Monday, December 14, 2009

Mike Marland - Cartoonist Survey #20

Mike Marland has been drawing editorial cartoons for the Concord Monitor for over 20 years. He draws the syndicated strip, R.F.D. that is distributed to over 1000 newspapers. If that isn't enough he is also a gag writer for the long-lived Barney Google & Snuffy Smith strip. You can see a lot of his work at his site; Then stop by his store and buy something;

What is your favorite pen to use?
Sharpie Extra-Fine point.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Always. Ticonderoga HB soft.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Combination of markers and colored pencils.

What type of paper do you use?
Bienfang plate bristol.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Love to draw, not fond of lettering.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I’m poor - have to go where I can save the most: Dick Blick online!

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
I mostly listen to local talk radio until they switch to the national whackjobs, then I switch over to NPR. Also listen to Hawaiian music.
( is great!)

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Read everything I could get my hands on. Newspaper comics, comic books, Mad.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
My all-time top three ranked in order from kid to now: Moon Mullins, Peanuts, Zippy.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Only had one book: Dr.Seuss’ “Sox on Fox” . Don’t have it anymore.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
High school art classes.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Still trying to figure that out! Personally, my jury is still out on that one.

Did either of your parents draw?

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My foster mother was, my wife is.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
No time. Too busy doing the deadline writing & drawing.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
No. I’d be a terrible teacher.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Probably equal parts. You can be really passionate about something and still suck at it.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Topps Red Sox team sets baseball cards. And editorial cartoon syndication rejection letters.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Don’t have an answer for that.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Drawing: righty, politics: lefty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Volcanologist. In Hawaii.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Bass & acoustic guitar. Badly.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Do it only if you totally love it and enjoy the actual work of it. If you’re looking to make big money, best find something else to do.

Who is your favorite artist?
Too numerous to name. I like looking at everything, from school kid art to the masters.

Thank you very much Mike.

For the next set of answers we will go back to the UK to hear from Royston Robertson.

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