Thursday, April 30, 2020

Video: Martin Rowson: A Cartoonist In Lockdown

British cartoonist Martin Rowson, whose cartoons appear frequently in The Guardian and The Daily Mirror, talks about his life in this shelter-in-place time.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Reynold Brown Documentary: "The Man Who Drew Bug-Eyed Monsters" (1994)

Reynold Brown was a talented fellow who loved to draw. He was good enough at it that by the time he was 20 years old, he was assisting cartoonist Hal Forrest on his popular "Tailspin Tommy" comic strip. Brown later met Norman Rockwell. (Rockwell's sister was a teacher at Brown's high school.) 

Rockwell told him to leave cartooning. He advised him to get work in the field of commercial illustration. Brown applied for and won a scholarship to Otis Art Institute. During World War II, he worked at North American Aviation as a technical artist. It was there that he met a fellow artist who would become his wife, Mary Louise Tejada.

Post-war, Brown drew many ads and illustrations for the Saturday Evening Post, Outdoor Life, Boys' Life, and others. He taught at the Pasadena, CA Art Center College of Design. While there, he met an art director for Universal Pictures, and, through him, began a movie poster freelance career. His now famous posters include:

And many more.

From his Wikipedia page:

"He suffered a severe stroke in 1976 that left his left side paralyzed and ended his commercial work. Brown and his family moved to Dawes County, Nebraska; with his wife's help, Brown continued to paint landscapes until his death in 1991.

"In 1994, Mel Bucklin's documentary about Reynold Brown entitled The Man Who Drew Bug-Eyed Monsters was broadcast on US public television. A book reproducing many of Brown's artworks, Reynold Brown: A Life in Pictures, was published in 2009."
Here is "The Man Who Drew Bug-Eyed Monster" in its entirety:

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Jason Chatfield: Covid-19 Diary

The National Cartoonists Society president, cartoonist Jason Chatfield, has posted a comic about his bout with coronavirus. 

Spoiler alert from Jason:

"Footnote: We have both since made a full recovery and went into full isolation once we were diagnosed. Please stay safe."

Monday, April 27, 2020

Video: New Supermarionation Puppet Drama "Nebula 75"

What are YOU doing during the worldwide pandemic/lockdown/stay-in-place? If you are some filmmakers with Century 21 Productions, you collaborate on a new direct-to-YouTube retro TV sci-fi series: "Nebula 75."

"In this very strange time, the decision was made to see what sort of "Superisolation" production could be put together under these extremely odd circumstances. The result is Nebula-75, a short-form puppet drama that follows in the tradition of 1960s favourites while offering something brand new at the same time."

Produced by different members of the company, all under lockdown and creating remotely in their own homes, they have put together a new series in the spirit of Gerry Anderson's "Supermarionation" TV shows like Thunderbirds and Fireball XL-5. If you never heard of those shows, then you are in for something new. These 1960s series were all created with miniatures and puppets.

Now, in the spirit of those old programs (which, as of now, can all be streamed on Amazon Prime), here is Nebula 75.

The first episode is below.

"'Nebula-75' is a new puppet lockdown drama made entirely during confinement in 2020 using only existing puppets and materials. Filmed in Supermarionation, it follows in the tradition of 'Thunderbirds', 'Stingray' and 'Fireball-XL5' while at the same time also being filmed in SuperIsolation and Lo-Budget!
"'Nebula-75' charts the exploits of Commander Ray Neptune and the crew of the spaceship NEBULA-75 as they make their way across the stars, encountering strange worlds and forms of life hitherto unknown by mankind. It has been created and produced by a small group of filmmakers during the British lockdown on 2020. Although team members from around the world contributed remotely to pre and post production, the entirety of the filming for NEBULA-75 was undertaken by a crew of three who happened to already live together in a small flat in London. Their living room was transformed into a makeshift movie studio – with bookshelves, cardboard boxes and other household objects becoming the interior of the show's hero spacecraft. This flat was also fortunately home to many of the puppets, props, and costumes that have been accumulated over the course of different productions."

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Sandy Kossin is Doing Better

April 25, 2020 UPDATE: Sandy is out of the hospital and in rehab.

The legendary illustrator, 93-year old Sandy Kossin was infected with covid-19 and is now doing much better. He is out of the hospital and in rehab. His wife, who was also infected with covid-19, was discharged from the hospital earlier this week. They're both fighters.

Please keep them in your thoughts. I know they are in mine. If you don't know who Sandy is, then you probably have seen his work. Here are just a few samples from his prolific illustration career.


Drew Friedman on Sandy Kossin

Friday, April 24, 2020

Video: Christoph Neimann Documentary

Netflix has moved some of its complete series episodes to YouTube, where you can watch for free. Here's an episode of their Abstract series about Christoph Neimann. He's an illustrator, graphic designer, and children’s book author. He's also drawn covers for The New Yorker magazine. For 12 years, he's been creating The New York Times blog "Abstract." Famously, he drew the New York City Marathon while actually running it.

"Step inside the minds of the most innovative designers in a variety of disciplines and learn how design impacts every aspect of life. In this episode: From New Yorker covers to Instagram sketches, illustrator Christoph Niemann plays with abstraction and interactivity -- and questions authenticity."

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Sketchbook: CovidComics Mid-April 2020

"Oh! I got this great idea! Have a guy like doing Zoom on a computer but instead of like ordinary people on the screen -- we see the Brady Bunch, y'know? Like in the beginning, in the little squares, y'know? So funny! That would be a great cartoon. You can use that if you want, OK?"

Sometimes people have ideas for cartoons and they tell me ....

Here are some true story sketchbook sketches from the past week. 

New grocery store rules! Fierce checkout professionals maintain the six foot social distance at the
register. Yeah. She yelled at a dude that looked like Jesus Christ when he put his Bud Light on the conveyor belt. Can’t do that. You have to stand back and wait to be waved in now.

The only person who spoke to me was this woman. I was just walking be the dairy section and she turned to me and had to vent. I don’t think it was price gouging. 

Another grocery store event. I kept running into this one couple. They were always nearby, some of the few to NOT wear facemasks. The woman told the man several times loudly and clearly that whatever he was putting in the cart was NOT an item they bought at Market Basket. Poor Roger. I try to buy all I can there since MB pays its workers a living wage.

Only going out maybe twice a week now. The post office is one of the places. They have a clear plastic sheet taped up from the ceiling to the counter. There's a gap on one end where you can pass along your packages and/or money. 

The sign says: 

The CDC Recommends We All Keep


We kindly ask that you work
with us on this, by staying
back near the lobby counter
until it is time for you to
complete your transactions.

Many Thanks,


Trying to install Zoom and forgetting what the heck my "administrator password" is for my Mac. I finally figured it out, but "wove a tapestry of obscenity that to this day is still hanging over Lake Winnipesaukee."  

A way too clean quick sketch of my studio, taken over (of course) by a cat.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Women Gag Cartoonists 1940 - 1957

The contributions of female magazine cartoonists has gone unrecognized generally. This is beginning to change. I'm thinking of Liza Donnelly's Funny Ladies at The New Yorker show at the Society of Illustrators and the Tell Me a Story Where the Bad Girl Wins: The Life and Art of Barbara Shermund
gallery show that ended in 2019, as well as the Ladies First: A Century of Women’s Innovations in Comics and Cartoon Art exhibit at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum last year. Dick Buchanan adds to the knowledge and awareness with today's well-researched contribution. Thanks so much, and take it away, Dick.



While there were several women cartoonists in the first part of the 20th century, by the end of WWII women gag cartoonists were becoming a rarity. Not surprisingly, there is little biographical information on most. Undaunted, the Cartoon Clip File shares some examples of work by a few women cartoonists who somehow managed find their way in the male-dominated gag cartoon world during the mid-century, beginning with a nod to the first woman cartoonist. Take a look . . .

Rose O’Neill became the first woman cartoonist to be published in an American magazine when her drawings were featured in True Magazine, September 16, 1896 . During the early 20th century she was the best-known and highest paid female commercial illustrator in the United States. O' Neill earned a fortune and international fame by creating the Kewpie, the most widely known cartoon character until Mickey Mouse came along. Her drawings appeared in Life, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping and many other publications.

1. ROSE O’NEILL. In 1897 O’Neill became the one-and only woman staff member of Puck, where she remained until 1904. Puck September 6, 1899.

Muriel Jacobs’ drawings appeared in many major magazines for nearly two decades. We have no information on her except that she lived and worked, as did many cartoonists, in New York’s Greenwich Village, where apartments were cheap and there were plenty of great bars.

1. MURIEL JACOBS. The Saturday Evening Post May 28, 1949.

2. MURIEL JACOBS. Collier’s October 28, 1950.

3. MURIEL JACOBS. The Saturday Evening Post June 15, 1957.

Sylvia Getsler was born in Poland and came the America in 1933. She made Wednesday “Look Day” every week, with her young daughter in tow.

1. SYLVIA GETSLER. The Saturday Evening Post May 28, 1949.

2. SYLVIA GETSLER. Collier’s October 28, 1950.

3. SYLVIA GETSLER. The Saturday Evening Post June 15, 1957.

Jane King Spear, born in LaGrange, IL, lived and worked in New York City. Her gag cartoon work helped support her career as a painter.

1. JANE KING SPEAR. Collier’s November 24, 1951.

2. JANE KING SPEAR. Collier’s March 29, 1952.

3. JANE KING SPEAR. Collier’s July 18, 1953.

Merrylenn Townsend’s cartoons appeared in many leading magazines including Collier’s and The Saturday Evening Post.

1. MERRYLENN TOWNSEND. Collier’s April 20, 1940.

2. MERRYLENN TOWNSEND. Collier’s April 3, 1943.

3. MERRYLENN TOWNSEND. American Legion Magazine November, 1946.

Margot Cook was born in San Diego and grew up in Texas. She studied design at Texas State College for Women. She sketched fashions for a Houston department store until she earned enough money to move to New York, where she studied at the Art Students League. Her cartoons appeared in Life, Collier’s and other national magazines during the 1930’s and early 1940’s. She was married to cartoonist and illustrator Louis Priscilla.

1. MARGOT COOK. Portrait by Louis Priscilla. Colliers March 22, 1941.

2. MARGOT COOK. Collier’s April 20, 1940.

3. MARGOT COOK. Collier’s March 22, 1941.

Martha Blanchard was perhaps the most successful woman cartoonist of the 1950’s. She studied at the Art Students League, selling her first cartoon in 1947, becoming a regular contributor to Collier’s and The Saturday Evening Post. Her cartoons also appeared in Look Magazine, Pictorial Revue, Punch and in many women’s magazines such as Ladies’ Home Journal, American Magazine and Good Housekeeping. She illustrated several books, including “Dear Rabbi.” and Jean Kerr’s popular best-seller “Please Don't Eat the Daisies.” A collection of her cartoons, “Husbands and Lovers” was published by Dell in 1971. In her spare time Blanchard entertained residents of local veteran’s hospitals with caricatures.

1. MARTHA BLANCHARD. The Saturday Evening Post. June 14, 1947.

2. MARTHA BLANCHARD. The Saturday Evening Post March 17, 1948.

3. MARTHA BLANCHARD. American Magazine August, 1950.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Walking Videos

One of the things I miss most is walking, and seeing other people in a crowded setting. How are they acting? What are they doing? What are they wearing? What snippet of out-of-context chat can you overhear? Who do you need to remember so you can draw them later?

Here some videos of walking through various places in the world. These all just happen to be places I know, so that makes them more interesting to me. They are all ambient, with only source sound and they look great if you put these on your big screen TV.

WatchedWalker: Walking London’s West End in the Rain on a Saturday Night

Nomadic Ambience: Walking Around Times Square at Night in New York City 4k City Ambience

Settime2588: Prague. Walk from the Castle to the Astronomical Clock Through Charles Bridge. Czech Republic

Wind Walk Travel Videos: Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City

Wind Walk Travel Videos: Walking around University of Kansas (KU) in Lawrence, Kansas

ActionKid: Walking Flatbush, Brooklyn, NYC : Avenue H, Brooklyn College, Flatbush Avenue to Church Avenue

Monday, April 20, 2020

Gene Deitch 1924 - 2020

Gene Deitch, Academy Award winning animator, TV animation pioneer and cartoonist, passed away of natural causes on April 16th. He was 95. According to a family friend, the cause was not coronavirus-related.

He was born in Chicago, and raised in Los Angeles. Upon graduating Los Angeles High School in 1942, he went to work drawing blueprints for North American Aviation. He was drafted, and began pilot training. But he had a bout with pneumonia and was honorably discharged. He began working with CBS Radio as an assistant art director. It was during this time that he created covers, interior illustrations and cartoons for "The Record Changer," a jazz enthusiast publication.

"Gadfrey, they've finally done it! ... Unbelievable, no surface noise at all, never wears out, full range fidelity, plays at any speed, plays under water, needs no needle or amplifier, plays forward or backward, projects a picture of the band on the wall, and costs only two bits. ... Tsk! A pity my hearing's gone."

His work caught the attention of United Productions of America (UPA), a new animation studio began by ex-Disney workers who had been fired for striking.

From CartoonBrew:

"In 1949, Deitch moved to Detroit, Michigan, where he directed his first professional films at the Jam Handy Organization, an industrial film producer that counted General Motors as its largest client. His work at Jam Handy was interrupted when he was invited to rejoin UPA, this time at its new studio in Manhattan.

"While he initially joined UPA-NY as a production designer in mid-1951, he soon took over as creative director, leading the studio during its heyday as one of the most recognized and critically lauded producers of animated TV commercials in the United States."

Gene Deitch left to head the CBS-owned Terrytoons cartoon division.

From the book Cartoon Modern by Amid Amidi:

"The studio, in the New York City suburb of New Rochelle, was in such sorry run-down shape that CBS kept delaying taking Deitch to the studio during negotiations. When he first arrived at the studio, his first order of business was to simply create better working conditions for the Terrytoons artists. With the support of CBS, Deitch had the studio repainted, bought new furniture, and gave inkers and opaquers their own cubicles to work in (replacing the sweatshoplike arrangement of long rows of desks). A state-of-the-art projection system and new animation cameras were also installed. Deitch redesigned the Terrytoons logo and created a title card—signed by every staff member—which appeared in front of the films, a gesture meant to show his appreciation for each artist’s contribution. In another gesture of goodwill, Deitch promised not to fire any of the artists, instead opting to construct his modern vision around the studio veterans. He augmented the existing crew with as many like-minded young artists as he could, including Jules Feiffer, Tod Dockstader, Al Kouzel, Ray Favata, Ernie Pintoff, and Len Glasser."

It was to last three years, with Deitch creating popular animations, in particular the Tom Terrific shorts for CBS' Captain Kangaroo series. 


Fired from Terrytoons in 1958, he set up his own studio, Gene Deitch Associates. A client, Rembrandt Films, offered to fund a short he wanted to make, an adaptation of Jules Feiffers’s comic Munro, if he would help fix some of their existing productions in Communist Czechoslovakia. Deitch agreed to travel behind the Iron Curtain for a ten-day trip, but remained there for the rest of his life, in the process becoming one of the only Americans to live full-time in the country until its transition to a democratic state began in 1989. Incidentally, that first project, Munro, became a big success, earning him an Oscar for best animated short in 1961. 

In the 1960s, he created TV animation based on licensed characters like Popeye, Tom and Jerry, and Krazy Kat.

From Wikipedia:

In 1966, he worked with Czech animator Jiří Trnka on a feature-length animated film adaptation of The Hobbit. However, producer William L. Snyder couldn't secure the funds, and in order to not let the rights for the novel expire, he asked Deitch to produce a short film adaptation in 30 days. Deitch and illustrator Adolf Born made a 13-minute animated film never intended for distribution; the film was long considered lost until it was rediscovered by Snyder's son and released on YouTube in 2012.

From 1969 until his retirement in 2008, he was lead animation director for Weston Woods Studios,  adapting children's books to film. His first was Drummer Hoff.

ASIFA-Hollywood gave him the Annie Award's Winsor McCay Award in 2003, Deitch for a lifetime contribution to the art of animation.


So much more at CartoonBrew

And a trove at DailyCartoonist.

More Record Changer graphics at the Who's Out There blog.

Gene Deitch on the First NBC Peacock Animated Logo in 1957
Video: Deitch talks about living in Communist Czechoslovakia as an American, and later in the Czech Republic following the 1989 Velvet Revolution.

Friday, April 17, 2020

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Favorite Gag Cartoons 1940 - 1966

From the depths of Dick Buchanan's Village apartment, here are some more gag cartoon gems from the golden age of magazine cartooning. Thanks so much for sharing, Dick. These are great! (And sorry about your "elf problem!")


(1940 – 1966)

It is always fun when the Cartoon Clip File opens the folder containing our favorite gag cartoons. Imagine our surprise when we discovered the file had grown exponentially, seemingly overnight. Perhaps the elves which inhabit the world behind the Cartoon Clip File headquarters radiator ceased their endless pranks and actually did something useful around the office. (Of course, here in New York’s scenic Greenwich Village one is never quite sure if you’re seeing an elf or just another one of your crackpot neighbors.) We’re pretty sure they were elves, as it’s well known elves have a fondness for turtle race gags. Nonetheless, the result is another collection of choice gag cartoons from the past . . .

1. GAHAN WILSON. Collier’s October 28, 1955.

2. IRWIN CAPLAN. The Saturday Evening Post September 27, 1947.

3. GEORGE BOOTH. 1000 Jokes Magazine December, 1965 – February, 1966.

4. FRANK OWEN. The Saturday Evening Post July 31, 1948.

5. BILL KING. The Saturday Evening Post February 21, 1948.

6. HARRY LYONS. The Saturday Evening Post June 11, 1960.

7. LOUIS JAMME. Collier’s April 13, 1940.

8. JOHN GALLAGHER. True Magazine August, 1962.

9. CHON DAY. This Week Magazine July 13, 1952.

10. GUSTAV LUNDBERG. Collier’s May 29, 1952.

11. HOWARD PARIS. The Saturday Evening Post April 6, 1957.

12. JOHN RUGE. Look Magazine August 1, 1964.

13. CLYDE LAMB. American Legion Magazine October 1947.

14. EARLE LEVENSTEIN. Collier’s October 28, 1955.

15. GARDNER REA. The Saturday Evening Post December 7, 1946.