Monday, October 31, 2016

Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Today's Superheroes Are "Not Necessarily White ... Straight and Reasonably Heroic."

(Above: "Zenzi," a character from the comic book "World of Wakanda." Ona Harvey, an English professor who teaches poetry at the University of Pittsburgh, has writtena story about Zenzi, "a female revolutionary leader who has the ability to sense people's emotions. Zenzi is a villain.")

Tony Norman, writing for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, reveals the changes in superheroes in this article on the "New generation of superheroes." They are "not necessarily white, at least straight and reasonably heroic."

"Remember when Iron Man was an arrogant, alcoholic white billionaire industrialist named Tony Stark? Well, he’s been kicked to the curb and replaced by a 15-year-old black female robotics genius from MIT named RiRi Williams. 
"The incredible Hulk’s new alter ego is now a young Korean-American genius named Amadeus Cho, one the smartest people on the planet. The Hulk is still green, but he’s an Asian on the inside. He’s also full of angst, which is not a typical attitude for the Hulk. 
"Thor, the God of Thunder, is no longer the macho deity we remember. His former human paramour Jane Foster now wields the mystic hammer. She may have cancer, but she’s just as powerful as her former boyfriend, now wandering the universe in a quest to reclaim his lost glory. 
"Then there’s Miles Morales, the half black, half Puerto-Rican Spider-man who in recent years has replaced Peter Parker in the affections of many readers as the only web-spinner who counts. For those who can’t relate to Peter’s white working class roots, Miles’ ghetto grittiness is a nice change of pace."

More here
Hat tip to dear ol' Dad for this! Thanks, Dad!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Machias, Maine: Monster Mash Drawing Class Saturday October 29, 2016 11am - Noon

Have a great weekend everyone! This is what I'm up to!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

From Sketch to Finish: Paul Giambarba

Above: detail from a framed illustration by Paul, hanging in their home.

I was fortunate to have lunch with Paul Giambarba and his lovely wife a couple of times in the past eight years. The drive through Boston and Cape Cod isn't too bad -- at least not compared to NYC traffic. And once you get south of Braintree, it gets quieter.

Above: Paul and his lovely wife Fran from a photo I took in 2008.

Paul is a go-to guy. He's done gag cartoons, he's the fellow responsible for the design of the Polaroid packaging, he's worked for Graphis, Gillette, Tonka, GE and many other major clients. He's won awards from the Art Directors Club of New York and the Art Directors Club of Boston, to name but two. He's lectured, he's founded his own publishing imprint, Scrimshaw Press. And he's the author/illustrator of children's books. The great thing is that he has a series of blogs talking about his career and methods.

I just wanted to showcase some of Paul's methods of working, and how he maintains the vitality of line in his drawings.

Paul's illustrations can be seen at Above is his pencil rendition of Michelle Bachmann. Here's Paul, commenting on the drawing process, from sketch to finish:

Sketch drawn freehand from several photos found on Google Images, 2B pencil on tracing paper.

Above: a cleaner sketch. Paul tells me he draws maybe three sketches total. Paul comments:

Tightened up with black Prismacolor 935 pencil on tracing paper, but eyes too close together.

And then, in Photoshop, the drawing can be altered, if needed. Above: bringing Michelle's eyes closer together. Paul says:

Lasso-tool on Photoshop cut and move eyes farther apart. Gray background only to show former position of eye.

And, above, is the finished product.

Here's another, with comments by Paul Giambarba:

Pencil sketch drawn freehand on tracing paper with 2B pencil from various individual photos on Google Images. Note four eyeballs for Heather, not sure which way she should look, at Paul or away from him.

Deleted one set of eyeballs, then printed out in black by laser printer on 90 lb. Rives BFK print paper. Watercolor added to emphasize Paul's tinted hair and Heather's bosom, which I had drawn too small. Cut and paster my signature to lower right of art. This was not used in a publication so appeared only on my site and blog.
And here are Paul's comments on drawing Michelle Obama:

Freehand sketch of Michelle Obama from various Google images, freehand with 2B pencil on tracing paper.

Tightened up drawing, Prismacolor 935 on tracing paper.

Final sent as .jpg attachment by email. Color added in Photoshop.

My thanks to Paul for the wonderful lunches and terrific conversation. We have to do it again sometime soon. And thank you for sharing your working process here. My one regret is that the time goes too fast during my visits.

Don't forget to visit Paul's site for much more.

-- Edited from a blog entry eight years ago today.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

THE NEIGHBORS: George Clark Originals

Above is a panel detail from THE NEIGHBORS, a newspaper panel by George Clark. Kid to Dad: "I'll fill you in on the plot, Dad. The bunny keeps socking clownie on the schnozzle." Date of publication: 11/30/64

George Clark (1902-1981) drew THE NEIGHBORS, a syndicated newspaper panel, from 1939 to 1976. The feature won a National Cartoonists Society Division Award for Best Newspaper Panel in 1961. Known for his confident, breezy style, here are a few close ups of his originals.

"Dad always gives the same advice to everyone -- 'I wouldn't go out on a limb if I were you.'"

Wonderful brushwork, with a graying effect by moving a dry brush over slightly pebbled bristol.

"I'm afraid your mother was right, dear. I DON'T make enough to support a wife and family."

"I could throw a tantrum and get to go to your house. But I'm saving that for something more important."

-- Edited from an April 23, 2011 blog entry.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

New Book Profiles Disney Duck Artist Don Rosa

A big new hardcover book, full of photos of famous Disney comic book Duck artist Don Rosa's studio and home and famous collection of comics (and more) will be out soon. I STILL GET CHILLS will be available on June 29, 2017. Here is Don to tell you more, and the press release.

DON ROSA is one of the world’s most popular cartoonists. For over 20 years he kept up the duck universe of his idol Carl Barks with his stories about Scrooge McDuck, Donald Duck and the Beagle Boys Inc. He is adored for his detailed duck adventures. His biography Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck earned him immortality and an Eisner Award, the world’s most important comics prize. 

But who is the man behind the ducks, who stopped drawing ten years ago and still attracts a growing fan base? German public broadcast journalist. Alex Jakubowski, and Lois ­Lammerhuber, one of the best photographers of his generation, spent a lot of time with the star cartoonist on his fantastic, remote home in the wide reaches of Kentucky. 

Surrounded by one of the largest comics collections in North America, White Castle fast food memorabilia, amazing libraries of books, films and CDs, countless huge monitors, exquisite vintage cars and an enviable pinball collection, they talked for days in the artist’s studio, traced Don Rosa’s childhood on trips to Louisville and discovered the many facets of a man who has become almost as legendary as a passionate collector as he has for his art as a cartoonist. On all fours they crawled with Don through his beloved chili plantation for hours and in the evening enjoyed his sensational skills for barbecuing monster steaks and super chickens. And, of course, the large-format book also reports on their investigations into Don’s t-shirt mania and on his dogs Aggie and Leo.

If this has made you want 
to order this book NOW,
which, as a result of Don Rosa‘s involvement in its composition,
will include many special surprises 
which must, of course, remain a secret 
until its publication on DON ROSA’S 66th BIRTHDAY on 29 June 2017, 
then you can now order the book

“I still get chills”

by Don Rosa, Alex Jakubowski and Lois Lammerhuber
in a numbered and signed edition – for DOUBLE THE RETAIL PRICe.
For this higher price 
your name 
will appear on one of the first pages of the book as an Honourable MENTION
forming an INTRINSIC link with this very personal story of his life.
The HONOURABLE MENTION will be printed in each copy of the total edition.
Anyone ordering the book now 
thus becomes part of the whole project and will receive, 
on a first come first served basis, 
a numbered copy signed by DON ROSA 
for the price of 
99 Euros

In addition there will be a extra special edition of the book in
111 copies
which will, in addition to the 
Honourable Mention, include a Fine art print of Don Rosa’s favourite photograph
from the book, of course in a numbered and signed edition,
199 Euros

Order here

Editorial Cartoonist RJ Matson: "Trump just stole my joke at the Al Smith Dinner."

Line for line, Trump took the joke in this editorial cartoon and told it at the Al Smith dinner

Editorial cartoonist RJ Matson originally created this three months earlier. The cartoon is copyrigh RJ Matson.

Theft from cartoonists is rampant. The media, even the outlets you might think would be interested in running a story about it (Amy Goodman, The Young Turks, Rachel Maddow, HBO's Vice, etc.), to date, have not run one story about politicians repurposing cartoons or theft of cartoons in general. Musicians complaining about their rock music being used without their permission, yes. But not ink. Go figure.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Head of US Copyright Office Removed

From the Illustrators Partnership 
Head of US Copyright Office Removed

October 23, 2016

Last Friday, the head of the US Copyright Office was removed in a surprise action by the newly-appointed Librarian of Congress.

According to the entertainment industry newspaper Variety:

"Maria Pallante is out at [sic] the U.S. Register of Copyrights and is moving to a new post, a Friday announcement that was met with surprise by trade associations and other groups in Washington. The change was made by Carla Hayden...who was only recently confirmed as Librarian of Congress."

"Pallante was locked out of her computer [Friday] morning," reports Billboard, citing "two sources who spoke with Library employees."

"Earlier, Hayden had called several members of Congress to tell them about her decision. Later, she called the heads of several media business trade organizations to give them the news, according to one who received such a call...Hayden, as the librarian of Congress, has the authority to make a new appointment without congressional review."

The website Trichordist: Artists for an Ethical and Sustainable Internet warns that:

"These are dark days for all creators and copyright holders. After a two month campaign by Google funded astroturf group Public Knowledge, the newly appointed librarian of congress Carla Hayden [an advocate of "open sourcing"] has fired Maria Pallante the register of copyright. Pallante was the only one standing between Google and what is left of the copyright system.

"This firing is virtually unprecedented in US history. The Librarian of Congress generally leaves the Register of Copyrights to run the affairs of the copyright office. However in the last two months the main Google mouthpiece in Washington DC Public Knowledge has been clamoring for her head."

More details at Artist Rights Watch.

Please post or forward this artist alert to any interested party.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Dick Buchanan: Some PUNCH Magazine Cartoons 1948-1963

Here are some cartoons from PUNCH Magazine, the late, great satirical periodical of Great Britain. These are all courtesy of my friend Dick Buchanan, who clipped these cartoons out years ago and now has scanned them and offered them up for us to see. Thanks so much, Dick. The cartoons are © 2016, Punch Ltd.

ALEC. Oct 3, 1951

ANTON. (Harold Underwood & his sister, Antonia Yeoman) Dec 19, 1951

BECK. Mar 17, 1948

ROWLAND EMETT. Oct 26, 1949

MICHAEL FFOLKES (Brian Davis) Oct 10, 1951

MICHAEL FFOLKES (Brian Davis) May 5, 1963


MM Feb 8 1950



GEORGE SPROD Dec 12 1951

ARNOLD WILES Apr 2, 1952

More from Dick Buchanan's gag cartoon collection:

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Inktober 2016: Another Dozen Sketches

This is a "for fun," voluntary event every October where people doodle up something in ink and post it to social media with the hashtag #inktober or #inktober2016. I posted the first batch of drawings here, and this is another dozen little stream of consciousness sketches. These are all drawn with a Micron Pigma pen, and all are done with no prep; no pencil sketch underneath -- and usually just a smattering of an idea of what I am going to draw. It's just for fun. And it's good practice to let go and let ink!

Ready? Let's go.

For the sketch below I was thinking of the newsstand at the end of the 2 and 5 subway lines. So, I get a "OK, this would be fun to draw" flash in my gut and off I go. 

This was in Brooklyn at "The Junction," where Flatbush and Nostrand crossed. That's also where Brooklyn College is, as well as our first NYC apartment which was $380 a month.

Another urban sketch:

Beards, beards, beards. Soon after posting this on my Instagram, I got followed by a men's haircare company.

Some "too cool" millennials. If I saw them in a bar, like this, I would go to another bar. I like the juxtaposition between her bald head and his manscaped hair.

A couple of customers walking in to Dee's Diner, a place where everyone knows your name and most guys have facial hair and wear ball caps and flannel.

I use a lot of hashtags and this is how my description of this guy below was written on social media:

#inktober #drawing #passiveaggressive #employee#shouting #howareyou to anybody who comes in to the local #cumberlandfarms #gasstation#butthecoffeeisonlyabuck #goodcoffee

A middle aged businessman not acting his age in this doodle.

I like her expression. This is a teeny drawing (like the size of a dime), but it does the job.

So, every day you have to draw something and when I can't think of what to draw, I ask myself, "What did you do today?" I went to the grocery.

Various #selfies snagged from #Facebook #profilesof #people I don't know. #inktober #sketchbook#sketch #avatar #whydoallguyshavegoateesandbaseballhats #ireallydontknowthesepeople


Inktober 2016: The First Nine Days

Inktober 2015:

Inktober week one is here.

Inktober week two is here.

Inktober week three is here.

Inktober week four is here.

Last of the Inktober Drawings

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Feral Cat Day and Dexter the Cat

Yesterday was Feral Cat Day. On that day in 2009, we bought three bales of hay to make a hay house on the front porch. This was for this orange stray cat, sweet but aloof, who had eluded the Hav-a-Heart trap and refused to come inside.

Above is a photo of the cat that had been hanging around that summer of 2009. Very sweet, very shy -- but he was playful and came when called. (And why not? We fed him.)

We named him Dexter, after Cary Grant's character in THE PHILADELPHIA STORY.

Here is the scene from THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940) where a drunk Macaulay Connors (James Stewart) visits C.K.Dexter Haven (Cary Grant) in the middle of the night.

But back in the fall of 2009, here in Northern Hew England, it was getting chilly, and there were frost warnings. So, we wanted to make Dex a place to keep warm. The odd thing is that as soon as it was constructed, he took a look and went right in. He knew what it was and used it immediately!

From November 2009: Dexter yawns as we bring him food in his hay house:

S l o w l y coming out for kibbles:

A rousing shake of the head to begin the day:

Frustration was mounting:

We have been trying to get this friendly but elusive cat into the house for months. Over the summer, he always came by for food and would play and "talk" to us. He would follow me around the garden. But he was ever so cautious and wary. He did not want to be touched. Five months and no pats. Frustrating!

That live animal trap, the Hav-a-Heart did not work. He was not fooled. However, a different stray cat was caught.

Here's the rest of this true cat story from seven years ago:

Well, anyway, good things happen to those who wait .... 
Good news: Dexter, this shy, stray cat, was, finally, thanks to my wife singing showtunes to him (Dexter loves "A Little Bit in Love" by Leonard Bernstein with lyrics by Comden and Green, from the Broadway show Wonderful Town -- and treats), lured into the house. He is safe and sound, and out of the cold weather and away from wolves, fisher cats and hunters. 
He now has his own space inside. He purrs and LOVES to receive pats on his large orange head. Yes, even though he was SO afraid of getting pats when he was outside, he is now an official pat-hog. Our guess: he WAS someone else's kitty and now that he's inside, he's decided getting pats is just fine, thank you very much. He even leans into pats.
Although it's early days yet (it's only been 18 hours since his arrival), I am hoping he'll make a wonderful addition -- as soon as I can lure him into the cat carrier and to the vet's for the full check-up. 
And I can clear away the cat hay house before neighborhood property values drop ....
My thanks to everyone I asked for advice about trying to catch him. Many treats and Lenny Bernstein tunes to all of you! 
Glad we got him before the snows and the howling winds and the below zero temps.

Dexter is alive and well and a happy cat now seven years after his rescue. Here are a few photos from his first days inside. Look at that smile.

Happy Dexter! Happy Feral Cat day!