Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cartoon Class, March 2008, Milton, NH

Above: the students are given a gag line and then asked to draw what it suggests. This is "He has money to burn."

Time to look at some new cartoonists. Here are some scans of just a few of the drawings that we produce in the local cartooning class that I'm teaching once a week. There are up to a half dozen guys, all junior high and high school age -- and all of them are ready and eager to draw!

Above: another caption. This time the young cartoonist was given "He's eating me out of house and home!" and the image above was the result.

Above: my version.
One thing to keep in mind is that most of the guys take what they've drawn home with them. Sometimes, sketches are left on the table, and that's what these are: the dregs of the cartoon class. But these are good dregs!

Yes, we spend some time talking about musculature, but it's not as fun as anthropomorphic dogs with vests and ties!

We try to put character into all of our sketches. Look at the cool posture of this guy.

One of our warm up exercises one day was to play the Exquisite Corpse game, where one person draws the top and another person (without seeing what the other person has drawn) draws the bottom. Then you unfold it and see the resulting character. No, I don't know why it's called Exquisite Corpse!!!

But I think that the game is at its best when you are drawing a cartoon head. Below are a few examples from about 60 or so drawings that we all produced in about 10 minutes of playing:

Look at the detail: those buttons in the collar and the strips on the tie. That mouth is INSANE! And great crossed eyes!

I drew part of some of these. Above: I drew the fellow's chin and mouth and shoulders. Those crazy bloodshot eyes (and the cigarette & blacked out tooth) are all from one of the student cartoonists. Great imagination!

I drew that tongue and goatee, and, as you remember, the guy who drew the top had no idea what the bottom of the head looked like. I thought a couple of these, including the above, just looked great!

Whacky hair!
That's my writing, letting the student cartoonist know to draw the bottom of a head. I doodled the top.

Above: "Hey you kids! Stay offa my lawn!"

Above: a sweet young thing with a dimpled chin.

Goofy guy with a dopey hat and bowtie.
I like a lot of the characters! So many of them suggest that they could be used in comic book stories! And we have another class this afternoon! More cartoons! More great characters! And in 10-15 years, these guys are going to be my competition!

So, there you go: some cool new young cartoonists to cleanse the old cartoonist palate a bit.


Bob Buethe said...

And speaking of drawing games, have you ever played Telephone Pictionary?

Marek Bennett said...

Mike --

Glad you're having such a time with these kids! Yes, we old ones can learn a LOT from the young ones. Being a kid (at least in part) is VITAL for cartooning. It's cool to see your lines combining with theirs. I can't wait to read the comics that come out of these exercises...

-- Marek

Mark Anderson said...

Wow! Those are really fun!

I took a class from the local paper's cartoonist in high school. This really takes me back...

One more thing, is it just me, or does the corpse with the crazy bloodshot eyes, the cigarette & blacked out tooth looked like the Archie principal?

Mike Lynch said...

It was such a pleasant surprise to see links to this over at Comics Reporter and The Comics Journal's Journalista! Wow!

Bob, thanks for suggesting another game. I never heard of telephone pictionary.

Marek, thanks for your kind words. Most of the material being produced is then taken home. I need to bring my scanner in to class!

Mark, that guy does look like a deranged Mr. Weatherbee!