Thursday, June 30, 2016

Roy Crane Scrapbook: Drawing Women

Here's the "Roy Crane Scrapbook," a feature from the Cartoonist PROfiles magazine No. 38, June 1978. Click to super-size, of course. I do not recall if this was a continuing feature in Jud Hurd's great magazine, but to find this by accident the other day was very exciting. [EDIT: It was an occasional feature in the early days of the magazine.]

Here's Mr. Crane:

"Almost all of the pictures on the preceding pages have these things in common which might be called 'Our Goal.'

"A pretty face ... drawn simply and with care.

"Graceful curves even to the finger tips

"Nice hair

"Interesting action to command attention

"Small waists, feet, ankles


"And never mind what a girl really looks like."

This all looks like Mr. Crane himself pasted these up for the magazine.

"Pretty girl TYPES. Search for character.

"What a variety of eyes and lips! No two alike. Search for character in the eyes and lips."

"And how to make them DISTINCTIVE
"First, as with men, learn her dominant character trait.

"Is she to be bad, glad, or sad? Innocent, sophisticated, or aloof? Lively or demure? A schemer or a dreamer? Etc.

"What is to be her intended impact on the reader? Her general attitude?

"Only when you know the answer to these questions can you be expected to work out a satisfactory character."

"TYPES. As in the case with men, it's a job of fitting together a JIGSAW PUZZLE

"2. THE EYES There are innumerable shapes.
"3. THE LIPS These are but a few. Stuudy [sic] other pictures on these pages.
"4. THEIR RELATIONSHIP, ONE WITH ANOTHER For example: Is the upper lip long or short? Is the chin short, weak, rounded, pointed, cleft, etc? How long is the nose? Is the face broad, or long, and how shaped? How do they fit together?"

-- The following has been a rerun from the ol' blog dated March 20, 2009.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T PANIC Illustrations by John Huehnergarth

WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T PANIC, subtitled "A Funny Novel About Life in Suburbia," was written by Jean Mercier and illustrated by John Huehnergarth. It's copyright 1961 by Ms. Mercier and was published by Doubleday.

"What happens when a city-bred wife with three small daughters is suddenly transplanted from New York to suburbia?" asks the jacket flap. This is a work of fiction that may be similar to other fish out of water books of the same time, notably Jean Kerr's humorous autobiographical essays that were collected in PLEASE DON'T EAT THE DAISIES (1957).

John Huehnergarth's great line work accompanies the text and here are all of his drawings, all lovingly done. I bought this book in a second-hand shop in Portsmouth, ME last night on the strength of the Huehnergarth's illustrations. Such life in those pen lines!

John Huehnergarth: Amateurish, Mediocre Work Never, Never Gets Into the Big Time

Today's Inspiration: John Huehnergarth, Artist Cartoonist

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Yesterday's Papers: A Short Conversation with Cartoonist Ron Ferdinand (Dennis the Menace)

John Adcock, at his Yesterday's Papers blog, interviews DENNIS THE MENACE Sunday comic strip artist Ron Ferdinand: 

"In 1980, I read an interview with Hank in CARTOONIST PROFILES where he mentioned that he was looking for a couple of assistants to help produce DENNIS. I sent him a few sketches of the characters, which he liked enough to start a correspondence for a few months where he sent me a few gags to rough out and ink. He then flew me out to Monterey (I lived in Queens) for two weeks after which he offered me a job."

The rest is here.

Happy Birthday, Dropcloth

This is what I posted on Facebook on this day in 2011:
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.
Well, yes, this fellow was found in the woods five years ago! And, yes, it was a boy, despite the two weeks when I thought he was a girl. Uh ... I'm not good at the sexing thing. Ha ha. 

Anyway, no one claimed him. So he became one of the beloved pets here and is now an indoor housecat.

He makes me smile every day. He is happy here, in his forever home. Happy kind-of birthday, Dropcloth! We love you! Here at home and on the Internet! You are such a cutie!

Oh, he's named Dropcloth because his tiger fur coat has some small blotches of white on it, like paint drippings, you know?

Monday, June 27, 2016

Bunny Bash 2016

It's a tradition that a party of cartoonists and their friends and families gather at Bunny Hoest's home on Long Island's North Shore. She graciously opens up "Hoest Castle" to something like 100 to 200 of us. I think this year it may have been about 150 people.

Here are just a few of my photos.

My friend Adrian Sinnott receives a Major Award from The Berndt Toast Gang, the Long Island chapter of the National Cartoonists Society, for his service.

That's Bob Lubbers in the chair, and George Booth at the mike.

George Booth is given a happy 90th birthday gift from Sandra Boynton.

George Booth draws.

Misha Gross and her dad, Sam Gross.

Mort Drucker, Bunny Hoest and Barbara Drucker.

Sam Gross draws.

Stephen Goldberg and Pauline Goldberg.

Arnie Levin and Sandy Kossin.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

When Martin Landau Was a Cartoonist

Maybe you know this and maybe it's news to you, but actor Martin Landau was a staff cartoonist at the New York Daily News in the 1940s. He was just a kid, assisting other cartoonists (the Daily News' theatrical caricaturist Horace Knight and, later on, THE GUMPS cartoonist Gus Edson) and thinking that he would maybe be a pro one day. Actually, he was; he assisted Edson for several years in the late 1940s, graduating from drawing backgrounds and lettering to drawing THE GUMPS Sunday pages.

Above: a Horace knight caricature of Edward R. Murrow from the Tufts Digital Library.

Bhob Stewart recounts the cartoonist years of Martin Landau, complete with some screen captures of Mr. Landau drawing for the 2008 film LOVELY, STILL, and some GUMPS scans. Above: a close up of Mr. Landau drawing from the beginning of the movie.

On September 2, 2010, Mr. Landau gave an interview to Neal Conan on NPR's Talk of the Nation program (full audio here). While promoting LOVELY, STILL, he recounted his cartooning days at The Daily News:

CONAN: There is a part in the film you play, a character who is involved. We see him sketching at first, later painting. And that's you. You did that, right?
Mr. LANDAU: Well, I did that professionally, actually. I mean, I started on The New York Daily News as a kid when I was 17 years old, as a cartoonist and illustrator, and I was being groomed to be the theatrical caricaturist. And I know if I got that job, I'd never quit. So I quit.
(Soundbite of laughter)
CONAN: So you were getting offered a - you believed you were about to be offered a nice, cushy job in newspapers, and then...
Mr. LANDAU: It was a great job, actually. I'd go to opening nights, and the PR people would give me 8x10s of the dress rehearsal. And I would go home, actually - I didn't have to go to the news building - and do a drawing of the cast, which would appear in a Sunday paper. If there were two openings that week, two drawings. The old fellow, Horace Knight(ph), was an old English fellow who had that job was retiring. And I was - I had the ability to do that. So I - but I knew I wanted to go into the theater. I mean, I wanted to act. And I knew if I got that job - which was, again, a cushy job and very well-paying job, and the only - you know, I mean, my style was sort of a nouveau - art nouveau style, an art deco style, as opposed Hirschfeld's, who had a very flowing line.
CONAN: Yeah.
Mr. LANDAU: And it was a different look, but it had a look. And - but I quit. And my - you know, my family - I had to put up with a lot of - you did what?

A big hat tip to Bhob Stewart. Landau joins the ranks of other actor/cartoonists, like Caruso, Jackie Gleason, Orson Bean, Robert Lansing, Rita Moreno, Ginger Rogers, Al Roker, Denis Leary and Morley Safer.

Above: Albert Dorne, Carol Burnett and Bill Holman from the cover THE PRO CARTOONIST AND GAG WRITER. It's 1962 and she's receiving an NCS ACE (Amateur Cartoonist Extraordinary) award. Complete link to the entire PRO CARTOONIST issue here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


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.

-- This is an edited version of an entry originally blogged on June 21, 2011.