I've never been shy about my devotion to the Hanna Barbera cartoons from the 60's, and the huge influence they've had on my work. I think this time period of the Hanna Barbera Studios was the gold standard for humorous TV cartoons, and it has yet to be equaled. I'm sure those whose youth was spent in front of a TV during the decades that followed will disagree with me, but this is my newsletter, not theirs, so there.
Each series had it's star obviously, Yogi Bear, Top Cat, Secret Squirrel, etc, but I always seemed to be drawn to their side kicks. Whether they existed to clean up the star's mess, or suffer the result of the star's dim witted carelessness, they always seemed more interesting to me.
There's a running joke in the cartoon world that features usually non threatening characters becoming threatening for whatever reason... Poodles from Hell, Cereal Killers, When (insert docile character here) Go Bad.. you get the picture. Maybe I had that idea floating in my head at the time, but for whatever reason, I drew a sinister version of Baba Louie from Quick Draw McGraw just for fun in my sketchbook, and shortly after, that grew into this....based on one of my favorite cheesy movies, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, (that wasn't too hard to figure out, was it ?)
Let me know what you think. And if any of you work for Hanna Barbera / Warner Brothers, maybe you can mention to the powers that be, that this would be a cool design for t-shirts, or maybe even a new series...just putting that out there. :)
The Martytoon Newsletter
The Thoughts, Designs & Process of Marty Qatani aka MartyToons.
Hi and welcome to the first blog post / newsletter of the all new revamped MartyToons website. Where to start ? I suppose a quick intro is in order for those of you who may be unfamiliar with me and what I do. I'm a cartoonist / character designer/ humorous illustrator. That sounds like a lengthy title, but none of those by themselves seems appropriate enough by themselves to describe what I do.
If I call myself a cartoonist, people tend to think I create a comic strip.... not true. If I call myself just a character designer, it seems a little limiting to me. I like to think I do a little bit more... make people think... wake people up, help someone remember a happy thought.... maybe even put a smile on people's faces.... hopefully. Calling myself just a humorous illustrator, just doesn't seem to have any "punch", "pizzazz", "sparkle"... you get the picture. I do like the sound of "Creator of Visual Enhancements for Artistically Challenged and Cartooning Impaired." It has a pretty cool ring to me, but it's a little hard to fit on a business card and still look cool.
What can you expect here ? How's a little doodle sound ? A little peek into what goes on in my working process and maybe even in my thought process ? That's my plan... I hope you enjoy. So let me dig into my archive, maybe shed a little light on happened and then invite you to comment. Sounds good ? Good... then lets get to it.
This is an early sketch of one of my favorite designs I'm working on. It's inspired by one of my favorite music artists, Cat Stevens, who know goes by the name of Yusuf Islam https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_Stevens . Check him out if you get the chance and are a fan of 70's "Soft" Rock, and especially if you're a fan of songs about being positive, hopefullness, and becoming a little wiser.
Music is playing more and more a part in my designs. I love many styles of music and I always have it playing in my studio while I'm creating. Alot of times I let the music direct what I'm going to sketch when I intentionally sit down to sketch, sometimes I'm not planning on sketching at all, but I hear a song and an image will just pop into my head, and I have to get it down on paper. I believe that's what happened here, but to be honest, I came up with this sketch several years ago, and I can't remember the exact circumstances that gave birth to this.
So there you have it. I hope you enjoy it. Got any questions ? Feel free to comment below.