Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Inspirations No. 1- Clovis

Influences in cartooning don't just stop with experience. You don't just wake up one day and say: 'Hey, I'm a cartoonist! Great, no more being inspired by the works of others'.

I've been drawing since I was about five and have been professional for over twenty years and I'm still finding artists who inspire me---not necessarily because they are brilliant artists or amazing humorists or even that they have great characters. No, sometimes it can be as simple as the fact that I just like the way they use colour or action, etc.

So today I'm going be be introducing an irregular feature about who inspires me, why they inspire me and to give a few examples of their work with links to view more; should you be keen enough to want to delve deeper into their world.

So for my first cartoonist I've chosen someone I've only recently discovered: his name is Paulo Stocker, he's south American and his cartoon, Clovis, is just brilliant in its simplicity. His characters are always in silhouette and gags are pantomime ie: they don't use words---a very handy tool when selling gags all over the world.



But I guess what inspires me the most about his work is how his characters interact with their surroundings. Paulo will have his character, Clovis, actually using the panels as a prop; as in the one above; in others, Clovis could be bumping into a frame or turning the panel over to see himself in reverse or even just skipping a frame and looking back, wondering what he's just missed.

This type of idea is called a 'device'. Effectively its something that you come back to from time to time and that your readers associate with your work. Examples of this are Snoopy sitting on his dog kennel, Calvin in his Spaceman Spiff disguise, Andy Capp asleep on the sofa and so on.

But what is so clever about Paulo's device is that he has made it his own. No one can use it without it looking like a direct rip off. Its such a simple idea but one that I, and I suspect many of my other contemporaries, wished we'd thought of first.

Below are just a few samples of this cartoonists prodigious out put. Sadly there are no links I could find to his website. But if you put in Paulo Stocker/images on Google you will see a few more. Alternatively you could visit his Facebook page, like it and see a whole load more, as and when he posts


All cartoons copyright Paulo Stocker

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