Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tom Gammill Visits THE NEW YORKER Part 2

Hilarity, obviously, ensues!

This is #22 of Tom Gammill's "Learn to Draw" series. Of course, you don't really "Learn to Draw." You just laugh. These are funnier and funnier.

Robert Goodin's COVERED Blog

JIMMY OLSEN #107. Original cover by Curt Swan and George Klein, DC Comics, 1967, as redrawn by Sam Henderson.

Thanks to Sam Henderson, I just discovered the Covered blog. This high concept blog, run by Robert Goodin, showcases contemporary cartoonists reimagining old comic book covers, drawing them in their own style.

"The intention of Covered is to feature a wide variety of artists redoing comic covers in their own style. Artists can come from any field: cartoonists / comic artists (both from the mainstream and the independent fringes), illustrators, animators, graphic designers, photographers, sculptors, etc. and be both well known or up and coming."
Take a look!

CAPTAIN AMERICA #2. Cover by Joe Simon; Marvel Comics, 1941. Danny Hellman's website is here.

Orphan Works and the Google Book Settlement Part 2

Here is the second part of the Orphan Works and the Google Book Settlement from Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner at The Illustrators' Partnership.

Part 1 is here.


Orphan Works and the Google Book Settlement / Part II


A Reversal of Copyright Law

Last Friday we summarized the basic details of the Google Book Search Settlement. Like the visual arts "databases" we opposed last year, this agreement would allow both Google and a yet-to-be-created Book Rights Registry to commercially profit from an author's work whenever they say they can't locate the author.

Both schemes would force authors to opt out of commercial operations that infringe their work - or to "protect" their work by opting-in to privately owned databases run by infringers. This Hobson's Choice for authors reverses the principle of copyright law.

The by-product of the Google settlement (again like the Orphan Works bill) would be to establish public access to private property as the default position in copyright law. In other words, it presumes:

a.) that the public is entitled to use your work as a primary right,
b.) that it's your legal obligation to make your work available, and
c.) that if you fail to do so, you forfeit your exclusive right to control access to your work.

If you're an author and you wish to keep the book you write from becoming a potential orphan, you'd therefore have to register it with the Book Rights Registry run by the parties that settled with Google (and who will receive an award of $30 million for cutting themselves in).

Advocates of the deal try to justify it by saying it will make more books available to more people than at any other time in history - a claim that's no doubt true - but therefore they say, as Andrew Albanese writes in Publishers Weekly, "the massive public good of the deal far outweigh[s] the individual greivances [sic] of rightsholders."

Yet it's in this very argument that the danger lies.

Once the Copy Left has established a legal precedent that the property rights of authors can be subordinated to the assertion of public interest, they can build on that principle to enact further statute and case laws to benefit commercial interests. To do this, they'll have to chip away further at the inherent property rights of individuals.

Orphan Works: "Half a Loaf"

An example of the agenda that underlies both the Google book search settlement and the Orphan Works bill came in May, 2008, at a time when the Orphan Works bill looked to be a shoo-in by early summer. Anticipating a quick mopping up operation, the bill's advocates were high-fiving one another. But as James V. DeLong of the Convergence Law Institute reminded them, there was still much work ahead.

Calling the Orphan Works bill just "half a loaf," he hinted at what it would take to permit commercial interests to take the whole loaf:

"These possibly-orphan, sort-of-orphan, and gray literature works simply cannot be made available if the digitizers are required to make one-by-one judgments and seek permission before copying. If they are to be retrieved in useful form, then sooner or later Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and some others must be permitted to digitize on a massive scale."

Of course he acknowledged that the new reverse copyright law should not deprive intellectual property owners of their "legitimate rights." But he reaffirmed the Copy Left's fundamental premise that intellectual property owners should not be entitled to legitimate rights except in situations where they've registered their works:

"At some point, some kind of grand grandfathering proceeding will probably be required, a window in which holders of existing rights must reaffirm them or lose them." (Italics added)

Again, this is the same premise we see at work in the Google book settlement. As Lynn Chu, a principal at Writers Representatives LLC, wrote in the Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2009:

"Under the settlement, every rights-owner in America is supposed to hand over all their private contract data, on every edition of every work they ever wrote -- and every excerpt permission ever granted to others -- at the peril of losing the money Google will be making on their backs. This is a massive burden on everyone in the book industry, making us all, in effect, Google's data-entry slaves. Indeed, in most cases such information about every permission ever granted is unlocatable. It opens a Pandora's box of disputes and mistaken claims about who actually owns what." (Italics added)

This is identical to our warning last year about the Orphan Works bill:

"[The Orphan Works bill] would force artists either to entrust their entire life's work to privately owned commercial databases or see it exposed to widespread infringement. It would let giant image banks access our commercial inventory and metadata - and enter our commercial markets as clearinghouses to compete with us for our own clients. I can think of no other field where small business owners can be pressured to supply potential competitors with their content, business data and client contact information."
- Brad Holland, Small Business Administration Roundtable, August 8, 2008

The War on Authors
Both the Google Book settlement and the Orphan Works bill have their intellectual rationale in the war on authors that began decades ago in the obscure theories of Postmodern literary critics. Their fundamental premise is that all creativity is communal and that authors are only the agents through which the community creates. This has led a handful of activist legal scholars to demand changes in the law requiring artists, writers and others to affirm and reaffirm the rights to use their own work by, in effect, licensing it from the public "commons."

This argument, Marxist in its origins, has found its unlikely champion in those large commercial Internet interests that hope to build Information Age empires supplying businesses and the public with creative "content." By defining millions of works as orphans on the premise that some might be, both the Google Book settlement and the Orphan Works bill would allow these opportunists to profit by harvesting the work of others, providing their databases with content they could never afford to create themselves nor license from authors.

Next: Orphan Works and the Google Book Settlement /Part III: Compelling Arguments
The Register of the US Copyright Office has condemned the Google settlement in terms nearly identical to our condemnation last year of the Orphan Works bill. In Part III, we'll examine those similarities to see the patterns that are emerging from this insidious effort to change copyright law.

- Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner for the Board of the Illustrators' Partnership


For news and information, and an archive of these messages:
Illustrators' Partnership Orphan Works Blog

Over 85 organizations opposed the last Orphan Works bills, representing over half a million creators. Illustrators, photographers, fine artists, songwriters, musicians, and countless licensing firms all believe this bill will harm their small businesses.

FAMILY GUY: Washington Post Editorial Cartoon Satire

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Video: Keith Knight's Controversial Cartoon UPDATED

I agree with Lloyd Dangle that an entire school misses the point of Keith Knight's cartoon.

Link to The K Chronicles "Why the attacks against Obama couldn't possibly be racially motivated" by Keith Knight

Local TV 33 news story and video here.

UPDATE: Keith Knight's Official Statement

The Brainstormer by Andrew Bosley

Go and play!

Thanks to Andrew Bosley for making such a thing.

And thank you to Sean Kelly for letting me know about it. Thanks, Sean!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Video: Jack Davis and Nick Meglin UPDATED

From this past weekend's National Cartoonists Society Southeast Chapter weekend festival (and there promises to be more video to come) - EDIT: here are all the Jack Davis/Nick Meglin videos so far:

Hat tip to Brian Vasilik for all of this. Thanks, Brian.

Happy 100th Birthday, Al Capp

Above: a vintage photo of Al Capp from Caitlin Manning's Al Capp documentary (video clip below).

Al Capp deserves a tribute so writes the editor of the The Daily News (Newburyport, MA). I agree. LI'L ABNER was one of the most popular strips of the 20th century and nearby Amesbury, MA was (and this was news to me) Al Capp's adopted home.

He died in 1979 and is buried in Amesbury, his adopted home. There are a handful of specific locations directly connected to his life in Amesbury and neighboring South Hampton, but nowhere is there any sort of public acknowledgement [sic] to his life. That ought to change.
Smart, sarcastic, caustic, witty — Capp was a complicated man who tried to reflect the world around him through his comic strip. In the midst of the Great Depression, the young and talented cartoonist struggled to find his footing in the cartoon business before finally launching L'il Abner in 1934. The cartoon was an immediate hit. At its height, some 900 newspapers carried it, and it's estimated that the peak audience was somewhere around 60 million — at a time when the nation's population was a little over twice that number. Even today it is considered by critics to be one of the greatest comic strips ever drawn.
Capp had lost a leg at the age of nine due to a trolley accident. (MY WELL-BALANCED LIFE ON ONE WOODEN LEG was the title of his autobiography.) This did not impede his ambition.

Above: Al Capp's grave in Amesbury, MA via Photo by bosguy.
Al Capp was, to put it mildly, a polarizing personality. There was, during that time, a TV special (THIS IS AL CAPP) as well as a long playing record -- all about Al Capp the right-wing crusader.
The editor goes on to quote Frank Frazetta:
Frank Frazetta, a friend and famed science fiction artist whose works included many of the most iconic movie posters of our time, described Capp as "exasperating, infuriating, domineering, obnoxious, loud, lots of fun, acidic and lovable."
What the editor does not reveal (or simply is unaware) is that Frazetta was an employee of Capp's; a ghost on LI'L ABNER, producing perhaps the sexiest comic strip women ever from 1954 to 1961. According to FRAZETTA: PAINTING WITH FIRE, when Capp moved his studio to the coast, he insisted Frazetta uproot his family from their New York home and follow him -- at a reduced pay rate, no less. Frazetta refused.
Life was on Capp's terms. When he was just starting out, Capp assisted cartoonist Ham Fisher on his popular JOE PALOOKA strip. When Capp left Fisher's studio to go it alone, creating the LI'L ABNER strip, Fisher accused Capp of stealing the idea from the PALOOKA strip. The feud went on for 19 years, reaching great heights of hysteria, and went public in the 1950s.
From the ASIFA Capp bio:
JOE PALOOKA creator Ham Fisher and Al Capp waged a famous feud for years. It finally came to a head when Fisher "doctored" photostats of LI'L ABNER in order to make its panels appear pornographic. Fisher promptly accused Capp of indecency, and attempted to have him expelled from the National Cartoonists Society. An ensuing lawsuit revealed Fisher's duplicity, and culminated in Fisher's expulsion from the NCS instead. (Fisher subsequently committed suicide in 1955.)
Here's some video of Al Capp:

If you have never seen it, here's Al Capp with John Lennon and Yoko Ono from their 1969 "bed-in" for peace from the CBC archives:

Al Capp's granddaughter Caitlin Manning shares her documentary work in progress (which is a great introduction to the influence of LI'L ABNER and includes some old film of him drawing):

"He doesn't put his best foot forward, always, but what foot he does put forward is one of his own," says his friend Walt Kelly in the opening for the THIS IS AL CAPP TV special. And maybe that's the beast way to leave things for today, the 100th birthday of the one-of-a-kind creator of the Schmoo, Fearless Fosdick and Kickapoo Joy Juice, to name a few.

Hat tip to Journalista! for The Daily News link.

Video: Charles Addams on CBS Sunday Morning (1994)

This is a 15 year old, 8 minute report about the famous New Yorker magazine cartoonist Charles Addams (1912-1988) by CBS feature reporter (and humorist) Bill Geist for the old CBS Sunday Morning TV show. Writer Paul Rudnick, who wrote the ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES movie script, leads Geist around the NY Public Library gallery show of Addams' originals. We also visit his Westfield, NJ home.

According to the YouTube poster, mittdawson, the segment originally aired on host Charles Kuralt's final show, April 3, 1994.

Related: The Addams Family Musical begins previews in Chicago next month.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Orphan Works and the Google Book Settlement Part 1

From Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner at The Illustrators' Partnership:

Orphan Works and the Google Book Settlement / Part I


We've been asked for news about the Orphan Works bill. Last June Intellectual Property Watch warned that it would be back during the summer. And on June 11th, Senator Orrin Hatch confirmed his intent to reintroduce the bill. We immediately put out a notice to artists. But summer's over and we've had no further news. So far, so good.

Of course Congress has had other priorities: the ongoing financial mess, the health care debate and - on the copyright front - the Google book search controversy. For those who haven't followed the news about this Google assault on copyright, we'll try to summarize it.

The World's Largest Library (Or is it Bookstore?) In 2004, Google announced its intent to digitize all of the world's 80-100 million books - and to make most of them commercially available as orphaned works. The plan has been controversial since its inception.

Google began with the cooperation of several major libraries. The libraries gave Google access to their holdings. The problem is that libraries are libraries; they don't own the copyrights to the books they hold. In short, they gave Google the rights to other people's work. So far, Google has scanned over 10 million books.

In 2004, the Authors Guild and Association of American Publishers sued Google for copyright infringement. Last October the parties settled. The resulting agreement is 141 pages long, with 15 appendices of 179 pages. The implications for copyright holders are not clear, but what the litigants would get is breathtaking. As Lynn Chu, a principal at Writers Representatives LLC, wrote in the Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2009:

"[I]f approved by the federal court, [it would] permit Google to post out-of-print books for reading, sales, institutional licensing, ad sales, and other publishing exploitations, by Google, online. The settlement gives the class-action attorneys $30 million; a new, quasi-judicial bureaucracy called the Book Rights Registry $35 million...and $45 million for owners infringed up to now -- about $60 a title."

Google would keep just over a third of the profits generated by selling these books online. The rest would go to the Book Rights Registry run by publishers' and authors' representatives. In other words, 63% would go to the parties that sued Google. In theory, the Registry would attempt to locate the authors of orphaned works and pay them royalties. But as Ms. Chu points out, the parties that sued Google - and would therefore benefit from Google's infringement - have themselves traded away other people's rights in the bargain:

"No one elected these 'class representatives' to represent America's tens of thousands of authors and publishers to convey their digital rights to Google. Nor are the interests of this so-called class identical."

The US Department of Justice apparently agrees. Last Friday, it filed an objection to the settlement and advised the court to reject the settlement as written. On page 9 of their brief, the DOJ attorneys write:

"The structure of the Proposed Settlement itself, therefore, pits the interests of one part of the class (known rightsholders) against the interests of another part of the class (orphan works rightsholders). Google's commercial use of orphan works will generate revenues, which will be deposited with the Registry. Any unclaimed revenues, however, will inure to the benefit of the Registry and its registered rightsholders. Thus, the Registry and its registered rightsholders will benefit at the expense of every rightsholder who fails to come forward to claim profits from Google's commercial use of his or her work...

"The greater the economic exploitation of the works of unknown rightsholders by Google and the Registry, the stronger the incentive for known rightsholders to retain the unclaimed revenues for themselves." [Emphasis added]

The Department of Justice also warns that the settlement fails to comply with copyright, antitrust laws and the rules of class action litigation.

The US federal court was scheduled to hold a fairness hearing October 7. But over 400 objections from around the world have been filed by rightsholders, competitors to Google and (in addition to the US government) the governments of France and Germany. Yesterday we received news that the fairness hearing has been delayed.

The Google settlement has also been condemned by Marybeth Peters, Register of the US Copyright Office. Testifying before the House Judiciary Committee last Wednesday, Ms. Peters stated that it would allow Google to "operate under reverse principles of copyright law," adding "it could affect the exclusive rights of millions of copyright owners, in the United States and abroad, with respect to their abilities to control new products and new markets, for years and years to come."

We haven't had much to say about this agreement because, with the notable exception of childrens' book illustrations (which for purposes of the settlement are considered part of the text) the agreement doesn't include visual art. Yet like the Orphan Works bill itself, the Google Book Settlement would be a radical change to copyright law.

Tomorrow we'll examine some of the ways in which this settlement parallels the Orphan Works bill.

- Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner for the Board of the Illustrators' Partnership
For news and information, and an archive of these messages:Illustrators' Partnership Orphan Works Blog:

Over 85 organizations opposed the last Orphan Works bills, representing over half a million creators. Illustrators, photographers, fine artists, songwriters, musicians, and countless licensing firms all believe this bill will harm their small businesses.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Be Right Back ....

Have a great Thursday thru Sunday, gang! I'll be back next week.

-- Mike

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rob Rogers' G-20 Sketchbook

Follow Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial cartoonist Rob Rogers as he riffs on the upcoming G-20 summit held in Pittsburgh.

And don't forget that if you're in Pittsburgh, see the Drawn to the Summit editorial cartoon gallery show at the Andy Warhol Museum, thru October 18, 2009. Rob co-curated the exhibition with art historian Sylvia Rhor.

Except don't go tomorrow. The Museum, along with a lot of most other places in The Berg, is closed for the G-20 Summit on Thursday.

Monetizing Your Cartoons

I don't like this word "monetize," but it's one of those words that the first time you hear it, you get a good sense of its meaning.

When I began magazine cartooning, it was simple: go to the newsstand, look at a couple of issues, and mail some cartoons they might like. Keep doing it for a couple of months. If they buy, they have a set price they pay.

And, after a while, I had sold some cartoons, but there were still other cartoons, sitting in a pile, unsold. They had done the rounds, and been rejected. How do you turn them into money?

I went to the downtown Brooklyn Business Library to see what kind of business publications they had. An amazing selection! There was a magazine for and about board members. I had cartoons about board members. There was a magazine for veterinarians. I had dog and cat cartoons.

So, I started a new challenge for myself: I sent cartoons to magazines that did not use cartoons at all.

Sure, most of the time I was wasting my time and postage. (Yeah, I mail my submissions on paper. I still do to cold markets.)

Some of the publications were interested, and some wanted to buy. And the editors asked what I would charge.

What is the value of your cartoon?

Well, of course, decide if you will work for free. Will you give away your cartoons? If so, then you know your answer is that you will work for the exposure.

If you give your cartoons away for free, you will not make a living as a cartoonist. There are many talented people out there who are giving away their work on the Web, and most of them have to work full-time in jobs other than cartooning.

I show my cartoons for free on my Web site. I think this is just normal business. It doesn't bother me if someone wants to copy one of my cartoons for their friends. But it's wrong if a publication (print or Web) thinks they can just grab a cartoon for free content.

So, when editors asked about my rates, I decided I would not work for free. I want to be a real, working cartoonist. I had a minimum set in my head and if they balked, then I would walk away. This isn't posturing, this isn't being unrealistic. This is me making a living.

If an editor says,"We are looking for free content."

I tell them, I can't afford to give away my work for free.

Sometimes, I lose the client. And the client is worth losing, since they do not recognize that cartoons -- along with the freelance writers, the designers, the photographers -- everyone contributing to the content of a publication -- deserves to be monetized.

- This is an edited version of a January 28, 2009 entry.

Billy Blackburn's Rare Home Movies

Here are a bunch of home movies shot by original STAR TREK series regular Billy Blackburn. If his name doesn't ring a bell, then that's OK. Frequent viewers will know him as Lt. Hadley, the bridge navigator.

"They would pan past me to Shatner," he says. As soon as I saw his face, I recognized him as one of the stock background actors in the series.

And stock is right. He started as DeForest Kelley's stand in, and then one day was told to sit in the navigator's seat on the bridge. "That was before Chekov," he reminds us. He played a Gorn, an Organian, a NASA employee -- to name a few. And he always carried an 8mm or Super 8 film camera with him. It was only in the past few years that Blackburn chose to share these behind the scenes, candid movies of the original (The Old Show) STAR TREK cast and crew. I remember reading about it a few years ago and I saw a few stills. Amazing stuff. And even more amazing how well they were cleaned up and presented.

The movies were spliced together as an extra to the CBS TOS DVD set. Here they are.

Season 1 Part 1

Season 1 Part 2

Season 2 Part 1

Season 2 Part 2

Season 3 Part 1

Season 3 Part 2

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Steve Brodner: Baltic Amber

Illustrator Steve Brodner shares photos and sketches from his recent European trip.

I love on-the-spot sketches. I'm grateful that Steve took the time to share them with us. Thanks, Steve! Looks like a wonderful trip!

2009-10 Association of American Editorial Cartoonists Officers Announced

Via the AAEC Web site:

President: Rex Babin

President-Elect: Steve Kelley

Vice President: Mikhaela Reid

Secretary-Treasurer: V. Cullum Rogers

Directors: Mark Fiore, Jeff Parker, Mike Thompson

Ted Rall will also serve on the 2009-2010 Board as Immediate Past President

AAEC members also voted overwhelmingly (62 to 4) for an ethical guideline to be added to its bylaws, stating that

the act of appropriating another creator's work as one's own. If a member is accused of a clear and brazen act of plagiarism, the Board may act to permanently or temporarily suspend his or her membership.

Drawing the line between cartoonists outright stealing other cartoonists' work and what Daryl Cagle calls "Yahtzee" cartoons (when editorial cartoonists come up with the same idea simultaneously) may be difficult to police.

Popular opinion might be that its plagiarism when, for instance, more than one cartoonist draws Ted Kennedy playing touch football in heaven with Bobby and Jack. I may have seen about a half dozen of those; also: Ted waving goodbye from his sailboat silhouetted against the setting sun. But this is a coincidence, not plagiarism. The cartoonists just had the same idea on the same day.

One of the challenges with of coming up with a good cartoon is avoiding the low-hanging gag; the funny idea that could easily occur to another cartoonist. The challenge is to be a better, cleverer writer.

That's a good guideline to aim for any day.

Hat tip to Journalista!

Bangpop Photos from Raina Telgemeier

Originally uploaded by daveandraina
Here are some photos from this past weekend's Bangpop convention in Bangor, ME. I'm sorry I couldn't drop in for a visit. It sure look like Raina Telgemeier and Dave Roman had a good time. They share their photos of the weekendlong comics fest via Flickr.

Bruce Bairnsfather Charity Auction and Book

Before Mauldin, there was Bairnsfather.

A week from today, September 29th, is the 50th anniversary of the death of Bruce Bairnsfather.

"Bairnsfather was the most famous cartoonist of The First World War. His cartoons of the soldiers and their life in the trenches made them and the Nation laugh. But because he showed the men and the battlefields as they really were - dirty, generally fed-up and surrounded by the destruction caused by shelling - the Establishment disapproved of his work and he was never formally recognised.

Tonie and Valmai Holt, dedicated admirers of Bairnsfather, are publishing a reprint of BEST OF FRAGMENTS FROM FRANCE, a collection of 150 of his cartoons. There is also an online auction of Bairnsfather originals, beginning at £50. Links to the book sale and the auction are here. The Holts are giving all royalties to the Help for Heroes charity. In their words:

"29 September 2009 is the 50th Anniversary of Bairnsfather's death and in homage to him and in support of the charity Help For Heroes Pen and Sword Books are publishing some 150 of Bairnsfather' cartoons in a reprint of our Best of Fragments From France and we (Tonie and Valmai Holt) are giving all of our Royalties to the Charity. Therefore as long as the book is in print and selling, Help for Heroes will benefit."

My thanks to Jan Olpinus of the ECC Cartoonbooks Club for letting me know about this event, and the good work of Tonie and Valmai Holt.

Video: Larry Gonic and his CARTOON HISTORY OF THE WORLD

Coming in October is THE CARTOON HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART 2 from Harper Paperbacks, by the one and only Larry Gonick.

Here is a video of Mr. Gonick talking about the book, humor as a teaching tool, his early champion (the name will surprise you), the dautning amount of research and how he's teaching himself to draw better. He has been drawing these HISTORY OF THE WORLD comics for 31 years!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Bangor Daily News: Bangpop Profile

Above: detail from a photo by John Clarke Russ.

The past weekend, cartoonists and fans got together for the annual Bangpop convention, held in Bangor, ME. Bangor Daily News reporter Judy Harrison was there and submits this report.

Virgil "VIP" Partch Comic Strip Rough

Virgil "VIP" Partch was primarily known as a gag cartoonist, but he did have 2 syndicated features: BIG GEORGE and THE CAPTAIN'S GIG.

John Adcock shares an original sketch and letter from VIP when he was putting THE CAPTAIN'S GIG together in the late 1970s.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Video: Jim Morin Profile

From Art Street Miami:

Jim Morin's first animated political cartoon, posted on September 18, 2009:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Charlie Brown Christmas ... On Ice

A Charlie Brown Christmas on Ice will be presented as part of the Gaylord Opryland's Country Chistmas series this Holiday season in Nashville, TN.

Hat tip to Schulz Museum Marketing Director Gina Huntsinger. Thanks, Gina!

Today's HI AND LOIS Talks About Webcomics

Today's HI AND LOIS talks about the Webcomics economy. The entire strip is here.

Via Dave Kellett who got it from Gary Tyrrell. Thank you!

Happy Birthday, Comics Reporter

Above: the Comics Reporter logo circa 2004.

Congratulations to the Comics Reporter upon the occasion of its fifth birthday.

The obsessively updated, newsy site is a must stop; full of comics news and opinion for thousands of pros and fans.

The man behind it, comics omnivore Tom Spurgeon, is a constant source of information and opinion for me, personally and professionally. Thank you, Tom, for reporting on comic books, graphic novels, syndicated comics, webcomics, censorship, creators' rights, manga, industry sales, cartoon history, industry awards, cool creator Web sites and all sorts of things that I never knew about.

Many happy returns, Comics Reporter and Tom Spurgeon! And thank you again.

Above: the Comics Reporter logo circa 2009.

STAR WARS: What if Saul Bass Did the Titles?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

STAR TREK 1960s Anti-Drug Radio PSA

I've never heard this before.

From Daren Dochterman: here is a late 1960s radio public service announcement that he put together to exisiting footage from the 1970s STAR TREK THE ANIMATED SERIES.

What If RAIDER OF THE LOST ARK Was an Old 1950s Serial?

whoiseyevan creates "'pre-make;'" a mash-up of old trailers and clips found all over Youtube" to make a 1950s era version of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Here's his description:

"What if ... Raiders of the Lost Ark was a 50s film serial? Who would be best suited for the role of Indiana Jones? How would his villains translate to this era? What would the film's musical score sound like?

"Thankfully, since George Lucas and Steven Spielberg created Raiders as a homage to classic serials, these questions are easily answered. Both directors have acknowledged that specific films influenced key sequences across all four Indiana Jones films. I tried my best piece these films together and create a loose narrative. I hope you enjoy this homage to Raiders and the many great films that inspired it.

Some of the films included in this fake preview are:

  • The 10 Commandments
  • Prince Valiant
  • The Naked Jungle
  • Secret of the Incas
  • Jungle Queen
  • Zulu
  • Casablanca
  • Mr. Moto takes a Vacation
  • On Dangerous Ground, Patton
  • King Solomon's Mines
  • David and Bathsheba
  • The Screaming Skull
  • Young Indiana Jones Chronicles
  • Superman at Bay.
Go here for a frame-by-frame breakdown.

Lots more of these here.

Hat tip to Tony Medeiros.


Above: a 1918 advertisement for CAP STUBBS AND TIPPIE by Edwina Dumm.

The Yesterday's Papers blog showcases a 1937 Evening Gazette (Xenia, OH) portrait of cartoonist Edwina Dumm.
"Edwina, the petite young artist who draws 'Cap Stubbs and Tippie,' a daily comic strip, that appears in the Gazette, is one of the few successful cartoonists of her sex.

"When her identity is revealed to anyone who has studied her work, the usual comment is 'Impossible. A girl couldn’t draw, convincingly, about boys and dogs.'"

Hat tip to Comics Reporter.

LETTERS FROM CAMP with Cartoons by Syd Hoff

LETTERS FROM CAMP by Bill Adler (author of KIDS' LETTERS TO PRESIDENT KENNEDY), with cartoons by Syd Hoff, a Macfadden-Bartell Book, New York, NY. Copyright 1961 by Mssrs. Adler and Hoff.

Here are all of the illustrations Mr. Hoff drew for this popular and well-worn paperback.

The drawings are described as "cartoons" in the indicia for the book, not illustrations.