Sunday, May 12, 2024

Travels with Ink and Nib and Brush

I'm traveling and will take a break from the blog. Here's some good tips about traveling and drawing and pens and ink and so on. See you later and happy travels!

If you cartoon and you travel, then you tend to take your tools with you. But what if the tools you use are of the old-time paper-and-dip-pen variety?

Here's some advice about traveling with your precious old school drawing tools:

Traveling? I don't envy you. But if you have to travel, and you are a dedicated old school cartoonist who loves the old school drawing tools, then you already have a method for safely transporting your beloved art supplies through the rigors of the TSA, the baggage handlers, airplane pressure, etc.

Here's what I do:

Nibs! Those nibs (that you have delicately broken in) can be easily placed ...

... in a protective matchbox. When the TSA employee asks, Do you have anything that could be considered a weapon? -- Well, I have do not believe that nibs could be used as a weapon. At least, not a very effective one. Regardless, nibs get checked thru baggage. Along with the holder.
I like the ink in those squatty glass containers that are tough and ready for some travel tumbling and turbulence. (No Higgins Ink plastic containers if you please!) Wrapped in a couple layers of plastic wrap and then this baby is wrapped again in swaddling clothes (i.e., a black t-shirt).

A good brush is like your pal. Like a pen nib, it needs to be broken in and then it can last (with the proper care) for a long time. The problem is how do you protect your brush shape?

I just get a card (an index card, or piece of cardboard) and tape the brush down. And then I take another card and tape it on top, creating, for all intents and purposes, a snug brush sandwich.

Confession: I usually use those Pigma permanent ink pens. Below is a drawing from last year depicting "the pens on my desk:"

Related: Some sketchbook drawings and a few more of my sketches.

Also related: Do you have too many sketchbooks?

-- This blog entry originally appeared in January 2010.

Thursday, May 09, 2024

Saul and Elaine Bass "Why Man Creates: 5. A Parable" (1968)



Saul Bass (1920 - 1996) was a graphic designer and an Oscar winning filmmaker. I missed his birthday, which was yesterday. If you know old movies, then you have seen his work. Above are just some of his posters. He was also renowned for his movie title graphics. Here's a one hour compilation of them

It's hard to pick a favorite, but this film that he and his wife created in 1968, "Why Man Creates," was a short movie I saw in public school. You can see the whole film here.

"Why Man Creates" is one movie that was threaded through the Bell and Howell high school AV Department projector over and over again. It's one of those movies that I shown at least once a year from about fifth grade onward.  George Lucas, who was a student at USC at the time, is the uncredited second unit director.

The nature of creativity is the elusive subject. I like the movie. There's a lot of animation in it, a lot of funny bits, and some really great writing.

It won an Oscar and had its TV premiere, in a shortened version, on CBS' 60 Minutes program on September 24, 1968. I have to wonder if that ping pong ball sequence, which I always thought of as radical and terrific and big spoof of religion, was cut.

Here's that sequence, which is just over two minutes:

Wednesday, May 08, 2024

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Gag Cartoon Hodgepodge 1946- 1969

Dick Buchanan has rummaged through his tremendous collection of magazine cartoons in his Greenwich Village apartment and shares a hodgepodge of vintage comic art, unseen these many years. Thank you so much, Dick -- and take it away ....


(1946 – 1969)

The burgeoning Cartoon Clip File, located just around the corner from the Old Joke Cemetery somewhere in New York’s Greenwich Village, is chock full of gag cartoons from mid-20th century magazines. And, yes, the comforting aroma of old magazines and comic books permeate the entire office. This helps to create an eclectic environment which is ideal for rummaging through the gag cartoons which are everywhere. Rummaging day arrived at last and here now is the result of our latest forage, a hodgepodge of certified vintage gag cartoons . . . Take a look!

1. DICK CAVALLI. Cavalli was one cartoonist who didn’t cartoon his way through WWII. He saw combat in France, Luxembourg. and Germany. True July, 1952.

2. JOHN BAILEY. John Bailey was cartoon editor for the Post in the late 1940’s and early ‘50’s. The Saturday Evening Post September 13, 1952.

3. DICK STROME. Some was born in New Mexico and graduated from The Chicago American Academy of Art. The Saturday Evening Post July 1, 1950.

4. BOB WEBER, Sr. Weber was a cartoonist for more than half a century. In 1965 he created the comic strip Moose, which became Moose Miller and, finally, Molly & Moose. This Week Magazine January 19, 1969.

5. JOHNNY HART. Hart was one of only four cartoonists to have two comic strips appearing in over 1000 papers each. American Legion Magazine January, 1959.


6. TOM HENDERSON. The Saturday Evening Post June 22, 1946.

7. CHARLES SCHULZ. Before he created Peanuts, Schulz enjoyed a brief but successful stint as a gag cartoonist. The Saturday Evening Post July 8, 1950.

8. CLAUDE. Claude Smith signed his drawings with his first name. This Week Magazine April 13, 1952.

9. STAN & JAN BERENSTAIN. American Legion Magazine September, 1949.


10. AL KAUFMAN. After serving in WWII, Kaufman managed a grocery store until becoming a full-time cartoonist in 1946. Kaufman sold this to True Magazine July, 1952.

 11. TOM HUDSON. The Saturday Evening Post June 3, 1950.

12. JACK TIPPIT. Look Magazine March 28, 1961.

13. LEO SALKIN. Salkin, a former animator, was also a gag writer for ventriloquist Paul Winchell’s Jerry Mahoney Show. Liberty Magazine August 3, 1946.


14. VIRGIL PARTCH. True Magazine February, 1950.

15. JACK MARKOW. Markow was a columnist for The Writer’s Digest and authored four cartooning “How To” books. The Saturday Evening Post July 1, 1950.

- From an original blog entry of November 30, 2020.

Tuesday, May 07, 2024

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Certified Vintage Cartoons 1946 - 1969

Dick Buchanan has dived into his one-of-a-kind Greenwich Village Cartoon Clip File and has come up with these select certified vintage gag cartoons. Thanks for officially certifying these classic magazine cartoons. Wow! These are some absolute gems. Take it away, Dick!


(1946 – 1969)

After careful consideration, and over the objections of some, these gag cartoons have been officially designated “CERTIFIED VINTAGE.” Now, at last, feel free to enjoy these gag cartoons from long ago, resurrected from the yellowed pages of 20th century magazines and preserved in the manila folders which comprise the Cartoon Clip File . . .

1. ELDON DEDINI. The Saturday Evening Post May 21, 1949.

2. FRANK ADAMS. Collier’s July 20, 1946.

3. RAY HELLE. The Saturday Evening Post May 7, 1949.

4. ROY WILLIAMS. 1000 Jokes Magazine December, 1956 – February 1957.

5. PETER VATSURES. The Saturday Evening Post October 10, 1953.

6. NED HILTON. Collier’s August 7, 1953.

7. BOB SCHROETER. Collier’s February 2, 1952.

8. GEORGE BOOTH. True Magazine December, 1969.

9. DICK ERICSON. Argosy March, 1957.

10. JEFF KEATE. Collier’s June 10, 1950.

11. GARDNER REA. Collier’s March 1, 1952.

12. ALEX GRAHAM. Punch Summer Number July 6, 1953.

13. JAN van WESSUM. For Laughing Out Loud January – March, 1965.

14. WILLIAM STEIG. Collier’s March 1, 1952.

15. SAM GROSS. Argosy July, 1965.

16. BEN THOMPSON. American Legion Magazine February, 1969.

17. JOHN RUGE. True Magazine February, 1964.

18. VIRGIL PARTCH. Collier’s July 4, 1953.

19. GAHAN WILSON. Look Magazine September 8, 1964.

20. JEFFREY MONAHAN. Collier’s June 10, 1950.

- Edited from a blog entry of May 14, 2021.

Monday, May 06, 2024

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Certified Vintage Gag Cartoons 1946 - 1965

There was a time when most every major American magazine had gag cartoons, and hundreds were being bought and published every month. That was called the Golden Age of Gag Cartooning. The height of the Age was post-WWII, and it began to decline in the 1950s as TV became more popular than reading that Saturday Evening Post on Saturday evening.

There were still cartoons in magazines, but not as many. And soon, a lot of those general interest national magazines weren't as many too. Collier's stopped publishing in 1957. This Week, a Sunday supplement to the newspapers, hung on until 1969. Look magazine eked it out until 1971. But here, on this blog, courtesy of cartoon clipper extraordinaire Dick Buchanan, we can visit that Golden Age. Thank you, and take it away, Dick.


(1946 – 1965)

Here are a few of the mid-century gag cartoons which have achieved Certified Vintage status . . .

1. TOM HENDERSON. This Week Magazine March 3, 1946.

2. GARDNER REA. Collier’s February 25, 1951.

3. GLENN BERNHARDT. The Saturday Evening Post October 16, 1954.

4. PHIL INTERLANDI. The Saturday Evening Post October 3, 1953.

5. DAVE LETTICK. Lettick drew the comic strip Little Orphan Annie for 3 months in 1974 after which the strip began running Harold Gray reprints. True Magazine December, 1969.

6. BOB WEBER. American Legion Magazine October, 1963.

7. CLYDE LAMB. 1000 Jokes Magazine Winter, 1954.

8. GEORGE SMITH. The Saturday Evening Post May 15, 1948.

9. SYDNEY HOFF. Collier’s November 24, 1951.

10. ORLANDO BUSINO. American Legion Magazine April, 1959.

11. SLIM. Cartoonist Robert Johnson signed his work Slim. Argosy Magazine September, 1965.

12. JEFFREY MONAHAN. 1000 Jokes Magazine September – November, 1961.

13. IRWIN CAPLAN. This Week Magazine March 17, 1946.

14. FRANK BAGINSKI. Baginski drew the comic strip Splitsville. American Legion Magazine May, 1965.

15. SAM GROSS. Argosy Magazine July, 1965.

- Edited from a blog entry that first appeared on June 17, 2020