Monday, August 31, 2020

Elvis Meets Beetle Bailey

Or "Pelvis Meets Buggy Baitley by Wart Molker."

From the February 1958 issue of Charlton Publications' This Magazine Is Crazy, the "New Yorkish Edition" (volume 3 number 4). What Beetle Bailey has to do with The New Yorker, I dunno.

No art credit. Hat tip to Steve Thompson for the scans!

You can find the whole issue scanned, as well as many other comics, over at the Digital Comic Museum.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Cartoonist Kayfabe: The Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics

Cartoonist Emad Hajjaj Arrested UPDATE Released on Bail As of August 30, 2020


"Emad Hajjaj has been released on bail after successful petition from his lawyer, met today with leadership from local journalists’ association. The fight isn’t over, but the distress of the last four days is ended. More details to come."

Thursday, August 27, 2020

"Hand Drawn Life" Comic Strip Documentary

Hand Drawn Life, Tom Tanquary's documentary on the history and influence of American comic strips just won a regional Emmy Award. Lynn Johnston, Keith Knight, Jules Feiffer and many more are featured. You can see the whole documentary here:

HDL_FINAL_FULL_Texted_1205 from Tom Tanquary on Vimeo.

Hat tip to Paul Gravett for the link!

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Gaar Williams

Things are crazy this week. I was asked just 2 weeks ago to teach a comics class in addition to the two I was already committed to doing. That's great. The Comic Arts program at New England College is popular.  This week, I am dealing with Zoom and Powerpoint and so on, while teaching the History of Comics and History of Political Cartoons classes. I long for the pre-Pandemic olden days.

Speaking of olden days ....

Here are some great scans of Gaar Williams' (1880-1935) cartoons. I like Gaar's inky, slap-dash, energetic style. Even though the olde timey content is about small town life of over 100 years ago, the form is still well worth studying whether you work in ink or tablet. He conveys a lot with his shading and noodling. Just look at the details of the wicker chair against the porch shadow, and you can see how the flick of a nib one way and another gives quite a dynamic.


Gaar Williams Appreciation by Rob Stolzer

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Mike Lynch Teaches History of Comics at the Institute of Art and Design at New England College

Today I'm teaching the first Fall 2020 History of Comics class at New Hampshire Institute of Art and Design at New England College. The textbooks are these great old out of print books: The Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics and A Smithsonian Book of Comic-Book Comics.

The class is more than 20 kids, which is great. And we cover everything from cave paintings to editorial cartoons to newspaper comics to comic books to manga to graphic novels. A lot of stuff!!!! I created the course and taught it last year. It was great to be asked back and do it again.

Course description:

Within the historic context of American culture, students will study the evolution of the picture narrative. The focus will be on knowledge and active application of visual comic art forms: comic panels, editorial cartoons, comic strips, comic books, and graphic novels. This course will survey the rise of popular form, and its influences, i.e: Ben Franklin's editorial drawings, Thomas Nast's Teapot Dome editorial cartoons, the standard "work for hire" comic book contracts that left creators uncompensated, the Superman/Captain Marvel court case, the HUAC investigation into the comic book's role in inciting juvenile delinquency, the rise of the underground comic revolution, and the graphic novel explosion. Industry professionals will visit the class to discuss their creative journeys and their cartooning careers.


I'm also teaching The History of Political Cartoons

Monday, August 24, 2020

Mike Lynch Teaches History of Political Cartoons at the Institute of Art and Design at New England College

Happy to let everyone know that, starting today, I'm teaching two session of The History of Political Cartoons at the Institute of Art and Design at New England College. These are the books we're using. Some fascinating reading. And we get to have class during the election. Oh boy!

This class is 100% virtual for this semester, and both sessions are full. Here are a few fine points from the syllabus. I wrote it, so please be kind.


History of Political Cartoons

This course will cover the history of the art form of political cartoons, from their beginnings as caricature art in Europe to the maturation of the form and its role in the struggle against tyranny. We will study the elements of a political cartoon, its interpretation and its role in disseminating popular opinion; not only capturing the historic zeitgeist, but helping shape it as well. We will talk about images that have sparked strong reaction (from Daumier's cartoon of King Louis-Philippe that cost him 6 months in jail; Barry Blitt's fist-bumping Obamas New Yorker cover; Der Stürmer's antisemitic caricatures; the 2015 shooting murders at the Charlie Hebdo office for its satirical drawings of the prophet Muhammad; and so on). We will explore the women's movement, the advent of the African American and LGBTQ press in the 20th century, and the contribution of female, minority and queer creators. Through invited cartoonist guests, we will study the creative process behind today's political cartoons. We will also create our own editorial cartoons, and be tested on knowledge of the history of the form.

We will look at these topics:

- What are the symbols/tools used in a political cartoon?

- How do political cartoons effect change in society?

- Is a drawing more effective at promoting democratic values than words? Does it oversimplify?

- Is political satire journalism?

- Can a satirical drawing make fun of anyone; the weak as well as the powerful? Or should a cartoon always "punch up?"

- Should political cartoons always be constitutionally protected speech?

- How have cartoons changed over time?


The Art of Controversy by Victor S. Navasky, Knopf, 2014

Drawn and Quartered: The History of American Political Cartoons by Stephen Hess and Sandy Northrop, Elliot and Clark, 1996

Drawn to Extremes: The Use and Abuse of Editorial Cartoons by Chris Lamb, Columbia University Press, 2004

Plans are to have some guests and interviews with political cartoonists. Should be grand fun. More anon.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Midcentury American Greetings "7 Cheer Cards" Greeting Card Packet


Here's an artifact from American Greetings, a midcentury pack of get well cards. There are seven in this pack, each meant to be mailed a day apart. As usual, no art credit is made, nor a date. But I would guess this is from the 60s. Just look at these sweet graphics and funny riddles. Well, kinda funny. You get a riddle a day, and you have until the next day to guess the answer.

The paper it was sprinted on does have flecks in it. I think (if you look at the very last image) that all 7 cards and envelopes sold for fifty cents.



And here's the back of the envelope that the cards were sold in:


GREETINGS, DEARIE! Paul Coker, Jr. and Greeting Cards

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Video: Interview with Denis Kitchen

From the Museum of Wisconsin Art:

"Meet long-time Wisconsin cartoonist and publisher Denis Kitchen as he discusses his career in comics and graphic novels. Kitchen co-founded and contributed to two 1970s weekly alternative papers, The Bugle-American and The Fox River Patriot, and his Kitchen Sink Press (1969-99) published many of America’s most legendary historical and contemporary cartoonists. This talk is funded in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities."

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Video: Deni Loubert Interviews Trina Robbins for the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival


Deni Loubert interviews Trina Robbins in this 33 minute video, the third installment of "Zooming the Pandemic" for the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival.

 A member of the Will Eisner Hall of Fame, Trina Robbins was an early and influential underground cartoonist. She was founder and contributor to the long running all-women-cartoonists Wimmen's Comix comic book book series. As an historian, she has written books on the herstory of women cartoonists. The latest, The Flapper Queens, is available as of this week. The huge "luscious" hardcover (so reviews The Guardian) showcases six jazz-age female cartoonists. 




Deni Loubert interviews Roberta Gregory

Deni Loubert interviews Mary Fleener


Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Hy Eisman: A Life in Comics Feature Documentary


Hy Eisman has been in comics for about 70 years. He continues to this day to draw two seminal syndicated features: The Katzenjammer Kids and Popeye. He has been drawing professionally longer than anyone else I can think of. And he is the subject of a new documentary, if we can help raise the funds to do so.

Marco Cutrone and Vincent Zambrano are spearheading this GoFundMe fundraiser to get the money to finish and distribute a new documentary "Hy Eisman: A Life in Comics." Take a look:

From the GoFundMe page:

"If you haven’t heard of cartoonist Hy Eisman, it’s most likely because you were too busy being entertained by his humorous images of the longest running cartoon strip The Katzenjammer Kids and very popular cartoon, Popeye to bother looking at the credits at the bottom of the strip.  Eisman was born in 1927 and has been entertaining us with his charming storylines since entering into comics in 1950. Hy Eisman has been granted several of the cartoon industry’s most respected awards as he continues to bring us laughter through his satirical drawings and continues to do so, today.  Hy Eisman is a man who has made a lifelong commitment to the arts and succeeded in an industry that has undergone transformation time and again.  Against all odds, he has overcome many hurdles as a comic artist, stemming from his years at an orphanage and extreme financial hardships from early childhood.  If you ever had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Eisman, we would sense no sign of his difficult past, and how he has battled upward into a career notorious for its many flaws and uncertainties.  Hy Eisman remains a perfect gentleman to everyone he meets, as he shares his lifetime accounts as the respected artist he has become known as." 

Monday, August 17, 2020

The Garden As of Mid-August 2020

 Colors are starting to fade in general on trees and lawns, and the garden is no different. We've had several heat waves this summer, and little rain. The garden is pushing out tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, peppers and radishes. Carrots will soon be ready. Here are some pics of the raised beds.

Tomatoes got jostled around over a week ago due to the aftereffects of the hurricane. Lotsa wind, some big boomy storms. This was maybe the most rainfall all summer, and despite the jostling, the tomatoes were the better for it.

The zucchinis are slowing down, due in part to the invasive squash boring worm that got to them. I was able to dig some out, but had to get rid of at least one of the squash plants.

Brown, tired cucumber plants!

The Roma tomatoes are coming in nicely.

And here are some flowers.


The Garden As of Early August 2020

The Garden As of July 15, 2020

The Garden As of July 1, 2020  

The Garden As of June 15, 2020 

The Garden As of Early June 2020

The Garden As of Mid-May 2020

Friday, August 14, 2020

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Cops and Robbers Gag Cartoons 1941 - 1966

The tough guy with the striped shirt and the black mask cracking a safe or threatening a bank teller is a tried and true gag cartoon trope. As of now, the kind of retro iconography has gone the way of bosses chasing secretaries around the desk and other old magazine cartoon imagery. 

But here, we go for retro. Let's join Dick Buchanan as he shows us some old police and perpetrator -- uh -- cops and robbers -- cartoons from the golden, olden age. Thanks and take it away, Dick!


(1941 -1966)

The best day of the week at Cartoon Clip File headquarters is “Cops and Robbers Friday.” That’s the day we dump the folder full of gag cartoons lampooning the wacky world of crime on the Clip File Table and spread them out in order to peruse, dissect and analyze them. The lively discussion that ensues quickly deteriorates into meaningless drivel—which is, of course, is the very best drivel. so we seldom get around to actually looking at any of the cartoons.

That’s why although “Cops and Robbers Friday” is a weekly event it’s often months between Cops and Robbers posts. As it happens, Wally, the Cartoon Clip File intern, is responsible for this selection. It was his job to clean up last week and he failed to return these cartoons to the file.

1. DAN DANGLO. This Week Magazine July 13, 1947.

2. JACK MARKOW. American Legion July, 1959.

3. DICK CAVALLI. The Saturday Evening Post March 13, 1954.


4. CHON DAY. American Legion Magazine January, 1948.

5. VAHAN SHIRVANIAN. Argosy Magazine January, 1955.
6. TOM HENDERSON. American Legion April, 1961.

7. JOHN GALLAGHER. American Legion Magazine April, 1961.

8. LARRY HARRIS. 1000 Jokes Magazine Spring, 1954.
9. GUY MONTONE. American Legion Magazine March, 1963.

10. BILL KING. The Saturday Evening Post March 20, 1948.

11. HERB GREEN. Argosy Magazine October, 1964.


12. BERNIE WISEMAN. The Saturday Evening Post June 22, 1957.


13. ROBERT DAY. Collier’s May 13, 1939.


14. FRANK BAGINSKI. True Magazine April, 1964.


15. JAY IRVING. Collier’s April 26, 1941.

16. NORMAN HOIFJELD. American Legion Magazine August, 1966.

Yearning for more cops and robbers vintage old gag cartoons?

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Cops and Robbers Gag Cartoons 1939 - 1958

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Even More Cops and Robbers Cartoons 1939 - 1970