Friday, September 04, 2015


Maybe one of the problems with the Internet is that there isn't more Howie Schneider in it.

Howie created the long running EEK AND MEEK syndicated comic strip, as well as children's books -- some of which he wrote with his wife Susan Seligson. He also created THE SUNSHINE CLUB, a comic strip about retirees, and he contributed a regular cartoon, titled "Unschucked," to the Provincetown Banner.

From the Boston Globe:

"Howie insists -- and he was known to embellish -- that he could draw before he could walk. In the delivery room he drew," said his wife, Susan Seligson of Truro. "Howie drew constantly. He always knew he was going to be an artist."

Here are a few of his cartoons from the out of print HOWIE SCHNEIDER UNSCHUCKED collection, "A Cartoon Collection about the Cape, the Country and Life Itself." It's all copyright Mr. Schneider.

The fearless, quick, assured lines of his drawings and his pointed, hilarious writing are two reasons to pause and linger over these terrific cartoons from the late 1990s.

Thursday, September 03, 2015


For the first time ever, a print collection of Niso Ramponi's art will be published. KREMOS: THE LOST ART OF NISO RAMPONI is scheduled to be published next month by Lost Art Books.

It's actually two volumes (one color, one black and white work) and it sure is going to be wonderful to look at. If you order now, you get a discount on the set.

He worked under numerous names—Kremos, Niso, Nys O’Ramp—but he occupies a singular space as Italy’s cartooning Casanova, and he finally gets his due in this new two-volume set from Lost Art Books. From the mid-1940s through the early 1960s, Niso Ramponi’s work was everywhere, from collaborating with friend Federico Fellini in Italy’s animation industry to drawing newspaper strips to creating movie posters for Walt Disney. Ramponi made his name, however, in Italy’s weekly satire magazines, for which he drew some of the world’s prettiest “good girl” gag cartoons and covers for over a decade. Volume 1 collects over 200 of Kremos’ bodacious black & white cartoons and illustrations, while Volume 2 adds 250 of his curvaceous color comics and covers to the set. Combined, these volumes offer a comprehensive overview of the maverick artist when he was at the height of his powers.

Related: Some Kremos cartoons that I posted about in 2008.

Milt Priggee Editorial Cartoon "Can Put Police In Danger"

An editorial cartoon by Milt Priggee that criticized the police "can put police in danger," says Jacksonville, FL Fraternal Order of the Police Spokesman Steve Amos.

Ink can endanger cops.

Times Union editor Frank Denton for stands up for the cartoonist, even while distancing the paper by citing that the cartoon is "the cartoonist's opinion." Mr. Denton goes on to explain what an editorial cartoon is. 

But I think that those who feel threatened by cartoons cannot be taught. The whole idea of free speech and the first amendment and all that is seen as a violation unless it agrees with the ears of the beholder.

Mr. Priggee has a great notice on his site to help take care of people who do get angry at his work, which I loved:
You are not required to agree with the opinions expressed herein. If you feel obliged to bring suit against me, Milt Priggee, however, please sit down and wait until the urge passes. If you still desire to expose yourself in a courtroom, all service of process may be addressed to: 
Law Office of Jeffry K. Finer
West 35 Main • Suite 300 • Spokane, WA 99201 
Please include a current inventory of assets, including homestead exemptions, in the event that we undertake a counterclaim for malicious prosecution.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

The Garden As of September 1, 2015

I ran around yesterday, taking these photos. You can see a bit of a finger in that above photo. Now, that just teaches me that if I want to take a photo, then I need to stop running and concentrate.

So, here we are at the beginning of September, the end of the summer. It's the 7th biweekly update. The garden has a lot of tomatoes and cucumbers and some peppers. But it's nearing the end of its life. The brown leaf disease, a common problem for tomato plants, is overcoming some of the romas.

You can see that the weight of the tomatoes is causing the plants to lean down and the stakes used to reinforce are overwhelmed. Time to harvest!

There are some flowers continuing to bloom, but the days are getting shorter and it just feels a lot more like November than September sometimes. Some trees are just beginning to turn.


The Garden As of June 1, 2015
The Garden As of Mid-June 2015
The Garden As of Early July
The Garden As of July 15, 2015
The Garden As of Early August

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Remembering Stan Goldberg

Stan Goldberg died one year ago on August 31st.

Best known for his work on the flagship ARCHIE comic books, Stan was a friend and one of the legends in the cartoon biz. I was fortunate to know him, to work on a gallery show with him and to get to hang out with him in his studio. Here is a tribute to the many decades of art that Stan created. This played just before the National Cartoonists Society awarded him the Gold Key in 2012.

Thanks to Bennett Goldberg for this.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Arnold Roth Record Cover Art

Run over to Drew Friedman's great blog today to see many wonderful LP covers by the one and only Arnold Roth! 

Myfanwy Tristram: "How I experienced the life of a model, with Gudrun Sjoden"

Illustrator and cartoonist Myf Tristam scans her sketchbook diary about her experience being chosen as a "non-industry standard" fashion model:

"I haven’t exactly been blessed with the looks of a model, so no-one was more surprised than me to receive an offer to be photographed for a fashion catalogue. In fact, my first reaction may have been a snort. 
"But it all makes sense when you find out that the invitation came from Gudrun Sjoden. They regularly photograph their clothes on models who are “non-industry standard” — older, more characterful or larger than most brands would touch with a bargepole. (Makes perfect sense to me: their clothes are made for all ages and spread across a massive range of sizes, so why not reflect customers’ own looks?) 
"In this case, the shoot was to feature ‘friends of Gudrun’: bloggers, artists, novelists and other creative types. I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved with some events in Gudrun’s London store, and that’s what put me on the early plane to Stockholm for two of the most pleasurable days I’ve had in a long time!"
Hat tip to Nick Abadzis! Thanks, Nick!

Friday, August 28, 2015

A Gag Cartoon Batch Question and Answer Forum

(Above: some cartoons from this week's cartoon batch, drawn in ink with wash. I drew them with a Micron Pigma pen on good quality typing paper. )

I thought that I would talk about a magazine cartoon batch: what it is and where it goes. Essentially: how a gag cartoon goes from the drawing board to being inside a magazine for everyone to see.

A cartoon batch is usually about ten or 12 cartoons. This batch is shown to an editor. For a lot of editors, I email my submission. If not, I mail copies of the cartoons.

I just got this question this week:

"How do you get your gags, do you use a formula, just start drawing funny pictures or do you ever get any from God?"

My stock answer is that I sit and write. I try to think of popular phrases or new buzzwords and see if I can make those into a funny picture. Sometimes I just think of something in the news that makes me mad and see if I can turn that anger into something funny. Yes, sometimes I will just draw something because I feel like drawing something. But these methods are not formulas. To come up with an original, funny idea still takes me time. Do I get any ideas from God? If you mean, do I ever have a cartoon idea that falls into my lap? Sometimes. Most cartoonists I know are thinking about cartoons all their waking hours and so, in the back of their head, they are always on the lookout for something funny. Sometimes, because your brain is always addled in joke-writing, something can happen and you may have an "Eureka!" moment where it all comes together like magic. But that only happens to me once every 400 or 500 cartoons. So I cannot depend on it.

So ... let's say you are a cartoonist and you have had a productive week: a cartoon batch of yours is done.

Now is the time to send them out in the world.

"How do you decide where to send your cartoons?" was a question I got at a panel discussion in 2005 on making cartoons for a living.

I send them to the place where they pay the most money, and then they go to the place where they will make the second-most money and so on, down the money food chain so to speak.

"Will you send them to The New Yorker?"

Maybe, eventually. The New Yorker is not the highest paying national market for freelancers.

"Why can't we see the captions in that above photo, Mike?"

I sell first rights to my cartoons, so, in other words, these fresh cartoons are only for the eyes of the editors for now. If they want them, then they get cartoons that people have never seen before. So, I have to "Wite-Out" some of the gag lines for now.

"How many did you sell?"

Early days yet. Maybe we should come back to this in a while and see how this particular batch fared. Some of them are already on hold -- but that means nothing.

To be continued!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The First Cartoonist I Ever Met: Chuck Jones

Chuck Jones was the first cartoonist I ever met.

He was giving a presentation of some of his Roadrunner and Coyote shorts at a West Coast University Film Association conference in the 1960s. My Dad taught radio/TV/film production and was a member of the UFA (now renamed the University Film and Video Association). I remember being taken by the hand, lead down the aisle to the stage, and being introduced to Mr. Jones by my parents. He looked into my eyes. He was very tall. (I was very small.) He paused, smiled and shook my hand when he was told that, "Mike likes to draw."

Mr. Jones proffered a deal: I mail a letter to his MGM offices and he would mail back a drawing for me and my baby sister. After a couple weeks of my Mom badgering me, I finally sent him a letter. I didn't know what to say and I don't remember what I finally wrote. Anyway, Mr. Jones, a man of his word, replied with this:

-- From a March 24, 2009 blog entry.