawdle between stop lights."
Car dealer showing a 1050's car with very high tail fins says, "The top light is a warning for low flying airplanes."