Thursday, August 23, 2012

Comparison: Vet Anderson as Animator and Print Cartoonist

Probably one of my favorite animators is Jesse "Vet" Anderson (1875-1966), a cartoonist who carried his wild, gritty drawing style with him all throughout his long career. Here's a complete run (minus one example which has already been posted online) of his wild strip "Hardy Hiram" from the NY Herald, 1902. Sorry about the poor quality, I was working from ancient microfilm and sometimes this is the best you can do.

And here's a few of his stylish caricatures, from the same paper, same year:

Now here's some framegrabs of Vet's wild animation. It really has to be seen to believed.... the way he moves his characters around really sticks out like a sore but wonderful thumb. I immediately noticed it when I began watching the Lantz Oswalds, but didn't realize it was Vet's work until I saw the same style in a few scenes of Ted Eshbaugh's Wizard of Oz cartoon on which Vet is credited. Soon after I started to notice his work in earlier Fleischer and Aesop's Fables cartoons. 

Vet's scene in "The Hair Mail" (Lantz, 1931) 

Does the expression above look familliar to you? 

That's because he'd been using it for at least 30 years. Don't ya love the way the guy draws mouths?

Typical Anderson beasts in "The Fisherman" and "The Clown" (Lantz, Both 1931) 

Some Horrifying Vet scenes from "Grandma's Pet" (Lantz, 1931)

      This is the kind of footage only a grizzled, 56 year old veteran of the Spanish-American War could turn out.

                                           Lastly, here's some of Vet's animation for other studios:

                                        Vet scene in Ted Eshbaugh's "The Wizard of Oz" (1933)

And this quick scene in "Hide and Seek" (Fleischer, 1931) looks like Anderson to me.


  1. THANK YOU for this post! It allowed us to identify the caricaturist for a 1907 publication from the Steuben County Society of NYC... a dozen cartoons of men from our western New York county who'd made it big in the big city. They're all signed with that VET signature, and nothing else. This has been a big help.
    Kirk House, Steuben County Historical Society

  2. Glad to be of help! If you ever post the caricatures online please send me a link! - Charlie