Sunday, August 9, 2009

Roadrunner

I was doodling in my sketchbook the other day, and for no apparent reason I drew a roadrunner. So I decided to turn the sketch into a full blown drawing.

Call it my interpretation of the Warner Bros. version. I wasn't trying to recreate him exactly, but rather filter him through my own style.

The Roadrunner has got to be one of the most annoying characters in animation history. I think everyone who's ever seen even one of the cartoons rooted for the Coyote and wished that once, just once, he'd catch the stupid Roadrunner and eat him.

In fact, years ago I read that the U.S. Army commissioned a special cartoon from Warner Bros., in which the Coyote finally caught and ate the Roadrunner. According to the legend it would be shown to the troops right before they went into battle; I guess to pump them up?

Alas, it was just an urban legend and no such cartoon exists.

No matter how many times the Coyote's Roadrunner-catching plans failed, he never stopped trying. Maybe there's a lesson about perseverance or something in them.

When I was a kid there was a Roadrunner comic book, and he was even more annoying in it! The comic version could talk (!) instead of make "meep meep" sounds, and he always spoke in rhyme. And like all funny animal comic book characters, he had 3 identical triplet nephews who followed him around. If I remember right the Coyote wasn't in the comic; it just showed the Roadrunner's family life. I remember not liking that comic.

By the way, Google "roadrunner" some day when you have time. Not surprisingly, a real one looks nothing at all like a large skinny ostrich. It's just a small speckled bird with a short neck and a slightly longer than normal tail. Most of the other Warner characters are fairly accurately drawn; it makes me wonder if whoever designed the Roadrunner had ever seen one before.

Drawn in Photoshop on the graphic tablet.

Here's the sketch for the Roadrunner. I lengthened his legs a bit in the final drawing and cleaned up some lines, but otherwise not a lot changed.

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