Friday, August 05, 2022

Saturday, August 6, 2022: Charles M. Schulz Museum "Cartoon-A-Thon"


From the Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, CA:

In the 'Peanuts' creator's centenary year, the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa celebrates its '20th Anniversary with some of today’s top cartoonists! Come meet your favorite cartoonists while exploring all things cartooning with drawing games, live presentations, book signings, and more.' Guests include Raina Telgemeier, Reza Farazmand, Nathan Pyle and Brian Fies. Here's the day's schedule for tomorrow, Saturday, 10am-5pm, and guest-list:

Thursday, August 04, 2022

Video Preview: “The Art of the Real Tom Sawyer” by Leif Peng


Today's Inspiration Press publishes its new hardcover "The Art of the Real Tom Sawyer" this week. The book is a showcase for this midcentury illustrator and is written by Sawyer and Leif Peng, with Ana-Marina Vlahovic. More at DownTheTubes.

Leif has an amazing preview here:


Wednesday, August 03, 2022

Paul Coker, Jr. 1929 - 2022


Mad Magazine contributor, Rankin-Bass animation studio designer and advertising illustrator Paul Coker, Jr. passed away on July 23, 2022. He died in his home after a brief illness.

Via MSN:

Coker was born and raised in Kansas in 1929. He went to and graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in drawing and painting, and then got a job as a greeting cards designer for Hallmark. In 1961, he began illustrating for the magazine Mad, and he went on to illustrate over 375 articles while there. He also did freelance work for other publications, including Esquire, Look, Good Housekeeping, and Playboy. Coker's work with Rankin/Bass began with an uncredited involvement in The Wacky World of Mother Goose in 1967. He then contributed as either a character designer or production designer to films like Frosty the Snowman, Jack Frost, Rudolph's Shiny New Year, and The Easter Bunny Is Comin' to Town, eventually ending with Santa, Baby! in 2001. His final onscreen work was done for the pilot of the 2002 series Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones?.


Via DailyCartoonist:

Coker started off as an designer of greeting cards for Hallmark in the 1950s and 1960s, often in collaboration with writer Phil Hahn. He worked for Esquire, Good Housekeeping, Pageant, Look, McCall’s and became an editorial cartoonist for the New York Enquirer in 1957. Coker also contributed to Hugh Hefner’s Playboy, where he created both erotic cartoons as well as parodies of other comics.

 More about Coker's greeting card career here


He joined Mad Magazine's "Usual Gang of Idiots" in 1961 and was best known for the "Horrifying Cliches" series, written by collaborator Phil Hahn. This is where I saw his instantly distinctive clean yet jerky coffee-nerves pen line.

Paul Coker, Jr.'s art for a 1967 Travelodge magazine ad.


Paul Coker Draws 89 YEARS IN A SAND TRAP by Fred Beck
Part 2: Paul Coker Draws 89 YEARS IN A SAND TRAP by Fred Beck




Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Batman and Judge Dredd Comic Book Writer Alan Grant 1949 - 2022


British comic book writer Alan Grant has died at the age of 73. No cause of death named, but he had been ill for some time. 

From The Evening Standard:

Alan Grant was born in Bristol in 1949 and grew up in Scotland. As a comic book writer, he worked on some of the biggest titles, like Batman and Judge Dredd.

But he was also known for nurturing new talent and is credited with discovering writer Alan Moore when he found his script in an unsolicited submissions pile at 2000 AD.

His writing was influenced by his early experiences. At school, his teachers would beat him for being left-handed, and he was regularly expelled, but as a statement from 2000 AD said, “the injustice of his treatment [gave] him a powerful distaste for authority which saturated his writing.”

He had a “mischievous and wicked sense of humour that was at times scatological and at others soulful,” says 2000 AD’s obituary.

He began working as a trainee journalist at the age of 18, at a Dundee-based publisher and home to the Beano. Grant then moved to London in 1970 to work as a writer and sub-editor, but after writing a strip for the short-lived comic book Starlord, he was offered an editorial position at 2000 AD.

In 1980, he left his job and was left unemployed when another job fell through. But comic book writer John Wagner asked Grant to help him with his work, and the pair became a powerhouse, under the pseudonym T.B. Grover.

2000 AD’s obituary says that “their partnership redefined Judge Dredd, their black humour and wild imaginations forging what many consider to be the strip’s first great ‘golden age.’”

Grant’s writing always maintained a political edge and was always a “fierce and strongly independent thinker.”

He later worked on DC Comics’ Detective Comics and Batman and continued to work for 2000 AD through the 1990s.

Grant continued to write into his last years, despite being ill, and worked on a Judge Anderson story in 2018 and a war story in the Battle Special in 2020.

He and his wife Sue organised a comics festival in their village of Moniaive in Dumfriesshire for years.

Alan Grant died on July 20, 2022.

Nichelle Nichols, Lt. Uhura on 'Star Trek,' Has Died at 89

Nichelle Nichols, best known as Lt. Uhura on the original Star Trek, passed away over the weekend. She was 89.


Her son wrote:

"Last night, my mother, Nichelle Nichols, succumbed to natural causes and passed away. Her light, however, like the ancient galaxies now being seen for the first time, will remain for us and future generations to enjoy, learn from, and draw inspiration."


There are tributes and remembrances all over. I will post this short clip from STAR TREK III: The Search For Spock (1984) which showcases her memorably. 

Monday, August 01, 2022

The Garden As of August 1, 2022

A few pics of the garden today. It's been a dry summer, that started out cool and is now getting hotter. The zinnias love it, the runner beans are coming along slowly. Not enough blooms for me.

The tomatoes are crazy. They are overflowing their cages. This one I intentionally bent down to help cradle a stray stem.

The peppers, in the foreground, were completely denuded by a hungry deer.

But, as you see, they have come back.

Squash vine borers have decimated the squash here. 

OK, time for pretty flower pictures:

And this will be dinner ....

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Free Download: SDCC San Diego Comic-Con 2022 Souvenir Book

The San Diego Comic Con was last weekend. Here's the beautiful (and informative) complete SDCC Program Book for free.

"This year’s Souvenir Book is a downloadable pdf, filled with lots of full-color articles, including: centennial tributes to Charles Schulz, Stan Lee, Jerry Robinson, and William S. Gaines; a celebration of the 60th anniversary of Spider-Man; 50th anniversary articles on Funky Winkerbean, Ghost Rider, Kamandi, Swamp Thing, and Luke Cage; and 40th anniversary pieces on The Rocketeer, Groo, and Love and Rockets. Plus: a special look back at Comic-Con’s 1970s El Cortez years!

"The cover, a salute to Dave Stevens’ Rocketeer, is by Comic-Con Special Guest Bill Morrison. Bill began his career painting movie posters, including many for Walt Disney, such as The Little Mermaid, Bambi, and The Jungle Book. He subsequently spent several years drawing The Simpsons for all kinds of merchandise, and writing, drawing, and editing The Simpsons and Futurama comics for Bongo Comics. Recently, Bill created a graphic novel adaptation of The Beatles' Yellow Submarine and was executive editor of MAD magazine."

Friday, July 22, 2022

Back Soon

I’m away from the blog for a couple days due to family business. I didn’t make time to post a new entry today. At least the weather is OK for travel— though still hot. 

I have another week of cartoon classes, and, in mid-August, I teach the History of Comics class at New England College. In addition, I have a large illustration project. It’s good to be busy, but this has been a very busy summer. Maybe too busy what with personal challenges. I’ll post here shortly, with a plan that things will get back to normal. At least blog-wise  

This was typed in a plane on the Logan Airport tarmac.