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Comic Con News and This and That

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

On the Drawing BoardI’ve got two bits of Comic Con related news:

  • Looks like I will be attending the Toronto Comic Con on behalf of the National Cartoonists Society, as we will be having a booth there this year. That will be taking place March 20-22nd, and you can come by and meet all sorts of NCS cartoonists from the Great White North including “Between Friends” creator Sandra Bell Lundy! I’ll have stuff along like prints, books and original art, plus I’ll be doing sketches.
  • I also recently got the news I will have my own booth at San Diego Comic-Con this year. I’ll be in booth H-4, sort of over by Sergio. This will be a lot of fun, and I’ll have a lot of room for comic-con goodies like prints, postcards and other new stuff. I’m going to have two new LE prints this year for the cons, the first to debut at C2E2 in April.

Other random bits of news and flotsam:

  • Website redesign- This is going but going slow. Probably won’t see the new site going up until sometime late this month. It will be very different, a lot more functional and less bloated… sort of like me when I lay off the chips and salsa at the beach.
  • No DC MADness- Just found out there will NOT be any MAD variant covers for DC titles this year like we have done the last two years. That’s too bad, I really had fun doing those. Maybe we will do it again down the line sometime.
  • Big Art Blowout #3- I’m going to have a big original art sale this month to help fund the website redesign. Bargain basement prices on the last of my Marlin Co. original poster inked pieces (now that they are 100% digital, there won’t be originals anymore), some big, traditional media paintings I did for promos and such long ago, and other random goodies. I’ll post about that soon.

Washington Post MADness

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

If you are a fan of comics or cartooning, you should be a regular reader of Comic Riffs, a column/blog from the Washington Post written by “Writer-artist-recovering-syndicated-cartoonist” Michael Cavna. Michael posted an article today about my recently released cover art for the NCS Reuben Awards Weekend brochure, where he interviews some of the victims subjects of my caricatures for their reaction. Generally good this year, no threats of stoning or keying my car.

JeffIn the article Micheal asks me if I had any trouble with any of the subjects. I did have to have a couple of tries at Jeff Keane. It’s interesting when you try to caricature someone you know well. Sometimes it’s easier because you are so familiar with their expressions and personality, you can capture that “look” that other people that know the subject well will respond to. Other times someone like that proves more elusive because you know them TOO well. There can be a subconscious element to your mental image of them that is not coming out in your caricature, and nothing you do satisfies you.

DougI had similar problems with my caricature of Doug Mahnke. I’ve known Doug for 30 years. He was a rookie airbrush T-Shirt artist at Six Flags near Chicago the same year I was a rookie caricaturist for the same company, Fasen Arts. That was 1985. Today Doug is one of the biggest names in comic book art, drawing heavyweights like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern for DC Comics. He was the artist on Dark Horse Comic’s “The Mask” in the early 90’s, and his images of the character in a loud zoot suit and fedora was the basis for all the visuals in the Jim Carrey film of the same name. My mental image of Doug is made up of him from age 22 to 52. That’s a lot of images of a person jumbling around in your head, and it’s hard to be objective in trying to capture that entire person in one caricature.

By the way, Michael also wrote a nice article yesterday about Jeff getting the NCS Silver T-Square award. Jeff’s being honored with that award, which is for outstanding dedication and service to the Society or the cartooning industry, is enormously well deserved. Michael didn’t mention in the article about all the years Jeff spent as producer and director of the Reuben Awards show, the roasts, and other shows at the Reubens. He changed the way the Reuben show is done, and created a highly entertaining, multi-faceted show that has delighted attendees for well over a decade.

Educating Copyright Thieves…

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

… one at a time.

thievery

Dear Lettie,

No doubt you are well aware of this, but several of the items you have for sale in your Etsy store use caricatures of mine, taken from my website and colorized/manipulated into T-shirt designs. You do not have permission to use my work and are in direct violation of my copyright. Here are links to the offending items:

Matt Smith, Tom Baker, Daniel Craig, Taylor Lautner, Taylor Lautner (again), Tom Baker (again)

This is a courtesy letter to give you a chance to remove these items from your store. If they are still active by tomorrow morning at this time, I will initiate copyright infringement report protocol to Etsy, something they do not tolerate well.

I notice you have a number of other caricature-based items using work that is likely not your own… in fact I recognized the work of a few caricaturists I know among them. I would advise you to remove them as well, as I will be sending an alert out to the caricaturist community that you are a serial infringer and others should check your store to make sure none of their work has been stolen. The caricature world is a small one and this sort of thing does not go unnoticed for long.

You should know that images on the internet are not free for your use. If you did not create it yourself, it does not belong to you and cannot be used by you without permission of the person that did create it. It’s very simple. Don’t steal images.

I’m sure you will do the right thing and there will be no need to involve Etsy and put you in a bad position with them. Thanks for your quick action in this matter. I am happy to have been able to educate you on this issue, and am sure you will respect the copyrights of artists in the future. Have a wonderful day.

Tom Richmond

That took several minutes of my life I won’t get back, but another ignorant copyright thief educated is one less out there in the world.

Many thanks to Jedd Bluhm, who alerted me to the issue.

Again with This Guy…

Friday, January 16th, 2015

The Dreaded Deadline DemonI’m swamped after all the time I spent in the last week with the NCS and the events in Paris. Sorry to say posting will be a little light for a while.

NCS Charlie Hebdo Gallery

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Je Suis Charlie

For those of you who might be getting tired of all these posts pertaining to the Charlie Hebdo massacre last week, you’ll be relieved to know this will be my last one. This really did rock the cartooning community, and not just political cartoonists.

The National Cartoonists Society made a call to all members (although they welcomed non-member pro submissions) to speak their minds and show support over this terrible event in the best way we know how… through cartoons. There is now an awesome gallery of these cartoons, 130 at last count, up on the NCS website. My contribution is above.

One last thing. I have been one who has gone to great pains to point out that, while I support and am willing to fight for the right to free speech, I do not necessarily agree with how other use that right. In other words, I believe in the philosophy stated in this famous quote by Evelyn Beatrice Hall (often wrongly attributed to Voltaire):

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”.

Having been exposed only to a few of the cartoons done by the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists I, like many others, found many of them to be racist, inflammatory, and seemingly pointless. While some may still be, I’d urge you to read this article before completely passing judgement. The author explains that many of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons people object to might seem racist and overly inflammatory, they are in fact satirizing the racism of other publications, organizations and pundits. My analogy for Americans would be if someone unfamiliar with parody and satire watched an episode of “All in the Family”, they may well think it’s a racist show after listening to Archie Bunker’s bigoted talk, but it is in fact lampooning bigots. I guess if anything good come out of this, it could be a greater awareness for Americans about cartooning outside our borders.

 

Dreaded Deadline Demon

Friday, January 9th, 2015

The Dreaded Deadline DemonNow showing for the foreseeable future…

Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

newyears2015Here’s hoping your 2015 kicks 2014’s ass. It’s not looking good, I am already tired of “Back to the Future” references.

D’OH! …Stupid Caricatures!

Friday, December 26th, 2014

DanCLast May at the NCS Reuben Awards Weekend in San Diego, Reubens Master of Ceremonies Tom Gammill put together a great video intro featuring a montage of clips from “The Simpsons” that featured gags about cartoons, comics, cartoonists and MAD Magazine. There were a surprising number of them, including a few cartooning luminaries like Cathy Guisewite, Sergio Aragonés and Mell Lazarus (among some others I can’t quite remember) being “Simpsonized”. After the video there was an audio clip featuring Homer Simpson as voiced by Dan Castellaneta opening the evening:

I did the above quick ink and watercolor caricature as a thank you to Dan for doing that. Tom G presented it to him at the last read Simpsons read through of the fall. A huge thank you to Tom Gammill for making that all happen. It was a really fun touch to the evening.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

xmas99

The Happiest of Holidays to all, from the Richmonds (throwback Christmas Card circa 1999 above)!

Sunday Mailbag- Shipping Art?

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

Sunday Mailbag!

Q: I was wondering if you could share your shipping methods. Specifically, how do you box up your prints and/or commission work for shipping and what advise you would give to others on how to prepare artwork for shipping in an efficient manner. I feel like I spend way too much time getting artwork boxed up in a safe way that makes me confident it will arrive in one piece. Thanks!

A: This is actually a big concern because shippers do not treat packages very well, especially at the sorting stage. Trust me I know… I worked at UPS for about 6 weeks when I was going to school at the University of Minnesota. Packages were tossed, shoved, dropped and tumbled all around various conveyor belts and chutes on their way to their respective trucks. You need to pack defensively, expecting that sort of treatment and guarding against damage. That mostly means making sure the package has sufficient space between what’s inside and the edge of the box to absorb some damage without affecting the art or print inside.

The prints I sell are easy to ship. I carefully roll them up with a piece of heavy paper that extends past the ends of the rolled print. Then I put it in a poly-bag tube and then into a heavy duty cardboard shipping tube. The paper and the poly bag stuff the ends in tight when the tube is sealed, holding the print in place and protecting the ends from getting damaged. The tube is thick enough that a heavy person would have to step right on it to crush it at all… having even heavy packages on top of it won’t do it. Cheaper tubes would provide less protection.

The books are easier to ship. I use a self-sealing, stiff and padded shipping envelope for them, first putting the book into a plastic sleeve to prevent the pages or cover from rubbing against the inside of the envelope. Then I fold the flap and part of the envelope down until it is tight against the edge of the book, really locking it in there. Then I use a piece of packing tape to reinforce the flap and it’s edges so it cannot pop open if the adhesive fails or the edge of the flap catches on something. I’ve had some books damaged in shipment, but only really egregious mishandling can do it.

Original art is the really tricky item to ship. This is especially true of my original pages from MAD, which are HUGE at 17″ x 22″. There is no easy way to do this. The important thing is to leave plenty of room between the edge of the original and the edge of the packing, and to make the package thick enough so it can’t easily be bent.

I make me own packages out of foam core, but first I cover the art with a flap of heavy paper and tape it with artist’s tape so the surface of the original in protected. Then I cut a piece of foamcoare that is 3 inches more in width and length than the original is. I tape the artwork to the surface of this first piece of foamcore making sure that there is  1.5 inches of space all around the outside of the art. Then I cut at least two more pieces of foam core the same size as the first, and sandwich the first piece between them. This will usually do it, but with some of those big MAD pages I will add a fourth piece of foamcore because the surface area is so large. It would be easy for the edges of the package to get caught up somehow and some other package  or weight to end up on the top, bowing the whole thing down and maybe creasing it. Three layers is plenty of anything 11 x 17″ or less though.

One other thing, I always send original art via a trackable service and if possible require a signature for delivery. In this day and age of online shopping and shipping, packages left on doorsteps tend to disappear, and originals are not replaceable.

Thanks to Sean Platt 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!

 

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