Thursday, December 31, 2009

USPS 2010 Stamps

Bill Mauldin, Calvin & Hobbes, Mother Theresa and more -- all honored with 2010 USPS Postage Stamps next year.

66 years ago this very day -- December 31st, 1943 -- Life magazine photographer John Phillips snapped the above photo of Bill Mauldin in Italy. In March 2010, the above commemorative stamp will be for sale.

From the USPS press release:

"The Sunday Funnies stamp pane honors Archie, Beetle Bailey, Dennis the Menace, Garfield and Calvin and Hobbes. The stamps will go on sale in July."

There are paragraph-long descriptions of each of the comic strips in the press release, but why oh why are there not the names of the creators? These newspaper comic strip did not spring out of nothing! They should be acknowledged:

  • Archie Bob Montana
  • Beetle Bailey Mort Walker
  • Dennis the Menace Hank Ketcham
  • Garfield Jim Davis
  • Calvin and Hobbes Bill Watterson

There are also stamps commemorating Winslow Homer, abstract expressionist painters, cowboys of the silver screen, Kate Smith, and the Negro Leagues, among others.

More hi res images at the Washington Post's Postal Service releases 2010 stamps article. Beware: you will be held hostage to a 30 second Bank of America ad.

USPS announcement is here.

My thanks to the ever vigilant Sean Kelly for the heads up. Thanks, Sean!

Off-topic, but she's one of my fave actresses: the USPS honors Katharine Hepburn with this art based on a still from WOMAN OF THE YEAR. Stamp for sale May 12, 2010.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Christmas is over, time to buy what you really want! Check out the SALE at my Zazzle Store!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Here are a few Holiday links of cartoony interest from a few of my friends and myself.

Above: Enjoy this rarely seen Pogo spoof: "A Visit From St. Nicholas (To the Moon)."

My friend, the one and only great gag cartoonist Don Orehek, gives us some Christmas cheer!

The NY Times shares some Tintin Holiday cards.

Walt Kelly's rare 1942 giveaway comic The Little Fir Tree is presented by the Hairy Green Eyeball blog. The more Kelly the better, I say.

Remember when the paper would run a special Christmas comic strip during those pre-Christmas weeks? My friend Ger Apeldoorn does and he shares Heavenly Daze by Ben Martin today.

Sam Henderson showcases Holiday covers to humor magazines, as well as his annual gag cartoon.

Sandra Bell-Lundy reminisces about her favorite TV special, The Snowman by Raymond Briggs. The Vintage Children's Books My Kid Loves blog scans in some of the Brigg's drawings from the book.

My pal Brian Fies showcases his annual Holiday greeting card. I love getting these in the mail, and here's Brian telling the significance of these 2 young women:

"Above is this year's drawing for our family Christmas card, featuring, as it has for 21 straight years, my twin girls. The cards make a real neat family history all strung together on a knotted ribbon across our living room wall."

And then he gives us the lyrics to Deck the Halls With Boston Charlie!

Petey has a Christmas dream at my friend Richard Thompson's Cul de Sac blog
. If you know Petey, you know things go awry.

My inky pal Mark Anderson scans in a 1958 Will Eisner comic: Spaceman Discovers Christmas.

Happy Holidays to all my friends out there!

The 12 Rejections of Christmas

Ahh! The gag cartoonist's life! All true, all dialogue verbatim.

Milton Caniff "Essay" Comic Strips

Above: a view of a NYC Police booth outside of the United Nations as seen from Caniff's studio, December 25, 1985.

Milt Caniff would take a day, usually Armed Forces Day or Christmas day, and write an "essay strip;" a salute to the military. Here are a couple from Steve Canyon.

Above: Coming to terms with Vietnam, Christmas Day, 1971.

Above: New York, Christmas Day.

These are reprinted from MILTON CANIFF'S AMERICA: REFLECTIONS OF A DRAWINGBOARD PATRIOT published in 1988 by Eclipse Books. They were part of an article by Jay Maeder in the Daily News Magazine, July 3, 1988.

Steve Canyon is copyright North America Syndicate.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Great Ham Caper

My wife, Stacy, wrote a poem way back in Christmas 2006. The poem is about us and our cats, Rufus and Sam.

Stacy's poem got a lot of very nice emails, and I've rerun annually it since then. Hard to believe that since then we've moved and found a stray kitten at the milk farm up the road (or, rather, SHE adopted US) and then we rescued another stray just last month.

For auld lang syne, here is the poem again:

The Great Ham Caper

Words by Stacy Lynch
Pictures by Mike Lynch

’Twas the week before Christmas
When Rufus and Sam
Hatched a devious scheme
To make off with the ham!

The ham that would grace
The holiday table!
Roo was the brains.
Sam, wiry and able.

They devised a plan
Of Goldbergian proportions
With pulleys and weights
And kitty contortions.

And on Christmas day
They’d eat until stuffed
(The very idea
Made their tails slightly puffed!)

’Til then, they’d lay low,
Little angels to see.
But that made us suspicious –
Wouldn’t you be?

So we snooped and we sleuthed
And uncovered their caper -
“The Ham-Stealing Plan”
Diagrammed on a paper!

“No silly cat’s gonna
Steal my roast beast,”
Exclaimed Mike. “Just watch,
I’ll ruin their feast!”So he countered their scheming
With mad plans all his own
And all I could do
Was inwardly groan!

Who’d win this contest
Of wits they were planning?
Would Mike, Roo or Sam -
Be last man or cat standing?

As Christmas day dawned
The four of us waited
For the ham to be served
With breaths that were bated.

But before the main course
Could even be plated
Their plans took a turn.
Some say it was fated...

What happened to stop them
So cold in their tracks?
Why, cat-nip and husb-nip
(in big canvas sacks)Was all that it took
To stop their foul warring.
And they rolled and purred
And drooled on the flooring.And as long as I kept
My fingers and toes
Away from a hubby and two cats
In nip’s throes -
My own Christmas day
Turned out merry and calm;
The ham moist and succulent,
The champagne, a balm.

When they “awoke”,
hostilities abated,
We all ate some ham
And went to bed sated.

And such peace we wish
To you and to yours:
An end to fighting;
An end to wars.

Happy Holidays!

Mike and Stacy and Rufus and Sam

UPDATE: and Trout and Dexter.

The New Cat

The new cat, Dexter, the shy stray that lived in our woods and was finally lured into the house for permanent affection and shelter, is doing fine.

He has a clean bill of health from the vet and is adjusting to the other cats.

He even has a favorite chair and poses a bit when his photo is taken. Yes, he forgets about gravity sometimes.

Glad we got him before the snows and the howling winds and the below zero temps.

Steve Brodner: Three Kings

Steve Brodner draws us the Three Kings --

"Of all the Santas of all time here are my top three, and the guys who drew them."

Steve draws illustrators Haddon “Sunny” Sundblom (the guy who drew the "Coca Cola" Santa), Norman Rockwell and (above) Thomas Nast.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Chuck Jones' A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1971)

OK, it's the Holiday season. Let's go watch an Oscar-award-winning adaptation of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, executive produced by Chuck Jones with the voice of Alastair Sim as Scrooge! For now, there's only one -- just one place -- to see this: YouTube.

It's not on DVD. Ands that's crummy. This show has some serious pedigree; the guy who brought us THE GRINCH (the cartoon, not the Jim Carrey monster) is the executive producer and it's directed by the animation director of WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT. I remember seeing it in 1971, and once or twice since then -- but only by chance. It's not a holiday TV tradition ala CHARLIE BROWN or those Rankin Bass puppet specials or the MISTER MAGOO special. Go figure!

YouTube's rules means a 28 minute vid has to be sliced up into smaller segments. Here are the links if you have the time to watch.





Thanks to Grant Miehm for reminding me of this special, which I had forgotten about until now!

- The above was originally posted on December 11, 2007. And this is still not available on DVD or Blu Ray or whatever so far as I know.


The Hairy Green Eyeball blog showcases not one. not two, but three different CHRISTMAS CAROLS. Above: one from HUMBUG by Arnold Roth.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Bill Hinds Salutes Charles Addams in Today's CLEATS

Above: Detail of CLEATS by Bill Hinds and copyright 2009 by him as well.

Today, Bill Hinds' newspaper comic strip CLEATS pays homage to a classic Charles Addams New Yorker cartoon.

Want to see the original Addams "skier" cartoon? Go to the Charles Addams: Cartoonist exhibit at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT before January 24, 2010.

That skier cartoon is © Charles Addams.

Wholesome Comics Entertaining By Shaenon K. Garrity

Shaenon Garrity proffers this list when planning a party for cartoonists:

"Almost as important as the food. Stock your bar according to the type of cartoonist you plan to entertain.

Webcartoonists: six-pack of Mike's Hard Lemonade.

Indie Cartoonists: Two-Buck Chuck, fruit-flavored vodkas made in somebody's sink.

Superhero Artists (Non-Mormon): Three-Buck Chuck. That's right, these guys can afford to shop at the new Joe's outlets.
Newspaper Strip Cartoonists: Eight to twelve quarts of hard liquor per person."
Above image nicked from CalamityJon's Flickr page.

Cartoonist Christmas Cards

John Adcock shares some. Above: a 1954 Archie card by Bob Montana.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Video: MY WORLD AND WELCOME TO IT - Christmas Episode

From the TV show MY WORLD AND WELCOME TO IT, based on the work of James Thurber. This episode is titled "Rally 'Round the Flag" originally aired on Decmber 15, 1969.

The program was canceled after one season, after which it won an Emmy for Best Comedy. I was a very small kid when it aired and I remember being fascinated by the real life actor William Widom interacting with the B&W Thurber-esque characters. I could never make up my mind whether it was wonderful or scary.

1000 Jokes Dec 59-Jan 60

Above: a snowy cartoon by Gallagher.

Hairy Green Eyeball shares some of the many gag cartoons in 1000 JOKES Magazine (December 1959-January 1960). Cartoonists include Jerry Marcus, Chon Day, Leo Garel, Bob Barnes, Harry Mace, George Wolfe, John Dempsey, Peter Porges, Al Ross and others.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

NEW YORKER Cartoonist Happenings

In addition to the David Sipress Williams College lecture, here are a few more recent links to New Yorker cartoonists.

Al Ross Turns 97
Eli Stein shares a rare photo of prolific cartoonist Al Ross upon the occasion of his 97th birthday this past September.

Liza Donnelly's Post Photos from the New Yorker Cartoonists Holiday Party
Liza Donnelly shares some photos, taken by Felipe Galindo, of this year's cartoonist Holiday party.

Kim Warp Interview
The New Yorker Blog asks Kim Warp about her life as a cartoonist in its most recent "Meet the Cartoonist" segment.
"Yes, I have a studio. I call it a studio because Sam Gross told me if you call it a studio, you can charge more than if you call it an office. Is that true?"
Nick Downes Profile
My former Brooklyn neighbor answers many questions at the David Wasting Paper blog.

Question: If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?

Nick Downes: Go for it if you love it, but, it might not love you back.

Hat tips to Michael Maslin and Eli Stein!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Video: Jimmy Margulies

STAR TREK Scene Re-Creation

This runs about a minute. It's an audacious side by side comparison of a 1966 STAR TREK episode ("The Naked Time") and a couple of guys who reenact that same scene in 2009. It runs about a minute and is more interesting than it sounds. One thing for sure: these guys shamelessly know the scene. The fellow who plays Kirk has the shiniest orange velour shirt.

Cartoonists: "He Knows How to Draw Pitchurs and Is Crazy in the Head"

If POPEYE says it, it MUST be true!

To start your day: an image of POPEYE by Segar, commenting on the definition of what a cartoonist is. This is from POPEYE Vol. 4 from Fantagraphics.

I nicked this from Mike Sterling's Progressive Ruin blog. Thanks, Mike!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Video: David Sipress

Here's a near one-hour long video of New Yorker cartoonist David Sipress giving a lecture about the art and business of cartooning at Williams College, his alma mater.

A Visit From St. Nicholas (To the Moon) by Walt Kelly

It's Christmas time and that means that it's time to sing our favorite carol ("Deck Us All With Boston Charlie") and read "A Visit From St. Nicholas (To the Moon)" as reimagined by the one and only Walt Kelly (with "apologies to Clement Moore," natch).

It's originally from a POGO book titled GONE POGO (1961, Simon & Schuster). It would be printed once more, 26 years later, newly colored by Joe Orlando (!) and Angelina Genduso, for the December 20, 1987 edition of the Daily News Magazine.

This is all copyright the Walt Kelly Estate, with Jay Maeder's piece copyright 1987 by Jay or maybe The NY Daily News. Click to enjoy them is giant Kelly inky glory.

Here is a background on Walt Kelly written by Jay Maeder. Jay describes Kelly as

"... a fairly irascible soul, given to the fine Irish melancholia and possessed of no immense generosity of spirit when it came to his fellow human specimens.'People are basically idiots,' he reflected in one published interview. 'It may come as a surprise to find you're an idiot, but the fact remains you are.'"

Well, the dichotomy is there: here's a former Disney animator, comic book funny animal artist, and, okay, yes, he may have occasionally been a Scrooge in real life, but judge him not by what he says, but by what he has done. He is, after all, the man who gave us POGO.

Maybe it sounds idiotic to you, but Happy Christmas to you, Mr. Kelly! We miss you.