Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Pilgrims: A 1960s Kid's Perspective

In honor of Thanksgiving, I dug out some Pilgrim drawings I did when I was just a kid in the mid-1960s. They provide an amusing (and politically incorrect) perspective that seems to have been influenced by youthful viewings of John Wayne movies.

My first drawing (above) takes place right before the Pilgrims landed. A turkey is perched on Plymouth Rock (which in all of my drawings is already inscribed with the date of the Pilgrims' arrival). An angry Indian pokes his head out of an apple tree, shaking his fist at the Pilgrim landing crew being lowered to the water. Lastly, The Mayflower's mermaid figurehead (drawn maybe a bit too realistically) completes the scene.

In my second drawing (below), the Pilgrims (two of them at least) have landed and The Mayflower has apparently taken off. The Pilgrim male is atop Plymouth Rock and holding a dead purple bird, while the woman (looking like one of Al Capp's Shmoos) sits in the boat. A turkey quizzically looks on. A quartet of identical Indians hide menacingly behind pumpkins, ready to ambush!

The next drawing (below) introduces violence to the Pilgrim proceedings.

It shows a Pilgrim hiding behind Plymouth Rock as he blasts an airborne turkey with a pistol. (At least he wasn't shooting an Indian!) To make the drawing "come alive," I drew the turkey on a separate piece of a paper, cut him out, and glued him to this drawing with a tab, so that he "floated." (I guess I was anticipating the current 3-D craze.)

Lastly, maybe a year or so later, I revisited the Pilgrims one last time (below).

This drawing's a little more serious and rendered more realistically, which makes me think it was done at school with some sort of supervision. An Indian passes a bowl of corn on the cob to a Pilgrim man (awkwardly holding a dead bird and leaning on his blunderbuss). A chinless Pilgrim woman (with huge gorilla hands and legs that look like saggy orange trousers) watches. A baby in a cradle rocks inches away from a cooking pot that is suspended over a campfire. Almost everyone has blue eyes!

Anyway, it's fun to look back at something you drew 47 years ago and try to figure out why it was drawn that way. I guess it's not easy to get into the mind of a kid.

Even if you were that kid.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Anonymous said...

Cute. Interesting that you still have these. Only drawings I have as a kid are scribblings in books.

Dan Brady said...

I was drawing all the time as a kid (usually cartoon characters from TV and the comics), and I'm lucky my mother saved a bunch of them. It's funny seeing what was occupying my attention at different times during the 1960s.