Thursday, February 19, 2015


Whoops! I have to be out of town for a week. In the meantime, this entry will be up, encouraging you to buy the work of some award-winning cartoonists! Kids, it's only $5. Please consider this! You will not be disappointed. Plus: you get an autograph and sketch from me.

This comic book will be shipped out next week.

(Above: the front and back gatefold cover to RACONTEUR #6 drawn by Mike Lynch.)

Our first issue for 2015!

RACONTEUR #6 is a 24 page comic book of true stories drawn by cartoonists.

Cartoonists in this issue:
  • Isabella Bannerman - SIX CHIX KIng Features comic strip
  • John Klossner - New Yorker cartoonist
  • Mike Lynch - You know me. I do this here blog.
  • Mark Parisi - OFF THE MARK newspaper cartoon panel
This is a great issue of RACONTEUR and I am so glad to have Isabella Bannerman as part of the gang.

Did you miss RACONTEUR #5? Order here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Where's Your Blog Entry for Today, Mike?

I'm shoveling snow off the roof this morning.

I know, I know: I should live blog my snow shoveling. But this is best done offline.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pat Mallet Cartoons

Pat Mallet (1941-2012) was a prolific cartoonist, creating long-form comic stories for the European comics Magazines Spirou ("Pegg le Robot" and "Xing and Xot") and Pilote ("Zourri"). He was perhaps best known for his "little green men" comics, for which he won the Grand Prix Internationale de la Caricature in Montreal twice (in 1972 and 78).

He was very active in advertising, with clients like Xerox and Paris Match. He was deaf since the age of nine, and produced much art for the school of the deaf in Paris.

Here are a few cartoons from WIE DAS LEBEN SO SPIELT. The cartoons are copyright 1983 by Mr. Mallet.

You can see he has a breezy, energetic style. His line is so alive, it almost has coffee nerves. Like a lot of cartoonists in multi-lingual Europe, he favors the wordless cartoon that appeals to all.

I kicked all these up to super-size, so a few appear cropped. Sorry about that. I thought this was a good idea so you could really see his ink line. If you want no cropping, just open these in a new window.

-- From a blog entry dated 9/10/13.

Monday, February 16, 2015

THE SECRET OF MAJOR THOMPSON Illustrations by Walter Goetz

THE SECRET OF MAJOR THOMPSON by Pierre Daninos, with illustrations by Walter Goetz, was one of a series of Major Thompson books. This one is copyright 1957 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

It started in 1955 with MAJOR THOMPSON LIVES IN FRANCE AND DISCOVERS THE FRENCH, which spoofed British and American ways of life. The book was culled from a series of columns Mr. Daninos had written for the magazine Le Figaro. It was a surprise success, translated into 28 languages, and, of course, sequels came along, through the year 2000.

This is the book I have. The first sequel to the original. I loved the ink line of Walter Goetz, and his ability to put quite a lot of detail into these pen drawings, while still maintaining a looseness of line. He was a self-taught artist, born in Cologne, Germany in 1911. He was educated in Great Britain, and became a naturalized citizen in 1934. While he painted landscapes, he was also a prolific humorous illustrator and cartoonist, with his work appearing in Punch and many of the publications of the time.

Pierre Daninos obituary from The Independent (2005)
Short Regent House Gallery bio of Walter Goetz

Saturday, February 14, 2015

We Are Getting Another 18-24 Inches of Snow

EDIT: It only turned out to be about 6-7 inches, but, oh boy, it's cold and windy.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Chat Online Friday with Cartoonist Mark Anderson

From my pal Mark Anderson comes this invitation:

Hey, the good folks at GoComics are hosting a live Q&A with me on Twitter this Friday at 1:30 PM CT.
So if you have any questions, now’s your chance! See you there!

Disappearing Comic Strip Characters

Above: Charlotte Braun, a supporting character from Charles Schulz' PEANUTS strip. She first appeared on November 30, 1954. Her final appearance was on February 1, 1955. She was never to be seen again.

Comic strip characters who suddenly disappear without reason is the topic of The Mysterious Disappearance of Four Comic Book Characters at the Neatorama blog.

Despite the title, it's about 4 comic strip characters from PEANUTS, CALVIN AND HOBBES, FOXTROT and GARFIELD.

A drawing by Schulz of Charlotte Braun getting "the ax" from a letter reprinted from the Letters of Note blog. 

There must be some more examples.

For instance, the grandma character from the early BARNABY strips by Crockett Johnson. She was literally cut out of those strips when they were reprinted in the 1940s and again in the Dover 1960s editions -- until Del Rey's 1980s paperbacks and Fantagraphics current hardcover reprint books have returned her.

Is Castor Oyl still in POPEYE?

And what about entire episodes of characters' lives that are referred to and never seen. For instance:

The Noodle Incident - CALVIN AND HOBBES

Let me know if you can think up more.

Kinda related: Unseen TV Characters

-- Edited from a blog entry dated November 9, 2009.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Remembering Charles Schulz who died this day fifteen years ago.

LOTS OF LIMERICKS illustrations by R. Taylor

LOTS OF LIMERICKS is a handy little hardcover full of limericks edited by Louis Untermeyer and with a lot of illustrations by R. Taylor. The illustrations and text are copyright 1961 by the artist and author. It was published that year by Doubleday.

Of course most of the limericks here are ancient groaners. But the art is wonderful. Here's a sampling of both.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

George Price: Early Years

Some great early cartoons by one of the master gag cartoonists, George Price.

THE GOOD HUMOR MAN, "A happy array of Cartoons, Sketched and a gay Diary compiled and edited by Richard McAllister." Farrar and Rinehart, Inc., Publisher, New York. Copyright 1940 by George Price.

"Some of the drawings in this book originally appeared in The New Yorker, Collier's, The Saturday Evening Post and the original Life.

"The description of Mr. Price in the title of this book is used with the co-operation of the Good Humor Corporation."


"When we first planned this book we asked Mr. Price if he would write up a few of his experiences.

"... When we finished reading the diary we asked Mr. Price whom he thought he was ribbing. Certainly, we stated, there was not the least truth in all this.

"Mr. Price was indignant. 'Every word is absolute gospel,' he said stiffly. 'If you knew anything at all about the cartoon business you wouldn't question that for a moment.'"

Below are some excerpts from Mr. Price's "gay diary:"

June 22nd

"Made out very well at Collier's today. Gurney Williams held five of my roughs for the art meeting.

"When submitting drawings to Gurney I strike quickly, like a cobra. On top of my batch, I place my strongest idea. Get him in into a good humor from the very start, I find, and he will okay ideas like mad.

"More times than I like to think of, though, I have no 'strong' idea to place on top (on top, or anywhere) and the whole session has dissolved into a fiasco.

"Clip Amory at the Saturday Evening Post I approach differently. In his case it his best use a 'build up.'

"On top of the batch, instead of my best, I place one of my sourest ideas. Beneath that I place the worst, the very worst, of the lot. Usually, it is so bad as to bring from Clip a quiet moan. After an introduction like that the remaining ideas, no matter how mediocre, appear like so many nuggets."

June 25th

"Another milestone passes! I sold a cartoon to Life* today!

"For a long time now I have struggled to make this magazine. It was a tough one to crack. Not that I hadn't received encouragement. It wasn't eight months before the elevator operator was calling me by my first name. Never had I been able to get past the receptionist, however, and my drawings had always come back with a plain rejection slip.

"Life, of course, has long been know for the odd manner in which it is edited. Since its inception the magazine has used its famous 'passerby' system. The publishers' reason, with no little logic, that since the man-in-the-street reads the magazine, the man-in-the-street should have some say in the editing of it.

"The cartoons are selected entirely on this basis. A few days before an issue goes to press, the editors lean out the office windows, show the cartoons to anyone who happens to be passing by and ask for a frank opinion.

"Until a few years ago this system worked without a hitch. Life's offices were located on the first floor, and passerby were in easy access.

"Then complications arose. The offices were moved up to the twenty-third floor. In spite of the apparent difficulty of employing the passerby system under these conditions, the owners demanded that this traditional style of editing be adhered to.

"People who happen to be passing the twenty-third floor windows, of course, are few and far between. There remains, in fact, but one type of passerby on whom Life can now try out their cartoons -- the occasional human fly who happens to be scaling the building.

"It is a familiar sight along Bleecker Street (and to me a somewhat amusing one) to see the editors of Life, each clutching a handful of cartoons, anxiously peering from their windows hoping a human fly will begin an ascent in time for them to make a deadline.

"With a set-up like that, if I ever expected to sell a cartoon to Life, my course was clear. The plan was a risky one, but I was willing to gamble. I made up my mind to climb the building, pretending to be a human fly.

"*Mr. Price, of course, refers to the humorous magazine of that name. It has since been discontinued."

"At ten o'clock this morning I began my ascent. I had never before scaled a building and there were several fearful moments during the first stages of the journey when I was tempted to quit. The sight of Life's editors poking their heads out the window spurred me on, however, and I manfully stuck to my task.

"By noon I had reached the eighth floor. Here a little Gypsy Tea Room was located. I lunched leisurely and had my tea leaves read.

"Resuming my climb I passed the twentieth floor two hours later, and fortified by a shot of bourbon from a stenographer with a southern drawl, I started on the home stretch.

"By this time Life's editors, informed of my approach, lined the windows shouting encouragement.

"' ... Er -- young man,' one of them said, 'we would like to ask a favor of you.' He then explained the passerby system and I listened with interest as if hearing about the whole thing for the first time. I agreed, naturally, to look at their cartoons.

" ... Each I rejected. I would shake my head regretfully and hand the cartoon back with some remark like: 'I'm sorry, it just doesn't make seem funny to me,' or, 'Don't get it,' or, at a particularly bad one, 'Ugh.'

"One hour passed. Another. The editors, as the stack of drawings decreased without an approval, became alarmed. 'I do hope he likes one of them,' I heard a layout man say nervously. 'We still have that half-page open in the next issue, you know.'

"Finally, I had looked at all of them. I shrugged. 'Sorry,' I said, 'but none of these hit me.'

"There was an embarrassed pause. Then, as if it were a random thought, I asked if they had any cartoons about camels around. I didn't know why, I said, but cartoons about camels always struck me funny.

"After a hurried conference one of the assistants was dispatched to the mailing room. He rushed back with a cartoon showing two large camels and one baby camel. They handed the drawing to me and anxiously watched my reaction.

"I roared with laughter. I guffawed so heartily that for one breathless moment I almost lost my grip on the gargoyle.

"'It's in!' the editor-in-chief shouted 'Set it up for a half-page!' He handed the cartoon to an assistant. 'By the way,' he said, ' who drew it?' The assistant told him the artist was named George Price.

"'Send him a check,' the editor-in-chief said.

"We exchanged farewells. I continued on my way up to the roof, came down in the elevator and rushed back to my studio glowing with triumph."

This post originally appeared on April 21, 2009.