Friday, March 29, 2019

"Drawing Life," a New Documentary About the Legendary Cartoonist George Booth Asks for Your Support

A new documentary on the one and only and wonderful George Booth? Yes, oh yes!

Please consider supporting this Kickstarter so that this film can be made. I did.


Oh, the new issue of Hogan's Alley is out this month with an interview I did with George.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Video: Hal Holbrook on creating "Mark Twain Tonight!"

Not comics, but ....

There are times in your life when you feel lost and afraid and rudderless. Everyone has them. And sometimes these crossroads of life yield some amazing results when you look back on them. Case in point: Hal Holbrook.

Hal Holbrook, is maybe best known now as an actor for TV and movies -- particularly his portrayal as Deep Throat in the movie version of All the President's Men. Hey, he gets to say the most quoted line ever from that flick: "Follow the money." Before all that, he pioneered the one-man stage show with "Mark Twain Tonight." And before that ....

Well, I didn't know who he was before that. I knew he must have loved Mark Twain's writing all of his life. But, I was wrong. Here's a short cut from a 2017 interview with Hal Holbrook where he talks about not knowing what to do. His first child was on its way, and he was living in NYC and had no money, no family. He was desperate to do something.

The Television Academy Foundation has the entire interview here.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

International Comic Creators Prevented From Attending US Comic Book Conventions at Border

Dreadful news.

International comic creators who have been invited guests to comic conventions in the US are being turned back at the border. Bleeding Cool News has the story:

"Naturally, people are not that keen to share details. This could be US border officials taking issue with comic book creators traveling on personal rather than business/work visas, but this has been acceptable for comic book conventions for decades. That the rules and regulations are suddenly being tightened – and comic conventions’ ability to attract international guests curtailed – does not bode well for the future."

Brian Garside puts it succinctly in the comments section for the article:

"As a Canadian who travels to the United States semi-regularly, the rules seem to be changing rapidly with little to no warning, and even individual border agents don't seem to know fully what the rules are on any given day. You may get in today and be refused tomorrow for the exact same reasons."

Historically, it's hard for border agents to "get" what a person in the comic book business does and why they go to conventions. When the agent asks if this visit is work-related, the answer from the international comics creator is, "Yes."

Then comes the money questions: Will you be earning money in the United States? Well, the convention MAY be paying for them, and an appearance can certainly help your bottom line. They can, in many cases, visit with their American publishers and fellow comic book creators. Now, if the agents think that this international person is doing labor in the US without the proper visa, then they will be refused.

The big reason why these comic book creators are here are to further their careers. I remember reading about one fellow who was up for an award at a California convention. He found out via social media, on his way back home, after being refused entry for not having a work visa.

I am just shaking my head at this. The current xenophobia (read the comments at the bottom of the article) is just crazy. It's frustrating and gives me a headache. I am thinking now that the only point that the US has is cruelty.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Charles Schulz's Letter About Democracy, Discovered 50 Years Later

This has been making the rounds of the internet recently and NPR picked up and vetted the story. Good ol' Charlie Schulz. How we miss him.

Via NPR:

In 1970, students in a fifth-grade class at Hawthorne School in Beverly Hills were assigned to write a letter to someone they admired, asking them "What makes a good citizen?"

Joel Lipton, 10 years old at the time, wrote to Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz.

Fast-forward to this past February, when Lipton and his wife were cleaning out their closet. "And she pulled out a box and started going through some photos," Lipton says today. "And between some old photos was this letter. I said, 'Oh, wow, there's the Charles Schulz letter!'"

Lipton remembers getting a response from the famed cartoonist, typed on official stationery from his Sebastopol studio, and hanging it on his bedroom wall with thumbtacks. But he was amazed when he re-read Schulz's letter almost 50 years later, and realized how prescient it was.

"Dear Joel," the letter reads. "I think it is more difficult these days to define what makes a good citizen then it has ever been before. Certainly all any of us can do is follow our own conscience and retain faith in our democracy. Sometimes it is the very people who cry out the loudest in favor of getting back to what they call ‘American Virtues’ who lack this faith in our country. I believe that our greatest strength lies always in the protection of our smallest minorities. Sincerely yours, Charles M. Schulz."

"I'm sure it went way over my head as a kid, what he said in the letter," Lipton tells me. "But I think now, in the time we're living in politically, in this country... what he said about the people who hide behind American virtues, and about protecting our smallest minorities, I knew that could speak to a lot of people. To see that this came from this man, 50 years ago, and how important those words are today."
More at KQED.

Monday, March 25, 2019

James Estes 1942 - 2019

Cartoonist James Estes has passed away. He was a longtime resident of Amarillo, TX. Few details at this time.

He had just celebrated his 55th wedding anniversary last month.

From the Amarillo Globe-News:

"Mr. Estes married the former Martha Ella Hudgens on Jan. 24, 1964, in Sunray.

"The couple has lived in Austin, Chicago, and Houston. They have lived in Amarillo for the past [52] years.

"Mr. Estes is a cartoonist and Mrs. Estes is a retired registered nurse and a homemaker.

"The couple are members of Church of Christ and National Cartoonists Society.

"They have three children, Robert Estes and wife Suzanne of Melbourne, Fla., Kelley Jones and husband Brad of Terrell, and Paige Storlie and husband Gene of Amarillo; five grandchildren, Austin, Bailey, McKenzie and Landon Estes and Christina Storlie Ufford and husband Adam; and a great-grandchild, Sadie Ufford."

He was a longtime cartoonist whose career spanned over fifty years. His cartoons were published worldwide in many publications, including the Saturday Evening Post.

James and I only chatted a few times, and I always found him the nicest guy. He was always busy, always thinking about new cartoons and new markets for his work.

I first heard about his passing from his friend and colleague, the cartoonist Tim Oliphant, who wrote an announcement on his Facebook page:

"Sad news, at least for me personally, in the world of cartooning. I just got word from his daughter, that gag cartoonist James Estes has passed away this morning. Many of us of a certain age knew James, or at least his cartoons. His cartoons appeared regularly since the 60s in magazines such as Woman's World, Sat. Evening Post, Boy's Life, Leatherneck, Highlights, and just about every other magazine that's ever published gag cartoons. James, and his wife Martha, are wonderful people. They were married over fifty years. The cartooning world has lost another great cartoonist. While not highly recognized for his contributions, he was dedicated, widely published, knew his craft well, and left a legacy of a wonderful family and friends who find this a most sad and troubling day."

My deep condolences to his wife and family. The cartooning world has not just lost a prolific professional, but a good friend. 

Friday, March 22, 2019

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Bill Peet's Magazine Gag Cartoons

Bill Peet was a long-time Disney artist, not only working on all of the major animated releases from Snow White to 101 Dalmatians, but also contributing immensely to the choices of these projects, as well as to the writing. He was a major force at Disney, and Walt Disney himself trusted Peet's opinions.

I had no idea that he tried his hand at gag cartooning as well. Here are a few from his wonderful Caldecott Award-winning autobiography BILL PEET AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY.

He sent his gag cartoons to the top markets of the day: Collier's, True, the Post and The New Yorker. They were all rejected. From The New Yorker he received this note:

"Your humor is too undisciplined, but we would like to see more of your drawings."

Bill writes in his book:

"That small glimmer of hope wasn't nearly enough to spur me on. Doing cartoons week after week, even if I sold them all, would be frustrating work."

Bill would go on, after Disney, to focus on children's books, creating thirty-six books. A lot of them were based on stories he would make up to tell his own kids.

Here's some of his gag cartoons that were never bought. I thought they were great. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Video: Matt Wuerker

Matt Wuerker, political cartoonist for Politico, talks about how you don't have to be a great artist to be a great cartoonist, as well as creating Trump's skin tone color in this short video titled "Dream Jobs: Political Cartoonist."

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Dick Buchanan: Some Favorite Magazine Gag Cartoons 1940-60s

There's a saying around here that most people are crazy. There's good crazy and bad crazy. And the nice thing is that most people I know are the good kinda crazy. Case in point is my friend Dick Buchanan, who has amassed an XXXL clip file of golden age gag cartoons. Not only that, but he shares them with the world. Thank you, you lovely, crazy Dick Buchanan, for diving into your files in your Greenwich Village apartment so many times and coming up with these pretty-much-unseen-since-publication single panel cartoons. These are, as you will see, crazy good.

Here's the first time I showcased some of Dick's collection, three years ago now:


Dick Buchanan was kind enough to pass along some favorite old magazine gag cartoons. I agree with Dick that these cartoons, most of them unseen for over fifty years, deserve an encore. Here's Dick:

"As an aspiring cartoonist long ago, I kept a file of cartoons clipped from every magazine I could find. I still have I still use it for reference and amusement. I am happy to share it's contents. I have forwarded a few samples. There are more."

Gahan Wilson, one of his early cartoons from Collier's, June 24, 1955:

George Booth, The Saturday Evening Post, October 17, 1953:

John Gallagher:

Hank Ketcham in an early 1950's Saturday Evening Post:

Clyde Lamb, American Legion Magazine, October 1952:

Mel Lazarus (not "Mell" yet), in the Saturday Evening Post, January 20, 1951 -- still 6 years away from Miss Peach:

Virgil Partch, Collier's, 1940s:

Rowland Wilson, in that same Saturday Evening Post issue (October 17, 1953) as George Booth (see above):

Henry Syverson. In 1963, even the furniture was funny. From Look Magazine, December 3, 1963:

Jack Tippitt, Look Magazine, July 22, 1958. Two-time NCS Gag Cartoonist of the Year (1963 & 1966):

Thanks, Dick, for sharing these great gag cartoons!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Tom K. Ryan 1926 - 2019

T.K. Ryan, creator of King Features' long-running TUMBLEWEEDS comic strip passed away March 12, 2019. He drew the strip for 42 years, from 1965 to 2007.

Details are scant at this time.

From his Lambiek page:

Born in Anderson, Indiana, Tom K. Ryan attended both Notre Dame University and the University of Cincinnati. He started his career as a commercial artist, designing football helmets, but also drawing editorial and sports cartoons for local newspapers. Out of boredom, he started reading Western Literature. This resulted in the creation of an innovative newspaper strip called 'Tumbleweeds', which combined the Old West with a hip, modern approach.

Originally syndicated by Lew Little Syndicate, it first appeared in 1965, and was then distributed to over 300 newspapers by King Features until Ryan's retirement from the strip in December 2007. The strip has been collected in many paperbacks, and has even been made into a musical, that was performed in Las Vegas in 1983. 'Tumbleweeds' has inspired many comic artists, including Jim Davis, creator of 'Garfield', who assisted Ryan from 1969 until 1978.


King Features tributes him on Facebook

The T.K. Ryan page at the Farley Funeral Home in Venice, FL. 

The official Tumbleweeds site 

The Daily Cartoonist obituary

Friday, March 15, 2019

Video: Roz Chast on "Going Into Town" Graphic Novel

New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast talks about her new graphic novel with Bill Hayes at The Strand in NYC. This was recorded on March 6, 2019. 

New Yorker cartoonist and NYT bestselling author Roz Chast, native Brooklynite-turned-suburban commuter deemed the quintessential New Yorker, has always been intensely alive to the glorious spectacle that is Manhattan--the daily clash of sidewalk racers and dawdlers, the fascinating range of dress codes, and the priceless, nutty outbursts of souls from all walks of life. For Chast, adjusting to life outside the city was surreal (you can own trees!? you have to drive!?), but she recognized that the reverse was true for her kids. On trips into town, they would marvel at the strange visual world of Manhattan--its blackened sidewalk gum wads, "those West Side Story--things" (fire escapes)--its crazily honeycombed systems and grids. Told through Chast's singularly zany, laugh-out-loud, touching, and true cartoons, Going into Town is part New York stories (the "overheard and overseen" of the island borough), part personal and practical guide to walking, talking, renting, and venting--an irresistible, one-of-a-kind love letter to the city.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

TV Series PILOT -Drawing Inspiration- Leigh Rubin of Rubes Cartoons and Ryan Johnson of NewRuleFX

Want to know more about how a cartoonist cartoons? Here's Leigh Rubin, of the comic panel "Rubes," to tell you what he does:

Renowned artist Leigh Rubin, an internationally syndicated cartoonist and special effects wizard Ryan Johnson from NewRuleFX join forces to create a TV series that explores the where creativity comes from and what inspires the creative passion. In this pilot episode of the Drawing Inspiration series, the two take you behind the scenes at special effects prop shop and out to the Central Coast to see a lot of bovine-inspired art! Leigh commissions Ryan to build a full scale cow inspired by one of Leigh's popular cartoon characters. Drawing Inspiration is a co-production of New Rule Productions, Inc. and Leigh Rubin Cartoonist.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Jane Pauley Interviews Her Husband Garry Trudeau for CBS Sunday Morning

I think this is a first. After all these years of broadcasting, Jane Pauley interviews her husband of 39 years, Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Mike Lynch Cartoon Books for Sale

I’ve got two books, both from Down East Publishing. I sold out months ago, but -- SURPRISE -- found some more while cleaning my studio:

1- Lobster Therapy, a book of cartoons with great Maine-oriented gags by myself and Maine cartoonists John Klossner, David Jacobson, Jeff Pert, and the one and only Bill Woodman.

2- How to Die Down East by Buck Tilton with cover and interior illustrations by me.

I have some signed copies of each. Here's the deal: $25 for the pair if mailed to a US address. Let me know if interested. My email is mike at

Monday, March 11, 2019

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Some Gahan Wilson Gag Cartoons 1955 - 1964

Gahan Wilson, the legendary macabre cartoonist for The New Yorker, National Lampoon, Playboy and many others, is not in good health. He has advanced dementia. His stepson, Paul Winters, has placed him in a memorycare facility, and visits every day. But the care is expensive. Paul has set up a GoFundMe to help pay the bills. Please consider giving.

Dick Buchanan has culled his tremendous clip file of great cartoons to come up with these vintage Gahan Wilson gems. Enjoy. And, thanks, Dick, for these wonderful gag cartoons.


Here are some cartoons by the great cartoonist Gahan Wilson. Those who have taken the Cartoon Clip File Walking Tour of Greenwich Village Cartoonists know Mr. Wilson spent his struggling cartoonist years in the Village at 35 Bedford Street. Best known for his work in The New Yorker and Playboy, Gahan Wilson was one of many cartoonists who appeared in the pages of 1000 Jokes Magazine and its sister publication, For Laughing Out Loud.

1. For Laughing Out Loud October-December, 1963.

2. 1000 Jokes Magazine September-November, 1964.

3. 1000 Jokes Magazine March-May, 1964.

4. 1000 Jokes Magazine September-November, 1964.

"Aren't you a little young to be driving a cab?"

5. Collier’s March 4, 1955.

6. Collier’s January 6, 1956.

7. Collier’s October, 1956.


8. 1000 Jokes Magazine March-May, 1956.

"Frankly, I'm glad he's left us."

9. 1000 Jokes Magazine September-November, 1964.

11. For Laughing Out Loud October-December, 1963.

12. For Laughing Out Loud January-March, 1963   

Friday, March 08, 2019

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Show Business Gag Cartoons 1945 - 1962

Here it is Friday and time to think about the weekend and what movies and shows there are to see. Entertainment is where it's at, gang! And here's Dick Buchanan with a selection of vintage show business cartoons for your amusement. Happy weekend and thanks, Dick, for these great scans of great magazine panels.



(1945 – 1962)

Make no mistake, there’s no business like show business. And show business has always been a popular topic of gag cartoonists. In fact, “There’s no business like shows business” is one of the most used captions. With that in mind, direct from Cartoon Clip File, located somewhere scenic Greenwich Village, is a selection of show business cartoons. “There’s no cartoons like show business cartoons!”

1. JERRY MARCUS. 1000 Jokes Magazine 1950’s.

2. JOE ZEIS. The Saturday Evening Post January 25, 1958.

3. THURSTON GENTRY. Collier’s November 10, 1945

4. GEORGE SPROD. Punch November, 1954.

"But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?"
5. DICK STROME. American Legion Magazine 1948.

6. BRAD ANDERSON. The Saturday Evening Post September 28-August 4, 1962.

7.  PORGES, American Legion Magazine, May 1956.

8. IRWIN CAPLAN. American Legion Magazine April, 1953.

9. BILL POLVOGT. The Saturday Evening Post 1950’s.

10. LESLIE STARKE. The Saturday Evening Post July 18, 1953.

11. JERRY MARCUS. American Legion Magazine June, 1962.

12. DICK CAVALLI. 1000 Jokes Magazine September-November, 1956.

13. CHARLES E. MARTIN (CEM). Collier’s January 6, 1956.

14. DICK OLDDEN. The Saturday Evening Post. October 26, 1963.

15. IRWIN CAPLAN. The Saturday Evening Post 1950’s