Friday, May 29, 2015

Mike Peters and Drawing Board Dread

When I was at the 100th anniversary of King Features event a week ago, Mike Peters told a great story about when he sold his Mother Goose and Grimm strip -- a very happy moment -- and then realized he had to draw a comic strip a day, every day. And he was already an award winning editorial cartoonist. What did he have to prove?!

Now he had twice the work.

The way he told it, he was lying in bed, first thing in the morning, filled with dread. How was he going to come up with the requisite hundreds of funny ideas a year? How was he going to make the time?

He called Doug Marlette. Doug was an editorial cartoonist and he was also drawing his syndicated comic strip Kudzu. How did Doug manage to do it?

Mike explained his problem: he had to write, pencil and ink a strip or two a day. And it would be relentless. And, if the strip was successful, it could go on for the rest of Mike's life. How did Doug do this day after day?

Like I said, he was filled with dread. Just teeming with dread.

Doug said it was like brushing your teeth. You don't walk into the bathroom and moan that you have to brush this morning and then again  that night, and then twice tomorrow and tomorrow and on and on forever. You just brush and you don't think about it.

So, just go to the board and get going. Don't dread it, just draw.

I am sure that Mike told this much better than I did just now.

Sometimes, half the battle is just getting the pencil and paper out in the first place.

(Written on my phone while waiting for a car repair. This is the first time I've done a whole blog entry from my phone! I was dreading doing this, but it worked out OK.)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Hallmark Shoebox Greeting Card Meeting

Here's the Hallmark Shoebox Greeting Card staff having a meeting. It does not go well.

Video: Comic Books in Canada: Sex, Violence and the Modern Comic Book

Archival Video Time: Here's a 13 minute CBC News feature from Apr 11, 1988: "A new generation of alternative comics sparks criticism and a call for government censorship."

Video: Canada's First Comic Book Store

Archival Video Time: Here's a CBC News feature from May 29, 1970 in which "Captain" George Henderson talks about his recently opened comic book store in Toronto and the fledgling community of collectors populating it.

Video: Bob Bindig

Cartoonist and comics historian Bob Bindig (1920-2007) gives an hour-ling interview originally recorded May 15, 2007.

Bob may be best known for his ten year stint on the Big Boy restaurant chain of comic books.

This video was recorded six months before his death.

Thanks to the New York State Military Museum for posting this.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Some Photos From the 69th Annual National Cartoonists Society Reuben Awards Weekend

Here are a few photos of some of the cartoonists at the 2015 Reubens.

Mort Drucker had a panel with John Reiner hosting. That's him on the left. And Mr. Drucker, Nick Meglin and Sam Viviano.

Our private bus to the Library of Congress got lost, so a lot of us were late to the King Features' 100th anniversary event.

Once at the LoC, we did get to see some wonderful original comic strip art culled from the Art Wood collection.

 SKIPPY by Percy Crosby

 POLLY AND HER PALS by Cliff Sterrett

The above is the original patent request by Richard Outcault for THE YELLOW KID!

Ray Alma, Anton Emdin, Sophie and Jason Chatfield

"Mr. King  Features" Joe D'Angelo and Bunny Hoest

Kerry G. Washington and the one and only Ray Billingsley.

My dear friends Margie and Mark Anderson.

My talented friend Juana Medina and myself.

That's Mo Willems and Patrick McDonnell. Sorry to say I am blanking on the very nice woman in the middle! 

Michael Ramirez and Guy Gilchrist. 

Rachel Kochman, Larry Katzman and Charlie Kochman.

Alex and Ken Krimstein.

Love it! The title of Mark Anderson's presentation: "I Don't Know, Give It a Try, See What Happens." 

Roz Chast had to be in Chicago, and could not be in DC for the Reubens festivities. She prerecorded an acceptance speech which was sweet and funny. She began by thanking cartoonist Bill Woodman for his description of the "blazing field of white," describing the blank sheet of paper. 

And, finally, I'll close with this graphic from the C and J Portsmouth-to-NYC Bus graphic which seems to concern BREAKING BAD's Walter White's bathroom habits. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The 69th Annual National Cartoonists Society Reuben Awards Weekend

I'll be there for a while.

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, then I'll have updates and photos.

The blog may be quiet during the holiday weekend.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Video: Juana Medina

The Politics and Prose Bookstore has a video of my friend and illustrator and writer Juana Medina. She talks about her process, and her upcoming autobiographical book. She's one of my favorite people in the industry, and this was my first chance to see her in her own studio, talking about what she does.

You might know her from her tweets and Facebook postings, where she puts a natural object on her drawing paper and then makes an amazing image with ink around it. Like this:

Here's the short interview with Juana Medina as posted by the Politics and Prose people:

She did the illustrations for SMICK, a new picture book from Penguin by Doreen Cronin:

Go buy a copy. I did!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

First Australian Animation: Cartoons of the Moment (1915)

Here's a animated short, "Cartoons of the Moment," by newspaper cartoonist and caricaturist Harry Julius (1885-1938). It's from the Australasian Gazette newsreel. This clip is silent. 
This collection of eight cartoons stretch between January to June 1915. All items concern the First World War, and as any evidence of exactly when they were screened is hard to come by, we can estimate a date on the basis of the news reports that Harry Julius may have consulted. The cartoons are not in chronological order but rather the in the order in which the NFSA received them.
The "Cartoons of the Moment" cartoons were the first Australian animation.

Video: Malaysian Cartoonist Zunar in Conversation with Martin Rowson

Malaysian cartoonist Zunar talks with cartoonist Martin Rowson about his work and trial on nine charges under Malaysia's sedition act.