Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Buy Today: RACONTEUR #6


(Above: the cover to RACONTEUR #6 drawn by Mike Lynch.)

Our first issue for 2015!

RACONTEUR #6 is a 24 page comic book of true stories drawn by cartoonists.

It's $5 postpaid worldwide.

Cartoonists in this issue:
  • Isabella Bannerman - SIX CHIX KIng Features comic strip
  • Brian Fies - MOM'S CANCER and WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE WORLD OF TOMORROW graphic novels
  • John Klossner - New Yorker cartoonist
  • Mike Lynch - You know me. I do this here blog.
  • Mark Parisi - OFF THE MARK newspaper cartoon panel
This is a great issue of RACONTEUR and I am so glad to have Isabella Bannerman as part of the gang.




Did you miss RACONTEUR #5? Order here.



Some 1957 Modern Cartoon Styles



Ger Apeldoorn shares three great UPA-style comic strip ads from 1957. Can you ID the cartoonist?

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

"Design a T-shirt for Us to Sell Forever Without Giving You Any Profits."

There was a colleague who I knew through a chat board. He was an eager wannabe cartoonist. Within a few years, the dude made it.

After a lot of work, he had sold his comic book idea to a good, medium-sized comic book company. Things went great. He loved the publisher and his editor and it was just a terrific experience. Even though he did not have to, he would post on the chat board about how it was going. And it was going from good to great.

The comic book, which he created, wrote and drew, sold well and then he announced some incredible news: it was going to be optioned for a movie.

So, dude went from dreamer to pro in a small space of time.

So, why, less than a year later, was this guy fired from his own book and banned from the chat board?

It's because he wanted to be involved in the movie deal. But the publisher was not interested in having him be part of it.

He would get on our chat board, recounting emails and phone calls that always started with him saying, "What? But I'm the guy that created it! You NEED me!"

Not only did they not need him, they did not share any option money with him. When he complained, they reminded him that he signed over all rights to his idea to them. This was not something that had bothered him when he signed it, since, like I said, he loved the publisher and editor there.

But the bloom's off the rose now.

And this new-professional guy went on a tirade against the company. And the company told him to stop and he didn't.

So he was fired. No book, no money. Bye bye.

And the chat board banned him because he went ballistic on it about what unmoral people his once-beloved publisher and editor were. Well, honestly, he was not banned because of his content, it was his form of using every dirty word he knew to describe them.

It's an old story. It happened to Superman creators Siegel and Shuster, it happened to a lot of work-for-hire people like Bill Finger, who is responsible for the Batman we know of today.

I'm sorry for this fellow, but there are people who will always ask for creative work for terms that are not right. It's up to you to beware of these.

The latest thing are these contests to submit logo and t-shirt designs. Sometimes high profile companies do this (HBO) or powerful people (Oprah).  Yeah, they know better. Yeah, they got the money. No, they want it all for free.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I was yelling in my car at an NPR reporter who (on my car radio) was cheerfully telling everyone about the Amtrak Writers' Residency program where writers get to ride the rails for free while writing. I was yelling at the radio because the reporter (who had submitted to the contest to win a Residency position) did not mention that all submissions became the property of Amtrak. All of them! As soon as you click the "submit" button. And this is all about Amtrak wanting ad copy. From the Washington Post:

"Applications and writing samples that pass an initial evaluation will then be judged by a panel 'based on the degree to which the Applicant would function as an effective spokesperson/endorser of [the] Amtrak brand.'"

BOOKMARK IT NOW: There's a Tumblr site that does nothing but highlight these contests and open calls for "talented artists" to submit work for free. Even if there is a prize, most contests claim all rights to all submissions regardless of whether you win or not.

Be careful, be aware, and don't take a crummy deal. You are better than that.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Leonard Nimoy 1931 - 2015



Like a lot of people, I was an original STAR TREK fan when I was a kid. And, like a lot of people, I stayed one. 

The fact that this little show from the 60s was resurrected into movies, TV shows, books, etc. was kinda unthinkable back when I was a teen. I mean, maybe there was one to two other guys that would watch the show. You would run over to a friend's house to watch it after school, you know. But there was no real hope that it would ever come back. 

The STAR TREK characters, the original ones, are as well known as fairy tale characters. It still surprises me that all I have to do is type in an episode title into the Google and it knows I want to see stuff about STAR TREK. 

If anyone is alienated it's Mr. Spock, so he's catnip to teenagers. 



I think it was maybe 1975 or so that Mr. Nimoy came to Cleveland, where I, as an alienated teen STAR TREK fan was going to school. He was performing in the SHERLOCK HOLMES stage play. 

My Dad told me where he was staying in town, which was amazing! So … I drew some cartoons and sent them to his hotel. 

Even more amazing, my Dad bought tickets for us to go see SHERLOCK HOLMES. 

The day before we went to the stage show, an envelope addressed to me came in the mail. I opened it up, and inside were my cartoons. Leonard Nimoy signed them, adding that they were "Wonderful!" I was stunned! 

I remember nothing of the play, but I do remember waiting for Mr. Nimoy to come out after. My parents were there as well. When he did come I out, I think I just froze a bit until I got a gentle nudge from Dad to get in there. I had brought a photo of Mr. Spock with me for him to sign. 

I pulled out this 8x10 and maybe was able to ask him to sign it. It was Spock, complete with a Vulcan weapon. A publicity still from "Amok Time" where Spock has to mate or die. 

Nimoy crouched down (I was still little), smiled broadly when he saw the photo, and pulled a sharpie out of a blazer pocket. He signed it for me.

And then he got up and smiled and walked away.

I forgot to say anything. I didn't tell him that I loved STAR TREK or that I had just seen the play -- and I completely forgot to reveal that I was his "wonderful" cartoonist! 

Somewhere I have those drawings and someday maybe I will share them. But I think for now, I'll just remember the day I that Leonard Nimoy thought my cartoons were good. 




Thursday, February 19, 2015

Buy RACONTEUR #6

Whoops! I have to be out of town for a week. In the meantime, this entry will be up, encouraging you to buy the work of some award-winning cartoonists! Kids, it's only $5. Please consider this! You will not be disappointed. Plus: you get an autograph and sketch from me.

This comic book will be shipped out next week.


(Above: the front and back gatefold cover to RACONTEUR #6 drawn by Mike Lynch.)

Our first issue for 2015!

RACONTEUR #6 is a 24 page comic book of true stories drawn by cartoonists.

Cartoonists in this issue:
  • Isabella Bannerman - SIX CHIX KIng Features comic strip
  • Brian Fies - MOM'S CANCER and WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE WORLD OF TOMORROW graphic novels
  • John Klossner - New Yorker cartoonist
  • Mike Lynch - You know me. I do this here blog.
  • Mark Parisi - OFF THE MARK newspaper cartoon panel
This is a great issue of RACONTEUR and I am so glad to have Isabella Bannerman as part of the gang.




Did you miss RACONTEUR #5? Order here.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Where's Your Blog Entry for Today, Mike?

I'm shoveling snow off the roof this morning.

I know, I know: I should live blog my snow shoveling. But this is best done offline.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pat Mallet Cartoons





Pat Mallet (1941-2012) was a prolific cartoonist, creating long-form comic stories for the European comics Magazines Spirou ("Pegg le Robot" and "Xing and Xot") and Pilote ("Zourri"). He was perhaps best known for his "little green men" comics, for which he won the Grand Prix Internationale de la Caricature in Montreal twice (in 1972 and 78).

He was very active in advertising, with clients like Xerox and Paris Match. He was deaf since the age of nine, and produced much art for the school of the deaf in Paris.

Here are a few cartoons from WIE DAS LEBEN SO SPIELT. The cartoons are copyright 1983 by Mr. Mallet.

You can see he has a breezy, energetic style. His line is so alive, it almost has coffee nerves. Like a lot of cartoonists in multi-lingual Europe, he favors the wordless cartoon that appeals to all.

I kicked all these up to super-size, so a few appear cropped. Sorry about that. I thought this was a good idea so you could really see his ink line. If you want no cropping, just open these in a new window.









-- From a blog entry dated 9/10/13.

Monday, February 16, 2015

THE SECRET OF MAJOR THOMPSON Illustrations by Walter Goetz



THE SECRET OF MAJOR THOMPSON by Pierre Daninos, with illustrations by Walter Goetz, was one of a series of Major Thompson books. This one is copyright 1957 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

It started in 1955 with MAJOR THOMPSON LIVES IN FRANCE AND DISCOVERS THE FRENCH, which spoofed British and American ways of life. The book was culled from a series of columns Mr. Daninos had written for the magazine Le Figaro. It was a surprise success, translated into 28 languages, and, of course, sequels came along, through the year 2000.

This is the book I have. The first sequel to the original. I loved the ink line of Walter Goetz, and his ability to put quite a lot of detail into these pen drawings, while still maintaining a looseness of line. He was a self-taught artist, born in Cologne, Germany in 1911. He was educated in Great Britain, and became a naturalized citizen in 1934. While he painted landscapes, he was also a prolific humorous illustrator and cartoonist, with his work appearing in Punch and many of the publications of the time.













Related:
Pierre Daninos obituary from The Independent (2005)
Short Regent House Gallery bio of Walter Goetz