Friday, January 30, 2009

NCS Division Awards: Deadline Today

More information here.

Photo: a glittering display of plaques from last year's NCS Reubens weekend.

Video: Jackie Ormes

Author Nancy Goldstein talks about Jackie Ormes, the first African-American female cartoonist, in this interview from KMBC.

Congratulions, Atomic Robo! UPDATED

Congrats to fellow New Hampshire cartoonist Steve Wegener who, along with writer Brian Clevinger, made the ALA's 2009 Top Ten Great Graphic Novels for Teens list with their ATOMIC ROBO AND THE FIGHTIN' SCIENTISTS OF TELSADYNE book.

UPDATED: I mean Scott Wegener. Not Steve. Sorry, Scott.


James Parker writes a primer to BATTLESTAR GALACTICA in this month's Atlantic. After explaining that the show is based on a chilly, silly 1970s space opera, he continues, "the retooled Battlestar Galactica has plunged into the burning issues of the day. Suicide bombers, torture, occupation, stolen elections. Homosexuality, reproductive rights, religious fundamentalism, genocide."

I especially liked this paragraph:

Of course, not everybody approves of the new direction. Dirk Benedict, who in the original series played the satyric flying ace and cigar-smoker Starbuck, was appalled to discover that his character had been reconceived as a woman—an angry and outspoken woman (Katee Sackhoff) at that, smoking a goddamned cigar! It was feminism, it was the humorless temper of the times—and from his home in the great state of Montana, the old trouper issued a counterblast. “The creative artists have lost and the Suits have won,” he declared in an essay for the May 2004 issue of the magazine Dreamwatch. “Suits. Administrators. Technocrats. Metro-sexual money-men (and women) who create formulas to guarantee profit margins.” The title of the essay was “Starbuck: Lost in Castration.” (Other members of the old guard proved more tractable. Richard Hatch, the original Captain Apollo, found a new role—while preserving, remarkably, the old hairstyle—as Tom Zarek, a William Ayers–like bomb-thrower who rehabilitates himself and becomes vice president.)

I post this here because I haven't seen mention of this article on any blogs, and it's nice to get the tip of the hat on a science fiction TV show from the lofty literary pillars of The Atlantic.

Brady is right: the show had some great, tough, insightful episodes. But I haven't seen any in a while. I've heard that the producers have been busy with developing a new show, a prequel program titled CAPRICA. Ever since I heard that, the program has pulled out all stops, relying on shock after shock; the deaths of supporting characters, the conceit that recurring characters are really evil Cylons. The last one, which was hinted at for weeks, was just silly. Maybe they think my jaw will drop; well, it did, but in a shark-jumpy reaction.

Anyone can write a good first act. The show, like LOST or TWIN PEAKS or THE PRISONER, has no third act. In its final season, now playing out on the Sci Fi channel, BSG is spinning plates, cooking up new mysteries and intrigues at this time. These events don't look like the tying up of loose ends. I hope I'm wrong. I like the show and would love to see a strong finish.

Ron Moore, the fellow who "reimagined" the series, wrote and (for the first time) directed last week's episode. I hope he's returned to wrap up the series in a sensible way that rewards its fans.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Shatner Remembers Ricardo Montalban

Ooh. And he yells, "Khannnn!!!" once more. Link via

More at Trekmovie.

Great Comic Strip Reprint Books

So many!
Just saw this Q&A with Dean Mullaney about the new comic strip reprint books coming ahead at IDW Publishing. The whole interview, by Tom Mason, is at Comics411.

TOM: What are the next books coming up?

DEAN: Bruce Canwell and I are finishing up the final two “Terry” books, and working on the next few volumes of “Little Orphan Annie.” Then, I’m taking over as editor and designer of IDW’s “Dick Tracy” with volume 7—just in time to play in the sandbox with BB Eyes, Pruneface, Flattop, Mrs. Pruneface, The Mole, and the heyday of Chester Gould’s gallery of grotesque rogues. After that, I have “The Complete Rip Kirby” by Alex Raymond which we’re shooting from syndicate proofs (!) and the official “Bringing Up Father“ with the Sunday pages in color.

Really looking forward to Bringing Up Father! Big hat tip to Tom Spurgeon at Comics Reporter.

Now, all this reminds me that there are a lot of reprint projects out there.

And, of course, there's NBM's "Forever Nuts" hardcover series of reprints with its release of Bud Fisher's MUTT & JEFF and Frederick Burr Opper's HAPPY HOOLIGAN.

And let's not forget about the incredible high quality of the Classic Comics Press releases: Stan Drake's THE HEART OF JULIET JONES, Leonard Starr's MARY PERKINS ON STAGE and DONDI by Gus Edson & Irwin Hasen.

And the works of Clare Briggs, Frank King, Tove Jansson and (very soon) Canadian cartoonist Doug Wright, as well as prolific comics creator John Stanley are in print at Drawn & Quarterly.

And, speaking of John Stanley, the LITTLE LULU series of comics are in their 4th year of being reprinted by Dark Horse.

And then there's the Pacific Comics Club. Where else could you find Frank Godwin's Connie strip?

And then there's the PEANUTS hardcover series, Feiffer, Segar's POPEYE, DENNIS THE MENACE, PRINCE VALIANT and more at Fantagraphics.

I'm not mentioning all the great reprints that DC and Marvel have done -- in both expensive and inexpensive editions.

Gee whiz. This was going to be a short entry, but there are a lot of great reprints out there.

Oh, and I heard there's a Roy Crane BUZ SAWYER project in the works somewhere.

THE NAKED EYE by Sam Cobean

Harry Lee Green has scans from cartoonist Sam Cobean's book THE NAKED EYE. Go and look at this man's wonderful work!

More about Sam Cobean here.

Big tip of the hat to Journalista!


Do you want to be considered for a cartooning award? Time to get your cartoons, illustrations, editorial cartoons, comic book work and so on and so on -- all packed up and sent in to one of the National Cartoonists Society chapter chairs.

The entry should be postmarked no later than Friday, January, 30, 2009.

The forms & details are here.

Contact me if you have any concerns.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Richard Thompson on Pen Nibs

An wonderful bit of writing, both funny and informative, about pen nibs, from Richard Thompson's blog. You know, NIBS! The kind you dip in the inkwell; their history, and the good, the bad and the splattery.

From his entry:

"It's usually immediately apparent how well the nib is going to perform, just by the feel of it dragging on the paper, or the tiny variations in shape of the tines. It's this finely calibrated nib-sense that makes my wife's eyes roll audibly in her head if I so much as say the word 'nib.'"

NCS Division Awards DEADLINE Three Days

Yup, 3 days until deadline for the National Cartoonists Society Division Awards. (Unless, of course, you are reading this at some point in the future.) The deadline is Friday, January 30, 2009.

The awards are by and for professional cartoonists in a dozen different disciplines. You do not have to be a member to have your cartoons considered. You may submit the work of others. All information, including the application and bio forms, is here.

ALICE IN WONDERLAND Illustrations Other Than Tenniel

Asian blogger Ofellabuta showcases the many illustrators who have drawn Lewis Carroll's ALICE IN WONDERLAND books through the years. Mary Blair is a standout here.

No Arthur Rackham yet, but here's hoping he's in the pipeline. Above is a reproduction of one of his ALICE drawings. I used to have a print of this over my board for many years; since high school I think. (It was misplaced during a move.)

Hat tip to Journalista!

Cartoonists and Gag Writers

Here's an essay on gag writers and cartoonists that I wrote in 2006. This topic has been of interest recently (i.e., Google Analytics tells me people have been reading it). I've edited it slightly to update some links.

Above: Lee Lorenz and one of his cartoons from a 1960s hardcover giveaway cartoon collection titled Compliments of Your Volkswagen Dealer.
Lee Lorenz, cartoon editor of the New Yorker since 1973, says, "The biggest change over my career — I started here as a cartoonist in 1958 — is that the generation of cartoonists that came to prominence in the sixties and seventies all do their own writing. For the first twenty-five years of the New Yorker, captions were nearly always written by people other than the artists — writers on the staff or outside gag writers. — Behind the Cartoonist by Sarah Werner, Smithsonian Magazine, June 1995

My cartoonist pal Tony Murphy, whose "It's All About You" comic strip was syndicated last year, and can also be seen online, asked my opinion about gag writers. He wrote in an email:

I'd be interested to know more about why the NYer editor then was deciding he wanted cartoonists who could write their own material. In other words, why didn't that happen ten years earlier — or later?

A good question! I don't know, but being a good American, I'm lousy with ill informed opinions and my right to pontificate about 'em

In 1925, when the NYer mag began, Harold Ross, who as we all know started the magazine, wanted a different type of cartoon. So many of the cartoons had dialogue back then. Not just the one line, but 2 or more lines of dialogue. It was clunky looking.

Voice from bank — Hey, mister, your oars are driftin' away!
Contented lover — That's all right. We don't need 'em any more.

These cartoons are from Judge magazine, a leading humor mag if the 19th century, created by Puck magazine contributors who jumped ship to create a rival humor magazine.


Gamin — Carry your bag for a nickel, mister.

Pater — No, never mind, boy.

Gamin — Carry the kind fer a quarter.

(Ahh, the street urchin gag! So rarely seen these days!)

E.B. White is generally credited with crafting the typical one-line New Yorker style cartoon. Cartoon captions were routinely handed over to White or Thurber for "tinkering."

It was never easy, and still isn't, for a new artist to break in to the New Yorker. Some of those whose names have become well known tried for months, or even longer, sending in dozens of rough sketches week after week. If an unknown's caption, or sketch, seemed promising, it was often bought and turned over to an established staff cartoonist. Arno usually got the cream of the crop; the wonderful Mary Petty has never worked from any idea other than her own; James Reid Parker did most of Helen Hokinson's captions; and other artists either had their own gagmen or subsisted on original inspiration, fortified by captions and ideas sent in by outsiders or developed by the staff. — The Years With Ross by James Thurber

I believe that since the NYer was run by writers and editors, then the approach with cartoons was the same: Great cartoons are not written, they are rewritten and rewritten and edited and poked and prodded at by many on the staff. It's odd to think that Charles Addams had writers who would write for his distinctive style of humor. But this is all part of the branding of these different cartoonists. James Reid Parker, who wrote the introduction of The Hokinson Festival cartoon collection, is cited on the book jacket as the guy "who wrote most of the original captions" of her cartoons. Gag writers are, as Ms. Wernick writes, "an open secret of the cartoon business."

Most gag cartoonists buy some of their ideas from outside sources. They pay the writer 25 percent of what the cartoon earns and keep 75 percent for themselves. Only the cartoonist signs the cartoon. — Cartooning by Roy Paul Nelson

"Any professional humorist is out of his mind if he doesn't surround himself with talented writers. Otherwise you get to the bottom of your own barrel too quickly," says Hank Ketcham in Sarah Wernick's Smithsonian article.

One cartoonist I know who uses more than 3 dozen gag writers, says they allow him to be more prolific. And a gag writer colleague of mine would point out that the cut for gag writers is now 30%. Or at least it is in NYC.

I don't use gag writers myself, despite getting approached by them. I like Dave Coverly's note to gag writers at his Speedbump site:

Note to Gag Writers: I don't buy cartoon ideas. It's nothing against you, I'm sure you're damn funny. I just don't. I like the daydreaming part of my job too much.

Bob Mankoff, who took over the cartoon editor position at the NYer after Lorenz, says that there are people who like to draw and there are people who like to write. Cartoonists are the rare combination of those two types.


"Gag Writers Are Funny People" by Larc Relhoc from Mother Earth news, 1970.

Rod McKie interviews prolific gag writer and cartoonist Rex "Baloo" May on his Cartoon Fiend blog

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Don Orehek & "A CRACKED Look at an Unemployment Office"

When people are worried about the future, they look to cultural touchstones for guidance. In this case, look no further than the one and only Don Orehek and his drawings for "A CRACKED Look at an Unemployment Office."

Above is a detail from his gatefold drawing. Just look at those characters. I love Don's work. So expressive, the lines full of the love of drawing.

Ahh, CRACKED. "the World's Humorest Funny Magazine." Remember CRACKED? Above is the cover of CRACKED No. 139, January 1976. Copyright 1976 by Major Magazines Inc. It's an expertly drawn cover by John Severin, who was probably the busiest of the stable of CRACKED artists. His ability to caricature is very much on the mark, without resorting to outlandish visual hyperbole. He did the bulk of the CRACKED cover art for 40 years.

And, below, is "A CRACKED Look at an Unemployment Office," drawn by Don Orehek, with writing by one of the stable of writers at CRACKED. The articles are, unlike MAD, uncredited. Joe Catalano, George Gladir and Bob Rafferty are listed as the writers on the masthead. Click the below to super-size this great work by Don:

And that's not all. If Severin was the busiest artist bee at CRACKED, than Don was absolutely no slouch. He has nine pages in this 52 page issue.

Here are just three samples from one four page feature titled "CRACKED Looks at the World of Superdom."

Above and below, a smartly dressed woman (dig that hat!) has a problem that she has learned to solve.

And we have the below comment on those who put on tights and capes and prance around ....

I really was just going to post the Unemployment gatefold above, but I got carried away by sharing Don's terrific cartoon art.

You can see Don's cartoons regularly in Playboy magazine.

Monday, January 26, 2009

National Cartoonists Society Division Awards Deadline Friday

The deadline for the NCS Division Awards is Friday. January 30, 2009.

More info. on submitting here.

Dennis the Menace Meets Jewish Neighbors (1971)

DENNIS THE MENACE comic books were part of kids' reading for decades. Now gone, the comic books, usually ghosted by long-time assistant to Hank Ketcham Mr. Al Wiseman, were well distributed, in groceries, drugstores and barbershops. There were regular DTM issues, along with larger (and more pricey) specials, and the smaller digest comics.

In 1971, at a Rexall Drug Store in Lawrence, KS, I spent 35 cents on an issue of the DENNIS THE MENACE BONUS MAGAZINE SERIES No. 99, October 1971 (a magazine published 12 times a year, once a month with the exception of September, November and December, and twice in June, July and October).

In a five page story "Christmas Happy Holidays," I found out about the new milkman in Dennis' neighborhood.

Thanks to Mssrs. Ketcham and Wiseman, I learned about Jewish people via Dennis. The milkman and his son explained that they were Jews, and the regular milkman wanted Christmas off and they, celebrated Hanukkah instead of Christmas, etc. They told Dennis about their religion.

This was all completely new information to me. What can I say? I lived in a small town in Kansas! (I also did not understand what a golf bag was, so the cover gag was a complete non sequitor to me at the time.)

By chance, I found a copy of this story in a comic book at an antique store in nearby Wells, ME. And here it is.

Related Links:

Fred Hembeck on Al Wiseman and Fred Toole

Bill Alger's Al Wiseman site

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Newspapers Are Dead, Long Live Newspapers

The local New Hampshire Public Radio call-in program "The Exchange," hosted by Laura Knoy, had a program on January 22 (a podcast is on this page) about the state of the newspaper industry in this area (ME, NH & MA).

Upshot: the local, free newspapers are doing just fine.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

MAD MAGAZINE Now Quarterly

The venerable MAD MAGAZINE, which was, along with DC Comics staffers, hit with layoffs on Friday, will become a quarterly publication beginning with issue #500. Sister publications MAD KIDS and MAD CLASSICS will cease production immediately.

Tom Richmond blogs about the news here, and promises he'll have more to say this coming week. Certainly, this is sad news for those who lost their jobs, and all who are affected by the reduced publication schedule.

I heard the news yesterday afternoon, and, just by chance, the phone rang. It was Mell Lazarus calling from California. He wasn't calling about this. He was calling about an upcoming National Cartoonists Society meeting. We talked NCS business for a minute and then chatted about things. He hadn't heard about MAD, but then he said that at least MAD is still alive.

So, there, as Mell points out, is a silver lining.

MAD isn't dead. Not yet.

So go buy a copy!

Friday, January 23, 2009

NCS Division Awards DEADLINE One Week

Friday, January 30th is the deadline to mail your submission in for consideration in this year's National Cartoonists Society Division Awards. That is, if you are reading this on Friday, January 23, one week from now.

The NCS Awards are voted on by professional cartoonist members of the National Cartoonists Society. It is free to enter, and it is not required that you are an NCS member to qualify.

Information on where to send your entry, including the forms to download & print, here at the NCS site.

There are a dozen divisional categories:











The work should have been published between December 1, 2007 and December 31, 2008. You may enter more than one category.

Each submission must be accompanied by:

If you have any questions, please email me, Mike Lynch, the NCS Awards Coordinator: fatcats3 [at] Please write "NCS Awards" in the subject line. Thanks.

The winners will be announced at the 63rd Annual Reuben Awards Dinner in Hollywood, California on May 23, 2009.

The new NCS blog has all the details here.

Lost Cat Redux

When I posted about a lost cat named Puddy, I did not expect an ending.

Puddy got away from his owner at the local vet's office. She panicked while being transported from the vet's office to the car in the vet's own parking lot. She bolted into the surrounding woods on December 4, 2008. Despite calling her name, and looking for days, she was gone. Vanished in the trees.

I know Puddy's favorite person in that family because he lives in the same town, and participated in a cartooning class of mine last year. When his Mom phoned to tell me Puddy was missing, and to keep my eyes open, I thought I would do my bit by posting a photo and passing along the word.

The family posted photos in town, as well as online.

Since Puddy ran into the woods, winter came down hard over the holiday season, with a series of harsh weather systems, beginning with a devastating ice storm. I can only imagine my friend's feelings of loss.

When his Mom phoned over the weekend, I couldn't believe what she said: "We found Puddy!"

She told me what had happened just last week: a woman had been to the vet's office, seen the "missing cat" photo that had been posted on the wall for five weeks, and phoned them. The woman told them that there was a cat who looked very much like Puddy that had taken up residence in her barn, and would they, possibly, like to drive over and see?

And, so, here is the ending that I didn't think would come: Puddy and her family were reunited. "If only she could talk," they told me. Puddy is very, very happy or be back. I called last night to for an update. She's a little dehydrated, I was told, but she's filling out fast.

Derek Kirk Kim on AVATAR Movie Casting

Casting for a live action movie THE LAST AIRBENDER was announced on Monday. The movie is based on the animated TV series AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER. The TV show features Asian characters, yet Hollywood has cast this motion picture with young white people.

Award winning graphic novelist Derek Kirk Kim cites that although this week saw a "new day in politics, [it's the] same old racist world on the silver screen."

From his blog is a personal story:

When my brother and I were in high school, our favorite class was Drama. While we were rehearsing for the next day's class or participating in a school play or dancing it up at the after party, I don't think there was anything we liked more. During such times, it even surpassed our love of—dare I say it—comics. But we never even entertained the notion of actually pursuing it as a career. Not because we didn't want to, but because we had too much pride to spend our entire lives pretending to be Long Duk Dong, or a Chinese food delivery boy with one line, or a Kato to some Green Hornet. Or even worse, having our hearts broken over and over going after roles that specifically call for Asian Americans like "Avatar, The Last Airbender" only to see them go to white actors. Back in my Drama days in high school, I used to dream of being white so I could pursue acting.

With discrimination like this "Avatar" casting continuing to happen uncontested in Hollywood, my future kids will nurse the same pitiful wish.

And it infuriates me.

I don't watch the show, so there's a lot I don't know here. I do know that Hollywood only sees the color of money, and if Hollywood feels that the white kids threaten a significant opportunity to build a lucrative franchise, then it may reconsider its options. At this time, it does hear those voices criticizing its cast.

One more snippet from Derek's blog; an excellent analogy:
Or let me draw a closer parallel—imagine if someone had made a “fantasy” movie in which the entire world was built around African culture. Everyone is wearing ancient African clothes, African hats, eating traditional African food, writing in an African language, living in African homes, all encompassed in an African landscape...

...but everyone is white.
How offensive, insulting, and disrespectful would that be toward Africans and African Americans? How much more offensive would it be if only the heroes were white and all the villains and background characters were African American?

More here, including information on a letter writing campaign.

My thanks to Derek for letting me know about this.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Brian Fies: Words & Pictures Podcast

This is a wonderful time to be a cartoonist. There is so much information out there, you can't help but be optimistic that despite all the changes in traditional ways the public receives its media, one thing is constant: people love cartoons.

They do. They love 'em.

And if you want to cartoon for a living, it's easier than ever to find out how to tell a story, how to deal with drawing challenges, how to create a successful feature, how to sell, how to deal with rejection, and so on.

Last week, my pal Brian Fies was on the Words & Pictures Podcast. He talked about a lot of topics, about his Eisner Award winning graphic novel MOM'S CANCER and his new graphic novel WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE WORLD OF TOMORROW? Brian shares his views on writing, and the creating a character driven narrative. It's a lot drawing and a lot of writing!

My thanks to Brian for this candid look at his process.

P.S. This is my 1,701st blog posting here on Blogger and it's my nerdlicious honor to spotlight my fellow Trekker Brian!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mike Lynch Cartoon Imitates Real Life

"Stop shopping for flat screens!"

I finally entered the 21st century by switching from my old big tube monitor to a flat screen. The kitties, who liked to warm their hind quarters upon the old monitor, are not happy.

Not happy at all.

The above cartoon was drawn a couple years ago.

NCS Division Awards: Deadline in 10 Days

The National Cartoonists Society invites cartoonists to submit their professional work for award consideration in any of the twelve categories listed here. You do not have to be a member of the NCS to be considered.

The deadline is January 30, 2009. The work should have been published between December 1, 2007 and December 31, 2008. You may enter more than one category.

Each submission must be accompanied by:

If you have any questions, please email me, Mike Lynch, the NCS Awards Coordinator: fatcats3 [at] Please write "NCS Awards" in the subject line. Thanks.

The winners will be announced at the 63rd Annual Reuben Awards Dinner in Hollywood, California on May 23, 2009.

The new NCS blog has all the details here.

The categories are:












Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Comicrazys presents the origin story of Captain Klutz from the pen of the one and only Don Martin.

Cheney In Wheelchair For Inauguration

Word has it that Vice President Cheney strained his back while moving some boxes yesterday, and will attend today's inauguration in a wheelchair. Let the Mr. Potter jokes commence!

Sam Cobean

Here's a quote from cartoonist Brian Savage on Sam Cobean:

I was living in San Francisco when I definitely made up my mind I was going to become a cartoonist. I was really at loose ends. I had gone to school, college, army, and I was in San Francisco just because a friend of mine was going to the University of California. We were sharing a place together, and he went on to get his Ph.D. I saw a book and it turned me on. It sounds dramatic, but this really happened. It's a book by Cobean. I fell in love with it. It just gave me an electric shock. It really was sort of like love. I said, This is what I want to do.

- Cartoonist Brian Savage in JUMPING UP AND DOWN ON THE ROOF AND THROWING BAGS OF WATER ON PEOPLE, CARTOONS & INTERVIEWS FROM SIX OF AMERICA'S FAVORITE CARTOONISTS, Introduction and Interviews by Mark Jacobs, copyright 1980 Mark Jacobs.

Below are just a few samples of Sam Cobean's work, all from the comprehensive Sam Cobean site.

Sam Cobean (1913-1951) was attending the University of Oklahoma when he entered a contest sponsored by Walt Disney. After winning the contest, Sam quit school and moved to Hollywood to work as an in-betweener on Disney's SNOW WHITE for $16 a week.

In 1942, he participated in the Screen Cartoonists Guild strike against Disney, and left the studio soon after that. He married fellow U of O student Anne McCool that same year.

Above: an illustration by Cobean. Just look at the motion in those lines.

Cobean applied for the Army & the Navy, but was classified 4F on account of his flat feet. He was, the following year, drafted into the army. There, Cobean worked on Army training films in New York City alongside fellow soldier Charles Addams. Addams introduced Cobean to New Yorker magazine cartoon editor James Geraghty. Cobean began to sell to the magazine.

While still in the Army, Cobean shared a New Yorker office with fellow cartoonist contributor Addams.

Above: another cartoon from the site. That touch of grey on the ski instructor's sweater effortlessly gives us our point of interest in the cartoon. I like the details here: the bear skin rug, the beams, the luggage, the skis leaning against a wooden pillar, the circles that Cobean's drawn to denote a big stone fireplace. It all tells us we're in a lodge.

In 1946, he was discharged and he and Anne bought a summer home in Watkins Glen, NY. Sam would be involved in the Watkins Glen Gand Prix races there. Cobean began doing a lot of work for advertising, in addition to his cartooning.

In 1950, COBEAN'S NAKED EYE, the first collection of Cobean cartoons (titled by Anne) was published.

Above: a concept sketch for the cover.

Here's the next entry from the Sam Cobean chronology page:

1951 On Monday, July 2, Sam drove his shiny red Jaguar into Watkins Glen to mail some cartoons to The New Yorker for the regular art meeting the following day. While there, he met a friend, Cameron Argetsinger, who was having car trouble. He offered him a ride home. On the return trip they were involved in an automobile accident. Cobean swerved to avoid hitting another car, lost control and hit a tree. Cobean was killed instantly. His friend survived the crash.

Sam Cobean would be a major name -- as well known as Addams -- if his career wasn't cut short by that accident. I'm glad that there's a Web site full of his work to remind us what a wonderful cartoonist he was.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Thank You for Your Good Wishes

Thank you for your good birthday wishes. I'm overwhelmed by how many people out there read this blog. I've had "happy birthdays" in the email, "many happy returns" via the Facebook, "blow those candles out" on the Twitter, etc. And even some non-Internets old fashioned paper cards sent in the US mail and old-time phone calls. Thank you, thank you!