I wasn’t looking for compliments

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I saw this Peanuts comic strip over the weekend and I wish I had seen it and copied it a few months back. You see I approached the head of one of the syndicates, the top guy, and I asked him to look at my work. I felt that it was not getting seen because they would reject my stuff so fast, you know, not even having time to look at it.

His response was, “I’ll be glad to look at your work, but I know you’re looking for compliments and that’s not what I’ll do.”

I was sort of dumbstruck and I would have sent this comic strip in response if I had known about it at the time. I was sending him my work for publication, not to get accolades.

Needless to say, he didn’t like my work, he put it down in not so many words and that was that. That’s the day I gave up on syndicates and decided to just go it alone.

I know it’s been a long time coming, but I will be publishing my Tomversation comic strip/panel soon.

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Dale Messick and Brenda Starr featured at Society of Illustrators gallery

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The Art of Dale Messick – the Brenda Starr cartoonist, will be on display at the Society of Illustrators in NY from January 3 to March 23, 2019.

I won’t be in NY during this period, but would have loved to see the work up close. As a kid, I would read all of the comics in the NY Daily News, including Brenda Starr. I used to like the way it was drawn as well as the stories.

The Society of Illustrators is a small gallery/museum at 128 East 63rd Street, a great place but easy to miss.

The first time I went, I was meeting my cousin there, it was raining and I knew the general area, but couldn’t find the museum. I stood under a red awning to get out of the rain and was looking around the area, wondering, “Where is this place?” only to turn around and realize the awning I was standing under was the awning to the Society of Illustrators entrance!

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A Charlie Brown Christmas

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I was watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas” last night and as I watched, I scrolled through social media and I could see so many others watching, too. It’s amazing how this 1965 cartoon is Christmas.

I’m sure we know all the words by heart. My two favorite parts are where they are dancing on the stage and the end where they sing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” I love the way Charlie Brown jumps back when he sees the tree.

It’s comforting knowing millions of people are watching the show along with me and enjoying it and making it part of their holiday season.

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Should old newspaper comics make way for new ones?

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The Columbus Dispatch (love that name Dispatch, for a newspaper), dropped the daily reruns of Peanuts, they say they have been paying thousands of dollars a year for the rights to print the reruns. While it’s true that Peanuts is a money machine, should new features be run in the newspapers, leaving the legacy strips to online locations?

I’ve always felt that when a cartoonist retires or dies, the feature should go with them. I sort of was hesitant after reading the Cartoonist Round Table article awhile back, I wrote about it here. But should the comics pages make way for new features when a cartoonist is done?

I do enjoy Dick Tracy and Nancy, which have new cartoonists and writers but I also read them online, like I read most of the comics now. I rarely read them in the newspapers, for one thing, the newspaper editors have terrible taste and they don’t run the comics I like, for another thing, they are too small to read in the newspapers. I also posted an image once of one Sunday page where the panels were smaller than postage stamps!

I think most readers these days read the comics online, simply because most readers are younger and that’s where they get their news and entertainment and the newspapers are dropping many comics and features as they tighten up the printed paper.

There is an interesting column in Tedium, called, “Rethinking the Funny Pages,” where writer Ernie Smith says the newspapers comics are starting to “age out.” The column was written in February after Mort Walker’s death and the change over of Nancy. He also claims that the future of comics is online. It’s an interesting read.

Hanging out on Sullivan Street

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Here’s a great photo from the 1930s – a bunch of boys hanging out on Sullivan Street in Brooklyn. I like that the boy at top reading the newspapers looks as if he’s reading the comics. It sort of looks like the Daily News Sunday comics section. Doesn’t it?

Charles Addams; mysterious and spooky

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Charles Addams posing with a mural he painted that once hung in a Hamptons hotel. (Look magazine Library of Congress)

The Long Island Press has a nice feature on cartoonist Charles Addams. I didn’t realize there was a Long Island Press. When I was a kid I delivered the Long Island Press newspaper. I like seeing Long Island Press stretched across the monitor, sort of like the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, which has also been reborn as a website. You can read the original Brooklyn Daily Eagle online, the digitally scanned pages are here. The Long Island Press is also printed monthly. I’m in Long Island often, I’ll have to look for it.

I love the names of newspapers. Some I don’t get, like the Hartford Courant and the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

An outtake from the article on Charles Addams says, “When he was 12, a New York Herald newspaper cartoonist said he was untalented and should forget his dream of an art career.” I had a similar experience from one of the syndicate heads, I’m way more than 12 years old now, but it’s interesting how great artists (Addams, not me) are usually turned down until their time comes. How many times was Charles Schulz turned down? 80?

Being told I can’t, makes me work harder to prove that I can, which seems to be the case with Addams and Schulz.

I always liked tv shows based on comics and comic strips, it wasn’t a deliberate thing, but I realize that I love The Addams Family, Hazel and Dennis the Menace, to name a few. Whenever I see them on tv, I stop to watch.

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