Friday, June 11, 2021

Stan Lee and Steve Ditko: The 'Marvel Method' As Depicted in Actual Marvel Comics

When creating the Marvel comic books of the 1960s, Stan Lee employed what became known as the "Marvel Method." The artist would talk with Stan about the next issue of The Fantastic Four or Spider-Man, and then go back to his board and pencil an entire story based on their discussion. Once that was done, the artist put the penciled pages on Stan's desk for him to write in dialogue balloons for all of the panels. This meant that, unlike DC Comics at the time, Marvel's look was a more visual experience. Marvel Comics told and retold this "Marvel Method" story in its own comics from time to time. Here's one of them from Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, and Brian Cronin has more at CBR.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Podcast: New Yorker Cartoonist Will McPhail Talks About His New Graphic Novel "In"

From the Virtual Memories Show:

"Cartoonist and illustrator Will McPhail joins the show to celebrate his debut graphic novel, IN. We talk about weaponized self-awareness, the genesis of his poignant and hilarious tale of anhedonia, the value of real conversation, and how he stretched from single-panel cartoons to a long-form book. We also get into how finishing the book during the pandemic informed its earlier parts, what we’ll talk about when we can talk in person again, and how IN took him away from submitting gags to The New Yorker at an opportune moment. Plus we get into the problem with 'mindfulness' apps and the real definition of meditation (which we happen to find in the same place), why I should pay more attention to Bill Watterson’s trees, and otters, stoats, and Will’s other favorite animals to draw."

Listen at the site or via YouTube: 

 (Hat tip to Paul Gravett!)

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Short Film: "Alternative Math"

New to me, although it's gotten millions of views since it was posted in 2017. Funny and spooky at the same time. A primer of this belligerent, bullying, post-fact world we are living in. Hat tip to dear old Dad for this!

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Gag Cartoons in Glorious Color: 1948 - 1964

Nothing like a wonderful color gag cartoon. Since color was a more expensive process back in the golden age of gag cartoons, they are NOT the norm. Fortunately, Dick Buchanan has stealthily navigated his Cartoon Clip File for these rare gems. Thanks, and take it away, Dick!


(1948 – 1964)

Everyone loves color. Some folks enjoy the colorful flowers in a garden while others prefer gawking at fine art at a museum. Naturally, when the The Cartoon Clip File seeks to enjoy color, it is in the form of a gag cartoon. So, we trotted around the corner to visit the Old Joke Cemetery and headed straight for the section reserved for mid-20th century gag cartoons published in color. Here are a few color gag cartoons which have bloomed once more, after lying dormant for over half a century. Take a Look . . .

1. HENRY SYVERSON. Best known his for his work for The Saturday Evening Post, Syverson’s cartoons appeared in Yank during WWII he was was a freelancer. Look Magazine June 30, 1964.




2. GREGORY d’ALESSIO. Cartoonist and illustrator d’Allesio was an instructor at The Art Students League where he met his wife, cartoonist Hilda Terry. Collier’s October 13, 1951.

3. JAN & STAN BERENSTAIN. The Saturday Evening Post May 28, 1949.

4. JOSEPH FARRIS. In 2012, National Geographic published Farris’ “A Soldier’s Sketchbook,” a memoir of his time in WWII. Collier’s June 9, 1953.

5. TED KEY. Key was a writer as well as a cartoonist. He wrote plays for radio and contributed to Jay Ward’s the Rocky & Bullwinkle TV series. The Saturday Evening Post July 15, 1950.


6. MARTHA BLANCHARD. The Saturday Evening Post October 28, 1950.


7. GLENN BERNHARDT. Bernhardt helped start the Northern California Cartoon & Humor Association in 1954 and served as president for 35 years. Collier’s August 7, 1953.


8. JEFERSON MACHAMER. Machamer was known for his drawings of glamorous women. Collier’s September 2, 1950.


9. KATE OSANN. Collier’s February 25, 1951.


10. RAY HELLE. American Magazine May, 1951.

11. BILL KING. Bill King was an illustrator, graphic designer and toy designer, specializing in children's premiums Collier’s February 25, 1951.

12. FRANK RIDGEWAY. The Saturday Evening Post October 30, 1954.

13. JOHN RUGE. Ruge has been credited as the author of the caption for Peter Arno’ s classic, ”Well, back to the old drawing board.” Collier’s January 3, 1953.

14. BEN THOMPSON. Thompson was a comic book artist as well as a gag cartoonist. He worked for Timely Comics among others. The Saturday Evening Post February 26, 1955.

15. ELDON DEDINI. Dedini was on the Esquire staff before embarking on his highly successful freelance gag cartooning career. Esquire May, 1948.

Monday, June 07, 2021

The Garden As of Early June 2021

The garden as of June 1st. Not much to see, but some pretty flowers.



Friday, June 04, 2021

New England College Institute of Art and Design: Post-Pandemic Themed New Yorker Cover Assignment

This summer, I'm teaching an undergrad History of Illustration course at the New England College Institute of Art and Design. In addition to learning about history, the students are required to create their own illustrations. 

One assignment is to create their own New Yorker cover depicting the theme of life in a post-pandemic world. (This was inspired by Tomer Hanuka's SVA assignment.)

I asked them if I could share their work on social media. I think you will like it. So, here are the results from the History of Illustration students: 

Ian Ruoff:


Jacob Humphrey:

Kaitlyn Peters:


Kit Cantalupo:

Louis Murphy:

Luther Claytor:

Melissa DeBoe:

Quiara Santiago:

SJ Lindsay:

Thursday, June 03, 2021

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Ned Hilton Gag Cartoons 1927 - 1964

Today, we take a deep dive into the veteran magazine cartoonist Ned Hilton's work (1904 - 1967). He was a master of the clean line drawing -- like Gluyas Williams and Gardner Rea

This is all thanks to Dick Buchanan, who has put together some great Hilton cartoons and provides some fascinating background about the man. 

My thanks as ever -- and take it away, Dick.


Cartoons 1927 – 1964

Edward Aitkin Hilton was a cartoonist, illustrator and writer who signed his work Ned Hilton. His humorous drawings appeared frequently in all of 20th century America’s leading magazines. He was published in The New Yorker, Life, Judge, Esquire, Collier’s, The Saturday Evening Post and Look.

Hilton was born in Alhambra, California in 1904. He began his cartooning career at the age of 14 when his work appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle. In 1922, two of his cartoons appeared in Judge magazine’s “Beginner’s Luck” page and by the end of the decade he was a cover artist for both Judge and Life.

In 1933 Hilton moved to New York City. He continued to contribute drawings and covers to Life until its demise in 1936. His first New Yorker cartoon appeared in 1934 where he was a contributor until 1957. For years Hilton lived and worked in the St. James Hotel on West 45th Street, just a few blocks from the New Yorker offices.

We have clipped many Ned Hilton cartoons over the years. Here are a few . . .

1. NED HILTON. Life cover January, 1935.




2. NED HILTON. Life May, 1927.

3. NED HILTON. Life January, 1935.

4. NED HILTON. Life May, 1936.

5. NED HILTON. Collier’s February 20, 1937. 

6. NED HILTON. The Saturday Evening Post March 11, 1938.

7. NED HILTON. Collier’s June 10, 1939.

8. NED HILTON. Collier’s July 19, 1941.

9. NED HILTON. Collier’s July 31, 1943.

10. NED HILTON. The Saturday Evening Post July 17, 1948.

11. NED HILTON. This Week Magazine August 14, 1949.

12. NED HILTON. Esquire March, 1950.

13. NED HILTON. The Saturday Evening Post February 24, 1951. 

14. NED HILTON. True Magazine July, 1952.

15. NED HILTON. Colliers May 30, 1953.

16. NED HILTON. The Saturday Evening Post October 30, 1954.

17. NED HILTON. Look Magazine March 17, 1959.

18. NED HILTON. 1000 Jokes Magazine March – May, 1959.

19. NED HILTON. Look Magazine August 18, 1959.

20. NED HILTON. Look Magazine January, 29, 1963.

21. NED HILTON. For Laughing Out Loud January – March, 1964