Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Oswald Fever!

Of all the things I love to draw, this is one of my favorite characters to doodle, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

                                                  If you don't know who he is, I don't blame you.

If you want to know his history, look him up on Wikipedia, but the beginning can be summarized like this: Oswald was Disney's first cartoon star, pre-dating Mickey Mouse. Walt and his staff of animators, including Ub Iwerks, were commissioned by Universal to make a series of Oswald cartoons for Charles Mintz and George Winkler. His first cartoon was "Trolley Troubles", released in 1927. Soon, Oswald was the most popular cartoon character on the block, and was the first Disney character to spin off merchandise. He was everywhere, from chocolate bars to stencil sets. But in the spring of 1928, Disney went to his distributor, Charles Mintz, for a budget increase to give more quality to his cartoons. Mintz instead told him to accept a budget decrease! Not only that, he revealed that he secretly signed most of Disney's animators to a new contract and reminded Walt that it was Mintz who owned the rights to the character. Distraught by this, Walt disassociated himself with Universal, and with his loyal animators, Ub Iwerks and Les Clark, he went on to create his next cartoon star, Mickey Mouse. Mickey rose to fame and became an American icon, while Oswald went into obscurity for more than 70 years. In 2006, Walt Disney Studios regained the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, and since then he's been becoming more and more known to the public with the release of a collection of Oswald's Disney Era shorts on DVD and his appearance in the new video game "Epic Mickey."

So without further ado, I present some of my recent Oswald sketches for all to see!

                                                     I love this character partly because he helps me to come
                                           up with poses that have clear silhouettes, because a pose that doesn't
                                     look good on a black and white character will not work for colored characters..

                                         I tried to sneak in some inking techniques on this one.

And also enjoy one of Oswald's best shorts, "Oh What a Knight".

1 comment:

  1. These are really cute studies! Old cartoons are a good start!