Monday, February 28, 2011

Roy Crane "How to Draw Buz Sawyer"

"Mix good characters ... action, sex ... into a well-composed picture with blacks, whites and grays. Then with good drawing, good planning, and good luck you should have a pleasing strip."

Roy Crane talks about his work in "Roy Crane and Buz Sawyer" from issue no. 3 of Cartoonist PROfiles, Summer 1969. "The unique quarterly magazine for the professional, the cartoon buff, the student, and all who enjoy cartoons" it's noted under the masthead. This is so early in the history of Jud Hurd's great magazine that he felt obliged to have an explanation on the cover.

Roy Crane shares "How to Draw Buz Sawyer," which originally was part of a scrapbook he donated to the Syracuse University Manuscript Collection. Mr. Crane would continue his series during the early years of Cartoonist PROfiles magazine. (Click here for his "How to Draw Women.")

Roy and Ebba Crane in their home in Orlando, Florida.

He describes the work and pressure of coming up not only with the story, but maintaining the quality, cramming drawings "with endless detail of aircraft carriers, planes and flight gear, all of which had to be done accurately, or the new strip would would fail to gain a sense of reality and prestige."

And, yeah, he talks about "The Reason for Benday."

Below is the article, in its entirety, which begins with "Damn Sunday pages!"

A big hat tip to Don Orehek for this issue of Cartoonist PROfiles!


Jeff P said...

Thanks for posting this, Mike. I look forward to reading it when I've got the time.

Brian Fies said...

Great stuff, Roy Crane was the best. It's tempting to label him "underappreciated" but I don't know if he really is . . . many cartoonists cited him as an influence and he gets a lot of mentions in the comics history books. Still, my sense is he doesn't get as much credit as he deserves.

Looking at his work now, I'm struck my how contemporary it appears to my eye. Crane's style could work today (partly because modern cartoonists are still influenced by him whether they know it or not, and partly because "retro" is hot, I suppose).

john adcock said...

Thanks, Mike. Buz Sawyer is often neglected compared to Wash Tubbs. I read Buz Sawyer nearly every day for twenty years and it's nice to read such an informative behind the scenes article.

Dan Thompson said...


Rina Yay! said...

This is so great, Mike! Thanks for posting this.

goddidit said...

Thank you for this reminder.
Respect fortheir talent and gratitude for exceptional persons who archive them.