Sunday, May 4, 2008

Willard Mullin






Print isn't the suitable medium for conveying the sarcasm usually associated with the combination of me and sports, so let's just say outside of occasionally playing tennis (piss-poorly) and throwing the football around with my kids, the subject holds no allure for me. That doesn't stop me from enjoying the art of newspaper cartoonist Willard Mullin, who pretty much exclusively drew sports cartoons and specifically did a lot of baseball art work, both in and out of newspapers.

These are from a book called CLOWNING THROUGH BASEBALL by Al Schaact, published in 1941. Willard Mullin was already a well established cartoonist by then and I have always imagined that he was a big influence on everyone from Will Eisner to Jack Davis and even animators like Rod Scribner. The Famous Artists' Cartooning Course has a segment on him and I believe it shows him drawing at a liberally large scale, although these illustrations are printed at a very tiny size. I scanned them at 500 dpi so click on them to see them bigger, I will post more soon.

9 comments:

chrisallison said...

I was introduced to Willard Mullin through the Famous Artists' Course at the ASIFA Archive.

He's the king of energy, pushed lines of action, and spontaneity. He's truly the animator's illustrator! Thanks for the scans, Will. If you've got more and some extra time, I'd be interested to see more scans!

Will Finn said...

Glad you like these Chris. More to come. There are probably only around 30 spot illustrations in the book, but they are all choice. Mullin's FA course pages are spectacular, and I think Glenn Keane was the first person to show me those...

David Nethery said...

My grandmother took the Famous Artist's course and I inherited her books and notes from that well-known training course. She took Fine Arts, not Cartooning , but she did have the Willard Mullin material.

Could've been an animator, Mullin (I think these scans actually came from Mark Kennedy) :

Mullin Line of Action Drawings 1

Mullin: Nijinksi at the Bat

Mullin Roughs

Will Finn said...

Nice links, thanks Dave!

BillRiling said...

I too, inherited the course...I was doing a single panel cartoon for a local paper back home and a reader called me. Her husband was an aspiring cartoonist and had just passed away, she wanted me to have the books. There were dozens of other art and cartoon books she said I could have, but I felt awkward enough accepting the art course books with her husband's name embossed on the covers. Several years, maybe decades ago, I lent them out in a cartoonists group meeting and somebody removed the AL Capp pages. I still have and treasure the set including the Willard Mullin material. An interesting side note; i got all the marked and graded assignments the book's owner had completed but no idea who the teacher was.

Will Finn said...

Bill-- I bet Ham Fisher stole those Capp pages!

Great story.

Weirdo said...

These are excellent drawings Will. I'm going to hae to study Mullin, along with all of the other artists whose work appeals to me (to many to mention).

Anyway, I found a bit of disturbing news on YouTube. One guy was sharing his drawings in one video, and I pointed out he needed to work on his construction and this is the reply I got:

"It lacks construction because thats the way I want it. Just look at todays best cartoons like Family Guy, The Simpsons, and SouthPark."

Please tell me I'm dreaming.

David Nethery said...

I pointed out he needed to work on his construction and this is the reply I got:

"It lacks construction because thats the way I want it. Just look at todays best cartoons like Family Guy, The Simpsons, and SouthPark."



We have truly entered the Twilight Zone, Bizarro World, Upside Down Land .

Yes , just look at today's "best cartoons" ...

Mike Caracappa said...

These are great Will, thanks for sharing. I like the bottom two images myself.