Monday, December 6, 2010

Jeff Bacon - Cartoonist Survey #196

Cartoonist Jeff Bacon was born in Emporia, Kansas. He graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts and earned a Master of Science in Meteorology and Oceanography from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA in 1991. He was commissioned into the United States Navy in May of 1979 and served for over 26 years, receiving numerous awards and medals. During Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, Jeff commanded the Naval Atlantic Meteorology and Oceanography Center. Jeff retired in the fall of 2005 as Deputy Oceanographer of the Navy. He is the creator of the single panel cartoons, “Broadside” for the Navy Times and “Greenside” which is published in the Marine Corps Times. His first “Broadside” cartoon was published in March of 1986 and has run weekly ever since. “Greenside” started showing up on the pages of the Marine Corps Times in 2006. His art has also been printed in professional papers, government publications as well as being displayed at the Navy Art Gallery and the Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C. Three books collecting his cartoons have been published, The Best of Broadside, Book II: the Rest of Broadside and his most recent, 20 Years of Broadside.

Jeff is an active member of the National Cartoonists Society and has been tireless in his work with the “Support the Troops” effort. He has been instrumental in arranging trips by professional cartoonists to visit wounded soldiers. Originally there was no funding for this endeavor so the cartoonists stayed stateside visiting local VA hospitals and places such as Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Walter Reed and the Bethesda Naval Hospital in DC. The NCS got behind Jeff’s work and with the help of the USO there have now been trips all over the world to visit the men and women who make sacrifices for us every day of their lives. For his work in bringing cartoonists to visit wounded soldiers, Jeff has been awarded the Silver T-Square, an award for outstanding service to the profession, by the National Cartoonists Society. He lives in Idaho with his wife and daughter. See more
Broadside and Greenside cartoons here and follow Jeff on his blog. What better time than during the holidays to show your appreciation and support for all that our troops do for us by making a donation that will brighten their day a little. Please consider making a donation to the National Cartoonists Society Foundation - Support the Troops. You can also make a donation or volunteer your time through the USO.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Hunt 102 for the cartoon, and a Speedball B-6 for lettering.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Yep, and I use a mechanical .7

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
By computer after scanning the art.

What type of paper do you use?
Strathmore 2-ply plate finish (500 series).

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Special requests, and I get a lot of them.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
I like to listen to music. That's about it.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Country, bluegrass, and sometimes gospel.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Sgt. Rock, Spider-Man, and Green Lantern.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Bloom County.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
The Quest for Fire. It's long gone.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Makes my life a lot easier.

Did either of your parents draw?

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My wife by a long shot.

Do you keep a sketchbook?

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Talent is huge, but it's no good without passion.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Art from the guys I have traveled with on USO tours.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Homer Simpson.

Are you a righty or lefty?

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

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
3X4 light table in my studio.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Used to play the trumpet and I was pretty good.

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

Have a fall-back plan. Hank Ketcham once advised me to keep working and do cartooning on the side - if the cartoon takes off you can always quit your day job.

Who is your favorite artist?
Jack Davis my favorite cartoonist for lots of reasons. Norman Rockwell is my favorite painter.

Thank you Jeff for your participation and more importantly for your service!

Next time at David Wasting Paper is the creator of the Eisner Award winning Mouse Guard series, David Petersen.

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