Another epic post from John K talking about what makes a cartoonist expressive. As usual today’s kids come up short.

These are what I call “Cal-Arts expressions”. They aren’t funny, and they don’t reflect any observation of or comment on humanity.

This is a style that is the opposite of cartoony. It’s about moving things smoothly and using the poses and expressions you have seen a million times in Disney and Bluth movies. These types of artists don’t have cartoonist personalities. They aren’t wacky or zany. They aren’t hard-bitten sarcastic men who take a grim realistic view of life and then make fun of it in their cartoons.

The right kind of guy, says Kricfalusi? Dan Gordon, who drew a bunch of strips for Giggle Comics before switching to animation and creating something called the Flintstones.

There’s even a few pages posted from old comic books, like this one.
It’s easy to see why John K would take a hankering to this kind of style, and how it influenced his own. He also links to this super cool site, Ich Bin Der Chrome Dinette that posts more old cartoony comic book pages in their yellowed glory.

We admit to being big fans of this style ourselves, but we don’t think it’s quite as lost as K. thinks, although the people who are naturally attracted to this style seem to use it more for emo-core autobiographical comics than adventures in canine scampery. Mark Martin pops to mind as an old school fun time guy. The people at Lunchbox would probably also qualify. Top Shelf probably publishes more modern day cartoonists in this vein than any publisher, oddly enough, include some who don’t really succeed at it, in our opinion.

Oh well, a topic for further study.


  1. Creators really need to stop blogging.

    It’s no secret that everyone thinks that what *they* do is as high as you can go artistically, but when you make a point of publicly dressing down anyone who does it differently as being “sheep” who must be “from the suburbs” (because Lord knows no one who’s middle class has ever created anything worthwhile) you’ve crossed the line from being principled to simply using your success and fame to throw your opinion around (usually to an online “crowd” of worshippers who’ll forgive you anything.)

    John K. begins his blog by drawing completely arbitrary lines between “illustrators”, “design-y illustrators”, and “cartoonists”, then rants for the rest of the page that artists going back seventy years have failed to fall on the side of the line that he finds acceptable. I enjoy the man’s work, but somebody needs to find John K. a porch that he can rattle his cane at people from.