Friday, August 25, 2006

Max and Roo and This Blog Are Napping for Now

Here are my 2 rather large, overly comfortable cats, rolling on the floor. Max is above, and Rufus below. As you can see by the words on the bag, Rufus is "on the nip." They will stay home, with our lovely cat-sitter for a couple weeks, rolling around and eating and sleeping.

And so, following their feline example, this blog will do likewise, and go for a cat nap.

We'll be camping in Canada, drinking Tim Horton's and Molson and generally crashing.

Talk to you in a couple weeks.

1916 Advertisement: Celebrated Cartoonists Keep In Good Humor by Smoking TUXEDO

This is a gorgeous jam ad of cartoonists from the February 1916 issue of THE THEATRE Magazine. I believe, but am not quite sure, this may be the Evening Journal staff. The famous cartoonist roster includes a soon-to-be popular silent movie star who went from cartoonist to comedian. These giants of yesterday are:

Clare Briggs created a dozens of strips, most famously "Mr. & Mrs." A sample of a couple of strips here.

Hard to find anything on Robert Carter online. There's a single panel scanned in from a strip titled JUST KIDS here, but that's all I could Google.

OSU has a beautiful Hal Coffman illustration here.

TAD Dorgan was a cartoonist's cartoonist. He helped many cartoonists get their start, including Segar and Herriman and Walter Berndt, the Berndt Toast Gang's namesake. TAD had lost most of the fingers on his right hand in an accident and learned to draw with his left.

Bud Fisher, creator of MUTT & JEFF, was the first cartoonist celebrity millionaire. He also owned his creation.

Rube Goldberg, a seminal name, was one of the guys who started the National Cartoonists Society. People who do not know who in the world Rube Goldberg was, know what a Goldberg kinda invention is. Iowa-born Harry Hershfield is best knwn for the Abie the Agent strip. Some samples here and here.

Walter Hoban drew the popular "Jerry on the Job" strip, one of many office boy cartoons.
Maurice Ketten (Prosper Fiorini) was originally born in Florence, Italy. Some samples of a strip here, at the extensive and interesting Barnacle Press site. Winsor McCay, one of the giants. A prodigious illustrator who would in the next decade do thousands of drawings and break new ground in animation. Coconino World has a lovely site in French here. And there are, well, many, many more sites. Three's always some of his animation on YouTube.

One of my favorites, George McManus, creator of the long-running "Bringing Up Father." A gorgeous strip that's influenced Herge and Swarte. Clark Holloway has an appreciation here, complete with some original art scans.

Tom McNamara is a guy who left cartooning to work in the then-young movie business. He authored some Our Gang shorts, and worked with Mary Pickford.

Charles M. Payne drew "S'Matter Pop?" for 30 years.

Larry Semon was a cartoonist in this photo -- but he left for Hollywood within a couple years , pursuing a career in the new Hollywood film industry. He became a then-popular, now-forgotten silent screen comedian. Some of his cartoons, as well as film posters, are here. Cliff Sterrett, a cartoonist who used Cubist and Expressionistic art in his "Polly and herPals" strip, continues to be rediscovered.

And there you have a roster of greats.

The TUXEDO ad copy giddily blusters:

"You know 'em all -- the great fun-makers of the daily press -- agile brained and nimble-witted -- creators of world-famed characters who put laughter into life! Such live, virile humans as they just naturally must have a live, virile pipe-smoke. And so they keep their good humor at the bubbling point by smoking -- TUXEDO, 'The Perfect Tobacco for Pipe and Cigarette.'"

Here's the whole ad:

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Zip & Li'l Bit in The Upside-Down Me by Trade Loeffler

I am not the first blogger to blog good things about THE UPSIDE-DOWN ME, and I won't be the last. By a lucky quirk of fate, Trade and I live a couple of blocks apart in downtown Brooklyn. Last night, we got together for a couple of beers and burgers at Ceol, an Irish pub in the neighborhood. We talked of old cartoonists, and new ambitions for the comics medium. THE UPSIDE-DOWN ME is a labor of love for Trade, and it shows. This gentle, whimsical story is unfolding at the rate of a couple pages a week at the site above. Worth sitting down and looking at and getting lost in. I wanted to ask Trade about what was going to happen in the story, but I had to stop myself. I'd rather sit and wait and read it.

A lovely item from the "Creator Profile" section by Trade:

My old roommate used to think it was hilarious that Calvin and Hobbes sat on my bookshelf next to anthologies of Chekov, or books by Faulkner or Joyce, but it always seemed perfectly natural to me, particularly since the Calvin and Hobbes books got read so much more than the others.

Go and take a look at Zip and Li'l Bit Funnies: THE UPSIDE DOWN ME.

August 19, 2006: Lunch with Frank McLaughlin, Orlando Busino, Ron Goulart, Bob Weber and Friends

I got a call from Frank McLaughlin inviting me to get together with some friends for lunch. I have since learned to trust Frank's judgment. He has some terrific friends and it was worth the trip to Westport to spend some time with them.

My trip from Brooklyn did not go well. There was work going on in the subway and as I was transferring from the A train to the 4 train, an MTA employee stopped me, asking where I'm going. "Grand Central." He dighs. "OK. Take the J to Chambers," he says, "and change for the 4 there. There's no 4 here. No 4." I wandered around the Broadway Nassau subway caverns, grumbling. There seemed to be NO TRAINS RUNNING AT ALL. No A, no J, no 4. So I left the Metropolitan Subway Authority's environs and went to street level. I grabbed a cab to Grand Central, which zipped me from Fulton & Broadway to GCT in about 12 minutes speeding up Broadway. this man rode with the angels. I got to the station with about 15 minutes to spare, and that time was spent getting to an ATM, getting train tickets, a couple newspapers, and a bottle of water.

But I made the train and I made it to Westport.

Above, from left, Orlando Busino and Frank McLaughlin. I've read Orlando's cartoons since I was a kid. I still remember "Gus," the adventures of a shaggy, big-nose dog, in Boy's Life magazine. I've always wanted to meet Orlando, and it was a thrill to shake his hand and chat with him over some Chinese food. Frank draws the Gil Thorpe comic strip, and Orlando letters it. "He's the best in the business," says Frank. Orlando told me he regularly reads this blog, and I got a kick out of that! Thanks, Orlando!

From left: Walt Needham, Ron Goulart, Marshall Terpening, and you can just make out the tip of Frank McLaughlin's head. Walt, a psychologist by trade, has a huge collection of Big Little Books. One of the biggest in the country, everyone agreed. Marshall's a friend of Ron's, and a comics fan.

Prolific author Ron Goulart has a lot of Web sites devoted to him. He's written a lot of books I've seen and or read. Ron wrote one of my favorite books about comic strip history, THE FUNNIES. I have been told that he remebers EVERYTHING. When I said hello to him on Saturday, he recalled we met before -- briefly-- 3 years ago! Wow!

From left: Bob Weber, Bob Perliss, Lowell Hess and Walt Needham. I have to admit, I didn't learn much about Bob Perliss and Walt, but I sure know who the other guys are.

Bob Weber has been drawing the syndicated strip Moose & Molly for King Features for since 1965. And he teaches cartooning as well. Here's an article from Tuesday's Connecticut Post about Bob.

Lowell Hess was a wonderful illustrator whose work appeared in most Collier's publications. Lowell has a couple of sites and blogs devoted to his amazing work. Leif Peng has a short interview with him at his blog. Flickr has 2 sets of his work, here and here (scans from the Little Golden Book ALI BABA, about half-way down the page.

Frank said he had a game fo 3 cartoonists to play. You take a piece of paper, fold it in three, and the first cartoonist will draw the top of a head -- eyes and hair -- and then he turns the paper over and hands it to the second cartoonist. The second cartoonist, without being able to see what the first one drew, draws the nose and mouth. And then the third one completes the picture, with the neck and shirt. And then we all unfold the paper and see what we have wrought.

Here it is, on the back of a placemat.

Hey, it kinda looks like a Don Martin character! How do you like that Mike Lynch brand pocket protector, huh? I gotta start selling one on Cafe Press now.

I had a great time. Thanks, Frank!

Quill Book Award Nominees

Congratulations to my pal Brian Fies upon his nomination for a Quill Book Award for his graphic novel "Mom's Cancer." These awards, in 20 differing categories, are decided by you, with a click of the mouse. The nominees for graphic novel are here.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


TALKING TO AMERICANS a comedy special written and hosted by Rick Mercer, appeared on the CBC in the spring of 2001. It made fun of Americans and their perception of Canada. We were on vacation in Canada at the time and we laughed and laughed at it. It's relatively unknown here, but it's rather legendary in Canada.

Mercer persuaded Americans to congratulate their "neighbors to the south" on preservation of their National Capitol: a giant igloo.

After informing some gullible American tourists that a Canadian company owned the mining rights to Mount Rushmore, he asked if the company should drill into the heads from behind, even though it's more expensive.

He asked Americans to congratulate all of Canada on its just recently acquiring indoor plumbing technology.

Yes, it's mean. But it only exposes the ill-informed. Watch the George W. Bush clip ....

There are some clips here to whet your appetite. The Boing Boing Blog has links to the entire program.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

9/11 Graphic Novel by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón Excerpted in Slate

A hardcover graphic novel about 9/11 titled The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation is on sale. Slate has previews.

Mike's 2 cents: I live about a mile from the World Trade Center. I remember that day, and I remember the smoke and the all the papers falling through the air. I remember going to the ATM to take out a bunch of money, just in case I couldn't ever again take out money. I remember the confusion. I remember seeing people stream over the bridges, some of them with soot on them, walking in legion.

I worked at the WTC before I became a full-time freelance cartoonist. I'm not ready to devour 9/11 as popular entertainment. Nope. No way. Too soon.

Mike Lynch Cartoon in Today's Wall Street Journal

Exactly 6 months after I finished and mailed this cartoon, it appears in this day's Wall Street Journal. I thought for sure I missed it entirely. But, when I was peeking at Journal's last page today, at the Hoyt/Schermerhorn A Train Station newsstand, expecting to see a Caldwell or a Schwadron or a Carpenter, I saw ... a LYNCH! That was fun. I much prefer the earlier version (below) where the woman is implicitly giving the fellow a swat on the behind to propel him into his day. I toned it down for the final version (above).

Lindsay Lohan's Dad: Cartoonist

This rather accomplished bit of artwork was drawn by Lindsay Lohan's dad, who is now in prison. The NY Daily News has the story.


So, we all know via this here blog that there are a couple of people who took a 1967 episode of the original STAR TREK, ripped out the old cro-magnon special effects, and added new special effects. I'm talking about the STAR TREK episode called THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE wherein Kirk encounters a planet killing machine (see that photo at the bottom) and the mad captain of a destroyed starship.


Eric Reinholt has, available so far: the first 33 seconds of the episode, the next bit of the teaser, and then an effect of the Enterprise in orbit.

Scott Gammans has a blog that details each sequence in THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE where he's inserting his own new effects.

It's hard for me to tell who these guys are. I couldn't find any bio on them on a Web site. Maybe I missed it. Of course, they're fans of the show. But I can't tell if they're professional SFX guys or just people with a lot of software knowledge. Regardless, both of them are doing wonderful work in their spare time here that deserves a glimpse.

Scott Gammans takes an "I can do anything" approach to the project, with extreme close ups of the Enterprise, under-the-belly angles of the ship, etc. The destroyed solar system is full of careening rock, whose innards are still pulsing with a hot orange hot core.

Eric Reinholt takes more of a traditional point of view, with straight-on shots ala The Old Show. I thought his view of the destroyed solar system (dark planetoid chunks floating, with a small, cold sun in the background) was chilling and to the point-- almost like a Chelsey Bonestell painting.

They're both only a couple of minutes into the show. It'll be interesting to see how this progresses.

By the way, all of these photos are from the original episode.

Dynamic Literary Duo Lethem and Chabon

My friend Patricia Storms, who is a cartoonists and illustrator and book lover, has an entry in her Booklust blog about a cover that she drew for a literary mag. She mentions a Lethem and Chabon spoof comic strip that she drew that I must've somehow missed. It's very funny -- if you are into KAVALIER & KLAY and FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE. If you have no idea what it is I'm talking about, then please move along. There's nothing to see here.

Patricia also has a link to AdBlogArabia, which posts this photo -- a real ad in Toronto:

Inappropriate Pop-Up Story: As I went to AdBlogArabia, and was looking that this anti-Bush blog entry, I got a pop-up ad for the U.S. Army! Whacky!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Great Neck Arts Center THIS INKING LIFE Reception

Sunday, August 20th was the reception for THIS INKING LIFE, a new gallery show of original cartoon art. The event was well attended, and the wine and champagne and cheese flowed. Well, the runny cheese flowed, I mean.

Here are a few photos from the event for your perusal.

Here I am, trying (unsuccessfully) to look thoughtful while Mad Magazine editor Sam Viviano leans on me and strikes a pose for the camera.

And here's Rina Piccolo -- she of SIX CHIX and TINA'S GROOVE -- and next to her is that Mad Magazine icon Mort Drucker. They'll both be part of a panel about the art of cartooning at 6:30pm Wednesday, September 13th at the Great Neck Arts Center. Stan Goldberg of Archie, and animator Howard Beckerman are scheduled to join in the discusssion that evening. Mark it on the calendar and for goodness sake come on in and see these icons of cartooning.

But if you can't, there's another one on the 16th. More information here.

Here are two of the big league double syndicated pros: the aforementioned Rina Piccolo, and Bunny Hoest Carpenter.

With John Reiner's assist, Bunny produces 2 syndicated panels: THE LOCKHORNS, in the papers every day, and HOWARD HUGE, seen in Parade Magazine every Sunday.

Here's Hy Eisman. Hy did work for many comic book compnaies, including Marvel, Charlton and Western Publishing. From 1967 to 1983 Hy drew Jimmy Hatlo's LITTLE IODINE. Twenty years ago he took over the world's longest running comic strip THE KATZENJAMMER KIDS. In 1994 he added POPEYE to his workload. On top of all this, he's an instructor at the Joe Kubert School! I was glad to see Hy. Nice to know he could make the time!

IT'S ALL ABOUT YOU cartoonist, and my fellow Brooklynite, Tony Murphy and his girlfriend Sina and, well, there's that Rina poking her face in again!

IT'S ALL ABOUT YOU now has a new Web site where you can follow the strip every weekday.

Here's Gerry Mooney and Don Orehek.

Gerry is an animator, a designer, as well as a cartoonist. He's allowed all of us a peek at his terrific graphic novel at his site. Gerry is also known for his gravity poster.

Don Orehek, the one and the only. I see the guy's work in joke books, in Cracked Magazine and Playboy. He's one of the best gag cartoonists out there, and just an all around great guy period!

And here is Mort Drucker, laughing at what, I don't remember. By the look on my face it was at my expense!

Here are a few of the cartoonist participants in THIS INKING LIFE. From left: Stan Goldberg, John Reiner (dig that shirt!), Art Cumings, Mike Lynch, and Mort Drucker.

We were calling out for cartoonists to join us in a nice, distinguished group portrait. Mort went hunting and gathering for more. Some new faces wandered in: Bunny Hoest, smiling to the camera, Sandy Kossin and Tony Murphy.

Chaos ensued, with a crush of cartoonists and photographers. You can't get cartoonists organized. Oh, you can try, but I do not think you would be successful.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

How to Get to THIS INKING LIFE If You're Driving

Mapquest can tell you where the Great Neck Arts Center is. Just take the Long Island Expressway east to Exit 33, Lakeville Road north. It's a couple miles to 113 Middleneck Road. (Lakeville turns into Middleneck.)

You want to turn right on Maple, just before the gallery. There's a large parking lot on your left (photo of the entrance above). The entrance to GNAC is there as well.

Friday, August 18, 2006

How to Get to THIS INKING LIFE via the LIRR

(Above: the welcome sign you see as you emerge from the station. The street North Station Plaza is just behind it.)

The Sunday reception for THIS INKING LIFE, which runs from 4-6:30pm at the Great Neck Arts Center, is free. Dress is casual. By that, I mean socks and shoes are needed, but no ties or cocktail dresses. Long Island Railroad trains leave every half hour from Penn Station. The train ride is about 35 minutes. Schedule here.

The best train is probably the one that departs Penn at 3:15, arriving at Great neck at 3:49.

When you walk out of the train, take the stairs (or the elevator) to street level. You will walk to the station building.

Just on the other side of the station is North Station Plaza (also called North Station Place on some maps -- go figure).

(Above: North Station Plaza is well marked. If you see a blue convenience store in front of you, turn around and head the other way.)

Turn left and walk to Middleneck Road.

(Above: the intersection of North Station and Middleneck as seen from the station.)

Turn right. Walk 2 blocks (you'll pass a number of stores, including a vintage pster gallery and a Starbucks) to Maple Drive.

(Above: the intersection of Maple and Middleneck. You'll cross the street toward a realistic mural of children on the side of the building. It's just above the mail box in this shot. Walk on, past the painted children.)

Crossing the street, turn right, and walk down the Maple. You will see a parking lot and a sign that says Arts Center.

Turn left into the parking lot. Keep walking, with the building your left hand side, and the parking lot on the right, and walk stright and you will see the Great Neck Arts Center on the left, in a corner, past a tiny little swath of shrubbery and trees in front. This whole walk is about a 1/5th of a mile and is safe and pleasant.