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Holy cow: COWBOY WALLY animation test


Kyle Baker has posted a very short animation test for what appears to be an animated version of Cowboy Wally, a strong contender for funniest graphic novel of all time. (Man, it took some real detective work to figure that one out, right?)

Those of you predisposed to get excited about this, now is the time. Here’s another all too brief snippet.


  1. Actually, I wish I could say something nice about this because I love the book COWBOY WALLY–which as I understand from interviews, Baker doesn’t now think very highly of, either the art or the writing(which baffles me–it’s one of the best things he’s ever done). But this gives the impression he’s dumbing it down in hopes of getting the kind of people who like Pixar or FAMILY GUY. I especially find it annoying that CW here sounds like Homer Simpson.

  2. The voices are inspired by Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. The original book was inspired by Neal Simon’s “The Odd Couple”, in addition to the obvious WC Fields influence. Wally’s voice is Matthau with overtones of Fields. The entire Wally character has always been CLEARLY based on WC Fields. The face, hat and alcoholism are stolen from Fields.
    Obviously, I’m enamored of the character and the book, since I’ve done three printings, a newspaper strip which I reprinted in an anthology, and am producing new animated cartoons based on the book. The joke in the animated preview posted here is taken from the book. I’ve also been developing a game called COWBOY WALLY’S FUNLAND. The models are done and a preview of the build was posted at http://www.qualityjollity.com/Wallytest.html . Later in the year a FOURTH edition will be published (I’m letting the new publisher make that announcement). Thanks, Heidi and Christopher, for supporting this project.

  3. Kyle: as far as the voices, okay, I see that now. Although I do think that both Fields and Matthau are too smart and knowing to be comparable to CW. ;)

    My belief that you were not still that fond of the book came from an interview I now can’t remember the source of. I honestly seem to recall that you deprecated it, which again, I found confusing; I STILL re-read that book. I seem to recall something you said about some pro reading it and dismissing it because it seemed made up as it went along. Which, by the way, even if it was, so what; the result was splendid. Anyway, if I’m mistaken about that, I’m happy and I apologize.

    As regards the style itself: I can’t sign on to it, sadly. I guess I feel that CW works best in the laconic, quieter style it was originally done in. (and I’ve looked at your art on that many times for lessons on understatement and pacing; I consider it an influence and a work of early genius for you) That’s probably unfair bias on my part, but I just don’t like this look–for HIM anyway. That doesn’t mean I won’t look at the final product, and amend my opinion should it be better. And this is just a test, not a finished cartoon, and I recognize that.

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