The CAPS auction to benefit Stan and Sharon Sakai is in action right now, with some really amazing pieces of art up for bidding, including a number of custom pieces featuring the artist’s take on Stan’s great comic book character Usagi Yojimbo from some pretty heavy hitters (Jeff Smith, anyone?). There are also several pieces of original but unrelated comic book, comic strip and editorial cartoon art. Stan and Sharon are beloved figures in the world of comics, and the industry’s heart is breaking over their struggles with Sharon’s health. If you want to support a wonderful cause and get your hands on some truly unique original cartoon art, this is a unique opportunity.
I posted the image above a week or two ago, it’s my contribution to the effort. It’s an original ink and watercolor, no pixels involved. This piece is not in the auction yet, but I am sure it will appear sooner or later. They must have gotten a huge number of pieces in support of the Sakais, and it will be a while before they get through them all.
I am beginning to think I might be the only cartoonist I know capable of reading and following directions. When the call for original pieces of art went out, the folks at CAPS warned us that we should NOT include any characters we did not own the copyrights to. The reason for this is that they intend to publish a book full of the Usagi Yojimbo tribute artwork and sell it for further support for the Sakai’s medical expenses. For obvious legal reasons, doing something with someone else’s copyrighted character would create a legal problem with the book. That meant Alfred E. Neuman was out, so I came up with the gag above making fun of Usagi’s puffy samurai pants and his 1980’s origins.
Now I look at the auction items, and I see art with other people’s copyrighted characters like Bugs Bunny and the Muppets. I have a feeling there will be a lot of similar examples when other art is put up for auction.
I assume these will not be in the book. Too bad because it’s some great art, but rulz is rulz. I would have loved to have done an Alfred/Usagi gag.
719 My cover art for the next issue of MAD, exclusive sneak peek from @entertainmentweekly website
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