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Our Cartoon News and Views section features Ed McGeehan's column from the Comic Artists Professional Society (CAPS) newsletter. Ed's column is updated monthly.

Ed's views are his own --they don't necessarily reflect Daryl's views. Also, Ed has no e-mail address, so there is no responding to him. You can always e-mail Daryl Cagle at: daryl@cagle.com

This column was posted on October 3, 1997



INK BLOTS
by ED McGEEAN

Chicago Comic Con
Members who have fond memories of the early days of the San Diego Comic Con, might give some thought to attending a future Chicago Comic Con.

My first visit to this event, founded by Gary Colabuono and recently sold to Wizard Magazine, was like a delightful breath of fresh air when compared to the frenetic activity of San Diego. My guess is that Chicago is about a third of the size with fewer dealers and about 15,000 attendees. I was told that Wizard hopes to increase this size.

Wizard has a large job facing them and I wish them well, but fervently hope they don't grow so large that it loses its current friendliness, as many people feel San Diego has. My own personal gripe is that San Diego features too few cartoonists from comic strips and other fields, compared to the number of comic book creators and you can wander around for days without seeing people who are supposed to be there.

Not to forget the overly amplified music at con parties, that has more muscle than most of today's so called super heroes. Loud and deafening ain't beautiful!

On the other hand Chicago would be wise to emulate many of the seminars and panels that San Diego does so very well. The Golden Age Creators and Jack Kirby Tribute panels, emceed by CAPS co-founder Mark Evanier, come immediately to mind. Both panels are huge crowd pleasers for both fans and professionals alike.

I was surprised that Bud Plant, or other book sellers like him, weren't represented in Chicago. Marvel Entertainment was also conspicuously absent, while DC was well represented.

CAPS members were out in droves, including Sergio Aragones, whose table in Artists Alley was always surrounded by fans, both young and old; R.C. Harvey was hawking copies of his many books, Cartoonist PROfiles and pin-ups; Jay Lynch was in the crowd, but we never met; the effervescent Heidi MacDonald was promoting "Friends of Lulu;" Jerry Ordway was working the DC booth; Randy Reynaldo worked his own booth hyping the Adventures of Rob Hanes, with the help of his girl friend, Sedina, while his proud parents looked on in awed amazement; David Seidman busily marketed Claypool Comics and polished skits for his ever popular improv act and Jerry Warshaw and me got to spend an afternoon reminiscing about old friends and our days at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. Jeez, has it really been that long, Jerry?

Meeting Jerry Ordway, whose art first attracted me to the Adventures of Superman many years ago was a personal high. He also did the graphic novel for the first Batman movie. Jerry currently writes the Power of Shazam books for DC while contributing occasional pages of art and all of the painted covers. Shazam, to me, is one of the best of the current comic book crop. I also enjoy what I've seen of John Byrne's Wonder Woman and the satirical Lobo.

Jerry asked me to say hello to all the CAPS members for him. He enjoys reading the newsletter. He's a great guy and here's hoping he can make it out here for a meeting one day.

 

Eisner Awards
CAPS winners at the recent San Diego Con Eisner Awards included, Sergio Aragones and Mark Evanier who took the award for Best Humor Publication for Sergio Aragones Destroys DC and Sergio Aragones Massacres Marvel, published respectively by DC and Marvel.

Will Eisner won for Best Comics-Related Book, Graphic Storytelling, published by Poorhouse Press.

CAPSer Charles M. Schulz was inducted into the Hall of Fame, along with Gil Kane and the late Curt Swan.

A full list of Eisner Award winners was published in Comics Buyer's Guide #1239.


Mike Ramirez's Move to Los Angeles
Thanks to CAPSer Steve Greenberg, editorial cartoonist for the Seattle Post Intelligencer and Editor & Publisher magazine, I learned that the biggest news generated by the cartooning community came from the recent Association of American Editorial Cartoonists meeting at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. And I don't mean the Southern Baptists' boycott of all things Disney.

I'm referring to the Los Angeles Times hiring of conservative Mike Ramirez of the Memphis Commer-cial Appeal as the successor to the liberal Paul Conrad as their staff editorial cartoonist.

The Times is 4th largest daily circulation newspaper in the U.S. (2nd on Sunday) and has been without a staff editorial cartoonist since Conrad accepted a buyout offer in 1993. The Times has been running Conrad's L.A. Times syndicated cartoons and other syndicated editorial cartoonists, including Ramirez, on the op-ed page since.

Ramirez is expected to run in the same spot, which will create a clear delineation his and the paper's policies. Oddly enough, Ramirez is one of the few editorial cartoonists who never approached the Times for the job.

Ramirez is the winner of the 1994 Pulitzer Prize and the 1995 H.L. Mencken Award. The 36-year-old cartoonists was born in Tokyo, Japan and is a graduate of U.C. Irvine. When he comes to L.A. in September he will be starting a one-year term as the AAEC president.

I first met Mike in 1986 at my first AAEC Convention on Coronado island near San Diego. At that time he was living with his parents in Mission Viejo, doing cartoons for the Newport Beach Ensign and the San Clemente Daily Sun and Post and being syndicated by Copley News Service. His big break came in 1990 when he replaced Scott Stantis in Memphis.

Ramirez is one of this country's most talented editorial cartoonists. His loyalty is to be admired, having turned down other jobs both before and after winning the Pulitzer. The Times proved to be the exception, because it was a chance to return to his home state and be closer to his family.

Ramirez told Editor & Publisher's David Astor-"This business is really about impact. The larger the audience the better." He said he will do three cartoons a week for the Times and an additional one or two cartoons a week, to make four or five available to his Copley clients.

Commercial Appeal president and editor Angus McEachran said that Ramirez comes to editorial board meetings better versed in the news than anyone he knows and they will miss him. They plan to continue running his Copley cartoons while hiring a new staff editorial cartoonist-which is good news for cartoonists throughout the country scrambling for a dwindling pool of jobs. Ramirez said he will miss the Memphis paper and McEachran, who he called a "great teacher" and "cartoonist's dream."

When asked if he would be joining the L.A. Times Syndicate, he told Astor that his Copley contract still had two years to run. "I don't know what will happen after that," adding that he would be "reluctant to leave Copley" because of all it has done for him.

Here's hoping that Michael will be able to make a future CAPS meeting after he gets settled in.

Bill Schorr's Move to New York
Former L.A. Herald-Examiner editorial cartoonist, Bill Schorr has left the Kansas City Star, where he had returned in 1987, for a staff job at the N.Y. Daily News despite being on probation for an assault incident during his martial breakup.

David Astor reported the incident occurred in September 1996, when Schorr, separated from his wife, went to her residence. According to police reports he grabbed a handgun stored in a closet and began waving it. When the police answered a call from his wife, Arlene, they said he pointed the gun at them. The gun turned out to be unloaded.

Schorr was arrested, later pleading guilty to "misdemeanor assault of an officer," according to an E&P report on July 26, 1997. The cartoonist was given two years probation on Jan. 2, 1997. His wife had filed for an earlier protection order in September 1996, that was approved for 180 days. A 180 day extension, that runs until at least Sept. 4, 1997 was given. A divorce is now pending.

Editor & Publisher noted that the Star, Schorr, his attorney and the Daily News refused to comment on the case, or if Schorr had been let go by the Star or had quit.

Daily News editorial page editor Michael Goodwin did say that Schorr had fully disclosed the situation before he was hired, but they feel that he is a great "cartoonist" and his work stood out after a national search.

Schorr, 46, would only say that his Star departure was "mutual" between him and the paper and he had moved to New York City in April to pursue freelance illustration and other work, before the Daily News job was offered. He will do five or six cartoons a week for the Daily News. United Feature Syndicate will continue to distribute his editorial cartoons, his "The Grizzwells" comic strip is distributed by their NEA sister syndicate.

Lee Judge remains at the Star as editorial cartoonist. While the Daily News, hiding behind the "we refuse to comment on personnel matters" statement, refused to comment on Mickey Hackman, who had done some editorial cartoons and op-ed illustrations prior to Schorr's hiring.

AAEC Convention
It would seem that this years AAEC convention was lightly attended with less than the usual number of seminars (perhaps everyone was taking advantage of the free passes to Disney World and Epcot? The hot muggy June weather and No-see-'em bugs probably didn't add to their enjoyment either.)

Greenberg said that last year the focus was on job loss. This year the focus was on computers and the Web-but still job-loss oriented, such as how to have cartoons on the Web if you can't land a newspaper job and trying to make a living from the Web if you lose your job.

"Some guys are very adept. Florida cartoonist Clay Bennett has a great Web site, with color cartoons, clever animation, sound effects, etc. (being out of work gave him the time to learn) and he was the hit of the gathering. Mike Keefe has a good site also."

Steve Benson gave a talk about a controversial cartoon he drew (Greenberg didn't say if it was the one about the Oklahoma City bombing, the Southern Baptist's boycott of Disney or some other touchy subject. Next to Garry Trudeau, Benson seems to take more fire than any other cartoonist I can think of-usually just as unfairly).

There was a long-winded boring keynote speech by Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, in town for reasons not explained (maybe he though it was an election year and accidentally woke up, while putting everyone else to sleep?)

Steve also said that he got over to visit the International Museum of Cartoon Art. "It's a beautiful facility at the south end of a ritzy outdoor shopping plaza that looks like it belongs in Beverly Hills. Only half of the two story museum is open, but it's clean, attractive and inviting. Mort Walker's influence is everywhere. There were some errors on the labels of some drawings (Sorry Mort, Steve didn't say which ones).

Steve's comic strip, "Alter's Ego" was sent to six major syndicates in June. One rejection from Washington Post Writers Group, via an impersonal and badly photo copied form letter, as of mid-August (Jeez, ya would think they could at least afford a decent print job.)

Steve notes that CAPS members, who have access to the Web should check out the NCS "Wisenheimer Bulletin Board" Website that is open to any professional. "I look at it daily and highly recommend it."

According to the NCS Cartoonist newsletter you don't have to be a NCS member to sign on. CAPS computer maven, Daryl Cagle, says there are more than 40 cartoonists on the NCS server.

Daryl can also be found at his own Web site, which I'm told is great, at (http://www.cagle.com)

 

More Stuff
CAPSer Zeke and Anita Zekley returned from visiting Jiggs and Maggie and his horses/money (I forget which) at Del Mar, where the surf meets the turf. Zeke told me that the San Diego Union-Tribune had dropped fellow member Mell Lazarus' "Momma" strip and had two pages of the worst comics ever created.

I hope Jim Whiting's Southern California Cartoonists Society group is writing and phoning the U-T to express their dissatisfaction.

Meanwhile on the home front, it has been about 5 months since the L.A. Times dropped CAPSer Mort Walker's "Beetle Bailey" for "Rhymes With Orange," one of the dumbest strips ever created.

King Features told me that the Times dropped Beetle as of Sept. 6, 1997. The good news is that we will be able to see this great strip in the L.A. Daily News every Sunday beginning Sept. 7, the daily strips will start later.

Other Southern California papers such as the Long Beach Press Telegram and the Santa Ana paper (previously frozen out because of the Times exclusivity) have also bought Beetle and will be starting it on various dates. Watch you favorite daily and Sunday comics pages for Beetle and his Camp Swampy buddies after Sept. 6.

CAPSer Roger Armstrong announced a limited 100 edition release of Morro Bay Farm as a Giclee print. The high quality print duplicates the look and feel of the original watercolor and has a UV protective coating. $195. plus tax. The B&W reproduction shown here doesn't do justice to Roger's fine artwork.

Order direct from Roger at: 5253 Duenas, Laguna Hills, Ca. 92653, or rogersart@aol.com Be the first kid in your nabe to own a piece of Roger, the man in the stovepipe hat, who sure knows how to draw "Napoleon" and ruin a fifteen year running gag.

 

CAPS Banquet/Dan Spiegel
About 70 CAPS members, wives and guests turned out on Aug. 2nd to honor member Dan Spiegle at our annual banquet in the newly remodeled Friars Club in Beverly Hills.

Dan recently finished almost a two year run on late CAPSer Milton Caniff's "Terry and the Pirates," for Tribune Media Services, his wife, Marie, daughter Carrie (who does his lettering) and her husband glowed in the crowds well wishes.

Dan had really started to turn Terry around and bring it back to the Caniff feel that his predecessors, Michael Uslan and the Hildebrant Bros. had managed to flush down the toilet. Dan had just finished writing his own new T&P adventure which would have helped more, when TMS pulled the plug on his and Jim Clark's efforts due to its running in too few papers. Had Dan been on the strip from the start, this story might have ended differently. But TMS deserves an "E" for effort in my book anyway.

Dan supplied CAPS with a load of his original art, some of which was seen in the last newsletter and a nifty banquet program that was produced by Michael Vosburg. Dan graciously contributed this art to CAPS to be used for future fund raising. I will be holding a few pieces for our auction next year, but if you saw any pieces you liked, drop me a line with your offer and I'll take it up with the board.

CAPS David Folkman did his usual tasteful job of preparing banquet displays. He blew up a Comics Buyer's Guide page from Feb. 24, 1984, with a story and photos of CAPS, we can use at future events.

Thanks also to CAPSer Gary Owens, our own George Jessel and a dear friend, who once again sparkled as our emcee. Hard to believe it's 30 years since Garish debuted on George Schlatter's "Laugh-In."

Suffering the after effects of a two-week-old cold and remembering little about some other awards that the CAPS board passed out, I was honored to receive one of them (which came as a complete surprise). It is probably the nearest I'll ever come to winning anything, I recall thanking Scott Shaw! for giving me his old computer, making this column far easier to turn out and leaving me wishing that Disney would contribute one of their more modern ones (HA!), so I could learn what this Internet thing is all about. And the government thinks that tobacco is addictive.

Many other people that have made this job easier, both at the different syndicates, inside and outside of CAPS and the many new friends my scribbling has given me. You have all given me a purpose in life that I thought had been lost. And this is more deeply appreciated than mere words can ever say. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

As to the Friars Club. It is by far the best venue that CAPS has ever had in both my opinion and the many people who attended. True, it was slightly higher priced than where we have had our last several banquets and I think that is worth the better time we had.

I certainly hope that we will return to the Friars Club many times in the years to come (that is up to the approval of the board and the $$$ in the treasury). The service and the food were impeccable and David Folkman is to be thanked for finding this oases for us.

The member who traveled the furthest to be there was Charles Filius of Maryland and the NCS, editor of the Crosshatch newsletter for the local D.C. NCS Chapter.

If you have any ideas for the 1998 CAPS Banquet, it is not to early to send me or the board a note. Some notable members we have yet to honor include Roger Armstrong, Carl Barks, Jack Bender, Elliott Caplin, Kelly Freas, Lynn Johnston, Mell Lazarus, Don Martin, Jerry Ordway, Henry Scarpelli, Charles Schulz, Mort Walker and Zeke Zekley. We would have to know if out of towners were coming this way some July or August (we can't pay airfares, but may be able to spring for a night or two in a hotel-visit beautiful downtown Burbank). Other local members deserve to be honored too and they should not be forgotten. This work needs to be done far in advance of the next banquet, so don't drag your feet, get your suggestion in now.

 

Sergio Aragones
If you haven't yet seen a copy of CAPSer Sergio Aragones new Louder Than Words comic book, run don't walk to your nearest comic book shoppe. The lucky publisher this time is Mike Richardson of Dark Horse Comics.

This is Sergio at his most laughable and pantomime best, It is part of a 6 part limited series. Look for the cover with Sergio doing his imitation of the Silver Surfer on his trusty fountain pen. Cover color is by CAPSer Tom Luth. One can only wonder why some top syndicate hasn't signed this genius of the pen to a long-term contract?

 

Hogan's Alley
Hogan's Alley subscribers will be happy to know that issue #4 should have arrived by the time you read this. David Folkman tells me that they hope to get at least two more issues published in the near future and to get back to its intended quarterly schedule in the not too distant future. Despite an erratic publishing schedule, this fine magazine still deserves your support.

 

Jobs for Animators
CAPSer Spike Dolomite notes that the International Cartoons & Animation Center, is looking for supervising animators, especially those who can work in the Disney style. A number of other jobs are also open, including freelance, interns, entry level and part time.

For further and more detailed information contact: Dr. Wissam W. Ahmed or Mike Soo at 1823 E. 17th St. Suite 203, Santa Ana, Ca. 92705, phone: 714-953-5778. FAX: 714-560-0744 E-mail ICACINC@AOL.COM

 

New Cartoons
Tribune Media Services has launched its Web-based delivery service-FeatureServ. This service allows TMS customers to download comics and features direct from the Internet, saving the expense of mail delivery and hard copy processing. The site is accessible from the front page of TMS' Web site (www.tms.tribune.com), this might make a neat way to see some of your favorite comics that no longer appear in your local newspaper.

NEW COMICS: TMS has introduced two new comics by editorial cartoonist Bruce Hammond of the Boston Globe. Hammond may be better remembered for two earlier well-drawn and enjoyable comic strips, "Duffy" and "Orbit," that are no longer in syndication.

Both of Hammonds new comics are panels. The first, "Homespin," takes a humorous look at one of the basics of life-shelter. The 6-time-a-week panel can be used on the comics pages or in other sections of the newspapers.

"The Lighter Side of Business," the second comic is designed for the Financial section, but can also run on the op-ed pages. This comic looks more like an editorial cartoon than a comic panel.

Creators Syndicate has introduced a new comic strip, "Liberty Meadows" by Korean born cartoonist Frank Cho. Unfortunately, Cho was born about 40-years too late and missed the days when comics as well-drawn and written as this would be given a full or half page to display the talents of its creator. But Cho doesn't let this daunt him, he uses the space he has to produce some of the greatest art and one of the funniest comic strips I've ever seen.

R.C. Harvey did a lengthy interview on Cho in the March 1997 Cartoonist PROfiles and introduced us at the Chicago Comics Con. Frank turned out to be as nice a guy as his strip is great. He also had Jerry Ordway telling everyone at DC about this great new artist.

Rick Newcombe told me that the L.A. Times had passed on "Liberty Meadows" (so much for comic strip committees), but that the Daily News hadn't decided yet. I hope their decision proves positive, or we readers will be losing out on a fantastic new strip. "Liberty Meadows" is reminiscent of Walt Kelly and other great cartoonists at their best.

The strip is set in a wildlife preserve with humans and animals interacting with each other in such a natural way it never dawns on you that this would be impossible. Cho's comic timing is perfect and many of his Sunday strips pay homage to the comics of yesteryear.

Cho began drawing this strip for his college newspaper, The University of Maryland Diamond-back, developing a cult-like status with students and teachers alike, culminating with The 1994 Charles M. Schulz Award as Best College Cartoonist of the Year out of 157 entrants, from the Scripps Howard Foundation.

Check your local book store or comics shop for a copy of Frank's book University 2 The Angry Years, which reprints these college strips and you'll see what I'm raving about. If you are unable to find a copy of this book you can order direct from 12 Angry Monkeys, 7844 Saint Thomas Dr., Baltimore, Md. 21236. Cost is $15, including postage.

If "Liberty Meadows" isn't in your local newspaper by the time you read this, do yourself a favor and call the editor. You'll be glad you did.

"Liberty Meadows" will be at the Sept. 9 meeting for your examination.

 

E&P Directory
Editor & Publisher's 72nd Annual Syndicate Directory was published Aug. 2. If you are unable to find a copy contact E&P at 11 W. 19th St., N.Y., N.Y. 10011, Phone: 212-675-4380 for price and information on getting a copy. This issue gives the names, addresses and phones of all major and minor syndicates. It is a must if you are interested in getting your comics syndicated and carries a wealth of information.

Although I'm darned if I can figure why a beautiful ad for TMS don't list or show their many features and leaves out the names of people to contact and Creators omits samples of some of their comics, like "Penmen," "Sherman's Lagoon" and "Wee Pals."

 

Tom Snyder Show
It would seem that Tom Snyder's Late Show on Channel 2 at 12:35 a.m. has become the champion of cartoonists. During the week of August 18 Tom did interviews with both Cathy Guisewite, creator of "Cathy" for Universal Press Syndicate and editorial cartoonist Mike Luckovich of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Creators Syndicate.

Wait until Snyder learns that the National Cartoonists Society Reuben Awards will be out here next April and he'll have his pick of over 200 great cartoonists to choose from. Get your VCRs ready. That could be a hell of a week for cartoonists and get us some much needed exposure, as the late Bill Hoest tried to do years ago.

Tom is one of the sharpest interviewers on the tube, well read and versed on his subject. His hour on camera is an immense enjoyment and I find him far more entertaining than either Leno or Letterman.

 

NCS 1998 Convention
National Cartoonist Society's The Cartoonist newsletter arrived in the Aug. 22 post announcing that the 1998-52nd Annual Reuben Awards weekend will be held at the Ritz Carlton-Huntington in Pasadena, Calif. April 23-25.

Details will be announced later, but this will give NCS and CAPS members time to get their tuxedos and party dresses ready for this gala event, the "Oscars" of the funny papers world. You might also start saving up your shekels, this event usually runs anywhere from $150 to $250 per person, which includes the Reuben dinner, a couple of cocktail parties and a breakfast or two. Transportation and hotel are extra, unless you live in the area.

If 1998 weather is like this years, we should be in the high 70s to low 80s and the eastern delegation can leave their long johns and sweaters at home.

Then again, there is always Murphy's Law to screw things up.

CAPS members wishing to join NCS can write, call or see me at the Sept. 9th meeting for an application.


Jack Kirby
The Jack Kirby Collector #16 features 52 more pages of remembrances about the man called "King," our late fellow CAPSer.

This issue has stories about Jack's childhood, Simon and Kirby's crime comics, Kid Gangs, CAPSer Will Eisner on Jack, an interview with Jack and his Rock and Roll connections, an unpublished story and some strips, western and war comics and much more, including lots of Kirby's pencil art.

The JKC remains one of the finest comic art anthologies being published. For subscription information write: TwoMorrows Ad-vertising, 1812 Park Dr., Raleigh, N.C. 27605. This is a new address.

 


Universal Press Syndicate
John P. McMeel, chairman and president of Andrews McMeel Universal (New name for Universal Press Syndicate and their book publishing arm) has received the Sorin Award from Notre Dame, given annually to a graduate in honor of distinguished service to the university.

McMeel, a 1957 alumni and Kathleen Andrews, an alumna and ND trustee and widow of McMeel's former partner Jim, established the Andrews Scholars Program to assist students serving as volunteers in summer service projects.

McMeel was also named chairman of the American Committee of the International Press Institute. He has been with IPI since 1981 and on the board for five years.

Founded in 1950, IPI is a global network in 85 nations of newspaper editors, media executives and journalists from radio, TV and news protecting journalists and promoting freedom of the press.

 

Vic Herman
The August SCCS Slice of Wry newsletter mentioned that old-time gag cartoonist Vic Herman has been ailing. Vic is probably best remembered for creating "Winnie the WAC" in WW II and from the Wednesday cartoon rounds in NYC. I've heard that Vic became an excellent painter during his retirement, but don't recall seeing his work.

 

Cartoon Art Auction Prices
The Aug. 23 Howard Lowery Comic Art Auction broke into gales of laughter and a buzz of amazement when a simple Gary Larson drawing of a cow's heard with an e=mc? balloon started at $325 and the hammer dropped at $5,000.

After a gargle break, Lowery returned to say that Larson had just called to say he was sending in a shipment of new cow headed cartoons, breaking the audience up.

Some other pieces sold as follows-Caniff daily "Terry"'s from 2/29/44-$230, 2/7/35-$700, 12/30/43-$550, 10/27/34-$1,800; Schulz daily "Peanuts" from 3/26/80-$1,600, 5/26/75-$1,500, Sunday 8/28/77-$2,600, Snoopy ice skating in blue ink on gray cardboard $550, Snoopy sketch on typed letter $600; Two Groo inked sketches by Sergio Aragones $550; various pieces of Mc-Manus went for varying prices from $180 to $1,900; Jack Davis' first commercial art away from comics, a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World color poster sold for $3,500 (al-most as much as Jack told a S.D. Con crowd he was paid $5,000); A Gray "Orphan Annie" daily from 1925 autographed to my old pal Vaughn Shoemaker sold for $3,500; A Chester Gould "Dick Tracy" Sunday 2/6/38 sold for $2,200; three beautiful Hal Foster "Prince Valiant" panels were outright steals at $225 to $600; a James Montgomery Flagg illo went for $1,200, while a Winsor McCay illo from 1919 sold for $3,400; a Carl Barks 4 panel "Silent Night" page brought $11,000 and an identical "Trick or Treat" gag sold for $7,250, a pencil cover sketch for Uncle Scrooge #54 went for $2,800, other Disney artists such as Floyd Gottfredson did equally as well with his "Mickey Mouse" strips going from $1,900 to $6,200.

For many years I wanted a "Spirit" splash page and one from 12/8/40 was here. The art looked more like Lou Fine than Will Eisner, but ... this dream went back on hold when it sold for $4,600 ... Sigh! On the other hand, I was finally able to get a Raeburn Van Buren "Abie an' Slats" daily 8/16/63 for $70. This is only about the 5th piece of art I ever bought, having been born early enough to have started collecting before art sold like so much fruit in the market.

 

Rex Morgan's Bad Advice
JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR SHOULDN'T HAVE ORDERED! When Rex Morgan. M.D. prescribed aspirin for an infant's cold July 26, the only follow-up calls that came were those of outraged doctors and nurses from coast to coast for possibly exposing the baby to the rare and sometimes fatal Reyes Syndrome.

Reyes is a disease that mostly attacks young people who have suffered viral illnesses like influenza and chickenpox.

Created by the late Dr. Nicholas Dallis in the 1940s, Morgan is currently written by Woody Wilson, who prescribed himself a very red face and apologized for his error.

 

Obituaries
Charles G. Werner, 88, former chief editorial cartoonist for Marshall Field Jr,'s Chicago Sun in the 1940s and the Indianapolis Star and a Pulitzer Prize winner at age 29, in 1939 while with the Daily Oklahoman, when he became the youngest person to win a Pulitzer for editorial cartooning.

Werner's prize cartoon was inspired by the Munich Agreement, signed by British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and Germany's Adolph Hitler. His drawing showed a grave labeled "Czechoslovakia" with the Nobel Peace Prize atop it.

In those days the Sun rented space from John S. Knight's Daily News and used his presses to publish their paper. I had been a faithful Sun reader since the paper began on Dec. 1, 1941, first because of its newness and comics, then because of the war dispatches from United Press' renowned frontline correspondent Ernie Pyle. During that time I fell in love with the clay sculpted editorial cartoons of Jack Lambert and the dynamic cartoons of Werner.

I first met Charley about 1943 when, as a student at Austin High School, I visited his office to show him my work and ask for advice and see if he would appear at the school and talk about his work. He agreed and at the end our or visit he gave me an original cartoon.

Other visits followed and became more frequent after I went to work for the Daily News in 1946. He became a good friend and willing counselor, teaching me an appreciation for the history of editorial cartooning. He was generous with his gifts of original cartoons and books over the years. It came as shock when Charley told me that the Sun had let him go because they didn't feel people understood his work. Actually, it meant that the editorial board lacked the understanding and appreciation of a great cartoonist.

We lost touch after Charley left Chicago. Later, I learned that he was with the Indianapolis Star, but we never met again and I missed both him and his work. Charley remained with the Star until he retired about two years ago.

Of all the Werner original cartoons in my collection, one of my favorites is one that got water damaged from a leaky roof over where it hung in my home.

Crowquill paper was the choice of most political cartoonists in those days, who shaded their artwork with a grease pencil. Due to a paper strike, Werner's supply of Crowquill paper ran out and he was unable to get more. The ever innovative Charley solved the problem by switching to a toothy type of watercolor paper until the strike ended and achieved some unique eye-pleasing results.

This particular cartoon shows the chiseled features of United Mine Workers president John L. Lewis caricatured as a piece of coal with a broken pick ax stuck in his head. Lewis had been given President Harry S. Truman fits by pulling wildcat strikes. Declaring an emergency, Truman threatened to send soldiers in and force the miners back to work. I don't recall how the strike was resolved, but do think it helped in the fall of Lewis and his powerful union.

Oh, yeah. Werner's caption for this cartoon was a simple and moving..."Who Said Soft Coal?"

We who knew you will miss you Charley.

 

Raymond Jackson, a political cartoonist known as "Jak" for more than 30 years of entertaining and outraging Londoners, died July 27 after surgery following a heart attack. He was 70.

Jackson joined the Evening Standard in 1952, where he remained for 45 years, becoming the newspaper's principal cartoonist. London born and bred with a wry sense of humor, he was an expert at puncturing the pomposity of politicians and revealing the absurdities beneath the affairs of state.

When Barings Bank went bankrupt in 1995, Jackson depicted the queen trying in vain to get money from a Baring's cash machine.

In 1982, his cartoon about Northern Ireland so enraged the Greater London Council, the capital's then governing authority, that it withdrew its advertising from the newspaper.

The cartoon, a mock movie ad showing ghoulish figures with guns and explosives attacking the Irish Republican Army and other groups from both sides of the province's sectarian divide. But the title--"The Ultimate in Psychopathic Horror: The Irish"--enraged the council, which said it was a slur on London's Irish community.

(Thanks to Andy Feighery of Spec Productions for this report from the Denver Post.)

 

Ruth Atkinson Ford died of cancer June 1st. According to Trina Robbins, Ford was one of the earliest female cartoonists to work in comic books.

Ford began working for Fiction House in 1943, at a time when they had more women drawing for them than other comic book publisher. She became the company's art director and roomed with Lily Renee, their star woman artist.

Art directing left her too little time for actual drawing and she left Fiction House to freelance. Her earliest work was for Timely's (now Marvel)most famous and longest lasting girl comics characters. She drew the first issue of Millie the Model in 1945 and most of the first two years of Patsy Walker.

By the late '40s and through the early '50s, Ford was drawing for the Lev Gleason romance comics. Gone were the perky teen-age comics of earlier day, enjoyed by both girls and boys, for the heavier romance themes that only girls seemed to be able to stomach.

 

REMEMBERING MANNY by Ken Greenwald
I first met Manny Stallman at a CAPS meeting in the early '80s. At mid-break I joined a group of artists who introduced us. He was quiet, unassuming and always attentive to what people said. He was a terrific who would take in everything and at the right moment, ask a pertinent question that would move the conversation forward. Good listeners are hard to find. I'm glad I found Manny.

I later learned that Manny was teaching cartooning out of his home in Pasadena and joined his class. There were about six students, each doing their own comic book or strip. As we came up with ideas on how we wanted our artwork to "look," Manny would pull out a fountain pen, grab a pad of paper and sketch what he thought was an appropriate way to move the story and drawing forward. He would leave the execution of each drawing up to the originator.

With a suggestion here and there, it was amazing to see each strip or page come alive. "You might want to add some shading here," Manny would say, "then the foreground figure would stand out more." As simple as that and the panel would come alive.

I was with Manny a year, until he took a vacation from teaching. By that time, we were good friends, I got to know his wife Jane, two dogs and an occasional stray cat that would pass through the house looking for something or other.

In the years that followed, Manny and Jane would invite me for Thanksgiving or a Christmas party. Always fun, especially with the quiet Manny dropping a few jokes or making comments on art, film, politics or the world.

We once drove to the San Diego Con together. Manny was really excited because Will Eisner was going to be there and having worked for Will many years ago, he wanted to see his old friend after all these years. My camera recorded their meeting, chatting and catching up on what each other had been doing, including a wonderful picture of them, arm in arm, walking away from my camera.

Manny cared about people, he was working on a comic book about racial prejudice that he hoped would be distributed in schools across the country. It was a tough sell and no one bought the idea. That saddened Manny.

Manny and Jane moved to Sunnyvale in Northern California when Jane's company transferred her there. Then, without warning, over a years time, Manny suffered two mild strokes. It devastated him. He had to learn to draw again. And draw he did, as shown by his delightful Christmas cards and letters.

Then, one evening I received a phone call from Manny's sister saying that he had passed away. I gasped out loud, because it was too soon for Manny to go.

We had many talks by phone and Manny was always positive about his life and work. He loved life and lived it to the fullest.

Now he is gone at too early an age. It'll take time to overcome the loss of Manny, but I will never forget my friend, or what he has done for all of us, as artists and human beings.

(Ken Greenwald, a former stand-up comedian, works for Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters in Hollywood, writes screenplays, packages old radio shows and is doing his own comic book. Hobbies include multiple law suits against Simon and Shuster Publishing for non-payment of royalties (no joke).

Book Reviews
FANDOM'S FINEST COMICS: A Treasury of the Best Original Strips from the Classic Comics Fanzines 1958-1975; Edited and Annotated by Bill Schelly, Hamster Press, P.O. Box 27471, Seattle, WA., 8.5 X 11 inch squarebound paperback; 256 pages; $17.95 plus $3 shipping ($20.95); Canada $24.95 plus $5 S&H ($29.95); Overseas $17.95 plus $5 S&H ($22.95 U.S. funds).

Once again Bill Schelly takes his readers back to those wonderful days of yesteryear, when as children, we sat in awe as we read the latest adventures of our favorite comic book characters.

Many of us with deeper aspirations wanted to draw or write comic books and about 1953 creators formed into small groups around the country, with some going so far as publishing their own books, called fanzines.

Schelly covered this history very well several years ago in his previous book, "The Golden Age of Comics Fandom." Here he takes much the same trip, but in a more graphic and equally entertaining way. This time he wisely lets the art and writing of these fans speak for itself.

Surprisingly, much of it is quite good and I found it most interesting to look at the early efforts of those who wet on to become professionals. CAPS members represented in this book include Jerry Ordway, Bill Spicer and Marv Wolfman.

Other recognizable names whose work appears in these pages are: Bill Black, John Byrne, Dave Cockrum. Robert Crumb, Grass Green, Wendy Pini, Buddy Saunders, Bill Schelly, Jim Shooter, Jim Starlin, Roy Thomas, Mark Wheatley and Biljo White. There are at least 16 other people in this book whose names rang no bells of recognition, they may still be professionals or familiar to you, it only means that I never heard of them.

If you enjoy nostalgia as much as me, it's an odds on bet that you'll love this book.

 

FIDDLETOWN & COPPEROPOLIS by Carl Fallberg, Heimburger House Publishing Co., 7236 W. Madison St., Forest Park, IL. 60130, Phone: 708-366-1973, 9 5/8 X 6 1/4 inch squarebound paperback; 144 pages; $14.95 plus $3.75 postage.

Phil Yeh alerted me to this book after seeing it at the American Booksellers Association show in Chicago last June, feeling that his fellow CAPS members might it enjoy it as much as he did and after reading it I agree.

Carl Fallberg, a former assistant director and storyman on Walt Disney feature-length animated movies. Like fellow Disney animator, Ward Kimball (who supplied the forward to this book) and Walt himself, Fallberg had a passionate love for railroads, especially the narrow gauge ones used in the 1800s to service those largely inaccessible mountain mining camps. That love clearly shows in this book of extremely well-drawn and humorous cartoons celebrating the fictional Fiddletown & Copperopolis RR.

The cartoons in this book originally appeared sometime after WW II in the Pages of Railroad magazine. One needn't be a railroad buff to enjoy this book. In fact, the humor often calls to mind Los Angeles' own inept attempts over the last six or so years to start a metrorail, subway or whatever, which probably won't happen until after many of us are planted--if ever.

The only complaint I had with this book is that I wished the cartoons were printed larger and that the publisher has used a better stock, like enamel, which would have made Fallberg's beautiful artwork look far better.

If you appreciate good art, get this book. It's the best railroad humor since the days of Fontaine Fox's classic "Toonerville Trolley."
©Ed McGeehan. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.


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Ed's June Column
covers these topics:

The Reuben Awards
NCS Opinions
Breen Pulitzer
AAEC Upcoming Convention
New Strips
Animators vs Nickelodeon

Ed's April Column
covers these topics:
Upcoming Reuben Awards
Mallard Fillmore vs Doonesbury
Oliphant Controversy
End of Thatch
Sherffius to St Louis
Mickey Mouse Copyright

Ed's February:
For Better or For Worse Moves to United Media
Universal Press Syndicate Buys Chronicle Features
Meatloaf Night With Brewster
High Priced Larson? New Direction for New Yorker, Le Blanc
Court Decision on Electronic Rights for Artists
Asterix, United and the Reuben, Comic Creer Exhibit
SF Museum Not Closing, Florida Museum Cruising, Ashes in the Ink
Kitchen Sink Bankruptcy, George of the Jungle
Obituaries: Roland Topor, Robert LaPalme, Roy Lichtenstein

Ed's March 1998 Column
covers these topics:

The Demise of WittyWorld Magazine
Creators Syndicates Muddle America and Trendz
Cartoonists PROfiles late and on-line
Pen & Pencil Restaurant Closes
Marvin Libel Suit
AAEC Convention
Obituaries

Ed's October 1997 Column covers these topics:
The Chicago Comic Con,The Eisner Awards,Mike Ramirez Moves To Los Angeles Times,Bill Schorr Moves to New,York Daily News,AAEC Convention,CAPS Banquet
New Comics: Homespin, The Lighter Side of Business,,Liberty Meadows,Obituaries: Charles Werner, Raymond Johnson, Ruth Atkinson Ford, Manny Stallman remembered,Book Review: Fandom's Finest Comics


Ed's August 1997 Column covers these topics:
Snoopy's Ice Rink
CAPS member updates
Herman Redux and more
Book Reviews: Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year, Knee Deep in Mississippi,
Obituaries: Lou Stathis, Manny Stallman