Friday, May 25, 2018

Brian Fies: "This is probably the most clear-eyed piece I've read about what it's like to have a book published."

My friend, the award-winning graphic novelist Brian Fies shared an article by writer Tom McAllister about what it's like to have a book published. Here's his introduction, nicked (with permission) from his Facebook page. Here's Brian:

This is probably the most clear-eyed piece I've read about what it's like to have a book published. Not that you're ungrateful, but it IS anticlimactic and a bit of a shock to realize how little the universe cares.

I don't share writer Tom McAllister's disappointment in the support he gets from family and friends. I've never really counted on those people buying my books. One sale to Cousin Waldo isn't going to make or break me. I make graphic novels; most people don't read comics, and folks are busy with their own lives. And, as McAllister says, I'm not innocent either. I have writer friends whose books I haven't bought or read. I still sincerely wish them great success.

My editor at Abrams, Editor Charlie, once asked me to meet with a young author whose first book was about to come out and give him the straight dope on what to expect. I said pretty much what McAllister did in this article: Having a book published is nice, but it won't change your life and nobody's going to back a money truck up to your front door. That young author was Jeff Kinney, whose "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series just printed its 200 millionth copy.

Jeff still reminds me of that, and we laugh and laugh. I try not to give advice anymore.

Who Will Buy Your Book? by Tom McAllister

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Ronald Searle: Movie Titles Designer

Ronald Searle was not just an illustrator and cartoonist, his work also appeared in other media. Here are a few samples of his movie titles work. Of the six movies he is credited with, I only have half available to show. Going from most recent, here they are:

SCROOGE (1970)


Of the four St. Trinian's movies of the 1950s and 60s, the films THE GREAT ST. TRINIAN'S TRAIN ROBBERY (1966), THE PURE HELL OF ST. TRINIAN'S (1960) and THE BELLES OF ST. TRINIAN'S (1954) do not have their Searle-title sequences available online to look at.

But BLUE MURDER AT ST. TRINIAN'S (1957) does have its titles online (but it's not available for embedding). Go to the link to see it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Video: The Mad Magazine TV Special (1974)

The unsold and unseen pilot for an animated Mad Magazine TV series. New to me!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Video: The Comic Book Greats: Sergio Aragones (1991)

Stan Lee visits with Sergio Aragones in this hour-long segment of The Comic Book Greats series. Some good conversation here. Stan was obviously a fan! And we get to see Sergio draw.

Comic Book Greats was a 1991-92 direct-to-video series of interviews produced by Stabur Video. There were 13 episodes. Some of the greats interviewed were: Todd McFarlane, Rob Liefield, Jim Lee, Whilce Portacio, Christ Claremont, Bob Kane, John Romita, Sr., John Romita, Jr., and Will Eisner. So far as I have been able to tell, it was a one-time VHS release, with no DVD availability.

EDIT: Friend-of-the-blog Larry Rippee corrects me:

"There was a DVD set of Stan Lee Presents the Comic Book Greats available around 2004 issued by Heritage Comics Auctions. I have no idea if they are still available."

Monday, May 21, 2018

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Kid Stuff 1948 - 61

Mouthy, petulant kids! A comic staple since, really, the first comic strip, The Yellow Kid, and up through to Dennis the Menace and Calvin! And somewhere, under that kid behavior, shines a little insight into the adult world. Well, sometimes. Actually, a lot of times, they are just being kids.

Here is my friend Dick Buchanan with a collection of baby boomer gag cartoons from his large collection. Take it away, Dick -- and thanks for sharing! You're a good kid!



1948 - 1961

Almost everyone loves kids. After all, almost everyone was one. So it stands to reason that cartoons about kids would resonate with many. That’s why there’s a cartoon clip file simply titled “kid stuff.”

Many mid-century cartoonists made this genre a big part of their portfolio as they braved the editors on Wednesdays.

Here, handpicked haphazardly from the clip file is a sampling of cartoons by mid-century cartoonists who revealed how obnoxious and impossible kids actually can be — unless, of course, they’re your own. And, besides, as Art Linkletter said, “Kids are funny.”
1. BERENSTAIN Collier's 1950 Dec 16

2. DRUCKER The Saturday Evening Post SEP 1951 Dec 8

3. GALLAGHER The Saturday Evening Post SEP 1960 Oct 

4. HART  American Legion 1956 June

 5. CAPLAN American Magazine 1950 Jan

6. MARCUS Collier's 1950 April 1

7. KETCHAM  Collier's 1948 June 19

8. WALKER 1954 American Legion 1954 May

9. FINE Collier's 1951 October 13

10. KEY The Saturday Evening Post SEP 1952 Sept 27

11. MACE Look 1961 Apr 25

12. HOIFJELD Collier's 1952 March 29

13. HELLE American Legion 1954 APRIL

14. LAZARUS The Saturday Evening Post SEP 1950 June 20

 15. LAMB  American Legion  Jan 1953

Friday, May 18, 2018

Kickstarter Ending

Final Day!

The Kickstarter for LOBSTER THERAPY, the Maine cartoon book by Maine cartoonists, expires tomorrow, Saturday, May 19th at about 4pmEST.

If you've been thinking about contributing, now is the time. The money goes to the cartoonists who created it. We have autographed books, sketches, originals and more by me and these talented cartoonists: John Klossner, David Jacobson, Jeff Pert and the one and only Bill Woodman.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Kickstarter Countdown: Fifty Hours To Go

About fifty hours to go on the Kickstarter to help raise funds for us to get to BookExpo and beyond. Thanks to all who have pledged. I am so very thankful. We are at only 20% of the goal. If the goal is not reached, it's a no go.

We have signed books, sketches and originals. Except for fees and shipping, the money goes to the cartoonists directly.

 "Hopkins deserves to be fired, but we can't touch him
since that piping plover began roosting in his office."

Some May and June LOBSTER THERAPY Signing Dates and Radio Show

I will be signing copies of LOBSTER THERAPY, the new Maine cartoon book by Maine cartoonists (me, John Klossner, David Jacobson, Jeff Pert and the one and only Bill Woodman) this summer in NYC, Portland, ME, Camden, ME and other places in Maine (Bar Harbor, Bangor, Rockport and more).

Here are a some of the signing dates with more to come:

May 31 - BookExpo, Javits Center, NYC - see me at the Rowman Littlefield table beginning at noon

June 2 - Maine Comic Arts Festival, Portland Public Library, Portland, ME - 10am to 5pm. We have been asked to do a panel as well. No time on that yet.

July 6 - Sherman's Books, Camden, ME - 4 - 6pm

We will also be on the NPR Maine Calling radio show live on Thursday, June 28 from 1pm to 2.