Disney’s Goofy Folk Art – Paint on Board

We all love the artwork turned out by the Disney Studios and the many artists that are commissioned to render our favorite characters. But some of us are inspired to try to create pieces of our own.

This unknown artist created a silhouette out of plywood and painted one side. See if you can recognize the character from the back:

Obvious, if the title of this post didn’t give it away already!

So it’s Mickey’s faithful old friend, Goofy:

And he’s in a hurry to get nowhere!

This was on a wall in a mechanics garage for years. It was mostly buried behind odds and ends and parts when I glimpsed the familiar shape. My friend, who owns the garage, gave it to me knowing my love for Disney.

I’m not going to touch up the paint or repair it in any way. It will be hung on one of the walls in my new office/studio when it is completed.

Book Review: Funny! (The Pixar Story Room)

Twenty-five Years of Laughter from the Pixar Story Room

Forward by John Lasseter / Intro by Jason Katz

Right out of the gate I will say this book was a disappointment. ‘Not Very Funny!’ would probably have been a more appropriate title.

The book covers the first sixteen animated movies released by Pixar up to The Good Dinosaur. It contains sketches from the story department that were used to pitch gags to the various directors of the productions. I have no doubt that it must be very funny, and fun, to work in the story department at Pixar, but no real hilarity comes across in this publication.

         

Cute, but no belly laugh

Each film is featured in a chapter with brief snippets of wit and wisdom from one of the story persons who worked on it.

OK, I would buy this in die-cast!

Some of the ideas, pictured in this post, are amusing. But I wouldn’t consider the majority of them to be ‘funny!’ at any stretch.

It took all of one hour to read through and digest the images in this book making the purchase price of $29.95 US feel a bit high. I’m glad it wasn’t priced at the much higher figures of similar books from Disney Press. Perhaps being manufactured in China by Chronicle Books brought the price down?

My expression after finishing the book

Final Review: I’m not always gushing with my praise for Disney books and I certainly rarely pan a Disney book so thoroughly! But I can only give this effort a 2 out of 5 Stars.

The potential was high but the reality ranged from boring to disturbing with only a few chuckles in-between.

Pacific Presents ‘The Rocketeer’ by Dave Stevens

I love The Rocketeer even though the 1991 movie could have been better. I think Disney handled the character fairly well but if only they had used him more extensively! Can you imagine him as a walk-around character in Tomorrowland? Too awesome that would be!

Also awesome is this comic book from 1983 that I found recently:

So what do I have here? Here is a not-so brief history of The Rocketeer in comic form from Wikipedia: The Rocketeer’s first adventure appeared in 1982 as a backup feature in issues #2 and #3 of Mike Grell’s Starslayer series from Pacific Comics. Two more installments appeared in Pacific’s showcase comic Pacific Presents #1 and 2 (the issue you see above). This fourth chapter ended in a cliffhanger that was later concluded in a special Rocketeer issue released by Eclipse Comics. The story was continued in the Rocketeer Adventure Magazine. Two issues were published by Comico Comics in 1988 and 1989; the third installment was not published until 1995, six years later by Dark Horse Comics. In 1991 comics artist Russ Heath illustrated the graphic novel The Rocketeer, The Official Movie Adaptation, based on Walt Disney’s 1991 feature film The Rocketeer.

So what I have is the fourth installment of Dave Stevens original treatment of the character, printed before Disney did the movie. Now that’s cool!

Dave Stevens – 1982

Let’s have a look at the artwork:

Stevens definitely has a unique style that is fitted to the type of material. The major difference between his original version and Disney’s cleaned-up movie version is found in the depiction of Cliff Secord’s girlfriend Betty. In the comic, at least the issue I have, she is drawn completely nude in every panel. She is this way because she is in the habit of posing for ‘art photos’ to pay her way in the world. Of course, Stevens is careful not to show the naughty bits, but the images are too provocative to show here!

As was the case with the first two appearances of the Rocketeer he has to share the book with another character story, this time a weird one called The Missing Man by Steve Ditko:

         

You may remember Ditko from his ground-breaking work on the original Doctor Strange comic book. The Missing Man features his unique style of artwork but in a story and with a character so offbeat one wonders why he bothered!

The story features wife and child beating and truly horrible dialogue which just goes to show that even comic legends can produce bad content.

In conclusion, I have a rather funny bit of business to finish this post with:

A Betty Look-alike contest?

The only way to determine if a girl looked like Betty would be to compare her to the artwork in the comic. Artwork that only shows Betty… in the nude! So presumably a boyfriend would have to convince his sweetheart to strip down and pose for a photograph with ‘a clear image of the facial features’, according to the rules. I guess it was OK if her naughty bits were blurry.

I’m joking as it is obvious the publishers only wanted a head shot. Or… did they?

Finding a vintage issue of the source material for a Disney movie was a nice surprise, as I didn’t realize that the comic was that old when I bought it!

Book Review: The Art of the Disney Golden Books

Publisher: Disney Editions

Type: Hardcover

Pages: 160

ISBN: 978-1-4231-6380-0

Price: $35.00 US & CAN

This is a great book for anyone who loves the Little Golden Books. I think we all have memories from our childhood of one title or another! The focus of this publication is the artwork, obviously, and it’s about time the artists and their work was featured.

The book is divided into seven sections: History, Art & Artists, Memories, Influences, Creations, Discoveries, and Legacy.

History: This section tells the story of how Disney and Whitman Publishing first started collaborations on Disney-themed books. Eventually Simon & Schuster launched the first Little Golden Book and history was made!

One of the first Disney Little Golden Books

Art & Artists: Briefly put, the goal was not to replicate the art of the movies but to create an alternate style more suited to the book format. Mary Blair was instrumental in designing the look of the early books.

Memories: Many current Disney/Pixar artists give their recollections of the Little Golden Books and how their young lives were affected by them.

Influences: More current artists talk about how their work is influenced by the artwork of the vintage work done on earlier Little Golden Books.

Creations: When Random House acquired the rights to the Little Golden Books in 2001 the line needed to be reimagined. This chapter tells that story.

Discoveries: In 1997 Golden Books was in trouble as a company and Disney sought to obtain all of the vintage artwork stored up and saved by them before it was lost! They succeeded. Whew!

Legacy: A short wrap-up chapter on the legacy built by this iconic brand.

Any Disney art fan can’t go wrong with this book and I’m surprised at the reasonable price. It’s beautifully illustrated and the information is informative without being exhausting. I would give this book a 5 out of 5 Stars as I can’t see how it could have been improved!

Norman Rockwell Paints Huey, Dewey, and Louie

Everyone knows about the Disney tie-in with Norman Rockwell where an artist took-off Rockwell’s Triple Self Portrait by inserting Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse in place of Rockwell. If not, here are the two images:

    

But while staying at a friend’s place recently, my wife spotted an actual Disney presence in a Norman Rockwell painting, this time, painted by the Master himself. The piece is called Shuffleton’s Barber Shop and is pictured below:

From the title of this post, no doubt you are expecting to see Huey, Dewey, and Louie visiting the Barber Shop. They are there, but you have to look very carefully to see them.

Zoom in on the bottom left corner, specifically, on the magazine rack where you can see many comic books. Look closer, and you’ll see:

And there they are!

This painting was so popular that Hallmark Movie Channel made it into a film in 2013:

 

So once again it just goes to show that you never know where a Disney reference will pop up! But you do know that when they do, I’ll be there!