We now come to the real reason why I started posting cartoons. I wanted to do my own Topps Toons. Here's my interpretation of a 1953 Topps Dugout Quiz Cartoon:
I'm pretty sure that this was the cartoon that was supposed to be on the back of card 267, but the card got yanked and it was lost to history.
Here we have a tender moment between Warren Spahn and one of Wisconsin's many dairy cows. While my initial idea for the '53 cartoon was the Braves' move to Milwaukee this was not the original subject I had planned. I initially was going to draw Eddie Mathews with a frosty mug of beer. Then I realized that a ballplayer knocking down the suds was not really going to fly on a baseball card from the fifties. It's not terribly fair to Eddie either! So while Milwaukee is known for beer, Wisconsin is known for cows. Beer was out, milk was in (or rather, the production facility) and Eddie was replaced with Spahnnie. Warren actually owned a ranch in Oklahoma for many years so he might be more comfortable with the heffers while Eddie could sit and enjoy his brew off stage.
The reference photo for Warren came off his 1953 Bowman card. I thought Topps might like to pull a little prank on their competitors. I also used the Bowman B for the hat logo. For the cow I googled cartoon cow, looked at a couple of pages of cowtoons and ran with it. My cow is probably a bit more cutesy than anything that made it into the '53 set, but that's a byproduct of drawing precious perky ponies for a month solid. With this drawing I also did something for the first time - actually got the guts to ink the thing. Here's the raw ink before I MSPainted it into the cartoon above.
That was surprisingly much easier than I imagined. Inking is still a bit intimidating because you don't have the eraser to lean on, but it turned out reasonably ok considering I don't know what I'm doing and I only have #2 pencils and a Sharpie to work with.. I goofed up the shading on the right side of Warren's neck, but the paintbrush tool took care of that in the final version. One thing I couldn't get right in my cartoon was the font for "Dugout Quiz" I swear I've seen the font on the actual '53 card running around the internet before but I couldn't find it and I absolutley do not have time to edit it out of the actual card. If I was doing an entire set worth of cartoons, then maybe. Not doing it for one. Berlin Sans FB Demi is good enough to get the point across.
Here's the original sketch scanned for posterity. The plan is to do one of these home brew toons for each year. The other plan was to do one set a week, but that's out the window seeing as I haven't actually picked out the 1954 cartoons yet. Making my own toon is fun though, so you'll be seeing the backs of some '54s soon.