Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ed Stein - Cartoonist Survey #161

Cartoonist Ed Stein was born in November of 1946. He graduated from the University of Denver in 1969 with a Bachelor’s in Fine Art. After college, he worked for various Colorado-based publications until 1978 when he joined the Rocky Mountain News as the staff editorial cartoonist. Ed drew his editorial cartoons for the Rocky Mountain News for 31 years, right up until the paper closed its doors last year. In addition to his editorial cartooning he drew the daily comic strip, ‘Denver Square’ from 1997 until 2008. There have been two collections of Ed’s work printed. Stein’s Way is a collection of his editorial cartoons and Denver Square; We Need a Bigger House is an anthology of his ‘Denver Square’ comic strips. His cartoons have been published in USA Today, People, Newsweek, Playboy, The Washington Post, Business Week, The New York Times and many more.

A recipient of many journalism and cartooning awards, Ed is a former President of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists and a member of the National Cartoonist Society. In just a couple of weeks (September 20th) he will be launching his new comic strip through United Media, ‘Freshly Squeezed’, a spin-off of his ‘Denver Square’ strip. Here is a brief excerpt from United Media’s website explaining the premise of the strip; “Liz and Sam have it all: a happy marriage, a precocious pre-teen son, and a house that's just the right size for the three of them. Then, Liz’s parents move in. Can three generations of one family share their lives, their feelings, their dwindling fortunes, a bathroom?” And here is a link to the
description of the characters. Ed and his wife, filmmaker Lisa Hartman, live in Denver, CO. Visit Ed’s website here and don’t forget to check out his ‘Freshly Squeezed’ strip this coming September in newspapers and on the web at

What is your favorite pen to use?
I use a Lamy fountain pen in multiple widths, along with Uniball roller pens. Never could handle the crow quill.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Standard Pencil.

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

What type of paper do you use?
100 # Hammermill Color Copy Cover (A lot cheaper than Strathmore, and I like the way it takes ink).

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Crowd scenes.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Local store.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Sacrifice neighborhood children while chanting lyrics to "Desolation Row".

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
No, but I often put the TV on as background white noise.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Absolutely. Loved the old adventure continuity strips--Alley Oop, Buck Rogers, Captain Easy, Terry and the Pirates, and, of course, Pogo. And any and all superhero comic books.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Heinlein's "Have Spacesuit Will Travel" and yes.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of Denver

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Yes, allows unlimited dissemination of my work, while destroying the publications that pay for it.

Did either of your parents draw?

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My parents.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
It never leaves my side.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Yes; I loved it.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Having little talent, I guess I'd answer passion--except that I think intelligence is probably the most important thing.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Original editorial cartoons.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Got me there, never wanted to be one; I'd rather be Cary Grant.

Are you a righty or lefty?

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Write science fiction.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
8" x 12". Okay, I assume you mean editorial cartooning/comic strip.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I play a mean radio, and I'm not bad on the CD player.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Draw, draw, draw, and then draw some more. And be your own most severe critic.

Who is your favorite artist?
Right now, probably Matt Davies.

Thanks very much Ed!

Up next, another Ed...this time “the Caricature Guy”, Ed Smith.

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