JOHNSONA RATINGS

Over the years, John and John have accumulated all sorts of caricatures and avatars (and Avatars). I love the styles and sources and looks, and so here I have collected an incomplete list (15, currently).

It would be impossible to rank them properly, so I'm rating them in no particular order by 3 qualities: Resemblance, Adorability, and Grotesquerie. I would like to note that none of these three qualities is valued over the others. It's all a matter of taste.


Pink Album
by Rodney Greenblat

Resemblance: 4/10

Adorability: 6/10

Grotesquerie: 4/10

The very beginning. The first of many artists baffled by JL's hair, Greenblat is going absolutely wild with those colors & textures. (I wish Linnell dressed like that in real life.) They exude personality.


Stop-Motion Puppets
by Hine Mizushima

Resemblance: 2/10

Adorability: 12/10

Grotesquerie: 0

Simplistic little men with the classic hairstyles. Lovably vacant faces. Do they know they're perfect? Probably not—their wide, empty eyes make me suspect they aren't capable of sentient thought. (Ana Ng reshoot) (With the Dark) (as scientists) (with camera) (tootsie hats)


Here Comes Science
by David Cowles

Resemblance: 7/10

Adorability: 9/10

Grotesquerie: 4/10

Friendly. Geometric. Color-coded. Stylized to a point of abstraction, yet still functionally recognizable. Spiffily dressed for Science-ing. First, they should investigate how JL's hair manages to defy physics. ("Lesser Known Husbandos" post) (WDTSRS?) (HCS intro vid) (Science is Real design)


(She Was A) Hotel Detective
by Joey Ahlbum

Resemblance: 3/10

Adorability: 3/10

Grotesquerie: 0

Doesn't score particularly high in any regard. I guess they're rather safe, nonspecific cartoonifications, more interesting when seen motion. I feel like artists and photographers put Them in formalwear more than they actually wear 'em. (music video)


Pixel Johns
by David Cowles

Resemblance: 3/10

Adorability: 6/10

Grotesquerie: 0

For designs that are simplistic and stiff by nature, the Put it to the Test video makes them fantastically expressive. The stylized text in this gif is a cool additional way to capture each of their personalities. (Thinking Machine)



Robot Santas
by probably David Cowles

Resemblance: 2/10

Adorability: 4/10

Grotesquerie: 1/10

Disconcertingly specific. Trapped in hellish loops of passionless execution of holiday cheer. They may be soulless metal husks, but look at those funny little red noses. (fireplace gif)


Podcast Puppets
by Robin Goldwasser

Resemblance: 4/10

Adorability: 6/10

Grotesquerie: 5/10

She's talented with textiles, but even Robin can't quite make the cylindrical heads, black button eyes and gaping black mouths not look weird and amorphous. Still, given breath by the Johns' voices, their floppy bodies and odd faces suddenly make jokes aimed at children comedy gold. (D is for Drums)


Clay Puppets
by Brooke Keesling

Resemblance: 7/10

Adorability: 5/10

Grotesquerie: 8/10

I'm going to stop pretending to be impartial for a minute: I absolutely LOVE these guys. Crazed colors/textures reminiscent of the Pink album unfold into 3 warped clay-and-wire dimensions. Creepy? Sure, but wildly creative and the first of these to get JL's hair true-to-life. (As far as I know, their only appearance was on a now out-of-circulation t-shirt in 2003).


Hayseed tee
by Mark Marek

Resemblance: 6/10

Adorability: 4/10

Grotesquerie: 6/10

Expressive linework. Adds to JF's standard glasses/weight caricature with interesting riffs on his nose/face shape. But freckles?? Cool detail: the tag on the guitar, a recurring Chessmaster-related gag from the live show. I just wonder why they look so morose. (JF calls this his favorite!)


Workers tee
by Mark Marek

Resemblance: 5/10

Adorability: 4/10

Grotesquerie: 5/10

I almost lumped them with the Hayseed Johns, but these working-class heroes are their own thing, less exaggerated. They look pretty scruffy and worn-down. Long day at the melody factory, I guess.



O Tannenbaum
by Amy Sillman

Resemblance: 6/10

Adorability: 4/10

Grotesquerie: 1/10

Simple yet effective. Zoom in on those faces for full appreciation of those tiny inkblot faces. Is JL wearing glasses? Is JF not? Unclear. They ALSO look morose. Come on, open your presents and maybe you'll cheer up, guys.


Pittsburgh
by Pascal Campion

Resemblance: 2/10

Adorability: 8/10

Grotesquerie: 1/10

At least these ones seem happier. I...think. They're cute at least, and seem pretty unbothered by the biblical plague of flies overcoming the land. The "featureless cylinders" look that was a weakness of the puppets is a strength here. (music video)


Istanbul Faces
by J. Otto Seibold

Resemblance: 4/10

Adorability: 9/10

Grotesquerie: 1/10

I like that the smoke coming out of the ironic pipe is a little man. I'm a fan of Seibold's super-simplistic line drawings and I can't really think of any good objective comments to make so let's just look at the DAS logo he made:


Istanbul Double-sided Puppet
by Mark Marek

Resemblance: 5/10

Adorability: 3/10

Grotesquerie: 6/10

Whoa! I drew something like this two-headed Johnster once before ever seeing this video, and I think it's a cool idea executed better here than I ever managed it. Th limitations of the wood-carving adds cool angularity, but other than that these seem pretty standard as caricatures go. I do wonder about the low-cut... purple.... garment thing the Johnster is wearing though.


Tiny Toonifications
by...Warner Bros?

Resemblance: 0

Adorability: 3/10

Grotesquerie: 1/10

Our last Istanbul-video Johnifications. I'll leave it at JF's words on the commentary: "There's something about being animated as a pig that keeps you coming back for less." (Though JL suggests that the violin means the pig is Mark Feldman instead.)