Saturday, April 18, 2015

Mike Lynch Cartoon in April 18, 2015 Wall Street Journal

I have a cartoon in the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal. 

This really just came to me when I was writing down phrases, "charm offensive" being one of many.

I found that the bigger the grins, and the more peeved the CEO looks, the funnier it is.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Rob Rogers: "Mayoral Ink: Cartooning Pittsburgh's Mayors"

Pittsburgh Post Gazette Editorial Cartoonist Rob Rogers launches an IndieGoGo campaign to fund his latest cartoon collection, "Mayoral Ink: Cartooning Pittsburgh's Mayors."

Thursday, April 16, 2015

"Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Official Teaser #2

Just released today, the new trailer the new STAR WARS movie, due out this December. And, yeah, you get a peek at one of the returning characters from the 1977 STAR WARS movie. Oo la la.

The Aspen Institute: An Evening with Award-Winning Cartoonists Mike Peters and Bob Mankoff

Video: Ebola: The Art of Survival

From Doctors Without Borders: Swiss cartoonist Felix was visiting an ebola treatment center and found  Umaru, an ebola survivor who shares his passion for drawing.

Video: Buffalo News Editorial Cartoonist Adam Zyglis

Editorial Cartoonist Adam Zyglis talks about his career as a staff cartoonist at The Buffalo News and the challenges employees are facing.

Video: John Hambrock

John Hambrock, creator of the syndicated THE BRILLIANT MIND OF EDISON LEE comic strip, speaks at Carthage College. John talks about his own vision of cartooning.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Brad Bird's 1980 pencil test footage for Will Eisner's SPIRIT Movie

A stunning, on-model look at what-could-have-been. Here are a few key scenes of Denny Colt, Dolan, Ellen and Ebony, all created by Brad Bird and some ex-students of Cal Arts, who were working for Disney at the time.

More: "The 'Spirit' movie that could have been

Thanks to Steven Paul Leiva!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Who Drew These 1950s Cartoon Baseball Illustrations?

A colleague who works at Pixar writes:

"I recently acquired a collection of 30-some baseball cartoons. A few mention the Yankees so I'm guessing they were done in association with them. (Two of them mention real-old-timers like Amos Rusie and Kid Nichols). There's a title page cartoon that says "Baseball Oddities."

"I've scoured Google till my eyes are bleeding with no info to show for it. None of the pics are signed. I can date them with some certainty to the 1950s-early 1960s. I've been asking around with no luck. Was there ever such a book? Have you ever see them? Maybe they were sold by the Yankees exclusively? I'm exhausting the possibilities. Who did them?

"The only thing I know for sure is that I really like them! I've attached a sampling. Do these ring any bells?"

My take: these are from the 1950s and done for a possible TV broadcast. They may have been drawn in NYC, either by an ad studio or a staff artist with one of the networks.

Some more info. from my colleague:

"They are all the same size -- roughly 15 x 11 --and most unusual. They are pen and ink and brush drawings, meticulously cut out with an x-acto and mounted onto painted backgrounds for a unique, almost 3D, effect. All but 4 or 5 are mounted on illustration board. The only writing is on the backs of two of them (see attachment) I don't know if it's a signature or a printing instruction. There are more than 30 of them. I acquired them from a guy who got them years ago at an estate sale. He had them in a flat file and forgot all about them. He knows nothing about them either.  
"They looked to me at first as though they might be the work of Bob Clarke, who could do a cool, stripped-down Jack Davis impression of sorts, and I've seen drawings of his that come close -- but not quite. And Jack Davis tells me they aren't Bob's work."

Here's some of those marks from the back:

A lot of people are involved in helping figure out what these are, why they were drawn and who drew them, but so far we have no leads. Let me know if you may have an idea.


Monday, April 13, 2015


When she was eight years old, Ursula Koering's (1921-1976) parents sent her to the Philadelphia College of Art to take weekend art classes. She continued through her teen years, matriculating as a full-time student at the College upon her high school graduation. 

When she left the College of Art, she looked for illustration work -- even though her degree had been in sculpture. In the post-war period, she drew for children's magazines and books. She may be best known for the THE FIRST BOOK OF series (THE FIRST BOOK OF INDIANS, THE FIRST BOOK OF NEGROES, etc.).

Later in life, she did secure a job with The Franklin Mint, and she was able to apply her sculpture skills. 

Here are some of her drawings for THE TROLLEY CAR FAMILY by Eleanor Clymer. It's copyright 1947. These scan are from the Scholastic edition, fifth printing (September, 1962). The story is about Pa Parker, who has just lost his job at the trolley car company. The company is switching to busses, you see, and, so, Mr. Parker is out of a job. The family must downsize, so they get an old trolley car destined for the scrap yard and use that for their house. 

"It's the end of the line for the trolley car, but it's a beginning of fun and adventure for the trolley car family."

No word on why good ol' Pa Parker can't just up and drive a bus. But then Parkers wouldn't have to move into an old trolley car, and, of course, then there wouldn't be this popular (five printings at least!) book. 

What drew me to the book was Ms. Koering's penmanship. Her ease with shading and crosshatching --and the liveliness of her line. 

Ariel Winter's "We Too Were Children, Mr. Barrie" blog has a wonderful profile of Ursula Koering. 

The trolley-as-home floor plan is mesmerizing. I would have gotten into this as a kid.

Promo text from the back of the book:

"Something is wrong. Cranky Mr. Jefferson is sure of it. Those noisy Parker children next door are much too quiet.

"Something is wrong at the Parker home. Pa Parker has just lost his job. Pa has been driving a trolley car for years. Now the trolley car company is changing to busses. Drive a new-fangled bus? Not Pa Parker! No wonder all the Parkers are worried.

"But if Pa doesn’t have a job, he does have a trolley car. And what could be more sensible than living in the trolley ‘til Pa gets another job. So off they go — Ma and Pa Parker, Sally, Bill, George and Little Peter — and of all people, cranky Mr. Jefferson too. Bouncing and bumping on the trolley tracks, they park their new home at the last stop. It’s the end of the line for the trolley car, but it’s the beginning of fun and adventure for the trolley car family."

Friday, April 10, 2015

French Cartoons: Riotous Ribald and Racy

Here are some covers and cartoons from my "French Cartoons" collection. I think that in the 1950s French equaled sexy and racy. Well, by now, it all looks pretty quaint. I love these book covers!

Above is FRENCH CARTOONS, Dell 1954 paperback. "The best in saucy Parisian humor."

"You asked for more!" claims the back cover copy to the sequel published the following year.

And it goes on:

French comic artists lead the world in uncensored wit, satire, ribaldry, and -- most of all -- belly-laughs.

Last year Dell published the first crop (FRENCH CARTOONS, Dell No. 21).

We believe 160,000,000 Americans can't be wrong, so ... we now present -- MORE FRENCH CARTOONS
160,000,000??? Man oh man. French cartoons: once hot, now forgot! 

The cartoons in these books are a little risque, if you're still in a 1955 mentality.

FRENCH POSTCARDS, an Avon book from 1955, is full of wordless sight gags.

The Lion Library published CARTOONS THE FRENCH WAY the same year. Nice to see Sempe on the back cover. He is still drawing, and can be seen regularly as a New Yorker magazine cover artist.

LOVE FROM FRANCE "Featuring the Greatest French Comic Artists" is from the Popular Library, 1956.

FRENCH AND FRISKY, "a Lion Book," is also from 1956.

Above are 2 cartoons from LOVE FROM FRANCE. Silly little cartoons, hardly risque these 52 years later, but still nicely done.

A lot of the cartoons are just gag cartoons, like the above terrific Sempe cartoon. I love the look on those kids' faces.

So, you get some that are a little frisky, and some straight up gag cartoons.

There are a couple of French bathhouse gags in the books. Above is the woman who craves attention and gives comfort to the gawker.

And, above right, we see the opposite of the gag.

Again, a lot of the cartoons in the books tend to be wordless. The hardest kinds of cartoons to think up!

-- The above was an edited version of a blog entry from July 9, 2007.