Friday, August 26, 2016

Mike Pence: Law School Cartoonist

Did you know that 2016 Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence drew cartoons while in law school in Indiana? Esquire has them here. 

"They're strange," explain the Esquire writer Annie Garau. It's her opinion, but I found these 1980s era Robert H. McKinney School of Law newspaper cartoons to be "of their ilk." I mean, they are not funny/understandable unless you were in law school with Mike Pence at the time, and a lot of the jokes are kinda either mean or not funny or old or obtuse. This is beginner-amateur-cartoonist scattershot work. If Mike had stuck with cartooning, I feel his draftsmanship and writing would naturally improve.

Falmouth, ME: Rick Parker One-Man Gallery Show One Day Only Saturday, August 27th 2016

Cartoonist Rick Parker, who you may know from MTV's "Beavis and Butthead" comics or Papercuz' new "Tales from the Crypt" comic book or "Deadboy" comic book or from his years of production and lettering work at Marvel Comics, has a one man show tomorrow and tomorrow only.

From Rick's Facebook page:

This is but one of 175 drawings you'll find on the walls at The Forthouse Gallery, America's newest gallery of cartoons and drawings located at #9 US Route 1 in Falmouth, Maine on Saturday, August 27th from Noon to Eight p.m. Vehicle parking is allowed in the general vicinity or you can bike or walk to the show. 
Free Admission.

Washington, DC: Richard Thompson Memorial Service on Saturday, August, 27 2016

Washington, DC: There will be a memorial service for my friend and fellow cartoonist Richard Thompson on Saturday, August, 27 2016 beginning at 1pm at the National Press Club. The public is invited.

Richard died July 27th due to complications from Parkinson's Disease. He was 58 years old.

My condolences to his wife and children. His loss is a terrible one. He was one of the giants we walk in the shadows of, you know? He would poo-poo me on that line, but it's true. I cannot be there myself, but wish I could. 

Here's the info:

A service for Richard will be held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, this Saturday, August 27th at 1pm. 
IT WILL BE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC from 1pm until 2:30 pm, after which there will be a private reception for friends and family. 
Again, the family asks that in lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, either directly or through Team Cul De Sac (

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Walt Kelly: "The Account of the Wooful Frog"

Above: Chicken Little is here. His mission is to make the kids stop playing their bloody violent games, and perform his "A Frog He Would A-Wooing Go," which is "great good fun." The kids are not convinced.

Happy 103rd birthday, Walt Kelly!

If there's a shortlist in my head of the comics the influenced me, Walt Kelly's POGO would be up at the top. His characterization and drawings spoke to me when my Dad handed down his collection of Simon and Schuster reprint books. I was a mere child of nine or ten. It must have been good timing. All of these stories have stayed with me but my favorite is "The Account of the Wooful Frog," a 1955 standalone story about a doomed amateur theatrical.

The best part is the young turtle, who, when brow-beaten by Chicken Little, recedes his noggin into his shell and sounds off with a loud "WAW!" The only way to shut off his "WAW-ing," and get the young turtle out of his shell, is to insert a handy candy cane, thusly:

This idea knocked me for a loop and I love the gag to this day.

Go to Thomas Haller Buchanan's Whirled of Kelly blog to see the whole story.

-- Edited from a blog entry of the same date in 2014.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Art Spiegelman: One-Page Graphic Novels

(Above: George Booth's “Ip Gissa Gul” from The New Yorker, January 20, 1975. An example of a one-page graphic novel, according to Art Spiegelman.)

Art Spiegelman talks about something called "one-page graphic novels" at the New Yorker blog's

"'About seven years ago, I was invited to do a comics page for the op-ed section of the Washington Post,' he recalled. 'The editor was very excited and told me, ‘Great—we’ve never had a graphic novel before!' I pointed out that it was only a one-page comic, but the editor repeated, 'Right, and we never had a graphic novel before!' As a result, Spiegelman decided it was time to embrace the term that has come to characterize 'an ambitious comic book,' whether the narrative is drawn on one page or three hundred. 'Since comics is the art of compression, I started looking back on the one-pagers which either in terms of their subject matter or in terms of their resonance had stayed in my brain,' he said.

In other words, size doesn't matter.

I have run into people who use the term "graphic novel" to describe comic strips, comic books -- ANYTHING that's sequential art. Weird. Pretty soon people will not ask a cartoonist "What are you drawing?" 

The new question will be "What are you graphic novelling?"

Hat tip to Randy Michaels for the link! Thanks, Randy.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Judge Magazine April 1938

Above cover by Otto Soglow.

THE JUDGE, April 1938, Volume No. 114, Whole No. 2713. Copyright 1938 by The Judge Magazine, Inc.

A few of the cartoons, illustrations and features.

R.A. Hershberger:
 Chester Garde:
 A. John Kaunus:

 Louis Jamme:

Ben Roth:

Frank Beaven:

Gustav Lundberg:

Richard Yardley:

Ted Key:

 An early draft for HORTON HEARS A WHO? Dr. Seuss:


James Trembath:

 Jack Morley:
 Perry Barlow:
 Colin Allen:
 A rare ad for even rarer Dr. Seuss creatures:

Monday, August 22, 2016

Dennis the Menace Meets Jewish Neighbors (1971)

DENNIS THE MENACE comic books were part of kids' reading for decades. Now gone, the comic books, usually ghosted by one of the long-time assistants to creator Hank Ketcham (Al Wiseman, Fred Toole, Owen Fitzgerald to name three), were well distributed, in groceries, drugstores and barbershops. There were regular DTM issues, along with larger (and more pricey) specials, and the smaller digest comics.

In 1971, at a Rexall Drug Store in Lawrence, KS, I spent 35 cents on an issue of the DENNIS THE MENACE BONUS MAGAZINE SERIES No. 99, October 1971 (a magazine published 12 times a year, once a month with the exception of September, November and December, and twice in June, July and October).

In a five page story "Christmas Happy Holidays," I found out about the new milkman in Dennis' neighborhood.

I learned about Jewish people via Dennis. The milkman and his son explained that they were Jews, and the regular milkman wanted Christmas off and they, celebrated Hanukkah instead of Christmas, etc. They told Dennis about their religion.

This was all completely new information to me. What can I say? I lived in a small town in Kansas! (I also did not understand what a golf bag was, so the cover gag was a complete non sequitor to me at the time.)

By chance, I found a copy of this story in a comic book at an antique store in nearby Wells, ME. And here it is.

Related Links:

Fred Hembeck on Al Wiseman and Fred Toole

Dennis the Menace Classic Comic Books Reprint Volumes published by Papercutz and edited by Bill Alger.

-- Edited from a blog entry dated January 26, 2009

Friday, August 19, 2016

OFFICE LAFFS Edited by Charles Preston

Above: The OFFICE LAFFS cover. The woman is saying, "Thanks for the raise, honey!" The gag line, which was at the bottom of the cover, got accidentally unscanned due to slovenliness of the man at the scanner (me).

Since when did Bennett Cerf's name sell a book of cartoons? Well, not recently, that's for sure.

Here's a collection of Wall Street Journal cartoons titled OFFICE LAFFS*, copyright 1957, E.P. Dutton and Co., Inc. This is the first Crest printing, February 1957, which I have mercilessly bent the spine of to scan in for you. You see? You crazy kids out there on the internet!!! Nothing is too good for you!

"Save 88 cents for the milkman."

Doug Follette showcases the undermining, dead end marital relationship at the heart of a WSJ reader. Follete drew the most distinctive sucking-on-a-lemon pouted lips in cartoon history.

Mr. Stamaty with a nice to look at clean line style. Look at all the wonderful details in the kitchen. His son, Mark Alan, went on to cartoon as well!
Above: Dad looks too happy about reading the dry contents of the Congressional Record to his child. Today, Dads have no time to read to their children, and so C-Span is merely streamed on the kids' computer the kid's heard snoring. The cartoon is drawn by Sid Gordin, who created the cartoons along with Vicky, his wife, so (to quote Orlando Busino) "hence the signature 'Sivic.'"

Above: another unhappy marriage cartoon. This one is by Martin Giuffre. I could not, for a moment, figure out exactly where we were supposed to be. It took a few extra seconds.

The one and only Mort Walker, in one of his most reprinted gag cartoons: the quintessential WSJ Salt ... and Pepper cartoon.

"Well, stupid, there's four days work we don't get paid for!"

You see? Not only does management get a poke, but labor as well. John Gallagher wields the ink on this good cartoon. related: John Gallagher is one of the featured cartoonists in 1000 Jokes magazine #79.

"Who's the new man?"

Serrano, who drew the lovely juxtaposition of the wispy smoke rings and the piles of paper, is like so many gag cartoonists; a name on a page, with so little more information on the Web.

Above: Another Serrano cartoon, with some good composition. If he had made the choice to put black on those shoes, or do a grey wash on the suits, then the visual gag would be lost.

"If we can get a subsidy we can give this country what it needs, a good five cent cigar."

Scott Brown draws some cigar smoking board members in a gag that's lost in time. I like how we can see every cigar and every cigar's wisp of smoke clearly.

Above: Brad Anderson of Marmaduke fame, with a breezy styled wordless cartoon that would enrage the unionized waste management people for that guy's building.


Follette, once more, with one of the funnier cartoons in the volume. Look atthe Book Ends Salesman, crouched and ready to make a sale in the wake of the Book Sales Salesman. I admire the gag so much.

"Don't be upset if my wife gives you a nasty look, boss.
She doesn't know about those last two raises."

Bob Schroeter; another cartoonist showing us the life of deceit that husbands lead. Again, I'm beholden to Orlando Busino for being able to recognize Mr. Schroeter's signature, which fluctuates from legible to hieroglyphics from cartoon to cartoon.
"I got the worms -- let's go!"

What I noticed here is that Mr. Folette disavowed the showing of the sunrise, a clock, or anything else that would be a "tell" as to the time of day. The expression on the Dad's face is all you need.

Jerry Marcus -- the one and only -- with a joke on the WSJ Cartoon Editor himself.

* from the indicia: "OFFICE LAFFS was originally published by E. P. Dutton and Co., Inc., under the title HEY, CAN'T YOU FORGET BUSINE$$? and this new and expanded Crest edition is reissued at 25 cents through arrangement with that company. "

-- Edited with an extra joke added from an original bloggarino entry dated April 21. 2008.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Video: Gene Yuen Lang Visits SDCC Comic-Con 2016

From the Reading Rockets series:

Video: J. Stuart Blackton - "The Enchanted Drawing" (1900)

A cartoonist defies reality when he draws objects that become three-dimensional after he lifts them off his sketch pad.

J. Stuart Blackton - Chalk-Talk Artist

Directed by J. Stuart Blackton
Produced by J. Stuart Blackton, Albert E. Smith
Cinematography by Albert E. Smith

Country USA
Release Date: November 16, 1900
Production Co: Vitagraph Company Of America

More at YouTube channel Screen.

Video: BONE Creator Jeff Smith at Aw Yeah Comics Store in Skokie, IL