Posts Tagged ‘cartoonist’

Dept. of Too-Much-About-Me – Part 1

December 14, 2009

Here’s an on-line chat I did with the Washington Post in March of 2004 – about 10 months after Bo Nanas was launched.

(Actually, there is no “Part 2.” I was going to post a link to an interview – in Spanish – that was done for a newspaper when I visited Paraguay a couple of years ago, but it’s no longer on the web. Consider yourself lucky.)

The Deapartment of Me

November 9, 2009

Scott Nickel and I shared some space in the most recent Stay Tooned magazine for their “MAD issue” and now he was nice enough to have me be part of his weekly “20 questions” feature on his “A Nickel’s Worth” site.

Studio tour part 5 – Look, Ma! I’m in the comics!

September 22, 2009

If my last post didn’t make me seem like an egotist, this one will.

What can I say? Cartoonists tend to put their friends in their work just for fun. Here’s two featuring me from Dave Coverly and Dan Piraro respectively. (I’m only showing two cuz I only have really crappy photos of two.)


Studio tour part 4 – Effigies

September 21, 2009

You’d think that by the number of representations of myself in my studio that I’m some sort of egotist, but really, it’s not my fault.


This is a bobble head that my friend Chuck Gamble made of/for me on the occasion of my 40th birthday. Because of some painting/curing problem it was sticky for, oh, about five years until I found some sealant to spray on it.


Another birthday present. This is a marionette my then girlfriend/now wife made for me. (This was a year after she made a Muppet-like puppet of her roommate for his birthday.)


OK, so this one I did have something to do with. This is a self-caricature I did while working for Xerox (my last real job). I came back from vacation to find that my friend Scooty had made a mobile out of it. (I think he may have also wallpapered my cubicle with Cheap Trick lyrics.)

Studio tour part 3 – Other stuff on shelves

September 16, 2009

And now stuff that isn’t books.


First off let’s look at some drawers. On the front of the top drawer of the file cabinet is a Batman door sensor. Pass your hand in front of it and it plays the 90s animated Batman theme and says, “Batcave defense program activated. Please wait for security clearance.” On top left there is a picture of me in my superhero costume. (It’s not my fault – read here.) There are also various bobble heads, including one of me my friend Chuck Gamble made for for 40th birthday. On the side are some odd candies from Seattle’s Chinatown. On the top of the dresser are some fake Bo Nanas merchandise I made as holiday gifts for my clients. (More on that later.) Down the side is some escape artist nerd stuff (yep, they’re real handcuffs). Down the front, a couple of lanyards with buttons to keep them from being under foot.


Left to right: A special edition Batman thingy, a cardboard Dilbert periscope, Aku from “Samurai Jack”, Ned* and a Dick Tracy lunchbox. Next shelf: mini Batman/Mr. Freeze Rock ’em sock ’em robots being crushed by books.

* Ned was a product that Lynn Johnston created based on a naked suction-cup-to-window guy (a la Garfield) that the character Michael had in her comic strip “For Better or for Worse.” I think these were prototypes and she brought a bunch to a cartoonist gathering in Toronto. This one is signed.


Left to right: Avon Peanuts soap from the 70s, an Opus phone (take the handset from his back and he turns his head toward you) and a bird sculpture by a cartoonist friend.


In 1995 the National Cartoonist Society had their Reuben Weekend in Boca Raton, FL to celebrate the new International Museum of Cartoon Art…except the museum wasn’t finished yet. So one of the receptions was a hard hat party. We were all given hard hats and Sharpies and, well, you can see what happened. (The fancy-pants glass box is actually an aquarium on its side.)


Studio tour part 2 – Shelf porn

September 15, 2009

Don’t blame me – that’s what people call it because book people (of various ilks) like to see what others of their ilk have on their shelves. (This pretty much ran as you see it on Robot 6 last week – I’ve added a couple of things…and fixed some typos.)

My shelves are all cheapo brown pressboard affairs (none bought new) that just about cover my third floor studio’s shared wall in our 100+ year old duplex.

When we moved in I spent a lot of time unpacking the books and trying to find the right place for each. I was trying to put them in categories. My wife asked if anyone but me would know. I said another nerd might.


Bookcase on the left: Top shelf – biography and collections. Second shelf – foreign comics. Third shelf – Non-mainstream/graphic novel-y stuff. Fourth shelf – MAD paperbacks, Popeye cup, gag cartoon paperbacks. Bottom shelf – gag cartoon hardcovers. (On the far right is one of a series of posters done for the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in the 80’s (I think). This was done by “Wizard if Id’s” Brant Parker. The odd thing is that the thumbs are on the wrong side of the hands.)

Bookcase on the right: Top shelf – hodge podge of hard-to-categorize books (ie,comics cookbook) and fiction about the comic industry. Second and third shelf – research and how-to. Fourth and bottom shelf – gag cartoon hardcovers.


Cut off on the top you can see the bottom my Batman alarm clock (which went off at 4:00 am – while still packed in a box – the first night we moved in), Mickey Mouse ears and a Kermit the Frog candlestick phone.

Bookcase on the left: All comic strip collections. (Surprised?)

Bookcase on the right: Top shelf – biography. Second shelf – animation, EC comics, Will Eisner. Third shelf – Comic book and non-mainstream/graphic novel-y stuff. Fourth shelf – illustration, MAD related books. Bottom shelf – editorial cartoons.


Shelf one, two and four are all Peanuts. Shelf three is paperback comic strip collections (BC, Wizard if Id, Denise the Menace, etc.) On the bottom shelf you can see an unglazed piece of pottery of Jiggs from the comic strip “Bringing up Father.” (I’ll talk about the puppet on the right in a later post.)

And I have two shelves of signed books.


Of note, books signed by 1) Nico (from Paraguay), 2) Gahan Wilson, 3) Mell Lazarus (one of his non-cartoon novels), 4) Jules Feiffer, 5) Virgil Partch.


Of note, books signed by 1) Bill Watterson*, 2) James Kemsley (from Australia), 3) Milt Gross, 4) Chuck Jones.

*He used to sign Calvin and Hobbes books for a friend who owned a small bookstore in Ohio. When it became too well known that he was doing this he stopped.

Studio tour part 1

September 14, 2009


These next couple of weeks I’ll be posting pics of my studio. It’s on the third floor of the  house we’ve lived in for just over a year. I have most of the floor but share it with a combo bathroom/laundry. (The photo above was taken by my wife at the request of John Read for an upcoming interview for his Stay Tooned magazine. I cropped it so you can’t see my broken toe.) My drawing table is an old wooden one I found at the side of a road and wrestled into my station wagon. The chair was mine at a job I had – I bought it at auction when my employer went out of business. Under the top of the drawing table you can see the back of the futon that faces the TV. (It’s good for “thinking.”)


This is from the other direction (and before I put art up on the walls). It shows off a wee bit more of the mess. That’s an old door across the filing cabinets with an even older library card catalog below it, and an even older paper cutter on top of that.

Comic Con- Part 6 – Dress-up

August 5, 2009

And what would Comic Con be without costumes?

• My hands-down fav was the bunny suit my friend/colleague Rich Moyer specifically bought to pick up another friend/colleague Sean Parkes at the airport. Then he wore it the rest of the day.

• I think the most common costume was Wonder Woman. I saw it on a toddler and a 70+ year-old woman.

• While sitting in our booth two brothers dressed as Superman came from the left while another guy dressed as Superman came from the right. The three Supermans (or “mens”) met, chatted for a moment, then couldn’t go anywhere because everyone wanted to take their picture. (Which seems to be the reason why one dresses up for CC.) I wanted to pool our money and pay them to fight it out to see who was the real Superman.

• Saw a number of Steampunk adventurer outfits – sort of Jules Verne-y with ol’ timey gadgets – that were impressive. I liked the guy who wore a running clockwork on his chest.

• A few Slave Girl Leia costumers had a little trouble, uh…keeping it all PG rated

• I was proud that I recognized three guys as being dressed as extras from the zombies-as-pets horror comedy “Fido” complete with light-up, don’t-eat-the-humans control collars.

• Saw a couple of “husky” guys dressed as film maker Kevin Smith – baggy shorts, long coat, backwards baseball cap, beard. But, considering the possible nerd wardrobes, maybe it wasn’t a costume at all.

• People took all this very seriously. There wasn’t a lot of ironic costumes. No really skinny guys painted Hulk green, holding up stretched-out purple pants. Although one guy had a superhero costume made from found objects including a towel for a cape. He had a piece of notebook paper on his chest that read “Budget Man.”

• And to finish up my Comic con round-up, here’s another funny pic of Rich. Isn’t he cute?

Comic Con- Part 4 – Doin’ stuff

August 3, 2009
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Not a pic of me and Tom Richmond and me signing at the DC Comics booth, but since it's a bald guy (actually Grant Morrison) and a non-bald guy at a DC comics booth, it is a reasonable facsimile

• Spent a fair amount of time at the National Cartoonist Society’s booth (whose number I had screwed up on the blog – hope you all found me). I was selling my books and pimping some NCS t-shirts and bags leftover from our last two conventions. I’m pretty good at selling other people’s merch (having honed my skills doing so for Witches in Bikinis).

• On Thursday, before opening, I was walking around, noticed that DC had stacks of free MADs out (DC owns MAD, BTW) so I mentioned that Tom Richmond and I had flexible schedules and, faster that you could say “usual gang of idiots,” we were scheduled for a signing that day. We signed MADs and drew sketches. (I did my “Me, Myself and My Puppet” characters. I did one very poor Alfred E. Newman). It went great – lots of people, all very appreciative. It went so well they scheduled another one on Sunday. (Can anyone find any photos of it out there on the web? There were a number of people clicking away.)

• At the end of the day on Sunday, R. Sikoryak and I were part of The Cartoon Art Museum’s Third Annual Sketch-A-Thon. Some people had ordered drawings of their own character (we both drew a clothed mermaid), some requested a specific famous character (I did a Spiderman) and some bought one that were already done (like the Flash-with-walker I drew.)

Comic Con – Part 3 – People, famous and otherwise

July 31, 2009
Cartoonists at dinner...

From bottom left clockwise: Daryl Cagle (, Jenny Robb (Ohio State Cartoon Library), Jeff Koterba (Omaha Herald editorial cartoonist), me eating, Glenn McCoy ("The Duplax," "The Flying McCoys"), Sean Parkes (illustrator/cartoonis), Piotr Walczuk (caricaturist/voice actor), Rich Moyer (animator/cartoonist), Jeff Keane ("The Family Circus"), Young Tom Richmond, Original Tom Richmond (MAD), Susie Cagle (cartoonist). (Photo courtesy Tom Richmond the Elder)

• Not going to any wait-in-line-for-hours panels nor being in the part of the exhibit hall where the big media play, I didn’t really see any famous people. Some of my friends (above) are kinda famous yet attract little in the way of paparazzi.

• I did catch of glimpse of Jennifer Love Hewitt. She was in a booth that was surrounded by counter, which in turn was surrounded by fanboys six deep. She looked like a scared deer.

• I was at the panel of editorial cartoonist Pat Oliphant. The live drawings he did of priests, Bill Clinton and Sarah Palin (not all together) would not be considered “safe for work.”

• Went to the Pop Perversity panel featuring my friend R. Sikoryak. Afterwards Bob invited me out to dinner with his friends, who are some high-end folks. To my right was the amazing cartoonist Carol Lay. To my left was screenwriter Ted Alcott (“Ants”). And across from me was Bob’s-former-roommate-now-actor James Urbaniak (Robert Crumb in “American Splendor”).

• I only heard about this: At the Stephan Pastis (“Pearls Before Swine”) panel someone asked him what other cartoonists’ reactions are when he makes fun of their well-established features. From the back a cartoonist of a well-established feature yelled, “Screw you, Pastis!” (Told to me by the aforementioned  cartoonist of a well-established feature.)