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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday Toon Up _ John McLaughlin & Paco de Lucia

My finger nails flew off when I saw this.  I love these guys together.  Enjoy!

Monday, January 24, 2011

You've Got My Attention!

I thought I'd give you folks a peak at the online viewing I do on a weekly basis.  This is a list of the blogs, journals, podcasts and cartoons I think are intriguing.

•Webcomics Weekly•  A podcast with four creators about their experiences as online creators.  Scott Kurtz, Brad Guigar, Dave Kellet and Kris Straub are all excellent cartoonists who were at the forefront of online comics.  Their conversations are lively, insightful and sometimes profane.

•Tall Tale Features•  Tom Racine does excellent podcasts and video interviews with both online and syndicated creators.  He also features insiders in the newspaper syndication business that makes this especially well rounded.  The best broadcasting standard of any podcast I've heard so far.

•Comic Riffs•  Washington Post writer Michael Cavna's blog about all things surrounding comics, animation, movies or cartoons.  This blog is always on top as far as the latest scoop in any of the above and Mr. Cavna is a great writer.

•The Daily Cartoonist•  Alan Gardner launched TDC in 2005 as an open forum to all things cartoon related.  The comments section is especially interesting reading as the pros express themselves in what used to be newsroom only rants.

•Dan Piraro•  The Bizarro creator uses his blog to talk about the inspiration behind his cartoons, as well as a manifesto for his personal views on politics, religion, music or whatever else he considers interesting.  His writing is as funny as his cartoons.

•Rina Piccolo•  Funny, honest and candid, Ms. Piccolo's accomplishments are enviable.  She writes three comic strips (Tina's Groove, Six Chix, Velia, Dear), has been published in the New Yorker, as well as maintaining a highly entertaining blog.  All are executed with amazing quality.

•David-Wasting-Paper•  A great peek at the creators behind all kinds of comics and cartoons.

•Mike Lynch•  Daily news and deep trivia from a guy earning his living as a magazine cartoonist.  He obviously loves the art form.

•Webcomic Alliance•  Four creators deliver a weekly podcast describing the problems and (hopefully) solutions that arise for online creators.

There are a lot more folks online that I read, but this list is primarily where I go for inspiration, education and insight.  I hope there's something relevant in this for you.  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Happy Birthday To... A Lot Of People!

Today is the birthday of several noteworthy people in the cartooning world.

Norman Mingo:  The illustrator who created the definitive version of Mad magazine's Alfred E. Neuman

Bill Griffith:  The creator of Zippy The Pinhead.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Goodbye, Mr. Locher

Tribune Media has announced the retirement of Dick Locher as the artist for iconic newspaper comic Dick Tracy.  He's illustrated the cartoon for the last 32 years!  Mr. Locher will continue to produce his syndicated political cartoons through Tribune.  The full scoop is here.

Why I Love You Tube

Last June, I did and interview on the web and one of the questions was whether I thought the internet was a blessing or a curse.  While the web can be a huge time waster, it offers me a method of observing and connecting to creators I've admired all my life, but would never have the chance to meet.

Here's a video interview with the great Jack Davis.  When I look at his art, it reflects how much fun he seems to have when he's creating the work.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesday Toon-UP: Step To The Rhythm

Today's musical interlude isn't a song.  It's a video record of some European sociologists who tried an experiment to get more people to use the stairs.  I especially love the old man at the end as he teeters over to ascend the piano keys.  Enjoy!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Happy Birthday to Antonio Prohias!

Today is the birthday of Antonio Prohias, creator of Spy vs Spy for Mad magazine!
Here's a short bio.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Happy Birthday to Stephan Pastis!

Let's all wish Stephan Pastis a happy birthday today!  Pastis is the creator of the hysterically funny 'Pearls Before Swine.'  He's equally funny in person, as you'll see in the video I posted below.  Warning, the language is not for kids.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy Birthday, Richard Outcault!

Today is the birthday of Richard Outcault, the creator of Buster Brown and the Yellow Kid.  Born in Lancaster, Ohio in 1863, Outcault is widely considered the inventor of the modern comic strip.  Click here for a complete biography.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Toon Talk - Honing My Craft

A recent podcast by the Webcomics Weekly crew about an article in the Economist has created a rather heated conversation in the webcomics community.  The debate on the Daily Cartoonist revolves around the question, "What is a cartoonist?"

This got me to consider the craft of cartooning and what is important to me.  There are lots of cartoonists on the web I enjoy who don't display enviable drawing skills, but I get a lot out of their humor and their point of view.
Here's two examples of the same cartoon I did back in the nineties.  The first image is my original finished drawing.  This was ready to be printed, but something wasn't 'complete' for me.  I liked the idea, but thought the final gag lacked visual punch.  Because it seemed cluttered, the joke took too long to 'get.'

The second image was my final thought.  The artwork  stood out on the page much better with the solid blacks dominating the picture.  This particular cartoon was a turning point in how I looked at my own work and trying to figure out how the audience saw it also.

As for the online debate, I try to stay out of circuitous arguments.  There's merit to both sides, but the upside is, the conflict made me think about my craft, my presentation and what I value when doing my own work.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pick Of The Week: A Year In Waiting

I wish I could remember how I stumbled across this comic.  A Year In Waiting is an illustrated journey about a young woman living in Austin, Texas who was laid off from her graphic design position and took a job waiting tables.

This particular comic really appealed to me since I spent eight years in the bar business.  The author does a great job of conveying the situations, people and frustrations inherant in restaurants.

I couldn't find any bio information as to who she is, etc., so if anyone has the scoop, please let me know.  Sorry the preview image doesn't click through to the opening page.  All I could do was copy a link.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tuesday Toon-Up; Annie Lennox

The weather across the country just beckons for a song about the cold, so this week's video is Annie Lennox singing 'Cold' from her first solo album.  Great voice - great song!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Al Jaffee Interview

I read Al Jaffee's biography over the holiday break and couldn't put it down.  Jaffee has been a freelancer for Mad magazine since I was in red ball jets.  Here's an interview I found linked to the Wikio blog.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tuesday Toon-Up; Death Cab For Cutie

Trying to stay hip to new music gets tougher as I get older.  Radio plays songs I was sick of before I hit my thirties and MTV abandoned a video format years ago.  I couldn't find a rockin' version of 'Auld Lang Syne' to start the new year, so let's go with Death Cab For Cuties,' 'The New Year.'

I hope everyone had a great holiday and Santa spoiled you rotten.  Enjoy.