Sunday, July 26, 2009

Have a Wonderful Week

I'll be away, teaching some cartoon classes all week.

Happy Summer and see you in August!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Cartoonist Hugh Hefner

A lot of people know that Hugh M. Hefner is the guy who came up that that Playboy magazine, and some people also know that he is a frustrated cartoonist, who never pursued a cartooning career. And he never published his own cartoons in any of his magazines so far as I know.

But, anyway, the man loves cartoons. This is why, ever since its first issue, there have always been cartoons in Playboy. I had never seen any of his cartoon art until I stumbled on an example over at Sam Henderson's Magic Whistle blog today!

Otto Messmer's LAURA

For your viewing pleasure: some 1931 LAURA Sunday strips by Otto Messmer, over at the Comicrazys blog.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stitch Wars

Above: "Jedi Training by Marilyn Patrizio." Medium: Yarn, organic cotton stuffing, wire, canvas, felt, plastic pellets, glass and plastic eyes Photograph: Bird and Bear. "You can do brilliant stuff with a crochet hook and a bit of yarn."

From today's Guardian:

"What happens when the twin obsessions of Star Wars and craft come together? Stitch Wars, that's what - an exhibition of Star Wars characters made from felt, wool and crochet.

"The Stitch Wars exhibition runs until August 29 at the Bear and Bird gallery in Lauderhill, Florida, USA. Visit their website for more details or view more pictures on their Flickr group"
You won't find this kinda thing at Comicon, now will ya?

A Hole or B Hole?

Here's a purported real Hardee's fast food TV ad that's been rejected in North Carolina, which I think of as the home of Hardee's. It runs about 30 seconds and you'll see why it was reject within seconds. I still cannot believe anyone over at the big city ad agency thought this was going to fly.

More here: Hardee's ads too much for NC.

This Morning's Cauliflower Harvest

This is the first year we attempted to grow cauliflower. It worked out great. I harvested 5 good sized cauliflowers this morning. We can eat one or 2 now, but the rest will have to be cut & blanched, and then frozen.

If you have any favorite cauliflower recipes, please shout out!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Early Mort Drucker

Sam Henderson has some scans of Mort Drucker's gag filler work from 1950s and 60s comic books like THE ADVENTURES OF BOB HOPE. I never knew that he did any gag cartoon-style cartoons until seeing Sam's blog! Wow! Thanks for this!

Big hat tip to Journalista!

From 1978: Mort Walker and the the Museum of Cartoon Art

Above: Frank and Ernest pooh pooh the events of 40 years ago in this 1978 ad for the Newspaper Enterprise Association.

From the late, lamented Cartoonist PROfiles magazine No. 38, June 1978, here are 2 articles about BEETLE BAILEY cartoonist Mort Walker. The first one is all about the Ward Castle, in Rye, NY, where the Museum of Cartoon Art was for many years. and the second one is a small feature on Mr. Walker being the Grand Marshall of the Homecoming Parade at the University of Missouri.

Related: Michael Cavna, at today's Washington Post Comic Riffs blog, queries Does 'Beetle' Mania Live On? Time to Defend That 'Toon

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sergio Aragones Meets THE SIMPSONS Comics

Sergio Aragones is going to be a featured contributor to the Bongo Comics line, with his work first being seen in #50 of their Bart Simpson comic. Tom Spurgeon has the story:

"One of his many assignments will be a recurring pantomime feature called 'Maggie's Crib.' His work will debut in late October."

THE BEAT has the press release.

I can't wait!

Art Gates: Gag Cartoonist

There is always a lot of history you just don't know.

Until a couple of years ago, I didn't know that fellow who created the original Flash for DC Comics, Harry Lampert, was also a prolific gag cartoonist of the 1950s. I met his daughter last month, at the Bunny Bash, and she said she had boxes of his originals and was considering starting a blog: a Harry Lampert Gag Cartoon a Day kinda blog. I encouraged her to start it up!

Ger Apeldoorn at his Fabuleous Fifties Blog now showcases the gag panel cartoons of Art Gates. Art is, as Ger points out, known to comic book collectors as a journeyman comic book artist who worked for a variety of comics publishers, including Simon & Kirby's own Mainline, as well as Charlton Comics. Mr. Gates also did gag cartoons. He started while in the service, and continued afterward. He worked on a number of syndicated features, including a syndicated panel titled "Service Smiles." After working in sales for the syndicates, he began his own: Gates Features.

Take a look at the selection Ger shares.

Art Gates Lambiek page

Again With the Comics reprints one of the Charlton HILLBILLY COMICS.


Over at the great blog Comicrazies, you can read an entire Walt Kelly story titled "Double Sundae With Nuts" from his POGO SUNDAY BOOK, published by Simon & Schuster in 1956.

These are seminal stories for me because my Dad passed them on to me when I was a kid, maybe 8 or 9. Sure, I didn't get a lot of the wordplay, but I loved the inky line of Kelly and the fantastical situations that would build and build. Like so many cartoonists, Kelly is a major influence. This 10 page story brought back memories.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Some early Soglow cartoons are at the Hairy Green Eyeball blog.

And here's hoping one day soon there will be a collection of this prolific cartoonist's magazine and comic strip work!

Cartoonist Job with US Government Canceled

I never knew there was such an office as the Bureau of the Public Debt, but there is. And it was going to hire a cartoonist, until Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) put the kibosh on the deal.

"The cartoonist was sought to provide presentations for the bureau's management meetings, according to the ad.

"'The contractor shall conduct two, 3-hour Humor in the Workplace programs that will discuss the power of humor in the workplace [and] the close relationship between humor and stress,' the ad stated."

Full story at The Hill.

The Bureau of the Public Debt has apologized for attempting to hire a cartoonist.

Hat tip to Mark Martin!

Above: a cartoon of mine from the March 2009 Reader's Digest.

Unseen Super-hero Parody by Jerry De Fuccio and Al Jaffee

Here are a half dozen samples of a superhero parody comic strip by MAD Magazine regulars Jerry De Fuccio and Al Jaffee. The original strips were published once, by Ron Frantz, in the comic book FANTASTIC ADVENTURES #2, published by Ace Comics in 1987.

While it's not noted that the strips were a proposal to a syndicate, my guess is that, barring a commissioned-but-not-run piece for MAD Magazine, that is what they may be. They also, so far as I can make out, do not have a title. Or at least, Frantz does not cite one.

More Al Jaffee: T. Hodler asks, "Where did Al Jaffee get the idea of depicting fish skeletons whenever he draws someone vomiting?" And the man answers him.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Video: Tom Gammill Lesson #19 "A Fitting Tribute"

The Garden at Mid-July

Okay, time to check in on the garden. That's it on the lower right, 5 raised beds.

Above: this box has been given over to strawberries. We got lots of strawberries during strawberry season. The only problem was the bluejays who (I didn't know this) LOVE LOVE LOVE strawberries, pecking great gashes into them. The solution: place rubber snakes in the bed. It seemed to work on the timid ones, but, you know, there really aren't too many timid jays.

Above, from left to right, broccoli, peas and yellow squash. All doing nicely.

In between the sunflowers (which are growing like weeds here and there -- and if they aren't in the way, then they get to stay) is lettuce. Zucchini and chard are in there as well.

Foreground: runner beans, which just started to bloom last week. Bees and hummingbirds love runner bean blossoms. Background: 6 tomato plants, with some wee green tomatoes on them.

And then there are things that are hidden or in back of other aforementioned big & bushy plants: okra, radishes, basil, onion, oregano, dill, cucumber, and a few more I'm forgetting.

Related: the garden last month.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Calendar for Gags & Cartoons

From THE CARTOONIST'S AND GAG WRITER'S HANDBOOK by Jack Markow, here is a list of gag cartoon topics separated by month.

Since most cartoonists have to work weeks or months ahead, if it is a sunny day in mid-summer (like today) you should be thinking up some great gags for November and December. Yup, you the cartoonist are there, standing on your backyard patio with your "Kiss the Cook" apron, cooking weenies on the grill, while trying to think up some cartoons having to do with colder months. Subjects like

  • election day
  • pilgrims
  • sending Christmas cards
  • last minute shopping
  • kid on Santa's lap
  • New Year's Eve
  • and so on.

Here's the gag calendar, which serves not only as a reminder of what to submit when, but a series of great seasonal topics for cartoonists. Save, that is, for any popular trend, movement or technology developed in the past 42 years:

THE CARTOONIST'S AND GAG WRITER'S HANDBOOK is copyright 1967 by Writer's Digest, Cincinnati, OH.

Stephen Frears to Direct Posy Simmonds' TAMARA DREWE Movie

From today's Guardian article by Catherine Shoard:

"Tamara Drewe, Posy Simmonds's comic strip about a journalist who ruffles feathers in a rural writers' retreat, is to be turned into a film by Stephen Frears.

"The director of The Queen and The Grifters is reported to have cast former Bond girl and St Trinian's graduate Gemma Arterton as the title character, a newspaper columnist whose recent nose job transforms her into a seductive flirt, to the chagrin of the quiet village's womenfolk. Tamsin Greig and Roger Allam are also said to be attached to the project."

Related: Steve Duin, writing for The Oregonian, reviews TAMARA DREWE.

Video: Jean-Jacques Sempé

If you are walking in New York City, the mid-40s, near Times Square, along 9th Avenue, you can see a multi-story tall drawing of a smiling, middle-aged man on a bicycle, drawn by Jean-Jacques Sempé on the side of a building. This may be the opening image of this 3 minute salute to the French cartoon master.

The video showcases his New Yorker and Punch magazine covers, his cartoon illustrations for the Nicholas series of books, as well as the series of books issued by Phaidon Press.

Three minutes of this and you can see why he's a favorite not only of mine, but of many, many cartoonists.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wishing Richard Thompson All the Best

CUL DE SAC cartoonist and my friend, Richard Thompson, was diagnosed with Parkinson's.

He shares this at his blog.

Richard is a stellar cartoonist, with a fine pen line and great, knowing wit. I send good thoughts his way, and wish him and his family the best.

Dave Chappelle's surprise show demonstrates power of social networking

From today's Oregonian article by Joseph Rose and Rachel Bachman:

"Carrying an amplifier the size of a toaster, Dave Chappelle showed up for an impromptu comedy show in the middle of the night at Pioneer Courthouse Square. He wound up getting a lesson in the power of social networking.

"Drawn by rumors on Twitter and Facebook of a free performance, thousands of people packed into the downtown Portland square after midnight on Wednesday."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How Cats Exploit the Human Need to Nurture

Karen McVeigh writes for The Guardian: "This cat may look like it's sleeping but may actually be planning new ways to exploit humans." Entire article here.

Above: our kitty "Trout," obviously planning her latest conspiracy while sleepily purring in a sunbeam.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Obama Comic Books

Jonathan V. Last, writing in today's Opinion section of the Wall Street Journal, marks the 18 month anniversary of Obamamania with an overview of the comic books devoted to our President.

"In issue #137 of Savage Dragon, the titular character, a green-skinned, super-powered Chicago policeman, appears on the cover with a grinning Obama, proclaiming, 'I'm Savage Dragon and I endorse Barack Obama for President of the United States!' Normally an obscure title, that issue of Savage Dragon sold out through four printings."

I always thought that Erik Larsen's SAVAGE DRAGON was a good seller. It certainly isn't "obscure."

I took a look at the SAVAGE DRAGON FAQ page; an interview with creator Erik Larsen:

Q. Erik, What's it like knowing your title is one of the most read by your peers?

A. Good and bad. I've heard from Chris Claremont, Jim Steranko and Harlan Ellison - three guys I never expected to read this book. It's frustrating to me that I can't reach more of the regular folks. Somehow there's the perception out there that this book is aimed at young kids - but such is not the case. Sigh.
Mr. Last recounts other comics, including Spider-Man, wherein Spidey and Obama fist-bump, and tells us there are more to come. The reason? Sales. Obama sells.

Friday, July 10, 2009

See You Next Week

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Roy Delgado: "Rejected Because Style is too 'NEW YORKER '"

My friend and fellow gag cartoonist Roy Delgado writes about getting rejected at his Roy Delgado Blog.

Now, Roy, as you probably know, has submitted something like 20,000 cartoons to The New Yorker magazine since 1992. I am not joking. All of these submissions have, so far, been summarily rejected by The New Yorker. The man KNOWs rejection. I like Roy's work. I own Roy's book.

But The New Yorker, well, so far, he's been a-knockin' and no one's been a-answering.

OK, that's the background. Now that you're filled in, here's this week's adventure in ironic rejection:

He was recently asked, by a former Good Housekeeping editor, to contribute some cartoons to a new publication (unrelated to The New Yorker). It's always nice to be asked.

And then, he was ... rejected.

Rejected for being "too New Yorker."

It's all here, complete letter and all.