Lightning Sketch Artists, Part 3

We've been having a look at the Victorian form of parlour entertainment called the lightning sketch act. So far we've seen the work of J. Stuart Blackton and Winsor McCay, two of the most famous American practitioners.

Another of Blackton's tricks that Edison committed to film was "The Enchanted Drawing,"  (Video link) where Blackton draws a gentleman with a top hat and a bottle and glass of wine. By halting the camera and exchanging them for real objects, he turned the lightning sketch performance into a magical act of conjuring.

The French filmmaker Georges Méliès (1861-1938) was using the stopped camera trick right around the same time. In Le Livre Magique, drawings in a giant book become costumed characters.

Méliès also recorded on film his caricatures of Adolphe Thiers, Chamberlain, Queen Victoria, and Bismark, and most likely those early films were what inspired Blackton.

A good source on this topic is the book: Before Mickey: The Animated Film, 1898-1928
Previously on GurneyJourney:
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