Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Comic-Con, like modern theoretical physics, can be observed on two levels: 
  • the rules of relativity which account for the behavior of large objects (such as galaxies or the Warner Brothers exhibition booth);  and 
  • quantum mechanics which account for tiny objects (such as subatomic particles or the following drawings by Harry Beckhoff). 

Beckhoff (1901-1979) was famous for his tiny preliminary sketches that were dense with information.  

Even at this miniature scale, Beckhoff captures gesture, body language and even the style of chairs

Beckhoff's sketches weren't much bigger than a penny on the floor of the Comic-Con exhibition hall, and received about as much attention, but they are marvelous little jewels.  They served as comprehensive blueprints for  finished illustrations that were ten times larger.


Donald Pittenger said...

I do tiny doodles and workups and attribute this quirk to the comparatively narrow margins of the notebooks I was supposed to be taking notes in while in high school and college. Can't do big cars, planes and girls in narrow margins, y'know.

I wonder if Beckhoff got a similar start in miniatures.

And those pennies on the Beckhoffs ... were they down payments on additions to your collections?

MORAN said...

He must have great eyesight.

Anonymous said...

Very nice to see these; years ago I saw somewhere James Montgomery Flagg's drawing teasing Beckhoff about the small size of his drawings. These amazing shots you've posted assist me in getting the joke.

To overgeneralize, our modern tendency is to go big. But many old master drawings are done at a relatively small size--if not as small as Beckhoff's.

Bob Cosgrove

Laurence John said...

i wasn't familiar with Beckhoff's work before, but looked him up.

great stuff. really nice balance between cartoony and 'realistic'.
he reminds me of Russell Patterson at times.