Frank Tashlin‘s extremely rare 1952 cartooning booklet How to Draw Cartoons has been posted online in its entirety. In the book, Tashlin promotes his SCOT Art technique, which simplifies every cartoon character into squares (S), circles (C), ovals (O) and triangles (T).
Tashlin’s idiosyncratic style is geared more toward print cartoonists than animators, owing to Tashlin’s beginnings as a newspaper cartoonist. Even though his old-school cartooning style was already on its way out when the book was published in 1952, somehow the style looks artful in his confident hands. Throughout the book, Tashlin uses examples from his own illustrated books, including The World That Isn’t, which still holds up as a masterpiece of graphic art commentary.
Not to take this too far off-topic, but if you’re interested in learning more about Tashlin, I’d also recommend this Michael Barrier interview, which was conducted just one year before Tashlin passed away.
Tashlin has never been properly given his due as an animation director, mostly because his career as a live-action director eclipsed his earlier work. But he was easily among the most forward-thinking, singular and influential animation directors of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Below is a fine example of his innovative directorial style–the 1943 Warner Bros. short Puss n’ Booty.
UPDATE: Cartoon Brew reader Xevo points out that numerous examples of Frank Tashlin’s Van Boring newspaper comic were recently published on Ger Apeldoorn’s Fabulous Fifties blog.