Monday, January 3, 2022

A Face in the Crowd

HAPPY NEW YEAR, Everyone!  

I've just returned from my fun Oregon holiday vacation - and back to working on my new Simpsons couch gag - and as I hand color the art, I usually watch a movie on TV.  This time I happened to switch on a classic film, "A Face in the Crowd" by the great Elia Kazan, starring Patricia Neal, Walter Matthau and Andy Griffith (definitely playing out of character). 

Even though I've seen the film multiple times and it's one of my all-time favorite films, until now I never realized the similarities between Andy Griffith's character, Larry "Lonesome" Rhodes and our current ex-President. 

If you haven't seen this gem of a film, it's about a rural Southern singer and raconteur, who becomes a giant TV celebrity.  I know, you're all saying, "Wait, that doesn't sound like Trump!"  But the similarities lie in the fact that he plays an outspoken folk hero populist and his fans are right out of Trump's fan base, the ones who attend his rallies - simple, down-home folk.  And as Lonesome Rhodes' crowds grow to become a "basket of deplorables", he decides to go into politics, lies to everyone and eventually goes crazy.  

You might be able to find the film on cable, maybe TCM - if so, definitely check it out and see what you think.  I believe the character was modeled on former Louisiana governor Huey Long, who prided himself as a populist and then became something of a demagogue.  By the way, I don't know how the term "populist" became such a derogatory label.  I always thought of Frank Capra and Will Rogers as populists, and I consider myself a populist.  I want to make films that are popular with everybody, but I'm not eager to overthrow democracy and rule the world right now. 

Here are some pencil tests from "Slide" - I'm almost finished with the drawing part, and now it's on to post-production.  

Also, I'm including another gag cartoon here.



No comments:

Post a Comment