Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Video: Bill Sienkiewicz

Comic book artist Bill Sienkiewicz talks about the role of comic book creators in the current spate of Marvel movies. I agree: the movie "Logan" is a western. Nice to see the movies utilize visionaries like Bill when creating their movies. Another reason why these Marvel films attract audiences. Take a look at his YouTube channel here.

Friday, October 12, 2018

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Cops and Robbers Gag Cartoons 1939 - 1958

As this country struggles with questions of justice and rule of law -- Dick Buchanan turns our attention to cartoons for comfort and, perhaps, some dubious guidance. Well, regardless, they're good for some retro gag cartoon laffs! Take it away, Brother Buchanan -- and thanks.



Crime in the Cartoon World of the mid-century was a popular topic. Law Enforcement was spectacularly ineffective but no more so that the bird-brained perpetrators they pursued. The victims calmly accepted their fate. Burglars used zany plans to commit their crimes. Innocent bystanders stood by innocently. And why not? As we all know, in the Cartoon World no one gets hurt.
Here some mid-century cartoons pulled from the Cartoon Clip File titled “Cops and Robbers.”

1. FRANK BEAVEN. Esquire August, 1945.

2. CEM (Charles E. Martin) 1000 Jokes Magazine November 1954-January, 1955.

3. ROLAND COE. Collier’s January 30, 1943.

4. ROBERT DAY. True Magazine October, 1958.

5. RODNEY de SARRO. Collier’s December 14, 1946.

6. EVAN DIAMOND. 1000 Jokes Magazine March-May, 1956.

7. JAY IRVING. Collier’s December 16, 1939

8. A. JOHN KAUNUS. Colliers August 23, 1947.

9. McINTYRE. American Legion Magazine March, 1947.

10. JEFFREY MONAHAN. October 26, 1956.

11. LARRY REYNOLDS. Look Magazine January 26, 1954.

12. CARL ROSE. Colliers June 3, 1944.

13. LEO SALKIN. Collier’s November 27, 1943.

14. DICK SHAW. Collier’s April 5, 1947.

15. BARNEY TOBEY. Liberty July 13, 1946.

16. BERNIE WISEMAN. The Saturday Evening Post May 8, 1948.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Video: James Thurber House

From WOSU: Columbus architectural historian Jeff Darbee visits Thurber House, where famed cartoonist, author and humorist James Thurber lived.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Video: Garry Trudeau Talks About His New Book "#Sad"

Garry Trudeau was at the Politics and Prose bookstore on October 1st to talk about his new book "#Sad."

As Trudeau reminded us in Yuge!, his collection of comics on Trump from the 1980s to 2016, the president started out as dream material for cartoonists. While he’s become more of a nightmare, the best thing to do—in addition to resisting—is to laugh. Trump still offers plenty of material, and in his new book, Trudeau, the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist behind Doonesbury who’s been practicing his craft for more than four decades, ferrets out the elements of humor in the first five hundred days of Trump’s rants, Tweets, policy flips, personnel problems, and protocol disasters.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Mike Lynch 2008 Interview Revisited

Ten years ago next month, you could walk along the streets of Manchester, NH and see my cover and interview in the free newspaper The Hippo. Yes, silly name. But The Hippo has been around for years and I thought that I would revisit the interview and see what's changed.

Skip past the "I'm not cleaning this up" illustration and you can read the whole thing there. 

For those who are interested: here are a few notes about the things that have changed:

The Markets are going, going gone. I don't spend as much time coming up with gag cartoons simply because they do not generate the kind of income that they used to. With the demise of markets like Barron's and Harvard Business Review, it's not viable to spend my resources that way. I am working on other projects. One just came out this summer. You can order an autographed book of cartoons I contributed to and edited here.

I still teach cartooning and the classes are more female than male. Most kids are interested in gaming and animation careers.

Anyway, I have to finish some financial stuff relating to the business of cartooning. Ugh. I wish drawing cartoons was just that: drawing cartoons. It's figuring out markets, promoting yourself and keeping up with the business paperwork.


Below is the text of my interview in this week's free New Hampshire paper THE HIPPO, with some cartoons and comments by me. The only correction I see is that the organization I belong to is called the National Cartoonists Society, not the National Cartooning Society. Maybe I was mumbling when I mentioned the group! The article is written by Heidi Masak, who is an old fashioned reporter who takes notes with a pen and paper, she says. My thanks to her and editor Amy Diaz for all the time and effort it must have took -- not only with me, but with all of the other cartoonists interviewed.
New Hampshire’s cartoonists
Who’s behind the funnies

By Heidi Masek

For some, it’s the first section of the newspaper they look for. For others, it’s a wry joke on a text-heavy magazine page. Then there are comic books. 

A lot of work goes into cartooning, and not many people make a career of it. Here’s a look at some of New Hampshire’s top comic creators.

Mike Lynch

“Cartooning has always been the one constant in my life,” said Mike Lynch of Milton. The Wall Street Journal, New York Daily News, Harvard Business Review, Playboy and Reader’s Digest are among his clients for single-panel magazine cartoons. 

As a kid, he drew on the wall. At first he was yelled at. Then his mother started putting paper up on the wall and inviting other kids over for drawing parties. 

“I tried to get away from it, but I was unhappy,” Lynch said. Ten years ago, he quit “real jobs” to be a full-time cartoonist, he said. He worked as an education administrator for a music conservatory in Manhattan for seven years, and in computer graphics for Wall Street companies for five.

Lynch took a few drawing classes at Parsons School of Design when he moved to New York about 21 years ago. Born in Iowa, he went to college in Ohio where his father taught. 

When people say, “I am a cartoonist,” it can many anything from drawing Dilbert to animating Sponge Bob, Lynch said. 

Lynch referenced playwright and screenwriter Martin McDonagh when he explained how he ended up focusing on single-panels for magazines. McDonagh got a book on writing and the first chapter was on writing plays. He wrote one, and it was produced. The second chapter was on writing for TV, but that didn’t work out. Lynch has tried to sell comic strips, but the longer form didn’t seem to work out.

Lynch said he writes about 30 “gags” per week. “Ten or 15, I’ll throw out.” He’ll “draw up” 10 or 15 and mail them to the Wall Street Journal. Next he sends them to the Harvard Business Review, then Reader’s Digest, etc. When cartoons are rejected, he repackages appropriate material to send to another market. At a given time, he’ll have hundreds of cartoons sitting on desks where people are hopefully looking at them, he said. 

“I try to stay away from, certainly, overly familiar cartoons — the dumb secretary and dopey boss — and try to be more clever. Because your editors have seen all that and they’re looking for something fresh,” Lynch said. 

At the same time, “I love cartoon clich├ęs ... I still remember when I sold my first desert island cartoon. That was so exciting,” Lynch said. A cruise ship floats by a dozen people on a desert island, and someone on the ship points out “the most sequestered jury in the world,” Lynch said. 

You can instill an element of surprise in cartoons, he said. In one of his, a woman walks in to find her other half in bed with another woman. The man says casually that she would have seen it coming if she followed his blog, Lynch said. 

“I do find that sometimes racier cartoons or more confrontational cartoons don’t find markets here, but thankfully there’s a big English-speaking market in Europe,” Lynch said. 

Another example is a guy knocking on a door who says, “Excuse me, have you heard what may or may not be the word?” He’s a proselytizing agnostic.

Lynch is currently the National Representative for the National Cartooning Society [sic]. That means his job is to “organize the unorganizable” cartoonists, he said.

He’s lived in New Hampshire for more than a year now. He and his wife vacationed in northern New England and Lynch met some cartoonists, and his wife, who plays Irish fiddle, met musicians. She still does graphic design for a company in Manhattan and performs two or three nights per week.
“There’s probably less than a thousand people in this country who are making their living by cartooning,” Lynch said. 

“Everyone gets along and everyone tends to be interested in what the other person is doing,” he said. Lynch said he knows most of his competitors, and some of his best friends are the artists whose work is seen regularly in the New Yorker or Wall Street Journal. 

Much of Lynch’s bread and butter is in cartoons tailored for business topics. “It’s very easy to make fun of these guys,” Lynch said, citing Goldman Sachs as an example. As long as you are generally aware of what’s going on, you don’t need a special background in the industry, he said.

Cartooning might be unique in that it merges visual art and writing. “That’s why I never like the caption contests that are very big,” Lynch said. There’s a world of people who can draw and paint, and a world of people who can write, but it’s rare that people do both, he said.

Lynch started a blog noting what’s going on in the cartooning community, which offers him a way to promote his work (along with his site, At, he’s posted various cartoons that look like he pretty much draws what he sees (which is pretty darn hilarious when he’s making fun of strangers in airports).

"Oh yeah. It's over. She just sent an obscene emoticon."
“I’ve never been into style. A lot of cartoonists and artists really worry about it,” Lynch said. Edinburgh-based cartoonist Rod McKie remarked to Lynch that Lynch’s work looks “so contemporary” because Lynch draws people he actually sees, Lynch recalled.
“I think that regardless of what you do ... you have to be observant to a degree,” Lynch said.

“I also find that I don’t spend eight hours a day watching television,” Lynch said. He’s lucky to watch it 90 minutes a week, and that’s mostly just because he works a lot. “Cartooning is a job, but it’s a job that I love,” Lynch said. The finished product might look simple, “but there’s a lot of choices behind the scenes,” he said. 

Lynch can usually tell within five minutes if someone is a part-time cartoonist, he said.
Among their other concerns, full-timers are self-employed and need to cover the business end of things, like managing their taxes, billing and contracts. The average cartoonist lasts six months and throws in the towel, he said. Part of the reason is that there’s not really a template for the job. That’s also why he started the blog, Lynch said. People have questions about how to deal with rejection, why things aren’t anything selling, where to find markets and “what do these people want?” 

It took Lynch six months to make a sale, he said. Throughout that time, he was sending out 15 cartoons per week. One of the things editors are looking for is reliability, Lynch said. Perhaps his persistence demonstrated that because after six months of nothing, he made seven or eight sales in one day, amounting to a couple thousand dollars. As an independent artist, Lynch owns his cartoons, which puts him in a position to control how they are used, he said. 

Lynch has fallen into teaching cartooning and now teaches kids and adults in New York and New Hampshire. 

“Despite how visually bombarded every kid is,” Lynch said, he’s found that many have never seen anyone draw in front of them. On the other hand, he was teaching in a museum in New York this summer and by the third day his students were drawing almost as fast as he was. It makes him wonder how he’ll compete 10 years from now, he said.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

On Hold

Over here at the Mike Lynch Cartoons operation, it's a one-man business. So, right now, I have a cold and a lot of business things to get done while I'm coughing and sneezing. The blog, lower on the priority run than my health and the things that have to get done, has to go on hold for maybe a couple of days. Sorry about that. To ease the pain, here's a sketch of a dude walking a dog in front of my old Brooklyn brownstone for no particular reason. Hope all is well with you, and I should be back soon.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Can You Identify Who Drew This?

Here we have a mystery. Blogger Arnold Zwicky came across this Doctor Who cartoon, and has no idea who drew it. He passed it along to Michael Maslin, who passed it along to me. We can't make out the signature. Let me know what you think.

Monday, October 01, 2018

The Garden As of October 1, 2018

Above: the cucumbers and tomatoes are spent.

The garden/yard as of October 1.

Winter is coming. It’s been raining all day and it’s chilly. I’ve had a fire going in the woodstove since last night. Gonna cook some creole tonight.

The zinnias are doing well, but there's been no frost yet. 

The trees are starting to get color. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

See You Soon

Hey, have a great week. I'll be away from the blog for a short time. Please poke around here and look at some of the previous 6,000+ entries if you like. See you soon I hope.

Monday, September 24, 2018

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Gag Cartoon Random Favorites

I'm handing over the blog to Dick Buchanan today. He's, once again, kindly scanned in some personal favorite gag cartoons. I'm glad Dick shares his toys! Some wonderful cartoons here, and I am thankful that we can see some of these vintage single panel cartoons. Take it away, Dick!




Here once again is a collection of gag cartoons from the era of the great magazines, created by some of the best cartoonists of their time.  These are some of the better mid-century cartoons recently added to Cartoon Clip File—as always,presented here to amuse one and all.

1. BOB MOORE.  Liberty July 13, 1946. 

2.  JACK BONESTELL.  Cartoon Capers June, 1968.

3.  JIM WHITING.  The Saturday Evening Post November 4, 1950.

 4.  AL ROSS.  1000 Jokes Magazine April-June, 1963.

5.  GEORGE LICHTY.  The Saturday Evening Post November 29, 1947.

6.  JOHN DEMPSEY  1000 Jokes Magazine Dec ’63-Feb.1964.

7.  CHON DAY.  The Saturday Evening Post October 23, 1943.

8.  JOHN GALLAGHER.  Here! March, 1952.

9.  REAMER KELLER.  1000 Jokes Magazine August-October, 1954.

10.  MORT WALKER. The Saturday Evening Post January 15, 1949.

11.  ERNEST MARQUEZ.  Here! November, 1951.

12.  LEW FOLLETTE.  American Legion Magazine March, 1947.

13.  JEFF KEATE.  Collier’s April 5, 1947.

14.  IRWIN CAPLAN.  Collier’s October 19, 1946.

15.  GAHAN WILSON. 1000 Jokes Magazine Dec ’63-Feb 1964.   

Friday, September 21, 2018