Influences on "The Barley Way": From Floyd Gottfredson to Stephen Hawking

One of the biggest influences on the drawing style of "The Barley Way" was comic strip artist Floyd Gottfredson. I first became aware of his work while volunteering at the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive. In the beginning of my 4th year at Sheridan, I talked about Gottfredson's work with Mark Mayerson, he kindly offered to share his collection of Gottfredson strips with me.

The biggest inspiration I took from Gottfredson were his poses. Whenever I was stuck for a pose I looked at his Mickey comics for inspiration. The most literal interpretation can be seen in the size chart:

But uses in the film itself were more subtle. I was fascinated with how Gottfredson sometimes draws the overall shape of two limbs as if they were one limb, I marvelled at how it created an appealing silhouette.

I tried to apply this principle in original poses that weren't taken from his comic strips.

A more obvious Gottfredson influence is the 'sideways mouth' on Beanton:

By the way did anyone catch the homages to science? In the picture above, Beanton unfolds Stephen Hawking's black hole entropy equation, just one scene later, the telescope interface shows the name of a nebula near which alcohol clouds sufficient to make 400 trillion pints of beer can be found-- I learned about the former from my classmate Tanya.

BTW, Beanton's first level of forms is influenced by a baby Swan from Bob Clampett's "A Corny Concerto". Influences from the Looney Tunes realm will be explored in a separate post.

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