Category Archives: Cartoonists

Gary Larson

The man who created the Far Side

Image of Gary Larson from
www. thefamouspeople. com

Gary Larson is one of the most famous contemporary cartoonists. He was born in Tacoma Washington in August 14, 1950.
He is the creator of The Far Side, a series of cartoons published by numerous newspapers around the world.
The Far Side is a strip composed of a single cartoon, often but not always accompanied by a caption that serves as a description. It is considered by many to be the best one cartoon series ever published. The themes of the cartoons are based on totally surreal comparisons between human and animal behavior, often exchanging points of view and relegating man to an “inferior” species.

From the description of what cows do when they are not observed by men, to the dangers of being an insect, to the father of a family who – in a house surrounded by fences and other houses – explains to his son that the singing of birds is a normal way with which an inferior animal marks its own territory.
In 1985 Gary Larson received a prestigious award: having given the name to a new insect species, the Strigiphilus garylarsoni, a chewing louse Larson said he considered it “a great honor”. Also, I knew that no one was going to write me to ask me to give my name to a new species of swan. You must seize these opportunities when they arise. “
The thagomizer – the group of 4-6 spines on the stegosaurs’ tail – owes its name to Gary Larson. The name, used for the first time in his cartoon, was in fact adopted by the American paleontologist community, becoming an anatomical term in all respects.

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One of Larson’s most famous cartoons shows two gorillas gazing at each other. One of them finds a human hair on the other and sarcastically asks: “Have you done any more research with that Jane Goodall?” The Jane Goodall Institute protested and – through its lawyers – had the author and his syndication receive a letter in which the cartoon was called “an atrocity”.
The institute was however put in difficulty by the Goodall itself, which instead declared to have found the cartoon funny . Since then, all the profits from the rights to that cartoon have been donated to the Jane Goodall Institute. Goodall then wrote a preface for the collection The Far Side Gallery 5, explaining the terms of the controversy and praising The Far Side for creativity, which often comes from the comparison and contrast between human and animal behavior. Larson also wrote in detail about the controversy in The Pre History of the Far Side.
In the episode “The book job” of “The Simpsons”, there is a quote from one of the Far Side cartoons: the real reason why the dinosaurs became extinct.

Larson married in 1987 Toni Carmichael, an anthropologist. Early in their relationship, Carmichael became his manager. Larson said “She’s my Pit Bull, but she’s a nice one.”
Larson plays jazz guitar and took lessons from jazz guitarists Remo Palmieri and Herb Ellis. He also drew the cover of the 1988 released album Doggin ‘Around by Herb Ellis and Red Mitchell.

Charles Schulz

Charles Schulz the father of Charlie Brown and the Peanuts

Charles Schulz was an American cartoonist and the inventor of the comic series The Peanuts. During his lifetime, Schulz drew over 17,800 comic strips and wrote the scripts for the television and cinema appearances of Peanuts. For his life’s work, he was included in the Cartoonist Hall of Fame and honored with the highest civilian award of the US Congress, the Congressional Gold Medal.
Schulz grew up in Saint Paul in the Midwestern United States as the only child of Carl Fred Schulz from Stendal in the Altmark, and his Norwegian wife Dena Bertina (nee Halverson). The family had their paternal roots in the Altmark, in Eichstedt and Baben. His father – as well as the father of cartoon character Charlie Brown – was a hairdresser and had his own salon. Schulz liked to read the comics in newspapers as a child, his favorites included “Krazy Kat” by George Herriman, “Popeye” by Elzie Crisler Segar, Milton Caniff, Roy Crane and J. R. Williams. Even in the first grade Schulz performed well, so that let the principal of the elementary school in St. Paul skip the fourth grade.

In 1934, the twelve-year-old was given a dog – a black and white promenade mix – who was christened Spike and later became the model for Snoopy. In 1937, Schulz made his first release in the comic book Ripley’s Believe It or Not! – the theme was an episode from the life of Spike. He had swallowed a small ball and, in the evening after he had eaten a portion of spaghetti, again choked it out. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! printed Schulz ‘drawing of the dog and a short text.
In addition to high school, Schulz completed a correspondence course in comic drawing at the Minneapolis-based Art Instruction Schools, Inc.

In 1943 he was drafted into the army. During his basic education, his mother died of cancer in February 1943. Schulz was sent to France, Germany and Austria with the 20th US Armored Division and participated in the liberation of Dachau.
Back from the war, he accepted a job at a Catholic publishing house in St. Paul. He wrote the texts in the speech bubbles for the Christian comic booklet Timeless Topix. Shortly after Schulz had taken up this position, also the distance school offered him a job. He then worked during the day for the Art Instruction Schools, Inc., where he corrected the work of the beginner courses, in the evening he made the lettering for Timeless Topic.

Between 1948 and 1950 Schulz began to send his comics to the Saturday Evening Post and was able to sell at least 15 pieces. Meanwhile, Schulz not only filled the balloons of the English Timeless Topix, but also got the French and Spanish issues for lettering. A short time later, Roman Baltes, the art director of the Timeless Topix, bought Schulz a small series of comic strips, titled “Just keep laughing”, about a small group of children.

Frank Wing, a colleague of Schulz ‘at Kuns He gave the drawings the title of Li’l Folks and was soon able to sell his cartoons – still nicknamed “Sparky” – as a weekly series to the St. Paul Pioneers Press.
In 1950 Schulz sent a selection of his work to the United Feature Syndicate in New York and signed in the same year a contract with United Media.
On October 2, 1950, the first episode of Peanuts was released, a name Schulz was always very unhappy about. He would have preferred “Charlie Brown” or “Good Old Charlie Brown.” The United Feature Syndicate decided over Schulz’s head that the strip should be called “The Peanuts,” and Schulz finally agreed after his concerns were ignored. The comic strip was published in seven newspapers, the agency paid Schulz for 90 US dollars in the first month.

The evolution of peanuts
The protagonists of the series were Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Shermy and Patty in the first few months (not to be confused with the character Peppermint Patty). Shermy and Patty gradually became less important and eventually disappeared completely from the cartoon. In 1951 Schroeder was introduced to the troupe, a year later Lucy and her little brother Linus. In 1954, the children made acquaintance with Pigpen, the eternally filthy boy. In 1959 Charlie Brown got a little sister named Sally. In 1960, the Beagle Snoopy became increasingly human and began to run and think on his hind legs. Since then, Snoopy’s kennel can only be seen in the famous side view.

In 1966 Charlie Brown met Peppermint Patty, who had narcolepsy. In 1968, Schulz introduced the African-American boy Franklin to his cartoon, and two years later the Bird Woodstock.
In 1971, the children’s group was supplemented by the serious Marcie, a year later, Lucy and Linus got another family addition, her brother Rerun. In the year 1975, Snoopy’s brother Spike, who has since been involved in the stories as a regular “guest star”, appeared.
At first Charlie Brown was allowed to be mean as well. Over the years, however, Charlie Brown was more likely to become the target of others’ ridicule, a fate he endured with ease. He is always somehow involved in the misfortunes of his friends, he suffers and suffers, as Charlie Brown is a caricature of the average citizen.

Famous Cartoonists

wikipedia image

A cartoonist is an artist specialized in drawing cartoons. The term is also used for people who create comics, comic strips and for those working in the field of animation. The artists, whose works have a “cartoon” style (from cartoon or comics), are also called cartoonists.A cartoonist traditionally begins with a sketch of the drawing done in pencil, before passing it with black ink, using either brushes or pens. The cartoonists whose work is used in web publications use digital programs.
Large comic book publishers (such as Marvel or DC) use cartoonist groups to produce jobs (usually with a group working on pencils, one for inks, and another for colour added digitally). When one prefers a certain type of style among the cartoonists , a character model is used as a reference.


Traditional animation uses specialized cartoonists, called animators who, through an interpolation process, take care of drawing all the boards that connect the movements of the characters.

Animator is a job title from the film industry. The Animator deals with the creation of single-frame movies (animation), either hand-drawn, computer-generated or executed using any technique. The formerly known designator animator is gradually replaced by “2-D Animator”, in contrast to the 3-D animator or computer animator .

The art of the animator is to bring the inanimate to life. “An animator is an actor with a pencil” , supplemented today by “or with the computer”. The training of an animator takes place nowadays mainly as a study, both at film schools as well as at private training centers. Being able to animate on paper continues to be the basis of the profession, only later does it specialize in a particular technique or one of the niche professions within the film industry. The use of computers is in any case, as well as hand-drawn animation is usually processed today in the computer.

Depending on the size of the studio and the size of the film project, an animator is a generalist, who masters everything from the idea to the figure design to animation and camera, or he is a specialist who moves under the guidance of other foreign characters. In addition to this character animation, there are for example, special effects animation, scientific visualization or animated visualization in design and architecture. Due to the rapid development in the field of computer animation also people without classical education can work as animators, provided that they have only enough talent or aptitude.