Thursday, September 14, 2006

September 13th Cartoonist Panel at the Great Neck Arts Center

Last night we had a discussion panel at the Great Neck Arts Center. Here we all are. From left, standing: Howard Beckerman, Sandy Kossin, Mike Lynch, Stan Goldberg; sitting: Mort Drucker and Rina Piccolo.

I came in by LIRR with Rina, and she had one of those surreal moments where she discreetly watched a woman seated across from us reading Rina's TINA'S GROOVE strip in that day's Daily News.

The predicted showers stayed away, and we got a good crowd for a weeknight. Maybe 4 dozen people I think. Actually, it was hard to tell since you can't see much with the bright lights in your face when you're on stage.

After introductions, I asked some questions of the assembled artists and then I called on audience members to ask their questions.

(Above: Sandy Kossin, Howard Beckerman.)

Here are a few highlights:

WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR GAG IDEAS? was one of the questions. I said that I try to keep aware of what's going on in the world, and turn things into something funny. I admitted I had little insight into the process! Great, Lynch. Just great.

Onward and upward.

(Above: Mort and Rina signing for a fan.)

IS KNOWING HOW TO DRAW IMPORTANT? Everyone agreed that the answer is yes. Sandy Kossin talked about how a computer program can enhance, but cannot replace, basic drawing skills. Mort Drucker talked about the powers of observation -- drawing John Wayne with his well-known gait and shoulder pitched forward, for instance.

Rina Piccolo added that she did not know much about computers and she hand draws everything with pen and ink and brush for TINA'S GROOVE and SIX CHIX.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DRAW? Mort Drucker said he liked to draw anything alive and dynamic. And even if he's drawing a car, he prefers to see the real thing, to looking at photo reference.

WHERE DO THE IDEAS FOR THE ARCHIE STORIES COME FROM? Stan Goldberg fielded this. He has helped to write stories in the past. For the most part, the stories are written by writers.

(Above: A close up of Stan Goldberg's hand after a fan has handed him some older issues of ARCHIE to sign.)

HOW CAN I BREAK INTO THE COMIC BOOK FIELD? Stan pointed out that there are lots of comic book artists at comic conventions and they are friendly, appraochable people, and they may look over a portfolio.

WHAT'S THE IMPACT OF THE INTERNET? "Pretty soon, you're going ot be able to watch cartoons on anything, anywhere, any time" said animator Howard Beckerman. He thought for a second, then his eyes twinkled, and added, "On your shoe."

WHAT PART OF A DRAWING ASSIGNMENT DO YOU LIKE BEST? "Getting the job in the first place," answered Sandy Kossin.

These are but a few of the moments from the panel. And we have another one coming up on Saturday.

(Above: Rina sketches for a fan.)

Yes, the cartoon originals are for sale at the THIS INKING LIFE gallery show. Congratulations to Mark Anderson (who will be one of the participating cartoonists for Saturday's panel) on the RED DOT next to his cartoon above. The DOT means SOLD!

Hey there! Hello! Come on over here and buy yourself a couple of Lynch cartoons! Will ya? Huh? Pleeease?!?!

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