I’m a much slower story-artist than I used to be, but random pauses at work sometimes give me chances to dabble on my pet personal project – an expansion of old Rocket Rabbit comics stories.
For the past few years Rocket Rabbit has become primarily an art therapy project, as I continue to learn to draw with my left hand. I’m still trying to find a style with a balance of fast & loose but precise & funny, which is requirement for a story-artist as well. As that search is on-going, these drawings here aren’t final print-ready art, but loose character concepts. In addition to such drawing exploration, the fun of this project is in expanding the silly world of Rocket & Professor, and practicing my writing. Though ‘writing‘ is perhaps too grandiose a term for what I’m aiming for.
As a wee child, I always got a kick out of the nutty reality of cartoons; that a man-sized rabbit could verbally banter with his human hunter. That a talking mouse could have a talking dog as one of his best friends, and yet own a non-verbal pet dog as well. Aesop’s fables often had this surreal logic, as well as fairy tales, and our nightly dreams work that way too. It’s utter nonsense that makes sense in a weird way.
I’ve worked in animation studios all my adult life, and enjoy it immensely, but over the years psychologists and story gurus have hit everything so hard with their respective logic sticks that much of that nutty joy has been boiled out of the cartoon soup, and tossed down the sink. I didn’t get into animation because I wanted it to be like real life, I got into it precisely because it’s NOT.
9 thoughts on “Critters”
Cartoons even have their own Laws of Physics. Dump the real one in the sink too.
Oh yes, my first introduction to physics was through cartoons, or slapstick live action, which painful results:
Yeah, enough with the logic sticks already. From a very early age, my son Jack figured out when he could duck out of the movie theatre and take a leak without missing any of the “fun parts”. McKee-101, man.
“Whoops.. someone’s about to have an epiphany.. time for a WAZZ..”
Exactly… the power to dream is filtered through so many lenses now we are becoming deaf, blind and mute. Just write for yourself…
Speaking of writing, did you ever put together a Grimshaw collection?
Just what I put on blog…
You’re bang on with that theory, the whole cartoon thing represents an unlimited way of thinking. Silly, abstract or ridiculous humor is the very fabric of cartoons.
All this has now been forgotten in modern times, particularly the humor bit, nobody seems to do ‘funny’ these days. I know I’m an old curmudgeon but I just can’t be sold on realism and taxidermy.
Remember that the best cartoons were written visually by artists not writers and so it remains the best way.
Also, you have a very descriptive and eloquent style with words as well, don’t forget that.
It’s not that I mind the other, more ‘rational’ real world approach. Character-based, etc etc. Structure-based Bla bla bla. There is a lot of stuff done that way that I like too. But I have a soft spot for nuttiness, which has gone out of style. I guess the argument against dreamlike wackiness is that ‘a little bit goes a long way’. Would a Tex Avery style movie give everyone aneurysms on the spot?