Thursday, June 30, 2011

What Do You Use for Reference?

You can get lost doing reference. Google images can be a time sucker -- a fun time sucker, but, well, nonetheless. You have to be careful with your time. And you also, as a cartoonists, need to be able to draw EVERYTHING.

One of my dear friends was the late, great Tom Gill (1913-2005). If you were a boy who read Western comic books in the 1950s, you knew Tom Gill's work.

Tom, who was raised in Flatbush Brooklyn, NY, drew the popular LONE RANGER and SILVER comic books for Dell/Gold Key in the 1960s. Tom did some other Western books too, including licensed properties like BONANZA. Most of these were produced in his Long Island studio. He was a prolific hard working cartoonist, who also made time to teach.

One day, in the early 2000's, during a visit to his home, we were paging through some of his original LONE RANGER art. I admired the detail: the sagebrush, spurs, horses, Western towns, etc. -- all excellently delineated. I asked him what he used for reference.

"Reference? I didn't have time for reference!" was the answer he growled at me.

Related: Lone Ranger #38 via Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine
Tom Gill's unseen THE ADVENTURES OF BRAINS BENTON comic strip proposal
Tom Gill: A Personal Remembrance

Books for Sale

Selling a few cartoony things on eBay; gag cartoon books, graphic novels, etc. A lot are 99 cents.Please consider taking a look.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Video: 1975 Chicago STAR TREK Convention

Here are two videos from a two different guys who were at the 1975 Chicago STAR TREK Convention. This Con is significant since it was the first time, since the show's 1969 cancellation, that the original cast appeared together. A set of the USS Enterprise bridge had been built and placed onstage. When William Shatner appeared and sat in it, there was much clapping and hooting.

Travel back in time, back when TREK fans were weirdos and there was little hope that the TV series would ever be resurrected.

Via HeyHow:

Richard Portnoy shares his 8mm film:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Simon and Kirby Swipes

The French site BDZoom has a selection of Simon & Kirby comics compared with newspaper panels by Hal Foster and Alex Raymond. There is, to borrow that French expression, a sense of déjà vu. English translation here.

Video: SNUFFY SMITH's John Rose


Milton, NH: Found Cat

FOUND CAT. Living in our woods in Milton, NH. Friendly, shy, little. Right ear tattered. Meows at me in a friendly way. Don't think he (or she) is a barn cat. Looking at Petfinders, Craigslist, went to Milton Veterinary as well. No leads.

If anyone has any information, please let me know. If anyone is interested in adopting him, please let me know. I do not want to take him to the shelter but fear that is inevitable. 

Mike Lynch Illustration in July 2011 TATLER Magazine

The July issue of the UK mag TATLER is still on the stands in the States. I drew a couple of illustrations for one of their cover stories.

Although the article is not online, below is a peek at one of my illustrationa. It's always fun to draw a rich guy in spats and "Death" with the shroud and sickle. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

NY Times: Brian McFadden

Congratulations to Brian McFadden, who created the inaugural strip, "The State of Unemployment," for the NY Times reinvented Week in review section.

Michael Cavna has an interview with the alt-editorial cartoonist here.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Video: THE ROCKETEER Pixar Style

Via CartoonBrew:

 Always loved Commando Cody and was the biggest fan of Dave Stevens’ homage The Rocketeer. Disney made a live action film in 1991, so why couldn’t Pixar make a new one today? French animator John Banana couldn’t wait and made this “fan film” in tribute to Stevens and his creation:

The Rocketeer 20th anniversary from John Banana on Vimeo.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cartoon Book Sale

Selling a few cartoony things on eBay. Please consider taking a look.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Video: Garry Trudeau at University College Dublin

Pulitzer Prize-winning American cartoonist and creator of Doonesbury, Garry Trudeau was at the University College of Dublin in June 2011 to receive an honorary degree. While at UCD, Trudeau shared a conversation with Prof Bob Schmuhl, University of Notre Dame and former UCD John Hume Institute Visiting Research Fellow. This runs just over an hour.

Video: Mexican Editorial Cartoonist Mario Robles

Mario Robles is a political cartoonist in Mexico's Oaxaca province. He has been violently attacked several times for his critical cartoons.

Video: Jeffrey Koterba

Gene Colan 1926-2011

Gene Colan has died at the age of 84 at a Bronx, NY hospice "following a broken hip and complications from liver disease," reports his friend Clifford Meth.

Considered to be one of the premier Silver Age Marvel artists, Colan illustrated some of the world's most famous comics characters, from Captain America and Doctor Strange to Daredevil and Blade.

He co-created the latter with writer Marv Wolfman and, in 1969, created the Falcon with Stan Lee. A regular partner of Captain America, the Falcon was the first African-American superhero to feature in mainstream comics.

In the 1970s, Colan drew all 70 issues of Marvel's horror series The Tomb of Dracula, and much of the Steve Gerber-written satire Howard the Duck. During his stint on Tomb of Dracula, Colan and writer Marv Wolfman created Blade, a character that went on to inspire three films starring Wesley Snipes and a television series.

Colan worked extensively for DC Comics in the 1980s, including multiple issues of both Batman and Detective Comics. At DC, he also reunited with Wolfman for the 14-issue supernatural series Night Force, and experimented stylistically with two Nathaniel Dusk miniseries.

-- Albert Ching for Newsrama

As a reader, I loved Gene's work. There was a credibility about it: No matter how outlandish the premise or plot, Gene somehow made you believe it. His pencil art was many ways, too good for the assembly line production process and the flimsy printing that it usually received. As good as his work looked in your comics, it was always probably better.

-- Mark Evanier

This man was my introduction to Marvel Comics. There was a little drugstore at the end of time in Lawrence, KS. I went to elementary school in that town. For some reason the drug store stocked comics that were 5, 6 or 7 years old on its spinner rack. I bought Daredevil Special #1, in like-new condition, for its cover price of 25 cents. A major investment! My first Marvel comic book.

The energy in those drawings as Daredevil fought his enemies ("Electro and his emissaries of evil") was captivating. Colan had a dramatic style that seemed cinematic.

In the 1970s, my peak Marvel-geek years, I would buy ANYTHING Colan: DD, Howard the Duck, Tomb of Dracula, Captain America and the Falcon. Even after I stopped buying comics, I hadn't outgrow Colan. I'd buy his later projects, like Nathaniel Dusk, and be in awe just like I was when I was a tot in Kansas.

He was my Jack Kirby. Through his work, I got into the Marvel Comics line.

He will be missed.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Video: The Landon Cartooning Course

Via Potrzebie: John Garvin has posted his short, very informative documentary about the Landon Course, the most influential of the learn-at-home cartooning course.

The Landon Course had a stunning list of graduates spanning a couple of decades. Some of the names:
  • Roger Armstrong
  • Carl Barks
  • Martin Branner
  • Gene Byrnes
  • George Clark
  • Sid Couchey
  • Milton Caniff
  • Jack Cole
  • Roy Crane
  • William Donahey
  • Edwina Dumm
  • Ric Estrada
  • Gil Fox
  • Paul Fung Sr
  • Floyd Gottfredson
  • Vince Hamlin 
  • Ethel Hays 
  • Bill Holman
  • Jud Hurd 
  • Ed Kuekes 
  • Stanley Link
  • Fred Locher
  • Bill Mauldin
  • Ken Muse 
  • Fred Neher
  • Gladys Parker 
  • Allen Saunders 
  • Frederick Siebel 
  • Dorman H. Smith 
  • J.R. Williams 
  • Chic Young

Take a look at John Garvin's site Enchanted iMages here.

And consider buying his book on the Landon Course.

Video: Tom Gammill's "Learn to Draw #27" Meet Arnold Roth

Here's the 27th installment of Famous Cartoonist Tom Gammill's "Learn to Draw" series where, as you know, we don't really, actually, learn a lot. But it's great fun and we get to visit Arnold Roth's studio in this segment.

Oh, if this were a TV series, we'd be in the second season. (TV seasons typically run 22 episodes now.) For instance, if this was FRIENDS we'd be watching The One Where Heckles Dies. If it was SEINFELD, it would be, due to a shortened first season, the third season episode where Jerry and Elaine are stranded at the Long Island party ("Maybe a dingo ate your baby!). Oops. I digress. Here are Mssrs. Gammill (who DID write for SEINFELD - so I'm not too off topic here kinda sorta) and Roth (who's a brilliant award winning illustrator and former National Cartoonists Society president):

Related: Arnie Roth's HUMBLUG

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Top Ten Cartoon Characters' Favorite Foods

Lee Klein, writing for the Miami New Times Food Blog, pens From Popeye to Obelix: Ten Food-Lovin' Cartoon Characters.

This is a great idea for a Top 10 list and it leads off with GARFIELD in the #10 position. The nice thing about the list is the breadth of names -- from Disney to Comedy Central to Dargaud -- that are surveyed.

My nitpick: Where's POPEYE?

EDIT: Oops. He's there. sorry about that.

Above image of J.Wellington Wimpy by Segar nicked from Tom Spurgeon's Comics Reporter blog entry "The Greatest Comic Character Of All Time Is J. Wellington Wimpy."

Dorothy Lamour Comic Book "The Road to Stardom"

Oo la la!

John Glenn Taylor's Easily Mused blog gives us a 1949 comic book story about the one and only Dorothy Lamour in "The Road to Stardom."
"Even when she was four years old, Dorothy was a great performer."

PS Magazine's 60th Anniversary

Preventive Maintenance (PS) Magazine, the US Army's long-running publication "regarded internationally as the most successful and longest-running communication program utilizing sequential art to convey technical and motivational information," turns sixty this year. Above: Joe Kubert's wraparound cover for the June 2011 issue.

Join Mr. Kubert and Paul E. Fitzgerald at The Best of PS Magazine 1951-2011 blog for more.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


HOW TO CREATE 1000 GAGS A YEAR by Jack Markow, Harry Lampert and Dan Koerner. Published by and copyright 1961 by Cartoon Consultants, 170 Broadway, New York 38, N. Y.

Let's say that you are a magazine gag cartoonist. OK? OK! Today, you have an 8 hour work day to come up with and execute four complete cartoons. Tomorrow, draw 4 more.

And so on.

At that rate, taking off the requisite 2 weeks of vacation (unpaid, since you are a full time freelancer), you will have produced about 1000 cartoons. This book will help.

1000 GAGS A YEAR will not teach you to draw cartoons. It assumes you are already on your way drawing-wise and it's time to develop "systematic methods and habits of work."

I agree with the authors that coming up with ideas that are funny becomes easier with time. But I also think that a cartoonist is limited by his or her aptitude. You can teach the how-to, but so far as succeeding: that's up to the cartoonist, his abilities and his persistence to do this hard work.

Fred Neher Profile

There's a lovely profile of cartoonist Fred Neher (1903-2001) in today's Boulder Daily Camera. It was written by Carol Taylor.And it explains how it came to be that street named in his honor is there.

Fred, after living in NYC, moved his family out west to Boulder in 1951.

"We got tired of the fast living in New York," Neher told a Camera reporter. "My friends were dropping like flies from the strain."

... The Nehers built a home on three and a half acres northeast of the city limits on Naples Court. They discovered the street was formerly Meadowlark Lane, which they preferred. The Nehers petitioned to change the name. The Boulder County Commissioners decided instead to name the street Neher Lane. The street, north of Iris Avenue off 19th Street, is now within the City of Boulder.

Monday, June 20, 2011


It's a beautiful day. Stop reading them dang fool comic books and go outside!

Hey, here's an entire comic book that you could have bought for 35 cents in February 1978.

Here is THE NEW KROFFT SUPERSHOW No. 2, May 1978. It's copyright 1978 by Sid and Marty Krofft TV Productions, Inc an based on their 1976-78 TV series. The Big Comic Book Database credits Fred Fredericks with the interior art. The comic book, like the TV show, had different live-action characters. This book features Magic Mongo, Kaptain Kool and the Kongs, Bigfoot and Wildboy, and Wonderbug. Mr. Fredericks was very adept at capturing the likenesses of the actors and changing his style a bit from feature to feature.

 Yes! Here's a Twinkies ad featuring Marvel character Captain America!

The art here is pretty darn good, I thought. Certainly a skillful job by Mr. Fredericks, who continues King Features' MANDRAKE THE MAGICIAN today.

Above: one of the two STAR WARS ads in the book. My local theatre was STILL playing STAR WARS. There were places that ran that movie for a year. And people still came!

Above: the first official STAR WARS watch by Bradley. One of those first year, proto-STAR WARS pieces of merchandise. I've seen it on eBay, mint, in its case, for $500.

I would read a whole book of Captain Kool & the Kongs doing bad Laugh-In jokes!

Above: some bad drawings in that Super pocket Toy Values ad, huh? Can't think that they ever sold any.

And we close with an ad for CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND trading cards and the classic Sea-Monkeys ad.