In the Summer I saw an exhibition of Neil Meacher’s sketch books and I was mesmerised. The lecture on UPA reminded me of his work. He also taught my father at Kingston in the 60’s, and incidentally the image above is of Dungeoness Powerstation, not far from where I grew up.
Yesterdays lecture on UPA was ferociously inspiring, I can’t stop thinking about Rooty Toot Toot! Although I was familiar with the style, and the Cartoon Modern book I didn’t really know anything about UPA as an animation studio. It’s fascinating how influential the work was on subsequent cartoons, but also on graphics and illustration of the time. I was particularly captivated by how they made the characters and objects transparent and the colours of people’s clothing or buildings didn’t need to be contained by their lines. It reminded me of screen printing and the brilliant effects you can get when you introduce line drawings onto flat background, or when the registration is off (which if you are me happens every time!) This style does still seem refreshing and modern even though it has been appropriated rather exhaustively. Some of the imitations are swell too.
For a more analytical and authoritative account here’s John K’s : Stylized Spumco