"The relationship between Charlie Brown and Charlie Mensuel was nevertheless an odd one. The first cover of Charlie Mensuel may have featured Snoopy snoozing on his doghouse, but by the second issue one could already sense the bawdy direction in which the magazine would be heading. Drawn by Al Capp, it features an orange seal, grinning. Look at it again, and you'll see that it doubles as a smiling phallus. The next two covers featured cartoons by Schulz—Linus with his security blanket, Charlie Brown with a valentine. But by the sixth cover, it was back to bawd: Wolinski, maker of many dirty pictures, drew the face of a smiling man with a tiny, scantily clad lady riding on his nose." (SLAtlantic)
Groening and Barry Take New York (Sarah Larson, The New Yorker)
"In the early eighties, discovering non-mainstream culture (independent cinema, post-punk rock, comic strips that weren’t 'Beetle Bailey') was much like being a detective, and local alternative newsweeklies were valuable providers of clues. They reviewed art and music that was hard to find; most important, they printed Groening’s 'Life in Hell' and Barry’s 'Ernie Pook’s Comeek.' Both were electrifyingly good. You wondered who these people were, where they came from, why they did what they did. I remember the jolt I felt when looking at the copyright page of Groening’s book 'Love Is Hell' and seeing an odd message, like a note left in a knothole: LYNDA BARRY IS FUNK QUEEN OF THE GALAXY. Groening and Barry were friends!"
EC Comics and MAD Magazine cartoonist/editor died on tuesday at age 88. Al Feldstein's covers and artwork for EC Comics great Sci-Fi/Horror books are legendary. Sadly, his singular, clunky, thick, goofy style was phased out after a few years of classic work at EC in favor of the more modern, detailed artists in the stable as he took on more editorial and writing duties. He went on to turn a post Kurtzman MAD Magazine into a phenomenon as its editor.
For three days in May of 2012, seventeen cartoonists gathered at the University of Chicago to discuss the philosophy and practice of comics. [more inside]
Attention budding cartoonists, want to become rich and famous? You have two choices. You can either become a newspaper cartoonist and let a syndicate help you get in the papers, as explained in this 1950ties public information film styled video. Or you can choose to cut out the middlemen and put your cartoons on the web, which if the video is to be believed, is not unlike an eight bit video adventure game. Either way, uncounted riches await you.
One response to all the hubbub about DC Comics' unfolding "New 52" re-launch of the DC Universe comics: a pile of independent cartoonists creating cover art for the book launches/relaunches they'd like to see, at DC Fifty-Two. Some of it is straight-faced, some of it is...less so. BIFF! The Justice League as a western! POW! The Geek vs. Hell's Nixons! BLAM! Classical art references!
Bill Watterson, the reclusive creator of Calvin & Hobbes, gives what is believed to be his first interview since 1989.
Steve Canyon. Starting last month, the comic-strip site Humorous Maximus has been re-running (with his estate's permission) Milton Caniff's classic daily strip.
A history of picture stories from 300 AD to 1929 and commentary. The evolution of speech balloons. Photos & drawings of early cartoonists. [via]
Comic-Con is coming If you live on the west coast and are even tangentially interested in comics, you should head to San Diego this week. The biggest convention in the country starts Thursday and there WILL be costumed weirdos. (and even worse, web cartoonists)