Wednesday, September 30, 2020

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Hank Ketcham Gag Cartoons Part Three 1943 - 1952

When it comes to comic strips, everyone knows Dennis the Menace. Hank Ketcham's bad boy has been around for generations. People don't know too much about Ketcham; his past and his pre-Dennis cartoons. Fortunately, Dick Buchanan has a clip file full of great information. Thanks and take it away, Dick!


Part Three
(1943 – 1952)

Hank Ketcham’s Dennis the Menace debuted on March 12, 1951, syndicated by Post-Hall in 16 newspapers. Two years later it was appearing in 193 papers in 58 countries. Although Ketcham retired in 1994, Dennis the Menace endures to this day, In 1953 Ketcham received the NCS Reuben Award for the strip in 1953.

Ketcham’s first work was as an animator for Walter Lantz and, later Disney. After the bitter animator’s strike in 1941, Ketcham was one of many artists who elected to pursue a career as freelance magazine gag cartoonists. During the 1940’s, even while serving in the Navy during WWII, Ketcham’s cartoons appeared in a slew of national magazines, including Collier’s, The Saturday Evening Post and The New Yorker.

Here, selected from the Cartoon Clip File’s Ketcham Folder, are some of Hank Ketcham’s gag cartoons . . .

1. HANK KETCHAM. Collier’s August 21, 1943.


2. HANK KETCHAM. The Saturday Evening Post September 25, 1943.


3. HANK KETCHAM. Collier’s December 25, 1943.


4. HANK KETCHAM. This Week Magazine November 5, 1944.

5. HANK KETCHAM. 1000 Jokes Magazine May – June, 1946.

6. HANK KETCHAM. American Legion Magazine November, 1946.


7. HANK KETCHAM Collier’s October 11, 1947.


8. HANK KETCHAM. Liberty Magazine October, 1947.


9. HANK KETCHAM. The Saturday Evening Post May 5, 1948.


10. HANK KETCHAM The Saturday Evening Post January 8, 1949.


11. HANK KETCHAM The Saturday Evening Post March 5, 1949.


12. HANK KETCHAM. The Saturday Evening Post May 28, 1949.


13. HANK KETCHAM. Collier’s April 1, 1950.


14. HANK KETCHAM. True Magazine June, 1950.


15. HANK KETCHAM. Collier’s February, 1951.


16. HANK KETCHAM. Colliers November 24, 1951.

17. HANK KETCHAM. True Magazine 1952.

Need more Ketcham? Dick has you covered:

Hank Ketcham Gag Cartoons



Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Video: Charlie Hebdo Trial - Emotional Assignment for Courtroom Artists

The Charlie Hebdo trial is underway in Paris. For the court sketch artists covering the trial it is an emotional assignment.


Monday, September 28, 2020

Video: Chuck Jones Discusses Mel Blanc

 Award winning animation director Chuck Jones talks about "the man of a thousand voices" Mel Blanc, and creating characters for the Warner Brothers Looney Tunes cartoon shorts in this short excerpt:



 Full interview with Chuck Jones here

Friday, September 25, 2020

LIVE ONLINE: Celebrating 70 Years of Peanuts with Jean Schulz & Stephan Pastis October 3, 2020


Via the Charles M. Schulz Museum:

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Join the Schulz Museum as we celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the Peanuts comic strip with a live conversation between Charles Schulz’s widow, Jean Schulz, and cartoonist Stephan Pastis, creator of Pearls Before Swine and Timmy Failure. Schulz and Pastis will share favorite stories and look back on Charles Schulz’s legacy and impact—personal and professional—while reflecting on what makes Peanuts so resonant 70 years after its first appearance. Viewers will have an opportunity to submit questions during the program for a brief Q&A with Schulz and Pastis following their talk. 

Event meets online on via Zoom Saturday, October 3, 5:00 - 6:00 pm (Pacific Time/PT).

Advance registration required—register at:

or by calling (707) 284-1272.

Zoom link will be emailed three days before event. There are absolutely no refunds, credits, or cancellations for this event.

Member $10
Non-member $15

Thursday, September 24, 2020

From the Dick Buchanan Files: Vintage Gag Cartoons 1945 -1965

Dick Buchanan dusts off some midcentury classic gag cartoons and shows us some of the best single panel cartoonists at their peak. And get a load of Charles Pearson's little inside joke poke at fellow cartoonist Hank Ketcham! Thank you, Dick!


(1945 – 1965)

Once again it is time to reach into the Cartoon Clip File and share some certified vintage gag cartoons by some of our favorite cartoonists. As always, these cartoons have been carefully extracted from the pages of mid-America’s leading national magazines

1. T. HEE. Born Alex Campbell, Thornton "T." Hee was an animator, director and story writer. While taking a hiatus from Hollywood, he dabbled in magazine gag cartooning. Collier’s July 20, 1946.

2. BOB GALLIVAN. Collier’s November 30, 1946.

3. ORLANDO BUSINO. Busino received the National Cartoonist Society Gag Cartoon Award for 1965, 1967, and 1968 for his work. Argosy August 1965.

4. HANK KETCHAM. Collier’s March 23, 1946.


5. CHARLES PEARSON. This Week Magazine July 18, 1948.

6. VIRGIL PARTCH. Collier’s November 2, 1946.


7. MORT WALKER. Walker edited 1000 Jokes Magazine 1949-1950. 1000 Jokes Magazine Winter, 1952.


8. IRV ROIR. Pictorial Review September 19, 1954.


9. TOM HENDERSON. This Week Magazine October 21, 1945.


10. TOM HUDSON. The Saturday Evening Post. May 15, 1945.


11. BILL O’MALLEY. O’Malley is best known for his cartoons starring the two nuns Sister Maureen and Sister Colleen for Extension Magazine. Collier’s March 23, 1946.


12. GARDNER REA. Collier’s September 21, 1946.

13. PERRY BARLOW. Look Magazine March 24, 1964.


14. SIMON KATZMAN. Collier’s September 21, 1946.


15. GEORGE WOLFE. Wolfe received the National Cartoonist Society Gag Cartoon Award for 1969, 1973, 1975, and 1976 for his work. This Week Magazine October 21, 1945.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Mike Lynch Cartoons at Cartoon Collections


I'm glad to announce that I am one of the cartoonists featured over at CartoonCollections. Bob Mankoff runs the site and it sells gag cartoons for business presentations, publications, you name it.


I've been uploading a bunch of my cartoons to the site, which does business here and in Europe. Clients can search by cartoonist or keyword topic. It's easy to use. 

Of course, you can always contact a cartoonist directly for your cartoon needs. 

Oh, that is, when we're not remodeling the house.

Which reminds me ....

I got an email from cartoonist/cartoon critic Phil Witte yesterday:

"We included one of your fine cartoons in our latest post of Anatomy of a Cartoon, our feature on Bob Mankoff's site, Cartoon Collections."

That's nice. Phil and Rex Hesner have looked through "pandemic remodeling"cartoons, and written this "Cartoon critics Phil Witte and Rex Hesner Look at Pandemic Remodeling" feature for the CartoonCollections site. I'm in fine company, with fellow cartoonists Gahan Wilson, Frank Cotham, Phil Witte himself, Trevor Spaulding, Shannon Wheeler, Aaron Bacall, Bruce Erik Kaplan, Sam Gross, Alex Gregory and Mort Gerberg. Go look

"We're in the tub together. But not like it used to be."


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Ron Cobb 1937 - 2020


Editorial cartoonist and movie designer Ron Cobb passed away on his birthday, September 21, 2020. The cause was Lewy body dementia, said his wife of 48 years, Sydney. 

Cobb began work as an "in-betweener," an animator, for Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty in 1959. But in the next decade, he became a freelance editorial cartoonist. Initially working for Los Angeles Free Press, in the coming years he would become syndicated in over 80 markets all over the world. His pro-Earth, anti-war and anti-pollution cartoons were forceful and detailed. 

Ron Cobb also created the well-known ecology symbol in a 1968 cartoon.

Even if you don't know that, you know Ron from his movie work. He began creating movie production designs in the 1970s. 

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Cobb brought to life several cantina creatures for Star Wars (1977) and came up with weaponry and sets for Conan the Barbarian (1982), the exterior and interior of the Nostromo ship in Alien (1978) and the earth colony complex in Aliens (1986) and the DeLorean time machine in Back to the Future (1985).

His prolific design work also included the breathing tanks and helmets in The Abyss (1989), the Omega Sector logo and the H bombs in True Lies (1990)the interior of the Mothership and the stranded tanker in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and the vehicles of The Last Starfighter (1984).


The Daily Cartoonist has much more here.  

Monday, September 21, 2020

Friday, September 18, 2020

Mike Lynch: Interview About Cartooning for a Living


I'm prepping some cartoons of mine for a question and answer session about "What's It Like To Be a Cartoonist?" for a SUNY college class this morning. Sometimes, I get asked to show up and talk about this kind of career. I hope I can answer some of the students' questions. In the meantime, here are some cartoons and some interview questions and answers from an interview I did for a European site that I've never published here. 


What experiences have triggered your ideas most?

Ideas! When you draw magazine gag cartoons, as I do, you have to have the habit of coming up with a lot of ideas on a regular basis. The finished gag cartoon has to successfully communicate to its reader in about 4 seconds. Or, in other words, a successful gag cartoon takes only about 4 seconds to “get” or “not get.” As for what triggers me getting a good idea: I stay aware. I keep up on the news. Anything that makes me angry or seems like an incongruity in life – THAT is fodder for a cartoon. My grandmother told me this. She kept up on the news and would talk current events and controversies. It kept her plugged in to the world.

How would you characterize the philosophy of your artwork?

Oh, gee. Well, I never really thought that much about the philosophy of my drawing. I like it to be clear. I mean, I like my drawings to be clear. That's pretty basic now, isn't it? I want a dog that I draw to look recognizably like a dog and so on. That's damn basic. Ha ha! I don't like cartoonists who draw close ups all the time. It seems like a cheat to draw closeups of the eyes and the mouth and so on. I try to work in a background and I try to put people's hands in the image. I don't ever want it to look like I'm afraid to draw something, you know? I remember talking to a cartoonist at my first National Cartoonists Society Reubens weekend. He was saying how he does one drawing for a comic book page and then just repeats it for a dialogue scene. Ugh.


Above: for a book of Maine cartoons I edited and contributed to. The little girl reaches for "Blueberries for Sal" as the bear is going for "Little Girl for Lunch."

What has been the relationship between music & literature in your life and art? How does affect your inspiration?

We all get inspiration from listening to music or reading. I'm moved by certain pieces of music like the Faure Requiem, but does it impact my inspiration? Good question. 

Inspiration is a word that makes me uneasy. I would love to lie and say I am inspired all the time, but I am not. As a working cartoonist, you have to create every day, whether you are inspired or not. But, hey, I think you are talking about the influence of other creative people, and yeah, of course, there is a relationship. They do inspire.

There is a lot of art that I love (George Grosz, Thomas Hart Benton, Bemelmans to name a few off the top of my head). Most of it tends to be comic art by cartoonists I admire (Jean Jacques Sempe, Walt Kelly, Billy DeBeck). I love looking at their art and I guess there may be bits of it in my own work. It does help to look at their work and see how they drew, how they communicated. I used to assist a Marvel Comics artist and he would put a Wally Wood-drawn comic book page in front of me and say, "Look at the knowledge!" And he was right. There is a lot of great work out there and there are always things to learn.

Which meetings have been the most important experiences for you? What is the best advice ever given you?

George Rhoads, an audiokinetic sculptor, bought my Dad's house in Ithaca, NY. This was a while ago when I was still working in a full-time “real job.” I had dinner with George, his wife and my Dad one day after George moved in in 1999. George is a working artist, best known for those sculptures with billiard balls that roll down tracks and make noises. His work is on display all over the world. He was a quiet fellow who seemed a bit gruff, but when I asked about his work, he showed me around their new home and was showing me how he works. He asked me about my plans and I told him that someday I would try to draw full-time. And he frowned at this and told me I would never be any good unless I did it full-time. 

I could see the truth in his eyes. I felt it the moment he said it. Having an artist of his stature tell me this impacted me. I quit my job as acting head of graphics for Deloitte and Touche later that year. It was a hard choice, to leave the security – but one that I needed to do to prove to myself that I could cartoon full-time. Plus: Rhoads was right: I got better once I started cartooning more.

What are your hopes and fears for the future of art? What do you miss most nowadays from the art of past?

When I think of "art" I think: "cartoons." Is that OK? 

I do hope there will be more artists out there who connect with fans. It's vital to survival. Chris Schweizer and Mattias Adolfsson, just to name two contemporary cartoonists I admire, sell prints, originals and books. They both sell copies of their sketchbooks, which I love and buy. Seeing these behind the scenes process sketches and drawings is exciting and it's good to see something like that on the market. Selling cartoonist to cartoonist is a still-new thing -- and there is a market for this! Now, these guys take time out to hype their wares on social media. This can take time and I always remember that it's very good of them to take time away from actually working and drawing to get the word out.

What do I miss about art from the past? Paper. I miss seeing comics interspersed in between articles in newspapers and magazines. I miss gag cartoons in magazines. It's a real shame.

What are the lines that connect the legacy of counterculture comix of 60s with the new generation of artists?

The 1960s counterculture cartoonists (like Jay Lynch, Skip Williamson, Robert Crumb, etc.) were drawing comics for themselves and I think the same is true with some of the younger cartoonists today.


If you could change one thing in the world of comic and it would become a reality, what would that be?

Allow good cartoonists to make a living wage. Well, maybe better than that: allow them somehow to only concentrate on their creative work and not have to be business people as well. So many cartoonists MUST be aware of how to be in business: contracts, invoices, taxes, etc.


What is the impact of comix/cartoon to the racial, political and socio-cultural implications?

Well, you know, the fact that it's the 21st century and cartoonists are being hurt and assassinated kinda tells me some bad stuff. In America, the editorial cartoonists who are fiercely controversial are seeing their markets shrink, while bland, non-controversial cartoonists gain newspapers. People love cartoons, but a lot of editors are afraid of them. At the end of the day, the impact of an insightful, sharply written cartoon is still there -- but the cartoonist's welfare -- in money and in body -- threatened now more than ever. This is not good.

Where would you really wanna go via a time machine and what memorabilia (books, records) would you put in?

There's a great gag cartoon by Don Rosa in an old 1970s issue of Rocket's Blast Comic Collector that immediately pops in my head when you asked this. Rosa did a drawing of Captain Kirk jumping out of the Guardian of Forever time travel portal, carrying a big stack of Action Comics #1 and other vintage comic books! I always think of that cartoon when I think time machine! I guess if I could be anywhere, it would be in the offices of the New York World in the early 20th century, hanging out with TAD Dorgan, their sports cartoonist. He was a great guy, by all accounts. He attended Polytechnic High School with Rube Goldberg. At the age of 13, he had an accident and damaged his drawing hand. He lost several fingers. Most accounts agree he as left with only his thumb and little finger on his right hand. So, he learned to draw with his other hand. Now, THAT'S serious drive. A lot of the phrases he made up ("the cat's meow," hard-boiled," 23 skidoo" and others) made it into American slang. In addition to cartooning, he managed a bullpen of comic artists. He advised Segar where to send his "Thimble Theater" comic strip proposal. He was a mentor to a number of cartoonists, including Herriman. Walter Berndt, who drew the comic strip Smitty for 50 years, signed the "T" in his signature just like TAD signed his "T" as a salute to Dorgan. So, I would love to meet TAD. He lost those three fingers on his right hand, and learned how to draw with his other. Who could not want to meet a guy who had that kind of drive?

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Cartoonist Jeff Danziger: Cartoonists are Still Foot Soldiers of Democracy

 Via Vermont Humanities:

Political cartoonist Jeff Danziger discusses his role in a French documentary film, “Cartoonists, Foot Soldiers of Democracy,” and describes the origin of some of his recent editorial cartoons. 

He also reviews how cartooning has changed over his career, and covers the challenges and opportunities of creating editorial cartoons during this time in American history. 

This presentation is part of our Democracy 20/20 Fall Conference. Learn more about the free conference, and view all of the free videos we've recorded, at Help support our speakers! All of these events are free and open to all, but the scholars are paid an honorarium for sharing their expertise. Please consider making a donation to support these scholars at

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

National Cartoonists Society NCSFest

This past weekend, the National Cartoonists Society, in lieu of its annual in-person convention, created a nine hour live streaming event. A schedule of the events is here. The complete video is below. Using the schedule, and the YouTube toggle, you can pick and choose what you want to see.


Lynda Barry won the Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year. Her acceptance video is here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The Garden As of September 15, 2020


It's a cloudy morning and the temperatures last night were in the upper 30s. The hummingbirds took off for South America over the weekend, and the garden is winding down. I pulled up all of the cucumbers and most of the zucchini. 


Still a few tomatoes. I may blanch them and make a sauce. We'll see if I can make the time today. Behind them, out of eyesight, are a couple of green pepper plants with one pepper each. 



The other two boxes have been mostly cleared. Still a couple of zucchini plants, and the radishes and carrots are still growing. But I think I'll harvest them by this weekend.

 It's still mostly green here, but there are pockets of red leaves on the trees here and there. 

 The roses, which bookend the growing season with two blooming sessions, are almost done for the year. The zinnias are still happy, while the daisies are on their last legs. I've had a fire going in the woodstove since last night, so I guess it's really going to be fall now. 


The Garden As of September 1, 2020

The Garden As of Mid-August 2020 

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