The interesting thing about cartooning is that the work often speaks for itself. The characters that a cartoonist creates become famous, those are the “faces” that are recognized that world renowned. If the cartoonist is lucky, they can ride their characters’ metaphorical coat-tails into recognizable fame. But, often times, the artists themselves rarely get the spotlight.
I wanted to dedicate a few posts to introducing you to some of the best cartoonists that have graced this earth; these are all artists that (in my opinion) you should know.
Robert Crumb is an artist in multiple senses of the word. He’s both a cartoonist and a musician, that was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was born into a family that moved a lot, so his best friend, and fellow creative was his brother Charles. They shared a love of comic books and co-created their own comics during their youth, and his passion for comics continued into his adult life.
Robert Crumb is most well known for his works Zap Comix and Weirdo, but has a long list of creations published under his name. His work has been hailed as incredibly detailed, and socially aware, with a knack for incredibly well done satire. Crumb described his early drawing style as “typical”, but thanks LSD trip for opening his artistic eye, and bringing him the psychedelic, surreal style that he is known for.
Chuck Jones is definitely one of the more well known cartoonists in the industry, and was part of what is deemed the “Golden Age of Animation”. Jones was one of the geniuses that helped to bring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Porky Pig to life, and he was single-handedly responsible for the birth of fan favorites Wile E Coyote, Road Runner, Marvin Martian, & Pepe le Pew. In other words, he can truly be considered one of the forefathers of modern cartooning.
Before Chuck Jones made it big, he was drawing dollar pencil portraits on the streets. But, he eventually found his way to Warner Brothers studios where he worked until their doors closed. He then hopped from Disney to MGM, where he worked on Tom and Jerry cartoons. If you’ve seen the classics, you’ve probably seen some of Chuck Jones’s work.
Be sure to check back next month to see more cartoonists you should know!