After my post on Wednesday about how the accurate drawing of features does not necessarily create the only path to a caricature’s “recognizability”, I received an interesting email from my friend and superstar cartoonist Rick Kirkman, artist of the widely syndicated comic strip Baby Blues. Rick mentioned how he sometimes does a type of caricature with his strip and its animated TV version, where he has to “Baby Blues-ize” famous people…and I’ve seen him do it for soldiers on the USO trips we’ve taken. He also mentioned how this is frequently done on The Simpsons, Futurama and other animated shows. Another friend, Pearls Before Swine creator Stephen Pastis, does a similar thing with a self-caricature in his strip.
The trick to this, as Rick points out, is to stay true to the character design so the caricature looks like it belongs in that cartoon’s universe. A tough thing to pull off sometimes, and one that definitely requires the use of elements other than the facial features to create recognizability.
The above “caricature” of me was done a few years ago using the “Simpsonize Me!” website that promoted the Simpson’s movie. That website is now closed down, but I did the above with a little bit of customizing back then.
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