Friday, November 28, 2008

Watch Your Head, Lio!

Cory Thomas's WATCH YOUR HEAD strip had a cameo yesterday:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Video: Dick Locher's Career

A great profile of a great cartoonist: 79 year old DICK TRACY cartoonist and editorial cartoonist and Pulitzer Prize winner Dick Locher is the subject of this video from Naperville Community Television Channel 17 reporter Elitsa Bizios. The video runs about 2 1/2 minutes.

Here is the accompanying text, supplied alongside the NCT video:

Dick Locher walked into the Chicago Tribune thirty-nine years ago. With seven original cartoons in hand, Locher interviewed for an editorial cartoonist position.

The editor set the cartoons up, he lit a cigar and walked back and forth looking at the cartoons, said Locher. He looked at me and said are these your ideas?

Assuring the editor that the cartoons were indeed his own, Locher was hired. Ever since then, Locher's work can be read in the Chicago Tribune. And after this year, he will be known as the longest running editorial cartoonist the newspaper has employed.

Locher is also well known for the stories and illustrations he has created of the crime fighting detective Dick Tracy. Other than originator Chester Gould, Locher is the only person to singly produce the strip.

It shows what a diverse talent he has, said Chicago Tribune editorial page editor, Bruce Dold. He can do something as fantastic as Dick Tracy and then as on point to today's world with editorial cartoons that he does.

During the week Locher can be found at his drawing table before dawn. He begins his work day at four in the morning.

The thought is that you have an idea before you sit down. I usually listen to the 10 o'clock news, said Locher Then at four in the morning try to put it in a presentation where you skewer someone or open a door to someones past life.

Almost four hours after waking up, Locher has a good pencil sketch of the final product and discusses the drawing over breakfast with his wife of fifty-one years, Mary Locher.

Locher says his wife is a first reaction person. She looks at the drawing and gives him critiques on how to make it better.

Editors are polite; she gives me thumbs up or down, said Locher. She looks at it and says, yeah this will fly but if you change it to this it would fly even better.

Mary Locher jokes that its not easy to start the day and have a penciled cartoon pushed under your nose when trying to have breakfast. But she remains diplomatic when giving feedback.

He just loves what hes doing and genuinely loves people and basically Dicks a happy person all the time and it amazes me,said Mary. And he likes to entertain people through his stories.

Locher has been perfecting his talent from a young age. His father would bring home stacks of blank paper and tell his son to do something with it.

He couldn't draw, didn't want to but saw that I could and wanted me to do something with it and hopefully I did.

With numerous awards to his credit, including a Pulitzer Prize, Locher is not the average cartoonist.

He really pays attention to details and you don't see that as much with editorial cartoonists these days, said Dold. And he understands how to make a good solid political point quickly and easily for the reader.

Locher says that after he gets done drawing his editorial cartoons and Dick Tracy there is still some creativity left. So he draws a picture a day that has no relationship to either.

You get to the point, have I done enough damage so far? asked Locher. I don't think so, there's still windmills to spear.

Elitsa Bizios reports.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Video: Mell Lazarus Speaks at the Charles M. Schulz Museum

Here it is, chopped up into six YouTube chunks: the creator of MISS PEACH and MOMMA, the NCS Division Award Winner (twice) for Best Comic Strip and Reuben Award winner -- the one and only Mell Lazarus -- giving a lecture at the Charles M. Schulz Museum. This was taped on November 8, 2008:

CMSM Lectures: Mell Lazarus Part 1

CMSM Lectures: Mell Lazarus Part 2

CMSM Lectures: Mell Lazarus Part 3

CMSM Lectures: Mell Lazarus Part 4

CMSM Lectures: Mell Lazarus Part 5

CMSM Lectures: Mell Lazarus Part 6

A big thanks to Jeannie Schulz and the staff at the CMS Museum for not only taping the event, but putting it out there for anyone to watch and listen the always entertaining Mell Lazarus.

Bully Says: Comics Oughta Be Fun!: Love Actually in (Sorta) Real Time: Five Weeks to Christmas

From the Bully Says: Comics Oughta Be Fun! blog (one of my favorite blogs) comes a salute to the five year old movie starring most every British actor that's working in cinema: LOVE ACTUALLY.

Bully has written a lovely, enjoyable and thoughtful appreciation of a film that begins in the time we are in now: just 5 weeks prior to Christmas.

Even though I am one of "those people" that dislike LOVE ACTUALLY, I really enjoyed Bully's write up: Love Actually in (Sorta) Real Time: Five Weeks to Christmas.

Smithy and Rudi's Secret Handshake

Let's shake hands and say goodbye for Thanksgiving. Here's the secret handshake between Smithy (James Corden) and his sister Rudi (Sheridan Smith) from BBC Three's GAVIN AND STACEY series (available on iTunes, seen in the US on BBC America). I like Gavin and Stacey, but I like the supporting characters even more. Of course it helps that supporting character actors James Corden and Ruth Jones are also the co-creators and writers for the series. The clip runs 9 seconds.

More about the show at The Independent's site: Everything You Need to Know About ... Gavin & Stacey.

Economic Slowdown? Expand! Raise Prices!

One of the things you have to if you are going to be a freelance cartoonist -- a creator who moves from client to client, with no real home port, peddling your cartoons, surviving on your wits -- you have to an optimist. At least I do; even if that's completely opposite of the national mood.

As pundits and spinners and op ed writers and experts say these are absolutely, positively the worst days since the depression, I shrug and remember I can't change the time I'm born into.

This article from the NY Times Not a Bad Time for Small Businesses to Raise Prices, along with Monday's article Reader’s Digest Pushes on in Weak Climate, puts me in a good mood. I like a good contrarian.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Cartoonworld is a small world. I live in Cartoonworld and I know. Or rather, I should know and I should not be surprised. If you have a couple of pro cartoonists as friends, you're never more than a few degrees from pretty much any other cartoonist that's out there.

Case in point, after reading Tom Richmond's blog, I watched EL TIGRE, co-created by my friends Sandra and Jorge. My friends are never far.

So, this afternoon, I should not have been surprised (but I was) when I saw my pal Brian Fies blog about my friend Raina Telgemeier. I didn't even know they knew each other! But, hey, this is what life is like in Cartoonworld.

Brian, who created one graphic novel (the award winning MOM'S CANCER) and will have a new one out (WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE WORLD OF TOMORROW) in Spring '09, lives in California. Raina, whose 4th graphic novel of THE BABYSITTER'S CLUB came out this fall (and her new GN, SMILE, about her dental problems, was just picked up by a publisher), lives in NYC.

Like Brian's MOM'S CANCER story, Raina's latest, SMILE, began as a Web comic. You can still go and read the beginning of it here.

Now I see that Brian has drawn a special strip for Raina about his own particular dental experiences. Go read Brian's blog, Fies Files, for the whole story.

Keeps Blinking 12:00 12:00 12:00

Power outages today in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Stand by ...

CIGARETTE SADIE by Chester Gould

CIGARETTE SADIE was a companion or "topper" strip (used to fill out the tab pages format) to the Sunday DICK TRACY comic strips in the early 1930s.

CIGARETTE SADIE was a humor strip about a girl who sold cigarettes in what I will assume is a speakeasy. The Volstead Act wasn't repealed until 1933, so I believe the assumption is correct.

So this Sadie is some wise crackin' blonde that encounters all sorts in this illegal establishment of loose and dangerous men as she peddles those cancer sticks. Not the sort of thing that a family newspaper would print, but there it was, waaay back in the 1930s.

I was thinking of Mark Tatulli, who gave a presentation at the last Reubens convention, reading off letter after letter from readers complaining about LIO. Heck, SADIE would give those letter writers something serious to complain about!

I can't think that the gags were considered fresh even over 60 years ago. I imagine Sadie's voice sounding a lot like Mae Questel's.

I love the stamps. "Here Kids, on today's stamp we see Cigarette Sadie, our own night life star -- she's yours," is so full of unintended sexiness! Yipe! And ROWR!

Above: the bad news: a stingy Scotsman gag; the good news: a brand new 1932 Dick Tracy stamp!

I guess today the sales pitch would be that this strip is aimed at women who (a) read newspapers and (b) push cigarettes in illegal gin joints.

A lot of Sunday features had these companion strips. And I think we have learned why so many of them are forgotten.

Gangsters, murder -- it's all fodder for a smart line by Sadie. She was taken for a ride -- er -- dropped out of the Sunday DICK TRACY strip after a couple of years.

These scans are from the book DICK TRACY THE THIRTIES: TOMMYGUNS AND HARD TIMES copyright 1990 The Wellfleet Press.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Unseen Opper

NBM will be publishing their second in a series of "Forever Nuts" comic strip reprint books; HAPPY HOOLIGAN by Frederick Opper. (The first book was MUTT & JEFF by Bud Fisher.) The book has a forward by Allan Holtz who generously shares with us some Opper strips that could not be squeezed into the book over at his Stripper's Guide blog.

Thanks Allan! Hat tip to Comics Reporter.

Gasoline Alley 90 Years Old Today

Gasoline Alley celebrates its 90th birthday today, with an eloquent homage to the cartoonists who have gone before -- GA creator Frank King, Bill Perry and Dick Moores -- drawn by the hand of the current strip's cartoonist Jim Scancarelli.

Several fellow cartoonists' strips salute the event. A partial list: Blondie, Dennis the Menace (above) and Alley Oop (detail below).

A big hat tip to John Read!

First Thing Thing I Read Monday Morning

“Good lord, you can hear ’son-of-a-bitch’ on a five-year-old [episode of] Frasier, but I STILL can’t use the word ’sucks’ in Prickly City.”

Sunday, November 23, 2008

New BBC Archive: The Genesis of Doctor Who

The BBC has a huge new section of behind the scenes materials of Doctor Who, titled The Genesis of Doctor Who, complete with documents, photos and videos. I could even play the videos I tried. (BBC usually does not allow any video to stream from its site to American users.)

Hat tip to Trekmovie!

Related: And The New Doctor Might Be...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Legal Cartoons by Mike Lynch

It's hard to write about stuff you don't know.

I don't know about lawyers, but, being an American, I am entitled to my uninformed opinion of what lawyers are like. Below are some law cartoons.

Above: I was at my Mom's a couple of years ago. This was over a holiday and I had to draw a couple of cartoons while I was away. Mom retired a while ago and ever since, she's been painting. Her watercolors have been in dozens of gallery shows. She had some paper and a conte crayon, so I used that to draw up a couple of my own cartoons. Above is one example.

When I first found out that there was a market for lawyer cartoons, I was concerned that I could not really draw that many cartoons about them. I'm not a lawyer. All I know I learned from watching LA LAW, JUDGE JUDY and movies like WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION. Then I remembered an anecdote that Gene Roddenberry told. In 1965, when STAR TREK was in development, Roddenberry went around to his writer colleagues and asked them to contribute some story outlines. Most of them were not science fiction fans, and they told him they couldn't write for the genre. Gene countered with the point that they weren't cowboys, but they had written TV westerns; they weren't cops, but they had written cop shows. So, I'm not a lawyer, but I can write about them.

Here is the problem: there are some publications that lawyers buy, and the editors are looking for cartoon content. Now, you can't just do some "ambulance chaser" of "First, we kill all the lawyers" kinda hostile jokes. You can't pick on the audience. Above is a silly bit of nonsense showcasing the problems with a binding contract. The "his computer's an Etch-a-Sketch" puts this over the top.

Above: there's a whole whirlwind of action in this as the woman (l.) looks up at Death, and the fellow (r.) runs over to the wraith, asking him to forestall fate until the paperwork is signed. My favorite touch: the soot falling from Death's palsy outstretched hand.

And, yes, McKimson is a tribute to the Warner animation director.

Lobbyists can do more for you than your lawyer or your mother. Harvard Business Review bought this one real quick.

Above: naming rights are a way for municipalities to make money. For instance, a lot of the buildings and stadiums built in the past decade are named after corporations. These corporations pay a lot of money to the city for the privilege of having their name on the new ballparks and so on.

Above: I think we all know that when there are large paperwork errors, it will take time to straighten things out. Think MUNRO by Jules Feiffer, about the little boy drafted into the army. The little boy will have to stay in the army because NO ONE in the military echelon will admit they made a mistake. The above fellow is going to be stuck with his lawyer's kids for quite some time.

Above: the "covered for huff and puff" cartoon has been popular. Note how the guilty wolf doesn't even show, he just sends his lawyer in.

Above: for some reason, I am good at drawing hair. I just am. I don't know why.

It occurred to me that there was no contract regarding reasons for Adam & Eve's expulsion from Paradise, and that God's decision should at least be open to arbitration.

Above: I like cartoons that make you wonder a little bit. With this one, what on Earth did this poor partner do to his law firm colleagues to make them hate him so vehemently?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

FIRST CONTACT 12 Years Later

Ahh, nostalgia.

It was just a dozen years ago this week (November 18, 1996) that STAR TREK: FIRST CONTACT opened. Paramount's TREK franchise may have been at its zenith then, with multiple TREKs on TV and a movie with the best buzz since WRATH OF KHAN about to open.

Nostalgic G writes about the production, with plenty of video and toys and associated products (like FIRST CONTACT Rice Krispies). Worth a trip if you feel nostalgic. And here's hoping the new STAR TREK movie deserves praise like STFC did.

Hat tip to the kids at Trekmovie.

Turner Classic Movies' Guest Programmer Ray Bradbury

Turner Classic Movies has Ray Bradbury picking their line up of classic films tonight, beginning in prime time. The films that Mr. Bradbury have selected are:
  • The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923)

  • Rebecca

  • Citizen Kane
In between the uncut, uninterrupted showings, he'll chat about their influence on his life.

Photo nicked from the OvationTV site.

EBay's Related Items

So I buy a book off eBay (BEST CARTOONS OF THE YEAR 1951) and, after I pay for it, I get a little advertisement on the Paypal checkout page: "Related categories to fiction books," with 3 examples of other things I might like to buy.

Now we all know that there are some highly paid computer genuises out there who have created logarithms and so forth and so on, such that a buyer is shown several items that are suggested from the keywords generated by the purchase, steering the consumer to new items to purchase.

The 3 items that are related to BEST CARTOONS OF THE YEAR 1951 are:
  • a Salvaltore Ferragamo handbag for $249.00

  • a Celtic Triquetra tote with a "Charmed Wiccan Pagan Vampire" for $9.95

  • and a "Goth Gothic Vampire Lace Frills Shirt Lolita Sexy Top' for $19.99

Am I being pranked? Or are my the cookies in my browser all stale now or what?

If I buy these accessories, I'll be the best dressed guy in the ticket line for tomorrow's TWILIGHT premiere, you betcha!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Day Trip to Portland

Back when the silver age comic book artist Tom Gill was around, he would not hesitate to pick up the phone to call me. Since we were co-chairs of a National Cartoonists Society Chapter (the Long Island chapter, the "Berndt Toast Gang"), there was usually a reason to talk.

When Tom was in his 90s, he went on well deserved trips out west and abroad, with his loving wife Trish. As the years went by, cell phones became universal. And Tom, who was not only a teacher at the School of Visual Arts (as well as one of the guys who was there at the beginning of SVA), but also an eager learner, acquired and learned how to use a cell phone years before most people I knew.

On days like this, when I am away from the studio, I think of Tom. He would invariably call and leave me a message. I can hear his voice; tough (the guy grew up on Flatbush Avenue, after all), with a bit of a gravelly growl in it. It was distinctive and attention getting. It was said, Tom Gill need no microphone.

When I returned to my studio in years past, I would see the blinking light, press the button, and hear his voice, "Mike!" it would announce. And I always knew what he would say next.

"How the hell are you gonna get ahead if you're not at your board, DRAWING?!?!?!"


Tom, forgive me! I'm having lunch with some cartoonists. I'll be back at the board full time again tomorrow!


Mike Lynch Cartoons: Tom Gill: A Personal Remembrance

Above: Tom Gill on a USO tour. Tom was a member of the National Cartoonists Society from almost the first day of its inception. He traveled with his fellow cartoonists on many USO tours from the early 1950s until 1987. Looking at this photo, I would guess this is the late 50s/early 60s.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Video: 1970 "This is Al Capp" TV Special

Here we have the first six and a half minutes of an hour-long 1970 TV special about LI'L ABNER cartoonist Al Capp by Ernest Pintoff and Guy Fraumeni titled THIS IS AL CAPP.

It's great to get glimpses of fellow cartoonists Walt Kelly and Milt Caniff. Later on in the special, you get a chance to see and hear underground cartoonists Spain and Trina Robbins. (Trina calls Spain on stereotyping women in the same way Capp does!) John Canaday, William F.Buckley, Paul Krassner and David Susskind are also on the show. And you get some quotes from John Steinbeck. Yes.

Most of the program is Capp, espousing right wing views. It's a snapshot of the man and the era. I am not associated with the fellow who is selling the rest of the video for $20.

I posted about this in February, but the clips have since been removed. Here's a second chance.

STAR TREK Original Series HD-DVD First Season Preview

The old 1960s STAR TREK series has gotten a digital space-facelift, with not only renewing the now-dingy colors on the series, but also remastering the series into HD format and inserting new effects. You may know this, and now here's a video that shows you what's been done, and some of the features in the Season One HD-DVD set. The video runs just under 9 minutes.

As fun as that 9 minute one is, I love the one below. I'm linking to it once more since it is funny and short: 1 minute.

"It's more than an honor to be here. It's a damn inconvenience."

Above: Bil Keane signs a book for Stan Sakai's daughter, Hannah. Photo by Mr. Sakai.

Stan Sakai reports on the Comic Arts Professional Society dinner on Saturday, "aka the Sergio Awards Banquet" honoring THE FAMILY CIRCUS creator Bil Keane.

Hat tip to Comics Reporter.

Portsmouth Comic Book Show

Cartoonist Stephen Bissette was just one of the guests at the Portsmouth (NH) Comic Book Show on Sunday. Photo by EJ Hersom, Staff photographer for Foster's.

This is the epitome of a great comic book show. Put together by the guys at Jetpack Comics, the event had presentations, comic book dealers, old and new creators. The feeling was relaxed and friendly. Stephen Bissette presented a slide show about the seminal graphic novels, aimed at educators and librarians. He even showed an example of "how to read a comic book page," for which a number of people in the audience were taking notes. It may sound silly, but for everything there's a first time. And of all people, I think the talented Mr. Bissette is well-qualified to be a knowledgeable guide.

I wandered from table to table, with my friend, fellow cartoonist Stephanie Piro.

There were a couple of tables of literary graphic novels, free for the taking for librarians with ID. This was, I believe, courtesy of the Center for Cartoon Studies. Most libraries have limited budgets, so this is generous, welcome and practical -- and above and beyond the call.

There was a good mix of comic book dealers, and creators. Lots of families and kids were there. (Good to meet Lenny Boudreau and his whole family, who had a big bag full of comics after only 10 minutes at the show.)

Everyone seemed to be in a good mood. I stopped by Ron Fortier's table to thank him for letting me know about the event. Ron is a professional writer and is now writing pulps. Stephanie picked up DRACULA'S DAUGHTER (that's the cover, to the left, and there's a 10 page sampler here), a graphic novel written by Ron, with art by Rob Davis.

We met Barry Borbett and Brian Codagnone, who had the Corbett Features table. I talked with Brian for a while about the old Cartoon Museum when it was in Rye, NY. Shawn McManus, veteran illustrator of books and comic books, had some fantastic prints for sale (I had to buy one) as well as information about the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. (Good for him!) I got to meet and takl with a number of local cartoonists, including Ryan Higgins, who was selling his childrens book TWADDLETON'S CHEESE. Stephanie and I also admired the art of Ben Bishop, who had a table full of his work, original and published, including his tome NATHAN THE CAVEMAN. (Bottom right: Ben Bishop's art.) Some amazing, varied art, and all of the creators were local.

The one constant: most all of the creators I stopped and chatted with -- all talented, all very good, all devoted to the medium -- had self-published their work. Most of the younger creators had day jobs. I wondered, am I looking at the future of printed comics? Will it all be self-published, created on the side, part-time? I hope not.

The only way I got better was to quit my day job and take the leap: draw cartoons full time. I was happier, my cartoons got better, and I began to make some money.

But, that "leaping" stuff: it was scary. Like buying a house, having a baby, etc., it's not just a big life changing event -- there is also never the right time to do it. It would be better if I quit my job when we have more of the house paid off. It would be better if I waited until the economy got better. It would be better if I waited ....

OK, where was I? Oh yes. Back on topic:

The newspapers below had front page stories Monday about the convention:

Foster's Daily Democrat

Portsmouth Herald

I'm definitely going to make the next one.

The New STAR TREK Trailer

... is here:

Trekmovie has all the details.

Of course, if you are a nerd-core Trekker, you already knew all this.

Related: a great, fun video promo for the remastered STAR TREK THE ORIGINAL SERIES (official acronym: TOSR).

Monday, November 17, 2008

Sempé Exhibit at the Caricature & Cartoon Museum

I wish I was in Switzerland ....

Along the Rhine, in the town of Basel, Switzerland is the Caricature & Cartoon Museum. The museum will exhibit original works by the cartoonist Sempé from November 8th until April 13, 2009.

Thanks to Matt Jones!

I Love Your Cartoon/I Hate Your Cartoon

Below are some of my cartoons from the past years that have caused some issues.

"Some creative criticism, hon: less Sophie Crumb, more Marjan Satrapi."

Above: an editor, who I thought was well informed about graphic novels, asked who these two names were. The next week, trying to be helpful, I brought in a Sophie Crumb book for him to read. He said he would return it the following week. Well, he "lost" it and, to add insult to injury, the cartoon was not bought. Not by him, anyway.

"Well, the drug's no good, but the side effects are bitchin'."

When I drew the above cartoon I did not expect it to sell at all, but I liked it. Sometimes I just do a cartoon and I like it and I think, Well, this will never sell. Well, I was wrong. It was sent around to a lot of markets. Finally, of all clients, Reader's Digest bought if for the book LAUGHTER THE BEST MEDICINE II.

"Note to team: set your sights higher when formulating the mission statement."

Above: a bespectacled bunch of businesspeople in a cartoon that pokes fun at business. I always thought that things like "mission statements" were silly, and here is a mission statement team that just has lost its zeal. This one was hated for the swear word poster, and the downer mission statement. The new Mike Lynch Cartoons mission statement: Don't make fun of mission statements.

"The board thought it was a good idea at the time."

Above: OK, poking fun at corporate culture can only go so far. The idea of an office building full of monkeys did not, ever, find a buyer. I thought a "Bring a Hyperactive Chimpanzee to Work Day" was very silly, but I guess that those Dow Jones publications did not. Perhaps it was visions of monkey feces in the break room that caused this one to get the "thanks but no thanks." Oh well. what do I know? I certainly do make mistakes, as the cartoon below relates:

"This is all very romantic, but I'm not in heat."

I made the mistake of showing the above cartoon to an elementary school administrator. I was meeting with him to put together a schedule to teach all the 5th graders in his school system. I had a pile of cartoons to show him, and I don't know how this one got in there.

He said something like, This one's a no-no. He gave me a serious face. A face that would cause an elementary school child to blubber!

I told him that I grew up on a farm in Iowa, so I think I would have understood it back when I was a ten year old. But seeing as his school was a city school, the urban kids are a little more sheltered than their country counterparts.

I got to teach the kids, but I was, of course, fingerprinted and cross-checked beforehand. At least there was no "Cough, please" and the rubber glove and all that.

"Please join me in welcoming our competitor's ex-wife, who will now dish about his firm's weak points."

The above cartoon was published, and, according to the editor, received several complaints regarding the nastiness portrayed; the uncouth business practices, etc. I was surprised. I mean, look, the competitor, the ex-wife and all of those businesspeople around that table -- all of them are just cartoon people. They're not real. There are not real lives and reputations and money at stake.

"This is you son? He's a lot better looking than that sonogram gave him credit."

I got a nice compliment about the above cartoon from a family member who performs sonograms. This was, she announced, the very first time she had ever seen a sonogram cartoon.

"Sure I hate this job -- but I love the built-in cupholder."

Above: a cartoon that I went "Meh!" about when I finished drawing it.

By "Meh!" I mean that I did not think that much of it. It was a silly little comment about the comfort of the devil you know, but I didn't think it was the heighth of wittiness.

It has since sold a couple of times and I heard, from the assistant of a powerful businessman, that it's one of his favorite cartoons of all time.

So ... what do I know?!

Video: Doctor Who Christmas Special 2008

The new Doctor Who? Or is it a trick?

A special sneak peek of next month's new Doctor Who episode courtesy of the BBC's Children in Need special:

Big hat tip to Trekmovie!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Portsmouth Comic Book Show November 16, 2008

Tomorrow, in Portsmouth, NH from 10am to 3pm.

Below are the specs from Lily Robertson of Seacoast Online:

WHAT: Portsmouth Comic Book Show and Writer's Festival

WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the general public; (special 9:30 a.m. preview for librarians and educators)

WHERE: The Best Western Wynwood Hotel, Route 1 Bypass, off the traffic circle in Portsmouth

COST: $3 for kids 11 and over (unless you get a free pass from a local library or bookshop)

WHY: Tons of fun, free stuff, and a dating service called "Sweet on Geeks"


Did you know these movies were originally comics?

• Howard the Duck

• Ghost Rider

• Army of Darkness

• Barbarella

• Men in Black

• Bulletproof Monk

Yes, of course all Mike Lynch Cartoons readers know that those movies were originally comics. What about PERSEPOLIS, GHOST WORLD, 300, SIN CITY, X-MEN, SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, V FOR VENDETTA, THE MASK, THE ROCKETEER (What a great movie!), HELL BOY, THE SPIRIT, FROM HELL, LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, and more. OK, maybe not SENSE AND SENSIBILITY, unless you read it in a Classics Illustrated comic -- but, anyway, there's even more over at this Wikipedia page.

See you there!

Graphic Artists Guild (GAG) Sues Illustrators Partnership of America (IPA) UPDATED

UPDATE: Just received confirmation that this dreadful news is true from Cynthia Turner and Ken Dubrowski. Thanks for letting me know, Cynthia and Ken.

Honestly, I really was wishing that this was going to appear on Snopes as a hoax. Sadly, it is all true.

You want crazier than the "Batman v. Batman" lawsuit?

Below is what I've gotten from a reliable source (which I'll name once I get verification and permission from the source to use his/her name). I couldn't verify this last night. Maybe I can today. I can only hope this isn't true. It sounds too goofy to be true.

Below is the unverified press release. Can anyone tell me this is true/not true/kinda true/whatever?

Wednesday November 12, 2008

Graphic Artists Guild Sues Artists!

Dear Fellow Creative,

As working artists we assume threats from outside our creative community are a given. The news that the Graphic Artist Guild (GAG), which purports to be an organization 'supporting artists' rights', has filed a lawsuit against fellow artists IS SIMPLY OUTRAGEOUS!


GRAPHIC ARTISTS GUILD SUES ARTISTS The Illustrators Partnership of America and 5 individuals have* been served with a lawsuit by the Graphic Artists Guild, claiming damages of a million dollars and demanding that a court order IPA to cease and desist from supposedly defamatory public comments about GAG's activities and use of industry reprographic royalties, even when IPA is merely quoting GAG's own statements. The Complaint alleges that IPA, by bringing together 13 diverse illustrators organizations with the goal of creating an illustrators rights collecting society, is wrongfully interfering with GAG's current claim on foreign royalties, calling it an effort to 'siphon off' money from GAG. The Complaint specifically alleges that IPA and IPA members defamed GAG by a verbatim reading of minutes from a GAG steering committee meeting at which GAG's President reported on their organization's use of foreign funds. IPA's statements relied on public assertions by GAG's officers that GAG does not have to account for its use of artists' reprographic royalties. Reprographic royalties are funds derived from the photocopying of material by published authors. In many other countries, illustrators receive royalties from collecting societies for the photocopying of their work. In the US, they do not, because currently, no such collecting society exists. IPA denies that its comments are defamatory, as it has relied on and reported GAG's own statements verbatim. IPA seeks an understanding of GAG's activities and transparency about GAG's use of these funds. IPA has retained legal counsel and will respond to the Complaint in an appropriate manner.

The individuals named in the lawsuit are:

Artist Brad Holland, Founding Director of Illustrators' Partnership and Co-Chair American Society of Illustrators Partnership;

Medical illustrator Cynthia Turner, Director, Illustrators' Partnership and Co- Chair American Society of Illustrators Partnership;

Terrence Brown, Executive Director, American Society of Illustrators Partnership;

Renowned intellectual property attorney Bruce Lehman, Founding Director of Illustrators' Partnership and Counsel to American Society of Illustrators Partnership;

Commercial illustrator Ken Dubrowski, Director of Operations, Illustrators' Partnership.

That the Graphic Artists Guild has chosen to file suit against the Illustrators Partnership of America (IPA) and the very artists who've led the on-going fight against the Orphan Works bill, which the Guild has supported, leaves us questioning, 'Why a lawsuit against fellow artists'?...'Why now'?...

To be clear, some of us are members of the IPA and/or GAG, but this request is non-partisan. For those who were once proud members of GAG, this public stance opposing GAG is a difficult one. We support all voices working on behalf of artists, but we speak with a unified voice as friends and colleagues within the creative community against this lawsuit. We fear our silence now would be misconstrued as agreement with this action by the GAG.

This suit looks as if it is meant to punish and silence, through fear and intimidation, not only those whose names are listed on it, but ALL artists who dare to publicly question, disagree with or work in opposition to the Graphic Artists Guild. We speak out in support of open debate and for greater accountability from all groups who claim to represent our interests both here and abroad. At a time when we artists are facing serious challenges this lawsuit from an organization supporting artists� rights is a misguided distraction our community cannot afford.

We respectfully call upon the Graphic Artists Guild to immediately withdraw its lawsuit against the Illustrators Partnership of America (IPA), and the following individual artists; Brad Holland, Cynthia Turner, Ken Dubrowski, executive Terrence Brown, and attorney Bruce Lehman.

We ask all creators to make their voices heard NOW. If you agree that this lawsuit is wrong, then please add your name, affiliation, and comment below and email to and pass it along to other artists for their signature and support. Once a sufficient number of signers have been collected we will send this petition to all interested parties.


Daniel Vasconcellos, Illustrator since 1986, GAG member 1986-2003, GAG-Boston President 1988-1990, IPA member 2000 - present

Richard A. Goldberg Illustrator since 1980, GAG member 1980-2003, GAG Boston Chapter President 2001-2003; IPA member 1999-present. The GAG supporting the Orphan Works Bill was bad enough but with this lawsuit I am compelled to publicly condemn the GAG

Alan Witschonke Illustrator, GAG member approx. 1980-2003; Chair of Grievance Committee, Boston Chapter, approx. 1982-1987; Co-Vice President, Boston Chapter, 2001-2003. Joined IPA approx. 2000.

Sharon Kurlansky, Agency Director / Laughing Stock, 1993 to present. Stock agent to over 135 artists. Former GAG member, Former PACA member. GAG�s support of the Orpan Rights Bill is a very troubling breach in their mandate to support artists� rights and severely weakens and subverts current copyright protections afforded creators. Their suit against the IPA and named artists is another damaging and unmitigated move against the artist community.

Hal Mayforth Illustrator since 1982, GAG member 1982-2003, Founding member IPA

James Steinberg Illustrator since 1980, GAG member 1982-2002, GAG Boston National Rep 1985-1986, IPA member 1999-2002

John S. Dykes Illustrator since 1984, Past GAG member, Member IPA 2000 - present.

Gary Taxali Illustrator Since 1991, CAPIC Member from 1992 - 2007, Founding Member, IPA

Tamar Haber-Schaim Illustrator since 1985, GAG Boston Chairman Events Committee 1986, GAG member approx. 1985 - 1998, Attendee of annual meetings EIF (European Illustrators Forum) 2006, 2007

Donald B. Johnson Working illustrator since 1978, former GAG member, Society of Illustrators member. I opposed the Orphan Works Bill and am very unhappy with the recent positions taken by GAG. What has happened to the inspiring organization that got us all started in the illustration business?

Elizabeth Traynor Working illustrator since 1981, member of The Society of Illustrators, Illustration professor. Shame on GAG. This lawsuit is an insult to the worldwide community of illustrators and artists. The alleged actions by GAG concerning Reprographic Royalties as well as this attack on the IPA seem stunningly illogical; is their best defense this destructive offense?

Robert Saunders Illustrator since 1980; Editor/Designer GAG Boston Update 2002; Executive Committee 1998-2001; Boston Chapter President, Acting 1986-1988; Chapter Vice President 1985-1986; Chapter Representative to Nat�l Board 1984-1985; Contract Committee member and Advertising Committee Chair ca 2000; 23-year ca GAG member; Former IPA member

Jim Roldan 20+ years as a free lance illustrator, current steering committee member and past president of the New Hampshire Creative Club I sincerely believe that pursuing this lawsuit will do far more to defame the Graphic Artists Guild's reputation and standing in the industry than any correspondence I could have ever received from the IPA. The absence of any information on the Guild website re: this issue makes me question whether the membership at large is even aware of the drastic steps being taken by Guild officers in their name and how any member could condone such a draconian effort to stifle legitimate dissent within the industry.

Blair Thornley Illustrator since 1982, GAG member 1994-2001, IPA member 2000 - present. I think it�s important to be clear that GAG is NOT the official, legal, or moral representative of American Illustrators. I do not want the rest of the legal system in this country or elsewhere assuming that they speak for us.

Rob Dunlavey GAG Member 1987-2004. Practicing illustrator 1985- present

Leo Espinosa Illustrator Since 1996.

Steve Brodner: The "Family Values" Gang: RIP

Above: Larry Craig, drawn by Steve Brodner.

At the top of the page (no permalinks) here are a series of the "family values" crowd and their hypocrisies. Some great work here and it tells you why you can see Mr. Brodner's work EVERYWHERE. You go, Steve!