NCSFest

On Saturday I watched the NCSFest all day. It was a a cartooning festival put on by the National Cartoonists Society Foundation. It was storming outside, so it was a perfect day to stay inside. You can see over nine hours of the fest here on YouTube, watch the whole thing or pick and choose by scrolling through. The schedule is here so you can see what comes on when.

The main seminar/talk I was interested in was The Superstars of Instagram, I wanted to see how they work and mainly how they get so many followers. The Awkward Yeti, for instance has 1.8 million followers! I interviewed Nick Seluk, The Awkward Yeti cartoonist once, you can see that here.

I also liked the talk on Creating a Successful Online Cartooning Business.

There was a lot of good stuff. Jim Davis, the Garfield cartoonist spoke from his studio and so did cartoonists explaining their process from doing comic strips and panels to creating books.

In between, the yearly Reuben Awards, which are the Oscars for cartoons/cartooning, were announced. The ceremony and events were canceled this year due to the pandemic. Awards are given or best newspaper comic strip of the year, best comic panel, best greeting card comic, best online comic strip, etc. The Daily Cartoonist has a list of winners here. There is then the Reuben Award for Cartoonist of the Year, which went to Lynda Barry.

I love this photo of Lynda, a real artist. The desk looks so comfortable, like you can just sit down and create. I am messy, but since I do all my work digitally on a Surface Pro, it isn’t strewn with all these wonderful tools and inks and pens and such. I literally have to turn on the computer and wait for it to set up. I can’t just get comfy and into it like Lynda here.

Garry Trudeau says that cartooning is like a public utility – you just expect it to be there when you want it.

Hand Drawn Life

I watched a documentary over the weekend called, “Hand Drawn Life,” it’s available on Vimeo and right here of course, and if you have a smart tv, you can watch it on large screen using their app. It’s listed as, “HDL_FINAL_FULL_Texted_1205” on Vimeo.

Hand Drawn Life just won a Los Angeles Area Emmy Award for best Independent Programming for its airing on KCET-PBS. It’s about the history of cartooning and interviews a number of cartoonists who talk about the craft, their work and the work of many others.

The past few years I’ve watched quite a few cartooning interviews and documentaries. Two great documentaries are, “Dear Mr. Watterson,” which is about Bill Watterson and Calvin and Hobbes. You can watch it on Amazon Prime and “Stripped,” which I got through a kickstarter a few years back, but I see you can purchase it here for just $4.99. Stripped interviews 70 cartoonists about the craft. They are both very enjoyable.

I also found a list of cartoonist interviews on Google here. I’ve watched some of these over the years, too.

What if it happened today?

This I Love Lucy comic was published today. It’s one of my favorites. I changed it a lot throughout yesterday, adding something, removing something, changing an arm, etc. It’s a classic episode that I think everyone knows.

I like taking something from the past, like a tv show, and putting it in the present to see how things would change. I did it with the Columbo comic in May and people liked it.

I have other ideas in mind for future comics and if you have any, feel free to email me with an idea of your own.

A life in comics

This is a little snippet about the Hy Eisman “A Life in Comics” documentary. There is a GoFundMe page to help raise money for the completion of the film. I donated the other day.

Cartoonist Hy Eisman, is a cartoonist of over 70 years. You’ve seen his work. He produced The Katzenjammer Kids and Popeye, doing both Sunday strips at the same time – the writing and drawing. And each had their own feel.

Mr. Eisman continues to cartoon today.

Missing ‘Breaking Bad’

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Walter White & Jesse from Breaking Bad

I’ve been watching a lot of tv while in self quarantine among other things – cleaning out the closets, working out (love the new bands I got), cartooning of course, and even cooking, which I don’t normally do, but I have been watching more tv than usual.

I love Breaking Bad and never get tired of it, I’ve mentioned that before in another post. I have those DVR’d but oddly enough, I can only make myself watch it on Sundays – night or day, doesn’t matter, but it must be Sunday. I watched a couple of episodes yesterday. But alas, the freaking DVR didn’t tape all the episodes, right in the middle I see that 20 episodes are missing!

baking-bad-comicWhen I first started watching all the episodes for the first time, I did that On Demand. And even on demand some episodes were missing – one important one and one of my favorite episodes, was missing. I didn’t know it was one of my favorites at the time because I had never seen it before, but as I watched the episodes in order, I noticed something was missing, it seemed to jump from one episode to another, skipping a big part of the story line.

So I went online and lo and behold, there was one of the most important and best episodes on the AMC website, so I watched it there. The episode is “Face Off” (spoiler alert if you click that link) and my other favorite episode is “Dead Freight,” the train one. These are my two favorite episodes and I think “Face Off” is a very important episode which moves the story along.

I’m not sure what I love about the show – the acting? the characters? the location? I guess the whole story is amazing and riveting. I love Albuquerque and the locations and scenery and I love the family scenes in and at the houses.

I see Breaking Bad is on Netflix, so I guess I’ll just catch up an continue watching there.

NY Comic Con is canceled for 2020

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I had been awaiting the announcement that NY Comic Con would be canceled this year. The physical event which was to be in October, at the Javits Center in NYC will not happen, but there will be events online, which of course is not the same. I had been waiting and waiting for the announcement but I guess they were trying to put it off as long as they could.

I’ve had so many fun times over the years at this event. Every October it was something special – first off, it’s October in NY, a beautiful time to be there and then the city is full of cosplaying people from one end to the other.

Here are some photos that I took from the event from the past few years.


Superhero face masks

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I like these superhero face masks, but I don’t know if I would wear them. The logo is too big.

I’ve seen some fun ones with Charlie Brown and Snoopy, I Love Lucy and others.

Right now I wear a solid black one, which I like, it’s a bit heavy though and I’m thinking of changing it. But I’ve ordered so many and unless you buy them and then try them, there is no way of knowing if they fit right or if you can breathe through them and things like that. I must have 12 of them about now, and only like one or two.

I do like this Batman one with the logo small to the side. What do you think? Too geeky?

People are going crazy with the masks now. I notice on tv, the news reporters are matching their ties now. If they have on a red tie, they wear a red mask, and so on.

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Too many logos on this one.

Baking bad

baking-bad-comicToday’s comic really makes me laugh. I don’t know if it’s the drawing or what.

I was watching Breaking Bad as I usually do on Sunday and the thought came to me. So simple, yet so funny.

I know the characters so well that I didn’t need to look at a photo for context, I just know Walter White so well. I guess this is a mixture of two of my favorite things – Breaking Bad and the cooking shows I like to watch on Saturday mornings.

Sundays are for ‘Breaking Bad’

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Ever since we’ve been cooped up in self isolation, I’ve been finding myself watching Breaking Bad on Sundays. Usually in the afternoon I’ll watch two or three episodes. I don’t know why I’m so attracted to the show. I’ve talked about it before.

Sure the stories and acting are superb, but it’s more than that. It’s the location – the desert and Albuquerque and the darkness of their house and the dynamic between the characters – the family, I mean – the Whites and the Schraders. I love the family scenes, especially when they are all together at a backyard bbq or whatever. Of course Jesse and Walt’s relationship is special, too. And then there is all that crime and drugs thrown in.

I’ve never been to ABQ – short for Albuquerque, but it seems almost as if the place stopped in time. Like for instance if you go into a bar it may be a throwback from the 1970s, that’s what I get from watching this and Better Call Saul, also filmed on location in ABQ. I love that. Even the airport looks small and quaint and the gas stations look like 1960-70s throwbacks. The houses look to be from that period, too.

Here in Miami, everything is chrome and glass, there is no reverence for history, if it’s 20 years old, it’s knocked down for something bigger and shinier. It doesn’t look like that in ABQ. I would like to visit there real soon.

George Herriman, of Krazy Kat fame loved that area of the country. While he lived in New York and Los Angeles throughout his life, he spent a lot of time in ABQ – it’s obvious in his drawings and Krazy Kat backgrounds. I don’t know if I lived there in another life or what, but I’m always drawn to the area.

Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Ray Donovan and Shameless. All my favorite shows at the moment. And the weird part of this is that for all except for Saul, I started watching after their run or toward the end – you know, not from the beginning from when they first went on the air.

My earliest memory involved a cartoon

fredflintstoneOver the years when I’ve been interviewed, I have been asked who my cartooning influences are. The first is Hanna-Barbera and next is Charles Schulz. I remember drawing Fred Flintstone as a little kid, maybe I was five years old or younger.

I think, because The Flintstones seems like it was for adults, so I am not sure why I would love it so much.

But I do know that my earliest memory of all time, you know, in my whole life, my earliest memory was me, at two or three years old, running around our Brooklyn apartment – naked – trying to get away from my mother, who was trying to get me in the bathtub and Huckleberry Hound was coming on the tv – the theme song was playing! I can sort of picture that.

huckleberryhoundI don’t think I have an earlier memory, so it’s quite interesting that a Hanna-Barbera cartoon is my earliest memory. Is that crazy? I’m surprised I didn’t draw Huckleberry all the time. But I do know I used to love those Hanna-Barbera cartoons – along with The Flintstones it was Huckleberry and Yogi Bear and Quick Draw McGraw and so on.

I’m trying to not change the subject of what’s happening in our country these days, but need to post here daily and don’t wish to repeat what you see on the news every day. It almost reminds me of Al Roker and the weather – the news people show murder, rape, riots and then, “Here’s Al with the weather!, which I’ve always found stupid.