Thursday, September 25, 2008

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!



Blogger Pepper Potts said...

Wow, and I thought I knew you so well!

Still better than I could do..

Looking forward to some new stuff.

September 26, 2008 at 1:41 PM  

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