Friday, June 29, 2007

Howie Schneider Remembrance [Updated]

My friend and colleague Paul Giambarba has posted a remembrance of Howie Schneider, with some rare art and kind insights into this talented cartoonist.


Article by Stephanie Wang in the Cape Cod Times.

Thanks for the links, Paul!

Howie Schneider, Rest in Peace

Very sad news. Cartoonist Howie Schneider, best known for his comic strip "Eek & Meek," died yesterday after complications from heart surgery.

The Provincetown Banner, where he had been working as an editorial cartoonist, has a feature story.

Hat tip to Journalista.

More "How Not to Get an Okay"

Rule #14 - Don't denigrate other cartoonists to the editor.

Cartoonist Eli Stein continues to share insider broadsheet cartoons for cartoonists from the 1950s.

The first part is here.

I can't thank Eli enough for this.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bunny Bash 2007

To paraphrase Ratty, there is nothing- absolutely nothing- half so much worth doing as simply messing about with cartoonists.

Bunny Hoest, Chari Pere

It's the last Thursday in June, and that means that it's time for the Bunny Hoest party, or, as it's better known, the Bunny Bash -- which may sound violent, but it's actually very nice. And here are some photos to prove it.

Three masters: John Reiner, Frank Springer, Stan Goldberg

This is the 27th annual Bunny Bash. It all started when Bill Hoest wanted to show some some of his cartoonist colleagues the house he was building. About a dozen cartoonists showed up for sandwiches and a tour of the then-unfinished home on the Long Island shore.

Roger Penwill and Mike Lynch.

Roger came from England for the Bash. He's the Vice President general of FECO (the FEderation of Cartoonists' Organisations), an international cartooning advocacy group.

Steve Duquette listens to V.G. Myers

The bash has grown, from an informal get together to, well, a much bigger informal get together. Bunny draws cartoonists from NJ, NYC, LI & CT. Next to the annual Reubens convention, the Bash is the biggest event, drawing 75-150 cartoonists and their friends and families.

Chari Pere, who graduated SVA last month, shows her portfolio to Mort Drucker

Didn't I just see you guys at the MoCCA Fest? Derek Mainhart and Ali Solomon

Trade Loeffler watches his son drive his Hot Wheels cars over the tables and chairs

Helen Murdock-Prep, Janine Manheim, Joe Vissichelli

Heather Steckley pushes hubby Ed Steckley's buttons.

Optimist Chari Pere takes a photo with Sam Viviano who sports a pessimistic look that this won't turn out well.

One third of SIX CHIX and one half of MARY WORTH: Rina Piccolo, Anne Gibbons, Karen Moy

Photo session over, they return to their animated conversations.

Trying to look smart: Mike Lynch, Brendan Burford

Feggo draws
Sam Gross and Frank Springer

Gerry Mooney, John Reiner

Joe Vissichelli takes a group shot photo. This is Joe from the group's point of view.

Ever dapper Stan Goldberg

Happy birthday to bunny's husband, "Docky" Carpenter

Roger Penwill, Evan Forsch, Feggo

Arnie Levin, Anne Gibbons

Rina Piccolo, John Reiner

Lorraine and Bill Kresse

Look for a big write up on Bill in the August 2007 issue of Hogan's Alley.

Two guys from The Boot: Sam Viviano, Al Scaduto

The impending thunderstorms stayed away until the Bash was almost over. Thanks to Bunny for her hospitality. Another great time!!!!

Charles M. Schulz Biography Set for Oct. 16 Release

E&P has the story.

H/t to eagle-eyed Mrs. Lynch!!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Three Cartoon Worlds of Eldon Pletcher

I got a note in last month from Eldon Pletcher:

"My friend Dave Carpenter has told me of your conversation, in which you expressed an interest in possibly doing a blog on me ... going from editorial cartooning to 'gag' cartooning. While I haven't felt there was anything special in doing both types, if you would like to do a blog on the subject, it's OK with me."
So it is written, so shall it be blogged!
Cartoonist Eldon Pletcher was born in Goshen, Indiana on September 10, 1922. After his first year at the Chicago Academy of Art, he went overseas, to serve in World War 2.

Like a lot of cartoonists, he started by drawing some gag cartoons, which are reproduced here. But he didn't have to buy his art supplies. Art supplies found him. Here's Pletch:

"I was in Germany when World War 2 ended. At that time I found some art materials at a bombed out artists supply store and started sending some cartoons to the Continental edition of Yank magazine, published in Paris. It was some early efforts in 'gag' cartooning. 

"I've enclosed a few of those they used while I was in Germany and while at the University of Aberdeen, in Scotland, while waiting for the number of 'points' I had (the Army had a point system in determining the order of when troops came home) to be enough to get me home."

When he got back to the States, Pletch attended the John Herron Art School in Indianapolis. He married Barbara Jeanne Jones in 1948. By the next year, he was the editorial cartoonist for the Sioux City Journal, a position he held for seventeen years.

The family moved to New Orleans in 1966, where he drew the editorial cartoons for the New Orleans Times Picayune for the next 19 years. Here is a selection of his editorial cartoons that he passed along for me to share:

There's Kennedy ...

The more things change, the more they stay the same. There's Romney, Sr. in the line up!

The pendulum swings back and forth.

Remember Billy Beer?

Dick Nixon piloting the capsule? Now that's a NASA disaster waitin' to happen!

So, from gag cartoonist to editorial cartoonist and now ... back to gag cartoonist. Award winning cartoonist Eldon Pletcher continues to cartoon. Here are a few recent ones.

Thanks for sending these along, Eldon. I loved the story of finding those art supplies in the rubble of post-war Germany. Keep toonin'!

Hat tip to the Wichita State University Library for the biographical info.

Happy Birthday, Joe Giella!

Joe Giella and Bunny Hoest

Tip o' the hat to Comics Reporter!

Happy Birthday, Bob Weber, Sr!

Happy belated birthday to a guy I've broken bread with a couple times in the last month, MOOSE & MOLLY'S Bob Weber!

Here's a jam drawing by Frank McLaughlin (top of head), Bob Weber (bottom of head) and myself (shirt). More about this here.

Hat tip to Tom Spurgeon!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Larry Semon Cartoonist

I've mentioned silent film comedian Larry Semon before, when I shared an advertisement showing the Evening Standard cartoon staff circa 1916.

Semon would leave the cartooning life to become a silent film comedian. For a short time, Semon, who had been a ho-hum cartoonist (I believe TAD Dorgan said he was no good), became a famous star with hit comedies. And big money and the partying lifestyle.

But, Semon had a "breakdown" and didn't of movies for 2 years, and never again achieved the level of fame when he returned to making pictures. A matter of fact, he's pretty much forgotten in both of those fields -- cartooning and movies.

Allan Holtz at his Stripper's Guide blog shares with us one of Semon's comic strips, as well as links to his bio online.

Claudia Sassen has a pop-up filled but wonderful site on Semon here.

You can see a bad print of a lackluster short THE CLOUDHOPPER (1925) that he made a few years before he died here. This was one of a couple of films that Semon teamed with Norman Taurog, who would, six years after CLOUDHOPPER, direct one of the most successful films of 1931: SKIPPY, based on Percy Crosby's comic strip. Taurog won the Best Director Oscar for the movie, and would go on to a very busy career.

Monday, June 25, 2007


On Sunday morning, my neighbor and great cartoonist Trade Loeffler and I boarded the F train to the MoCCA Fest.

The show was on the first floor and the 7th floor. Here's a shot of the 7th floor, with its big windows. The whole show felt just as big as previous years, but less crowded since there was more square footage.

Over the weekend, there were continuous talks over at the Museum itself. Here's a close up of Craig Yoe (with a McCay editorial cartoon behind him) giving a Sunday afternoon presentation.

Mike Lynch, Joe Staton

Joe's a veteran comic book artist. He and Nick Cuti created a comic book character called E-MAN in the 1970s for Charlton Comics. Charlton was one of the smallest comic book companies around, and E-MAN ran for a scant 10 issues, leaving the comic book spinner rack 2 years after its 1973 debut. Regardless, the character is fondly remembered and resurfaced over the decades from other comic book companies, pretty much all the time with Joe & Nick at the helm. Joe mentioned that there is going to be a big reprint project.

Doug Bratton strikes a Lou Ferrigno pose at his table.

My friends Ali Solomon and Derek Mainhart show us their pearlies.

This is what you see at a typical MoCCA seller's table: comics for sale, an art pen and then a sketchbook full of doodling (in this case, it's Ali's). And right across the way was the NBM/Papercutz table where I snagged a freshly printed copy of FOREVER NUTS CLASSIC SCREWBALL STRIPS: THE EARLY YEARS OF MUTT & JEFF by Bud Fisher.

A couple of cool business cards. Godfrey Chan boldly shows us his elementary school photo on his card. Joda Thayer, Godfrey's MoCCA Fest table-mate, opts for the more trad approach.

People came from all over. Here's Toronto couple Tyrone McCarthy and Alana Machnicki. Their table held, on one side, her illustrations/prints, and, on the other, his Corduroy High School comics. I got one from each so there would be no squabbling between these fine young kids.

Not every artist paid for a table in the Puck building. This fellow set up on Houston Street, on the block between the subway and the MoCCA Fest.

Some of my swag.

And here's Marek Bennett's t-shirt. Well, ha ha, not HIS per se -- a shirt that I bought from him.

What a nice sentiment, Marek!

Some more MoCCA 2007 photos at these sites:

UPDATE: Tom Spurgeon over at Comics Reporter has the motherload of all photo links here.