Friday, July 03, 2015

The Garden As of Early July

Okay, I should have moved the lawnmower before taking the above photo of the raised beds of vegetables. Honestly, nine years of doing this blog and I still don't know how to do it right!

Here's the squash, above.

A couple of beds of tomatoes. I think there are 22 plants. And in the far left, a small bed of green peppers and cucumbers.

Above: about a zillion sunflowers coming up under the bird feeder. Hmm. We'll see what happens …

Lots of raspberries in the backwoods. Seems like twice as many as in previous years. They'll be ready in August.

And now, the flower show:

Thursday, July 02, 2015

8 LGBT cartoonists share their reactions to legal same-sex marriage

(Above: a snippet of Juana Medina's piece titled "Messages." Go see all of it here.)

Fusion has eight cartoonists from the LGBT community share their thoughts on the legalization of same-sex marriage. Jen Sorensen edited the piece and includes wonderful work by:

Juana Medina
Hilary Price
Eric Orner
Sophie Yanow
Olivia Stephens
Christopher Keelty
Paul Berge
Howard Cruse

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Leonard Starr 1925-2015

Cartoonist Leonard Starr, best known for creating "Mary Perkins, On Stage," relaunching "Little Orphan Annie," and creating the animated TV series "ThunderCats" died June 30, 2015 in Connecticut. He was 89 years old.

(Above: Starr inks Frank Bolle in this pretty much forgotten series from Crown Comics. See the whole thing over at Ger Apeldoorn's blog.)

A native New Yorker, he graduated from the High School of Music and Art, and then Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. While an art student, Mr. Starr freelanced for a variety of comic book companies, including Timely (later Marvel) and DC. He drew the Human Torch and Sub-Mariner.

After years of working in advertising, he created "Mary Perkins, On Stage" for the Chicago Tribune-Daily News Syndicate. He wrote and illustrated the popular feature until 1979, when he helmed the revival of the late Harold Gray's "Little Orphan Annie" comic strip. It was later retitled "Annie." He continued to work on the strip until his retirement in 2000.

In the early 1980s, he teamed with fellow cartoonist Stan Drake to create "Kelly Green;" a series of graphic novels for Dargaud Publishing about a sexy female action hero. (It's scheduled to be reprinted by Classic Comics Press this December.)

In 1984, Mr. Starr was creator and head writer for the animated TV series "ThunderCats."

He had been awarded with the top prize from the National Cartoonists Society, the Reuben Award, in 1965.  He had won the NCS Best Story Comic Strip Division Award in 1960 and 1963.

Mr. Starr has his home in Westport, CT and is survived by his wife Bobbie.

Truly one of the giants in his field; a man with superlative ink line, respected by his peers. He created comics and cartoons that touched fans for decades.

Lo Spazio Bianco obituary (in Italian)
Mark Evanier

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Bob Englehart Editorial Cartoon Plagiarized

(Above: the plagiarized, altered cartoon.)

From the June 28, 2015 Facebook page for Bob Englehart, editorial cartoonist for The Hartford Courant:

Many of you have seen this cartoon circulating around the Internet. Somebody took my cartoon "Going...Going...Gone!," stripped off my caption and my name and altered it. This is in complete violation of copyright law and respect for an artist's work. In the spirit of new beginnings, I won't call whoever did this any names or what they might do with themselves. Use your imagination. This appeared on the Southern Poverty Law Center website. If they are lawyers, they're not very good ones. They certainly don't know, or care, about copyright law.

The next day, the Southern Poverty Law Center apologized. They even said "We screwed up." 

Here's the text: 

On Friday, we posted a cartoon that seemed to perfectly encapsulate a tremendously emotional week. Five panels depicting the Confederate battle flag going down a flag pole, representing the political conversation following the horrific events in Charleston, South Carolina, and a rainbow (LGBT pride) flag going up in its place, representing the Supreme Court’s decision to make marriage equality the law of the land.

And did it resonate. At this moment, the post has nearly 260,000 Likes and over 190,000 shares.

The problem? Well, we got the credit wrong. And the cartoon was modified from its original form. 
On Sunday we learned that the first three panels of the Confederate flag going down was the work of Hartford Courant editorial cartoonist Bob Englehart, who originally posted it on June 22nd (see here:

Someone had added the last two panels of the rainbow flag being raised. In doing so, they removed the original caption “Going…going…gone” and, even worse, deleted Mr. Engelhart’s signature, which also included the date and the Hartford Courant copyright.

We screwed up. We found the image on Twitter and credited the editorial cartoon syndicate Cagle Cartoons, which appeared in the doctored cartoon.

Thankfully for us, an editor at the Hartford Courant generously asked that we only correct the record here, which we were eager to do.

In sum: We apologize to Mr. Englehart and his colleagues at the Hartford Courant. Everyone here who liked that post should go over and check out his work. If that cartoon resonated, you’ll be pleased to know Mr. Englehart publishes multiple times a week. 
- SPLC digital team
Below is the original cartoon, which is copyright the Hartford Courant:

Monday, June 29, 2015


MAN IN APRON AND OTHERS by Larry, "one of Punch's most popular cartoonists." This was his first collection. It's copyright 1957, 1958, 1959 Bradbury, Agnew and Co. Ltd. Here are just a few of his cartoons. They are all wordless and there's some wonderful writing here. On some them, I had to really look before I "got" the cartoon. Love his breezy style.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Happy Tenth Anniversary, Papercutz!

Above: a new Papercutz 10th anniversary Nancy Drew print celebrating Papercutz by Stephanie Buscema.

Hard to believe it, but ten years ago, graphic novels for young adults were hard to find. Papercutz was founded by Jim Salicrup and Terry Nantier to fill that void.

This is their 10th anniversary year, and to celebrate, they will be selling this prints related to their line of books. This limited edition print of Nancy Drew was available at Bookcon. More will follow.

Happy tenth birthday Papercutz!

Friday, June 26, 2015

New Blog: Helene Parsons: A Gag Writer's Blog

Helen Parsons new blog is a rare, behind the scenes look at the process of writing gags that sell.

If you don't know who Helene Parsons is, then you for sure know these places where her clients' work appears:

Dennis the Menace
The Lockhorns
The New Yorker
Harvard Business Review
Wall Street Journal
Good Housekeeping,
Better Homes and Gardens
First for Women
Chicken Soup for the Soul

Helene Parsons is a working gag writer for syndicated and magazine cartoonists -- as well as comedians and broadcasters. And she has started her own blog, Cartoon Gagwriting: My Experience.

I don't use gag writers myself, but some cartoonists do. By outsourcing the writing, it allows them to concentrate on drawing and producing material. 

Here's Helene on writing captions:

From reading books about joke or gag writing, I learned that they almost always had a set up and a punch. The set up is the straight, or factual part. The punch is the unexpected part and should come at the end. I also learned that certain words were funnier, specifically, words that had the "k" sound in them. Also, that there was something called a series of three, where the first two items were the set up and the third item was the punch at the end. After looking at thousands of cartoons in publications such as The New Yorker, Barron's and Reader's Digest, I could see that fewer words had a greater punch. I became familiar with the situations these cartoons focused on. For example, cartoons in Barron's mostly focus on the business world. I felt I could write business gags because after working in offices for many years I had opinions about things. I could see the humor in the relationships between bosses and workers, workers and co-workers, salary issues, lazy workers, lazy bosses. You get the picture. I also realized that I liked to write about restaurants (snooty waiters, demanding customers, lousy food) and relationships (husband and wife gags, mostly).

Go read Helene Parsons' Cartoon Gagwriting blog.

Tom Scott: Cartooning for Peace

New Zealand cartoonist Tom Scott explains what freedom of expression means to him for TEDxAuckland. It runs 16 minutes.