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Reference Library: How To Draw The Beatles

From: an569@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Mr. John James Whelan)
Newsgroups: rec.music.beatles
Subject: How to draw John, Paul, George, Ringo
Date: 25 Feb 1997 00:16:04 GMT

Backgrounder: By the close of 1964 there was hardly a branch of the media that hadn't rolled over and offered its soft underbelly to those loveable Moptops, usually in anticipation of an impressive cataract of cash to follow.

One such entrepreneural foray came from King Features Syndicate, famed American distributors of comic strips and film animation, who hit on the wizard wheeze of a Beatle cartoon TV series. Licence granted, they announced, in November 1964, that work was already under way, that work was already under way. The series would loosely follow the tone of A Hard Days Night and feature two songs per half-hour episode, each of which would take 70 artists a month to complete.

Artist Peter Sander drew up the character templates and style sheets were dispatched to animators in London - who made half of the 52 episodes - and independant teams in Canada and Australia. Supervising director Jack Stokes decreed that the stories would revolve around the available songs. He admitted that getting The Beatles to ad lib dialogue and build the shows from there would have been nice but may been "too offbeat."

As it turned out, American actor Paul Frees supplied the voices of John and George while British comic actor and stalwart of That Was The Week That Was, Lance Percival, took on the roles of Paul and Ringo....

The series premiered the following September, instantly topped the US ratings, and sat there unchallenged for quite some time. It re-ran for some time in the States -- Lennon used to enjoy watching the repeats while living in New York = but was seldom seen in the UK (Granada ran a few in the 70's and LWT showed some about seven years ago on their Night Network Series) and hasn't been seen anywhere else for many years.

NOW, HOW TO ANIMATE THE FAB FOUR:

JOHN:
John, especially when delivering important lines, really looks like the leader. Feet apart, hands on the hips, chin up, looking down his nose. With a slightly mocking expression. (This pose can be also used when he is pointing).

When facing front he uses a sly, sideways look to talk to somebody.

Pulls funny faces especially after giving orders, which he immediately wipes off. He also looks the other way before giving you an order.

Slightly queer 'showbiz' gestures can be used in long shot. Mostly with hands. Gives the feeling that John doesn't take his job as leader seriously.

John never sit, he slouches.


PAUL:
Paul is the most poised and stylish Beatle. When he talks he uses his hands, with fingers spread to express what he is saying. He always looks straight at whoever he is talking to. He is the one who gets excited when John suggests anything.

He doesn't really walk - he skips.

Paul sits as though he is ready to jump up and get on with whatever is happening.

When he is making his own suggestions and comments, especially ones suggesting mischief, he covers up by assuming a mock innocent look, eyes wide and head tilted to one side.

He tends to put his hand in his mouth when he is excited.


GEORGE:
George never looks at who he is talking to. But his shoulders, which are hunched when he is in a standing or leaning pose, can indicate the direction.

Head always tilted forward.

George is the same height as Paul. George is very loose-limbed and angular when he walks. Remember his legs are long and thin. Emphasis on the knees will help the angular appearance.

He often closes his eyes for short periods when he is talking.

George nearly always gives the impression of frowning. This is because his eyebrows thicken as they reach his nose.

Notice distance between the nose and the mouth. His mouth is always lopsided.

George always leans against something. Shoulders hunched, hands in pockets. Legs crossed.


RINGO:
Ringo is the nice gentle Beatle, although he always looks rather sad.

Ringo looks a bit disjointed whether walking or standing. Ringo walks in a Groucho Marx pose.

Keep upper lip protruding. Keep Ringo's neck thin to help the disjointed look. Keep hair at back long and shaggy. Keep mouth in a wavy line.

When Ringo laughs, having made of a funny remark, he squints.

His clothes tend to look as though they are a bit to big.

Normally, Ringo is always deadpan but should expression be required the main movement is arching the eyebrows.


Source: Mojo Magazine, October 96.


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