This Flickr collection of 1950s bird illustrations by Charles Harper, courtesy of Eric Sturdevant, is incredible…so many interesting graphic variations on a single theme. I’ve heard that Harper is still alive — somebody should really do an in-depth interview with him while he’s still around. Though I don’t think he ever worked in animation, he’s influenced many animation artists. Background designer Scott Wills acknowledged Harper’s influence on SAMURAI JACK in the book MAKIN’ TOONS:
What I love about Harper’s work is the ultra-stylization…Even the character design here has been influenced by him–how we draw birds, for example. We’ve a lot of influences, I have to say, but when I feel like I’ve done a painting that’s very SAMURAI JACK, the way I want it, it’s mostly Harper’s kind of feeling.