Archive for the ‘Cartoonists I dig’ Category

Tree-cember 25th

December 25, 2013


If you didn’t know, today is the birthday of another famous bearded fellow, friend and colleague Rick Stromoski.

Ford Button

December 7, 2010

This is a very wonderful message from Ford Button’s daughter about what I wrote about him here.

I just found this out of the blue…WOW I am crying tears of joy as I write this…Thank you to you and everyone for the wonderful comments on my dad. A day does not go by that I don’t think of him. I miss him so much, but as I look at my children…Oh he lives on with them. John he loved you dearly.. He spoke of you all the time. Your talent, your friendship. He loved to teach. He was the same at home..we had no coloring books..we had to create our own design not color in someones. I am now a preschool teacher and am so blessed to have had parents who gave me so much in support to be my own person. I use the humor with my students as I watched Dad with his..I give hugs just like he did…Dad or Ford(loved his name) was truly a gift to us, who is missed but he is still with us all. He gave us all a little bit of him that we all hold dear in our hearts. God bless you John..this was such a wonderful gift to read and to share…Thank You
Connie Button Liberty

What I’m reading – Richard’s Poor Almanac

October 15, 2010



I got a copy of this from Richard Thompson himself at SPX. The creator of Cul de Sac brings the major funny, as always. Find this book and buy it. Nuff said.

Cartoonist PROfiles ALERT!!!!!!!!!!

June 16, 2010

Cartoonist PROfiles by Gianfranco Goria.

This may be a moot post but I thought I’d still do it. I was at the great Strand Bookstore in NYC two weeks ago and saw that they had about 10 issues of Cartoonist PROfiles.

Cartoonist PROfiles was a quarterly magazine published by cartoonist Jud Hurd from 1969 until his death in 2005. Before the internet, it was near impossible to find out anything about the cartooning world so PROfiles was like manna from heaven to a wannbe cartoonist. (In it’s last year, an article on me appeared and it was such a thrill.) It was mostly distributed by subscription so it was tough to find it in any comics stores, and even more impossible to find it now, which is why I’m posting this.

Here’s how to find them, if they’re still there. Go up to the second floor. Face the big wall of cartoon/comics books. Turn around and you’ll be facing a low shelf. That’s where they are…were…whatever.

What I’m reading this week – Holy Spirit!

October 9, 2009

I really enjoyed this informative bio on The Master, although I think you need some previous knowledge to get the most out of it.

Ginger Meggs guest star

August 11, 2009

At the National Cartoonists Society’s Reubens Weekend I got to met and hang with Jason Chatfield,  the new cartoonist on the classic Australian comic strip Ginger Meggs. Jason was nice enough to include a certain monkey with a lot of more famous guest stars in the strip a few Sundays ago. You can see it here.

The previous artist, the late James Kemsley, was a sweetheart of a man. I met him on one of his many trips to the US and we became friends. He was instrumental in get Bo Nanas into some Aussie papers. James was a wonderful ambassador for comics and his son accepted the Silver T-square Award in his father’s honor this May at the Rubes.

I’m looking a a small packet of Vegemite that James gave me years ago. It’s in the small “toy box” on my desk.

I (heart) NY

May 18, 2009

It’s true, I do (heart) NY…just not so much during a one-day whirlwind trip.

The up-and-back trip (total car hours: 1, total train hours: 7) was part of one of my many jobs as a freelancer – I’m the Humor Editor for Marian Heath Greeting Cards and I was going to the Stationery Show. This is a big trade show and it gives me the chance to see what’s going on in the industry, scope out talent and see my colleagues at MH, since they are based in Wareham, MA and I’m not.

I decided to do it all in one day because there’s too much going on…but my bad back wasn’t happy about it. I’ve been nursing it for a few weeks and then I pulled it in the car yesterday morning just turning my head to look at my blind spot. Sheesh.

Since I had a few hours tween the show’s end and my train back, I hightailed it to the Strand Bookstore. Words don’t do this place justice. Lots of books, all discounted. They’ve expanded their cartooning section since I was there last year. Could’ve brought home an armload but just got the latest Best American Comics (guest editor Lynda Barry) and another anthology edited by Ivan Brunetti. Good reading on the train ride back home.

Cartoonists I dig – Frank Springer

April 6, 2009

It’s after midnight, I should be in bed but I was clicking around the web, landed on Mark Evanier’s site and found out Frank Springer had died on Thursday. He was 79.


I should be in bed, but I feel the need to type this…

Frank was such a kind-hearted sweetheart of a guy. I met him at the National Cartoonist Society Reuben Weekend in 1994. It was my second time at The Rubes, but I still didn’t know many people and felt a bit lost. I don’t know if Frank sensed this but he started talking to me at the cocktail party, telling me about baseball players that had the same name as mine. He even mailed me some info from a stats book. We became friends.

Such a great guy, and although he had all that white, wavy hair, he seemed pretty ageless…

At The Rubes a few years ago, I was talking with Frank, telling him about my new home town, a hot spot of the Civil War. I was going off about how I was discovering that some people don’t view “The War of Northern Aggression” like some others do…when I found out that Frank, because of his heritage, was one of those “some people” (while I was in the “some others” camp). He was very nice about it when he told me but I just apologized over and over again for insulting him. He said that it was OK, to just forget about it.

When I got home I bought him a lapel pin displaying a certain flag and sent it to him…because that’s how important his friendship was to me.

And now to bed. Good night.

Cartoonists I Dig – Ford Button

February 16, 2009

I got home from teaching at about 1:00 pm, flipped my date book to this week and there it was. Today is the anniversary of my friend Ford Button’s death. He died in 1995 just before his 70th birthday.

Ford was the first cartoonist I ever met. (He always said that with a name like “Ford Button” he had to be a cartoonist.) He was a grade school art teacher who cartooned on the side, but did a lot of work. (In his heart, I think he was always a cartoonist first but, from what I’ve heard, he was a heck of a teacher.) He was primarily a gag cartoonist who had done a fair amount of “general” work, but what he was known for was his educational cartoons. That is, cartoons about education. (You can see some of his work in this on-line textbook.) He’d be the first to tell you that he wasn’t a ground breaking cartoonist. I think he said he worked in the “Grand Rapids Style” meaning that anyone, anywhere could understand it.

I met him when I was in college, and even though he was almost 40 years older than me, we became friends. And even though I was just an art student/wanna-be cartoonist, he treated me as an equal. During the 10+ years we knew each other, he was always encouraging. I showed him my meager work and he though it was great. He introduced me to the Upstate Cartoonists League of America, or UCLA (a rag tag group of cartoonists that met once a year). He and I ended up reviving the group and started having regular meetings in Rochester and Buffalo, as well as a newsletter and an annual cartoon art show. He wrote my sponsorship letter for the National Cartoonists Society. I remember excitedly talking to him about sending the weekly strip I’d been doing out to the syndicates for the first time. All in all, he was my mentor…and it was sad that he didn’t get to see me become a full-time cartoonist, get syndicated and get into MAD.

I was honored that his family asked me to speak about the cartooning side of his life at his memorial service.

All the cartoonists of my generation that knew Ford marveled at his age when he died. He was always so full of life they just couldn’t believe it.

I hope that I’m like that when I get old.

(I dedicated my Bo Nanas collection APPEELING to Ford as well as to the-best-friend-a-cartoonist-could-have Tim Rosenthal and Buffalo-area cartoonist Bob Bindig.)

Cartoonists I dig – Kevin McCormick

November 3, 2008

Kevin McCormick created the comic strip Arnold which ran in a handful of papers in the mid-80s. He was also the first syndicated comic stripper I ever met. Kevin is from my hometown and was our first speaker when we revitalized the Upstate Cartoonists League of America (UCLA, get it?) in the early 90s. (Later the group became the Upstate New York Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society.) He’s a sweet, gentle guy but his strip – about a kid named Arnold and his meek friend Tommy – had a biting sense of humor. After Arnold ended Kevin wrote gags freelance for Garfield and is now completely out of the racket. But enough blithering by me – Charles Brubaker just did an interview with him here.