Tuesday, October 31, 2006
"When I look at this illustration by John Falter, I'm reminded of the stripped-down environments Charles Schultz used to draw his Peanuts characters into during the early years of his strip: the shoebox houses, inconsequential trees and indoor/outdoor carpet lawns, devoid of landscaping, that represented 50's suburbia. here Falter presents us with a more fully realized version of Charlie Brown's world."
Go look at his whole blog ....
Happy Sincere Halloween.
Boing Boing -- another good blogging site -- picked this up as well.
This cartoon also appears in the LAUGHTER THE BEST MEDICINE book. I still remember when Reader's Digest, which published the book, bought it.
"I was really surprised you bought that cartoon. I mean, it has the world 'bitchin' in it, you know," I told the editor.
The editor laughed and said something about RD getting more edgy. All I know is that it is in there (in full color) and, so far, no complaints.
The cartoon is based on the fact that drug companies have to give up their prized patents on drugs -- like Viagra -- after a certain number of years. This is called "going generic" in the drug industry, and represents a big loss for the company. But it's a good thing for the consumer, since the cost usually goes down.
One legal way around the law is to declare that the drug has an alternative, valid effect. For instance, a drug for heart blood flow is proven to assist blood flow to another part of the body. This is the story of Viagra, which originally incresed blood flow to the heart. It was then marketed on the merit of its reported side effect.
Monday, October 30, 2006
Roz Chast gets a Boston Globe Interview on the occasion of her new collection, Theories of Everything: Selected, Collected, and Health-Inspected Cartoons by Roz Chast 1978-2006.
The Boston Globe site also has an audio slideshow interview (new window should pop up when you click on that link) with Ms. Chast, where she talks about the submission process, commenting that even after 28 years of selling, there are weeks that go by without a sale and she thinks that THIS IS THE END of her New Yorker run. (This all sounds like she's one of her own anxious Chastian neurotic cartoon characters.) She also picks out three favorite cartoons.
"Contributors to the mag and its supplemental city guides are owed amounts up to $6,250, and they wonder if they'll ever see it. The black hole of BlackBook is so deep, writers are calling former editor-in-chief Aaron Hicklin to beg for their money.
"Hicklin tells Page Six's Corynne Steindler he often saw BlackBook cut checks for writers, and then cancel them after they were sent. "It was mortifying as an editor," Hicklin said."
"Come in, Thompson. But before you get any time with me, you'll have to watch a short advertisement."
One of the things I notice in this cartoon (that I haven't looked at since I sold it many months ago) is the fact that, in general, the boss characters in my cartoons tends to have a better chair. I mean, usually, the boss's chair will have a head rest and maybe it looks like leather -- not vinyl, like the lackies. I also try to plunk in some interesting tchotchkes, like some books, diplomas and a little award globe.
The fellow on the left looks almost like he was squeezed tall in a PhotoShop trick, but that's the way he's drawn. If you want to interpret the trash can by the door as a comment on that poor guy, well then you are welcome to write a dissertation on this silly cartoon.
I do think that advertising is shoving its way into every moment in life. Pretty soon, the Wall Street suits will have NYSE logos stitched on their backs. Hey, if we're all wearing Nike swooshes and Sean John shirts and baseball logo caps, then why not let the trend trickle up to formalwear?
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Friday, October 27, 2006
(Illustrations by Sandy Kossin, part of the Halloween Cartoon Trade.)
Our October lunch featured the Annual Halloween Cartoon Trade. We brought in original spooky drawings and, handed over a dollar bill with our name written on it. The money to be donated to the Milt Gross Fund. We had a table full of illustrations and paintings and gag cartoons. This event is usually handled by Bill Kresse, but Bill was unable to attend at the last minute. So Mike Lynch, along with able associate Tony Cerezo, tried to manage in his absence.
Tony held up a random cartoon to the assembled as I read names off of the dollar bills. Here are a few of the cartoons ....
Joe Giella draws Batman and ... aw, heck, I don't need to tell YOU who THOSE guys are, do I?
A single panel cartoon by Mike Lynch from the Barnes & Noble 2006 Dog Cartoon calendar. Gag line: "Do you have anything bigger than 'King?'" OK, maybe not a 'spooky' drawing, but it would be scary to me to have this many dogs sleeping in my bed, OK? OK!
Captain Marvel, bordered by some "Cheesed"-off pumpkins, by a guy who worked with C.C. Beck: Emilio Squeglio.
Sy Barry shows THE PHANTOM, posing heroically between a horrible apparition and the viewer.
Bill Goshgarian and Joe Edwards. Bill and Joe used to work together and lost track of each other many decades ago. They reconnected just in the past couple of weeks, through a fluke. The story:
Joe and his wife Eda were talking to a pharmacist, and Joe's cartooning profession came up. The pharmacist said he had a relative that had worked on the Popeye cartoons for Paramount as a freelancer, among other gigs. Within minutes, Joe heard the name "Goshgarian," the name of a guy he hadn't seen in 50 years. They reconnected, and Bill came to lunch. Bill and Joe got a warm round of applause. What a small cartoony world.
Sandy Kossin and John Reiner.
Sy Barry, Joe Edwards and Joe Giella. Or, if listed by their work on iconic characters: THE PHANTOM, LI'L JINX and BATMAN/MARY WORTH.
Simmy Barry, Helen Murdock-Prep, and Stan & Pauline Goldberg. Stan is always surrounding himself with beautiful women.
And here's Playboy's Don Orehek and Trade Loeffler.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Ed Sorel reviews the new Charles Addams bio in this week's NY Observer. Some wonderful stuff here, by a pro who knows the cartoon biz:
"Take it from one who knows: Cartoonists lead unexciting lives. Dreaming up gags is a solitary business ...."
But not Addams!
"[The author] ... notes his tendency to laugh at funerals and his fondness for buying suits of armor, medieval weaponry and other reminders of death—such as his coffee table, a wooden contraption with holes in each corner meant for draining fluids from human bodies." And "a steady stream of young beauties longed for him, and no fewer than three goddesses—Jacqueline Kennedy, Greta Garbo and Joan Fontaine—found him a desirable escort."
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
To our friends and family:
Our beloved cat Max died unexpectedly today. He was approximately 5-6
years old. Max had recently developed a condition we guessed was asthma
and he was at the vets today for diagnosis when he died.
Some of you know that Max was an extremely shy cat who always hid from
strangers but with us he was one of the sweetest, most affectionate
cats ever. Those of you who managed to catch a glimpse of him as he ran
from the room at your arrival may have known how beautiful he was but
what you don't know is that he had the softest, sleekest coat and the
longest, seal-like whiskers and the sweetest, funniest face of any cat,
Max was an adult rescue when we adopted him 4 years ago. We have always
credited Max with giving Bertie (who loved him immediately) an extra 3
years of life. His sunny, sweet nature allowed him to accept and love
the nearly-feral Rufus, who himself, learned to play and to love from
We feel stunned and cheated and very sad. Four years wasn=92t nearly
long enough but we were privileged to have him be a part of our lives.
"Max Is A Gem Of A Cat" -- that was the sign on the cage he was living
in before we adopted him. Those words were true and we will love him
and miss him forever.
Mike and Stacy
Monday, October 23, 2006
His collection of strips where B.D. is wounded in the Iraq war and must readjust titled THE LONG ROAD HOME is one of the best reads I had this year.
Thanks (again) to Dad, whose edition of THE LONG ROAD HOME I read last month, and the Comics Reporter Web site for the info.
"He draws that which satisfies his harshest critic - himself. Finding new ideas is a daily torture. If something works - as a drawing, as a joke, as a story - that is a relief, a triumph over the tyranny of the blank sheet of paper."
Phaidon Press is publishing a number of Sempé's works, most for the first time, in North America.
Hat tip to Comics Reporter.
It's all about taking photos of something BIG -- the Eiffel Tower, etc. -- and then blurring certain areas so that it the photo now looks like SOME SMALL CHEAP MODEL FROM A SCALE TRAIN SET OR A BAD OLD MOVIE WITH CHEESY EFX! How cool!
Here's a real intersection (Forest Park & Euclid) in St. Louis, MO taken by Matthew Potochick. It's from a Flickr group of these "tinied" photos.
Hat tip Mr. Fies! Thanks, Brian.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
Some areas of the woods had gotten some high winds, and so few leaves in some places.
The Appalachian Trail weaves through this park, the Northwestern patch of the NJ/NY border.
It was a lovely day for a 90 minute walk through the woods; brisk, sunny, with that smell of fall leaves in the air. It took that same amount of time to slog out there from Brooklyn.
Friday, October 20, 2006
Cartoonist Crockett Johnson was born 100 years ago today. My thanks to vigilant Tom Spurgeon over at Comics Reporter for this. Tom has assembled many links today. So, if you only know HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON, then take a peek and discover his BARNABY strip.
I still have the 1943 collection of BARNABY that my Dad gave me when I was a kid, and it still reads well today. While the conceit that a little kid has a shyster Fairy Godfather named Mr. O'Malley that only he can see may sound trite, it was handled whimsically by Johnson. Barnaby is fond of Mr. O'Malley, despite the latter's ineffective "magic Havana cigar." As the years went by, the strip got a large, fanciful cast: McSnoyd the Invisible Leprachaun (And he really was invisible -- so easy to draw!), Gus the Ghost -- so timid he scared himself, Gorgon the Talking Dog, etc. I better go and reread some these strips today, in honor of Mr. Johnson.
Despite a similar comic strip premise, CALVIN & HOBBES creator Bill Watterson said in interviews that he never read BARNABY.
And thanks again, Dad, for the terrific book you gave me in 1970!
This one's for Stephanie, who used to watch this when she lived in NYC ....
Roy Delgado took a train in from Alexandria, VA, arriving in NYC after a 6 hour trip on Thursday, October 19, 2006. He hit the ground running, going directly from Penn Station to the Overlook Lounge. I hadn't been to the Overlook since Brian Fies came to town.
Felipe Galindo, who draws cartoons for New Yorker, and many other magazines under the name of "Feggo," adds a cartoon to Roy's sketchbook. Felipe has to put glasses on to draw. I take mine off.
Sam Gross, he of New Yorker and National Lampoon fame, dropped by for a couple beers. Sam didn't have to draw on the wall. He all ready drew on the wall back in November 2005. So Sam could relax.
Not the same with "Feggo." He had yet to add a cartoon to the wall. Here's the back of Feggo's head as he draws a unique cartoon on the wall. He very casually got up and started drawing in the corner.
He drew this cat and snake, uniquely utilizing the corner in his cartoon. His work is now forever next to Mort Gerberg's.
I don't even think he pencilled! Brave soul.
Roy got up on one of the seats to draw behind the TV. He did some light pencilling.
... And then he started to draw.
Here's the final drawing, next to Al Scaduto's.
And here we all are: Roy Delgado, Sam Gross, Mike Lynch, Felipe "Feggo" Galindo. Felipe and I are "toasting" with plastic containers of markers that are kept around the Overlook for cartoonists.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Some TEENA strips by Hilda Terry from her autobiography STRANGE BOD FELLOWS, which details her life, her cartoons and her belief in reincarnation.
Look at all the design and figure work for what is really just a static set up to a gag. The dialogue doesn't imply movement. That was the cartoonist's choice.
And her choice to juxtapose the stripes on Teena's blouse with the grain on the tree has a nice contrast, as both of the girls move around, and the angle gets closer on them. And not only do we, the readers, get the pay off -- Teena gets her pay off: an apple. I have to think the attention to texture was due to Hilda's fashion background.
Hilda bought a couple of building plots for $200 each in Rocky Point, Long Island. She began building a cabin on the land, having never had done anything like that before. This worked its way into Teena's world for series of cartoons.
The verve of the bodies, combined with the rigidity of the wall makes this a pleasing cartoon to linger over. She was not afraid to draw a lot of people. And looking at the third panel, I see those feet that she drew, and they really imply the weight of the wall.
Little Gwendolyn, a later addition to the strip, had an erring knack for showing her knickers. I like the first panel, where we can see the lanky gawkiness that teenagers have, This is something I see in Borgman's drawings for ZITS.
So much detail in the porch, and Terry labors over it nicely. And Teena is never in the same position twice. "Dorcas Good" refers to the spirit of a real girl that Ms. Terry felt inhabited her, and inspired her work. (That's the reincarnation part of the book.)
"LET ME ASK -- what would you do if commanded to entertain the King with a new original joke every day or lose your head? If you're an ordinary person, as I am, you would probably do as I did-- turn to God and yell "HELP!!!"
"No one knows where ideas come from. My experience as a cartoonist, commanded to come up with a new joke every day or lose my job, was that they come from outer space. I have a pretty good relationship with God, but at some point I began to realize the preposterous vanity of presuming the Absolute Eternal Ultimate would be helping me write jokes. In so complicated a system as the entire universe. face it -- there has to be a lot of delegating. I knew an invisible SOMEone was helping me, and I had an obsessive curiosity as to whom that might be."-- STRANGE BOD FELLOWS, self published autobiography by Hilda Terry, 1992.
"Later in life, she was convinced that she was the reincarnation of Dorcas Good, a child accused of witchcraft at Salem, Mass."
-- Stephen Miller, writing about Hilda Terry's life in the October 18, 2006 edition of the New York Sun.
Arnold Wagner talks about her life here.