Thursday, August 31, 2023

Stan Lee's Dinner with French Filmmaker Alain Resnais

Above photos from Elving's Musings.

In 1969, Stan Lee hosted French filmmaker Alain Resnais. As the writer Sean Howe puts it:

The director of Hiroshima Mon Amour was a fan of Marvel Comics—passionate enough to buy an English dictionary, so he could understand Lee’s ten-dollar words—and had initiated an epistolary friendship with Lee. When Resnais planned a trip to work on his next film, Lee invited him to dinner at his apartment, which he recorded on tape.

The dinner was with Stan Lee and his wife Joan. They talk about Resnais' plans for his next movie. The rumor was that Resnais might be game to do a comic book movie (He had already cited Eisner's The Spirit as highly influential.), but many topics are addressed in the conversation and, at one point, Stan and Joan's actress daughter Joanie arrives. Sean Howe has transcribed much of the conversation here. The amazing thing is that the evening was recorded, and the recording is below:

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Send Jeff Smith a Card


Jeff Smith, the creator of the Bone series of books, suffered a heart attack a couple weeks ago. All of his appearances have been canceled for the time being. He is recovering and doing better. 


From an August 19 blog entry:

To our friends and fans: Jeff Smith is recuperating from a cardiac arrest, which he suffered on Sunday. There will be a long road to recovery, so regrettably we must cancel the remainder of his book tour this year. Our apologies to his fans who were coming to see him at: Rob Con (VA), CXC (OH), Bedrock Comic Con (TX) and NYCC (NY). We hope this is just a bump in the road and that Jeff will see you all next year. Thank you for your support and understanding at this time.

If you want to send a note or a get well card, here's his official Instagram announcement, with an address:

A note of appreciation from all of us at Cartoon Books for the enormous amount of support and concern you have shown Jeff in these past few days. We may not be able to reply to each one, but know we are reading them and they are the best medicine. Many of you have asked about sending a card to Jeff - and those are always welcome! Please send to: Cartoon Books PO Box 16973, Columbus, OH 43216.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Hanging a Picture On the Wall Using a Fork

Today's Homeowner with Danny Lippford has this short (less than a minute) video that shows a simple technique to hang a framed picture on the wall: use a fork.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Creative Playthings Reading Lotto: House (1968)

 From 1968, here are all of the graphic cards from Creative Playthings' Reading Lotto.

"A game that helps the pre-school child to name familiar objects and the early-reading child to associate the picture with the written word."

This is copyright 1968 by Creative Playthings.

The drawings are all full color, bold, stylized pictures of what would be, over fifty years ago, the everyday objects found in the home. This is part of a series of Reading Lottos which include:

Things That Go





As the child "learns to name each object, he will develop an interest in the printed label which accompanies it." 

I believe we had a set of these when I was a kid, but it was the Zoo version. There is no credit for who drew and/or designed the Reading Lotto, which was the norm. Enjoy the graphics. I sure did.


Friday, August 25, 2023

Barbie Doll Inspired by German Cartoon Panel "Lilli"



Where did the Barbie doll come from? Mattel Toys, you say? No. She was a German newspaper comic panel first.

Paul Gravett explains: 


Fascinating to learn about the 'secret origin' of Barbie', who was inspired by 'Lilli', star of 'a single-panel cartoon feature created in 1952 by Reinhard Beuthien for the German Boulevard newspaper "Bild". She ran until 1961 and embodied the life of an independent, self-confident young woman in the post-war era.' Read about how 'Lilli' became 'Barbie' here...
Danke to Naaman Wakim for this link:

The true story of Barbie - the German Lilli 😮

The story of Barbie, one of the most famous and best-selling dolls worldwide, surprisingly begins in Germany with a character called Lilli.
This character was not originally meant to be a toy for children, but represented a completely different world.
Lilli was created as a comic figure in 1952 and was created by Reinhard Beuthien for the German Boulevard newspaper "Bild". She ran until 1961 and embodied the life of an independent, self-confident young woman in the post-war era.
Lilli was portrayed in stories as a high-class callgirl who seduced rich men with charm and wit. She wasn't ashamed to revolt against male authority either.
In a remarkable comic scene in which a police officer warned Lilli of public indecency because of her bikini on the pavement, she responded strikingly: "Oh, and what part do you think I should take off?" "
In 1956, Ruth Handler, the co-founder of Mattel, came across the Lilli doll during a trip to Europe. She bought some of these dolls as souvenirs and noticed how much her daughter Barbara enjoyed playing with them.
It was an aha moment for Ruth Handler. She recognized the potential of such a grown-up, fashion-conscious doll for young girls.
Inspired by Lilli and observing her own daughter in mind, she developed the concept for the Barbie doll. Another family influence was their son Kenneth, who served as the inspiration for the Ken doll.
1959 Barbie was officially introduced by Mattel at the American International Toy Fair in New York City. Unlike the baby dolls that are prevalent at the time, Barbie was marketed as a teenage model.
This was a groundbreaking idea that revolutionized the toy world. In 1964, Mattel finally bought the rights to the Bild Lilli, heralding the end of production of the German doll.
The Barbie doll quickly gained popularity and became a cultural phenomenon. She became a reflection of time and throughout her long history has embraced many professions and lifestyles.
To date, Barbie has pursued over 200 different careers, including many in the MINT fields (mathematics, computer science, science and engineering).
Thus, she is not only a toy, but also a symbol of the development and the possibilities that women have had and have over the years.
Statement: Since Barbie has currently experienced an extreme hype because of the current movie, I couldn't help myself from telling you the true story of Barbie. I hope you enjoyed reading and learned a lot of new things about this topic. Oh man the driest statement ever XD Lilli.... I want Lilli back ... I'm sorry for this... okay enough again XD
Many more interesting, unpublished stories from around the world can be found in my book ❤ I think 100% satisfaction of the customers so far is very good ❤

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Steve Lieber's Portfolio Critique, with Comments by Brian Fies

Above is a 12-point criteria by pro Steve Lieber about portfolio criticism that has been on social media. Steve is a superhero comics professional that has reviewed many portfolios of wanna be comic book artists.

My friend, the award winning graphic novelist Brian Fies, has some comments that he wrote his Facebook page that are also good advice:

"This advice is making the rounds of cartooning circles. Steve Lieber is a successful graphic novelist and comic book artist, mostly superheroes but also other genres. I'm sharing because I think it packs a lot of wisdom in one tight package and I don't disagree with any of it. 
"A great deal of comics craft is similar to filmmaking, and I find it interesting that the art forms developed on parallel tracks at about the same time (origin in the late 19th century, explosion of artistic innovation in the 1920s and '30s, etc.). We pull from the same toolbox.
"For example, the '180-degree rule' says that you draw a line through the scene or the characters, and the artist's point of view--the "camera," if you will--always stays on one side of that line to avoid radical changes of perspective that confuse the reader/viewer. 
"Lieber's tips about composition, establishing shot (a wide view that shows the reader where they are and who's in the scene), and depth of field also apply to filmmaking. Making a comic is very similar to directing a movie, and a young cartoonist could learn a lot from a film studies course. 
"The tip I would emphasize, and the one I always encourage young artists to do myself, is Number 6: Draw from Life. Cartoonists simplify and stylize, it's what we do, but that simplification and stylization should still be rooted in reality. My main complaint about the manga-flavored stylization I see MANY young cartoonists adopt is less about the style itself, which I have no real beef with, than the fact that they're drawing someone else's version of a car or a cat or a face, not their own. Sit down and draw a cat from life as accurately as you can, then simplify it and polish it until you can't possibly draw the cat with fewer lines, and that's a cartoon cat in YOUR style that I bet won't look like anyone else's.
"Number 11 is important. Whenever a drawing isn't working for me, and I just can't figure out how to arrange the characters and background, often it's because I haven't defined where they are in space. Establish a horizon line, draw a grid if you have to, and everything usually falls into place.
"Number 12 I would amend to advise cartoonists to place the lettering first. Then you don't have to worry about leaving enough room for the words, you're drawing the art around them. Text pulls the reader's eye through the page, it guides them and sets the pace. If a reader gets lost, very often it's because you've placed the text wrong (the other big reason readers get lost is because you've laid out the panels wrong). 
"Making comics involves a surprising depth of craft that, when it works, should be invisible. Almost everybody learns by doing it wrong. I still do it wrong, just less than I used to."

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

All the Cartoons From LOOK Magazine July 15, 1969

LOOK Magazine, July 15, 1969.

This issue of LOOK Magazine has: a review "True Grit" by Gene Shalit (Gene liked it), "How Hippies Raise Their Children," and a photo-essay on 32 year old TV interviewer Dick Cavett.

And here are all of the cartoons from the July 15, 1969 issue. It's copyright 1969 Cowles Magazines and Broadcasting, Inc.

Ton Smits:

Eldon Dedini:

Bill Hoest:

British cartoonist Francis Wilford-Smith who signed his work "Smilby:"

Ed Fisher:

Herb Goldberg:

Another one by Bill Hoest:

John Ruge (Thanks to DD Degg for identifying the signature):

All the Cartoons from Look Magazine June 24, 1969 All the Cartoons from LOOK Magazine June 7, 1960
- This has been an edited version of a blog entry that originally appeared on June 3, 2014.