Thursday, November 29, 2007

Hal Ramone

I first read Prince Valiant when cartoonist Rick Altergott let me borrow a few of his reprint books. He had no sense of irony about it. That Rick, despite his illustrative bent, would be a fan I admit surprised me until I thought about his character Doofus' hairdo. I was also surprised to find that Prince Valiant was intentionally funny at times.
I next borrowed "Hal Foster: Prince of Illustrators, Father of the Adventure Strip" from the library. From what I remember in it, a colleague stated that Foster was "the best drapery artist in the business." I imagined this as a conversation in the drawing room of a social club with leather chairs and brandy snifters. There was also Foster's advice to a struggling anatomy student--draw figures "from the bones out." No problem!
There's an argument as to how necessary or even detrimental a knowledge of drapery would be to drawing, say, King Aroo--more my level of draftsmanship, if not cartooning. I hoped to be just convincing enough to put across the joke. Don't look too closely at the right forearm of the king! In early photos, Tommy Ramone was always wearing half-shirts; to include this bit of caricature in panel three I considered subtle.
(From "Weird Tales of the Ramones.")