lundi, novembre 16, 2009

Hairy thoughts.

We are entering in the last week of the what I call the Passionszeit. November 22 is next sunday.
As a tribute, I will dedicate this weeks entries entirely to JFK. Look at him and reflect about him from his hair down to his feet. How it feels to draw these parts of his body.


Monday: John F. Kennedy's Hair.

The hair was probably JFK's most recognizable physical asset. The forelock in the first, often draft in pure exaggeration by cartoonists who depicted it as if a squirrel was hidden under his scalp.
JFK's hair was unusually thick. One can see it well on photos where he had a  fresh haircut: The trimmed parts, especially on his side-head, look like the hide of a newly sheared sheep; all dense and firm, like a regular fur.

As for the famous forelock, it was originally split in two, spreading out left and right. I believe he wore it that way until his time in war and made the "one and only" hair-lure when he entered into politics.

As time passed, the forelock seemed to grow.
In the first days of his presidency, we have several photos of him with a haircut that reduced the forelock as well as the rest of his hair, sometimes down to a merely thicker part of his scalp, making the original hair-wave difficult to identify. Later, he obviously ordered his hair-stylist to spare the forelock, letting it grow more importantly. There are funny photos of him showing the fluffy forelock waving on a short-sheared head - almost an early punk!
As the forelock grew bigger and was heavier, it tended to fall into his face and the movement of wiping it away from his forehead with two fingers became well known and almost a brand sign, just as the hair itself. It's reported that his little Son, JFK jr, tried to imitate that movement, charming millions of people that way.
In 1962 and up to 1963, the forelock was as its pike and gave birth to the image most of us have in mind: JFK with his hair dancing in the wind.

When drawing the Kennedy mane, one have to carefully study the paths and ways this hair really makes. It's not that easy. It took me some time to learn it. Still, I enjoy it. In my stories - film or comics - JFK uses his hair as a way of expression: He can fuzz it up when he is upset or fearfull. It hangs down when he is sad. It's well groomed when he tries to seduce.
I draw his hair in a bright red tone. In reality, it seemed to have had different tones: Photographs go from red of course, up to bright blond, chestnut, light brown up to almost black. This is partly due to the early  colour photography, which wasn't that accurate. But I also think he started to colour his hair from a given time on.
The former german chancelor Schroeder once sued someone for pretending he has colored hair. JFK was more tolerant toward people saying that he was vainly. He once said: "I read in the papers that the Kennedy Brothers do care a lot about their looks and clothing. Well, me of course, but not my brother Bobby. He still wears those shirts with a button - Such are outfashioned since 5 years!"

Tomorrow: JFK's Face.

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