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Cartoon Culture

The Amazing Wood Carvings of Charles Ponstingl

This you gotta see.

Collector Mel Birnkrant has posted an amazing story – and gallery – of art created by amateur wood carver Charles Ponstingl. Beginning in 1973 Ponstingl began (at age 38) carving over 200 wood dioramas, creating three-dimensional shadowbox homages to beloved comic strip and animated cartoon characters.

In addition to doing pieces devoted to Disney classics, Ponstingl tackled everything from Little Nemo to Mary Jane and Sniffles! Mutt and Jeff, Snuffy Smith, Popeye, Beetle Bailey, Sad Sack are some of the comic strips he did; Felix The Cat, Daffy Duck, Woody Woodpecker, Mickey, Donald and Goofy are among the animated characters he’s carved.

Some of the carvings are spot on recreations, some are way off-model – but all of them are charming and clearly done with a lot of love and care.

Collector Birnkrant discovered Ponstingl’s folk art and bought many of the pieces – telling the remarkable story behind them and showing off the collection on his website. Click thumbnails below to enlarge three great examples – check out the story and see more amazing stuff here.

(Thanks, Ed Austin and Mark Mayerson)