Friday, July 14, 2006

The Lockhorns Studio

Last month, I was fortunate enough to snap a few photos of the studio where The Lockhorns (as well as a Howard Huge) is produced.

Did you know The Lockhorns was originally titled The Lockhorns of Levittown? When King Features bought it in 1968, Levittown a reference to a Long Island community was omitted. Four years later, Bill Hoest was looking for gag writers and office help. After meeting him socially, Bunny went to work for the cartoonist. They were wed in 1973. Yes, I married the boss, she says.

Here is Howard Huge! As you walk into the studio, he is the first thing you see. The drawing board is in that alcove to the left, up the stairs.

This studio saw a lot of output through the years. Howard Huge for Parade Magazine, Bumper Snickers for the Enquirer, and the comic strips What a Guy! and Agatha Crumm followed. On top of this, Bill Hoest served as NCS president. He won NCS Division Awards for syndicated panel (twice) and gag cartoon.

Life is certainly not dull, he wrote, especially with a Bunny

In 1986, Bill was diagnosed with cancer. He brought aboard John Reiner to assist. We handpicked him. Hes brilliant, says Bunny. Sadly, Bill passed away 2 years later. Today, The Lockhorns runs in over 500 papers, with millions reading Bunnys words and looking at John Reiners art.

Details of the wall behind Howard. The drawing on the wall is an invitation to an National Cartoonists Society Long Island chapter (the "Berndt Toast Gang") holiday party from some years back, drawn by John Reiner in a Mort Drucker style. John was Mort's asst. before coming on to join Bill Hoest.

Detail: Bunny and Bill Hoest, Creig Flessel, Mort Drucker, Frank Springer, Lee Ames, Don Orehek and Chuck Harrington.

More from the same wall. Some the awards from the NCS. The drawing on the bottom left (caricatures of the Berndt Toast Gang) is by former BTG chair, and my much missed friend, Bill Seay.

Strips adorn one of the walls.

Here is where the Lockhorns, as well as Howard Huge, is drawn. You can see that there is a lovely view of the backyard and, beyond that, the Long Island sound. The view is so nice that I wonder how one can get any work done here!

John Reiner's drawing materials at hand. I like that permanent wooden holder with the dip pens and brushes.


chris said...

where did you get that brief case/drawing thats cool.

Mike Lynch said...

You'd have to ask John Reiner, lonebomber!