Sunday, May 31, 2009

Mike's New Minicomics for Sale

Above: one of the stories from the Sketchbook.

As you know, there are now 3 books of my cartoons you can now order. See the upper right corner for a photo of them. Happen to click, and you will see it's easy to order.

There are 2 minicomics full of gag cartoons, as well as the Sketchbook, which has pen & wash pictures & cartoon stories.

Canadian orders for all 3 are $11.50. European orders are $12.50. Just use my email address to Paypal the money:

Friday, May 29, 2009

Video: Thomas Nast Jug

A video of a photo of a jug commemorating Thomas Nast's destruction of Boss Tweed and the Tammany Hall gang.

This is the full text, from the New-York Historical Society:

The swirling mass of snakes and heads on this jug represent an important cast of characters in New York City's political history ... the Boss Tweed gang. The coiled snake on top is the handle for the jugs stopper. The Anna Pottery Company of Illinois made this as a thank you gift for Thomas Nast, a famous political cartoonist of the 1860s and 70s. Nast had used his cartoons to attack the massive misappropriation of public funds by Boss Tweed and his henchmen, who controlled the political machine known as Tammany Hall. Tweed is the bearded head without glasses, and most of the other heads are his associates. Also notice the behinds of all the Tammany Hall members trying to climb into the pot of money and power. A lot of people knew about Tweeds corruption, but it was Nast's cartoons in Harper's Weekly that finally aroused the public, the newspapers, and government officials to arrest Tweed and send him to prison. The pottery makers also added their hero Nast to the jug. He's the highest head on the jug, the one not attached to a snake's body. Today political cartoonists still see Thomas Nast's cartoons as the gold standard for their profession. And this sculpture stands as a testament to the power of artistic expression.

Maira Kalman: At Ease

Maira Kalman has a Memorial Day blog entry at the NY Times. I love her work more and more. More than mere reporting, it's a personal exploration of modern military, and part meditation on the kind of dedicated life soldiers and their families live.

Hat tip to Juana Medina!

The Comics Still Sell

It's funny --- not funny ha-ha, but funny weird -- that papers will cut comic strips, but those same papers will use these canceled print comics to promote their own Web traffic.

Case in point: today's Oregonian front page, featuring Curtis and Zits, reminds readers that there are five dozen comics waiting for them if they put down their print newspaper and get on the Internet.

The Oregonian reduced its Sunday comics section in 2008 and initiated a poll earlier this year to chop ten more comic strips from its print edition.

According to the TCJ Web chat board, the response to the proposed comic strip cuts was overwhelmingly negative, so the editors kept them.

Terry Beatty's THE PHONY PAGES #2

Here is the second and final issue of the comic book mini-series THE PHONY PAGES. The first issue is here.

Terry Beatty originally created these "Phony Pages" parodies of comic books, for Alan Light's Buyer's Guide for Comics Fandom.

In June 1986, Publisher Deni Loubert of Renegade Press, put some of these together in THE PHONY PAGES comic book.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Video: Craig Ferguson Shatner Sketch

It's common knowledge that William Shatner was not in the new STAR TREK movie. Here's a May 21, 2009 sketch from THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH CRAIG FERGUSON with Craig Ferguson himself doing an intentionally dreadful Shatner impression. My pal, writer and performer for LATE LATE John Reynolds, is the security guard in the bit.

$1.99 Cartoon Book Sale

I have some cartoon books for sale on eBay.

Clearing a lot of books out this week and next.

Writing a Continuity Comic Strip

Above: it starts out like this ...

Margaret Shulock talks about What Writing A Continuity Strip Looks Like in The Six Chix blog.

She's the writer for King Features' Apartment 3-G newspaper comic strip. The one and only Frank Bolle draws the strip.

Above: ... and ends up looking like this. Copyright 2008 North America Syndicate.

You're All Invited to Brian Fies' Saturday Night Book Launch Party

Graphic novelist and my dear pal Brian Fies' new book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE WORLD OF TOMORROW? is scheduled to be released by Abrams next week. Brian is having a cyber-book launch party this Saturday and we can all attend.
"Nothing you can imagine doing this Saturday night could possibly be more interesting and fun than attending an online virtual launch party to celebrate the upcoming release of Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow! Nothing! Why, there'll be talking, and reading, and drawing, and . . . more talking. Exciting prizes. Plus a Special Guest who actually hasn't cancelled yet!"
We get to poke around his studio with him and learn about the process of making WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE WORLD OF TOMORROW? It's all here at The Fies Files.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Today's Inspiration: National Cartoonists Society Luminaries

Sorry I am late on this.

If you enjoy illustration, then you probably already know about my pal Leif Peng's Today's Inspiration blog. All last week, in the days counting down to the Reubens weekend, he showcased five National Cartoonists Society Luminaries. Please take a look at some of the wonderful art and bios of these wonderful cartoonists and illustrators:

John Romita, Sr.

Paul Fung, Jr.

George Evans

Jack Kent

Frank Springer

Cartoon Perennials

Royston Robertson writes about cartoons that just keep going. His leopard cartoon was, once again, chosen to publicize last month's Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival.

The funny thing about being funny for a living is that you don't get to choose what people remember you for. If you are a cartoonist and people love your cartoons, they will pick their favorites and that's that. You have no say about what "cartoon perennials" you'll be known for.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Wordless Cartoons by Mike Lynch

Here's a small selection of wordless cartoons that I've drawn.

Since I am what's called a "single panel gag cartoonist," the final product -- the gag cartoon -- has to do its work on a reader within 2 or 3 seconds. If you don't "get it" in less than 5 seconds, I haven't succeeded.

Above: this was drawn when there was a movement to allow cell phones on planes. The only solid black things here are the cell phones themselves, all in a left to right row. This one was held by a couple markets because it was funny, but no buys. My guess is that the cartoon worked within that 2 or 3 second timeframe. But, joking about weapons in planes is a no no.

Above: a silent 3 panels. Click to supersize to see that's a tic tac toe game in the last drawing.

Wordless cartoons are the most difficult. They have to focus on universally understood behavior. Above: unless you know about that plane with the shark teeth on it from WWII, then the reference is lost.

Above: I remember drawing this very fast to get it out in time.

Above: a snowblower cartoon. When I bought my first snowblower last year, I started drawing snowblower cartoons. Click to supersize this wordless cartoon.

Above: sweet little old lady sweater v. hip guy tattoo.

Oh hai! NYC trashed all of its "DON'T WALK" signs for the white hand/red hand universal signs a couple of years ago, so this came to mind.

I like drawing dogs with those simpy smiles on their faces. My mother always said, about our dear, sweet, beloved family dog Max, He may be dumb, but he's sneaky!
Above: a subverted juxtaposition cartoon. This is more of a smile than a chuckle.

Above: an old joke. If I was to put a word here, I would have the bird crying, "Mama!"

This is an edited version of a previous September 18, 2008 blog entry.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

National Cartoonists Society Award Winners

Below are the winners of the NCS Awards as announced last night at the 63rd annual National Cartoonists Society Reubens dinner. The black tie event was presided over by Mike Luckovich.

List of Award Nominees here.

And the winners are:
Dave Coverly
2008 NCS Division Award Winners:
Sandra Equihua and Jorge Gutierrez - Creators - "El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera"

Nicolas Marlet - Character Designer - "Kung Fu Panda"

Mark Marturello

Mort Gerberg

Jem Sullivan

Mark Tatulli - "Lio"

Mark Parisi "Off the Mark"

Sam Viviano



Michael Ramirez

Craig McKay

There were 5 awards of recognition:
Silver T-Square
Jeff Bacon

Silver T-Square
James Kemsley

Gold Key Award
Bil Keane

Gold Key Award
Mell Lazarus

Jay Kennedy Memorial Scholarship Award Winner
Chris Houghton
Congratulations to all!

The 2008 NCS Reuben Awards

Above: Saturday's NON SEQUITUR by my Maine neighbor Wiley Miller. Copyright 2009 Wiley Ink, Inc.

MAD caricaturist and spanking new National Cartoonists Society Board member Tom Richmond is live-blogging tonight's Reuben Awards in Hollywood, CA just about now ....

Complete list of this year's nominees for the Reuben Award and the NCS Division Awards here.