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Author: Paul Fricke

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Myrna

Happy birthday, Myrna! That's her given name, though she was born Myrna Adele Williams in Helena, Montana. Her father liked the name of a train station, so Myrna it was. I've sketched her previously, focusing on line in pencil - simplicity. This time I went straight to it with brush, trying to capture a likeness, but also going for mood and a painterly touch. Oh, I could draw her again...and will.

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Paulette

I'm still not doing her justice, but am getting closer to capturing the gorgeous Paulette Goddard. I made an earlier attempt with this digital drawing, and also used her as the model for one of the characters in a strip a drew a few years back called Autotoons. Can you tell which of the three young ladies is based on Paulette? She's had my attention since I first came across a late-nite movie in my teens, Crystal Ball with Ray Milland. It's a silly movie, almost a screwball comedy, but in it she's smart, sassy, exotic, funny and has a spark on screen that can not be denied. I'm still on a quest to own that movie, as I don't believe it's been released on DVD. Since, of course, I've watched an re-watched many of her movies, sitting through some bland or sub-par stuff just to see her in action. Among her best are Chaplin's Modern Times and The Great Dictator (if you can avoid that final melodramatic and cheesy Chaplin speech in an otherwise silent movie - if only he'd kept it that way!), and she's a fine dancing partner for Fred Astaire in Second Chorus. So Proudly We Hail is a better-than-average WWII flick focusing on nurses during the war. I still like her best in Crystal Ball, which you can view in its entirety online. Movie history would've been something different had she gotten the role of Scarlet in Gone With the Wind, a part I wish she'd snagged, though Vivian Leigh undoubtedly inhabits the character. These screen tests show how good and close Paulette was. Here's a fun tribute to Paulette - she's trouble! I'll sketch her more in the future - no doubt...

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TothPix - CARtoons: Love Life

Toth takes advantage of his simple gag of with a decent punchline to play with angles, action, composition, sound effects, lettering and tone in what amounts to one heckuva page!

He utilized the two-tone Craftint paper to great effect for lighting and contrast. Just take a gander at the wonderful black-spotted curves, angles and shapes Toth uses in each panel and throughout for superb page composition. Panel 5 is probably my favorite as the driver threads the needle between the two semis going opposite directions. Though the car is nearly centered in the frame, the rest of the composition is dynamic and asymmetrical, with the trucks and center line of the road in perfect perspective. I love the slight curve of the horizon line, those bold, dotted center lines shooting right us, the stark shadows on the semis, those headlights poking from the shadows. Gorgeous!

In each frame, the car is fairly small, but drawn from a different angle in each, all the details spot-on. It's evident Toth had a blast drawing this page!

Some artists love the Craftint look so much, they've developed methods to replicate the effect digitally.

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Gene Tierney

Another of my favorite ladies of the Silver Screen, Gene Tierney. What a beauty!

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Ava

This week: drawing some of my favorite ladies of the Silver Screen.

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TothPix - CARtoons: Copping Out

Another super page by Toth from his mid-'60s CARtoons, collected in the now-rare One For the Road - Toth employed a less cartoony style for this one-pager, tho the sarge's face in the last panel for the punchline is comical. Great page composition here with a variety of angles to balance the page. Clever bits throughout like the badge shape for the title, the superb use of perspective (that unmarked vehicle in panel 1 - WOW!), low-angle shot for panel 3 and nice use of craft-tint board for tones and texture. Though more realistic, the drawing is still as simple as can be with so many details still there. That figure in panel 4 kills me - it could come off as awkward, but is natural as the young cop approaches the vehicle. My only complaint is the placement of the word balloon in panel 3 - no need to have placed it over the bumper of the car in panel 1. Could've/should've been placed at the bottom of the panel - plenty of room. More CARtoons next week...!

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Emoto Music CD Cover

I just realized I never posted this image on the blog, my favorite of the three CD covers I did a few years ago for Emoto Music.


The first two covered the Who and What, but the third answers the question to some degree with Where, featuring not only their logo, but elements that are actually in their lobby, larger than life (the dragon fly, bowling pin and alligator). How'd you like to start work each day walking by those statues?

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Sketch Smörgåsbord

A plethora of sketches from the last couple weeks, some in Manga Studio, most with a Pentel Pocket Brush...

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TothPix - CARtoons: All Show, No Go

Another fun Toth page from his hot rod CARtoons from the mid-'60s -


I don't get the final gag, exactly, 'cept the decal guy is a poser/neophyte, but the characters and cartooning here are great! Toth effortlessly swings a cartoony and expressive style here, one that'd easily have fit in the pages of MAD magazine in its early heydays.

Superb movement, gesture and body language in this panel (above). The sweep of Mr. Decal's legs as he works under the hood - those folds! That short, stocky kid leaning in, toy dragster in tow. Lovely! Wonderful faces and expressions in the middle panel of the page: the dude all nonchalant with his single-tooth smile; that kid with the over-sized Harry Carrey glasses - fun! This is the kind of cartooning we'd see more and more from Toth the rest of his career - in his character designs for cartoons, his one-shot humorous strips and daily doodles. Embarrassed, the guy makes his exit in a pose that is positively Kurtzmanesque! (More here.) Even in this simple frame of three figures with no backgrounds, notice how Toth finds way to place shadows on his figures for depth, direction and design. So many sweet details: the big grin, the spastic motion lines, dangling cigarette, questions marks over Dad's head, the twisty chinstrap, and that kid and his goofy glasses! So good. More CARtoons next week...!

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Comics Man!

It's been two months since the last Intro to Comics class at MCAD, and I miss it. During that last session, some students gave me a sheet of drawings they'd done. Chan Chau kicked it off with the many moods of Mad Paul...

Most of these are more accurate than I'd like to admit.

Caroline saw me as a manga superhero:

Chan again, depicting me as a barrel-chested knight, as deluded as Don Quixote!

Brando's take:

HA! I may technically be a Baby Boomer, but I'm not quite that old. But once in a blue moon this Simon & Garfunkel fan is Feelin' Groovy.

Chan says I get this manga-like twinkle in my eye when I talk comics. I've heard this many times before, and it's even been caught on video (gotta share that someday).

Best I can figure Sugoi is a clothing outfit. What, do they sell Hawaiian shirts?!

And you can take the boy out of Chicago, but not Chicago out of the boy. Young Wisconsin cartoonist Jei sez I pronounce 'comics' thus:

Anyways, always and ever a Mid-Westerner.

Thanks, y'all! More Mad Paul comics coming soon...?

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