Saturday, December 2, 2006

Owen Fitzgerald











Owen was the first really good artist I met when I started working at Hanna Barbera in 1978. He'd just sit at his desk with a 4b pencil in one hand and a cigarette in the other, drawing these quick flowing lines which became great, expressive drawings of Scooby Doo, or Jabberjaws. Owen's first job in the animation business was inbetweener on "Snow White". He did layouts for Chuck Jones at Warner Bros in the '40s. After the war, he did a lot of comics for DC; "Bob Hope" and "Fox & Crow" and lots of others that I haven't seen. Bill Hanna loved Owen's drawings, though Owen later told me he never "got" the HB style like the Flintstones or Yogi Bear. The "flat" design-ey style was not something he understood - He drew "classic" cartoons and he drew them well. As an animator in the early '80s I would always be happy to get a scene laid out by Owen, because the drawings were so loose and expressive - it was much nicer to work from a loose drawing, where you could see the lines of action etc., rather than a tight, cleaned up drawing. (I wish I would have saved some of those drawings, but I took it for granted, and it was "only Scooby Doo!) Years later I was lucky to have Owen working for me at Warner Animation on the first season of "Tiny Toons". I hope you enjoy looking at these drawings by a "really good artist".

10 comments:

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Wow! I just discovered your blog from a reference you made on John's comments page! Thanks for putting up all the great stuff!

Shawn said...

Wow! These drawings are great!

Stephen Worth said...

Owen was great. When I was at the Chipmunks, Ross had him on a "whenever you have time I want you to draw for us" basis. He would do preboard and concept drawings packed with energy and life. Great artist.

See ya
Steve

Stephen Worth said...

Do I win a prize for recognizing your photo as being MacTeague from Erich von Stroheim's Greed?

See ya
Steve

Kent B said...

Steve gets a no-prize! Years ago, when Bruce Timm saw "Greed" for the first time, he commented on my resemblance to Mcteague. Now at that time I was a young, good-looking guy, so I denied it vehemently - I looked nothing like him! As time passed, however, I "grew into" the role, coming more & more to resemble this iconic figure.

Kent

david gemmill said...

these are great!! thanks for posting. I always thought it was cheating to draw with a soft lead like 4b, but when i discovered them when i was younger i thought they were the coolest pencils around. If for the mere fact i was able to draw better with them (maybe because i have a "heavy" hand which isnt good for hard leads, prone to snapping an all) hahah its reassuring to know that really great artists used soft lead.

katzenjammer studios said...

Yeah, these drawings are really cool! Thanks for posting them! I'm late to discover this, but better late than never.

Corey said...

These are amazing

DTN said...

"I always thought it was cheating to draw with a soft lead like 4b."

The fabled Blackwing 602 of fond memory was reputed to be a 4B weight graphite, nice and soft , but not too smeary, which is why it was great . After Sanford killed the Blackwing they claimed that their Turquoise 4B pencil was the same graphite formula as the Blackwing, but I still have a few Blackwings laying around and I swear they "feel" different from the Turquoise 4B.

fitzy said...

wow i cannot belive i finaly found who owen fitzgerald i first saw your name on scooby doo credits when i was a kid in the 70s and i always wondered who you were but now to find out that you have been a cartoonist (if that is the right word to use) since the 40s i love my cartoons and the animation that goes in to it you realy are a dedicated man .for you to be doing this all these years so the big question is CAN ALL FITZGERALDS DRAW i can thanks for what you helped create when i was a kid best regards tony fitzgerald