November 14, 2007

Face to Face - 60 Years in the Making

In the previous post I interviewed my father about the curious "Face" he has been drawing on my cakes and cards for years. If you haven't read that post yet, DO NOT READ ON. Click here right now and go read it, then come back. I'm serious. This is an order from the top brass at Sneeze HQ.

After I posted that interview, a miracle occurred and some kick-ass Sneeze readers managed to track down scans from the ACTUAL BOOK from the 40s, including the original face! I still can't quite believe it.

I called up my dad and conducted a follow-up interview in which he viewed the original "Face" for the first time in 60 YEARS...

* * * * * * * * * *

Okay, Dad. A bunch of Sneeze readers saw our interview and it looks like a few of them found the actual book AND the original face.


Now before I send you the link, how do you feel about seeing it?

Well, a couple of times I went back to my old reunions and it was not as nice as I thought it would be to go back. But this won't be a problem. It's only a book.

Okay, are you ready to see the cover?

I'm ready.

Here's a link. It's called "How To Make Faces" by Frank Webb...

This is so much pressure...

Yeah, that's it! That's it. Wow. How did you guys find it? That's amazing!

I think your guess that the pictures were drawing by the alphabet helped. So, what does it feel like to see it again?

You're bringing back my childhood memories. Back to before I learned how to draw that excellent face. I told you the cover had red on it.

Are you ready to see the face?

Yes. I want to see how far off I went. We need a drumroll.

Here it comes a link...

I'm clicking on it now...

(You can see the whole page here.)

Oh yeah!! See?! It looks like I stopped at Step 3. I guess 4 was too hard. I did put the triangle on his neck.

Yeah. It's a collar. The collar actually looks a lot like how you drew it, especially considering you haven't seen it in 60 years. Overall, how far off do you think you were?

Obviously I left off his nose.

What happened there?

I don't remember. Somewhere along the way I left it off. I hope you're not putting this on your site.


This is not for publication.

Are you crazy? This is ABSOLUTELY for publication. The only reason the internet exists is for this conversation to be on it!

All right.

Your picture is closer to the original than I thought it would have been. Especially if you look at your Step 4 and his Step 3.

I left off the nose and I didn't have the eye right.

Yeah, you had those 2 lines that were supposed to be the eye. The real face has a line for the eye, another one for the eyebrow and then a little crease.

I was little and I guess I didn't know what I was drawing, I was just copying it. I drew a face all these years and he couldn't smell anything! And he couldn't see! He was a poor blind bastard with no nose. But he could hear and he could eat.

I think he's like the Sphinx. The nose was lost somewhere along the way, but that didn't make it any less important to the world.

Absolutely. But I like it with the nose.

Whose is better? Yours or the original?

I like mine. But his has more features on Step 4 and you could see a real face. After you picked mine apart, I could see I was leaving some parts out. But I always saw a face. I'm drawing mine right now with a nose. Yeah, he looks better with a nose!

No! You have to promise to always draw it your way.

Maybe I'll make my original drawing and then add a friend with a nose.

That sounds okay. Hey, did you see the "Komik Note" on the bottom of the page? It says, "Take the pointers this book offers, but develop your own individuality."

How about that? I wish I could tell you that I read that and left off the nose on purpose, but I don't think that's the case.

So, do you have any message for The Sneeze readers?

Thank you for bringing back a lot of nostalgia for me. As soon as I saw it I knew that was the book. And now it's back and it's real. So thank you. The Face lives after all these years!

It does. Thanks, Dad.

(15 minutes later my Dad calls me back:)

Hey, I just remembered why I stuck with the "F" picture.


Well, I was just a kid and I remember thinking that a lot of the pictures looked kind of like men's body parts.


The nose on the A face looked like a man's private parts. And I thought the B picture looked like a behind AND more privates.

This actually bothered you?

The kids in my neighborhood were really tough. I didn't want them to pick on me. So when I got to the "F" face, that one was pretty safe so I stuck with it and stopped. Hey, maybe that's why I left the nose off!

That is beyond fantastic. Thanks, Dad.

* * * * * * * * *

I have to give a HUGE thanks to animator Michael Sporn for miraculously having scans from this obscure Frank Webb book on his blog! (And thanks for his blessing to repost those scans here on The Sneeze.) You can see more details from the book right here.

Secondly, thanks to Andrea, Paul and Shane for managing to track down Michael's site.

And most importantly thanks to my dad. Not only for all the fun we've had with this, but just for being the greatest.

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Posted by Steven | Archive
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