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Cartoonists Fight Bullying

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

I wrote the following on the NCS Website yesterday, but I thought it should be shared here also:

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October is National Bullying Prevention Month in the United States. Founded in 2006 by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, October is the month when communities nationwide focus efforts to educate and raise awareness of bullying prevention. Over 30 cartoonists lend their voices to the fight against bullying in this “Flip Comic” book Bullying is No Laughing Matter that helps educate readers about this problem that is being called a “national epidemic”.

The book has two halves, printed so you “flip” the book over to read each half as the front story. In “Bullying is No Laughing Matter”, cartoons ranging from comic books to comic strips and panels that relate to bullying are collected, with background on the “scene” depicted and comments from the creators. The cartoons are designed to spark conversation about bullying and get readers understanding that is is not just a normal part of growing up, but something that needs to be addressed and dealt with. Among the many cartoonists who contributed work to the book are NCS Reuben winners Brian Crane, Greg Evans, Lynn Johnston, and Mort Walker. This half of the book ends with a moving story by 15 year old bullying “survivor” (as she likes to refer to her experience, as opposed to using the term “victim”) Camille Paddock, followed by information on what constitutes bullying and what you can do about it.

The other half of the book starts with a comic book style story by cartoonist Kurt J. Kolka called “Wrath of the Warthog: A Bullying Story”, starring Kolka’s superhero character “The Cardinal”. The story is a lesson about taking responsibility for how we treat other people, and rising above the kind of life circumstances that can create bullies. Following the adventures of The Cardinal is another comic book story, this one originally published in 1945 featuring “Daredevil and the Little Wise Guys” by Charles Biro, which tells a related tale of bullying and finally taking a stand when things go too far.

It’s a positive message, and one that needs spreading” bullying is not acceptable behavior. You can get more information by visiting this website.

The Mad Art of Caricature 2.0?

Friday, October 17th, 2014

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Found out today that my book The Mad Art of Caricature! is totally out of stock on Amazon here in the US. I can’t quite figure out how Amazon works with its ordering copies from the publisher (i.e. me) in order to keep items in stock. It is obviously automated, as I will sometimes get two or three POs right on top of each other asking for copies to be sent in, but they are weird quantities like 2, 7 or 11 at a time, sometimes on consecutive days. The distributor (i.e. me) can have a standing request for “case quantity”, but Amazon will totally ignore that anytime they feel like it. I just cancel any POs that are not a full case (24) copies, and two cases on currently on the way to Amazon right now, but they ordered them too late to prevent running out.

Sales of the book have slowed down a bit since the middle of the summer, but they are still selling at an amazingly steady rate. Amazon and bookstore sales continue to chug along, and my wholesale distributor tells me I have a very low return rate on the book. This is really quite surprising to me. I honestly had no idea there would be such a continuous demand for a book on drawing caricatures. I expected to sell a lot of copies right away to caricaturists and then perhaps a trickle to those who might have an interest in the artform, but that trickle has been a pretty steady flow. In fact, the 6th printing of the book in on the horizon already.

I have been asked quite frequently when my next book is coming out. I don’t think I have another one in me, or if I do I don’t know what it would be about. I had a lot to say about how to draw caricatures, and with a few exceptions (material that I didn’t include in the original book in the interest of production time) I basically said it all in The Mad Art of Caricature! I have thought about doing a book on freelance illustration, but that business is evolving so fast I don’t know if what I know would be obsolete in short order, or how many people would be interested in such a book. Certainly a much smaller audience.

What is more likely in the near future would be an updated edition of The Mad Art of Caricature! with much of the previously mentioned deleted material added in. I had a whole chapter on caricaturing expressions, a section on drawing kids, some stuff about exaggerating bodies and action, and a number of other examples of caricature observations from photos with the accompanying caricature. Probably about 24 to 32 more pages.

My question: would anyone be interested in an updated version of the book? If so, what would you like to see added or more of? Just curious. I do not have this on my radar right now, but I have been thinking about it more lately.

NYCC Wrap Up

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

The Lovely Anna and I are back from New York Comic Con. It was a crazy, busy convention. I think it was actually more manic than San Diego… maybe that’s just because it’s approaching the same attendance levels but squeezed into a smaller area. Not having my own booth at SDCC I am not sure how I’d do under the same circumstances. All I know is I was swamped from open to close doing caricatures and commissions. Here’s some pictures from the show, including a couple of drawings I did:

With Charlie Ryan and RayAbrams Publishing editor Charlie Kochman, MAD art director
Ryan Flanders, me and MAD artist/illustrator Ray Alma.
Photo courtesy of Ray Alma.

With Ryan and JohnRyan, me and Random House senior designer John Sazaklis, also a former
MAD design intern. Photo by John Sazaklis.

madonnaA couple of commissions for a guy from MTV, Madonna and…

pink…Pink. I guess he likes female rockers with only one name.

uncacreepyI did this in someone’s sketchbook using Pitt pens. Had to channel my
inner Jack Davis to draw Uncle Creepy from Creepy Magazine

Capt Alfred ReynoldsAnother pen-drawn sketchbook commission- Alfred as
Capt. Malcolm Reynolds from “Firefly”

The MAD PanelThe Thursday MAD Panel. Left to right: Peter Kuper, Jonathan Bressman, me, Ryan Flander, Sam Viviano, John Ficarra. Photo by Ray Alma.

With SteveMy caricature of fellow caricaturist Steve Nyman.

We had a great time. See you next year, NYCC!

 

New York Comic Con!!

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

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Sketch o’the Week

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Santa Selfie

On the way to NYC right now so no time for a proper SotW. Here’s the pencil roughs for my latest Marlin poster job. This cop-out brought to you by Too Much Travel cereal.

Sunday Mailbag- REALLY Early Work?

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

Sunday Mailbag!

Q: Regarding drawing, how far have you had to progress?  As a young artist, I was wondering if you could show us some of your early drawings from maybe your childhood?

A: I posted these some months back, so if you’ve seen this already my apologies. Here’s a comic I did at about age 9 or so:

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Guess I ran out of story…

How far have I progressed? Not much.

Thanks to Taylor Miles Clark for the question. If you have a question you want answered for the mailbag about cartooning, illustration, MAD Magazine, caricature or similar, e-mail me and I’ll try and answer it here!

Happy Happy Joy Joy!

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

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One of the highlights of the Pittsburgh Comicon I attended last weekend was meeting the great Bob Camp. What was even better was the way it happened.

Partway through the show I was walking back to my booth space after a little walk around when I saw that Bob Camp had a booth space right behind where I was located. Bob is best known for his work on the “Ren and Stimpy” show, but has a much longer resume including doing movie and TV parodies for Marvel’s Crazy magazine. I have been a fan of his work for a long time, and made a note of going up to meet him at some point. I’m not the best at that… frankly I feel like I’m “barging in” when I just walk up and introduce myself. Stupid, I know. That’s why Bob and other artists appear at a convention like this. Anyway, I needed to work myself up to that.

Bob never gave me the chance. Some time later I’m doing a drawing for someone and he comes up to me, introduces himself and starts telling me he enjoys my work and that I have his “dream job” doing parodies for MAD. He also gave me this awesome sketch he’d done:

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Bob is a cartooning genius and an unbelievable talent, and it was tremendously cool to meet him. To have him tell me, in unsolicited fashion, that he liked my work was surreal. Incidentally, if you ever get a chance to pick up some old copies of Crazy (I have more than a few), he is an excellent caricaturist and parody artist and sells himself very short in that category. His brush work is absolutely beautiful.

BTW, if you look on the left of that picture of me and Bob you’ll see a guy in a black shirt and glasses doing a drawing. That’s Bill Sienkiewicz, another comic book genius I am a huge fan of. He I never got the courage up to talk with. Gotta get over that.

I was so Busy Today…

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

The Dreaded Deadline Demon… I didn’t even have time to post this.

Too Much Caffeine Man!

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

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I’ve been doing a lot of these for people bringing me a Monster Zero Ultra energy drink. I won’t be falling asleep at my booth, that’s for sure.

With apologies to Shannon Wheeler for the post title.

What, Me in Pittsburgh?

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Stop by if you are at the Pittsburgh Comicon!

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