Here's the second entry into the "Tramp Steamer" proposal, this is from JC and I like the absurdity of this one. It sounds like something I might say in a company meeting if a light fixture had come lose from its bolts and hit me on the head ... which is tentatively scheduled for next week.
The GoComics administrators would like me to make a public service announcement warning people NOT TO HUNT IN THE WOODS NEAR LIO'S HOUSE.
That being said, I'd love to see a video of this contraption, which I'm imagining as operating similarly to the AT-ST Walkers found in the Star Wars Trilogy (although with even cooler sound effects)
I thought this was cute. I've found more than one mouse in my living area over the years and usually wind up just going back to sleep. Finding out it's a small one is always something of a relief, and a good enough excuse not to do anything. Finding a little human going through my fridge would be pretty frightening, though.
Last but not least...yesterday's Argyle Sweater was originally supposed to run last year, but after the sudden collapse and euthanization of Eight Belles at the 2008 Kentucky Derby, everyone decided it would be better to wait on this one. Now that we've had 10 months to dry our eyes a bit, here it is.
Unfortunately, comics imitate life in the sense that there's not always a happy ending. Even on Sundays.
Check back in all week for more scintillating tidbits of life in the comics industry fast lane right here on the good old editor's blog.
Over at the Pooch Cafe blog, a fan took the liberty of applying the "Garfield Minus Garfield" theorem into the Pooch Cafe world (more examples at Paul's blog). Frankly, I don't want to live in a world without Poncho, so while I appreciate the effort, I cannot endorse it.
Take heart, Calvin fans: While he missed out on the Favorite Comic Strip
award, Calvin didn't go home empty-handed, winning the Best Hair in Comics
award. (Not bad for a kid who's been enjoying retirement for more than a
And lastly, Jeff Smith's Bone won the award for Favorite Fantasy Graphic Novel. The
entire Bone series, originally published in black and white from 1991-2004, was
reprinted in color by Scholastic Books' graphic novel imprint, Graphix. The
first nine issues of the color series have also been re-released in a series of
produced by Uclick for iPhone and iPod touch.
Take heart, Calvin fans: While he missed out on the Favorite Comic Strip award, Calvin didn't go home empty-handed, winning the Best Hair in Comics award. (Not bad for a kid who's been enjoying retirement for more than a decade.)
And lastly, Jeff Smith's Bone won the award for Favorite Fantasy Graphic Novel. The entire Bone series, originally published in black and white from 1991-2004, was reprinted in color by Scholastic Books' graphic novel imprint, Graphix. The first nine issues of the color series have also been re-released in a series of comic apps produced by Uclick for iPhone and iPod touch.
Read the story from Universal Press Syndicate here.
Two-time NCS strip of the year nominee, Richard Thompson, recently let it slip in conversation that his gorgeous and hysterical book collection of his Washington Post feature "Richard's Poor Almanac" had sold out. Do yourself a favor and do whatever you have to do to get your hands on one.
The foreword (above) is by UPS' own two-time Reuben and Pulitzer prize-winner, Pat Oliphant. And keep that in mind that Pat does not throw around praise easily or readily ... so it's all the more of a feat.
This has nothing to do with comics, but in exchange for my insubordination, I will make this solemn pledge to you, dear reader and/or cartoonist or both. If you can get the phrase “I Thought I Was on the Fo’c’sle of a Tramp Steamer!” into your strip, whether it actually be syndicated or done by your labrador puppy, I will post it here and marvel in your genius.
Apologies, as I couldn't find the right size or resolution on this "Tom the Dancing Bug" Super Fun Pak edition. But I had to acknowledge the venerable Mr. Ruben Bolling, for his brave work on telling the story of the other side of the Hollywood dream.
Not everyone gets to taste the fame and glamor, some cartoon characters toil in obscurity for years and can't break through. Keep trying Mr. Chilly! And stay out of the sun!
Years ago, the territory rule existed to protect newspapers who bought a strip, so that their competitors couldn't run the same thing. (See Lucas' earlier post about the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post's Garfield fight).
Now, with the dearth of two-newspaper markets, it really only comes into play in a few places like Boston, Chicago, New York ...
It was a blessing for cartoonists and syndicates as it forced competitive markets to run different (and more and more cutting-edge) comics rather than what we see today, where an editor sadly and usually prefers not to mess with the status quo of the comics section. And they don't have to, because there's no competition to push them to improve the section.
Don't get me wrong, there are some great and savvy editors when it comes to comics -- just fewer and fewer -- and with less resources to handle the complaints of those vocal souls who feel scorned by their decisions.
With the good news about Mark Tatulli and Richard Thompson being nominated in the "Best Strip" category by the National Cartoonists Society, I thought I'd give you a rundown of whom at UPS has won "the big one" namely "The Reuben" award for best cartoonist of the year. Legend has it that the NCS Board enacted the "you can only win the Reuben once" article into their constitution due to Watterson and Larson's dominance in the late 80s/early 90s.
As you might notice as you peruse the list, some overqualified people don't win for years after their launches. Cases in point, 1994 for Garry Trudeau, 1992 for Cathy Guisewhite, 2006 for Foxtrot? That's just silly.
It's my read, that the NCS hasn't historically given awards to newer features, which makes Mark's and Richard's (and even Stephan's) nomination in the strip category a possible hopeful sign that things might be changing.
Meanwhile, our champions:
Pat Oliphant (1968)*
Pat Oliphant (1972)*
Lynn Johnston (1985)
Bill Watterson (1986)
Bill Watterson (1988)
Jim Davis (1989)*
Gary Larson (1990)
Cathy Guisewhite (1992)
Garry Trudeau (1994)
Gary Larson (1995)
Bill Amend (2006)
* Not on the Universal roster at the time of the award.
Today’s installment of In the Sticks is especially
poignant. We get a revealing glimpse into Cosmo’s tortured poet’s
soul. I can say without hesitation that Cosmo is the World’s Greatest Poetry
Writing Blue Jay.
Sure there’s a vocal minority out there that would like you to believe
that Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Roy Halladay is a better Blue Jay poet, but
that’s just silly … baseball players have a hard enough time writing much less
Interesting golf story to note, that John P. McMeel (UPS co-founder/current AMU chairman and admittedly
not-so-great golfer) was once invited to play at Augusta National (the Masters
course) ... at the conclusion of his round where he scored a robust 130 or so, his host asked
him if he liked the course, JPM replied that indeed, he thought the course was
gorgeous, then his host replied, “well, take a good look around, because you’ll
never see it again.”
With the recent closing of the Rocky Mountain News (founded in 1859) and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (founded in 1863 as the Seattle Gazette), the days of Denver and Seattle as two-newspaper towns have come to a close.
Blogger Eric over at talkaboutcomics.com takes an interesting look at what these kinds of rivalries used to mean for comics pages -- specifically, the bidding war over who got custody of the Garfield comic strip. After the Rocky Mountain News took over Garfield, they celebrated its addition by decorating their building with a giant replica of Garfield and Odie. Only, if you look at the picture, you'll notice Odie seems to have retained his loyalty to the competition.
According to former Post reporter Pat O'Driscoll, the rolled-up newspaper was part of an elaborate prank between the papers. You can read about that here.
Eric also calls attention to a Rocky Mountain News article that mentions how their Sunday edition used to be the "Greatest Comic Section in America," with no less than 40 comics in full color over 20 pages. Obviously not something we'll be seeing again in print anytime soon, at least not unless the whole Taste It Notes thing takes off. But it kind of makes your mouth water, doesn't it?
I watched Milk last week and thought it was interesting that in the end roll, they mention that Harvey was buried with, among other things, Doonesbury cartoons ... apparently Harvey was a tremendous comics fan.
Recently, Rob "Big Top" Harrell took over the art duties on Brian Basset's Adam@Home. There have been a few posters on the gocomics site that claim that Harrell's art (last panel) doesn't match Brian's (first two panels). Funny enough, I think Rob does a better job than Brian replicating Adam's look (compared to the late '80s version).
Let me explain, please. If you check the images above you'll see how much Brian's own Adam evolved over 20 years ... and no one really notices it because the evolution is slow. I'm really proud of both Brian and Rob. Brian for letting go of his baby and trusting it to someone else. Rob for his professionalism and his ability to wear tank tops. Rob actually got two "FU" e-mails from people right after the change. Come on, people.
But art evolution is common, if not a given. Have you ever seen early Peanuts? The line is straight and sure ... it almost looks like a different artist than Schulz. It's true of almost all strips and it can be really interesting to see the difference between a character at debut than when it grows and lives many years later.