Thursday, May 13, 2010

Terry LaBan - Cartoonist Survey #123

Cartoonist Terry LaBan grew up in Michigan. He started his career in 1986, freelancing political cartoons for the Ann Arbor News. His alternative comix series, Unsupervised Existence, published by Fantagraphics Books in 1989, was loosely based on his own life at the time and was nominated for a Harvey Award for Best New Artist and Best New Series. The series was collected in two paperbacks, ‘Love's Not a Three-Dollar Fare’ and ‘International Bob’. His next comix series Cud came out in 1992 and ran for 8 issues. Terry moved over to Dark Horse in 1995 for his third series, Cud Comics, about Eno and Plum, a "slacker" couple living in the city. Cud Comics also ran for eight issues, until 1998. In 2001 King Features Syndicate syndicated his daily comic strip, Edge City which is co-written by his wife Patty LaBan. Edge City is about a about modern Jewish-American family that lives in the far reaches of suburbia and is trying to balance relationships and tradition with their dual careers, long commutes and shuttling of kids to and fro. A collection of Edge City comics was published in March of 2007. His humorous illustrations, comics and cartoons have appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies over the years, including Mad Magazine, Blab, Details and Nickelodeon magazine. Terry has also been staff illustrator and political cartoonist for the progressive political magazine In These Times since 1990 and continues to work as a freelance illustrator and a writer for various comic book companies. A member of the National Cartoonists Society, he lives in Philadelphia with his wife and children. Check out Terry's website here and follow the Edge City comic strip here.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Generally, I use a Windsor Newton Series 7 red sable brush, #2.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I pencil in non-photo blue Col-erase CopyNot pencil.

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

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
When I color, it's with a combo of watercolor, ink and gouache.

What type of paper do you use?
Strathmore 2-ply smooth bristol.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Cars, store interiors.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
All of them--I'm lucky to live near a decent art supply store, but they don't always have what I need.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
I kill a chicken.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Yes--obscure psychedelia, 1966-76.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Archie, Harvey comics, Mad Magazine.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
When I was a kid, Peanuts. As a young adult, Bloom County.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
The World Book Encyclopedia, circa 1972. I still have it.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I have a BFA from the University of Michigan School of Art and Design.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
A blessing.

Did either of your parents draw?
My dad always told me he drew when he was a kid, but I never saw him do it myself.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My wife. Bless her.

Do you keep a sketchbook?

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I have taught a tiny bit, but the experience was mixed.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?

Do you collect anything and if so what?
"Collecting" may be too strong a word. But I have proclivities for old music, lanterns, old radios, garden art, concert posters and oriental carpets.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Pepe LePew.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Physically, I'm a lefty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Something I could actually earn a decent living at.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
I work in the finished attic of my house. It's pretty nice.

Do you play any musical instruments?

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Go to Law School.

Who is your favorite artist?


Thanks again Terry.

Next time on David Wasting Paper is cartoonist and illustrator Ray Alma.

1 comment:

P.L. Frederick said...

This is cool! I was probably only a couple of years behind Terry in school and probably saw his cartoons in the Ann Arbor News. Thanks for pointing me to him and his work.

P.L. Frederick (Small & Big)