Tuesday, September 30, 2008
This ancillary show to THE OFFICE features a couple of I.T. guys and their boss, working in the basement of a corporation. It's been under development here, but no US version of "IT" is on as yet. Worth a peek, especially if you're a Britcom fan.
The British series is on IFC beginning tonight.
Related: today's NY Times article here.
I'm always listening for buzzwords: paradigm, mover & shaker, consumer confidence, etc. The above cartoon was used by the job search site The Ladders.
Above: drawing goofy old computers is always fun. The inspiration for this came from the 1950s movie DESK SET, where a goofy big computer is installed. I wondered what it would look like if installed in someone's modern day cubicle. The gag line came to me after I drew it. Punch Magazine, before its demise, published the cartoon.
Above: DESK SET inspired cartoon #2. In the movie, Katharine Hepburn has a large rhododendron in her office. She doesn't say the line above, but when I thought of the business phrase "nurturing environment," it fit the idea. The Chronicle of Higher Education snapped this one up.
Harvard Business Review published the above business culture cartoon. I also drew a "Bring a Monkey to Work Day" cartoon, but they passed on it.
Yeah, you gotta be careful when writing a blog. Harvard also ran the above cartoon, with a CEO in some serious trouble.
Above: If only.
Monday, September 29, 2008
I encourage you to email your representative. Tell the House Judiciary Committee not to adopt the Senate version. Read Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner's comments below, and then click on the link to email your rep, if you haven't already.
I've emailed and I'm going to do it again.
Please strongly consider taking action by setting aside the time NOW -- setting aside the 2 minutes it takes to send an email. The links will tell you who your rep is, no worries. Add your voice. Even if you're not political. Even if you've never emailed an elected representative before. Amateur cartoonist, wannabe illustrator, big fan of cartooning -- it doesn't matter. Now is the time.
FROM THE ILLUSTRATORS' PARTNERSHIP
Orphan Works: Legislation by Misdirection
The architects of the Orphan Works Act have already placed testaments to the bill on their websites:
Senator Leahy: http://leahy.senate.gov/
Senator Hatch: http://tinyurl.com/3jsq5o
They say this "landmark intellectual property bill" will "unlock proverbial attics of copyrighted works" whose owners can't be found. Is that really what all the fuss has been about?
No. If that were the case, the problems could be solved with a modest expansion of Fair Use. It's not proverbial closets we fear seeing unlocked. It's our commercial inventories, which would be exposed to potential infringement.
And while one Senator pointedly writes that the bill "does not dramatically restructure copyright law" (emphasis added), he's right: it doesn't "restructure" it. It merely redefines an orphaned work so broadly that it would let users infringe millions of works as orphans on the premise that some might be.
And why, if the bill is only meant to benefit libraries and museums, have the doors been opened wide for commercial usage?
A Fundamental Change to Copyright Law
For us, the saddest of these postings is on the Copyright Office website itself. http://www.copyright.gov/
But that's not the sad part. There are orphans. She's entitled to her belief. And as Register of Copyrights, she's entitled to lobby for a change in the law. But what's sad is that the Register, who we've respected for years as an advocate for creators rights, has chosen to justify this legislative scheme by mischaracterizing the honest objections that creators have raised in good faith, again and again.
Here's how she summarizes the objections of the hundreds of thousands of artists, writers, photographers and musicians who oppose this bill:
"Some critics [she writes] believe that the legislation is unfair because it will deprive copyright owners of injunctive relief, statutory damages, and actual damages. I do not agree."
Well, those are all real issues, but they've never been our focus. We've made our case clearly, simply and often.
Our objection goes to the heart of the matter. Here it is, as one of us expressed it in his opening statement at the Small Business Administration Roundtable, August 8:
"The bill's sponsors say it's merely a small adjustment to copyright law. In fact, its logic
reverses copyright law. It presumes that the public is entitled to use your work as a primary right and that it's your obligation to make your work available. If this bill passes, in the United States, copyright will no longer be the exclusive right of the copyright holder."
- From "Orphan Works: A Hobson's Choice for Artists," by Brad Holland August 8 2008
And in case the point needed elaboration:
"This exclusive right matters to artists for three reasons:
· Creative control: No one can change your work without your permission;
· Ownership: No one can use your work without your permission;
· Value: In the marketplace, your ability to sell exclusive rights to a client triples the value
of your work.
The Orphan Works Act passed by the Senate Friday explicitly voids that exclusive right as expressed in Article 9 of the Berne Copyright Convention:
(1) Authors of literary and artistic works protected by this Convention shall have the exclusive right of authorizing the reproduction of these works, in any manner or form.
(2) It shall be a matter for legislation in the countries of the Union to permit the reproduction of such works in certain special cases, provided that such reproduction does not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work and does not unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the author.
(3) Any sound or visual recording shall be considered as a reproduction for the purposes of this Convention.
There can be no responsible argument that the Orphan Works Act is consistent with Article 9 of Berne. None.
Simple reason: the Orphan Works Act does not limit exemptions to an author's exclusive right to "certain special cases." Case closed.
There are many other reasons to object to this terrible bill: it violates the entirety of Article 9. But we only need to make this single point to show that it's a radically new copyright law.
Hiding the Rabbit
The key to the Congressional magic act has been to hide an anti-copyright rabbit in an Orphan Works hat while misdirecting attention to a tedious debate about "reasonably diligent searches," injunctive relief and statutory damages.
Meanwhile the secret of the trick has been simple: redefine an orphaned work as "a work by an unlocatable author."
This new definition would permit any person to infringe any work by any artist at any time for any reason - no matter how commercial - so long as the infringer found the author sufficiently hard to find.
Since everybody can be hard for somebody to find, this voids a rights holder's exclusive right to his own property. It defines the public's right to use private property as a default position, available to anyone whenever the property owner fails to make himself sufficiently available.
This is a new definition of copyright law.
The headline on the Copyright Office website should read:
In the United States, Copyright Will No Longer Be the Exclusive Right of the Copyright Holder.
This headline would at least have the virtue of candor.
On March 13, the Register of Copyrights testified before the House IP Subcommittee. On page 1 of her testimony she said:
"Every country has orphan works and I believe that, sooner or later, every country will be motivated to consider a solution. The solution proposed by the Copyright Office is a workable one and will be of interest to other countries."
You can bet it will be of interest to other countries, because the copyrights of other countries can now be orphans in the U.S. too. The Copyright Office and the Senate have thrown down a gauntlet to the world.
Write your congressional representatives today and tell them not to follow.
-Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner, for the Board of the Illustrators' Partnership
TAKE ACTION: EMAIL CONGRESS NOW
Tell the House Judiciary Committee not to adopt the Senate version.
We've supplied a special letter for this purpose:
Please post or forward this message immediately to any interested party.
For ongoing developments, go to the Illustrators' Partnership Orphan Works Blog: http://ipaorphanworks.
Over 70 organizations oppose this bill, representing over half a million creators. Illustrators, photographers, fine artists, songwriters, musicians, and countless licensing firms all believe this bill will harm their small businesses.
The Capwiz site is open to professional creators and any member of the image-making public. International artists will find a special link, with a sample letter and instructions as to whom to write.
If you received our mail as a forwarded message, and wish to be added to our mailing list, email us at: illustratorspartnership@
Please post or forward this email to any interested party.
Courtesy of the Hairy Green Eyeball blog, here are sexist cartoons from the Winter 1948 edition of CARTOON HUMOR Magazine.
The mag has a number of cartoons, some of which are drawn by a favorite cartoonist of mine, Reamer Keller. Here are a few samples of his work from the ol' Mike Lynch Cartoons blog:
Reamer Keller Napkins
Reamer Keller from BEST CARTOONS OF THE YEAR 1964
Reamer Keller in CARTOON LAFFS
Sunday, September 28, 2008
"I’ve said my piece, as Grandma Borgman would have said.
"One week after graduating from Kenyon College 32 years ago I started drawing editorial cartoons for the Cincinnati Enquirer, awestruck to be working for the only newspaper that had ever been spread across my Price Hill family’s kitchen table. I’ve barely looked up since. Some employee! Not a single promotion in three decades. My buddy says I’m “still stuck in the same dead-end job” I got right out of college.
"But what a job .... "
More at Jim Borgman's blog.
Hat tip to my friend Sean Kelly.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Dear Cartoonists and Industry Members,
The Senate Version of the Orphan Works Bill passed via a controversial method called hotlining yesterday afternoon. It is now rumored that the US House might drop their version of the bill and pass the Senate bill while everyone is focused on the Wall Street Crisis (probably by attaching it to another bill that is urgently needed to pass).
RIGHT NOW – RIGHT NOW – did I mention Right Now! Please click on the link below and send an email to your congressman and, call them in DC (they are working this weekend) and fax. Try to get to the right legislative aide on the issue. Don’t wait. Please do it now.
PLEASE EMAIL YOUR CONGRESSMAN TODAY.
Orphan Works Opposition: Plan B
SEPT 27 Yesterday, in a cynical move, the sponsors of the Senate Orphan Works Act passed their controversial bill by a controversial practice known as hotlining.
With lawmakers scrambling to raise 700 billion dollars to bail out businesses that are "too big to fail," the Senate passed a bill that would force small copyright holders to subsidize big internet interests such as Google, which has already said it plans to use millions of the images this bill will orphan.With the meltdown on Wall Street, this is no time for Congress to concentrate our nation's copyright wealth in the hands of a few privately owned corporate databases. The contents of these databases would be more valuable than secure banking information. Yet this bill would compel creators to risk their own intellectual property to supply content to these corporate business models. That means it would be our assets at risk in the event of their failure or mismanagement.
As David Rhodes, President of the School of Visual Arts has said, the Orphan Works bill would socialize the expense of copyright protection while privatizing the profit of creative endeavors. Copyright owners neither want nor need this legislation. It will do great harm to small businesses. We already have a banking crisis. Congress should not lay the groundwork for a copyright crisis.Per--Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner, for the Illustrators' Partnership
NOW FOR PLAN B We MUST try to stop the House Judiciary Committee from folding their bill (HR5889) and adopting the Senate version.
PLEASE EMAIL YOUR CONGRESSMAN TODAY.
If you've done it before, do it again!
It takes only a minute to use our new special letter.
Click on the link below, enter your zip code, and take the next steps.Thanks to all of you who heeded the call to action yesterday. http://capwiz.com/illustratorspartnership/issues/alert/?alertid=11980321
Here’s info on what hotlining by unanimous consent vote is:http://coburn.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=HoldItems.Home
Tom Spurgeon has a bio here. Here's a snippet:
"Wilder co-created the Foreign Legion-based gag strip in 1975 with artist Bill Rechin and the late Brant Parker of Wizard of Id fame. According to Editor & Publisher, the feature still boasts 200 clients. It is carried by King Features.
"Rechin and Wilder also launched a sport-related panel strip called Out Of Bounds after Crock was up in running. It did not last. There have been multiple Crock-related books including 1979's Crock (Ballantine) and several titles published with Hodder & Stoughton and Coronet in the UK.
"Wilder was an artist in addition to being a writer. He earned a degree from East Tennessee State and took courses at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He was during a long and varied career a technical illustrator and a visual-information specialist at the CIA. His newspaper obituary states that he lived in Fredericksburg, Virginia, having moved there from Knoxville in the mid-1960s to take the CIA position.
"He was a member of the National Cartoonists Society and the National Press Club."
Thanks to Mike Rhodes for the information.
I had read about cartoonists in books and magazines. I had seen photos from the legendary National Cartoonists Society parties (thanks to Cartoonist PROfiles magazine). But all those events took place in big cities, and I lived, as I mentioned in last week's interview, in "one of those states that the planes fly over."
In 2009, in Okoboji, Iowa, there will be a big cartoon gallery show -- the Toon Award Exhibition -- the highlight of which is a festival weekend on April 24th and 25th, 2009.
But I'm burying the lead --
After a Saturday night dinner, there will be the very first Toon Awards (designed by Chris Browne), presented to an outstanding student cartoonist.
The judges for the Toon Award will be:
- Chris Browne - Hagar the Horrible
- Tom Richmond - Mad Magazine
- Oliver "Revilo" Christianson - Hallmark Cards
- Buck Jones - Humorous Illustrator
- Paul Fell - Editorial Cartoonist
- Ed Baker - Emmy award winning storyboard animator
This will be a terrific event at a beautiful venue, the Lakes Art Center. Ken Alvine, a great pro, is the man behind the scenes, putting this together. On Saturday, Ken and Jim Allen will be heading up seperate chats, and veteran gag cartoonist and friend Dave Carpenter will be talking about drawing cartoons for magazines.
This will be a great, friendly event for kids, parents and professionals. Come on down. And none of those "the plane flys over us" kinda excuses anymore.
I'll post more information as it becomes available.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
"No, I am not available as a downloadable podcast."
Yesterday I showed 5 cartoons I mailed to Women's World magazine and asked you to guess which one was bought. Most of you got it right! It's the podcast one, above.
I'm surprised as well. I liked the guy playing videogames (below) better, but I suppose it infers a divorced parent and maybe that's not the WW image. I don't know.
"I swear he's just dating me for my son's video games."
Thanks so much to those who played along.
A big tip o' the turban to Steven L. Cloud!
UPDATE: And it should be pointed out that THE NATION magazine adds its own take on the cover with its September, 29, 2008 issue.
Hat tip to Dad for the above! I should have mentioned this, having seen the magazine this past week, but I missed it. The son is always learning from the father.
Below is Part One, with links to the other parts:
Please go and read The Bu$ine$$ of Illu$tration: Feature Syndicates from the always great Today's Inspiration blog by Leif Peng.
Related: an excerpt from SCORCHY SMITH AND THE ART OF NOEL SICKLES from Today's Inspiration.
When Noel Sickles gave up his strip, Scorchy Smith, it was because of a combination of "restlessness, deadlines, boredom and money," according to biographer Bruce Canwell. In an online excerpt of an interview from The Comics Journal #242, Sickles himself mentions that his salary at the beginning of his three-year stint on the strip was $47.50 per week. In spite of his managing to negotiate it to a respectable $125 a week, Sickles quit the strip in 1936 to pursue a career in magazine illustration.
Because people will ask you.
How do you make a living giving away your talent for free to anyone who asks?
There is a business model for this, and there are some creators who are giving away their work and getting money. This is achieved by ancillary sales for a revenue stream.
There is more than one Webcomic that gives away its cartoons, and looks to make money from t-shirt sales, mugs, and even paper collections of what you can see online for free.
This may take years. Years to build an audience, years to create the work, push the hype, and years to convert a percentage of those thousands of eyeballs looking at your stuff into money.
But it is possible.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I thought I would share with you five cartoons from that submission package (fifteen is too many to wade through). So, take a look at the five below and see if you can guess which one was bought.
Of course, you can cheat by going to the grocery store check out to see which one made it, but that would be cheating and cheaters never prosper.
Above: an overly safe parent cartoon.
"I swear he's just dating me for my son's video games."
This one is just silly and the "guy as a big kid" kinda character is always welcome.
"Sorry, no ice cream. Only those energy efficient light bulbs"
I like the above cartoon, but I have a feeling they have seen a lot of the energy efficient bulb gags and are bored to death with them.
"Well, the kiss didn't work. How about a cuddle?"
Unwanted interspecies sexual overtures! Too risky? Just edgy enough?
Tomorrow: the winner is revealed.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Jeff Kinney Talks Diary of a Wimpy Kid:
Jeff Kinney Explains Writing Diary of a Wimpy Kid:
- The late Doug Marlette talks about "Kudzu," which had just launched the year before
- Jim Unger, in the only video I've ever seen of him, talks about "Herman," and we see him draw (with a Sharpie)
- Jim Davis talks about getting ideas for "Garfield," as an assistant works inking directly behind him. Observant viewers will note that there is Vince Guaraldi "Peanuts" music in the background of this piece.
- Editorial cartoonist Sam "Scrawls" Rawls talks about picking on both parties
- Cartoonist Cal Warlick, the multiple Emmy Award winning WAGA staff cartoonist at the time, and later, an illustrator and editorial cartoonist
- And the video ends with 2 college age guys. Art Roche and David Theall, whose then-college newspaper strip "Comfortable Ignorance" was (they hoped) poised to be the next syndicated winner (following the same path as "Doonesbury" and "Bloom County")
Funny to think that the little baby with his Mom that opens this segment is now as old as the Mom. The video runs just under 7 minutes.
From left: Nick Meglin, Frank Frazetta and NCS President Jeff Keane. Photo by Jack Pittman.
Jack Pittman, the man who put together the event, shares his photos.
My friend Gerry Mooney also shares his photos from the National Cartoonists Society's tribute to Frank Frazetta.
Previously: Some gorgeous scans from the one of a kind NCS Frazetta Tribute Book
The New Jersey chapter of the National Cartoonist Society has posted some photos from the August 30, 2008 get together at the Frank Frazetta Art Gallery.
Related: Steve Dunn reviews TELLING STORIES: THE COMIC ART OF FRANK FRAZETTA in the September 21, 2008 issue of The Oregonian.
Editorial cartoonist Daryl Cagle shares a lot of frequently asked questions about him, and editorial cartoons today at his Cagle's Web Log. Here's but a small snippet:
I have to write a paper on the career I want to go into and I chose cartooning. Please tell me:
1) How much money do you make?
2) How much education was required for you to get your job?
3) How much time does it take you to draw a cartoon?
4) How did you get into this business?
1) Cartoonists make anything between $0 per year and $50,000,000 per year just like actors, musicians and basketball players. And, like actors, musicians and basketball players, most cartoonists make closer to $0 than $50,000,000.
2) No education is required, only quality of work and some business acumen but that is true of most careers. Education is very important and it is unusual for anyone to be successful without a good education.
3) All my life. Some cartoonists brag about drawing quickly; I think this diminishes the value of their work in the eyes of their editors and readers. Good cartoonists think about their work all the time and spend a lit of time working to improve.
4) I started as a general illustrator, and then worked as a cartoon illustrator, then I worked as a toy inventor, I did a syndicated cartoon, then editorial cartoons. I drew other people's characters in other people's styles, working on projects for others before my career got to the point that I could draw as I wanted.
Above photo by Genaro Molina nicked from the article "Political Cartoons: Dynamite or Dinosaurs" from the LA Times.
H/t to Daryl for this one. Thanks, Daryl! Some great reading!
Friday, September 19, 2008
Thanks for listening in to my interview, now available to stream or download, at the Mr. Media site.
I especially appreciate all of you who took a moment to type a question to us. Thank you so much. Good weekend.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
We'll be talking about the craft and the business of cartooning.
If you miss it, no worries. You can stream or download the podcast anytime afterward.
And, if you're able to catch it while the interview is going on live, you may participate by calling in or emailing with some comments.
A big thanks to my friends who promoted this on their sites. I really appreciate!
Above: this was drawn when there was a movement to allow cell phones on planes. The only solid black things here are the cell phones themselves, all in a rough left to right row, and then we have our last black shape. This one was held by a couple markets because it was funny, but joking about weapons in planes is a no no.
Above: a silent 3 panels. That's a tic tac toe game in the last drawing.
Wordless cartoons are the most difficult. They have to focus on universally understood behavior. Above: unless you know about that plane with the shark teeth on it from WWII, then the reference is lost.
Above: I remember drawing this very fast to get it out in time.
Above: a snowblower cartoon. When I bought my first snowblower last year, I started drawing snowblower cartoons. Click to supersize this one.
Above: sweet little old lady sweater v. hip guy tattoo.
Oh hai! NYC trashed all of its "DON'T WALK" signs for the white hand/red hand universal signs a couple of years ago.
I like drawing dogs with those simpy smiles on their faces. My mother always said, about our dear, sweet, beloved family dog Max, He may be dumb, but he's sneaky!
Above: a subverted juxtaposition cartoon. This is more of a smile than a chuckle.
Above: an old joke. If I was to put a word here, I would have the bird crying, "Mama!"
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Stan Goldberg, who has been drawing Archie since 1968, chats with Southampton Press writer Aimee Fitzpatrick Martin about his life and career. His wonderful wife Pauline talks about their Southampton cottage, which is the summer home of the Goldbergs.
“'My studio in Queens is much bigger, but I’m perfectly content with this small desk,' he said of the simple wooden work space, outfitted with only a desk lamp, ruler and pencil sketches for a 'Battle of the Bands Competition' for an upcoming Archie comic. 'You’ll notice there’s no computer. This new electric pencil sharpener is about as technical as I get.'”There is more here than usual for a newspaper article. There is some background about Stan that I only learned after knowing him for the past seven years. Stan was, for instance, the fellow who decided on the costume colors for all of the seminal Marvel Comics characters. As he has told me, it's primary colors (red, blue) for the heroes and tertiary colors (purple, brown) for the villains.
The article also talks candidly about the Goldberg family, their two sons and grandkids, as well as their daughter, who "at the age of 19 was raped and murdered in 1984 ...."
"Ms. Goldberg explained. 'After a tragedy like that happens, your life changes forever, but you find a way to go on.'In addition to the article are 2 dozen photos of their place taken by Dana Shaw.
"Fortunately, the couple has found some solace through their involvement in a national organization, Parents of Murdered Children, and through their close connection with each other and their varied travels."
A big tip of the hat to Stan and Pauline Goldberg for letting me know about this profile.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
And don't forget that I'll be interviewed in a live Web podcast on Friday at 2pm EST by Mr. Media.
Above: cunning and deception is the way to vet your man in the 21st century. That's a hanging plant on the right. Looking at it now, it just looks weird, half-drawn and hanging there like that.
Above: an old wheeze is ever there was one. If I was to draw a second panel, it would be the woman spouting off a thousand word screed (with mucho potty language) about all the things she's done for him over the past year.
Above: in a Mike Lynch Cartoon, giving a guy a chin pube means he's a poser.
Above: I think I actually said this one time while "jogging" (more like a fast, flailing walk) down Dean Street in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.
Above: Oh, yeah. I don't know about you, but this is sooooo true for me. Long relationships hold all the standard plot elements of an episode of the 1960s PATTY DUKE SHOW; the pair start to sound alike, look alike, etc.
Above: OK, I don't know if this "reads," but there was a building with these enormous concrete planters by the entrance in Brooklyn (I think it may be Trade Loeffler's) and for some odd reason that's what I chose to draw in this cartoon. I was just into drawing wacky planters!
Above is our Brooklyn bedroom, with the dresser on one side and the closet, with its sliding doors, on the other. I'm not a rock music fan, so this is not a typical conversation. But, substitute "old comic books," and we're on the right track.
Above: Another clueless guy who isn't going to get another date with a nice woman. This is a good use of wash.
Above: this was an entry for a "call center contest." A call center is one of those places that handles 1-800 phone calls. Whenever you make those calls, you get that recording telling you that this may be recorded for quality assurance. The last time I called a 1-800 number, it was to AT&T Customer Service. I was angry and, in turn, I made them angry (a long story I'll save for those long winter evenings, my friend) and Melissa (yes, I remember her name), the Customer Service Rep, hung up on me with a resounding yelp and a click!
I'm now with Vonage.
Above: a snarky couple with a sexist and funny comment. Dig their dinky eyeglasses. If you think that the eyeglasses are silly, then you are not cool.
Above: And why do they all have that flippy hair?
Above: someone that I always thought was pretty sharp looked and looked at the cartoon before asking, And what were those three little words?
This one has the dubious distinction of being held by Playboy as well as by the supermarket tabloid First for Women. Neither one of them decided to buy it.
Above: I agree. Staying out late and partying is just way to exhausting. Let's settle down and stay home and watch old movies and eat fatty snacks.
Above: I like these two. They seem like they could be a fun couple. The exterior is based on my next door neighbor's stoop in Brooklyn.
Above: Here she is cooking for both of them, and he's fooling around selfishly with a gadget.