Sunday, July 08, 2007

EYES WIDE SHUT

In 1947 Life Magazine asked some famous comic strip artists to to draw their famous characters while wearing a blindfold. The results are interesting; they sort of remind me of that famous nature film that I was shown in Health Class where they blew marijuana on a spider and then watched him make crazy freaked-out webs. I have to confess that I've not heard of half of these comic strips; However, for the sake of preservation I've scanned them all. In my opinion Chick Young's Dagwood and Chester Gould's Dick Tracy are the best, but Dixie Dugan's artist John Striebel seems like he wasn't even trying!












50 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is great. It reminds me of the time in college wh I asked a group of my friends to draw a squirrel ...although I didn't ask them to wear a blind fold. These were just average people who were not artists. I think I saved them. The results were hilarious. Remind me to show them to you.

Gary

Mike Lynch said...

Johnny, you have outdone yourself. This is one of the best posts ever in the history of blogdom. May the Great Bird of the Galaxy bless your planet, my friend!

Mark Anderson said...

Wow! How o Earth did you run across this? What fun!

David said...

I love Brandy. She looks like my kind of gal!

Jesse Custer said...

Absolutely brilliant.

I wish my comic strip was anything near as good as that ...

mellowknees said...

A friend of mine and I used to draw pictures of classmates and other things without looking. I still recall two pictures that nearly killed us from too much laughter - one of a guy in our class with very bushy eyebrows, but they ended up floating above his head (you know, because we weren't looking), and another she drew of her dog...but the dog's tags ended up in the crotch region, and I seem to recall that we both ended up just choking with laughter. Awesome to see that others thought of this LONG before we did!

Online TV said...

some of them did quite well. Smilin Jack was almost on the dot.

thehakimboy said...

very nice.

Anonymous said...

Ah I love this. In work when bored, I get the person closest to me to draw a few things on some paper with their weakest hand. Usual things to draw are Cats, Dogs, Stars, and Bicycles. The results are always really fucking funny.

Brockeim said...

Impressive. I think the Dagwood one is the best. Interesting to see Steve Canyon. Isn't he still around, 60 years later. Then, that strip was a few weeks old, according to the caption.

--Brockeim
Brockeimia: The Absurd World of Brockeim: humor | romance | Slim-Fast

adrian said...

the cigarette coming out of x-9's left ear is the greatest. awesome post.

eggm4n said...

Is it me or does Dixie look Picassoesque? Really great post by the way.

Anonymous said...

And do you own the copyrights, or a license to publish these? Hmmm? Thought not.

Mark said...

Interesting how the lines are all pushed off to the right in the blindfolded versions.

Johnny C said...

Wow... this is crazy. I had no idea that this post would be so popular. I'm up to 100K views... Considering Sunday I had only 25 people visit, that's quite a jump. Glad I did this one and not photos of Patricia Neal at actor's camp like I had planned.

Thanks to everyone for visiting and thanks to Mike Lynch (see link to his site in my favorites) for initially posting this on his blog. The lovely world of the Interwebs.

Question: Should I rescan these? Or leave them in their fussy magazine purity. I didn't take much time doing this because I was going out to dinner.

And as for anonymous asking me if I had rights... well no. But it's found ephemera. It's not like I make any money at this; if they stop people from posting ephemera you are going to shut down a huge chunk of the Internet. If Chester Gould or the Tribune Company comes after me maybe I'll take it down, but only after a highly publicized lawsuit. :P

iain said...

inhteersting. I alwayss tu[pe withmy eyes cliosed.

Deals said...

Those artists really have some talent

Andrei said...

Amazing post--I sent it to a friend under the tagline "involuntary cubism."

The links for the first three images seem to be broken, and I especially want to see the large version of the Steve Canyon. Any way you could fix it? Thanks.

Mr. Austin said...

For you Flickr illustrators, I started a group so if you HAD your own cartoon, or if you had a drawing you liked doing regularly, you could try this little experiment yourself.

Blindfolded Art

Johnny C said...

the 1st three images seem o.k on my end... try clearing your cache and refreshing. It could be because of the high traffic on the site right now. I'm sure if you try back in 2 days I'll be back to my usual 25 visitors.

Intruder_W said...

We did a similar exercise in figure drawing class. We stood with our heads to the front of our easels, and drew with our arm wrapped behind us, so we couldn't correct ourselves. Usually, I drew a single line, and came close to the outline of the figure. Except with one model, my hand shifted drawing his head, and it looked like a burnt matchstick, with eyes on either side.

Anonymous said...

At a local biker hangout here in the Daytona Beach area, they have vendors form all over the country at Bike Week setting up to peddle their wares. One of the regulars is a guy who engraves eagles and such like on people's bike windshields. He's very good and he does it all wearing a blindfold!!

Drexel said...

Absolutley fantastic!

You made it to digg as well. I'm gonna put a link up on my blog as well.

Good job!

Johnny C said...

My mistake the 1st couple of images can't be enlarged. I'll try to fix it.

AaronfromQueens said...

The caption under Dick Tracy is unintentionally funny. He's saying Tracy is as smart as a rock!

Anonymous said...

In before old cartoons are old

Anonymous said...

I enjoy farting.

Charles Frith said...

What a smashing post. Thanks

Anonymous said...

The caption under Dick Tracy is unintentionally funny. He's saying Tracy is as smart as a rock!

I'm fairly certain it was intentional...

greatbiggeek said...

Thanks for sharing this Johnny...fascinating

Anonymous said...

nice stuff -thanks for the info

Lance

Anonymous said...

Dude, i think the text under dick tracy is meant to call him stupid cos you'd have to be pretty thick to make a mistake like that.

Johnny C said...

Hey i've finally fixed the broken link on Dixie Dugan and Steve Canyon... they can be enlarged now...

I'm such an html granite head sometimes. :P

Larry Marder said...

Wow! Terrific blog and an outstanding find. I'm sending folks here from my blog. Keep up the incredible work, Johnny!

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Piercing The Veil said...

cool ... i had fun comparing those that were made in eyes open wide and those which are not...


tnx
gud eve

bradagenda said...

Frank King's blindfolded sketch looks
like Picasso drawing Hitchcock.

Beijing said...

Great work, they are artists!

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Daria Chicago said...

Drawing's the true art of relaxation. Made by the right person of course. I may share some of my drawings in the future here. I'm actually a fertility
specialist, But i do love my canvas :).