Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Interview: "The Well-Drawn World of Frank Cotham"

Memphis, TN resident and cartoonist Frank Cotham is interviewed by Memphis Magazine about his career and life.

"No one in the Cotham family was an artist. And at first, young Frank wasn’t sure if he was, either. “I remember a teacher holding up a picture before the class that I had colored with crayons, as an example of how not to do it,” he said in a 2010 New Yorker interview.
"Nor did he come into cartooning via any of the traditional on-ramps. 'I’ve always hated comic books,' he says. 'I liked Peanuts for a while, but I never read the funny papers. I don’t think I’ve got the attention span to go four panels. If I didn’t get it in one panel, it didn’t interest me too much. I liked the art you saw in magazines. It was mostly black and white, so I’ve worked mostly in black and white. To me, the drawings are so much more elegant in some ways. … I got interested in magazine cartoons in junior high school. I discovered The New Yorker then.'"

 Here's a really great question by interviewer Chris McCoy:

"Being successful in any creative field means learning to live with rejection. How did Cotham manage? 'I never really could,' he says. 'There was a lot of blubbering and carrying on. Most people would just send you back a form. … But some people weren’t so nice. ‘Don’t send us any more of this crap’ or ‘This is totally inappropriate for this conversation’ or ‘Good luck selling this somewhere else!’ You just got used to it after a while, I guess.'"

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