Dylan Williams has posted a wonderful tribute to Bill Blackbeard, the comics historian who passed away last month. Williams includes a lengthy published interview with Blackbeard, and it's a great read.
If I win, I'm going to have him draw about a misunderstood syndicate editor and how people should appreciate him even if he can be too proactive sometimes because he really does have a good heart and maybe if you'd ever be nice to him you'd see he has a lot to offer. And maybe if you just said "hi" instead of going out of your way not to walk by him, he'd stop leaving all that smelly cheese in the office refrigerator.
Politico.com has a great piece on Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Tom Toles, who will be honored Tuesday with the Herblock Prize. Toles talks about being dragged into editorial cartooning by Douglas Turner, his editor at the Buffalo Courier-Express:
“I said ‘No, I don’t want to do that,’” Toles recalled. “‘I don’t have the skills. I don’t have the interest. I don’t have the knowledge.’ That seems like a pretty good case, right? Three disqualifiers.”
But Turner wanted him to try it anyway, so he did. “I kept trying to get out of it. Hated it. Just hated it. And I was pretty bad, in my opinion. But he just kept at it and at it and at it.”
Thanks to Samson for including me in his delightful comic. I think we all agree that Dark Side of the Horse is not a dark horse in the race of comics awesomeness.
If I could be serious for a moment, it is nice to know that I've inspired so many cartoonists. Being a muse is not as easy as it looks, the costumes are itchy and the pay is horrible.
Sometimes I wake up screaming in the night because the weight of the responsibility is just too much to take. And sometimes I'll eat an entire jar of mayonnaise just to help me deal with the stress of it all.
But then I see my name in one of these great comics, and I just have to say to myself, "more Mayo, please."
“He saved the American comic strip — all of them.”
Most of them, until 1998, were stored at the San Francisco Academy of Comic Art (SFACA), in the garage and basement of a sprawling Spanish style stucco house at 2850 Ulloa Street a few blocks from the ocean in the Sunset District, a quiet residential neighborhood of the city...
Blackbeard and his wife Barbara and a haphazard cadre of comic strip enthusiasts who volunteered at the Academy, spent years meticulously clipping comic strips from the old newspapers, arranging them in chronological runs of each strip title, and storing them in filing cabinets (which were often fruit crates turned sideways to make shelving). By the 1990s, Blackbeard estimated that they had clipped and organized 350,000 Sunday strips and 2.5 million dailies. Long before then, Blackbeard began raiding the trove to produce the content for over 200 books, some of which he wrote or edited, including the Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics (1977), The Comic Strip Century (two slipcased volumes, 1995), Richard Outcault’s Yellow Kid (1995) Eclipse’s and Fantagraphics’ Krazy Kat series, and NBM’s 12-volume Terry and the Pirates (1984-87) and its18-volume Wash Tubbs and Captain Easy (1987-92)...(Read the full report from Rants N Raves creator R.C. Harvey here.)
Jim's Journal is back! The 90s college newspaper sensation makes its return to comics today, only on GoComics.com.
Created by Scott Dikkers (who also created The Onion), Jim's Journal debuted in The Daily Cardinal, a student paper at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in 1987. The strip, which Dikkers described as "anti-humor," featured no punch lines or gags - it simply offered the mundane daily observations of its understated titular protagonist, Jim. The oddball, Zen-like strip became a national sensation.
Jim's Journal was eventually carried in more than 200 college newspapers in the 90s and was published in six print collections that hit the bestseller list. Dikkers retired the strip in 1997.
The re-launched Jim's Journal will feature a mix of old and new material, beginning with a prequel that finds Jim ready to graduate high school.
Below is from Chris Sparks on the Team Cul de Sac page:
Well folks, it is going to happen. Thanks to the MJFF and Andrews McMeel Publishing, Team Cul de Sac has a book coming out!!
The deadline for artwork will have to be May 15th for the book. The specifications for the book are going to be 10-7/8" (wide) X 8-1/2" (tall) hardcover book, with a nice heavy art paper interior. It will retail for around $20. I don't have a title yet, but the working title is still Team Cul de Sac. I will have more information as soon as possible.
How can you help?
We are inviting cartoonists like you to donate original art made especially for a book about Parkinson's awareness in Richard's honor. Part of the profits from the sale of the book would benefit the Michael J Fox Foundation (MJFF), and the original art will be auctioned as part of the fundraiser with all of auction money going to MJFF. Additionally, there will be a limited number of deluxe edition books signed and numbered by Richard Thompson.
What is the theme?
The theme is going to be fun. It is your take on the Cul de Sac characters. Please run with them; deconstruct them, parody them, confuse them, cubisize them, psychoanalyze them, draw them in your own strip, whatever tickles your fancy. Enjoy. Open up your heart and just create something out of the ordinary, maybe not with your own characters, but this is an opportunity for you to let your talent to shine in a wide range of ways.
Please write a little text as well, if you would. Not necessarily about Richard or PD, but inspiration, technique, influences, determination, strength, spirituality, etc.
Feel free to contact Caty Neis or myself if you have any questions:
Caty Neis Andrews McMeel Publishing 1130 Walnut St. Kansas City, MO 64106 firstname.lastname@example.org 816.581.7433 800.851.8923 x 7433
Chris Sparks email@example.com 828.230.0158
Who has volunteered so far?
I have already received the enthusiastic commitment of Stephen Pastis (Pearls Before Swine), Sergio Aragones (Mad, Groo), Patrick McDonnell (Mutts), Pat Oliphant (Pulitzer Prize political cartoonist), Dave Kellet (Sheldon, Drive),Gene Weingarten and David Clark (Barney & Clyde),Mason Mastroianni(B.C.), Donna A. Lewis (Reply All), Roger Langridge(Muppet Show Comic Book, Marvel's Thor: The Mighty Avenger, Fred the Clown), Shannon Gallant (G.I.Joe), Michael Cavna (Washington Post), Steven Artley (Artleytoons), Barbara Dale and Steve Conley (Astounding Space Thrills, Bloop) with many others already committed and some big surprises ahead. If I haven't added your name yet, I promise I will!
Where to send the artwork?
To keep the cost down, please send the art to Caty Neis at the address listed above. The art will be scanned for the book at Andrews McMeel Publishing.
When will the book be released? When will the art be auctioned?
The book has a schedule of spring 2012 release. We are working with MJFF for a time for the auction. We want it to make the biggest impact as possible.
What if there's more art donated than can fit in the book?
That means we are doing a great job. All donated art will be auctioned off to raise funds. Your art will make a difference for Team Cul de Sac and Parkinson's disease research.
What else can I do?
Send this letter to any cartoonist that you know. Do a cartoon about it. Blog about it. Mention it on your Facebook wall. Twitter about it. I need all the help I can get to make this a success!
I feel confident this fund raising effort will be a huge success. I am asking you to support this project. If you are interested in learning more, donating a piece of original art for the book, or donating original art for the Team Cul De Sac auction fundraiser, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to hearing from you at your convenience.
Here's the letter we started handing out last fall -
I am Chris Sparks, a professional web designer who is building a branded identity for Richard Thompson and Cul de Sac at www.culdesacart.com. During this project, Richard, who was recently diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, became a personal friend of mine. I became interested in learning more about Parkinson's and read one of the Michael J. Fox memoirs. His story inspired me to think of a way I could help make a difference in this cause. That's why I have formed Team Cul De Sac through TEAMFOX.
The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to finding a cure for Parkinson's disease through an aggressively funded research agenda and to ensuring the development of improved therapies for those living with Parkinson's today. I'm asking for your support in the race to put an end to PD. You can visit my Team Fox fund raising page at TEAM CUL DE SAC. Richard has agreed to be the poster boy for Team Cul de Sac. Here is what he had to say:
This idea of yours for a book is very cool, and of course you have my blessing! If I can help in any way, contacts, front man, falling down for cheap comedy, anything, lemme know. From what I've seen of you, once you've got an idea you'll pursue it till it happens.
How can you help?
My idea is to invite cartoonists like you to donate original art made especially for a book about Parkinson's awareness in Richard's honor. All profits from sales of the book would benefit the Michael J Fox Foundation, and the original art would be auctioned as part of the fundraiser. Additionally, there could be a limited number of "deluxe edition" books signed and numbered by all contributing artists also for auction. I am waiting to hear from publishers at this time.
I've already received the enthusiastic commitment of Stephen Pastis (Pearls Before Swine), and I feel confident this fund raising effort would be a huge success. I am asking you to support this project. If you are interested in learning more, donating a piece of original art for the book, or donating original art for the Team Cul De Sac auction fundraiser, please contact me at email@example.com
I look forward to hearing from you at your convenience.