Great comics I just discovered

I came upon Off the Leash Dog Cartoons by Rupert Fawcett on Facebook.  I love social media for finding new comics. Rupert posts all over the internet, on Facebook alone he has almost 1 million fans! you can see his work at his website here: http://offtheleashdogcartoons.com/

I love how true and close to home the comic is and I love that it’s in black and white. Not enough comics are in black and white these days. Rupert has Off the Leash animations on YouTube, too.

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Another comic that I came upon on Instagram is Meeting Comics by Andrew Neal.  This first comic is so close to home that its sad, but excellent. As of yesterday these poor kids were being taken away from their parents and locked up in cages. As of yesterday that effed-up policy has changed.

I like that Andrew posts the comics as a photo image of the drawn page, also in black and white, and I love where he adds post-it notes to make changes or cover up mistakes. It’s such a common practice with cartoonists, but Andrew just puts it out there in glorious ultra yellow.

You can see his website here: http://www.meetingcomics.com

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Ivortoons by Ivor Healy are mostly puns, but so funny. His work has appeared all over from the Wall Street Journal to Woman’s Weekly. He’s quite clever, I found him on Instagram.

You can see his work here: http://www.ivortoons.com

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He says my style is rushed

I had sent my work to one of the heads of one of the major newspaper syndicates. He gave me a lot of good advice, which I appreciate.  He did say something quite puzzling, he said my work looked rushed – that I drew too fast. These three drawings are samples of my style.

First off, he is right, I do draw fast, I’m not sure how he knew but I guess its his job to know. But is it a bad thing that I draw fast? That’s just my personality, I do things fast. I don’t think it diminishes the drawings. I see so many comic strips that look as if they were drawn fast, I mean people can’t even draw hands for gods sake, but that is the cartoonists’ styles, in fact many of them draw other things that I’ve seen that are totally different than their comic strip style.

Just this morning I was looking at a blog of a cartoonist who draws his comic strip very simply but he had other drawings on his blog, greeting cards, or something like that, which I really enjoyed, they were quite detailed and sort of a fine-line drawing style which is nothing like his comic strip style. And there is a woman cartoonist who does the same thing, when she draws things other than her comic strip, the drawings are quite different, more refined and detailed.

I don’t like to pick on other artist’s styles because art is art. Who am I to judge, which did make me wonder about this comic head who judged my art. I mean, I can understand him judging the comic as a whole, but since when is a cartoonist’s drawing style judged by an editor? There are so many comic strip and comic panel artists in the newspapers and magazines like The New Yorker, who have a very simple, fast style, but the finished work is perfect.

Paying for views on social media

Cartoonist Clay Jones had something to say about Facebook and his comics, I have been pushing social media for years as a great source for comics and comics strips, but of course if they aren’t being seen, then it’s all a moot point. It’s really horrible how social media sites are gunning for paid content now and I wonder if they treat you better if you do pay to have your content seen. I mean not every day, but if you pay once in awhile, do they see you more favorably? Anyway, here’s what Clay had to say:

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Something analytical I’ve noticed which will only interest you if you pay attention to such things. And yes, I look at these sort of things, and if I don’t fully understand it.

There have been complaints from rightwingers that Facebook is discriminating against them as views, comments, reactions, etc are down on their fan/group pages. They say it hurts their YouTube views which in turn hurts their income. They’re half right.

Facebook is decreasing their views. But, it’s not because they’re conservative. They’re doing it to everyone.

On my fan page I would get thousands of reactions a day to a post. On a bad day, I’d only get around 500. Now, on a great day I might reach 200. This has coincided with me receiving emails and even instant messages from FB trying to entice me to pay for a push, which they promise can net me a certain number of views.

Today, my website got over a thousand referrals from Twitter. It got 99 from Facebook. This is important to me as I do collect revenue from hits to the website. This is why I ask for people to share links to my work, not the images. It’s money, people. An independent freelancing self-syndicated cartoonist needs to eat too.

Most cartoonists don’t pay attention to this sort of stuff because they believe they don’t have to. The times have already changed from the days of drawing a cartoon, sending it to an editor/syndicate, and moving on to your next cartoon. You have to do more. Most of you don’t even have a website. You really need to know this stuff, despite how boring it is.

If you are sharing images of your work and not links, you’re killing yourself. You could be getting paid for sharing your work and when others share it. When you only post an image and boast about thousands of shares, you’re working for free and you’re working for Facebook.

With that said, only about four people will see this post unless I pay to boost it.

Here is his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/clayjones
And his website: https://claytoonz.com/

Comics I recently discovered

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Some comics I recently discovered are “A Fistful of Babies,” by Reyn. I find myself laughing out loud to his work. Some is a bit racy, but still funny.  Here are three clean ones.

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I like Guto Dias Studio’s comics. He posts single panel comics and full color strips. His gags are subtle, I like that about him

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I also like Scribbly G., a cartoonist from South Africa. He started doing comics about South Africa then morphed into general interest comics. What I love about his work is that it usually has a non-foreseen twist in the last panel that really makes you laugh out loud.

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What did your teacher think of you?

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I was reading a Q & A column in Hogan’s Alley magazine (the printed issue) where cartoonists were asked, “What did your high school art teacher think of your cartooning proclivities?”

I found that to be interesting. I remember all through school, even high school, I was usually the best artist in art class as I am sure most young cartoonists are. I would cringe over this. I was proud and good enough to do my best and not dumb my work down, but it was quite embarrassing for me year after year being known as the best artist.

I remember one year my teacher told me that she told my mother at a parent-teacher night that I was a great artist and I asked my teacher, “What did my mother respond?” And she said, with a sort of wry look, “She said she knew!” She was almost mocking my mother as not being humble. But what was my mother to do, feign ignorance? That always has bothered me to this day. I’m sure my mother was proud but a bit embarrassed as I was when I was pointed out for my art.

I do regret one thing about my art class days. I remember drawing a whole, full color Sunday comic strip of “All in the Family,” the tv show. What I regret is that I gave it away. A classmate liked it and I just gave it to him.

It was excellent as I remember it. I remember the characters, Archie and Edith and the rest and also the layout of the living room as I drew it and it was quite a large size and full color, colored with water color paint. I would love to see that piece of art today.

Going into Town with Roz Chast

roz2I finally got around to reading the “Going Into Town” book by cartoonist Roz Chast. My cousin had handed it to me one day in November, she said she thought of me when she saw it so she bought it. She knows I love New York and cartooning and this book is perfect for both.

She asked me if I had ever heard of Roz Chast and I had to laugh because I found one of my favorite museums in New York because of Roz Chast. A few years ago, The Museum of the City of New York had an exhibit featuring Roz Chast’s work. There was a lot of original cartoon art from her New Yorker magazine work and so much more.

I had never been to that museum so I took the subway up to 103 Street and fell in love with the area. It’s sort of a Latin neighborhood with bodegas and lots of people and activity and then you walk over to the 5th Avenue end, where the museum is, right across the street from Central Park and it’s a different world. Thanks to Roz Chast, I have visited that neighborhood and that museum numerous times over the last few years.

Anyway, I finally got around to reading the book and it’s hilarious. It’s written in Roz’s hand, literally. It’s not typeset, it’s spelled out in her handwriting. It’s all about New York City in a truthful and funny way with the cartoonist accompanying the narrative. I think it’s for tourists but it’s funnier if you know the city yourself, like where she explains that the sidewalks of NYC are a think shell covering a vast honeycomb of pipes and tunnels which is something you really don’t want to think about.

Roz explains the city’s street system – the grid system and uptown and downtown and she seems to like the random buildings in New York that have different businesses on different floors, you know, like very busy buildings with a dentist on one floor, a shoe store on another, a hat store on another and they are all displayed in the front windows as you look at the building from top to bottom.

She prefers cities to nature and she really gets into the city. It’s a funny book, and great for a person who loves New York City. You can see more about it here at Amazon.

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