Friday, October 31, 2014



RACONTEUR #5 featuring "true stories by cartoonists."

That's the cover up there, by The New Yorker's John Klossner!


RAC #5 for US$5.00
RAC #5 plus one different comic (a back issue of RACONTEUR for instance) for US $9.00

You get each autographed with a sketch by me.



RACONTEUR is full of true stories by cartoonists who "usually don't do this sort of thing." These are autobiographical comic book stories by some of the best cartoonists out there.


Brian Fies

(The cover of the latest paperback version of Brian Fies' Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow?)

Brian Fies has produced two award-winning graphic
novels, Mom’s Cancer and Whatever Happened to the
World of Tomorrow?, and does a webcomic titled The
Last Mechanical Monster. He’s usually in California.

John Klossner

(One of John's many great gag cartoons.)

John Kossner is a single panel cartoonist and illustrator
who lives in Southern Maine.
His work appears in the usual places.
His web site is

Mike Lynch

(One of my cartoons from Mad Magazine.)

Mike Lynch draws all sorts of things for clients worldwide.
He is this year’s winner of the Jack Davis Award.

Brian Moore

(The cover to Brian Moore's book GOODBYE LITTLE POINTY TEETH, which will debut in 2015. Preview at Brian's site here.)

Brian Moore’s current occupation is refreshing Twitter
every five minutes.
He is @brianmooredraws

Mark Parisi

Mark Parisi draws the award-winning panel Off the Mark,
which is distributed by Universal Uclick. His comic has
been syndicated since 1987 and can be found at


Please consider ordering RACONTEUR #5 for $5.

I will send you a second comic for $9 (my choice of a back issue of RAC, or one of my solo comics).



Podcast: New Yorker Cartoonist Sam Gross

(Photo of Sam Gross from the Virtual Memories site.)

Sam Gross talks about his career in cartooning in a podcast over at the Virtual Memories site.

“One thing I tell young cartoonists: a magazine is like going out on a date, and a book is like getting married. If you’re going out on a date, you don’t need a lawyer. If you’re doing a book, you get a lawyer."

I love this quote too:

“I don’t know where I’m gonna go next. I’m not a finished product.”

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Jack Markow Cartoons and Profile

Jack Markow was one of the first faculty members of the School of Visual Arts, joining Burne Hogarth, Tom Gill and Jerry Robinson. Jack created the course in magazine cartooning and taught it for 8 years. A working cartoonist, his cartoons appeared in all of the major national magazines and advertising campaigns. He was cartoon editor at Argosy Magazine. He was the long-time columnist for Writer's Digest and Cartoonst PROfiles. Jack was also an artist. He had gallery shows in New York, and his work hangs in the Smithsonian, the Metropolitian Museum, and other venues. In 1979, he won the National Cartoonists Society Magazine Cartooning Division Award. He also wrote books on how to cartoon.

My folks bought me a copy of his DRAWING AND SELLING CARTOONS book when I was in elementary school.  And that may be Mr. Markow's legacy: his books on cartooning. Although out of print and dated, I keep running into his cartooning books at libraries and I see them in people's homes. They are keepers! Here are a few of his gag cartoons from the book, copyright 1956, 1964 Pitman Publishing Corp.

 Here's Jack Markow writing about his life in Cartoonist PROfiles #38, June 1978:



Jack's daughter has a Facebook page honoring her father here.

-- This is an edited version of an October 28, 2011 blog entry.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Doggy Halloween Costume

OK, I understand that EVERYONE has to celebrate Halloween. Even our pets, right? Here's a "dress your dog up as Warner Bros.' Tasmanian Devil" costume, which is comprised of af some kind of cloak and then a picture of Taz worn above the dog's head!


No wonder it was $4.99 at a thrift store!

Video: A Tale of Momentum and Inertia

Via The Nerdist:

As big an achievement as something like The Avengers or Guardians of the Galaxymight be, there’s an argument to be made that it’s a bigger achievement to pack the same level of excitement, pathos, and humor in such blockbuster movies into a short film, which offers far less time for filmmakers to develop character and narrative. And it’s an even bigger feat to pull this off when your movie is a mere one minute long. Yet that’s exactly what the Portland, Oregon based animation studio known as House Special has done in A Tale of Momentum & Inertia, a witty parable about a rock creature who’s just going about his day moving boulders up mountains, when he’s suddenly forced to correct an error in judgement. Expertly juggling laughs and suspense, with just the right amount of metaphor, creative director Kirk Kelley and director Kameron Gates have created a computer-animated film as entertaining in its own way as any recent big-budget feature from Disney. Check it out below.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

GRIN AND BEAR IT by George Lichty Part 2

Above: George Lichty at his board with a package of Camels within arm's reach, 1952

Here are some more grand GRIN AND BEAR IT cartoons by George Lichty. These are from the first GRIN AND BEAR IT book of cartoons. The cartoons are copyright Field Enterprises, Inc., and the book is copyright 1954 by McGraw Hill.

Part one is here.

Some 1960s GRIN AND BEAR IT Lichty cartoons here.

The panel began in 1932, with Lichty drawing up a gag a day, and four for the Sunday funnies. Field Enterprises began distributing it nationally in 1940. King Features took up the syndication role in 1986. The topics ranged from courting and marriage, to crooked businessmen and politicians. There were no continuing characters, but the name "Otis" crops up frequently.

The team of Ralph Dunagin and Fred Wagner have created the panel since 1974. And it's still going today.

Like a lot of you, I grew up looking at these panels. Lichty's line, while seemingly a bit out of control, it's also sure of itself. Today, I look at these panel over a half century old, and marvel at his ability to deftly give you a sense of place with those spaghetti-like lines. Lichty was a master.

-- This originally appeared in the Mike Lynch Cartoons blog on April 23, 2012.

Monday, October 27, 2014

GRIN AND BEAR IT by George Lichty Part One

I grew up with the newspaper panel GRIN AND BEAR IT. It's been ongoing since 1932, with newspaper cartoonist George "Lichty" Lichtenstein (1905-1983) supplying his trademark flowing, loose cartoony lines until the 1980s. It was syndicated nationally in 1940, by Field Enterprises. 46 years later, the property was sold to King Features.

The panel is incongruous. Simultaneously sketchy and illustrative, the feature poked fun at the middle class, its language, laziness and hypocrisy.

Take a look at the first panel below. Look at the looseness of the line -- and the mean perspective on the stove front and the ironing board, all creating a dynamic line to the husband. The fellow's black waistcoat emphasizes that he is the character to linger on. 

More Lichty GRIN AND BEAR IT panels from the 1960s here. Although he would lose the crayon shading (perhaps a nod to decreasing panel sizes), his style was remarkably steadfast.

Go look at Animation Resources big Lichty page here.

-- This has been an edited version of an piece that originally ran on January 4, 2012.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Gag Cartoon Questions: Cartoon Style/Number of Submissions

I'm on the road today, teaching some classes in Maine about graphic novels. I was recently in Atlanta, delivering the keynote address to the Southeast National Cartoonists Society chapter. During the Q and A, I was asked a number of questions, including the ones below. This is a rerun from some years ago, but the questions persist.


Time to open the email letter bag of cartooning questions. One email is about the number of gag cartoon submissions to send to an editor, another has questions about cartoon styles and, lastly, a question about selling to Playboy. My thanks in advance to those who have written in, asking me to answer them.


Here's a recent email about magazine cartooning:

How many cartoons do you really have to send to a magazine. I have read your blog's 'How to Submit to Magazines' and you mention between 10 and 20.

I've also read Randy Glasbergen's how-to-cartoons book and he says no fewer than six. Another book says between five and ten.

Now, I'm not submitting to any big magazines, like the Reader's Digest, Saturday Evening Post or anything like that--just little $25 ones.

And basically, I want to know how few cartoons can I get away with. I know I'm going to be rejected first off, and I hate the idea of doing up 10, 12, 15 cartoons for nothing. And I'm still practicing my art and it takes me forever to actually finish a complete drawing.

Will a magazine really dismiss a submission if they open it up and find only six or eight cartoons? Do I really look bad to editors if I send only that many?

You must be one of the few people out there who have recently decided to draw magazine gag cartoons. Congratulations and much good luck.

Please consider speeding up production. Taking forever to finish a cartoon is not going to make you a professional. You need to be able to come up with a lot of ideas regularly. I come up with 20-40 ideas a week, toss out about half of the weak cartoons, and draw up the rest. There is no magic, just the work of sitting down and drawing and drawing, until you can draw faster and faster.

I urge you not to limit your submissions. Consider all of the potential markets you want to cover. Make a list. The places that pay the most go on the top of the list; you send them the cartoons first. If there are no buys, then 30 days later you send the cartoons to the next lower-paying market, and so on, down the list.

I would not count on rejection. Yeah, it's likely, but you never know. A friend of mine got a sale the very first time he submitted to The New Yorker. So far as wanting "to know how few cartoons can I get away with" sending; gee whiz, you are working against your own interests. Editors want to see regular, quality material that's appropriate to their readership. If you can only get 6 or 8 out there every couple of months, that may not be a good sampling of your potential. An editor would look at it, but when you compete with someone like me or my pal Mark Anderson, you would have your 6 chances against our 10 or 20 chances.

Okay, here's some technique questions:


How do/did you decide on what style, medium and/or technique to use for rendering your cartoons? I ask because I have cartoon ideas but have trouble choosing what style I want to use. My style is always changing. It seems to depend upon what happens to be influencing my creativity that day. On some days my drawings are loose and free. On other days they are crisp and tight. Sometimes the lines are smooth and bold. At other times my lines are fun and artsy and sketchy. I've tried working with micron pens (crosshatch for shading), brush pens (grey scales for shading), pencils, china markers, ball point pens, and so on. I just can't decide which I like best. And the feedback I get from others doesn't help me narrow down my options much either because responses are split pretty evenly. 

So, none of this is problematic until it comes time for me to submit a cartoon to a publisher. It is clear that at this rate -- until I can decide upon a style -- I'll never submit anything. That's no good.

If you are in art school or drawing as a hobby, it's fun to talk about technique and try new materials.

You're right: it's no good to NOT begin presenting your work commercially because you are too unsettled about your technique to get on with it. If you want to draw for a living, you need to create work to submit.

I think it's okay to be unsettled. The work that you create changes through the years regardless. Mine did. Two examples:

I use Pigma Micron Pens on 24 lb. laser printer typing paper because the pens are permanent and the paper is decent and inexpensive. I usually do not pencil. This saves me time and makes my lines look like drawing lines, not lines that art statically tracing pencil lines.

Above: "The Pens on My Desk"

So, just as it's never the right time to move, to marry, to have a child -- it may never be the right time to pick a style. But, as you can see from the above links, a style can and will change.

One of my favorite quotes about style is from the late gag cartoonist Lo Linkert, who scoffed about style and advised to simply "draw fast" and the style will emerge naturally. I wrote more about Lo Linkert (1923-2002) during a guest blogging-stint at the Andertoons blog.

Here's a quote from Mr. Linkert:

“So if you want to be a cartoonist, be sure that there is nothing else in the world that you want to be, work hard and practice self-criticism to the utmost. Make sure every new cartoon you draw is better than the last one. Be sure that it will seem funny to most people. You can’t please them all. Work fast because speed gives you a distinct style. Slow lines look stiff.”
Do we have time for one more? I think so.

Here's another:

Selling to Playboy Magazine

I would like to know if you could offer any advise on my work or how to get my foot in the door with Playboy Cartoon Dept. 

It took me years and many cartoon submissions before my first sale to Playboy, which is a coveted gag cartoon market.

Consider what the editor wants and imagine what they have seen already. Beware of cartoon ideas that are tired, or too easy. See what they are buying, read the magazine. Playboy publishes a variety of cartoons -- not just the sexy ones (as you know if you have read the mag). Persist.

Thanks to those of you who have written in. I don't know if these are the answers you are looking for, but I hope that they may have helped somebody.

Serendipitiously related: My pal graphic novelist Brian Fies gives Newbie Advice.


The above is a bloggy rerun from August 12, 2009.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Boulet: "The Pen Cap"

Boulet, a French cartoonist living in Paris, draws this terrific strip about caps and pens and losing the cap and why that's stupid and why THEY want you to lose it. Oh, go read it and you will see what I mean.