The "D" Team!
I promised last time we met, to show you some of my earliest, stumbling efforts as a fledgling "professional" cartoonist, so here it is. But first, some history:
In the early 80's, Peter Pan Records put out a line of book/record products using popular media characters, aimed at young kids. In an effort to save some dough, rather than hire professional illustrators, they contacted the "art" school I attended, looking for students interested in illustrating the books for very low rates. Being starving art students, we were all very interested.
I was lucky enough to score 2 gigs. One was a Casper book, which I was a natural for, as I was the only person there who would admit to being a big Harvey Comics fan, and the faux Disney ripoff style I used at the time made the job a pretty good fit. I think I did an okay job, but I don't want to search the archives to see if I am right.
The second assignment puzzled me. Thanks to my work on Casper, they wanted me to illustrate a book based on the TV show "The A-Team"!
This baffled me, as I had never demonstrated any ability to draw "realistic", "superhero" or any kind of cartoons outside of "funny" stuff. Nevertheless, they asked me to do it, and money is money, so I accepted the job.
The image above is an Xerox of one portion of a page of my "finished pencils". I really sweated this out: Did tons of reference, drew & re-drew page after page, and the result you see was the best I could do. I could point out all the things wrong with this drawing, but the image speaks for itself.
Even then, I knew this was crap, but a strange thing happened: They liked it, and even had me ink some of it (the deadline was too tight to do it all)! Even more amazing, the paid me! The money I earned from this and Casper paid for my move to NYC after graduation. (Where it disappeared in a week.)
I dunno if these books were ever published. I never saw one for sale. I hope these books didn't succeed in putting Peter Pan Records out of business. (It tanked a few years later.) I'd like to think video games & CDs were responsible for that.
But you never know.
Next time: No more looking at the past! New drawings, humorous stories, and more adventures of Rocco the Wonder Dog!
Labels: Early Work