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QUESTION: Hi. I recently posted this question, "What category does cartoony Western cartoons (and comics) fall under?" on Yahoo! Answers and I haven't gotten a satisfactorial response. I am hoping you can please help. I was trying to find an expert on animation here on Allexperts but I couldn't find one that can help.

Here are the details for this question:

"I think when most people look at Western animation and comics they think of it in two categories- comedy and action. Cartoony cartoons means those that are drawn exagerratedly and often simplisitcally. I know that "funny animal" is a genre that would go under cartoony cartoons but not all "funny animal" stuff is comedic and not all cartoony cartoons feature funny animal characters in them. Some Western cartoons are drawn realistically but could either be comedic or action. Is there a specific category for cartoony cartoons as opposed to the realistic stuff? I am an artist and am genuinely curious about this. Please help- thank you."

Please repsond soon- thank you.

ANSWER: howdy,
This question is an interesting one to say the least for to be honest with you I will put my neck out
and say: "A cartoon, is a cartoon, is a cartoon, is a cartoon.

Now, the SYLES of the drawing of the cartoons can be categorized to realistically drawn, or simple line drawings, or Abstract Expressionism , ‎Surrealism  or  ‎Expressionism.

The genre of the cartoon be it western art, or superhero, African, or new age. Your Style is determined on  HOW you draw the style and where you place the "toon.

The MOOD of the 'toon characters setting is strictly based on the SCRIPT that you are placing your characters in.

You as a WRITER make this decision be it, dramatic, (such as superhero stuff) or comedy, such as Disney or Pixar, or the TV cartoon children's programs which the scripting is simple for the child to enjoy and learn from.

You can make your characters like Mad magazine, where the styles are often times realistically exaggerated and beautifully characterized with caricatures of the person.   

Or you can make your SCRIPT a westernTHEME such a Hopalong Cassidy in a cartoon form, or superhero, or Political..it's all up to you and your sense of humor.

Then there are the political cartoons. And as you can see the myriad of different STYLES each artist has to get his or her point across as well as the MOOD and SETTING due to the SUBJECT matter and VERBIAGE that relays the artist point of view.

Then there are. as you know, the ACTION of ANIMAL cartoons which is called "anthropomorphic"
Traditionally there are two ways of standing and moving when you are drawing animals.

One, being drawn like a human being, with no hocks but knees like a human, and standing and walking like a human such as the early Disney characters.

Two, drawn like an animal standing up with hocks, and bent legs. as an animal would stand if it were real. A lot of times you see what I call "Furries" drawn this way, or animals in mystical, magical settings.

I feel it is the artist choice of the subject matter and what setting the 'toon is put in.   So as for a 'cartoony cartoon " this term or title can be of your choosing of what style of looks you make your figures.

To me when you say "Cartoony cartoon" my mind harkens back to the beginning of Disney's efforts. where the figures where in developmental stage and simplistically drawn, but following a 'funny bone' sense of humor in the scripts these characters had to follow.

Charles S. "Peanuts" which is extremely a simplistic cartoony cartoon. And the setting is placed in a rural setting.

So I hope that this can help you in your thoughts. Remember that each person has his own style of drawing, thus, in reality no two characters are going to look the same because of your particular STYLE.

It is like handwriting unless you are an expert forger, then your way of thinking will come out strictly your own unique way.

Sincerely,
Sequoia Cougar


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi and thank you for responding. I was an animation student and I am well aware of the "funny animal" genre- large numbers of cartoons are populated with funny animal characters- animal characters that are given humonoid forms and act like people, as in some of the old stuff from Disney, Warner Bros. (especially in the Looney Tunes series), MGM, Fox, Fleischer, Paramount, Universal (The Walter Lantz cartoons such as Woody Woodpecker, etc.) and various other Hollywood studios from the Golden Age, and from TV such as the old Hanna Barbera cartoons, and some other cartoons that were produced and made for TV and film from the mid- to late-2Oth Century and now. I was drawing "Funny animal" characters.

When I saw "cartoony cartoons" I think of cartoons as the ones I described above- they aren't drawn realistically, they are drawn in a style that is somewhat exaggerated and simplisitc to a degree.

Not all cartoony cartoons are "funny animal" ones like the Flintstones or Popeye or Jetsons, for instance. Not all "funny animal" ones are comedic, like the TMNT. However if you look at some of the cartoon shows that were based on Disney films or some other Disney-made cartoon shows that use their classic characters, or some of the human characters in TV cartoons that Warner Bros. puts out like the recent Looney Tunes Show, for instance, the human characters are drawn-somewhat realistically. Some comedic characters are drawn (somewhat) realistically.

I apologize if I was getting the terms mixed up. Is there a specific category for different STYLES of cartoons? General and specific terms that are used for realistically-drawn as opposed to cartoony as I described above? I am asking because I was doing research on this for a project. A while ago I was trying to find sources that show you how to draw cartoony fight scenes as opposed to realistically-drawn ones and I wasn't finding much.

Please help and thank for your response. Thank you.

Jason  

Answer
Hi Jason,

I find your question a very interesting one, for as a cartoonist, I never really thought of this.
For to me a style of a cartoonist depends on the look they want to depict with their characters.

Disney, Hanna B. Warner Brothers, Pixar studios all are known for their particular looks they give
their characters. And Audiences go to the movies expecting to see that particular look.

In the 'paper field, such as Comic Books, Mad Magazines, comic strips, and spots, Political, and graphic
novels, the style of drawings are relevant to that particular artist.

I believe as artists we, in our mind have a particular LOOK we want to display. This LOOK is a style that is particular
to how we draw and our personalities.

But, mayhap the STYLE we like is from a particular period of time such as Impressionistic, Art Nouveau, Abstract, Dada, simplistic, realistic, contemporary, or minimalistic, and we put that style to our work.

Just like in Music, you can take a Mozart piece which has a particular tempo and sound to it that is familiar to those that know Mozart, but then other artists can take and put their own spin on it with a Jazz theme, or new age, rap, heavy metal, elevator music, or gospel.

I believe Cartooning is like this. So, I have to say that to NAME A STYLE of a toon is not really thought about. And most people would say, "It is what it is."

I believe if you asked people what Style they liked in a toon they would direct your attention to the studio or artist that they liked best because of the way that toon made them feel. And that particular eye candy that pleases their senses.

You might as an experiment go out to the public and ASK them what style of toon they liked, and I bet they would tell you of the studio that they like because of the story line, the drawing, and the look of their characters.

I sadly can tell you that it is a rare person now a days that can tell you of the period style of any art work, for they just don't study that..

People go off their emotions and what pleases them when they look at a piece of art work.

Anyway hopefully this helps in a small way. I enjoyed your question and it made me think too!

Thank you for that!

Sincerely,
Sequoia Cougar  

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Sequoia Cougar

Expertise

I am a well rounded artist with many years of experience, and I feel I can answer with detail and accuracy most any question that might be asked that pertains to all types of art. I can not answer to the fullest about oil painting, because I don't oil paint. But I do know the material and what is a good oil paint, and the types of brushes to use as well as types of canvas. I am very capable of answering just about any questions relating to strip, gag, and illustration cartooning, scripting for graphic novels and comic books, (but I admit that I can not draw the 'action figure,' as they do now, but I know what is correct, and what isn't in human and animal anatomy. I can teach correct and dynamic perspective, action, " emotional feeling," and can get the student that has the comic book artistic flair to improve their stories and drawing where they can tell an energetic story. My genre is in cartooning and realistic drawing. But I also can teach perspective in such a way to where the student can quickly pick up this difficult subject. (This is a subject I know a comic book student must have.) Shading, coloring, with most any art media. I know where to buy art supplies, how these art materials work because of my experience selling these products what kind art supplies such as paper, paint, ink, colored pencils, and graphite pencils that the artist will need for their craft.

Experience

QUALIFICATIONS- I have over 30 years of experience in all facets of art, including, Illustration, Cartooning, Clay and Ceramics, Graphic Art, Fine Art, directing art projects for students and clients. I have an wide amount of knowledge in this field, which includes, an extensive knowledge of art materials,selling and buying art materials, consulting customers on the proper use of their art materials. Printing, layout, and Illustrative techniques. I can work on both the PC and Mac (Mac is not my preference) I have completed many Graphic Design projects for my customers, a few of which are, Realtors, Doctors, Hairdressers, Veterinarians I am in the process of publishing a book on Perspective which required working with Word 95, 98 2000. Other programs that I have worked with are: Works, Print Shop 5, 10, some in Corel Draw, Painter 3-D, Photo Shop 5.5, Illustrator 8.0, Page Maker , Quark XPress and Grafix. And am currently trying to learn Dreamweaver and Fireworks for Web design. For over 11 years I had been teaching art.at my own shop called “Graphic Cat School of Art.” I had taught for over two years at Tualatin Recreational Center.. I also have taught at the Oregon school for troubled children Currently I am a retired Correctional Officer at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, which in my spare tine I had taught art to the female inmates. I am currently am under a new business name of, “Cartoon Cougar Studio.” Under this name I am teaching online art classes and comic book script writing. I am also teaching art lessons out of my home.

Organizations
I have had no time to join any organizations. I was a member of COW (Cartoonist of Oregon) in 2000...

Publications
I did gag cartoons for Leatherneck magazine from 1990- 2005 The ARC newspaper (before it went out of business. 1990) I did a strip called "The adventures of the Pump House gang." which was I was asked to do a cartoon strip with disabled characters.

Education/Credentials
1989- 2000 - Graphic Cat School of Illustration and Cartooning. Owner and manager of own my own business. 1997-2000- Tualatin Hills Conestoga Rec. & Aquatic Center Part-time. EDUCATION: 1965-1967 American Academy of Art Chicago, Ill 1983- 1984- Associates in Arts and Science- Clark College, Vancouver, Wash. 1984 –1985 -Associate in Applied Science in Graphic Design- Clark College, Vancouver, Washington 1999-2000- New Horizons, Mac training in Page Maker and PhotoShop- Portland, Oregon 2001- to 2002- Portland Community College- Psychology, and typing

Awards and Honors
Have won first prize in the COW cartooning gag illustration. Received the Edda McCormick art scholarship at Clark College in 1984.

Past/Present Clients
Have illustrated for a private client, promoting cat characters (the main character was a blue harmonica playing jazz cat called "Bluzkat." for harmonica seminars that has been done in New Orleans. and Oregon. (Now, put on hold) Have scripted and drawn a few ideas for characters for a comic book series called "Vampeer" (now not being published.) I have also drawn children's illustrations for clients that want to self publish their own work. These were drawings that were commissioned, and thus, given to them of which they did what they liked with them. I have gone to many fairs and street art and have done caricatures of both animals and people. When I had my shop I did many logos for clients that ranged from hair dressers, to Doctors, to contractors, and drew for real estate clients. I worked on the Clark College newspaper and did illustrations for them. At the present, I am not working for anyone, but trying to promote my own books, and teaching, as well as doing wood projects for bazaars and art shows.

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