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Monday, March 27, 2017

MUSING ON THE ORIGINAL JESSICA RABBIT

I've had this new pic on my desktop for over a week, and it was teased on Instagram a few weeks ago. It's a pinup of Jessica Rabbit, the classic character from the "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" cartoon that dates back to 1988, although she was also presented in a book titled "Who Censored Roger Rabbit?", which was published roughly back in 1981. Jessica was created by the author Gary K Wolf.

I'm including an older Jessica Nurse pic that I did back in 2009, just to show a comparison, and my art style evolution over time.

 


Although it is claimed that Jessica was inspired by a cartoon gal shown in an old Tex Avery cartoon from 1943 [titled "Red Hot Riding Hood"], in my opinion the original human inspiration for Jessica Rabbit may have been a lady called Julie London [shown on the right], who was a redhead gal and a sultry singer that lived from 1926 - 2000.
In fact, one of Julie's sultry songs titled "Why don't you do right" was performed by Jessica Rabbit, in the 1988 cartoon.

From my research / reflections, a couple of things stand out about Julie...
1. She was very laid back and calm-natured
2. She was short & cute, standing at 5 feet 2 inches tall.
3. She had hair... lots of hair, that stood on her head like some sort of reddish crown [Google "Julie London" and you'll see what I mean].
4. She had a deep raspy voice. And there are few female singers who have that kinda tone and sound good.

On the other hand, Jessica Rabbit was tall and junoesque, meaning that she was like a busty Greek goddess. Jessica did have two voices in the cartoon [shown as a clip below]; and one voice actress [Kathleen Turner] would provide her regular speaking voice, while there was someone else that would sing for her. Some fans see Jessica as a classic shapely milf and others view her as an animated muse.
Frankly, I just see her as... Jessica. And you can hear her sing over HERE


While doing my research, I did listen to a few of the classic tracks by Julie, and they were... like an aged wine.... sweet and sensual, and yet tasteful. I liked some of Julie's songs better than others of course. And the song "Cry me a River" that Justin Timberlake sang in 2010... well, Julie London had an old song with that same name back in 1955, which was very different, in terms of its message and its solemn tone.

Nevertheless, inspiration for a comic character can be drawn from a living or a late muse, a cartoon character or even real person, as long as they inspire the artist.

I know that for a fact, since my popular DSNG gal Elena Eden, was created as an original character, way back in the early 2000s. But later, as I kept drawing her, I was inspired by the physique of Coco Austin, the wife of rapper IceT.
That's all for now. Don't forget to Like and Share...
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