Thursday, March 18, 2010

Jonathan Mahood - Cartoonist Survey #99

Cartoonist, sculptor and carpenter, Jonathan Mahood lives in Parry Sound, Ontario. On a side note, Parry Sound is also the birthplace of one of my heroes on and off the ice, Boston Bruin legend, Bobby Orr. Jonathan has been drawing since he was a little kid and started creating his own comic strips when he was a teenager. He drew his first published cartoons for his high school newsletter, Panther Press. He graduated from York University in Toronto with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1992. In 2006 Jonathan combined his love of all things electronic with his passion for drawing and created Bleeker the Rechargeable Dog (originally titled, Hoover the Rechargeable Dog). His strip is about a boy named Skip Small who desperately wants a dog. When his parents finally buy him one he realizes that all is not as it appears. His “dog” Bleeker is actually an electronic dog, equipped with cell phone, mp3 player, GPS and much, much more. Bleeker originally started as a web-comic on Comic Sherpa in 2006 and then in 2007 was picked up by GoComics. It is also published in Germany's largest national weekly newspaper, Die Zeit. Besides creating cartoons, Jonathan also enjoys sculpting and building furniture. Visit his Bleeker the Rechargeable Dog website and then go bookmark his blog here. You can follow Bleeker everyday at GoComics, and you can buy a collection of Bleeker the Rechargeable Dog here.

What is your favorite pen to use?
I use the Brause "Blue Pumpkin" Steno nib for all of my inking.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I use a Prismacolor Col-Erase 20044 Blue pencil.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
All my coloring is with PhotoShop.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?

What type of paper do you use?
I use Strathmore 400 series smooth Bristol.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Furniture (...which is funny because I build and design real furniture.)

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
A bit of both. I live in a small town so when I'm in the city I stock up on ink and pencils. Strangely, for nibs and paper I can only get them over the web (from the other side of the country).

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Not's more a state of panic about a maybe that is a ritual...?

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Yes, all of the time. I listen to tons of different stuff...whatever works that day.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Yeah, I read the comic section in the daily paper and Charlie Brown and Snoopy were probably number one on my list.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
I'm not sure I've ever had one favorite comic strip. Bloom County, Pogo, Far Side, Krazy Kat would all be on a favorites list.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Most likely Lord Of The Rings...yes and I read it every few years.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I got my degree in fine arts/visual arts from York University in Toronto.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
I think it's a bit of both. Without it I never would have gotten Bleeker off the ground or got it in front of so many eyeballs. On the downside making money from it is difficult to say the least. I think it forces you to rethink the market...kinda like making the switch from buying Cd's to downloading off of iTunes.

Did either of your parents draw?

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My family has been great these many, many, many years.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
I keep a couple on the go...and old ones are always close by for reference.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
No, I've given a talk or two to school kids but nothing formal...yet.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Passion is probably the most important. Some lucky bastard out there hits the lottery and is an over night success but for the rest of us it's just slugging away at it.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
I used to collect lots of different stuff but now I'm out of room.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Roger Ramjet.

Are you a righty or lefty?

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Cluttered with stacks of paper, pencils and pens around. Also, everything ink splattered.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Technically, no.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
If you're not a great salesman, have another job to make a living from. Starving is not fun...and you can't swap drawings for video games...I've tried.

Who is your favorite artist?
Too many to name.

Thanks again Jonathan!

Tune in next time to see who will be the 100th cartoonist surveyed!

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