Friday, September 30, 2016

Gluyas Williams

Above: a Gluyas Williams dustjacket cover for a Robert Benchley book.

Had a great chat with illustrator Sandy Kossin about Gluyas Williams.

Sandy had brought in some prints of Williams' work to a Berndt Toast lunch. Gluyas Williams was a distinctive illustrator and cartoonist whose clean line work appeared in the old Life Magazine (back when Life had cartoons in it) and the New Yorker. His illustrations were mainstays in advertising. He was a syndicated cartoonist. If you have an old volume by Edward Streeter or Robert Benchley, chances are his drawings are salted in there like a Big Little Book -- practically every other page. Ditto an old New Yorker cartoon collection. (Look for "The Day a Cake of Soap Sank at Procter & Gamble's" and the trapeze artist cartoon.) His work was everywhere.

So, back to me and Sandy: we were staring at this grand crowd scene. Sandy noted that every single one of those people was an individual. I stared at it. The drawing was of what looked like several hundred people on a Coney Island beach. The vista stretched back to the boardwalk. I leaned in to the drawing, looking at all of the people in the background. I took off my glasses. I'm near-sighted. I see better up close. Sure enough. Sandy was right. Everybody was a specific character.

Here's a small scan of the work, titled "Coney Island:"

Going beyond the simplicity of his line style, his people are full of personality. Williams' ink line gives us form and movement. I loved looking at that scene and I thought I would share more today.

I was going to scan in more of Williams' work, but there's already a great site devoted to him. 

And that's where I nicked most of these great scans. Please stop by to browse more.

-- Edited from a blog entry of five years ago today.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

29 Years Ago: STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION Premiere Preview

29 years ago tonight this new STAR TREK reboot show started. Yeah. TWENTY NINE!

Here is then-standard-bearer announcer Ernie Anderson telling you that you were mere minutes away from an all-new Enterprise and an all-new crew.

Patrick Schoenmaker: "The Adventures of Indiana Jones" Animated TV Show Opening

Patrick Schoenmaker, an Indiana Jones fan and an animator, put this 90 second short up on YouTube today. It's a fan effort, which means it was not sanctioned by Paramount or LucasFilms. It's a labor of love: an animated Indiana Jones TV show title sequence. The show does not exist, but it could be, and, if the Powers That Be like this ... who knows? 

Here's Patrick Schoenmaker on the video:

Famous archaeologist Dr. Indiana Jones is on a quest of a lifetime, but this time he is fully animated in this passion project by life long fan and artist Patrick Schoenmaker. Over the course of 5 years, he has crafted the opening sequence of what would be the tv series to make all other tv shows redundant: "The Adventures of Indiana Jones"! Enjoy, and if you liked it, please share, leave a comment and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

Ben Shahn Hands

I didn't become a fan of Ben Shahn's work until I was older, despite growing up with a book of his drawings (OUNCE, DICE, TRICE by Alistair Reid). Last Christmas, I was surprised and happy to receive the above print from my wife as a gift. The print is in my studio now. And I am reminded of how much I think about hands and how much I want to be able to put hands in my drawings. I mean, for instance: if we are alone, talking on the phone, we still use our hands to gesticulate even though there is no one to see us. People always use hands. They are part of the way express ourselves. So, as cartoonists, we need to be able to be fearless hand drawers. Like I tell my cartoon classes, you can always tell a beginner artist because they will be hiding hands in their drawings; putting them in pockets or behind people's backs, etc. And you can't get away with that forever! Here is Ben Shahn, a master of many things -- including drawing hands. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

1970 Interview: Whitney Darrow, Jr.

From Cartoonist PROfiles #7, August 1970, here's a good interview with New Yorker gentleman-cartoonist Whitney Darrow. One of the reasons it's good is because of Jud Hurd, who WAS Cartoonist PROfiles and a cartoonist himself. Jud conducted a lot of the interviews through the magazine's run.

The preliminary sketches for Mr. Darrow's New Yorker cartoon (page 57) are fascinating. They're the reason I wanted to share the piece. You can see that he studied under George Bridgman.

The issue has a beautiful wrap-around cover by Sergio Aragones, along with an interview with the MAD Magazine artist. That's all scanned for your pleasure here.

Some more beautiful Darrow drawings from THE OFFICE PARTY book here.

-- From a September 28, 2011 blog entry.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Rina Piccolo: "Farewell, Six Chix"

After a sixteen year run on King Features SIX CHIX newspaper comic strip, cartoonist Rina Piccolo is leaving. 

Here's Rina from her blog. Her last SIX CHIX is tomorrow, September 28, 2016:

Saying goodbye to a feature is weird. (It’s not as though I’m going anywhere. You can still see me in the funny papers withTina’s Groove!) Yet I feel the need to say something pivotal about my resignation because Six Chix has been an impactful, important part of my life. It’s the feature that taught me the ropes in this funny business of syndicated comics. It’s the place where I refined my abilities in writing and drawing – allowing me to develop the sorts of skills that would later open doors. Six Chix is where I met Jay Kennedy, its creator. Jay Kennedy was my first syndicate editor, and the guy responsible for making Tina’s Groove happen. He was a wonderful man. It was through Jay that I met my now ex-husband, Brendan Burford. Another great King Features editor, and wonderful man. It was because of Jay and Brendan, and all my friends at King Features, and Torstar Syndicate, that my career meshed intimately with my personal life (I’ve long since stopped trying to disentangle the two).
... For me, this transition away from SIX CHIX feels like the end of a chapter in my life, and the beginning of a thrilling new one. Funny, that’s how I had felt, so many years ago, at its launch.

More at Rina's blog.

SIX CHIX is a comic strip that rotates between six female cartoonists, with each taking a weekday and rotating Sunday strips. Rina has the background:

The cartoonists, in order of weekday appearance are: Isabella Bannerman, Margaret Shulock, Susan Camilleri-Konar (former Wednesday spot Rina Piccolo), Anne Gibbons, Benita Epstein, and Stephanie Piro. It is syndicated worldwide by King Features Syndicate. You can see Six Chix cartoons HERE.

Rina is a friend and I think she is one of the most talented cartoonists working today. It must have been hard to make this decision, but taking risks is all part of living. Wishing Rina much success and sending her all my best wishes.

Cleveland: Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital Cartoonist Collage

Above: THE PAJAMA DIARIES cartoonist Terri Libenson and the original art now on display at Cleveland's Rainbow Babies and Children's hospital.

Terri put together this show of original cartoon art that is now on permanent display. More here.

Here's Terri:

The cartoonists' collage has been framed and installed at Cleveland's University Hospitals (Rainbow Babies). There will soon be an adjoining plaque that lists the contributors' names. I got in one pic just so you can see the scale. Honestly, photos still don't do it justice. It looks wonderful!

The gallery show consists of work from:
  • Jim Allen
  • Mark Anderson,
  • Sunny Artanis,
  • Tom Batiuk
  • Jim Borgman
  • Charles Brubaker
  • Jenny Campbell
  • Dave Coverly
  • Brian Crane
  • Rich Diesslin
  • Scott Ebisch
  • Hy Eisman
  • Jan Eliot (2 pieces)
  • Graham Harrop
  • Bill Holbrook
  • Scott Jensen
  • Polly Keener
  • Rick Kirkman
  • Jeff Knurek
  • Terri Libenson
  • Mike Lynch
  • Jef Mallett
  • Mark Parisi
  • Jeff Parker
  • Stephan Pastis
  • Lincoln Peirce
  • Hilary Price
  • John Rose
  • Pat Sandy
  • George Schill
  • Maria Scrivan
  • John Steventon
  • Mark Tatulli
  • Bill Watterson
  • Wayno

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

See You Next Week

I'm away for a short time.

Monday, September 19, 2016

John Kelly Named New Executive Director of the Toonseum

If you were at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, MD this past weekend, then you had the first chance to meet him outside of Pittsburgh. He's John Kelly, who was named the new executive director of Pittsburgh's cartoon museum, the Toonseum, on September 13th, 2016.

He had just launched the new Toonseum gallery show, "Draw This!," a one of a kind collection of how-to-draw mail correspondence courses through the twentieth century.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette announcement (which, as John Kelly himself pointed out, was printed next to the Mary Worth conus strip):

“John is a perfect fit for the ToonSeum, because first and foremost, he is a true comics geek.” said Rob Rogers, Post-Gazette editorial cartoonist and ToonSeum president. “John understands our mission, and he understands the challenges we face as a nonprofit arts organization in Pittsburgh."

Congratulations, John!

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Garden As of September 15, 2016

The garden as of September 15, 2016.

Tomatoes, many eggplants. The summer is coming to an end.