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Cartoon Culture

Swing You Sinners

Nico Print

I love this!

Filmmaker, photographer and cartoonist for hire Nico Colaleo created this affectionate homage to 1930s cartoon super stars, titled Swing You Sinners, and posted it on his website a few weeks ago. By popular demand – including this Brewmaster’s personal begging and pleading – Nico decided to make prints and offer them for sale. I can now live happily-ever-after knowing my favorite cartoon stars will be staring at me for years to come! You can too – order yours here.

  • uncle wayne

    This IZZ funtastick!! And woe to those who DOESN’T know who they all are!! Shame on ’em (lol!!)

  • So, are the owners to the rights of any of those characters going to be seeing any money from the prints he sells?

    • I hope not. These particular characters should be in the public domain.

      • Ryoku

        I don’t think Mickeys ever going to be in public domain.

      • Probably not.

      • When it comes to cartoon characters there is copyright (which covers the films and eby merchandise) and then there is trademark (which covers the character themselves).

        Copyrights expire after a defined term. Trademarks on the other hand, do not, as long as the holder continues to use the trademark for the purpose for which it was granted.

        In other words, as long as Disney is in business, expect Mickey Mouse to remain trademarked.

        I would expect he above image to fall under some sort of artistic/fair use clause.

    • childisfatheroftheman

      I believe Disney also owns Oswald. Don Oriolo definetly owns Felix the Cat.

  • Is that Buddy at bottom left? He looks a bit wired.

  • Rab Smith

    Great retro-image! Reminds me of my own retro-esque comic-strip images, which can be seen in this link:


    • Eugene

      “Reminds me of my own retro-esque comic-strip images”
      You mean you forgot about your own art??

      • Ryoku

        Those “retro-esque comic-strip images” aren’t really that retro either, just b\w.

      • Rab Smith

        I miss the point of your reply, Eugene, but four others agree with you, so it’s me who’s wrong!

        Ryoku: some folks think my stuff looks old-fashioned, if you think it ain’t retro, well I’m glad some people see other things in my stuff.

      • Was My Face Red

        Your comment reminds me of my own comment which you are reading now.

      • Rab Smith

        I bet the comment you are reading literally right now has got your FULL attention!

      • Ryoku

        At Rab: It looks somewhat retro but its more like a mix of 60’s Hanna Barbara and classic Disney then 30’s stuff. Looks better then most of the other webcomics I see since its not angular’d to death.

      • Rab Smith

        I appreciate your observations, Ryouko. I’m trying to avoid modern-looking graphics, which I feel are too generic-looking in a lot of cases.

  • Carrie S.

    Absolutely positively LOVE THIS — just ordered my copy. This is why nameless lurker animation fans like me read this blog. Thank you a million times for linking!!!

  • Ryoku

    Nice, but $12 is a bit much. Some of these characters look a little off.

  • The Gee

    The price isn’t bad. I wouldn’t pay it because it isn’t that intriguing to me.

    As for the characters looking off:

    he seems to be trying to show just how similar the characters are. If you look (not too closely) some share the same characteristics. For some, like Micky and Oswald’s mouth…enh… I get it but….enh…
    I’d rather not think “Done on a Computer” when looking at any of those characters…but, it is also hard to ignore the background. Unless this is a bunch of drawings he put on paper, cut out and place upon crinkled wrapping paper… Enh.

    It isn’t a bad price, but, it is something I could make and make better if I wanted it. I would also aim for something I have never seen before.

    That said, more power to anyone who wants to buy a print and to him for selling the prints.

    • Ryoku

      You don’t have to alter these character to see how similar they are.

      • The Gee

        No. You don’t need to draw each character too differently to realize each is similar.

        The personalities of each…and the characters themselves were somewhat different though. Obviously the ones who survived the Depression evolved from those primordial circles and rubber hoses.

  • Mickey looks off-model. The cheek part of his face should be bigger.

  • TsimoneTseTse

    Oh, good grief people (who are complaining). It’s compare and contrast. Didn’t any of you learn that in school? It’s wonderfully done and just maybe, Mickey’s cheeks will save him from a cease & desist order.

    How can you not smile when you look at it?

    • The Gee

      If you look below this, “Tonma” wrote how they could morph into one another.

      For me it would be cooler if it were like that but that would be a different work altogether.

      As for it is “compare and contrast”… yeah, that’s all it is. That’s something that works for a visual piece you see online but not as a poster you hang up.

      There’s a lot of works made nowadays which are no better than lists. It seems to be endemic to the Times, to Now.

      They are not fleshed out in ways which make them compelling beyond bullet points.
      For me—maybe not you– I need more than illustrated or animated or filmed or long-formed prose lists.

      To my eyes this is like looking at an early idea that isn’t to a completed stage. For what it is worth, that is not the result of a jaundiced eye, it is the result of a critical one. We need to be that way in order to make Good Things and Nice Works, don’t we?

  • Julius Gryphon

    Foxy and Piggy should have been included. :)

  • Crosley

    Hang that in the bathroom and no one will be able to urinate. And where the hell is Farmer Alfalfa, who knew all of these characters in the Biblical sense?

    • “Hang that in the bathroom and no one will be able to urinate”?

      That is a bold assertion.

  • tonma

    HEHE…. if yous scroll up and down you kinda see them morphing into each other!…… TRIPPY!!…..

  • This is very nice. Anyways, regarding on Mickey and the public domain. Steamboat Willie almost got into the public domain, but it dodged the bullet. I dont know much regarding on the matter.

  • wgan

    i like the print, but selling it is no better than some other lame things

  • Kevin Martinez

    It was one of the big classic cartoon historians (I think it was either Tom Stathes or David Gerstein), who theorized that the basic black-furred animal look pioneered by Felix and copied by Mickey, Bosko and the others originated not with blackface but with George Herriman and Krazy Kat.

    There had been animated Krazy Kat cartoons since before even Felix, so it kind of makes sense.

  • Kevin Martinez

    Oh an that’s not even taking into account how Columbia eventually designed Krazy Kat into a character of this archetype, or how Felix, according to David Gerstein, was at one point advertised as “Felix the Krazy Kat”

  • roccob

    so… want us to pay for some traced character heads?

  • The Gee

    Oh, don’t give him grief for having the gumption to try and make a buck on something he can create. Giving him a little grief for the lack of creativity? I don’t have a problem doing that.

    But, as for him trying to make a buck off of what can be considered Fair Use interpretations of characters, he’s probably shouldn’t be dissed for that.

    If it appeals to folks who may wish to buy it, even if it is to support his efforts, cool.
    But, if it ain’t for you, focus on criticizing the other stuff.

  • And I still want to see Scrappy in THE CHINATOWN MYSTERY, some 1930-1933 Fleischer cartoons and the “lost” Toby The Pups in glorious 35mm someday.

  • glitter hats

    artistically it makes no sense to have the rabbits ears popping off the edge. it all looks wrong. i know you can’t diss anyone for needing to make money but it’s amateurish to say the least. how unfortunate people are going to pay for this..

    • briclegg

      Click the link and you’ll see that in the full work, Oswald’s ears aren’t cropped.

      I disagree with your assessment and think it an excellent commentary on creative cross-fertilization.