Monday, November 13, 2023

Grumbacher Library: "The Art of Cartooning" by Jack Sidebotham (1976)


The Grumbacher Library series of instructional books was a midcentury go-to for people interested in drawing or painting. They had a lot of books, including specialty books on subjects like drawing the face and hands, painting horses, color mixing, painting street scenes, and then, there's this: "The Art of Cartooning." 

"The Art of Cartooning" was written and drawn by Madison Avenue ad man and cartoonist Jack Sidebotham (1927 - 2010). He was famous then for helping create Harry and and Bert -- animated characters from a series of TV commercials for Piels beer which ran on television from 1955 to 1960. UPA animated the spots. They were voiced by the comedy team of Bob and Ray. Here's one of their commercials:

By the 1970s, Jack had turned his talent to ABC television's Saturday morning cartoons, designing some of the "Scholastic Rock" cartoons that ran for years. You know: Schoolhouse Rock, Multiplication Rock and so on. More at The Untold Truth of Schoolhouse Rock! There are some behind these scenes bits from the Schoolhouse Rock episode "Lolly Lolly Lolly Get Your Adverbs Here" that he worked on. The video is here.

In 1976, he created this oversized 32 page Grumbacher Art Library book, "hosted" by his two then-most famous characters, the animated beer salesmen Bert and Harry Piel. 

I was going to scan the book for you, but good ol' Jeff Overturf already did. Here are the first couple of pages. Jeff has the rest. 

Go to Inside Jeff Overturf's Head for the entire book. Thanks, Jeff!

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