This Artist Drew Self-Portraits In 100 Different Cartoon Styles – And The Results Are Truly Epic

Kevin McShane is a man of many talents. Indeed, he’s a photographer, producer, improviser, designer and filmmaker, who’s produced content for BuzzFeed Video. But most notably, he’s a cartoonist. And in 2011, he embarked upon a mammoth project to draw himself in the style of 100 different cartoon characters. The results are absolutely incredible.

20. Mickey Mouse – Ub Iwerks

Is there any animated character more iconic than the original cartoon mouse? Back in 1928, Walt Disney’s brainchild became a reality on paper thanks to artist Ub Iwerks, whose style has been translated perfectly here – right down to the original monochrome color scheme of Disney’s earliest cartoons.

19. Popeye – Max Fleischer

Another classic cartoon character that has stood the test of time, Popeye first appeared in comic-strip form at the hands of Elzie Crisler Segar in 1929. Four years later, he was brought to the big screen by Max Fleischer, becoming a runaway success. And McShane’s interpretation of the spinach-loving sailor’s style is instantly recognizable.

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18. The Flintstones – William Hanna and Joseph Barbera

For much of the mid-20th century, Hanna-Barbera was a household name in the United States, thanks to its wide library of popular toons. Arguably chief among those was the Stone Age-based The Flintstones, which, in the 1960s, became the first animated show to air at primetime. And McShane’s version of himself could slot right in alongside Fred and Wilma.

17. The Jetsons – William Hanna and Joseph Barbera

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Of course, The Flintstones wasn’t the only Hanna-Barbera show to take off in the 1960s. Where that show was set in the Stone Age, The Jetsons leapt forwards to the Space Age. The similarities in the animation styles between the two shows are clear, but McShane has done a perfect job of capturing the differences too.

16. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! – William Hanna and Joseph Barbera

Considering how much of a powerhouse Hanna-Barbera was in the 20th century, it’s no surprise that so many of McShane’s characters are based on theirs. But of all their creations, it’s probably Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! that has the most enduring legacy. Indeed, new episodes of its spin-off shows were still being produced into 2018.

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15. Charlie Brown – Charles Schulz

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To ensure that all McShane’s cartoon versions of himself were consistently comparable, he based each one on the same self-portrait. Dressed in a black shirt and blue jeans with his arms folded, the artist’s pose translates seamlessly into pretty much every cartoon style you can imagine. Including, of course, Charles Schulz’s classic character Charlie Brown.

14. The Transformers – Toei Animation

While many of McShane’s cartoons depict himself as another human character, this particular entry mixes things up. Yes, he’s drawn himself in the classic style of The Transformers TV series from the 1980s, produced by Sunbow Entertainment in partnership with Hasbro. And he’s managed to do so while still being recognizable.

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13. Garfield and Friends – Jim Davis

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Appropriately, McShane drawn in the style of Garfield and Friends looks curiously like the cartoon’s primary human character, Jon Arbuckle. Maybe it’s the lack of distinguishing facial features, or the similar short brown hair. Either way, it just shows what a perfect fit the artist is for the various styles he’s replicated.

12. Spirited Away – Hayao Miyazaki

While the majority of McShane’s drawings are based on the work of American artists, there is a handful inspired by animators from all over the world. And one of the most notable of those is Hayao Miyazaki, the legendary Japanese animation director behind the movies Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke.

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11. Dragon Ball Z – Akira Toriyama

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Of course, Miyazaki isn’t the only Japanese animator McShane paid tribute to in his project. Indeed, he’s also succinctly captured the art style of Akira Toriyama, the man behind Dragon Ball Z series. But you didn’t need us to tell you that. After all, it’s instantly recognizable from the picture, so iconic are the show’s spiky-haired, muscular characters.

10. The Simpsons – Matt Groening

It was basically inevitable that McShane’s list would include The Simpsons. After all, it’s not only the longest-running animated show in the United States; it’s also the longest-running sitcom ever stateside. Yes, after nearly three decades, Matt Groening’s yellow family is still entertaining millions of viewers week in, week out.

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9. Rugrats – Klasky Csupo

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Between them, then-husband and wife team Arlene Klasky and Gábor Csupó founded an animation studio responsible for The Wild Thornberrys, All Grown Up! and Rugrats. They produced 172 episodes of the latter over 13 years and its animation style is pretty much iconic by this point – making it an obvious choice for McShane’s template.

8. Batman: The Animated Series – Bruce Timm

We’ve probably all dreamed of donning a cowl and cape and becoming Batman at some point (just without the dead parents bit). So, it’s no surprise McShane decided to turn himself into Bruce Wayne. Of course, Batman: The Animated Series is popular enough to warrant its inclusion anyway, more than two and a half decades after it aired.

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7. Toy Story – John Lasseter

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The variety in animation styles across McShane’s 100 caricatures is evident nowhere better than with Toy Story. After all, rather than a traditional, two-dimensional inked outline and block-color fill, here the artist has to translate computer-generated animation into his folded-arms pose. And there’s no denying he’s pulled off Pixar’s iconic style perfectly.

6. Dexter’s Laboratory – Genndy Tartakovsky

Where many cartoon artists draw in realistic proportions, others have more deliberate styles. Take Genndy Tartakovsky, for instance, whose trademark pointed animation is instantly recognizable, from Dexter’s Laboratory to Samurai Jack. And with such a defined style, it must have seemed like a natural choice for McShane to replicate.

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5. South Park – Trey Parker and Matt Stone

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McShane’s project doesn’t just span family-friendly cartoons, of course. After all, the animation spectrum runs the whole gamut, from kids’ shows all the way through to toons targeted squarely at adults, such as South Park. And considering the multitude of awards Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s series has won over more than two decades of airtime, McShane could hardly ignore it.

4. Johnny Bravo – Van Partible

Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane got his big break on Johnny Bravo, but the series is memorable for much more than that. Indeed, it’s a classic cartoon show in its own right, and the titular character’s disproportionate chest was one of its greatest visual gags. It’s fitting, then, that McShane has transposed that design directly into his own drawing.

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3. The Powerpuff Girls – Craig McCracken

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Another Cartoon Network classic adopted by McShane, The Powerpuff Girls – like many of the channel’s shows – carries a heavily stylized aesthetic. In this case, artist Craig McCracken, who collaborated with long-time friend and artist Genndy Tartakovsky on the show, opted for a very angular drawing style, which comes across wonderfully in McShane’s recreation.

2. Family Guy – Seth MacFarlane

Family Guy might have come under fire over the years for its similarities to The Simpsons, but there’s no denying the animation styles are worlds apart. The Griffin family aren’t yellow, for a start. Both shows, then, were more than worthy of inclusion on McShane’s list.

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1. Adventure Time – Pendleton Ward

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In total, it took McShane two years to complete all 100 characters for his project “Cartoon Kevin.” From Betty Boop and Paperman to Hey Arnold and Ren and Stimpy, they cover decades of cartoon history. And that’s not forgetting more modern shows, such as Pendleton Ward’s off-the-wall Adventure Time. Indeed, McShane set out to capture the essence of dozens of different artists – and the results are truly epic.

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