Ken Hultgren on Cartooning
22 years or so ago I was reading the introduction to a book by that William Stout had written and he referenced the name Ken Hultgren. Ken Hultgren? Now, where the hell did I know that name from? I knew I had seen it a lot at some point in my life --But finding out who-did-what in the Hollywood arts was no mean feat in the dark days before the internet if you didn't work there ...and here I was looking for animation answers from the rural south. Still, with a couple of phone calls I was able to find out about his Bambi-era work for Disney, his work for some other Hollywood studios as an animator, layout man and story director, and that he had drawn a lot of old comic books. Was any of this work really what I knew his name from, though?
A year or so later when Dave Newton and I were sharing an apartment after art school, I was looking through a typical pile of Dave's guitar chord books, monster magazines, fanzines, and graphic novels when I pulled out this thin book titled The Know-How of Cartooning. It looked really dog-earred, but before I could even open it to investigate further my eye caught the name of the author --Ken Hultgren! Holy Crap! There it was! Dave said it must've been his dad's (who, like Dave, was also a commercial artist). I checked out the date inside --June 1946. I flipped through the 64 page book --and while I was impressed, I wasn't really blown away by the book's contents like I hoped I would be. Don't get me wrong--It's really nice work, but it struck me initially sorta like Preston Blair-lite (an' some of it seems pretty derivative of that material). Nevertheless, it's some good, solid 1940's cartooning that's considerably more obscure than what we're used to seeing. So, here's a 12 page sampling of, as it's subtitled "a manual of instructions and suggestions on the art of cartooning, including animation. For use of beginners as well as advanced students." Enjoy.
Here's my favorite part...how to draw the feminine figure --60 years ago!
This next page is pretty interesting...just spellin' it out...
BTW --I finally did remember where I knew Ken's name from...It was from all those damn TV Popeyes he directed in the early '60's.
Arf, arf, arf!
(And if anybody's ever seen this stuff reprinted before please let me know.)