Friday, 23 April 2010

1911 - Winsor McCay...

Winsor McCay was supposedly born in 1867, probably in Canada, butthis isn't a certainty. He was named Zenas Winsor McCay but he quickly dropped Zenas in favour of Winsor. He commenced drawing at a prodigiously early age and at the age of 13 he drew a picture of shipwreck on the school blackboard which was photograped and copies were sold. His attention to detail was amazing. McCay's first job that earned him money from his art was at Wonderland in Detroit where he was hired to draw portrats of the customers for 25 cents each. In 1891, he moved to Cincinnati, eventually making drawings for a local newspaper. It was there that he first developed his skill with a pen - everything up to that point had been crafted with pencil and brush. Canemaker points out, his accurate renditions of galloping horses indicate a familiarity with Eadweard Muybridge's photographic motion studies of 1887. Few cartonists had mastered the cartoon pacing and motion netter than McCay at this time. In late 1903, he relocated and began the most prolific chapter of his cartoning life. From 1904-1911, McCay produced a string of comic strips that have overriden many of his other accomplishments. Both his comic strips and his Vaudeville act were based on pacing and movement. He was about to combine all of these elements into one new art - the animated cartoon. While he wasn't the first person to make an animated carton, he was the man who defined the industry. The quality of his carons would not be matched for another 25 years. His pacing and understanding of the medium was way ahead of his time.

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