Tuesday, June 25th, 2013
The last two years the small but picturesque town of Kenosha, Wis. has been host to a very impressive cartooning event called, appropriately enough, the Kenosha Festival of Cartooning. Kenosha happens to be the hometown of cartoonist John Hambrock (The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee), and his wife Anne is the driving force behind these terrific events. Previous years (2011 and 2012) featured stellar speaker lineups including the afore mentioned John Hambrock, Dave Coverly (Speed Bump), Greg Cravens (The Buckets, Hubris!), Norm Feuti (Retail, Gil), Michael Jantze (The Norm, Jantze Studios), Stephan Pastis (Pearls Before Swine), Hilary Price (Rhymes with Orange), Between Friends creator Sandra Bell Lundy, creator of Pooch Cafe Paul Gilligan, editorial cartoonist for the Chicago Tribune Scott Stantis, Disney and freelance Animator Tom Bancroft, and myself, where I talked mainly about the cartoonist USO trips. The festival is a lot more than just a bunch of speakers, however. There are gallery shows, panel discussions and programs at local colleges, art auctions, workshops, and lots of time to meet and get to talk with some pretty great cartoonists face to face.
In 2013 there will not be the usual three day extravaganza, but instead a one day “Mini-Festival”, which will feature just me as a speaker, workshop teacher, and portfolio reviewer, along with John Hambrock. It’ll be a full day. Here’s the schedule of events from the Kenosha Cartooning Festival website (times TBD):
- Caricature class for kids aged 13-18 at the Kenosha Public Museum **Note: this class is run by the museum and will NOT be tied to backer rewards. Once the museum adds the class to their event roster and opens enrollment, we will provide a link to their site. Check back in August.
- Presentation on Tom Richmond’s Career in Illustration and work for magazines like MAD at the Kenosha Public Museum – Free to the public but seating is limited to 200
- Caricature class and freelancing tips for aspiring professionals at Artworks Kenosha – class limited to 17
- Portfolio Review with either Tom Richmond (caricature and illustration) or John Hambrock (comic strips and panels) – reviews will last 15 minutes and are limited to 6 per artist.
- Artist Hangout and behind the scenes tour of John Hambrock’s studio – limited to backers only and offered as an alternative to the afternoon caricature class and portfolio review. A full lunch will be served.
- Meet and Greet Reception at Matt’s on Main with Tom Richmond, John Hambrock and any and all other professional cartoonists who attend the mini-fest – this event will be a fundraiser as well as a backer reward. Pizza will be provided with your donation. Cash bar.
I’m teaching all the caricature classes, BTW. You’ll notice this list mentions “backer rewards” numerous times, because, well, they need backers. As in moola. For this purpose they are doing an independent crowd-fundraiser (i.e. NOT a Kickstarter), but it is like a Kickstarter in that there are rewards depending on the level of the donation, but not like a Kickstarter in that they don’t have to give 9% away for fees and processing. They have a very modest goal of $2,000, and as part of the rewards I am donating four original pages of art from MAD. All the pages are from the parody of “Parks and Recreation” from MAD #511. Here are scans of the art (clicky any to embiggen):
I’ll sign them, of course. . . I’ll even sign my own name, although they’d be more valuable if I signed them “Sergio”. There are a whole host of other things that you get with a donation that are a lot more exciting than this crap, like buttons and stuff, but this is also available. Any extra money raised over the $2000 goal will defray additional 2013 expenses, and/or roll over to help with the 2014 festival.
Visit this link to look at donating to help support the festival. They’ll be back next year with a real cartoonist(s) for their standard three-day event, but this year I’m the best they could do. I hope that won’t discourage you from donating.
Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012
In a spectacular, last minute over-the-shoulder running catch in deep left field, the Kenosha Festival of Cartooning’s Kickstarter campaign is officially funded! Many thanks to the ninety folks who donated to make the festival happen, and especially to the National Cartoonists Society Foundation who’s matching funds pledge made the difference. Congratulations to Anne Hambrock and company, it is sure to be a fantastic event.
In fact, Anne recently announced it just got even more fantastic—the Festival has added award winning cartoonist Hilary Price (Rhymes with Orange) as a new guest speaker! That makes it an even more stellar lineup:
- Stephan Pastis – Pearls Before Swine
- Dave Coverly – Speed Bump
- Hilary Price – Rhymes With Orange
- Michael Jantze – The Norm and Jantze Animation Studios
- Greg Cravens – The Buckets
- Norm Feuti – Retail and Gil
The Kickstarter drive stil has until 6:00 pm Central time (that’s 7 pm Eastern and 4 pm Pacific) to keep collecting donations. Anne says the following:
This means that, not only will the festival happen this year - it will be even better than last year!
The extra money will help me make it a truly stellar event and give me a publicity budget as well (which I did not have last year)
The pledge drive is still officially open until tomorrow at 5:00 pm CST and any more money I receive in pledges will go toward festival expenses I may not have anticipated. If there is any money left over, it will be banked for another festival.
Predictably, no one claimed one of my lame MAD pages as reward for donating at the $400 level. I knew that would be the case . . . this stuff is very common. In fact, I’ve got drawers of the crap just laying around my place. Still, I am sticking to my offer and have five selected pages from among the following features that appeared in MAD Magazine:
- “Battyman Begone” from MAD #455
- “Harry Plodder and the Torture of the Fan Base” from MAD #480
- “Sad Men” from MAD #508
You choice as to which you want… WHILE SUPPLIES LAST! :rolleyes: (All pages will be signed and personalized, and include a signed copy of the issue it appeared in.
Great job! I’m so glad this was successful.
Friday, May 18th, 2012
It’s down to the wire for the Kenosha Festival of Cartooning’s Kickstarter campaign to help fund the event. It’s woefully short right now with only 4 days to go.
This is very disappointing. Outside of comic book conventions, which few outside the working industry actually attend, there are not many events where the general public can meet and listen to prominent cartoonists speak about what they do and how they do it. For free. The lineup is pretty stellar:
Over 70 people have lent their support—great thanks to them for doing that. The other 999,999,930 on the internet have not.
My guess is the primary reason for so few donating is the rationalization that “I can’t attend this thing, why would I support it?” That’s not really the point. Whether you can attend it or not, the reason to donate to help support the event is to support these kinds of events, so other people can attend it. For anyone who loves the art of cartooning, an event like this is an important thing to support. Maybe among the crowds of people attending the speaker presentations and meet and greets is a young kid who might be the next Charles Schulz, and getting to meet and listen to some of his favorite cartoonists is what puts him on that path. In general, the promotion of the art form and the connection between readers and creators . . . and I’m talking a real connection as in looking into the actual face of another human being and communicating and not some virtual one in 140 characters or less . . . is a great thing to support.
Four days left, and one of the premiums includes a signed page of original MAD art from me. These aren’t going to be lame pages from a parody of “Boston Public” either. The pages I have set aside for his are from my parodies of “Mad Men”, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” and “Batman Begins”. In fact, thanks to the recent offer of matching newly donated funds, should all 5 of my pages get bought at the $400 level, we’d only be a few hundred short of the goal.
Visit the Kenosha Festival of Cartooning page and lend your support today.
Monday, May 7th, 2012
Earlier today I blogged about the Kenosha Festival of Cartooning’s Kickstarter campaign needing some support. Well, I’ve put a little of my artwork where my mouth is.
The KFoC just added a new reward for a $400 or greater donation—an original page from MAD Magazine donated and signed by myself. There are five of these available, and I am sure the stampede for them will be fast and furious!!!!
(crickets chirping . . .)
Well, maybe not, but it is another option for those who are interested. All five pieces will be pages from a TV or movie parody that appeared in MAD. I’ll also include a signed copy of the issue it appeared in!
Go to the Kenosha Festival of Cartooning’s Kickstarter page today and help support the event, plus get stuff!
Monday, May 7th, 2012
A week or two ago I blogged about the Kickstarter campaign to fund the second annual Kenosha Festival of Cartooning. Things started out with a bang with the drive but there is still a long way to go.
Check out the video above, produced by Tall Tale Radio’s Tom Racine, to find out about the festival. If you can help out, even with just a small donation, please do. These kinds of public cartooning events are few and far between, and not everybody likes to go to comic cons to meet their favorite cartoonists . . . stormtrooper costumes get rank very quickly, and 80% of the women (and 100% of the men) wearing Princess Leia slave girl outfits look bad in them. Plus, there are a whole host of awesome premiums depending on your level of support for the Kenosha Festival of Cartooning on Kickstarter:
- $10 or more: Official festival publicity poster signed by attending cartoonist of your choice: Stephan Pastis, Norm Feuti, Michael Jantze, Greg Cravens, or Dave Coverly!
- $20 or more: A copy of the 3 day festival program booklet signed by all the artists.
- $35 or more: A signed festival publicity poster of the guest artist of your choice and a copy of the festival program booklet signed by all the artists
- $50 or more: A full set of festival publicity posters signed by each of the guest artists OR a signed book collection from either Stephan Pastis, Michael Jantze, Norm Feuti, Greg Cravens, Dave Coverly or John Hambrock.
- $75 or more: A copy of the festival program booklet signed by all festival artists and a signed book collection by one of the artists.
- $100 or more: A copy of the festival program booklet signed by all the guest artists, a signed book collection from one of the artists and a DVD of one of the panel discussions.
- $250 or more: A copy of the festival program booklet signed by all festival artists and a PERSONALIZED “SPOT ART” DRAWING from the artist of your choice.
- $500 or more: A copy of the program booklet signed by all festival artists, and a SIGNED ORIGINAL DAILY COMIC STRIP from the artist of your choice. Featured artists: Stephan Pastis, Norm Feuti, Michael Jantze, Greg Cravens, Dave Coverly, or John Hambrock.
- $1000 or more: Full set of festival posters signed by each of the artists, a copy of the full festival program booklet, your name in the festival program as one of the principal underwriters (you can even sponsor a particular cartoonist – first come first served), a signed book collection, a DVD of one of the panel discussions, and a SIGNED ORIGINAL DAILY COMIC STRIP from the artist of your choice.
Wow, that’s a lot of great premiums, and donations support a great event! Visit their Kickstarter page today and lend your support!!
Thursday, April 19th, 2012
Last year I was honored to be one of the speakers at a fantastic cartooning event in Kenosha, WI called—oddly enough—the Kenosha Festival of Cartooning. The festival was organized by Anne Hambrock, wife and assistant of cartoonist John Hambrock (The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee), and featured Tom Bancroft, Sandra Bell Lundy, Paul Gilligan, John Read, Scott Standis, John and myself. While there were no guarantees this would become a recurring event, it was such a big hit there was a lot of talk about having another one down the road.
Well, Anne and Company are ready to go down that road . . . but they need a little help.
Today is the start of a Kickstarter fundraising campaign to raise money for the second annual Kenosha Festival of Cartooning, which will take place Sept. 27th-29th, 2012 in . . . you guessed it . . . Kenosha, WI. This year’s guest speakers:
WOW! What a line-up!! Like last year, the program includes live presentations, workshops, a gallery show, panel discussions and meet and greets by these terrific cartoonists over three days.
Anne worked hard to drum up local sponsorship to pay for the entire event last year, making sure all the events were free to the public. As anyone who has ever put on any kind of special event (especially in a smaller community) knows, it’s the second year when the fundraising challenges really get tough. To that end, Anne and the Kenosha Festival of Cartooning are doing the Kickstarter thing, with a modest $10,000 goal. If they exceed the goal, she’s committed to adding a few other special guests to the mix.
There are some great premiums based on your level of support, the higher ones include SIGNED ORIGINAL DAILIES from the participating artists.
Please visit their Kickstarter page, and consider supporting this worthwhile effort! If nothing else, go visit the page to see the great video Tom Racine put together for the campaign!
Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
Last week I was privileged to be a part of the inaugural Kenosha Festival of Cartooning which took place, fittingly enough, in the lakeside town of Kenosha, Wisconsin, on September 14th-16th. Kenosha is located right between the cities of Milwaukee, Wi to the north and Chicago IL to the south, on the shores of Lake Michigan. It’s a lovely little burg (actually not so little, I was told it’s the fourth largest city in Wisconsin behind only Milwaukee, Madison and Green Bay) that was primarily an auto-manufacturing town until Chrysler mostly packed up and left in the early 1990′s. Since then it’s mainly a bedroom community for Chicago-Milwaukee, although it has three universities in UW-Parkside, Carthage College and Gateway Technical College. It also has an active art community with a nice museum, and a wonderful new sculpture-garden along the harbor.
The festival was organized by Anne Hambrock, wife and right-hand-woman to creator of the syndicated comic strip The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee John Hambrock, who was one of the participating cartoonists.
Besides John and myself, the guests cartoonists were Between Friends creator Sandra Bell Lundy, creator of Pooch Cafe Paul Gilligan, editorial cartoonist for the Chicago Tribune Scott Stantis, Disney and freelance animator Tom Bancroft, and John Read, the publisher of “Stay Tooned” magazine and the curator of “One Fine Sunday in the Funny Pages” exhibit. All the guest artists did presentations either at the Kenosha Public Museum, UW-Parkside or Carthage College. There were a few panels as well. I spoke to a couple of illustration classes at UW-Parkside, participated in a panel on “cartooning in the digital age” and did a presentation on the cartoonists/USO trips I’ve been on to Germany, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. I wasn’t able to catch all of the presentations as I had some work to get done, but the ones I saw were great and the entire festival was a lot of fun and I think a big success.
Here’s a podcast of a radio interview the group did with host Greg Berg of WGTD on the Morning Show:
The Cartoonist’s Interview
John Read’s “One Fine Sunday in the Funny Pages” exhibit, featuring the originals of 130 comic strips and cartoons that all appeared in newspapers on Sunday, April 11th, 2010, was really the star of the show. If you ever get a chance to see this show, do not miss it. It’s impressive enough to have such a large collection of original art from Sunday strips period, let alone the mind-boggling fact that they are all from the SAME SUNDAY.
Anne and John, other folks who helped with and sponsored the event and the people of Kenosha were tremendously friendly and hospitable. I had a great time visiting with them and the other cartoonists, some of whom I’d never met and all of whom I greatly enjoyed the company of. Hopefully there will be another Kenosha Festival of Cartooning in coming years… I’ll attend the next one as a “fan”!
Monday, August 1st, 2011
This fall I will be speaking at the Kenosha Festival of Cartooning being held on September 14th-16th in… you guessed it… Kenosha, Wisconsin. The festival is being organized by Anne Hambrock, wife and right-hand-woman to creator of the syndicated comic strip The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee John Hambrock, who will be one of the participating cartoonists.
Besides John and myself, the festival will feature Between Friends creator Sandra Bell Lundy, creator of Pooch Cafe Paul Gilligan, editorial cartoonist for the Chicago Tribune Scott Stantis, creator of The Norm and head of Jantze Animation Studios Michael Jantze, and John Read, the publisher of “Stay Tooned” magazine and the curator of “One Fine Sunday in the Funny Pages” exhibit.
John’s “One Fine Sunday in the Funny Pages” exhibit, featuring the originals of 130 comic strips and cartoons that all appeared in newspapers on Sunday, April 11th, 2010, will be shown at the H.F. Johnson Gallery of Art. Other events and presentations for the Festival will take place at Carthage College, The Kenosha Public Museum, and the University of Wisconsin at Parkside.
Check out the festival’s website for the complete schedule and information on attending.