Thursday, October 31, 2013

Academy for Mystic Arts: Become a Witch!

Problems with your beau? Cast a danged spell on the boy! That'll mind him!

A 1973 Academy for Mystic Arts advertisement from the August issue of Amazing Science Fiction.

Via Weird Universe.

Lowell Isaac Draws People

Above: A page of "Garys" drawn by Lowell Isaac.

Lowell Isaac is a terrific illustrator, and he's developed this exercise to keep his drawing chops in shape.

This is his "Wall of Gary;" his exercise of sketches based on Googling a random name. It's fun and it works really well.

A page of "Bills" drawn by Lowell Isaac:

A page of "Ricks" drawn by Lowell Isaac:

I tried it too. Here are some of my drawings based on Googling "Orson." It was a mistake. I got way too many Welleses and Scott Cardses and a few Beans. I needed to do a more generic name, like Lowell did.

Mike's "Wall of Orson" drawings:

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Video: Mike Peters Cartoons on KTNV Action News

Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Mike Peters talks about Mother Goose and Grimm as well as drawing editorial cartoons.

Mike shows a completed in-studio Mother Goose and Grimm cartoon original:

Two-Time Pulitzer Prize Winning Editorial Cartoonist Walt Handelsman Moves from NY Newsday to the New Orleans Advocate

75th Anniversary: Orson Welles' "War of the Worlds" Radio Drama Broadcast

If you have an hour tonight, you might want turn off the lights and stream the 1938 Mercury Theatre production of "War of the Worlds." The program, with such a small listenership that is did not have a sponsor, incited an hysteria over Martian armies invading New Jersey.

Based on the book by H.G. Wells, and presented as a series of radio bulletins by Orson Welles, "War of the Worlds" is infamous as the "radio broadcast that panicked America." Since the show did not have to have a commercial announcement in between each act (no sponsor = no commercials), it helped the realism of the thing.

Although accounts vary, it's fun to think that many people listened and thought that the country was really being invaded. It was pretty easy to tune into other stations and see that they were NOT talking about Martians and death rays.

As for me, I got the record (above) when I was a kid. (Thanks, Dad!) I listened to it many times. I don't know if there was some big panic, but PBS has a new American Experience special that says so.

The record was my introduction to Welles and I still remember playing it when I was ten years old in my corner bedroom in Lawrence, KS while I drew pictures at my desk.

There was a book, and then a made for TV movie title "The Night That Panicked America" (1975). It starred a bunch of TV actors of the time (Meredith Baxter Birney, Tom Bosley, Will Geer, Casey Kasem, Eilen Brennan). Based on the book by Howard Koch, the story and screenplay was by Nicholas Meyer. As of now, you can find it on YouTube.

Watch the PBS American Experience "War of the Worlds" documentary online here.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Spike: "This Is Everything I Know"

If you know Web comics, you know Spike. She produces the popular Templar, Arizona Web comic. 

Recently, for the annual 24 Hour Comics Day, she produced a primer on how to make it as a cartoonist. Titled "This Is Everything I Know: a 24 Hour Comic About Comics," she tackles how to become a successful Web cartoonist.

Above is a page by Spike noting some of the pitfalls.

She details that it's a ten year process to become a professional indie cartoonist -- adding that you have to be talented, productive and lucky. There are no guarantees. Spike has been drawing her comic since 2005 and doesn't have a day job. "I make comics full-time," she tells us on her Info. Page.

She creates fictional stories on the Web with the goals of getting 1000 fans who are willing to spend $100 each a year on her work. ("'1000 True Fans' is a popular concept in a lot of creative circles.")

A difficult path to success with no guarantees. And, the big difference for me, absolutely no corporate clients.

Hat tip to Jamie Smith!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Unseen Video: STAR WARS Outtakes

I've never seen this.

Outtakes from STAR WARS. More clips available from EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and RETURN OF THE JEDI.

EDIT: Oops. Too late. Now there's a "This item has been deleted because of a copyright violation" notice. Never mind.

It's probably popping up (and getting deleted) on YouTube somewhere right now.

Edit: reposted:

Getting Paid for Your Creative Work

Tim Kreider writes about creatives not getting paid in his "Slaves of the Internet:, Unite!" piece in the NY Times. 

It was the topic of conversation pretty much all weekend, with the digital version coming out Saturday and the print yesterday (top of the fold in the Sunday Review section). 

The old "we love your work but not enough to pay you" line has been around forever and Kreider tells some good stories. 

After a while in this "content provider" business, we all have some harrowing stories.

One thing that Tim notes, and that has happened to me, is that major companies approach with a query -- but leave out the money talk. 

Example: "Dear Sir/Madam: We are looking for the owner of this cartoon (attached). Are you the owner? Do you own the rights? We would like to use it in --------- (name of new book, etc.). If so, please send us a 600dpi TIF ASAP, etc." 

What's missing from that query? There is no mention of compensation. 

When I send my chirpy reply that their cartoony rights holder quest is at an end and I am indeed the owner of the cartoon, then I tell them that upon compensation, I will send them a hi res version. 

Anyway, read Tim Kreider's piece and start talking about it. 

I think the important thing to remember is that there will always be people who want something for nothing -- and you just need to say no thank you very much -- and move on.

Unless you want to give it away for free. In which case, you cannot make a living. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Mike Lynch Cartoon in November 2013 FUNNY TIMES

I have a cartoon in this month's FUNNY TIMES featuring a little kid, all tucked up in bed, reacting to his Dad reading a nursery rhyme way too seriously.

You wouldn't know it to look at it, but this is an example of a cartoon rejected a dozen times before finally seeing the light of print. The cartoon is so old that I remember drawing that Spider-Man poster when the final Sam Raimi Spider-Man movie was out. As we know, there's been a reboot of the franchise since then!

Looking at this now, I like how it appears that the kid is really under the covers. I like all of the schmutz on the floor. The cork board in front of the computer is just like in my studio.

A Matt Bors cover graces this month's issue.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Superman Animated 75th Anniversary Short

By Zack Snyder and Bruce Timm. More here.

Cartoonmuseum Basel "Der Fall Herr G. and Co." Festival Poster

Cartoonmuseum Basel (that's the one in Switzerland) has an exhibit that, roughly translated, is titled "The Adventures of the Clean Line." The gallery show, which runs from October 26, 2013 through March 9, 2014, traces (no pun intended) the history of the "clean line"style of cartoon and comic art.

The above jam poster has examples of the clean line, with characters such as Tintin, Jiggs and others. I'm sorry to say, but I cannot find an art credit for this. The poster art is designed by Exem. His Facebook page is here. (Hat tip to Bado for IDing the artist! Thanks, Bado!)

There are samples of Exem's poster art in progress here. Take a look and see all the work that went into this! Wow!

Oh -- there is, at that above link, a contest to see if you can name EVERYONE in this poster. But the deadline is midnight tonight (and I bet that means 6pm EST here in the States). I can't come close, myself.

Regardless, I want a poster of this!

Hat tip to Ulf K!

"Best of The Post: 1946-1960" THE SATURDAY EVENING POST January 2, 1960 Part Four

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Video: The Making of Gerald Scarfe's 'Watch Out, Gromit!'

Steve Benson Lecture “Editorial cartoonists are the Preparation-H on the hot-seat of the government."

Photo by Zeynab Day.

Pulitzer prize winning editorial cartoonist Steve Benson lectured at Eastern Kentucky University on October, 16, 2013.

His older brother is president of the University. He introduced Mr. Benson by saying, “He sticks to his convictions and he sticks by his word and stands by his work."

The presentation was the culmination of a gallery show of his original editorial cartoon art held from September 30th to October 17th, 2013.

Some highlighted quotes by Steve Benson as reported by The Eastern Progress newspaper writer Zeynab Day:

“Editorial cartoonists are the Preparation-H on the hot-seat of the government. Our job is to provoke and to catalyze.” 
“It’s the job of the editorial cartoonist to be a check mate if you will, or at least a check on the ridiculousness, pomposity and insanity that we see in public government today. Our job is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.”

And, of course, there are 40 years of angry newspaper subscribers. From the article:

"His favorite came from a subscriber who phoned in to tell Benson that after seeing his editorial cartoon she wanted to 'cancel her prescription.' 
"He mentioned another angry reader that sent and email saying 'looking at your work it’s hard to believe you beat out 100 million sperm.'"

"Best of The Post: The 1940s" THE SATURDAY EVENING POST January 2, 1960 Part Three

Above: a 1943 SATURDAY EVENING POST Carl Rose cartoon.

Here are some more of the best cartoons that the SATURDAY EVENING POST ever ran, according to its 12 page cartoon gallery in the January 2, 1960 issue.

Part 1 is here.
Part 2, 1930s cartoons, is here.