Chapter 29: Charlotte’s Web Graphics
See for yourself. No one before has seen these drawings.
Mirko Hanák produced many character model studies, a few watercolor paintings, and a 775-drawing full-color storyboard for Charlotte's Web before his tragic death, still in his prime. He was a master draughtsman, and simply "wrote" the drawings with a flow-pen. His watercolors were a perfect absorption of Chinese watercolor technique. His work was extremely popular.
Mirko was a natural, a rare genius illustrator of many classic books and calendars. His specialty was animals, and he could draw and paint them all, seemingly effortlessly. And as you can see in these pages, he was also a master of human figures, of expression, and action; a natural for Charlotte's Web.
His passing compounded the tragedy. We both felt that Charlotte could have been our master-work. It could have also been a failure, something beyond what we could have managed. My only comfort is that, not having done it, no one can say that it would NOT have been my masterpiece. It certainly was my extreme failure.
I present here a few of Mirko Hanák's studies and story sketches for Charlotte's Web. Maybe Henry White would say they are not up to the Hanna-Barberra standard. But I take satisfaction that Andy White loved them! And that's what I have as my satisfaction!