THE JOHNNY BRAVO LOOK
When I was first developing Johnny Bravo, I turned to the caricatures of Al Hirschfeld for inspiration. The picture below is a 1995 drawing he did of the cast from “A View From The Bridge” by Arthur Miller. In the center is a caricature of Richard Davalos. He is the original inspiration for the design of Johnny Bravo’s head.
If you look at yesterday’s post (or most anywhere else on this site), you can see how I translated Hirschfeld’s already minimalistic design to create an even more simplified character in Johnny. I ‘ve always been pretty particular about the way Johnny’s head is designed. It’s what makes him who he is. Whenever I called retakes, the recurring note usually had something to do with Johnny’s head design being off model. Like the design of Charlie Brown, it seems simple, but if anything is slightly off, you can tell. Or at least, I can.
FUN FACT: Besides being the inspiration for Johnny Bravo’s design, you might also know Richard Davalos’ face from the Smith’s album, “Strangeways Here We Come.” He was also pictured on their “Best I” and “Best II” album covers.
I have often used James Dean as a reference point when asked to describe Johnny’s look. Interestingly enough, Davalos played James Dean’s brother in John Steinbeck’s “East of Eden.” I never knew any of this when I was creating Johnny Bravo! What’s even more coincidental is that I was raised in the hometown of John Steinbeck! Is that stretching it? Oh well. Just another weird “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” connection to throw into a casual conversation…