Sunday Mailbag

June 28th, 2009 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: I’m really interested in CG and was wondering what your views on 3D (or CG) caricature are, and do you know of any talented artists you could mention for me to check out?¬¨‚Ć I’ll always like pen and ink, but I could imagine there are some interesting possibilities with CG.

A: I’ve never worked in “CG” before but like any medium it has great possibilities in the right hands. There have been some terrific 3D caricature animations done via stop-motion film and using puppets. For the former I have linked before to this video which is one of the best I’ve seen:

Ooops. Can’t watch that video anymore.

and of course the great BBC show Spitting Image is the best example of the latter.

I don’t know of any major commercial endeavors combining CG and caricature, although one could argue many of the characters in the Pixar films are caricatures of those who voice them, and there have been some caricatured characters snuck in as cameos in some of those movies. I know two of the legendary “Nine Old Men” of animation, Ollie Johnson and Frank Thomas, had a cameo in CG caricature in “The Incredibles”:

Frank and Ollie

Beyond that I don’t know of any high profile ones.

My friend Joe Bluhm worked on some CG shorts for an NYC animation company a few years ago. These were either based on his sketches or he worked on them directly:

I believe that same animation company, SO! Animation, went on to produce some CG caricature commercials for Virgin. I am sure there are lots of examples of shorts and personal projects showcasing CG caricature out there for the finding. I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of it in the future.

Thanks to John “Coffeebot” Vaughters for the question. If you have a question you want answered for the mailbag about cartooning, illustration, MAD Magazine, caricature or similar, e-mail me and I’ll try and answer it here!


  1. John V says:

    Thanks Tom. Even though I asked about CG, I really like that stop motion one up there. It was amazing.


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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