why do cartoons read backwards?

i’ve been wondering some things for years now but have been unsure of where to look or getting nada in return. unfortunately, i cannot think of a particular cartoon right now as reference but there has been many a looney-tune or mickey-mouse who’s been flipping through books backwards. have you noticed this & do you know why (they flip 'em back to front)?

Maybe you’re watching Anime?

Seriously, even in my secret identity as ***Captain Continuity ** * (fanfare and applause) I have never noted this phenomena. Could you try to come up with an example?

the reason i can’t think up of a specific example is because it usually occurs in the wb & disney cartoons from before the nineties. there’s lots of mickey mouse cartoons and i can’t recall of one spefically but i’ve seen it happen several times. the later ones - late nineties & above - have the cartoons reading from front to back. i’ll try my best to think of one though.

  1. Cartioon charcters are dednah tfel?
  2. They want to read the ending first?

Maybe the people who did the fill work (not sure if this is their official name, but the people who draw the in-between frames as opposed to the major frames) were Japanese?

You don’t think it might be all too easy for a cartoonist, drawing an image of the character, to imagine various movements as a mirror image of their own? (I know some cartoonists even use mirrors to observe their own actions, then draw their cartoon character doing the same.

yes, this is the one i’ve been going on. they do use mirrors for facial expressions & such, cartoonists for the local paper too. i thought maybe there was some concrete answer lying around & that would’ve been interesting. i’m still trying to find a cartoon with this instance, though. sadly all my cartoon-tapes are not here with me.

however, if it is the case of the mirror, you’d think they’d proofcheck it, eh.

When come back, bring cites, coherency.

I don’t knowm about cartoons, but in comics I’ve frequently noticed that the title of the book (or magazine) is actually shown on the back.

I actually have an example of such, a recent Dilbert cartoon, shame this forum doesn’t permit posting images. Anyone with a website of their own willing to let me email them the image, so they can display it for all to see?

Possibly there’s some aesthetic principle that says its better to show the character facing right. Then you have to make the back of the book the front, so the audience/ reader can see.


as for an image host - try http://www.sighost.com/ ?

The guest account isn’t accepting the image, and I don’t really want to pay for a private account right now. Anyone else?

I know there is in film. I took a class on film study in college, and this was one of the major things I learned. In a lot of movies (as in, almost all of them) the “good guys” are almost always depicted moving left to right. Bad guys, on the other hand, are usually shown moving right to left.
If we justapose this into cartoons, then the protaganoist would usually have to be pictured faing to the reader’s right. This means that any book they’re reading would have its front cover facing away from the reader, and we’d be seeing the back of the book. However, if the title of the publication is part of the cartoon, we have to see it somehow. Hence, it’s drawn on the back.

Just a theory.

odd, what type of file is it?
i recommended that because sign-up was quickest. how about http://www.walagata.com/ ?

excellent, thank you. exactly the sort of extra tidbits i wanted tolearn.
so from what we’ve gathered, it has something to do with the position of the cartoon & wanting the title/cover to show up. i wonder if there’s anything else.

Okay, folks, for those who have never seen it before, here is an example of a comic charater reading a magazine back to front. This is very common. I’d say that the majority of comics characters I’ve seen do this.

they are called, believe it or not, in-betweeners. the ones doing the ‘‘major frames’’ are the key animators and it would be impossible for the in-betweener to change the direction of the keys. :slight_smile:

i especially like how in the first scene the lady is holding the magazine accurately - the cover is on the back.
thanks for the picture.


600k limit. no sign up at all.

[bump.] just one last try to see if any answers come up.

This was addressed on ‘The Family Guy’ DVD commentary. According to Seth McFarlane, it’s because the animation is actually done in Japan.