Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Sketchbook: True Covid-19 Stories Late March 2020

Or, if you prefer, Covid Comics! Shelter-in-Place Stories!

Here are some drawings I did. They are mostly true. All drawn freehand in a little sketchbook, and then photographed on the arm of the couch under a decent lamp.

Staying fit at home:

Going to the grocery store:

Now that all of the talking heads on the TV news shows are skyping/facetiming from their homes, I get hung up on looking behind then and seeing what the room looks like. Do they have books? Art on the wall? One anchor had some crazy wallpaper. Anyway, this is a quick comic I did.


True Covid-19 Stories

Monday, March 30, 2020

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Random Favorite Gag Cartoons 1932 - 1961

We are starting off this week withe (what else) a collection of musty, old gag cartoons from magazines long gone. Dick Buchanan has bravely gone into his massive files and unearthed sixteen of his favorite single panel cartoons for our edification and amusement. Thanks so much, and take it away, Dick!


(1932 – 1961)

No one practices social isolation better than your old crackpot Cartoon Clip File curator. So, rest assured, it is business as usual at Cartoon Clip File Headquarters, located somewhere in New York’s scenic Greenwich Village. Our motto is “We doze but we never close.”

So, here is a collection of gag cartoons from the era of the great magazines, created by some of the best cartoonists of their time.

1. AL JOHNS. Some good advice from Al Johns, cartoonist and sage. The Saturday Evening Post April 16, 1960.

2. CHON DAY. Collier’s November 26, 1932.

3. DAVID PASCAL. Collier’s March 4, 1955.

4. JOE ZEIS. The Saturday Evening Post June 15, 1957.

5. JEFF KEATE. For Laughing Out Loud January – March, 1959.

6. LEW FOLLETTE. The Saturday Evening Post November 29, 1949.

7. MARTHA BLANCHARD. Look Magazine February 14, 1961.

8. DICK CAVALLI. This Week Magazine April 13, 1957.

9. VIRP. Even Virgil Partch’s signature is amusing. Collier’s May 24, 1947.

10. BILL YATES. The Saturday Evening Post December 21, 1957.

11. JACK TIPPIT. The Saturday Evening Post March 16, 1947.

12. JOHN GALLAGHER. The Saturday Evening Post August 8, 1953.

13. RAY HELLE. The Saturday Evening Post May 28, 1949.

14. JOHN RUGE. Look Magazine June 9, 1959.

15. HANK KETCHAM. 1000 Jokes Magazine Fall, 1952.

16. IRWIN CAPLAN. The Saturday Evening Post June 12, 1949.

Friday, March 27, 2020

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Cartoons with No Captions 1947 - 1967

It's Friday. What with "staying in place" the past three weeks, I forget what day of the week it is. So ... Friday! A day to celebrate! The end of the work week. Do we still say that? Well, at least that's what we used to say way back in 2019. Hope you and yours are well, despite, you know -- risk of infection and no income.

Dick Buchanan dropped me an email, sending on these wonderful wordless cartoons from the golden age of gag cartooning. Wow. OK, we need this. Thank you, once again, for the calming balm of single panel cartoons, my friend. Take it away (and stay healthy), Dick!


(1947 – 1967)

Somewhere in New York’s scenic Greenwich Village, the Cartoon Clip staff has been hard at work pouring through our files to find some mid-century cartoons well calculated to entertain and amuse. This installment is cartoons with no captions . . . a favorite of cartoonists and cartoon editors alike. Take a look . . .

1. TON SMITS. Most of Smits’ work was of the no caption variety. Look Magazine February 13, 1962.

 2. JOHN NORMENT. Norment began working with Bill Yates at 1000 Jokes Magazine in 1955 and was editor from 1960 to 1966. American Magazine July, 1950.

3. ROY WILLIAMS. Williams was one of Disney’s top gag men, a TV performer and a successful gag cartoonist in the 1940’s and ‘50’s. Gaze October, 1960.

4. BURR SHAFER. Shafer’s panel, featuring the character J. Wesley Smith in various historical settings, appeared in The Saturday Review of Literature for many years. Collier’s August 16, 1955.

5. JOHN GALLAGHER. American Legion Magazine October, 1953.

6. SIVIC. Sid Gordin. American Magazine May, 1950.

7. DICK ERICSON. Look Magazine March 24, 1964.

8. VIRGIL PARTCH. American Legion Magazine February, 1947.

9. IRV PHILLIPS. Look Magazine June 16, 1964.

10. CLYDE LAMB. Judge October 1953.

11. HENRY MARTIN. Martin, called the master of the business cartoon, received the National Cartoon Society’s Gag Cartoon Award for 1978 for his work. 1000 Jokes Magazine September – November, 1968.

12. CEM. Over the years Charles E. Martin created many of these silhouette character multi-panels for the Post. The Saturday Evening Post June 11, 1949.

13. JOHN DEMPSEY. Dempsey was one of the Laguna Beach, CA community of cartoonists which included Virgil Partch, the Interlandi Brothers, Ed Nofziger and 1000 Jokes Magazine June – August, 1957.

14. DICK OLDDEN. Another of the Laguna Beach west coast cartoonists. Look Magazine May 30, 1967.

15. DAVID PASCAL. Pascal was a fine cartoonist and illustrator who won two National Cartoonists Society Awards—The Advertising & Illustration Award in 1968 and the Humor Comic Book Award in 1977. The Saturday Evening Post October 24, 1953.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Asterix Co-creator Albert Uderzo 1927 - 2020

Asterix creators Albert Uderzo, right, and René Goscinny in the 1970s. (Staff/AFP/Getty Images)

Albert Uderzo, the French comic-book artist, who created Asterix with the writer René Goscinny, died at his home in Neuilly-sur-Seine "from a heart attack unrelated to the coronavirus" on March 24th. He was 92. 

From The Guardian:

"Uderzo met Goscinny in 1951, and the pair began creating characters together, including Oumpah-Pah, seen as a precursor to Asterix. In 1959, they were asked to create a magazine called Pilote, which would feature a 'typically French hero.' They agreed to set their story in ancient Gaul, with the first issue published in October featuring The Adventures of Asterix the Gaul. More than 300,000 copies were sold."
 From The Washington Post:

"Mr. Uderzo, who was born colorblind and with six fingers on each hand, became one of the world’s most acclaimed cartoonists, known for drawing characters that ranged from the sword-wielding Asterix — with his winged helmet, bulbous nose and horseshoe mustache — to the roly-poly Obelix, a stonemason who joins Asterix in defending their village from Roman legionaries.

"[...] The series became so popular in France that the country’s first satellite was named Asterix. And when Goscinny died, in 1977, one French obituary likened his passing to the collapse of the Eiffel Tower. Mr. Uderzo, who continued the series on his own, went on to outsell Voltaire, Flaubert, Hugo and every other French author before him, with more than 380 million Asterix books sold in more than 100 languages worldwide, according to his publisher. In terms of raw sales figures, his hero was more popular than Tintin."

From 2013: Mr. Uderzo draws Asterix:

“It’s a puzzle to me why Asterix happened the way it did. René and I had previously created other characters with as much passion and enthusiasm, but only Asterix was a hit. I think it’s perhaps because everyone recognizes himself in the characters. The idea of the weak who defeat the strong appeals. After all, we all have someone stronger lording it over us: the government, the police, the tax collector.”

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Sketchbook: True Covid-19 Stories

Sketchbook diary time. Here's some of the things I've seen. (I've only gone to three places in the past week.)

1 - My mail carrier on the other side of the door letting me know that there will be martial law by March 18th. I haven't seen him since. 

2 - Grocery store stockboy impressing his friends and passers by with his self-perceived immunity. Calling covid-19 the "Chinese Virus" is so mean, maybe the germs will cower and not infect him.

3 - One of the trips I took was to the "transfer station" (the dump). The man in charge tells me that I can't recycle my paper because of money. I have no idea what this means. I asked him should I just drive around with paper in my car? He thought this was the heighth of cleverness and laughed. Hmm. Not helpful. I am still mystified. Is no recycling a sign of endtimes?

4 - The post office employee who stands, half hidden in the doorway, meekly inquiring if she can help. Signs everywhere about #socialdistancing.

#covid19 #coronovirus #mayyouliveininterestingtimes #mikelynchcartoons

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Coloring Ms. Megaton Man with Cartoonist Don Simpson

Here's the great cartoonist Don Simpson showing us how he colors in Photoshop. These kinds of nuts and bolts/hands on/behind the scenes kinda peeks are one of the great things about this time in history. Some fascinating material here. Thanks for letting us into your studio, Don. 

From his YouTube page:

Cartoonist Don Simpson explains some principles of his process for coloring cartoon drawings in Adobe Photoshop. Don starts with a scan of a pen and ink drawing of his character Ms. Megaton Man™, converts the scan into the proper mode for coloring, and shows the main selection and painting tools. 
Working in RGB but utilizing the CMYK color space (mentioned but not answered satisfactorily in the video) is accomplished by going under View - Proofing Setup - Working CMYK (checkbox). This will ensure that your RGB file will convert accurately into a CMYK format without color shifting. 
Ms. Megaton Man™ and all characters, character names, likenesses, words and pictures are ™ and © Don Simpson 2020, all rights reserved.


The Ms. Megaton Prose YA Book

Monday, March 23, 2020

Happy (Belated) Birthday, Mort Drucker

Yesterday was Mort Drucker's 91st birthday. We are so lucky to have him. He is a legend who transformed the art of caricature. Best known for his Mad Magazine parodies (He contributed for fifty years.), Mort started out drawing for comic books and doing gag cartoons.

Mort was one of the first pro cartoonists I ever met -- and such a nice guy. He asked a lot of questions about me and then stared back. He wanted to hear my answers. He really cares about the medium, and the people who want to draw for a living.

I have now known Mort for over twenty years. He is one of the kindest people, and still will ask me more questions about myself than I can ask about him. He is a true lover of drawing, and admires many cartoonists. Here's a small sample of some of his art through the decades.