Monday, August 31, 2009

Video: Norwegian Film SHHH! by Jason

Here are 2 clips from the new film SHHH! based upon the work of Norwegian cartoonist Jason.

More at the SHHH! site:

Here you will find news, preview stills and trailers from our animated short film Shhh! which is currently in production.

The film is based on the award winning Norwegian cartoon artist Jason’s (aka John Arne Sæterøy) graphic novel with the same title, or more precisely the first part of the book.

Shhh! is produced by Hans Bastian Borg at Graceland Film Company AS and directed by Robert Næss (that’s me). Animation is done by Lyder Janøy and Aasmund Janøy at Animidas animation studio – both companies based in Oslo, Norway. The production is financed by The Norwegian Film Institute.

This is the first I've heard of the project. The clips are moody and draw me into what seems like a spooky, accurate portrait of Jason's world. I hope the film gets to be seen in the US.

Video: Roland Topor Draws

Here is a video of surrealist artist/writer Roland Topor at work, drawing, complete with a wonderful scratchy pen sound!! This is an extract from the European program ARTE from the 1990s. Much more at the Roland Topor blog.

A hat tip to my friend Claude, who tells me that the name of the video is "The Breath."

STAR TREK Auto-destruct Sequences Compared

Comparing the autodestruct sequences from The Original Series episode Let That Be Your Last Battlefield (1969) and STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK (1984).

1971 STAR TREK Student Film

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Video: Al Capp's Evil-Eye Fleegle

Here's a cameo by Evil-Eye Fleegle, a character from Al Capp's Li'l Abner, in the 1950 US Armed Forces Special Weapons Project training film Self Preservation In An Atomic Attack (1950).

The entire movie, which runs just under 18 minutes, is at the Internet Archive.

Who was Evil-Eye Fleegle, a character so recognizable in 1950, but gone from popular memory today? Here's an explanation of the character and his "whammy" powers from Steve Krupp's Curio Shoppe (© Denis Kitchen):

EVIL-EYE FLEEGLE had a unique and terrifying skill. When he concentrated, destructive rays emitted from his eyeballs. An ordinary "whammy" could knock a grown man senseless. A "double whammy" could fell a skyscraper, leaving Evil-Eye exhausted. His dreaded "quadruple whammy" could melt a battleship but almost kill Fleegle himself. Unlike most regular characters in the strip, Evil-Eye Fleegle was not a native of Dogpatch. He was in fact from Brooklyn NY. In a memorable guest appearance on the Fearless Fosdick TV Show in 1952, Evil Eye's Brooklyn accent is unmistakable. There were even licensed plastic replicas of Evil Eye's face produced in the 1950s, to be worn like lapel pins. Battery operated, the wearer could pull a string and direct a small light bulb "whammy" at whomever he chose.
Fleegle made an appearance in a short-lived 1952 Fearless Fosdick TV show. ASIFA has a lot more on Fosdick (with tons of great art by Mr. Capp and his assistants). It was a puppet show:

In 1952, a puppet show based on Fearless Fosdick premiered on NBC on Sunday afternoons. Thirteen episodes were filmed featuring the Mary Chase marionettes. The TV show was presumed lost for decades, but vintage kinescopes have recently begun to resurface. According to publisher Denis Kitchen, there are currently efforts underway to release these exceedingly rare Fosdick episodes on a set of DVDs.

Above: a TV Guide cover story about the Fearless Fosdick puppet show, from the ASIFA site.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Marty Murphy

From left: Suzanne Lemieux Wilson, cartoonist Marty Murphy, Playboy Cartoon Editor Michelle Urry and cartoonist Rowland B. Wilson from Westport, CT, circa 1981. Thanks to Roy Delgado for the photo.

Cartoonist Marty Murphy has died.

Best known as for his Playboy cartoons and animation work ("Wait til Your Father Gets Home"), Marty was not just a "great magazine cartoonist" (to quote writer Mark Evanier), but a well-loved West coast cartoonist.

I have no more details at this time. My deepest condolences to his family on the loss of this talented, great guy.

UPDATE: Friend and fellow gag cartoonist Roy Delgado remembers Marty Murphy.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Preiss and Steranko: THE BLOCK

Via Golden Age Comic Book Stories, here is THE BLOCK, created by 2 comics visionaries: written by the late Byron Preiss and illustrated by the one and only Steranko. This 1971 short story, about 2 friends growing up in a NYC ghetto, showcases the medium and, particularly, the great illustrative power of Jim Steranko. It's copyright 1971 by Supergraphics, Steranko's publishing outfit. Supergraphics is probably best known for the Comixscene (later renamed Mediascene) magazines. The 8-page fable was originally published in Comixscene #4, May-June 1973.

Big hat tip to Journalista!

Video: IPhone App Parody Commerical

Very funny, yet sad, depiction of an app an iPhone technerd would want.

Funny stuff. Hat tip to Jason Chatfield via Adam Sacks.

Video of Videos Now in Paper Magazines

Last week, I talked about videos now being inserted into paper magazines. Now here's George Schweitzer, President of CBS TV's Marketing Group, with a video showing us the first ever VIP (video in print) ad. It will appear in Entertainment Weekly's Fall TV preview issue.

Hat tip to the person who Tweeted about this, whose name & Tweet are now unfindable to me.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Every P.S. MAGAZINE by Will Eisner Online

All of Eisner's work on Preventive Maintenance Monthly is now online.

Hat tip to Kris Madden via Mr. Media! Thanks, guys!!!

Sandra Bell-Lundy Interviews Stephanie Piro

Sandra Bell Lundy interviews my friend, cartoonist Stephanie Piro for her ongoing Cartooning Women Conversations series of interviews.

"I could never draw at a drawing table, maybe because I'm short, but it's the whole freeing up of the way I draw. I can get right into the art when I'm working on my drawing board. My studio is an art cart overflowing with pens and ink and always a scissors and glue stick for a quick paste-up if I need it. I have to have natural light to work, and quiet. I sit on a futon surrounded by 3 huge windows, and it is ideal for working. I'm lucky to have a nice quiet house and the space I need whenever I want to work."

Above image by Stephanie Piro nicked from The Six Chix blog.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

DOCTOR WHO's Greatest Moments

From BBC3, here's a trip down memory lane titled DOCTOR WHO'S GREATEST MOMENTS. David Tennant and other cast members and guest stars talk about the first 4 series of the Russell T. Davies version of DOCTOR WHO.

Interview with Brant Parker's Widow

In ‘Wizard of Id’ cartoonist’s wife makes Lynchburg home, Liz Barry, writing for the Lynchburg, VA News and Advance, interviews Mary Lou Parker, the widow of WIZARD OF ID cartoonist Brant Parker.

"The Parkers were married for 60 years. Mary Lou still remembers the night they met in vivid detail.

"It was the end of WWII, and Mary Lou, then 23, had just returned to her apartment in Burbank, Calif., after a cross-country train trip. Her friend begged her to go out to their favorite nightspot, The Rosemont Café. Mary Lou reluctantly agreed, and when she got there, spotted a mysterious man at the bar.

"'I liked the back of his head,' she says. 'He had a gorgeous camel hair coat.'"

Above photo of Brant Parker from the Johnny Hart Studios site, which has a good bio of the prolific cartoonist.

Big hat tip to Journalista! for the Mary Lou Parker interview link!

Only in Britain: Cockney Rhyming Slang ATMs

From today's Guardian:

"Ask for cockney and the machine tells you it is 'Readin' your bladder of lard' before asking for your 'Huckleberry Finn.' Then the hard decisions start. Do you want to see your balance on the Charlie Sheen? Or withdraw sausage and mash?"

The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co.

Oh, it's for real. The "A Tribe Called Next" blog has more.

Hat tip to the one and only Dylan Horrocks.

Video: Woody Guthrie Cartoonist

Woody Guthrie was not just a song writer, world famous singer and general folk hero - he was an artist too. And the Okfuskee County Historical Society Museum in Okemah, Oklahoma is the permanent home to a collection of Woody Guthrie's political cartoons.

Video: ALLEY OOP by Carole and Jack Bender

from Discover Oklahoma: husband and wife team Jack & Carole Bender talk about creating ALLEY OOP.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Scheduled to have its pre-Broadway engagement beginning November 13, 2009 in Chicago. Michael Maslin has all the links for you.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY is produced by Stuart Oken, Roy Furman, Michael Leavitt and Five Cent Productions, by special arrangement with Elephant Eye Theatrical.

Starring two-time Tony Award winners Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth as Gomez and Morticia, THE ADDAMS FAMILY features two-time Tony Award nominee Terrence Mann as Mal Beineke, two-time Tony Award nominee Carolee Carmello as Alice Beineke, two-time Tony Award nominee Kevin Chamberlin as Uncle Fester, Jackie Hoffman as Grandmama, Zachary James as Lurch, Adam Riegler as Pugsley, Wesley Taylor as Lucas Beineke and Krysta Rodriguez as Wednesday.

THE ADDAMS FAMILY features a book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice (librettists of the 2006 Tony Award-winning Best Musical, Jersey Boys), music and lyrics by Drama Desk Award-winner Andrew Lippa (The Wild Party), direction and design by Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch (Shockheaded Peter, The Metropolitan Opera's Satyagraha) and choreography by Sergio Trujillo (Next to Normal, Jersey Boys).


This issue of LITTLE IODINE (Vol. 1, No. 9, Dec-Jan 1952, published by Dell and copyright 1951 King Features Syndicate, Inc.) is credited to Jimmy Hatlo. I saw it in an antique store. It was stuffed in an oversized Ziploc bag.

The vervy inking style, the "big foot" style first popularized in the teens and 1920s, is full on display here. The form is well worth studying -- but the plot is very silly. It has some cuckoo coincidences and misunderstandings, but it chugs right along, with Little Iodine trying to do the right thing and her greedy Dad at first mocking her and then becoming a creature consumed with greed.

Even in the first sequence, which is all expositional Iodine/Dad dialogue, look at the different angles. Everything is in motion. And, when doors are slammed, Iodine doesn't stand there: she coils back, her mouth agape in shock. When Dad suspects a fortune is to be made, he doesn't just stand there. He charges up the stairs, with a little puff of smoke, zoom lines and sweat beading off of him (page 7, panel 1).

Friday, August 21, 2009

Cost Cutting at THE NEW YORKER: A Stirring Tale

From the NYPost's Page Six:

McKINSEY's cost-cutting measures at Condé Nast have claimed another victim: coffee stirrers. "They've done away with them," a staffer at the New Yorker tells Page Six. "I was hunting around for one and our supply manager told me they were no more. I guess we now have to shake our coffee to get the milk to mix in." The staffer also says the publisher has done away with free hot chocolate in the building. A Condé Nast rep declined to comment.

Hat tip to Adam Moerder.

Video: Charles Schulz & Charlie Gibson GOOD MORNING AMERICA (1986)

Here is a 1986 clip of Charles Schulz interviewed by Charles Gibson for ABC's GOOD MORNING AMERICA program on the eve of his induction into the Cartoonist Hall of Fame by the Museum of Cartoon Art. The clip says it's from "May 1987," but since Schulz is there to promote a then-new collection titled DOGS DON'T EAT DESSERT, which was the first in a series of Fawcett reprint books that began in 1985. He was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1986. He talks about the characters and Gibson presses him about the Little Red Haired Girl & Charlie Brown. My thanks to StoopGP for posting this on YouTube. It runs just under 5 minutes.


For your Friday reading pleasure: KIDDIE KAPERS #1. Hairy Green Eyeball has the whole issue here.

A few weeks before, CartoonSNAP had some scans as well. I'll defer to my friend Ger Apeldoorn's opinion that this may be Al Fago's art.

Related: spend hours looking at the Golden Age Comics Downloads.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Why Libraries Ban TINTIN by Hergé

Above: Two Africans, speaking "pidgin English," spot Tintin's ship in a 1930 original cartoon panel from TINTIN AU CONGO. To the right, a revised panel, showing that they had "changed their clothes [and] also made their French less degrading."

The NY Times talks about TINTIN AU CONGO and other books being "held under lock and key" in A Library’s Approach to Books That Offend by Alison Leigh Cowan.

"The cartoonist Hergé is popular again, as is his adventurous reporter Tintin, who will be featured in a Steven Spielberg movie due out in 2011.

"But if you go to the Brooklyn Public Library seeking a copy of “Tintin au Congo,” Hergé’s second book in a series, prepare to make an appointment and wait days to see the book.

"'It’s not for the public,' a librarian in the children’s room said this month when a patron asked to see it."

When a public librarian tells the public that a book is "not for the public," I get suspicious.

TINTIN IN THE CONGO, first published in 1930, depicts racially insensitive caricatures. It was banned for years in Europe. Even though Hergé revised this book, TINTIN's second adventure, years later, it remains an offensive volume to some library patrons. More on TINTIN AU CONGO.

A few other titles that have been banned according to the ACLU:


Hat tip to John Klossner!

Daryl Cagle's Drawing Process

Editorial cartoonist Daryl Cagle shares his process from sketch to finish at his blog today.

Video: Tom Gammill Lesson Twenty

I can always count on laughing out loud at Tom's videos and this one, starring Tom Gammill with special guest star Tony Carillo, was no exception. Tony was so good I'm now hoping for a Tim Conway type of recurring guest star slot position for him.

Below: My favorite shot in the video: Tony F-MINUS Carillo's sketchbook:

International Society of Caricature Artists 2009 Annual Caricature Convention and Competition

The International Society of Caricature Artists 2009 Annual Caricature Convention and Competition is coming up this November in Sandusky, OH. It's a massive week-long event featuring some MAD Magazine greats. The deadline for discounted early registration is September 15th. This is a great chance to meet and talks with some wonderful guys who are great caricaturists. Tom Richmond has all the details.

"Ordinary these conventions are only open to members of the organization. For the first time this year there will be a special fee of $99 for anyone who is not a member but wants to attend just the MAD speaker presentations. I warn you, though, if you are a caricaturist or cartoonist and attend just for the speakers you will be so blown away by the creative power of the event you will likely apply for membership on the spot and end up drawing away like the other 150 plus attending artists."
This is going to be a huge event.

Videos Now in Paper Magazines

From BBC News:

"The video-in-print ads will appear in select copies of the US show business title Entertainment Weekly.

"The slim-line screens - around the size of a mobile phone display - also have rechargeable batteries.

"The chip technology used to store the video - described as similar to that used in singing greeting cards - is activated when the page is turned.

"Each chip can hold up to 40 minutes of video."

Hat tip to Rod McKie!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Does a Cardboard Bear ...?

This is off topic, but there are black bear sightings in this Cleveland suburb. Sadly, in this age of cell phones, none of the black bear sightings were photographed. But in this news report by WJW Channel 5, we can see that that fact will not deter the creative minds of the local TV news.

When you can't afford CGI, howzabout cardboard?

Hat tip to The Times: Does a Cardboard Bear ...?

Sergio Aragonés Exhibit Report

Chartles Donlan writing for the Santa Barbara Independent describes the current Ojai Valley Museum retrospective of Sergio Aragonés.

"To add to the MADcap fun of this show, alongside the traditional informational wall cards of an art exhibit, viewers get a number of drawings done right on the walls by Aragonés himself. These not-so-minor masterpieces of marginalia are just as irreverent as the ones that Aragonés has been publishing as his signature contribution to MAD for decades. To imagine the artist prowling around the installation of the show, pen in hand and ready to strike, is a fair symbol of the man’s approach to his art. For Aragonés, there always seems to be more fun to be had, more jokes to be made, and more drawing to do."
Mr. Donlen mentions the recent REUBENS JOURNAL cover ("the giant drawing of Hollywood that Aragonés produced for the trade magazine of cartoonists, the Reuben Journal"). Below is a small bit of detail from Mr. Aragonés' REUBENS JOURNAL cover, scanned in from my own copy. Please click to supersize and linger over, lovingly.

Corey Pandolph Consolidates His 4 Strips

Editor & Publisher reports that Corey Pandolph, who lives just the next state over from me, is going to take the 4 comic strips a day and put them all up at

The 4 comic strips are:
Corey explains in his "Things Are About to Change" entry at his Fake Rockstar blog:

"I’ve had enough.

"Enough of maintaining four websites, uploading comics to six different places and selling next to nothing. My first inclination was to end everything but the Elderberries and consider myself lucky to still have a cartooning job.

"Fortunately, cooler heads have prevailed. There will be cuts, but not to any strips. We’re scaling back and getting rid of inventory… and some websites."

The solution (he explains in his "Big Moving Day" entry ) "... will greatly reduce my workload, as I will no longer have to maintain the individual sites, blogs and updates. I’ll have one place to upload the strips and you’ll have one place you can read them. Win/win!"

I wish him much good fortune. May the road rise to meet you, my friend!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Scott Stantis: New Chicago Tribune Editorial Cartoonist

You can't help but feel so darned hopeful about newspapers, the economy and, specifically, the business of cartooning when you hear that

" ... the Chicago Tribune, one of the country's leading newspapers and a publication without a full-time editorial cartoonist since Jeff MacNelly passed away in 2000, Birmingham News">has announced its hiring of Scott Stantis of the Birmingham News. "

-- Tom Spurgeon, Comics Reporter

Related: AAEC Press Release by Ted Rall

Chicago Tribune: Chicago Tribune hires Scott Stantis as editorial cartoonist

Harry Mace

I enjoyed seeing some of Harry Mace's cartoons at Ger Apeldoorn's Fabuleous Fifties blog.

Mace was a journeyman cartoonist; magazine cartoonist, syndicated cartoonist -- and a master of clean line 1950s style humor.

Monday, August 17, 2009

READER'S DIGEST Will File for Bankruptcy

The Christian Science Monitor reports (Reader’s Digest can’t escape media’s recession by Laurent Belsie) that the Digest is going through tough times.

Here's the details from a late afternoon NY Times article by Stephanie Clifford:

The Reader’s Digest Association announced on Monday that it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for its United States businesses within 30 days.

It's funny. I was just talking with Mark Anderson this morning about the Digest and how it was probably time for another cartoon meeting. Now, I don't know. The mag is going to be there for a time, while the current restructuring gets set.

Circulation is in the millions, but the current owners are looking to get rid of 75% of debts according to Forbes. In exchange, the magazine's debtors will swap their monies due for ownership. If penny pinchers instead of editors run the shop, then content will be slashed.

The Digest is one of the top paying cartoons markets in the world. It will be hard to see it go, but maybe it's the last of the big general interest magazines to fall. Once there was Colliers, Look, Life, the old Saturday Evening Post; these are all gone.

The press on this is that things will continue as it was. I hope so. Let the editors edit. And let the cartoon content of the Digest be unique and original.

My thanks to Rod McKie for the news. Thanks, Rod.

What Stormtroopers Do On Their Day Off

More photos at

Hat tip Ray Alma!


Lots of old issues of that long-running Catholic comic book TREASURE CHEST are here.

You can get lost in the art.

Big hat tip to Comics Reporter!

Friday, August 14, 2009

15 Worst Movie Titles

They're all the Oddee Blog.

A 1969 musical film directed by and starring Anthony Newley, this is a comedy that's been forgotten except for its mind-boggling title. In 2006, Can Hieronymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness? won a readers' poll in the Chicago Tribune as the worst movie title ever.

Hat tip to Mike Palguta!

The Giant Floating Heads of Tintin and Snowy

Ahh, a nice day in Brussels, Belgium. Eh? What is that crane doing?

Oh! A large Tintin and Snowy sculpture being taken down from the office of the Editions Du Lombard, where the TINTIN magazine originates.

They were removed to be cleaned, and, I am assured, will return to their usual perch in a few weeks.

A big thank you to my friend Claude who emailed these recent photos taken by his friend.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Awful Library Books Blog

There are some very sad books in your local library that no on wants to borrow. This is their story.

Some of the unborrowed books' titles:

  • Ethics in Business
  • Nice Girls Do ~ and now you can too!
  • Teacher Spanks Johnny
  • The Underachiever: Challenges and Guidelines
  • What’s Wrong with My Snake?
  • Do-It-Yourself Coffins: For Pets and People
  • More Great Pantyhose Crafts
  • Crafts for Retarded: Through their hands they shall learn
  • I want to be a Librarian
Via The Guardian.


The award winning TOM THE DANCING BUG by Ruben Bolling shows us why he deserves all those awards on his mantel! A well done cartoon about our times. Now, please excuse me -- I better go "Friend" Ruben!

Hat tip to Richard Thompson.

The Garden as of Mid-August

Here is the garden (both vegetable and flower gardens) as of now.

The driveway and, that nice orange fellow to the left is a stray cat that has been living in the woods. Yes, we are going to trap him next week. Yes, we are looking for a home for him. Except, I think, I may have fallen for him myself.

Mostly strawberries, but the back has been cleared and there are some recently planted turnips and lettuce.

Here there are peas, zucchini, cucumber(unseen, behind the zucchini), and, to the left, just starting to poke its little leafy green heads out of the soil, kale

Oh, heck, I can't remember. Lots of things here. Yellow squash, 2 kinds of lettuce (getting old now and getting too bitter), and sunflowers

These are actually 2 boxes. In the front: runner beans, whose blooms draw many hummingbirds. In the back, there are tomato plants. A lot of sunflowers just came up this year and if they weren't in the way, they stayed.

The flower garden, the BIG 2009 project, is going well. Getting nice and shaggy.

And here are 2 cords of stovewood, waiting for me to stack, stack, stack.

More photos here.