Sunday, June 19, 2011

T. S. Sullivant

Ok...switching gears here for a moment.
I am nuts about T.S. Sullivant.  At the Disney Studio way back the book library had a clip file with small reproductions of his cartoons. That's where I first saw his work.
Since then I had the chance to purchase a few originals (they are pretty big, about
22x16 inches), and I own a good size collection of Judge and Life magazines
from the early 1900s. That's where and when Sullivant published most of his work.

He is in a class by himself ! Nobody caricatures animals and people like him.
He surprises you with completely unique ideas for proportions and exaggeration.
And it's all based on an insane knowledge of anatomy.

Sullivant  influenced Disney, Walt Kelly, Bakshi and many others.
He lived from 1854 - 1926.

Feast your eyes and be inspired !


  1. Awesome!! I'm a great fan of his work. Thanks for sharing.

  2. These are terrific! Apart from the wonderful pen and ink work and those outrageous proportions there is also so much warmth and fun in those drawings. They just make your heart jump with joy!
    It is good to see the the work of the artists that influenced the people that influence us. It is important to dig deep so that what influences does not become too watered down. Thank you for sharing this with us Andreas!

  3. Sullivant is the great grandfather of modern cartooning.
    I would kill to have a conversation with him.
    Thanks for posting comments, everybody.

  4. He truly IS the master!
    I wish a book of his work would come out or something. For now I'll just have to scour the internet. Thanks for posting these Andreas!

  5. He and A.B. Frost are the greatest pen and inkers who ever lived!

  6. @ Sandy - I think Ronald Searle is holding that title...

  7. Andreas,

    Truly inspirational! Wonderful ink work, amazing drawing and so caricatured as well. Thanks for posting these!

  8. Who would you say has been a bigger influence on you Andreas? Sullivant or Kahl?

  9. Did you use T.S. Sullivant as an inspiration for the design and performance of any of your characters? If so how?

  10. So hamma, dass du diesen Blog gegründet hast, Andreas! Vor 6 Jahren oder so, gab's ja schon einmal eine Homepage... Warst schon immer mein Vorbild! Grüße aus Deutschland ...

  11. you have demonstrated these drawings and was telling about this artist in the 40 mins video on you tube...i have seen them just few days ago........great to see those great drawings here are Boss Andreas..Thank you again
    Greetings from Bangladesh

  12. A,

    was Chris Sanders inspired by his work? i see some influence.


  13. I love T.S. Sullivant!

    It's funny though I can't help thinking about Heinrich Kley. (Who I also love) Is there any connection between the two?

    Kley didn't do so much "caricature" of animals like Sullivant, but there was definitely "character-like" in the way he illustrated their movement and personalities.

    Even though the two were alive around the same time, they were on opposite sides of the world. Do you think they were aware of each other's work?

  14. Hey OV!, I always wondered that too!

  15. Ki Innis: I've always made that Sullivant and Kley connection too. :) Both were outstanding pen and ink masters. Got a Kley original myself, but still looking for an original Sullivant. Those beautiful rascals are pretty rare.

    Andreas: I'm crossing my fingers hoping you'll post a scan of one of your Sulivant originals here. Large size. ;)

  16. A few quick responses:
    I did not use Sullivant as an influence in the characters I was doing at Disney, it just didn't apply.
    Bigger influence, Sullivant or Kahl? That would be Kahl and the other Disney greats.
    Yep, Chris Sanders is a Sullivant fan, too.
    Not sure, if Kley and Sullivant knew of each other, I doubt it. I don't think that their styles are that similar.
    Sullivant is cartoony, Kley is realistic with more motion.
    "Dance of the Hours" is a Kley inspired piece, Characters like Prince John, the king in "Bedknobs" and even Shere Khan show a Sullivant Influence.

  17. Also wanted to add that T.S. Sullivant was a big influence for the Pyramid of Pachyderms sequence in Dumbo. BTW Andreas are you coming to the CTN Expo this year?

  18. Stuff like this makes me glad to take up art.

  19. This is absolutely amazing! Thanks for showing some of T.S. Sullivant's art - it is very inspiring.

  20. I wonder if he influenced Peter de Sève at all?

  21. Sullivant also influenced the Seattle alternative cartoonist Jim Woodring, particularly evident in his "Frank in the River" material.

  22. @Zach Bellissimo
    there is a book it costs 273 dollars at amazon, thats the only place i have searched so far

    and this online link

  23. Thank you for sharing these wonderful images, Andreas. I'm a big fan of Sullivant's works too :D Must be great to have original works of his in your hand.

  24. T.S Sulivant was my great grandmother's brother. In her journals there is a page where he apologetically makes sketches all over a page. They show all the promise of the cartoonist he would become. Wish I could post a picture of it here.
    Hobey Ford-puppeteer

  25. I've been a huge fan since the 1970s. In the mid 1980s I wrote to the editorial cartoonist of the Miami Herald and asked him if his work was influenced by Sullivant. After silence for some seconds, he said I was the first person ever to ask that question, and indeed he was. In fact he regularly took excursions back then to New York City book stores to try and obtain any of the scarce few books or magazines or art of Mr. Sullivant. So you had company way back then, chief. Some of us amateur cartoonists idolize the man.
    from Northern California

  26. Thanks for posting Sullivant's art. I did not know of him before, but I just nearly fell off of my chair laughing at his cartoons. I've never seen art that made me crack up so hard. The caricatures and jokes are so funny and extremely well drawn! I've never seen anything like it. I can see how he influenced Chris Sanders and some of the Disney character designs. I would love to find more of his work.