Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Video: Joe Kubert Interview

Joe Kubert is interviewed at the Sydney Supanova 2010 by Darcy Quinn.

Video: Art Spiegelman/Pilobolus "Hapless Hooligan in 'Still Moving'"

Chock full of comics visuals, this collaboration between Art Spiegelman and Pilobolus pulls together the language of movement and cartoons in a one-of-a-kind piece. Here's a preview from Dartmouth, where it premiered on June 24, 2010:

Related: Alastair Macauly's NY Times Dance Review of "Hapless Hooligan in 'Still Moving,'" created by Spiegelman and choreographer Michael Tracy.

Related: Video: Art Spiegelman on Comics

Video: Art Spiegelman on Comics

Art Spiegelman talks about his own work, how comics work and what the future of comics could be.

This interview is from June 2010, when he was at Dartmouth College for the world premiere of his collaboration with Pilobolus Dance Theater.

Related: Alastair Macauly's NY Times Dance Review of "Hapless Hooligan in 'Still Moving,'" created by Spiegelman and choreographer Michael Tracy.

Video: Mike Shapiro Interview

Magazine cartoonist and caricaturist Mike Shapiro is interviewed by Arlington Weekly News (AWN) Anchor Dr. Pia Salmre.

This is an informative, short interview (it runs 4:47) with Mike Shapiro, a fellow magazine gag cartoonist whose work appears in Barron's, Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review and other publications. Mike is right when he mentions that the more you draw, the better you get. He alos points out that you have to read a little bit of everything; you have to be aware of what's going on: trends, popular culture, buzzwords -- all this is part of the writing process of being a good gag cartoonist.

Early Cartoonist Head Shots

Above: "Ding" Darling, H.T. Webster, Don Batholomew.

Via Allan Holtz' indispensable Stripper's Guide, a couple of newspaper advertisements from 1911 and 1912, featuring some rarely seen photos of early cartoonists.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bunny Bash June 24, 2010

Above: the 2010 attendees of the Bash, posing in the backyard. Photo nicked from Rosey Mulderrig's Village Tatler article.

Here are a few photos from the Bunny Bash, an annual event held at Bunny Hoest's North Shore home in Long Island. She graciously opens up the Hoest castle to cartoonists from all over.

Hmm. Giant cut out of a bunny by the mailbox? This must be Bunny Hoest's place!

Adrian Sinnott and Dotti Sinnott: a wonderful illustrator and his talented daughter. Adrian is Chair of the Long Island chapter of the National Cartoonists Society, otherwise known as the Berndt Toast Gang. Adrian shares some Bunny Bash photos at his blog.

Arnie Levin, Mort Gerberg, Dione and George Booth, and Marie Stemmle.

Gerry Mooney, Marie Stemmle, Sandy Kossin and New Jersey Chapter Chair Tom Stemmle.

Arnie Levin and George Booth. "Hang on. Let me take my sunglasses off."

"OK, you can take the picture."

Matt Diffee, S. Gross and Ken Krimstein. I can never get Sam to smile for a photo.

MAD Mag's Sam Viviano. We are playing "dueling photographers."

The Berndt Toast Gang's own award-winning Ray Alma (shown with patient spouse Caryn)!

Julie Haring and Suzan Haeni. Always good to see Jules and Suz!

David Paccia and Mike Lynch. David's the man behind the Wasting Paper blog, wherein he interviews cartoonists. David's Bunny Bash photos and report is here.

Adrian Sinnott and George Booth.

Howard Beckerman

Roberta Fabiano plays while Sandy Kossin gets down.

Our lovely hostess Bunny Hoest, Doug Bratton, Marie and Tom Stemmle.

Ken Krimstein, Sam Gross, Deana Sobel and Dotti Sinnott.

Sam Viviano draws on a couple of commemorative cards. One is in honor of Jerry Jurman's 80th birthday. The other is to give to Lee Ames. He recently moved from California, back to the Long Island area.

Don Orehek, Joe Giella, Mike Lynch.

Long Island traffic. Nothing like it! UGH!

Sorry to say that there were some people I didn't get a chance to say hi to: Stan Goldberg, Frank Bolle, Mort Drucker, Ed Steckley, and others.

Cartoonist Photographs

Here are a few cartoonist photographs that I came across on eBay.

Roland Coe, perhaps best known for his pre-war NY Post "Crosstown Cartoons." He had a wonderful sense of character movement and a sweeping wash style. One of those journeyman cartoonists, who did a lot in his day. Heck, he was a professional cartoonist at the age of fifteen. Unfortunately, he is largely forgotten today.

Related: my friend Ger Apeldoorn has some later Roland Coe samples here.

Marty Links was the creator of the cartoon panel BOBBY SOX, a comic that out-ran its fashion based title due to its longevity -- So, Ms. Links changed the name of the feature from BOBBY SOX (which was the title from 1944 to 1951) to EMMY LOU (1951-1979). More BOBBY SOX/EMMY LOU samples here.

Veteran cartoonist Jeff Hayes. From a 1952 Editor and Publisher article by Erwin Kroll via Stripper's Guide:

"'Cartooning is my work,' Mr. Hayes explains, 'but selling is my hobby. I love to sell.'"

[...] Mr. Hayes, a native of Newburgh, N. Y., came to New York City in the twenties to study at the Art Students League or, as he puts it, "to bum around for a while." Later he joined the ad­vertising art staff of the New York Journal, where he stayed for 12 years. After a stretch of comic book work for King Features, he joined Consolidated News Features as general art handyman, doing sports and editorial cartoons and, at one time, three daily comic strips—"Pop," "Silent Sam" and "Witty Kitty." Besides "Chip" he still does "Silent Sam," also known as "Adamson's Ad­ventures."

Fred Neher (1903-2001), whose single panel comic strip LIFE'S LIKE THAT was syndicated for 43 years. Nary an example of the panel was to be found by me on the Web. Yeah, 43 years. And I found just one small JPEG of it online. Please let me know if you have better luck ....

EDIT: I was misinformed. I misspelled Fred Neher's name. My thanks to Rippee (see comments below).

Of course, spelling his name correctly really does help. Now I can find his Lambiek page and cartoons.

Sorry about that, Rippee -- and everyone else ....

Creator of MUTT AND JEFF, Bud Fisher (1885-1954). Fisher arguably created the modern comic strip -- he certainly was one of the earliest creators to hit it big. He soon farmed MUTT AND JEFF out to unnamed ghosts while continuing to reap the majority of the feature's profit.

People forget how big the strip was. And there was ancillary income. For instance, there was a series of animated MUTT & JEFF shorts (a link to one here). Fisher, ever the egomaniac, was fond of telling people that he wrote and drew all of the cartoons all by himself -- in the paper and on screen.

The above 5 photographs from the Lewis Wayne Gallery.

This is not an endorsement of the Gallery, but I did like these photos that are now offered for sale via eBay.

Monday, June 28, 2010

THIS IS TRUE by Rina Piccolo

Rina is a friend and she's one of those people who is funny in person and funny as a cartoonist. Take a look at THIS IS TRUE.

Cartoonist Self-Portraits

Ger Apeldoorn shows us an ad for the cartoonists then appearing in the Sunday Supplement section of THIS WEEK circa 1950.

Video: MAX UND MORITZ by Wilhelm Busch

Every generation has its cartoony bad kid(s). Max and Moritz, German prototypes of the Katzenjammer Kids, were a 19th century series of stories by Wilhelm Busch.

Like Hans and Fritz, Max and Moritz' only purpose in life was to play sadistic, practical jokes. Originally published in 1865, and consisting of a mere 7 episodes, the comics were reprinted in over 30 languages, so reports Lambiek.

Rudolph Dirks was inspired, and created THE KATZENJAMMER KIDS -- perhaps the most significant and longest running "bad boy" comic strip. A tradition continued by other characters like DENNIS THE MENACE, Calvin -- as well as supporting cartoon players like Reggie (both in ARCHIE and RICHIE RICH -- although, of course, not the same "Reggie," natch!), Spooky (from CASPER), Goofus (of GOOFUS & GALLANT) ... and, well, I'm sure there are more.

Bad boys are still popular. MAX UND MORITZ continues to live today, with numerous adaptations of their adventures; most recently, the German theatrical film MAX UND MORITZ RELOADED in 2005.

Here is a black and white stop motion version below (coupled with an ad for the new DVD set). While I cannot place this, it sure looks like its 50+ years old -- if not older:

And here is a link to the first part of a 1956 color, singing, live action (with a bit of animation) version.

Related: what looks like the 1978 Austrian animated German TV version of Max und Moritz.

Related: Steve Bissette's Wilhelm Busch profile at the Schulz Library Blog.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Buy My Book! Free Sketch! (WIth Purchase)

Just a sample of some of the original sketches that I've been drawing in each and every one of my new CARTOONING BASICS mini now on sale.

Thanks to everyone who's ordered!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dueling Banjo Pigs

Above is my contribution to the Dueling Banjo Pigs project, which i had great fun doodling up this afternoon.

As Stacy Curtis described it to me:

It started when fellow illustrator Guy Francis challenged me to a duel of banjo-playing pigs. Now, other illustrators have become involved and we're inviting you to create a banjo-playing pig of your own!

To keep better track of the pigs, we created a blog:


ITEM 1: There is going to be a large size treasury of CUL DE SAC comic strips, titled CUL DE SAC: GOLDEN TREASURY OF KEEPSAKE GARLAND CLASSICS drawn by my pal Richard Thompson, coming to your bookstore or online bookshop soon. More at Richard's site.

ITEM 2: And, speaking of fine additions to your bulging bookshelf: note the uncredited appearance of Raina Telgemeier's new graphic novel SMILE in today's CUL DE SAC!

Content That Is Not Suitable for Printing

I have no right to sell the above Baltimore Oriole t-shirt, which I had put up for sale a couple of weeks ago thru my Zazzle store.

"Unfortunately, it appears that your product, Baltimore Oriole, contains content that is not suitable for printing at"
I got the above note in my email in box last week.

Sure, as you may remember, I drew my own color sketch of the Baltimore Oriole that I had seen in my very own yard. The bird drawings drew a lot of comments and so I put some of those images on t-shirts for sale via Zazzle. Why not?

Well, that was NOT a good idea according to the Zazzle on-line store:

"Design contains an image or text that infringes on intellectual property rights. We have been contacted by the intellectual property right holder and at their request we will be removing your product from Zazzle’s Marketplace due to intellectual property claims."

You can still buy it, now renamed as No Name Bird.

Wear it in protest to an Orioles game.

Note to the lawyers: the Baltimore Oriole bird had the name FIRST, dang it!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Here is the new trailer to THE GREEN HORNET feature film due out in January 11.

Hard to say how this may distinguish itself from a lot of other loud, violent movies arriving at the multiplex. Rogen and Chou sure look good, but the plot is right outta a 1940s comic book. Won't this generation find it laughable that a newspaper publisher (Rogen's Dad in the movie, played by Tom Wilkinson) can be -- uh -- powerful? And a threat to the mob/crips/bloods?

And what's the age difference between Rogen and Cameron Diaz?

Big hat tip to Comic Riffs!

Video: "I'm the Guy" by Rube Goldberg

Here is the song "I'm the Guy," a comic song of 1912, with lyrics by the one and only Rube Goldberg and music by Bert Grant. Or, as the sheet music credits read:

Ravings by Rube Goldberg and Noise by Bert Grant

Billy Murray sings "I'm the Guy," a saying popularized by Rube, so far as I can tell, in comc strip form.

Then there were the "I'm the Guy" pinback (small) buttons. There were a lot of these small comedy buttons, although none are photographed in any detail on the ol' Web so far as I can see. Each one would have a goofy looking guy (mostly drawn by Rube, but not always), usually forking his own thumb towards his own mug, declaring that he, himself, indeed, is The Guy.

These sold well, or so I am told.

Here is the song with a lovely bit of video courtesy of jxhensley.

Related: Ron Evry has sheet music scans and an MP3 here.

Related: Randall Whitaker cigarette/tobacco pinback buttons page.

Sheet music cover from the Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music.

LET'S GO FOR BROKE Illustrations by George Price

Mary Lasswell's book LET'S GO FOR BROKE has some illustrations by New Yorker cartoonist George Price. shares these rarely seen images.

Hat tip to Comics Reporter!

Related: George Price: Early Years


I don't know why, but I have always enjoyed looking at Edward Ardizzone's illustrations. Even when I was a wee tot, in the basement children's section of the Lawrence (KS) Public Library (before it got flooded in the 1970s and they built the new (now old) library), I would check out and re-check out his LITTLE TIM books.

I remember trying to figure out why I liked the drawings. Even though I was a little kid, I was still interested in what it was that made drawings "good." Maybe it was the easy, flowing ink line. Maybe it was his choice of colors. I had no idea that Ardizzone had been commissioned to paint a watercolor of the Queen's coronation or that, before that, he was Official War Artist during WWII. (During the years of the Blitz, he was once arrested as a suspected "enemy spy" by the Home Guard when caught sketching in the East End.)

In SKETCHES FOR FRIENDS, which was published in 2002, I learned that he was also a letter writer, and he adorned those letters with ink and, sometimes, watercolor.

The 2 letters above are to his granddaughter Susannah, lovingly preserved since the mid-1950s.

I now look at the letters like I did as a kid. There are the same lush watercolors and the inky characters, always in motion.

You can feel the weight in his drawings. His large caricature of himself leans a bit to the right, like a large vessel listing; while the doctor stands like a cheery martinet, tilting his head, while saying, "I pronounce you cured[.]"

The Gentleman's Lavatory, drawn in gray and yellow tones. So much action in this one! And the look on the faces -- from quietly desperate to becalmed.

Above from a 1973 letter. What a wonderful thank you note!

I urge you to seek out this book. All these years later, I still love to linger over his drawings.

Related: His MY UNCLE SILAS drawings.

Monday, June 21, 2010

GROUP-SHOT by Rina Piccolo

Rina Piccolo writes and draws GROUP-SHOT, a comic strip that, she says, only takes 4.3 minutes to read. And it's well worth it.

The Garden in Late Spring 2010

Happy petunias on the side steps.

Some of the large array of multi-color daisies.

Hard to believe that there was nothing planted around this house just 2 years ago.

Now the garden is nice and green and shaggy. Shaggy = good. At least in our humble opinion!

A multi-mutant daisy.

That purple bloom in the back of the daisies is false indigo.

This is 3 weeks later. The poor daisies are beginning to go limp.

Love these new lupins.

These grow wild in parts of Prince Edward Island.

There are whole fields of them in PEI. I wouldn't mind a field of them here in NH.

Looking over to the vegetable garden. Many strawberries! Runner beans in background.

Squash, cucumber, more ....

Peas, cauliflower and a couple of wild sunflowers in the middle.

Tomatoes in the forward box, and lettuce in the back one. The marigolds dissuade some bugs from bothering the tomato plants.

The neglected herb garden, with oregano and wild green onion, and many weeds.

The garden.

And more flowers from the front of the house.