"Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall, Who's the HARDEST One of All?"
When I was a lad, I spent a lot of time trying to draw my favorite cartoon characters. I would spend hours copying the drawings from newspaper strips, comic books and cartoons on television. I wanted my drawings to be perfect. I didn't just want to draw something that looked somewhat like Bugs Bunny, I wanted to do a drawing that looked like the real Bugs, the one from TV.
Some characters were easy to draw. Others were a bit more difficult. Often it wasn't the complexity of the character, it was that the artist's style was such an important factor in the character's "look". For example, Charlie Brown is a very simple design, and just about anyone can draw something that would be instantly identifiable as Charlie Brown. It wouldn't, however, look like THE Charlie Brown. Charles Schultz's unique drawing style was difficult, if not impossible to duplicate. Without his style any drawing of Charlie Brown just ain't Charlie Brown.
Characters designed for animation, that is, characters designed to be drawn exactly the same way by a number of different artists, should be easier, but that isn't always so. Take The Simpsons, for instance. They are very simple character designs, but it takes a lot of work to get them looking "right".
Getting things to look right, of course, is really just a matter of careful observation and keeping the principles of solid drawing in mind while you work. Even so, no matter how much training you have, there are certain characters that are a challenge to draw. For example, MAD Magazine's mascot, Alfred E. Neuman, is notoriously difficult. Even a lot of the longtime pros at the magazine cannot do a satisfying likeness.
I cannot be the only kid who had the frustrating experience of trying to capture the elusive likeness of some character. I wonder, is there one character in particular that everyone finds difficult to draw? So, I am throwing this question out to all you cartoonists out there, professional or not:
WHO IS THE HARDEST CARTOON CHARACTER TO DRAW, AND WHY?
I'm really curious to know what people think, so please leave your humble opines in the comments section. Tell your cartoonist friends (who normally wouldn't be caught dead reading this blog) to chime in too. When I've tabulated the results, I'll let you know in a future post.
I think I know whose name will come out on top...