Monday, June 30, 2008

BEATVILLE U.S.A. by George Mandel

Can you grok a whole book of beatnik cartoons? If you're hip to that, then BEATVILLE U.S.A. is the book for you.

Author/cartoonist George Mandel writes about the beat generation in 6 small essays interspersed between his own cartoons. The book is copyright 1961 by Mr. Mandel.

Above is a wordless 8-panel cartoon that is confident and successful. I kept looking at the compositions, the postures, and illustrative folds in clothing and really admiring Mr. Mandel's draftsmanship. Look at the fellow's legs and arms: angled this way and that, as he preps to look oh so beatnik casual cool.

The way our title characters lean up against the tree or stand in the doorway; there's a bad posture, knobby shouldered, slack-jawed look to these fellows. Even if their clothes change, you can always spot them. Mandel is very good about staying on the beatnik model.

Espresso, wheat germ and Mary Jane was the way of life. I like the happy smile on the woman in the workplace, in the left hand cartoon. And the choice to show her part of the way up, out of her chair, and turning to the rest of the office, is a naturalistic and nicely human touch. Isn't it strange to see an office environment without a computer monitor on every desk?

Was there ever a time in NYC when a guy would walk around with a "I Cash Clothes" bowler hat? Again, I like the posture of the 2 beatniks on the left. Even their knees have wobbly, gravity-stricken posture.

For some reason the "There Is No Zen!" cartoon struck me as wonderfully funny. The only nitpick I have with the book is the use of initial caps in all the gag lines, something I've never seen before or since in gag cartooning. I don't think it's Mandel's doing. My guess is that it was a decision made by an out of touch with gag cartoons editor.

I really did not have high hopes for this book when I first saw it. How many cartoons, after all, can you do about beatniks? "Congratulate Me -- It's a Cat!," with our young beatnik dad holding his beret in reverence over his heart, as he walks down the steps where his pals are splayed, has a wonderful sense of humor about this moment of passage. This is another good cartoon by the good writer George Mandel.

And I forgot that barber shops were once way back before men began going to salons and spas -- barber shops were where you could go and chew over the events of the day.

Mandel wrote a number of books, but was never as famous as his good friend Joseph Heller.


From the Dykes to Watch Out For blog:
"Lookit! I have a four page story in the latest Entertainment Weekly. It’s for their 1000th issue, whose theme is 'The New Classics.' The issue lists the 1000 best movies, tv shows, albums, books, and other cultural products of the last 25 years. My piece goes with the book section, and it’s about my experience of not being able to read books once someone tells me I have to. Umm..I don’t know if I’m allowed to put it online…"
EW allowed it. Bless 'em!

Alison Bechdel shares "Compulsory Reading," an Entertainment Weekly piece about her growing up with books and why she reads what she reads -- when she has the time!

Another h/t to the one and only Journalista! Thanks, Dirk!

Editorial Cartoonists' Hate Mail

Dave Astor at Editor and Publisher has been writing about the annual Association of American Editorial Cartoonists convention this past weekend. I was just reading one about a cartoonists' panel on hate mail:

"Panelist Ted Rall had a much more frightening experience with firefighters. As many readers know, the Universal Press Syndicate creator did some hard-hitting cartoons after 9/11 -- including the 'Terror Widows' one about how some women seemed to be capitalizing on their husbands' 9/11 deaths.

"Firefighters not pleased with Rall's work came to the cartoonist's New York City apartment building one day. "I was on the sixth floor, and I looked out the window and saw a big red truck," remembered the AAEC president-elect. 'There were 40 guys in front of the building with axes telling the superintendent that they were going to kick my ass.'

"Rall at first didn't know what to do. 'Calling 911 wouldn't have helped -- they would have told me 'don't worry, firefighters are on the scene,' he joked at the AAEC session."
More here.

And congrats on Ted Rall, new AAEC president!

PLAYBOY Cartoonist Kiraz: Site & Video

Playboy magazine cartoonist Kiraz (Edmond Kirazian) has a career encompassing site here.

This is the way it should be done: samples of work through the years, a trove of publications that he's drawn for, a collection of book covers, samples of his cartoons.

A big tip of the bunny ears to Dirk Deppey @ Journalista!

Related: an April 14, 2008 French-language TV profile of Kiraz (with close ups of him drawing and painting) that I pulled from his MySpace page:

Les Parisiennes

Above: I couldn't resist posting one more illustration.

Fave Drawing Tool Poll Results

The very unscientific Mike Lynch Cartoons poll has now closed and the winner of the "What's Your Fave Drawing Tool" poll is ...


Wow! Silly little pencil! Pencil wins! Around of applaues for the wooden shaft containing lead, OK? OK!

Now, I guess the only question is: is it HB, #2, Faber Castell, Eberhard Faber, mechanical, etc. Do you sharpen it with a knife (I do) or one of those whirring electric sharpeners or one like we used to have in grade school that's attached to the wall with the different width telephone dial thingy on the side, etc.

Pen (Sakura, Pigma, etc.) and Pen and Ink were tied for second most popular.

Following closed behind is the 21st century paperless Wacom Tablet. I wonder if we did the poll the year from now if Wacom would come in second?

The loser, receiving the fewest votes of all favorite drawing tools, was toothpick dipped in ink, followed by Conte Crayon and fingerpaints.

What's nice is that most people still prefer one of the most humblest and cheapest of tools: a pencil.

Thanks to all who participated!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Ed Arno Remembered

William Grimes has written an obituary for the late New Yorker cartoonist Ed Arno in today's New York Times.
Jud Hurd, writing for his late, lamented magazine Cartoonist PROfiles, visited Ed and his wife Rita in the early 1990s. The interview appeared in Cartoonist PROfiles #99, September 1993. Here is Jud's write up. It's so darn good that I want to pass it along intact. I am pretty sure it's © 1993 by Mr. Hurd:

One afternoon, some time ago, we had the pleasure of a long conversation with ED ARNO, cartoonist, stage designer, poster-maker, animation producer and children's book illustrator, at the home of Ed and his wife, Rita, on Long Island. Following are some of the interesting things which were revealed that day.

When Ed Arno, newly-arrived in New York City from Romania in 1965, ap­proached The New Yorker magazine, he was told, "We can't use two Arnos here". The reference, of course, was to the publication's most prestigious cartoonist, the famous Peter Arno. But, as you will soon read, that didn't stop the quiet and mod­est Ed for very long. He was used to surmounting obstacles that would liter­ally destroy a good many cartoonists.

Arno says that he grew up with humor as a child, so he began life with a goodly supply of a cartoonist's principal stock ­in-trade. An uncle of his had the knack of inventing great funny stories on-the-spot, and his arrival for a visit with the family was a highly-anticipated event. All the Arnos liked to create fun and surprises, so that Ed, who was very shy, came up with frequent ideas that made the other kids laugh at school.

He's always been able to see the humor in a situation. Here's an example of what I'm talking about: Ed was born in July, during a month when all of the other neighborhood kids were away on vaca­tions with their families. Nobody was around to be able to attend a birthday party, so Ed asked his parents not to bother to try and arrange any celebra­tions. Time passes and, from 1941 to 1944, Ed was in a labor camp operated by the Germans, digging tank-traps to hold off the Russians. Well, as Ed was leaning on his shovel one day, he told a friend that it was his birthday. The friend, who was a journalist, had a way with words, and so when the two got back to the barracks, he announced an Arno birth­day celebration to the assembled crowd. As Ed laughingly related this story to me, he added that this was the first time in his life that he'd not only had a birthday party, but one where the captive-guests couldn't have gotten out of attending, even if they'd wanted to.

Ed was born in the town of Czerno­witz, in an Austro-Hungarian area of Romania, and he particularly enjoyed telling me about the real meaning of the town's name. "If you translate the first half of the name from any Slavic tongue, and the latter half from German, you come out with BLACK JOKE!" However, Arno's black humor is gentle — far- removed from the savage, political satire prevalent in the Nazi-saturated years of Arno's young manhood.

In 1935-6 Ed studied art in Paris at L'Ecole with Paul Colin. He specialized in Stage Design, and in 1939 returned to his home town to work as a cartoonist, gra­phic and stage designer.

After he survived the 1941-44 labor camp ordeal, he became an art director and artist for children's books and maga­zines in Bucharest, and also drew cartoons for satirical magazines in Romania and the Soviet Union. Then one great day in the late 1950s, he saw a collection of New Yorker cartoons by Charles Addams, on the shelves of the USIS Library in Bucharest. These examples represented the pinnacle of cartoon achievement in Arno's mind. He admits now that he car­ried the book around with him for years after that as an inspiration and a goal. To get ahead of our story a bit, in 1969, four years after Ed and his wife Rita came to the U.S. permanently, Arno made his own debut in The New Yorker, and Charles Addams came to Ed's first one-man show at the Austrian Institute in New York. "Just having him there," says Arno, "was a thrill to me — an affirmation!"

In 1944 German troops were still in Romania, and Arno started to fight against the Nazis by doing 3-color posters such as you see here. Ed is proud of the fact that his work helped educate people on how to fight the Germans. He did a lot of cartooning very quickly and since he was paid on-the-spot, he liked the idea of getting his money also very quickly! Arno is particularly proud of the fact that in 1947 he created, with an engineering friend's help, a film in which live-action was combined with animation drawings for the first time ever in Europe. Readers of a children's magazine, for which Arno had done the cover, expressed interest in the various steps involved in doing the cover. This provided the incentive for Ed to make this film, in which he is shown at his drawing table, looking at some of his characters on the illustration board in front of him. Soon the characters begin to move around and he starts to talk with them. The cover comes alive, and in the process, the children who saw the film had their questions about the making of the cover answered. Ed did most of the artistic part of the film and the mechani­cal engineering friend handled the tech­nical part.

Arno's European art career included an amazing variety of projects. In Paris he designed and produced animated films for which Dr. Norbert Gingold, the con­ductor of symphony concerts, composed the music.

In 1957 Ed was decorated by the Romanian government for his work as an artist. When Arno came to the U.S. in 1965, he sold his first cartoon to Look magazine where Gurney Williams was Cartoon Editor. A funny incident occur­red at this time when Williams phoned the Arno home to say that the magazine had bought one of Ed's cartoons. However, he reached Ed's wife who didn't speak English very well then. The mes­sage got garbled in translation, and when Arno got home, his wife very excitedly told him that Look had lost one of his cartoons!

A happy coincidence occurred when Ed approached the New York Times which, along with The New Yorker mag­azine, was one of the two prestigious markets that he was determined to crack.

Arno first had gotten the idea to do cartoons about criminals back in his homeland, when Romania was under the thumb of the Russians. At that time, the Russians wouldn't acknowledge that there was such a thing as a criminal in the Communist system. He sympathized with most of the 'so-called' criminals, who had mostly been put in jail for small offenses not committed by themselves, but rather by the Communist government. Ed says he looked at these people through friendly glasses. Well, believe it or not, Ed was told at the Times that they'd like some spot cartoons for the Criminals-at-Large crime story department in the weekly Book Review section. This happy chore continued for about a year! As we menti­oned at the beginning of this story, The New Yorker didn't want two Arno artists in the magazine. However Ed did succeed in selling them some ideas for which Peter Arno did the drawings. Then Peter Arno died in 1968 and Lee Lorenz, whom Ed had met at Cartoonists Guild meetings, encouraged him to submit cartoons. This was 1969 and Jim Geraghty, then Art Editor of the magazine, immediately bought some Ed Arno roughs and pub­lished them, without asking for finishes. Since then there have been hundreds of Ed Arno cartoons in The New Yorker.

At this time Arno started illustrating books for the Scholastic Magazine peo­ple. His first book was The Magic Fish. The famous Arthur Rubinstein put music to it on a record, as he did with Ed's next book The Gingerbread Man.

Mrs. Arno has commented that one of the reasons that her husband was able to come from Europe and to be successful in prestigious cartoon markets in the U.S., was that he is so observant. He's lived and worked in France and Italy, as well as in eastern Europe, and in the course of these travels has become able to speak five lan­guages. And all this while, he was absorb­ing the humorous aspects of life. Of course Ed reads the newspapers and listens to the radio in order to keep his ideas up-to- date. And, very often, the bits and pieces of conversations he overhears, give him the inspiration for funny ideas. For in­stance, on one occasion, he heard his wife talking on the phone with a friend whose husband was sick. In order to make the friend feel good, Ed's wife said something like, "Oh, he only has the flu . . . that's not too serious." This inspired Arno to reproduce a similar scene in black art style. But in his cartoon, a woman is try­ing to console a friend whose husband has just died. The woman asks what illness caused the husband's death, and upon being told that it was the flu, she reassur­ingly says, "Oh, the flu . . . that's nothing!" (It wasn't as big a deal as if he'd died of cancer!)

Arno has long had the habit of writing down ideas which occur to him in his half-dreamy state as he lies in bed at night. Come morning he acts as his own censor, and often decides that nobody could understand these midnight gems. But sometimes they do bear fruit. Many of his cartoons carry no captions. To quote him, "A cartoon should be like a theater joke short and very simple. You put people to sleep when you tell a long, detailed joke." Ed sometimes makes as many as ten or fifteen versions of a car­toon before he gets it the way he wants it. Apropos of this, I've discovered, after many years of interviewing New Yorker cartoonists, that many of them follow this same pattern.

Ed has a sharp eye for the absurdities of the human condition, of politics and of everyday life. He seems to find the point in all situations, pricks the balloons of pretenses, and satirizes the short-lived fads and eternal follies of the world.

His cartoons are in numerous public and private collections.

Ed Arno London Times obit by Mark McGinnis

Cartoonist Dedication

I just got an email from a young, just-starting-out cartoonist who lives in the UK, and is having a hard time finding markets. He asks for advice. I thought I'd respond here.

"I wanna try pushing"

(Above: an early sale to the Wall Street Journal. Yes, a dog cartoon in WSJ! A refreshing change of pace from the "people in meetings" cartoons and the "boss at his/her desk" cartoons.)

The great thing about cartoons is that EVERYONE loves cartoons. Whether it's cartoons on TV or Mad Magazine or Marvel or gag cartoons -- people love their cartoons. And every time you see a cartoon, there's a real person, somewhere, who drew the cartoon, designed the character, designed the toy, wrote the story, etc.

You all ready know it's a lot of dedicated work to get to be a pro. That's good! Only the most persistent and dedicated cartoonists make it. The real pros out there have seen a lot of rejection. It's normal.

When Joe Kubert is asked what does he look for in a new student for his Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art (which is ints 32nd year in 2008), he replies, "Dedication."

Not someone who is in it for the money, the "the most talented," not the one with all the art credentials, not the one from the city, not the rich one, not the one with the connections.

I draw magazine cartoons. I did not go to school to learn to cartoon. When I was a kid, growing up in the Midwest, there were no schools for cartoonists. I just was dedicated and persistent.

At a 2006 Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art exhibit of the very successful comic artist Todd MacFarlane, there was a case full of Todd's rejection slips; hundreds of them!

Every successful person I know (a) worked at their craft and (b) got rejected. There are no secrets. The good stuff floats to the top and gets noticed.

End of sermon.

(Click to supersize the above early sale from The Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cartoon Poll: Last Day

The "What's Your Fave Drawing Toll?" poll will close on Friday, June 27th.

If you have a moment and can spare the time to click and vote, the poll is still open (as of this writing). You can vote for more than one item. My thanks to everyone who responded so far.

Also: big thanks to the talented and handsome Brian Moore for giving me permission to use his above beautifully rendered graphic of his drawing tools. Brian, you have really raised the illustration curve here on the Mike Lynch Cartoons blog.

Some Gene Hazelton FLINTSTONES Sunday Pages

From the Comicrazys blog, via Journalista!, comes a lovely batch of Gene Hazelton-drawn Sunday FLINTSTONES strips.

And, while perusing the above site, don't miss the recent Frazetta funny animals posting or the Milt Gross item.

Some Great Books

I received the second issue of the comic book SISTER MARY DRACULA by Gerry Mooney. Thanks for sending it, Gerry! It's on a stack of other terrific books for the Mike Lynch Cartoons summer reading program.

I also have the following:
Fresh off the presses, the first 2 years of LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE published by IDW. I haven't even sat down with the book, but it sure looks great. Very thick (1000 strips!), and with an informative essay by Jeet Heer. This is the first of a series that will, if all goes well, reprint the entire strip ala THE COMPLETE PEANUTS. Memories of Andrea McArdle singing "Tomorrow" aside, the strip was, in its day, very popular and a commercial powerhouse. Remember Ralphie, from the movie A CHRISTMAS STORY, desiring the Little Orphan Annie decoder ring? "A crummy commercial!"

I feel ashamed that I only know the strip thru its commercial incarnations, like the Broadway show and movie, as well as the slight incident from CHRISTMAS STORY. It's like only knowing Dick Tracy from the Warren Beatty flick. The LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE book is an opportunity to sit down and immerse myself in the source material.

Way back when I was a tot and I borrowed the book ARF! THE LIFE AND TIMES OF LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE (1970) from the Lawrence (Kansas) Public Library. I remember (as well as I can remember, since I was about nine years old back then) enjoying the strip. It was also, like Peanuts, a strip that was graphically accessible. It was one of those times, early in life, when I thought that if I worked hard enough, I could maybe draw as well as its creator Harold Gray (1894-1968) and maybe, oh just maybe, I could draw well enough to be a cartoonist. I hope that Gray's work is going to be rediscovered like Frank King or Cliff Sterrett. I hope my memory of it is still the same as it is in 2008. Time will tell if Gray will join the names of perennial fave comic strip artists like Herriman, Caniff, McCay or Schulz.

Here, once again, is Tom Spurgeon, writing in the Comics Reporter about the strip:

"No one believes me when I tell them just how much I enjoy Harold Gray's long-running newspaper strip Little Orphan Annie at the height of its powers. There's nothing like it in all of comics, in all the artistic world. On a technical level, Gray used white space and spare design in a way that equaled George Herriman when it came to showing the awesomeness of nature. Gray could also use those same elements to suggest how empty a single room apartment could be, or the loneliness of a mansion's Great Hall when people weren't around to fill it."

Also in the incoming stack: the first volume of Gus Edson's and Irwin Hasen's DONDI, beautifully put together by Classic Comics Press. DONDI was a long running post-war strip about a war orphan making his way in 1950s America. It's another one of those fondly remembered strips by people who read it and, without the Classic Comics people, it would have remained unseen. It won "Best Story Strip" awards from the National Cartoonists Society in 1961 and 1962. My edition of DONDI is just gorgeous, with crisp B&W reprints of the dailies & Sundays from the strip's debut on September 25, 1955 to March 17, 1957. DONDI ran until 1986.

On the literary graphic novel front, I have a couple that are arriving today.

CHIGGERS by Hope Larson got a nice write up by Tom Spurgeon; so nice that I thought I'd get it.

Finally, THE EDUCATION OF HOPEY GLASS by Jaime Hernandez is arriving tomorrow (along with a new scanner). I was just paging through the book a couple of weeks ago. I used to buy all the old Love & Rockets magazines back in the day and I haven't read any of Jaime's work in years, aside from his NY Times Maggie story.

Above: a very young Catherine Zeta-Jones, with co-star Philip Franks, from the TV series The Darling Buds of May photo from the 23 September 2007 Daily Mail article by Neil Sears titled "Darling Buds of May village in uproar as pub landlord launches daily strip club." The bucolic rural world of 1950s Britain as portrayed in the series is as dead as a doornail.

I don't know a lot about the above 2 graphic novels, and that's the way I prefer it. On top of this, my local librarian called and the H.E. Bates book that I had ordered via inter-library loan, THE DARLING BUDS OF MAY (yeah, the book that was made into the Brit TV series with Catherine Zeta-Jones) has arrived. I enjoyed MY UNCLE SILAS so much, I had to get more Bates.

Tis a bountiful book harvest. Now I don't care that so much on TV sucks.

Dead Scanner

My scanner died yesterday.

Best known for scanning in old, yellowing cartoon books for this blog, the scanner first arrived in Brooklyn after being bought at an office supply store in Suffern, NY. During its days in Brooklyn, it scanned both cartoon originals and books. When we made the move to New Hampshire in August 2007, we had no idea that it only had 6 months of life left in it.

We had some good times. Who can forget the Scan Your Cat entry of January 23, 2007? As funny as it was then, perhaps it was stunts like that that caused the undue wear and tear on the Canon scanner.

Ah well. All good things ....

Services will be held tomorrow morning at 9am EST at the bulky container at the Milton, NH Recycling Center. In lieu of flowers, please scan a copy of "Taps" into your own scanner. Thanks.

The scanner is dead. Long live the scanner -- the new one arrives tomorrow in a big brown UPS truck.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Inviting Cartoonists to Weddings

Above is one reason you should invite cartoonists to weddings.

As you know cartoonist Stephanie Piro's daughter Nico was married last weekend. Back in March, her daughter mailed out invitations with an RSVP card. Aside from the usual "are you coming? check here" box, there was a space for you to "take a minute to draw a picture of what you think we'll look like" on the wedding day. So, I took out the Micron Pigma and drew up the above, with a little watercolor greying to get a good effect. One challenge is that the groom's a very tall lad. With Nico pulling on his nose ring, that gets him to lurch over and fit in the picture.

This is a great thing and it should be noted that if you are going to get married and you want some good cartoon originals, then just invite a cartoonist.

The fun touch at the reception was that they had on display all of the doodles that people had made for the couple. Most everyone at least tried drawing stick figures of the couple, and a number of guests drew them horizontally, complete with "turn this way" and an arrow, so as to properly show the groom's height.

I wonder if the people who checked "No, I'll have to take a rain check" means that the happy couple must reenact their vows in future for those who want to cash in that rain check. Hmm.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ed Arno 1916-2008

"It is my sad duty to report that as of this date your company still has not been subject to a takeover attempt."

Above: a cartoon by Ed Arno from the Harvard Business Review.

Cartoonist Ed Arno, a long time New Yorker contributor, passed away on May 27, 2008. He was 92.

As of this time, I have only heard that the cause of death is old age. Ed lived alone, and news was slow to travel to the New Yorker and the New York Times.

Michael Maslin, who was kind enough to send along an email and let me know this sad news, has a lovely write up about Mr. Arno here.

If anyone has more information, please pass it along if you are able. Thanks.


Ed Arno NY Times obit by William Grimes

Ed Arno London Times obit by Mark McGinnis

Ed Arno Cartoonist PROfiles interview

Unseen Cartoons

Above: Brandweek magazine bought and paid for the above "Gap Store" progression cartoon, with Baby Gap, The Gap, and finally, Geezer Gap. I think they printed it, but I never saw it.

It's always great to sell a cartoon. When you get the email or phone call or whatever from an editor telling you that they want to pay you for your doodle with the words under it.

And then the following week, you pick up a copy of The Magazine They Told You Your Cartoon Is In and ... the cartoon isn't there.

Above: "Another Nutso Cartoonist," a true life adventure drawn with a dying Micron Pigma pen in a new sketchbook last night, freehand, no pencils. There are a number of people who I've met who look at my like I'm crazy because I draw funny pictures for a living. "No one does that," they think to themselves. "People put up drywall, run retail or food industry franchises, or drive a big rig, up and down the highways and byways of this Great Nation -- they don't get paid to sit and doodle! That's preposterous! Outlandish! Balderdash!"

Anyway ....

I remember calling Charles Preston one time and asking when a cartoon of mine was going to run in the "Pepper ... and Salt" spot in the Wall Street Journal. Charles is a nice guy. He really is. But this time, he uncharacteristically laughed in my face. He told me -- and, as we all know, Charles Preston is the editor and creator of the S&P feature -- the guy that's been doing editing it for over 50 years -- even HE, Charles Preston, himself, was never told which cartoon was going to run which day.

Here are a couple of cartoons that I've sold, but to my knowledge, they have yet to run (and may never run) in the publication that bought them.

Above is a wordless cartoon starring our beloved real-life orange multi-toed kitty Opie, who has since passed away. Reader's Digest bought the above cartoon about six years ago and so far as I know it has not run. If you click on it and make it a wee bigger, you can see the gag.

"No, you're not interrupting a damn thing. We're just having our usual argument about who came first."

Above is a cartoon that was rejected by The New Yorker and Playboy, until finally getting snatched up by of all things The Chronicle for Higher Education. I thought it was risque and maybe completely out of character for this weekly journal, aimed at working faculty and administration at postsecondary institutions.

To the best of my knowledge, they never ran it.

"If you can't learn your parts, you'll have to deal with the repercussion section."

The above cartoon was sold to BBC Music Magazine five years ago which published it and now York College is using it in a music publication of their own. I think I saw it in BBC, and but I know I'll never actually see it in the York College book.

So, there ya go. I have some more cartoons like this, but that'll be all for today.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Liza Donnelly Video

New Yorker cartoonist (and editor of the new book SEX AND SENSIBILITY) Liza Donnelly talks about being a cartoonist, the woman's point of view in cartooning and how the just-closed Cartoon Art Museum exhibit came to be.

Hey, I think that's Andrew Farago, curator of San Francisco's Cartoon Art Museum, putting up those framed originals ....

Fave Drawing Tools Poll

The "What's your favorite drawing tool?" poll closes this week, so be patriotic and vote, so the Mike Lynch Diebold Machine can get to work "tabulating!"

Related: Illustrator Kevin Cornell blogs extensively about his favorite pencils and pens. Hat tip to Journalista!

June 18 Drinking & Drawing, Boston, MA

Below is the result when a bunch of talented people get together in a bar with an animation light table and take turns drawing a stream of consciousness series of drawings.

Find more videos like this on Channel Frederator RAW

My thanks to the organizer of this fun event, Lenny Boudreau, for the heads up!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

2008 Reubens Photos

Above: Mike Peters and Juana Medina, winner of the first Jay Kennedy Memorial Scholarship. Photo by David Folkman.

David Folkman shares some of the many, many photos he took of the 2008 Reubens over at the Hogan's Alley Web site.

Related: Comics Reporter 2008 Reubens Collective Memory with lots of links.

A big ol' tip o' the hat to John Martz for the heads up! Thanks so much, John!

Congratulations Stephanie Piro

A big week for Stephanie! First, her daughter gets married! And now ....

My cartoonist pal and neighbor Stephanie Piro is the above-the-fold story in this week's Rochester (NH) Times:

"Each year, CHILIS, the Children's Librarians of New Hampshire, picks a theme to encourage children to take part in their local summer reading programs, and this year, it is the Aussie-sounding G'day for Reading. Also, on an annual basis, an artist in the state is commissioned to create artwork which underscores the theme, and in 2008, the designer of the reading logs, clip art and book marks, the posters, T-shirts and reading certificates, is Farmington illustrator/cartoonist Stephanie Piro — who is also on the staff of the Goodwin Library in Farmington."

Congratulations, Stephanie! And if anyone walks into any public library in the state, they are going to see cartoons of kookaburras, kangaroos and other Aussie animals on posters and bookmarks all over the place all summer long!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Happy Wedding Day, Nico & Jeremiah

Above: Jeremiah and Nico, drawn by Nico.

This weekend brings good friends and good weather together in a family-owned New Hampshire vineyard to celebrate the wedding of Nico Piro, daughter of my pal Stephanie Piro, and her beau Jeremiah Cushman.

We wish you much health and happiness today and every day! Congratulations, Nico & Jeremiah!

Above: Stephanie's SIX CHIX panel for today.

Related: Weddings and Other Happy Occasions by Stephanie Piro at the Six Chix blog.

Friday, June 20, 2008

What Are Those Musicians Talking About?

There is a minute from the great TV show FREAKS & GEEKS (1999-2000), where the parents (Joe Flaherty and Becky Ann Baker) listen to a song by The Who to discern if it's decent or indecent. It runs about a minute.

But, even funnier, is Mark Evanier, who found a Joe Cocker video complete with hilarious subtitles.

Today's Drabble

Drabble by Kevin Fagan is getting to be a fave. Above is today's strip. Any punchline with The Shat in it is a good punchline.

DOCTOR WHO "Silence in the Library"

I remember standing in a long line at the Brooklyn Heights Cinema. I don't remember what the movie was, but I do remember meeting this couple. They were chatty and it helped pass the time. There was a general discussion of sci fi TV shows that went something like this:

THEM: "And there's BABYLON 5. You watch BABYLON 5, right?"

ME: "No. I watched the pilot. I couldn't get into it."

THEM "Oh, no. You HAVE to watch BABYLON 5. I highly recommend it!"

And I remember wondering, Who are you? So, what? So you "highly recommend" something! I don't even know you! I did try watching BABYLON 5 once again and once again I was turned off by it.

Another show that I would occasionally watch was DOCTOR WHO, which is seen in the States on Friday nights on the Sci Fi Channel. It was cheesy and silly and overly dramatic. I've gone from watching maybe once a year to really getting into the program now that David Tennant is The Doctor. I can't put my finger on when I went from casual watcher to fan. And I can't help but proselytize.

I urge you to watch/tape/TiVo/DVR tonight's episode titled "Silence in the Library." It's good. It's written by the man who is going to producing the show for the next while. And, yeah, I highly recommend it.

There are 2 Doctor Who episodes on Sci Fi tonight. I'm talking about the second one of the two.

Lowell Hess Web Site

Illustrator Lowell Hess has a new Web site. Go and look. It's full of Mr. Hess' wonderful work! If you grew up in the 50s or 60s, chances are you saw his children's book work or his Boy's Life covers.

Big hat tip to Orlando Busino!! Thanks for letting me know, Orlando!

Tom Engelhardt Video

From KETC St. Louis: a June 16, 2008 interview with veteran editorial cartoonist Tom Engelhardt. Tom was the editorial cartoonist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for 35 years.

This is a good interview. Not only does the camera linger over Tom Engelhardt's work, but he also talks about (and we get to see) St. Louis' rich history of editorial cartooning, up to and including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's designer, and current Weatherbird artist, Dan Martin.

Here's the video about Tom Engelhardt. It runs about 6 minutes.

Dan Martin's put together a history of St. Louis cartoonists in his book SEE YOU IN THE FUNNY PAPERS: THE RICH TRADITION OF ST. LOUIS CARTOONING.

Here's Dan:
"Six years ago, when I was digging through the Post archives doing research for the Weatherbird’s 100th birthday, I was constantly stumbling across one famous cartoonist after another that had a St. Louis connection. What I found most interesting was how famous some of these great artists were, yet today are totally forgotten except to historians."
- from "You and Blondie at the Station" by Eddie Roth at St. Louis Today/Post-Dispatch site

Some of the names are: Lee Falk, Clare Briggs, Phil Davis, Clare Victor "Dwig" Dwiggins, Daniel Fitzpatrick, Al Hirschfeld, Joseph Keppler, George McManus, Harry Tuthill, Mort Walker, Chic Young, Elmer Simms Campbell, Mike Peters, Mary Engelbreit, Kevin Belford, Glenn and Gary McCoy, and Dan Zettwoch. To celebrate the book's publication, Dan is curating an exhibit of original cartoons by these great cartoonists at the Bellweather Gallery through the end of August 2008

Related: Dan Martin and the history of the St. Louis Weatherbird from the Great Lakes Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society Web site.

Also related: Dan Martin's Postcard from Mound City feature.

National Cartoonists Society Visits Veterans in US and Abroad

Tom Richmond has the story on his blog:

"The National Cartoonists Society and the National Cartoonist Society Foundation has been working with “Broadside” (Naval Times) cartoonist Jeff Bacon and the USO on a great program that brings cartoonists from various areas to military hospitals and medical centers for them to meet, talk with and draw for U.S. veterans who are convalescing from injuries sustained in defense of our nation. It’s an inspired and inspiring program, and many cartoonists have visited injured veterans in many U.S. military hospitals around the country.

"This fall the NCS and the USO are sponsoring the first cartoonist trip outside the U.S. for this purpose."

The tentative line up of cartooning luminaries:

  • Jeff Keane (Family Circus)
  • Mike Peters (Mother Goose and Grimm, editorial cartoonist)
  • Mike Luckovich (editorial cartoonist)
  • Stephan Pastis (Pearls Before Swine)
  • Rick Kirkman (Baby Blues)
  • Walt Handelsman (editorial cartoonist)
  • and of course, Tom Richmond
The NCS began when a group of cartoonists got together regularly to visit VA hospitals in the NYC area over 50 years ago.

October 1960 STARE Magazine Cartoons

Mom always told you it wasn't polite to STARE -- by extension, STARE Magazine is impolite -- and not the kind of thing your mom would approve of. It's sexy, but in a kinda retro Austin Powers "Oh, behave!" way, with a lotta cheesecake photo essays with titles like "Cutey and the Cuticle" and "Overly N. Dowd." You get the picture. It was also a cartoon market. It was also -- surprise, surprise -- published by Marvel Comics.

STARE, Exciting and Lively Picture Pleasure! (yes, that's the whole title from the indicia) Volume 7, No. 3, October 1960 is copyright 1960 Timely Publications (nee Marvel). Steve Andre was the editor.

The digest-sized mag had a lot of good girl photos, as well as over a dozen cartoons by cartoonists I have heard of and cartoonists I have not.

Above is an atypical photo. This is Sylvia Steele, who, I know little else about.

I admire how the cartoonist Beattie is able to draw the frilly underwear and the folds in the doc's clothing.

Above: this is a poor reproduction from this yellowing magazine. The girl sure doesn't look like the kind you want to take home to mother!

Above: Henry Boltinoff, a prolific cartoonist if ever there was one, shows us the goofy-headed love life of the nerd. A tip off: the bow tie.

I don't know who Max Porter is but he knows that by putting black spotting in the boss' suit and in the woman's dress, our eyes will see who we are supposed be paying attention to, and readily get the gag.

Above: a really breezy pen (or brush) style overshadows the weak gag. Look at the juxtaposition of bodies. The cartoonist (I can't guess his name from the signature) knows his anatomy. No pun intended.

"Axsen" (?) gives us a typical goofy gag.

Above: some great B&W work in another so-so gag. Like I said, this copy of STARE has seen better days and some of the scans are not the best, regardless of Photoshop tweaking.

I really admire the working in of the shadows here, helping to pop put the figures.

What's fun about these cartoons are the sexy women who look like they enjoy being naughty. They also seem to all wear the same dark, clingy dress, with bodies like Bill Ward drew.

Above: a boss chasing the secretary cartoon. Sadly, like many corporations nowadays, the boss is outsourcing the job of chasing.