Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Studio Ghibli Closing?

Hayao Miyazaki says in this Cut Magazine interview (Google translation here) that Studio Ghibli may close if their new feature, ARRIETTY THE BORROWER, does not do well at the box office.

More at Geekosystem.

Below: the original trailer:

There is no US release date at this time.

Hat tip to Eddie Pittman via Kazu Kibuishi.


Above: a 1955 cartoon by Jeff Keate; relevant than, relevant now.

Part three of a selection of gag cartoons from the book titled YOU'VE GOT ME – AND HOW! , edited by Lawrence Lariar and published by Dodd, Mead & Company. It's copyright 1955 by Mr. Lariar.

Salo was one of the four Roth brothers who drew gag cartoons.

Argumentative spouses became Bob Barnes' bread and butter. A year after this book was published, he began his run 16 year run on the syndicated newspaper panel THE BETTER HALF. In 1958, he received an NCS Division Award for the feature.

Norman Hoifjeld gives me a laugh due to the goofy smiles the husband and wife exhibit. Scan biographical information about Mr. Hoifjeld exists. I know he did magazine gag cartoons in the 50s and 60s, with his work appearing in Baseball Digest and some of the Charlton magazines.

Did Goldstein knowingly or unwittingly draw the wife to look like she's wearing one of those striped shirts like a football referee?

It's the composition -- the fact that are eyes are drawn to the little wiggle lines by the exposed toes -- that Bill Harrison's cartoon works.

Here is Al Ross, another one of those four Roth brothers. He changed his last name from Roth to Ross. Al would develop an even sketchier style as the decades progressed. Oh, and here's a link to Arlen Roth's blog, with a photo of Al from December 2009. Arlen is Al's son.

I like how better dressed everyone was back then. Jim Whiting even makes sure there's a sharp crease in the male guest's slacks.

John Norment (1911-88) was a very busy fellow: a correspondent and photographer during the war, he would later, working for the Sundbloom Studio in Chicago, photograph all of the Coca Cola Santa Clauses. In addition to massive freelance work, John was an editor for Dell Publications. He won the National Cartoonists Society's Silver T-Square for editing The Cartoonist NCS journal. And there's a lot more I'm leaving out. He has a very good Web site devoted to his paintings, as well as an extensive bio. There is even a Zazzle store, managed by his niece, where you can buy one of his designs on a mouse pad.

More Barnes, more marital dischord for laffs.

Jack Markow had such a vervy line style.

Wilkinson reminds us of a time when a monkey named J. Fred Muggs was cohosting The Today Show.

George Wolfe shows the woman behind the man, egging him on, out of the house and upwards and onward.

Reamer Keller is one of my favorite cartoonists. Even for this simple layout, he gives us a bird's eye point of view, which gives a fresh dynamic to the composition.

I liked this cartoon by Mr. Boime, whose work I had not seen before. So far as I can make out, this may be Albert Boime (1933-2008), who dabbled in cartooning when he was in the army, and went on to get get his Master's from Columbia. He became a prominent art historian, leaving, so far as I can tell, the cartooning world behind. All this is according to the Dictionary of Art Historians.

Here are links to all of YOU'VE GOT ME – AND HOW!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Dan Reynolds Interview

Above: one of my personal favorites of Dan's cartoons.

The SUNY Oswego Alumni Association Magazine interviews "the most published cartoonist in Reader's Digest history," Dan Reynolds, in its Summer 2010 issue.

Michelle Reed writes "Prolific Reynolds Unwraps Laughter," in which we learn that Dan

"works eight to 12 hour days, creating an average of four cartoons a day, every day. 'I don’t have Saturday and Sunday off. I draw every day. I shower every day, too,' he says. He’s on target to produce upwards of 580 cartoons this year. Over his career of 20 years, he has drawn thousands."

Two years ago, Dan was diagnosed with testicular cancer and underwent intense chemotherapy. While in the hospital, Dan

"... coped by sharing his cartoons, calling it 'using humor to fight the tumor.' While hooked up to an IV pumping chemo into him, he would wheel down the hall handing out greeting cards with his gags to other patients, even doctors and nurses."

Laughter really is the best medicine. In remission close to a year, Dan raises money for the American Cancer Society.

The entire article is here (the link is a PDF).

All images are copyright Dan Reynolds.

Harley Schwadron Interview

It's a rare thing to see an interview with the prolific gag cartoonist Harley Schwadron. Nw that I think of it, I don't think I have ever seen ANY interview with Harley, whose cartoons I see EVERYWHERE.

So, a hearty thanks for David Paccia's Wasting Paper blog, here's a look at who Harley Schwadron is; what pens he uses (Koh-i-noor # 3 and # 2 1/2), his favorite comic strip (GRIN AND BEAR IT by George Lichty), whether he's a righty or a lefty (I assume that means drawing -- not politics), advice to cartoonist beginners ("Draw the kind of cartoons you like, try to find your niche, and pray a lot") and more.

David, by the way, is interviewing all of the cartoonists on the planet at his blog. If you are a cartoonist and you have not had an interview at David's site, then look out. He is coming for you.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Video: Martin Rowson

Above: a screen capture of the video.

Martin Rowson talks "In Confidence" with Laurie Taylor. Video link here.

Friday, August 27, 2010


This will be all around the Interwebs today. It's a CALVIN & HOBBES parody based on 2 bad guys: Lex Luthor and The Joker, and it's by Brian Azzerello and Lee Bermejo. This comic originally appears in issue #75 of DC's SUPERMAN/BATMAN comic book, which is out this week in comic book stores everywhere. I enjoyed this spoof so much, I'm going out to buy the comic.

Read the whole comic at the Forbidden Planet International blog.

Big hat tip to Joe Gordon via Peter Stanbury.


Part two of a selection of gag cartoons from the book titled YOU'VE GOT ME – AND HOW! , edited by Lawrence Lariar and published by Dodd, Mead & Company. It's copyright 1955 by Mr. Lariar.

Here are links to all of YOU'VE GOT ME – AND HOW!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Video: Forbidden Planet Comic Book Store

Rocketboom visits New York City's Forbidden Planet comic book store.

If you've never been, then this is a chance to peek inside the place.

Hat tip to the FPI blog!

Related: Rocketboom's Rube Goldberg profile.

Tardis Materializes at MIT

Via the Doctor Who News Page:

The TARDIS has materialised on top of Little Dome at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The appearance of the Time machine on the roof of the University located in Cambridge, Massachusetts is a "hack" or a practical joke. The University has a long history of "hacks" including placing a Dark Mark over the Student Center to celebrate the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and placing a Fire Department truck on the roof of the Great Dome.

Video: Frank Cho's World

Above: a screen grab from the video.

The Washington Post shows us a great video, along with some informative links, all about Frank Cho's work and influences. Well worth seeing. The videos by Ben de la Cruz and Alexandra Garcia are expertly presented and made me want more.

A big hat tip to my pal Sean Kelly!

Dez Skinn's History of UK Fanzines

Above: the one and only Brian Bolland draws up this spot-on SPACE:1999 drawing for a publication titled Rich Burton's Comic Media News way back in 1973.

Go and look at Dez Skinn's site ("The British Stan Lee!"), and, in particular, at the wealth of wonderful comic art goodness on the new fanzine page. (That's where the Bolland art is.)


Big tip of the hat to my pal Rod McKie for the link.

Happy 75th Birthday, Penguin Books

This year marks 75 years since the publication of the first Penguin paperback, which initially went for sixpence.

From the BBC:

"With the average hardback costing the equivalent of a week's rent, in the 1930s, a good contemporary read for most was absolutely unobtainable.

"That is until Penguin's founder, Allen Lane, brought out the first sixpenny paperbacks in the now iconic Penguin colours of orange for fiction, green for crime and blue for biography."

And it was Allen Lane who accidentally created the rarest Penguin -- in the middle of the night -- and it was a collection by a cartoonist.

The rarest Penguin book? A collection by the cartoonist Bob Siné titled MASSACRE. Penguin collector Steve Hare has his copy.

"Published in the 60s, MASSACRE glories in Siné's obsessions with the Catholic church, nuns and mutilation.

"Steve says: 'Allen Lane took offence to it, so he sneaked into his own warehouses at night and removed every copy that hadn't been sold and either burnt, buried or composted what was left.

"'So, a few of these were sold but no one knows how many.'"

Image of Bob Siné cover from the Rocbo site.

Related: I covet these Penguin book cover mugs. Image from the Australian Until Company site.

Video: Jim Toomey "Learning From Sherman the Shark "

Jim SHERMAN'S LAGOON Toomey gives one of those TEDTalks.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Jay Kennedy Scholarship Deadline December 15th

This year's poster designed and drawn by John Martz.

From the Jay Kennedy Scholarship site:

The annual Jay Kennedy Scholarship, in memory of the late King Features editor, was funded by an initial $100,000 grant from the Hearst Foundation/King Features Syndicate and additional generous donations from Jerry Scott, Jim Borgman, Patrick McDonnell and many other prominent cartoonists. Submissions are adjudicated by a panel of top cartoonists and an award is given to the best college cartoonist. The recipient is feted at the annual NCS Reuben Awards Convention attended by many of the world’s leading cartoonists.

Applicants must be college students in the United States, Canada or Mexico that will be in their Junior or Senior year of college during the 2010-2011 academic year. Applicants do not have to be art majors to be eligible for this scholarship.

Video: Leigh Rubin

RUBES cartoonist Leigh Rubin reflects on his early influences and his cartooning successes in this 12 minute video via aPLISSKINproject.

Sergio Aragonés in FUTURAMA

Sergio Aragonés appears in a "San Diego Comic Con 3010" episode of Matt Groening's FUTURAMA series Thursday night on Comedy Central.

Wired has the details and some more pics:
The “world’s fastest cartoonist” and the world’s most badass viper pilot make special voice appearances in this week’s episode of Futurama, which features a glimpse of what Comic-Con might look like in the year 3010.

Sergio Aragonés, the speedy comics legend who made his mark with Mad magazine and Groo the Wanderer, plays himself and appears as a head in a jar at the comic book convention on a panel discussion with Futurama creator Matt Groening and head writer/executive producer David X. Cohen.

Katee Sackhoff, who played Starbuck on Battlestar Galactica, guest-stars in the role of Grrl, a hot young Omicronian who wants to hook up with Lrrr, the ruler of Omicron Persei 8 who is facing a midlife crisis.

Comic-Con serves as the setting for Lrrr’s unsuccessful takeover of Earth at the beginning of the episode, which is titled “Lrrreconcilable Ndndifferences.” See the screenshots above for a sneak peek at the episode. Futurama airs Thursdays at 10 p.m./9 p.m. Central on Comedy Central.

Images courtesy MTV. Futurama TM and © 2010 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved.

Read More http://www.wired.com/underwire/2010/08/futurama-guest-voices/?pid=602&pageid=44242&viewall=true#ixzz0xd1b5Fpm

Getting Paid

"If you kept up with my blog, you'd understand."

I sold some cartoons to a client. I emailed the finishes to the editor and invoiced him that day. (The above cartoon is not one of the cartoons. It was bought by a very good market that pays consistently on time. I'm just using it as an illustration.) This client is supposed to pay within 30 days.

Over a month goes by, no payment.

I sent a friendly reminder email last week and then, yesterday, I left a phone message. "Hi, uh, it's Mike calling. Just want to know if there's a check in the mail. It's my rent time. Ha, ha." (That's not a joke, really. I do have to pay New York rent, which is NOT CHEAP.)

No answer.

Now, it's my personal rule not to let things get behind. Sometimes there are good reasons why I don't get paid. Not all the time, but some times. I'm open to there being a problem on their side. And I want to be civil and friendly. No confrontations. Regardless, I'm frustrated that the editor won't contact me.

So today I checked out the site for the magazine. This is a national mag, on newsstands from coast to coast. The site was there, operating just fine. So then I looked at this feature called EDITOR'S BLOG.

One of the topics for the blog: "Freelancing has never been an easy way to make a living. Is it getting harder?" And there's a place to MAKE COMMENTS.

The editor won't return my call, but he has time to blog. Hmm.

Like I said, I'm not making this up.

Hmm. Is freelancing getting harder?

I immediately thought of Al Jaffee's Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions.

"No, it's not hard since I've given up eating."

"It'd be a lot easier if you'd just PAY ME."

"My mom is gonna call your mom and then, oh boy, you're going to be in a lotta trouble."

This isn't the first time that it's happened to me. I just try to be persistent and nice. "Is there anything else that you need? Can we go over my contact details again? Can you Fed Ex a hand-written check?" And if I get a non-responsive person on the phone, I counter with, "What would you do if you were in my situation?"

Well, I won't post a comment on that mag's blog. I won't say what magazine it is. Hopefully, it will work out. Especially if I'm persistent about it. I suppose there's a chance of the editor somehow seeing this blog and -- BOOM! -- no more business from him. Ah well.

The darn thing is, it's such a small bit of money to the corporate world. It's a plane ticket. It's lunch for board. It's a car rental.

Besides my sweet big cat Roo getting in my way as I draw, this is another time drag; another reason I don't produce more cartoons! Too much time spent in the Mike Lynch Accounts Receivable Department.


This has been an encore presentation of the Mike Lynch Cartoons blog. The above appeared in its original form on March 2, 2006.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Half-Dozen Turkeys in the Yard

A turkey family was seen browsing in the front yard this afternoon, looking for their lunch under the birdfeeder.

Hmm. Only 3 more months until Thanksgiving!

Robert Berry on his ULYSSES "SEEN" Graphic Novel

Robert Berry will appear onstage at the Irish Arts Center in NYC on October 7th to talk about his adapation of James Joyce's ULYSSES, titled ULYSSES "SEEN."

From the press release:

On the eve of New York Comic Con, experience Ulysses “Seen”, Robert Berry’s graphic novel adaptation of the 1922 edition of James Joyce’s epic masterpiece, through commentary by the artist in conversation with Mike Barsanti, editor, and moderated by Karen Green, curator of the Columbia University Library collection of graphic novels.

Learn how you, too, can be part of the creative process, with a special preview of pages from the newest chapter, and a forum for readers to suggest settings, props and character types for the remaining chapters of the comic.