Al Capp, Chester Gould, Stan Lee: A Great Inspiration to Many Cartoonists

Graphite Drawings
Graphite drawings for Graphic Novel slide show

I recall as a young teenager that I was fascinated by the comics. I don’t know if it was the shapely women in the Al Capp’s cartoon strip, Li’l Abner, that inspired me, or the great and more serious intriguing sleuth, Dick Tracy by Chester Gould, or any of the Marvel and DC Comics that I tried copying with a #2H pencil. What a great inspiration Stan Lee was to us all.

I wanted to be a cartoonist. It is a path I might have enjoyed following, but as I matured, I forgot my young passion for this particular art. My Dad kept telling me there was no money in art, that most artists starve. He didn’t mention that in the late 1950s Al Capp was making over a hundred thousand dollars a year with his cartoon strip. Imagine what that is today! That wasn’t starving! I’m not even going to mention PEANUTS!

graphite drawing
Graphite drawing

So, now, here I am, fifty-seven years later, working on a graphic novel style realistic (almost) cartoon narrated slide show film. It brings me back to yesteryear when I dreamed of being a cartoonist, and it feels comfortable. However, it is not as simple as I thought it would be when I was offered the opportunity. I need to draw more than three times the amount of graphite drawings than I anticipated, which will take more than three times the amount of time I planned to put into it; plus, many of the drawings are rejects…not following the narrator’s story close enough or timely enough to fit in. Whew! Okay, I’ll trudge on.

Graphite Drawing
Graphite Drawing

First off, the story is not PC correct in the very sensitive world of today; but, keep in mind,  it is a fictional story taking place in 1897 in South Carolina. If I tell more than this, I’ll end up telling the story, so I will not talk more about it. Just understand the racial sensitivities, the morays, and the moral codes of the deep south thirty-two years after the Civil War were not what they are today.

I enjoy the art of it all, and consider it a challenge. After reviewing several books that have helped me understand the challenge of doing realistic drawings in a cartoon scenario, I have especially learned to appreciate the great Stan Lee. What a world he helped to create. Any cartoonist, or graphic artist, must pay homage to the man.

graphite drawing
She shot him in the left butt cheek with thirteen gauge buck-shot!


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