Friday, February 17, 2012

Arty Farty Friday ~ Gahan Wilson and Johnny Hart, cartoonists share a birthday.

Tomorrow, 18 February will/would have been the birthday of two American cartoonists: Gahan Wilson (1930) and Johnny Hart (1931). Hart died in April 2007. Both men were drawn to the humour in weirdness and, in Wilson's case, horror.

Gahan Wilson is famous for his cartoons featuring all the motifs from horror tales and movies; and for his strip Nuts, which spotlights the neuroses and traumas of childhood. Johnny Hart found fame with his famous cartoon strips B.C. and (produced with Brant Parker) Wizard of Id

The two charts are shown below for comparison: Wilson's in the centre, Hart's in the outer ring (both set for 12 noon as no birth times are available)~

There are, of course, many similarities: Sun, Mercury, Saturn and all three outer planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto in same sign and not far apart degree-wise. Their common Aquarius Sun and Mercury connect to a mindset that's distinctly "left-field".
In both cases they felt a pull towards a particular type of communication - cartooning.

Main chart differences, apart from rising sign which can't be established without exact times of birth: position of natal Moons. Moon was somewhere in Scorpio when Gahan Wilson was born, and somewhere in Pisces as Johnny Hart came into the world. Wilson's Pluto-ruled Scorpio Moon goes a long way to explaining his pull to include horror motifs in his work, while Hart's Moon in gentle and often religiously-oriented Pisces matches his less horrific, but often in later life, religiously-tinged work.

Positions of Mars and Jupiter are also different in the two charts: Wilson's are in Airy trine Aquarius/Gemini, while Hart's are both in Watery intuitive Cancer. Venus, too lay in different signs: Very early Pisces but conjunct very late Aquarius Sun for Wilson; business-oriented Capricorn for Hart. From that I'd guess that Wilson is a fun guy, rather more more outgoing than Hart was, but Hart, perhaps, the more sensitive of the two.


From an interview HERE
I was born in Evanston, Illinois, on October 18th, 1930. Charles Jaffe made a nice movie about me called Born Dead, Still Weird, and I was indeed born dead, which is quite an extraordinary story. I came out blue and not breathing, so they just put me in the sink. Fortunately for me, the family doctor was on the scene. He was looking through the little porthole into the operating room and then burst in and grabbed me up. He used hot and cold water and slap, slap, slap. He got me coughing and puking and breathing and that’s that: I was alive. I don’t know if anybody at the hospital ever apologized for it. “Oh, jeez, sorry…” The same thing happened to John Steinbeck. I could have spent some time in the afterlife before I was born.
From another interview HERE

"I'd always wanted to be a cartoonist," asserted Wilson, "and I was ghoulish before conscious recollection. I don't know why my parents didn't do something about it earlier on." After their deaths, while going through their papers, Wilson happened upon "a touching little stack of drawings I had done, pre-literate, just a wee babe. And my mother had written, no doubt upon my instruction, 'And a scary monster comes to destroy us all!' "A lot of kids are creepy kids, and I was definitely a creepy kid," Wilson admitted with a boyish grin.

I like this Gahan Wilson cartoon - the dates could easily be amended to 2011/2012 without loss of its point.


From an obituary for Johnny Hart who died 2007:

After his discharge from the military in 1954, Hart worked in the art department at General Electric while selling cartoons on the side. He began reading Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts” and was inspired to start his own strip.
“Caveman gags, for reasons which I still cannot explain, were an obsession in those days,” Hart told Creators. “One day, a friend jokingly suggested I create a strip revolving around prehistoric times.”

Later in his career, some of Hart’s cartoons had religious themes, a reflection of his own Christian faith. That sometimes led to controversy.
A strip published on Easter in 2001 drew protests from Jewish groups and led several newspapers to drop the strip. The cartoon depicted a menorah transforming into a cross, with accompanying text quoting some of Jesus Christ’s dying words. Critics said it implied that Christianity supersedes Judaism.

Hart said he intended the strip as a tribute to both faiths.

“B.C.” was filled with puns and sly digs at modern society. After he graduated from Union-Endicott High School, Hart met Brant Parker, a young cartoonist who became a prime influence and eventual co-creator with Hart of “The Wizard of Id” in 1964.

PS:There are lots of examples of cartoons by both artists at Google Image, but not wanting slapped hands for copyright infringement I've limited myself to one of each, two bookcovers and a couple of photos as illustration. if my hands are slapped - so be it!


Anonymous said...

GP: Sun/Aquarius and Uranus in Aries for both would indicate spontaneity and freedom to see "the other (comic) side".

PS. Here one of my favourites (even year of birth unknown, but otherwise famous in the Middle East), Nasreddin:

On a very hot day he was working on the roof of his house. Passed by a neighbour, begging him to come down as he had something to say.

Once down on the street, the neighbour asked if he could lend him some money. Nasreddin said that he should come back up to the roof with him. Once there, he then added: unfortunately I am broke myself...

Twilight said...

Anonymous/Gian Paul ~~ Yes, true!

LOL! Your Nasreddin story reminds me a wee bit of that story you posted about your friend's delicious truffles. :-D You were then emulating Mr. Nasreddin!

Anonymous said...

GP: Instead of giving you a straight answer, dear T. here's another one: N.had lost his donkey. He was extremely sad at that. His neighbours, trying to console him, remarked that he was more afflicted by the loss of his donkey than he was when his wife had died.

N. replied to that: "when my wife died, you all said that you will help me to find another one. Now that I lost my donkey, nobody offered me such help!

Rossa said...

The insinuation was great :-)

Twilight said...

Anonymous/Gian Paul ~
LOL! Awwww -and he's usually pictured sitting on his donkey too.
I investigated via Google.

Twilight said...

Rossa ~~ Yes....good one!