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Figure Drawing


The All American Art of Cartooning


By Bert Cholet
With Lesson Plans Illustrated by David Icove

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The "All American" Art Cartooning at Amazon.com

The All American Art of Cartooning

A thorough intoduction to cartooning with explanations of humor and lots of examples of humorous drawings, sequential action and expression - plus examples of published comic strips, single panels, sports cartoons, cartoons in advertising and more.

From the preface:

"The All American Art" was written to fill a definite need, that of a low cost book which would help to break down the barriers of thought still cherished by some individuals against cartooning as an art. It is also designed to bring joy to millions who do not have the opportunity to attend schools or libraries where they may learn more about cartooning.

We believe "The All American Art" serves its purpose admirably in that it condenses into so few pages a brief description of a field with many approaches. We believe "The All American Art" will stimulate the thinking of any reader. If the layman reader, after reviewing the following pages, enjoys a new vision of American carfooning and its great contribution to present day living we shall indeed feel the book is a success.

From the Chapter on Humor:

The reader who wishes to create cartoons of a humorous nature can profit by reading a few good books on the theory of humor. Probably the most recent is the excellent work of Max Eastman called ďThe Enjoyment of Laughter.Ē Besides setting in orderly sequence in the readerís mind the possibilities engendered in different types of humor, "The Enjoyment of Laughter" acts as a stimulus to your thinking. By footnotes and index Max Eastman pays tribute to the authors and contents of many other works on humor from which the reader may enlarge his knowledge.

Most theorists on the subject of humor agree that the word "incongruity" is the shortest and best description of what makes people laugh. In other words, an incongruous, absurd or ridiculous situation is considered to be the basis of most humor. This theory is mainly applicable in the cartooning field to single box cartoons where the situation must be grasped as an entirety at one glance. The result is the same but a better build-up is possible in strip cartoons. The multiple box injects the possibility of a change in the point of view in the last box which results in the incongruous, laughter creating payoff for the readerís efforts in reading the first few boxes. In this respect, humor whether oral or visual is somewhat like news. The man who said, ďIf a dog bites a man itís not news, but if a man bites a dog, thatís news,Ē might have been speaking of humor. It is certainly incongruous and a change in our orderly thinking to expect a man to bite a dog.

From the page on Drawing Hands:

The hand is so flexible and so expressive that the use of formulas in its construction is likely to give a rather stiff result. However, until you can draw graceful hands, stick to formulas. You will at least be able to construct convincing positions by this method.

Using a circle for the palm and joining the fingers together in a mitten-like effect is a good way to start your drawing. You can then proceed to separate the fingers at your leisure. Use your own hands as the model for your drawing. It is convenient to have a mirror set up in front of you to observe what your hands are doing as you will get a bad perspective looking at then directly.

Do ordinary things like picking up objects holding a cigar, pipe or cigarette, pulling on gloves, pouring water holding a glass, etc. Donít worry about the wrinkles and knuckles or joints. Just stick to drawing simple planes and angles to give your palm and fingers a natural looking action.

Two Copies of The All American Art of Cartooning are listed at Alibris, from $50.00. Get your copy here:

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