You may recognise Natalie Nourigat’s name from our recent 28 Gumroad Creators You Really Should Know post, but undoubtably you would like to learn a little bit more about her. “Tally” is a cartoonist, storyboard artist, character designer, animator and writer. She attended University of Oregon and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Japanese, in 2010.
Tally is currently working on a creator-owned serialised comic, Over the Surface. The 10-issue miniseries will be published in 2016 by Oni Press. She has started a Patreon for it, where patrons are privy to behind-the-scenes process and artwork.
What is next for the multi-skilled and multi-disciplined Tally? Well, she recently moved to Los Angeles, California to begin her new role Story Apprentice at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Sounds about right. I will be looking forward to her future projects.
Einar Nerman was a Swedish artist, illustrator and musician. Born to a middle-class family in the city of Norrköping. Nerman was one of three children. Birger Nerman, his twin brother, was a professor, author and later the head of the Swedish Museum of National Antiquities. Ture Nerman, his older brother, was a political activist, journalist, author, and poet.
Einar Nerman, at the age of 17, decided to move to Stockholm to study art. Three years later, in 1908 Nerman moved again, this time to France. He began studying at the newly established Académie Matisse in Paris. A non-commercial school set up by French artist Henri Matisse, there the famed painter would guide and tutor young artists. The school operated until 1911.
After Paris, Nerman returned to Sweden, this time to study music and dance. Around the same time he started illustrating sheet music covers (he would continue to do so into the 1930’s). In 1919 he left for London to dance in the Ballet. Though he found the Ballet was not for him, the experience would prove beneficial as the contacts he made helped him earn a post at Tatler Magazine and Eve Magazine (previously The Gentlewoman). For both magazines he worked as a cartoonist, drawing caricatures of society figures. At this time Nerman, considered a socialite himself, had friends including actors Alla Nazimova and Greta Garbo, as well as composer Ivor Novello. So the role suited him well.
In 1921 Nerman returned home for a second time. He illustrated children’s books, notably those of Nobel Prize winner Selma Lagerlöf. He composed music to many of his older brother’s poems, as well as designing book covers for his socialist writings. Nerman also designed movie posters, postcards, and advertisements. However, of all the work he did during this period, the artwork that is most recognized for in Sweden today, is his illustration for the Solstickan matchbox.
After World War II began Nerman was forced to leave Sweden. He moved to New York City, where due to his previous experience and reputation, found work easily. He picked up drawing caricatures again, often of film stars. Not returning to Sweden until 1950. Nerman died in 1983 at the ripe old age of 95.
In 1976, the book, Caught in the Act (Harrap), collected many of Einar Nerman’s illustrations and caricatures. You can find second-hand copies very cheap, and it is a great place to start looking into more of Nerman’s work. You should also check out 50 Watts which has a collection of both his sheet music cover and children book illustrations.
Daniel S. DeCarlo was an illustrator and comics artist best know for his work with Archie Comics. DeCarlo grew up in a poor neighbourhood of New Rochelle, New York but dreamed of becoming an illustrator like his hero, Norman Rockwell. Young DeCarlo attended the New Rochelle High School and upon graduating, he actually phoned Rockwell to discuss his university options. Inevitably, DeCarlo enrolled in the same university that Rockwell’s once attended, the Manhattan’s Art Students League.
After three years at art school, in 1941 DeCarlo was drafted for World War II. Stationed in Great Britain, he originally served in the 8th Air Force worked. However, once his artistic skills were quickly noticed and he was assigned to the drafting department. There he designed posters and advertisements, as well as drawing the weekly military comic strip. DeCarlo also painted cartoon mascots on the nosecones of fighter planes. Whilst overseas he went on a blind date with a Belgium girl called Josette Dumont. She would later become his wife and a source of inspiration.
After the war, the couple returned to New York. Timely Comics had advertised a call for artist. Responding to the advertisement, DeCarlo was invited to meet Timely’s editor-in-chief, Stan Lee. Lee hired DeCarlo and assigned him to the teen-humour series Jeanie. Common for the time, DeCarlo’s work on Jeanie was uncredited. Under the employment of Timely he got his big break when he was reassigned to Millie the Model. Starting in 1949, DeCarlo wrote and drew the romantic (mis)adventures of Millie Collins for a whole decade. Transforming a poorly performing title into a huge success.
During the comic industry’s falter mid-1950’s, DeCarlo was forced to give up his full-time position at Timely and become freelance. This did, however, present some good opportunities. He drew for magazines The Saturday Evening Post and Argosy. He continued working for Timely on a freelance basis and in 1960 partnered with Stan Lee again to create a newspaper comic strip, “Willie Lumpkin the Mailman”. Interesting side note, Willie Lumpkin actually had a cameo in the 2005 Fantastic Four movie, played by none other than, Stan Lee.
During this time DeCarlo came up with a character, Josie, of Josie and the Pussycats fame. He was inspired by his wife’s cat costume for a fancy dress party, and subsequently naming the character after her. However, after approaching and being rejected by a couple of publishers he decided to shelve the idea.
In 1951 DeCarlo starting freelancing for the company for which his name would become synonymous with, Archie Comics. His first published work was issue 4 of Betty and Veronica. He made a conscious effort to keep the characters up to date with fashions, he added the ponytail on Betty and was the artist who gave the Archie girls their simple but distinctive lip line. By the mid-1960s DeCarlo was drawing the covers of all Archie titles, his work became the Archie house style. In 1969 Betty and Veronica had become Archie’s best-selling title. DeCarlo introduced many new characters to the Archie universe. Cheryl Blossom was first featured in Betty and Veronica #320. He also created Sabrina the Teenage Witch along with writer George Gladir.
You remember that idea he shelved? Well, when Archie Comics heard about it, they loved it. In December 1, 1962 Josie was introduced inside the pages of Archie’s Pals ‘n’ Gals #23. Quickly publishing her own title, She’s Josie, in February 1, 1963. The comic went through a few names changes until finally in December 1969 arriving at the one we are all most familiar with, Josie and the Pussycats. The original trio actually consisted of Josie, Melody and Pepper. Valerie Brown was only introduced at the same time as the name change, replacing Pepper. The name change also saw Josie’s boyfriend, Albert, replaced with dreamy Alan M.
Even with all of the success and joy that Josie gave to DeCarlo, it is sad to know that it was also the catalyst to him leaving Archie Comics. In 2001 at the announcement of the Josie and the Pussycats film, DeCarlo took Archie Comics to court for greater credit and compensation of his creations. There was a lot of back and forth, with Archie Comics claiming they had in fact commissioned DeCarlo to create Josie, making her “work for hire”. Which, if true, would strip DeCarlo of any creator rights to her under copyright law. The Judge ruled in favour of Archie Comics saying DeCarlo had waited too long to assert any rights to Josie, but also dismissed Archie’s counterclaims. So after 43 years, Dan DeCarlo and Archie Comics parted ways.
It should come as no surprise that DeCarlo was still in high demand. He continued working for publishers including DC on a Harley Quinn title and Bongo Comics for The Simpson’s comic. Just a year before the court case, DeCarlo won the National Cartoonists Society Award for Best Comic Book for Betty & Veronica. That award along with a Shazam Award nomination stand as recognition to his outstanding contribution to the comic industry and highlights the tireless work he put into it.
Jerzy Drozd, the cartoonist and teaching artist, not the “creative bass guitar company with unique design” is the guiding force behind possibly my favourite podcast, Lean Into Art (LIA). He, along with co-host Rob Stenzinger, have consistently thought-provoking topics and discussion. Drozd is also responsible for Comics Are Great!, which among many things, runs regular workshops and events for children and teenagers. With the aim of encouraging them to read more and, of course, learn how to make comics.
Drozd has also started a webcomic called Boulder and Fleet. A new page is released each week and it centers around a bear and a bird, with a host of other animals, whom go on 80s-cartoon-inspired adventures. There’s lots of lasers. Exactly. I will give you a minute to go and bookmark it.
Daniel Campbell, or more commonly known CatchphraseDan, is a graphic designer and illustrator from Birmingham, England. After working for a creative brand agency for almost 2 years, he recently decided to pursue a career as a “Honcho in a Poncho”. By which I assume he means freelancer. Possibly to spend more time on his #GoFishFriday project (if you click on the link, please ignore the people actually fishing). In his own word this is what the project is all about:
At the start of the year, I decided that I wanted to begin a weekly illustration project that was fun and that I would look forward to each week. Now, as you know, there are 52 weeks in a year, 12 hairs in a sandwich and 52 cards in a merry old deck – how convenient is that? Well, it was very convenient for me, so I packed up my things and began my journey, stopping every Friday to add a card or two to the deck.
It is also important to note that there are also 86 pimples on your back, 35 beard hairs in a barrel, 12 crocodiles on a clip and 8 limes in a coconut. Which is something CatchphraseDan would be only more than happy to point out.
As well as the obvious silliness and humour, CatchphraseDan’s work feels very organic and off-the-cuff. Dancing his pen around the page to create something that resembles a face: sometimes it doesn’t even resemble a face, but he will put eyes and a mouth on it anyway. I would be surprised, or worried, to find out that the illustrations that he ends up with are the ones that are in his head.