Monday, July 23, 2007

"You boys like popsicles?"


When I was in high school, my Art teacher, Mrs. Lee, told me I was a compulsive doodler. I liked the sound of it and, over the years, I've noticed that it's true. Whenever I'm sitting at my desk at work waiting for the computer to do its thing (render a 3D file,save a PDF or...whatever) I immediately and almost absent-mindedly pick up a pencil and start drawing. Usually, I've put down a couple of lines before I even know what it is I'm drawing.

That happened today. In this case, the sketch was of Herbert, my favorite character from FAMILY GUY. I'm not sure what it says about me that my favorite FAMILY GUY character is a crafty, 80-year-old gay pedophile, but it's a fact. I usually love everything about the show but Herbert especially makes me laugh. He really seems to bring out the best in the writers. Most of the characters on the show change their personalities to fit the needs of the story (Stewie and Brian especially) but Herbert (and I suppose Quagmire) has a singularity of purpose that's fascinating to watch. Unfortunately, it so happents that his purpose is getting into the pants of any kid in the neighborhood. Gross, yes. But also endlessly amusing. I wonder, sometimes, if I would find Herbert half as amusing if I had children of my own. Probably not, but I guess I don't have to worry about that.

This sketch evolved from a casual doodle to a bit of an experiment. When I was a kid, NATIONAL LAMPOON published an issue in which they took several comic strip characters (Little Orphan Annie, Popeye, Henry) and illustrated them in a relatively realistic manner, emphasizing the more freakish aspects of their faces. They were colored with a strange, grungy sepia tone and the overall effect was pretty creepy. It stuck with me and I think about it from time to time. (I'd love to track down that issue again.) Once the sketch of Herbert started to take shape, I decided to go in that direction with it. I think it actually turned out pretty well. I know I wouldn't want to run into this version of the old perv in a dark alley.

3 comments:

Leaf said...

Too bad you can't get that tooth whistle he does when he talks into the headline. Though I hear it when I read it...

Nice, creepy work. The old-time coloring makes the drawing pop(sicle) and adds the eyes-following-you, antique portrait eeriness.

Denis said...

Yeah! I love it too, even if I'm not a fan of Family Guy, and have never even seen an episode with this guy. The image was just funny and creepy at the same time, even without recognising it.

Mike Wieringo said...

This is just GREAT, bro... I love it. It's hilarious.

He's one of my favorite characters from FG, too... he's so creepy and funny in the way he talks.... the disgusting single-minded focus he has notwithstanding. And his dog with the useless back legs is funny, too, if a bit sad....

This sketch reminds me of an Eric Powell drawing.... great stuff.