Category ArchiveBill Peckmann
Talk about “Modern Cartoon” Bill Peckman sent me this book about Rome. It’s a beauty and deserves to be shown off. Thanks to Bill for calling attention to Miroslav Sasek‘s work.
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A while back, Bill Peckmann assembled a number of sample pages from the many pieces Jack Davis had illustrated over a 10 year period. View that here. Bill’s done it again and offers many more glimpses of the many styles of this brilliant illustrator by showing the lead, splash panels of the many stories he did. It really gives us a good indecation of how much work and how varied Jack Davis’ style was and still is.
Mad comic book #8.
And we end with three cover samples.
- Bill Peckmann collaborated with Rowland Wilson, back in the early ’80s, on a charming little book for children that never found a publisher and, consequently, never was completed. Bill had a bound copy of the book – in a mockup form – and sent it to me. I, naturally, would like to share it.
First, here’s the note on the inner sleeve of the cover:
- ABOUT BEDTIME FOR ROBERT, A WORDLESS BOOK
Bedtime for Robert is intended to bring to small children an early experience of the special personal relationship one has to a book; the availability and flexibility that a book enjoys over a fixed-time medium such as television.
Being wordless, the book needs no translation. The child has access to it at any time without relying on adults. This early exposure to the physical reality of books will, we believe, enhance the experience of reading later on.
The story combines the pull of a narrative with information that appeals to a child’s curiosity: in this case what goes on at night in the adult world. Although the child must go to bed (reluctantly), Robert the cat’s curiosity leads him into this forbidden adult world. Robert is all cat with cat qualities, not a little person in a cat suit as most cartoon cats are. The child can project his own emotions into the character.
The authors are booklovers with extensive experience in both print and film. We have both won Emrnys and other awards for our animation designs for educational TV.
We believe this is the first book to utilize the principles of film continuity in a printed form. This continuity is vital to the understanding of a narrative without the aid of words.
The use of film pacing supports the unfolding of adventure and humor in a wordless story.
The book is planned to be in color. The pages up to 17 are in finished linework and the rest is in rough layout form.
Robert is conceived as a series. The character and structure would remain constant. The variables would be in the cat’s adventures in various places, seasons, times of the day, and occupations.
Please contact either of us at the addresses below. This is a simultaneous submission.
You’ll see immediately how original this book is:
(Click any image to enlarge.)
And just to put everything in proper perspective, here’s a letter they received from Houghton Mifflin rejecting the book. He was Rowland B. Wilson, for god’s sake!
Bill Peckmann added this background info: “The rejection slip from
Houghton Mifflen really hurt the most because our thinking at the time
was that since they were publishing Bill Peet’s books (my all time
favorites), we thought they would understand the concept of “Robert”
better than anyone else. Go figure”
This is the second part of the book for youngsters written and illustrated by Dick Moores from his comic strip, Gasoline Alley. Moores took over the strip when Frank King, the originator, retired. I’ve written frequently that i love this edition of the strip. Dick Moores’ open, rounded line work is just beautiful to me, and I like his compositions as well.
It’s interesting in this book how he keeps to closeups of the characters leaving a lot of white space to work against his linar shading. Only rarely do we get a longer, establishing shot of the scenes. It’s quite effective in its own way and, at the same time, gives it a variance to the strip done for syndication.
Many thanks to Bill Peckmann for scanning and forwarding the book to us for posting. I love it.
Bill Peckmann forwarded this wonderful package of comic stories. They’re three Junior Woodchuck stories by Carl Barks; classic ones, at that. It’s always great fun to revisit the Donald stories by Barks, so without any more wasted time, here we go to Bill:
- In 1951, Donald Duck comic book artist Carl Barks had stepped up to the next level of his extraordinary creative powers. Lucky for us little ankle biters then, that was the year he introduced Duckburg’s memorable kid’s organization, the “Junior Woodchucks”. (Boy, did we all long to join up also!)
Here from that year are two of the first JW stories. It only went uphill from there, the JW’s eventually got their own comic book.These couple of stories are reprinted and re colored from Gladstone Publishing.
The first “Junior Woodchucks” story appeared in “Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories” #125, Feb. 1951. This second story is from “WDC&S” #132, Sept. 1951.
“Walt Disney Comics & Stories” #132 gave us little squirts an extra bonus; not only did it contain a Donald Duck story by the “good guy artist”, there was also a second story in that issue illustrated by his deft hand! Even though the “Grandma Duck” story wasn’t written by Barks, it still has the master’s touch in all of those beautifully rendered panels.
- Bill Peckmann sent me a wonderful gift. My absolute favorite are the drawngs Dick Moore‘s did when he took over Gasoline Alley from Frank King. There’s a wonderful roundness to the illustrations; you can almost feel the holes in some of their shoes. This is a wonderfully animatable style. Too bad animation died before any pencils could copy it.
The images are from a book called, “The Smoke from Gasoline Alley.” There are plenty of large pages, and we’ve decided to keep them large to appreciate them. Naturally, the story is also great.
We’ll have to break this into two parts. Here’s #1:
- For about six months back in 1980 I did some free lance work for Ruby Spears on their show Plastic Man. I barely remember a thing about it except that I made a lot of money quickly. I was animating AND assisting about 150 feet of animation each week on the primary show Plastic Man as well as a couple of their adjoining series: Rickety Rocket and Fangface. The show was a real waste of my time and after a while on it, I quit. I didn’t want to get hung up on the worst of the H-B kind of work. I made a lot but was allowing my knowledge to go to waste. Just after I quit they pulled the work from New York since they weren’t able to keep a handle on the animation.
All that time and I had no idea of the source material. Now comes this comic from Bill Peckmann‘s enormous collection. It’s fun reading and gives me a hint of a catch up. So let me turn it over to Bill:
- Jack Cole and Harvey Eisenberg. Two of the best cartoonists from the early years of comic book history. The last time they probably shared a venue together was way back in the beginning of the 1950′s, and that would have been in a comic book rack in a candy store.
Because they were both masters of drawing “takes” and “freeze frame” action poses, I thought it would be fun to post two of their stories together. Also remember, neither was a slouch when it came to doing beautiful page layouts and those pages always came with their excellent spotting and placing of blacks, simply terrific stuff!
Here is Jack Cole‘s super hero creation “Plastic Man”. This story was published in 1950. It will be followed by a Disney “Li’l Bad Wolf” story by Harvey Eisenberg.
Harvey Eisenberg‘s “The Li’l Bad Wolf” story appeared in the Sept. 1951 issue of “Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories”. Cover by Carl Barks.
After all the versions of Disney’s Peter Pan sent me by Peter Hale – all UK versions – Bill Peckmann surprised me with Al Hubbard‘s version for Dell comics. Here’s the American comic book version by the very capable artist. And Bill Peckmann‘s comments:
- Al Hubbard’s take on the film, Peter Pan, is all his, he doesn’t let you down. Those old timers had so much confidence in their abilities, as Sinatra sang, he did it his way. And it still holds up!
Comic book cover
- I have always been aware of Frank Tashlin‘s book, “The Bear That Wasn’t,” and I have never liked it. Well, Bill Peckmann sent me a copy of scans of the book, and I realize that I’ve disliked it because of CHuck Jones’ insipid animated adaptation. When you look at the actual book and the beautiful illustrations, you realize how sensitive the material is and how beautifully handled it is. The illustrations are, in a word, great.
I’m so pleased Bill sent these scns to me, and I almost disgrace the post by ending with the Jones cartoon. It’s no wonder Tashlin disliked Chuck’s work. Take a look. First a lead-in by Bill:
Grim Natwick was an admirer of Frank Tashlin, and all I can say to that is… it takes a renaissance man to know a renaissance man.
Here is the 1962 Dover reprint of Frank Tashlin’s 1946 book, “The Bear That Wasn’t”
The original cover
Here’s the Chuck Jones cartoon as released by MGM.
It’s got problems that weren’t in the book.
They mostly come from Chuck Jones.
Lately I have been seeing a lot of theater, from the British musical, Matilda, to my wife, Heidi‘s sweet and loving adaptation of Sondheim‘s Into the Woods. From Odet‘s dark and difficult The Big Knife to so many numerous others, recently. There have been great highs and mediocre lows, both sets of shows get my excitement level high and challenges me to think key thoughts on direction, acting, music, sets and costumes.
How interesting for Bill Peckmann to send me some caricatures off the walls of Sardi’s restaurant where I’d eaten just a few nights back, and Bill reminds me strongly of the evening. This just after hearing, last night, Baz Luhrman and wife, Catherine Martin, talk about their very theatrical film, The Great Gatsby. It made for a rich and notable program. Film and theater and animation are all so intricately entwined and wonderfully connected. We need to admit it and salute these connections more often.
How wonderful for me and how grateful I am to Bill Peckmann for sharing images from the walls of Sardi’s restaurant in New York. The celebrated celebrity caricatures directly off the walls of that restaurant are all wonderful. So easy to identify the images, so beautifully defined his style which doesn’t define the drawings but blesses them gently. All of these drawings in this book are by cartoonist/illustrator, Don Bevan. I didn’t need to refer to the book to identify the celebrity for the caricature in the blog. I’d say that’s a sign of a good caricaturist.
The book’s cover