Thursday, April 29, 2010

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY - This Saturday!


This Saturday, May 1st is Free Comic Book Day! Be sure to visit your local comic book store and pick up some free comic books. Better yet, grab your kids and bring them with you. Comic books are a great tool to get kids interested in reading, plus these ones are FREE! Not sure where there are any comic book stores in your area? No problem, there is a handy store locator on the site. Click the square above to be brought to the official Free Comic Book Day website.

AND CHECK THIS OUT...

Sergio Aragones has created this great T-shirt design to honor the day. You can order one for yourself by clicking the picture below. One dollar from every shirt purchased goes to Sergio's charity of choice, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What Is Or Was Your Favorite Comic Strip? - Cartoonist Survey Answers Compiled

Here are the compiled answers to the question, What Is Or Was Your Favorite Comic Strip?

The results are based on the answers provided by the first 100 cartoonists/artists.

Calvin and Hobbes - 17
Peanuts - 15
The Far Side - 8
Didn't read them. - 7
Pogo - 6
Too many to pick one. - 5
Bloom County - 4
Krazy Kat - 3
Lil' Abner - 3
Cul de Sac - 2
Dick Tracy - 2
Garfield - 2

The following answers were given by one person each.

Andy Capp
Big George
Born Loser
Buzz Sawyer and His Pal Roscoe Sweeney
Dennis the Menace
Dilbert
Doonesbury
Get Fuzzy
Grin and Bear It
Hagar
Little Nemo in Slumberland
Moon Mullins
Nancy
New Yorker cartoons
Powerhouse Pepper
Prince Valiant
Robotman
Smokey Stover
Spider-Man
Spot the Frog
Steve Roper and Mike Nomad
Superman
The Fosdyke Saga (UK)
Tiffany Jones
Tom the Dancing Bull
Up Front

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Randall Enos - Cartoonist/Artist Survey #116


*Photo Credit for this picture of Randall goes to his son Kristan.

This is from Randall's Mocha Dick project (click to enlarge).

Randall was nominated for this year's National Cartoonist Society's, Advertising Illustration Award for his artwork on the show "The Norman Conquests".

Illustrator Randall Enos was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts. In the mid-1960's, Randall developed his linocut style and for over 50 years now has been well known for creating these colorful illustrations. His work has been published in magazines and newspapers including Playboy, Time, Sports Illustrated, The National Lampoon, The New York Times, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone and countless others. The pages of hundreds of children’s trade and textbooks, record and CD covers, posters and animated films have all been graced with his illustrations. He has created comic strips for Playboy and The National Lampoon, and his animation designs have been used by NBC, CBS, Columbia Pictures, Xerox, Singer and John Hancock. In 1964 Randall won a Cannes TV Film award for his work in animation. He has taught at Parsons School of Design, the Philadelphia University of the Arts, RISD, Syracuse, Montclair and the School of Visual Arts. Growing up in New Bedford inspired him to study the history of whaling and to collect whaling tools and artifacts. His whaling print creations are sold at Mystic Seaport and other maritime centers. Just this year Randall was nominated for the National Cartoonist Society’s Advertising Illustration Award. Randall lives on a horse farm in Connecticut with his wife Leann, horses, ducks, cats and a dog. Check out Randall's website here and also go to his Drawger page where he has some great posts.

What is your favorite pen to use?
I don't really use pens. I do linocuts so I use a linocutter. However on the rare occasions that I do use a pen, My preference is a stiff Hunt # 107 pigsticker.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I do my roughs in pencil and I use a regular good ol' #2.

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

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
I print on colored papers and create a collage by cutting out the parts I need and pasting them together. But since I have a limited supply of the papers (The company stopped making them), I usually pop my colors in on the computer.

What type of paper do you use?
Just cheap copy paper...unless I'm making a print to sell or give someone in which case I'll use a good printing paper. But for magazine and newspaper work that's going to be sent by jpeg, I just use standard copy paper (I find it takes the ink very well and gives me a good print. If I'm drawing in pen etc. I'll use double ply Strathmore.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
I'm not terribly fond of drawing buildings or cars.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Both. My linoblocks and printing ink I buy on line from a big supplier. For small stuff, I use an art store that I have been going to for 54 years. The cheapo copy paper comes from Staples.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
I find that donning an Indian headdress and chanting whilst hopping around in a circle really gets me going. I don't drink caffeinated coffee.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
I used to always have the TV on while I worked sometimes not even seeing a single scene...just listening to it but now I prefer listening to MSNBC or CNN or blues music.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I definitely read a lot of comics as a kid. Little Lulu was my favorite comic book.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Blondie and Bringing Up Father (Jiggs and Maggie) were my favorite comic strips as a kid. Krazy Kat was a little before my time but is my all-time favorite comic strip (what else?).

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Tom Sawyer and I still have a copy of it.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I have very little to no formal art training. I took two years of painting at an old fashioned school where you didn't get to paint from a model until your third year, which I never got to. I'm really self-taught.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
I vote for blessing although sometimes I curse at it.

Did either of your parents draw?
My father made a few drawings when he was first married and they were excellent realistic drawings but then he never drew again.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My wife, my father and my mother-in-law.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Never.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I have taught for many years at a few different schools and I did enjoy the experience most of the time but the frustrating thing is that the students are not familiar with the field and the practitioners of it as, for instance, dance or music students would be.

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

Do you collect anything and if so what?
I collect books and tools of 19th century whaling. And I seem to have a huge collection of masks all around my studio walls that seemed to just appear. I have never purposefully collected them. I inherited a lot of them from my mother-in-law.

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

Are you a righty or lefty?
Right in drawing...left in politics.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
I would be an actor/comedian.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
I work in a good-sized room in my basement. It is filled with three drawing boards, lots of books, drawers and one old, antique OS 9.1 Rasterops computer.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I can play a very bad five-string banjo and I'm getting fairly good at blues harp.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Be honest...draw honestly not in an affected way or a way that mimics other artists. Try to find your own "voice".

Who is your favorite artist?
Cy Twombly in painting. George Herriman in cartooning (followed closely by Cliff Sterrett).



Thank you very much Randall!

Up next is cartoonist and caricaturist Bill Larocque.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Cedric Hohnstadt - Cartoonist Survey #115



Cedric Hohnstadt is a freelance illustrator specializing in character design and toy design. He began freelancing while studying for his BFA in Illustration at Minnesota State University, Moorhead, MN and has been self-employed ever since. He has worked on hundreds of projects as an artist and a project manager including advertising, editorial, animation, curriculum packaging, corporate, toys and games. Some of his past clients include Hasbro, Crayola, Disney, DreamWorks, Scholastic, Canon, Exxon/Mobil, Hewlett-Packard and General Mills. He has done work with such licensed character properties as Winnie the Pooh, Cars, VeggieTales, The Jetsons, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Monsters vs. Aliens and Goofy. Cedric designed toys for Disney and Hasbro and was also the character designer for NBC’s animated TV series 3-2-1 Penguins! He has illustrated numerous children’s books including “Day of the Field Trip Zombies”, “What Your Nose Shows”, “Tried and True Job” and “Scratch & Sniff”. In 2006 Cedric created and illustrated an 8-page cartoon Gospel tract for the ministry of Living Waters. This tract has been translated into over a dozen languages and has had almost 3 million copies of it distributed in English. You can download the tract for free here. Cedric is a member of the National Cartoonists Society, the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Ad Fed and the Creative Talent Network. He lives in Minnesota with his my wife and two daughters. Stop by his website and read his Cedric’s Blog-O-Rama.

What is your favorite pen to use?
I draw everything digitally on my Cintiq. But when I do use a sketchbook I like the Pilot rolling ball pens.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
For client projects I sketch everything out first using some free pencil brushes for PhotoShop that I downloaded here. In my sketchbook I like to draw in pen. Not being able to erase forces me to think faster and be more confident in putting down my lines.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
Computer (PhotoShop and occasionally Illustrator).

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Drawing machinery, cars, etc. doesn't come naturally to me. I also am not crazy about drawing backgrounds and environments though they are sometimes a necessity. I specialize in character design and toy design, which means that I can often focus on the figure and not have to draw a lot of backgrounds or props.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Being all-digital like I am means I rarely by art supplies anymore. It's all software.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
I sometimes do warm-up sketches and/or look at other art blogs for inspiration to get my brain focused and "in the zone".

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
I'm not a huge music guy. I mostly listen to talk radio, podcasts, and listen to TV shows or DVD special features (i.e. commentaries) while I draw. Since I work alone all day, its nice to hear other human conversation in the background. Helps me feel a little less isolated.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I was a huge Superman fan and also read a lot of Batman. But I rarely read comics anymore.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Bloom County, The Far Side, and Calvin and Hobbes are classics I still read. Berkeley Breathed had brilliant comic timing. Bill Watterson's Sunday art is breathtaking. One of my favorite current strips is "Speed Bump" by Dave Coverly.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
I've never been a big fiction reader. I prefer nonfiction. I've always liked to read up on and learn about topics that interest me. Believe it or not, when I was a kid I read the Bible a lot. Still do, actually.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I earned a BFA from Minnesota State University, Moorhead. I've also taken a week-long workshop at the Disney Institute summer program (now defunct), and recently I took a character design class from Stephen Silver on Schoolism.com
. It was fantastic--I highly recommend it.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Like most things it depends on how you use it. It's insanely easy for a person to waste time or indulge certain vices. But its also super helpful in doing research, networking, self-promotion, and studying the work of other artists.

Did either of your parents draw?
My Mom had some talent in high school but never developed it. My dad is a great guy but doesn't have an artistic bone in his body.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
I was fortunate in that my parents and grandparents were all very supportive. I also had a terrific art teacher in high school who did a lot to push me and encourage me.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
I own several sketchbooks but lately I haven't used them very much. I've been too busy working on client projects, which I guess is a good thing.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I've given a few lectures but I don't think I'd enjoy teaching on a regular basis. I'm too much of an introvert.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Both. They are like two wings of an airplane.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
I own a lot of art books and animation DVD's.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
I don't know if there's anyone that IS me, but if I could become any character I think I'd choose Popeye.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Lefty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
I'd love to be a writer but I'm no good at it. I suppose I'd try to be an art director or maybe a filmmaker or photographer.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
I have a desk in the corner of my studio with a Cintiq and a large flat-screen monitor. You can see photos of my studio here.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I played piano and trombone as a kid but haven't touched either in years. I'm not a very musical guy.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Practice, practice, practice. Unfortunately there are no shortcuts to getting around the hard work that leads to success.

Who is your favorite artist?
That would be a pretty long list. A few that come to mind are Norman Rockwell, JC Leyendecker, Disney's Nine Old Men, Jack Davis, Mort Drucker, and John Byrne are a few of the "masters" that have influenced me. In recent years there's been an explosion of art blogs which have exposed me to dozens of other modern geniuses. You can find links to several of the art blogs I follow at my blog.



Thanks again Cedric.

Illustrator and one of this year’s Reuben Award nominees, Randall Enos, is up next.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Did You Read Comics As A Kid And If So What Was Your Favorite? - Cartoonist Survey Answers Compiled



Here are the compiled answers to the question, Did You Read Comics As A Kid And If So What Was Your Favorite?

The results are based on the answers provided by the first 100 cartoonists/artists.

Yes or No?
Yes - 90
No - 10

Favorite Comic
Everything - 11
Peanuts - 10
MAD - 9
Archie - 3
Calvin and Hobbes - 3
Spider-Man - 3
Uncle Scrooge - 3
X-Men - 3
Batman - 2
Beano (UK) - 2
Captain Marvel - 2
Fantastic Four - 2
Harvey comics - 2
Savage Sword of Conan - 2
Sgt. Rock – 2

The following answers were given by one person each.

70's horror comics
Alien Legion
DC
Dick Tracy
Garfield
Green Lantern
J'onn J'onn Manhunter from Mars
Justice League
Kirby's Fourth World
Krazy (UK)
Little Annie Fanny :o)
Marvel
Nancy
Plastic Man
Richie Rich
Sad Sack
Sunday Paper comics section
Tarzan
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The Hulk
The Sub Mariner
Tintin
Tumblweeds
Venom
Victor(UK)

Special Bonus Teaser...

Here is a list of upcoming Cartoonist/Artist Survey participants;

#115 - Cedric Hohnstadt
#116 - Randall Enos
#117 - Bill LaRocque
#118 - Kevin Spear
#119 - Lectrr
#120 - Sherm Cohen
#121 - Tony Piro
#122 - Polyp
#123 - Terry LaBan
#124 - Ray Alma
#125 - Richard Thompson

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bob Fingerman - Cartoonist Survey #114



Comic book artist and novelist Bob Fingerman was born in Queens New York on August 25, 1964. He attended the New York’s School of Visual Arts and while still in school he created work for Harvey Kurtzman’s satirical magazine “NUTS!”. After school, his work appeared in numerous publications including Heavy Metal, National Lampoon, Cracked, Screw, Penthouse, High Times and the Village Voice. In 1990 he spent a year working on the “ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” comic book, as well as several titles for the EROS line of adult comics. He also created short stories and covers for Vertigo and Dark Horse Comics. Bob wrote and drew his first graphic novel, ‘White Like She’ in 1993. His next creation was a semi-autobiographical series called “Minimum Wage”. In 2003 the “Minimum Wage” series was collected in the Fantagraphics graphic novel, ‘Beg the Question'. It went on to be nominated for two Eisner Awards and an Ignatz Award. Next came his humor collection ‘You Deserved It’, which was followed up by ‘Zombie World: Winter’s Dregs & Other Stories’ and ‘Recess Pieces’. In 2007 his debut prose novel, ‘Bottomfeeder’, was published and in 2009 Bob’s illustrated novella ‘Connective Tissue’ came out. Last month, 'From the Ashes' his post-apocalyptic "speculative memoir" was released as a graphic novel. In August of this year Bob’s second prose novel ‘Pariah’ will be published by Tor Books. He lives in New York City with his wife. To find out more about Bob and his work check out his website and follow him on his blog .

What is your favorite pen to use?
I don't use a pen, any more. I just draw in pencil. They discontinued the pen I liked (the Fountain Pentel).

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

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
Computer, usually. Though I used watercolor on 'From the Ashes'.

What type of paper do you use?
Cheap copy paper, generally.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Mechanical things. Cars. Machinery.

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

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Not really.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Sometimes. These days I prefer spoken word. Audio books, podcasts.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Not many. I read comic strips more than comic books. Peanuts and Pogo were faves.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
See previous.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Some Richard Scarry, which I have in storage somewhere.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I wouldn't flatter it as "formal," but I went to the High School of Art & Design, then two years at The School of Visual Arts.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Both, in equal measure.

Did either of your parents draw?
My mother used to, but not often, unfortunately.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My mother and late aunt.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Not regularly.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
No.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Both, but without talent all the passion in the world isn't going to make your "art" any good.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Stuff. DVDs, toys and knickknacks, too many books. The usual.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Kif Kroker, unfortunately.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Lefty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Since I write novels, too, I'll go with that.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Functional but messier than it should be. But private.

Do you play any musical instruments?
No.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Toughen up. Be resilient. And have some talent, for Christ's sake.


Who is your favorite artist?
Moebius.



Thank you for taking the time to answer Bob.

Freelance illustrator, character and toy designer Cedric Hohnstadt will be next on David Wasting Paper.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Brian Fies - Cartoonist Survey #113



Brian Fies is a freelance science writer, journalist and cartoonist. Brian created the serialized webcomic ‘Mom’s Cancer’ in 2004. ‘Mom’s Cancer’ is an autobiographical story dealing with his mother's fight against lung cancer, as well as his family's reactions to it. In July of 2005 ‘Mom’s Cancer’ won the Eisner Award for Best Digital Comic. Sadly, Brian’s mom lost her battle in October of the same year. Abrams Books published a hardcover edition of ‘Mom’s Cancer’ in 2006 which went on to win the 2007 Harvey Award for Best New Talent and the 2007 German Youth Literature Prize. Last June Brian’s second book, ‘Whatever Happened to the World of Tomorrow?’ was released and has been nominated for the 2010 Eisner Award for Best Publication Design and the 2010 Eisner Award for Best Lettering. Brian is also a science and technical writer with his work appearing in many publications such as ‘Physics World’ and ‘Sky and Telescope’ magazine. You can find out more about Brian's science and technical writing here. He lives in Northern California with his wife and twin daughters. Follow Brian on his blog here.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Mostly I ink with brush, Winsor & Newton synthetic sable. My favorite pens are Microns of the usual sizes. I also use Speedball nibs.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Non-photo blue mechanical pencil from Pilot. Took me a while to find them!

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

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
When I do color by hand, standard watercolor paints.

What type of paper do you use?
Two-ply bristol plate.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Cars. They've got sneaky curves and proportions, and since everyone is very familiar with them they can sense when something is "off."

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I've got a great local store that gets most of my business, though it doesn't have a few things that I buy online.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Besides staring blankly for days and drinking alone in the dark? Not really. But picking up the drawing board and putting a blank piece of paper on it feels like a ritual in itself. It is a holy moment filled with dread and awe.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Music is too distracting when I write, but I do listen when I draw. Whatever comes up on my iTunes list: some adult contemporary, some oldies, some classical.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Read everything, loved everything. Comic books: Silver-Age DC and Marvel (I have a complete collection of "The Avengers"). Comic strips--I especially remember loving Peanuts, Dick Tracy, Prince Valiant, and Gordo. The only thing I never really developed a taste for was Underground Comix, and I don't expect I'll ever care about manga, to my regret and shame.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
All-around best strip: Walt Kelly's "Pogo." Very closely followed by Peanuts, Little Nemo, Krazy Kat, Polly & Her Pals, Terry and the Pirates, Calvin & Hobbes.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
I had a book titled "You Will Go To the Moon" that I loved and which had a huge influence on my life. I sold it at a garage sale when I was young but decades later found another copy of it in a used book store and eagerly gave it a place of honor on my shelf of astronomy and science books.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I took all the art classes I could fit into my high school and college schedules, and they were very valuable, particularly at the university level. Pretty much self-taught otherwise and since, though.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Both, of course. My day job is self-employed science writing, and I wouldn't have that career without the Internet. It just wouldn't be possible to do the research I do, and serve the clients I have--some of whom are on other continents--without the Web. Likewise, I probably wouldn't have a cartooning career if I hadn't started with a webcomic ("Mom's Cancer"). But I mourn and regret the damage the Internet is doing to traditional cartooning, journalism, publishing, and society in general. Some wonderful things are being lost--even something as simple and elegant as the hand-written letter (or hand-drawn cartoon)--and it pains me that so few people seem to recognize their importance and value.

Did either of your parents draw?
No. My grandma could draw a little, and encouraged me. But I was pretty entirely self-motivated. The bottom line is that I can't *not* draw.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My wife Karen. Couldn't do it without her.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yes, but I use it a lot less than I used to. I'm not sure why. When I was in college, I'd run through a sketchbook every several weeks; now they last me a year or more. Maybe I'm tired.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I've not taught formal classes, but informally, yes. I enjoy speaking and teaching a lot. I've taught other subjects in other contexts, and think it's something I'm good at. Sadly, no one's asked.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Passion. Talent's a good start, but passion drives you to practice and improve. Hard-working passion will beat lazy talent every time. On the other hand, hard-working talent will beat them both.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
As I said, I used to collect the "Avengers" series, and have a complete set from #1 to 400-whatever; Marvel's foolishness in the '90s, including canceling and restarting the series, gave me the perfect excuse to stop. I never looked back and haven't cared about mainstream comics since. In recent years I've gathered a nice little collection of original comic art, much of it by friends or people I know, others by people I consider the greats in the business. The first thing I bought with my "cartooning money" was a cel from Winsor McCay's "Gertie the Dinosaur" film (1914). I've also got a lot of "Star Trek" crap, but that's more an accumulation than an actual collection.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
President and CEO of the Acme Co.

Are you a righty or lefty?
I am all screwed up. I started life completely ambidextrous. My third-grade teacher insisted I write right-handed (she said that my writing the left side of the page left-handed and then switching the pencil to write the right side right-handed was the laziest thing she'd ever seen), so I still write and draw right-handed. I play most sports left-handed and do many other things equally well with either. I can occasionally be found in the kitchen paralyzed into inaction because I can't figure out which hand to open a jar with.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
I'm already doing it. My day job, whose income allows me to be a cartoonist (along with my wife's income and benefits), is self-employed science writing. I am lucky. It took me years, but I finally figured out a way to make my interests in writing, science, and cartooning into some weird kind of career.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
My office has two desks: one a rolltop whose little drawers are packed with art supplies, and the other a cheap student desk with a computer. I draw at the rolltop using a lap board, then scoot four feet to the computer for Photoshopping.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I tried violin and guitar as a child, never practiced or got good. It's on my bucket list.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Draw from life. Draw what's around you. People complain that drawing hands and feet are hard; there's no excuse for that. You've got hands on the ends of your arms and feet at the ends of your legs always available to model for you. I think drawing from life is especially important for cartooning because cartooning is the art of simplifying and distilling reality to its essence. It's amazing how many people can draw a galaxy-sized machine devouring a planet full of laser-mounted dragons but can't draw a woman in a business suit talking on the phone.
Also, nurture interests outside of art and comics. You've got to be a smart, informed, well-rounded person with knowledge and opinions. I know a lot of people who can draw better than me who never got the art career they wanted because, although they could make pretty pictures, they had no other interests and nothing original to say about anything. Readers want that special point of view that only you can bring to the table; develop *you*.

Who is your favorite artist?
All-time, Leonardo da Vinci. Comics, Winsor McCay.



Thank you Brian.

Coming up is comic book writer and artist Bob Fingerman.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Do You Listen To Music While You Draw And If So What Genre? - Cartoonist Survey Answers Compiled

Here are the compiled answers to the question, Do You Listen To Music While You Draw And If So What Genre?

The results are based on the answers provided by the first 100 cartoonists/artists.

Yes or No?
Yes – 63
No – 36* This total includes "No's", people who listen to talk radio, audio books, Television and DVDs.
No answer provided – 1

What Genre?* Please note that not everyone provided a genre.
All genres - 20
Classical - 6
Eclectic mix - 6
Blues - 3
Jazz - 3
Alternative Rock - 2
Classic Rock - 2
Indie Rock - 2
Instrumental - 2
Oldies - 2
Rock - 2
Bob Dylan - 1
Country - 1
Folk - 1
Motown - 1
Movie scores - 1
Techno - 1

These are what people who don't listen to music while drawing listen to.
Talk radio – 14
Television - 6
Audio Books – 3
DVDs - 2

Monday, April 19, 2010

Scott Metzger - Cartoonist Survey #112



Scott Metzger has been a professional cartoonist since 1996. He creates single panel cartoons for greeting cards which are distributed by Papyrus, NobleWorks and Just Wrong Greetings. His cartoons also appear regularly in Funny Times Magazine. From 2005 to 2006 Scott drew two strips, “Tree” and “Stewart”. “Tree” was about a walking and talking pine tree and “Stewart” was about a not-so-bright bison who lived in San Francisco. Scott works with Better World Advertising as the cartoonist for a syphilis prevention campaign called "Healthy Penis", which is sponsored by the San Francisco Department of Public Health. He belongs to the cartoonist collective, Tall Tale Features. He presently lives with his wife, daughter and three cats in Northern California. Visit Scott’s website here.

What is your favorite pen to use?
I draw my single panel cartoons on the computer so I don’t use pens very often. When I do, it’s usually a Uni-ball.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I draw in pencil first and use 5-B drawing pencils.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
On the computer. Most of the time, I color with Adobe Illustrator.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
It’s best that I never color by hand. No one wants to see that.

What type of paper do you use?
Strathmore Drawing Pad (14 x 17)

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Cars and bicycles.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I buy my art supplies at Dick Blick Art Supplies on Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco. It’s a small chain.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
I stare in the mirror and yell at myself until I’m all red-faced and pumped. Okay, that’s not true. I just wanted to give an answer besides “No I don’t do any rituals.”

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
I do listen to music while I draw – either rock or country. I also listen to NPR (Fresh Air), Tall Tale Radio and Comics Coast to Coast.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Peanuts was my favorite comic strip when I was a kid.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Pearls Before Swine is my favorite comic strip today.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
As a kid, my favorite book was “Where the Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein. I loved the writing and drawings. His imagination was great. I still have the book.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I took a few art classes in college (UC Davis) but I wouldn’t call myself a formally trained artist.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
That’s a tough one. Overall, I think of it as a blessing but there are times (when I read some comments in forums and some postings on Facebook) when I think it’s a curse.

Did either of your parents draw?
My mom is creative but she doesn’t draw. My late father enjoyed writing but didn’t draw either.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
When I was a kid, my parents enrolled me in art classes and were very supportive. I also was lucky to have several teachers who were supportive. Today, my wife is a huge support for me. I run ideas by her all the time. She has a great sense of humor and she draws as well – so she occasionally gives me feedback on how to tweak or improve the art.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yes.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I have never done that but would love to someday.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Talent will only take you so far. You have to have a passion for it. Anyone can learn to draw at least moderately well. If you have a passion to draw and you practice; you’ll eventually get really good at it.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
I don’t collect anything. Well, I do have an old collection of rejection letters from syndicates. Does that count?

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
When I was a kid, I was a dead ringer for Timmy on South Park.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Well, along with marketing my cartoons, I work full time as a grant writer. So cartooning but it isn’t my main job. But if I didn’t draw cartoons, I’d probably try stand-up comedy.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
My wife and I share an office and that’s where I spend most of my time drawing cartoons (on the computer). But I sketch out ideas in the living room on the couch because it’s more comfortable.

Do you play any musical instruments?
From 6th to 12th grade, I played the trombone. I still have my trombone and the last time I played it was around 2002, while hosting a dinner party. I was drunk. My wife wants to get rid of my trombone.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Keep practicing and never give up.

Who is your favorite artist?
My favorite artist is Carol Aust. I love her stuff.

Thank you very much Scott.

Eisner and Harvey award winning cartoonist Brian Fies is up next.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Are There Any Rituals That You Do Before Starting To Draw? - Cartoonist Survey Answers Compiled

Here are the compiled answers to the question, Are There Any Rituals That You Do Before Starting To Draw?

These results are based on answers from the first 100 cartoonists/artists.

No - 21
Coffee - 13
Procrastinate - 12
Sketch - 6
Clean off desk - 4
Check email - 4
Sharpen pencils - 3
Eat - 3
Tea - 3
Wash hands - 3
Listen to music - 2
Prayer - 2
Slay a goat - 2
Visualize - 2

The following answers were given by one person each.

Clean kitchen
Dance with voodoo doll
Get a signed contract
Get focused
Grumble at loved ones
Drink soda
Pace
Panic
Play guitar
Put on clean underwear
Put on pants
Rule in work area
Self-mutilation
Shower
Sing
Sit in sunny spot
Sleep
Wash brushes
Workout
Write

Friday, April 16, 2010

Clay Jones - Cartoonist Survey #111



Editorial Cartoonist Clay Jones was born in Fort Hood, Texas. He attended Belhaven College in Jackson, Miss. He started doing freelance work at the newspaper, the Panolian, in Batesville Mississippi, and he soon he became their editorial cartoonist. Clay stayed in Mississippi for seven years, working at the Panolian, The Daily Leader in Brookhaven and freelancing nationwide. He won multiple first place awards for Best Editorial Cartoon in the Mississippi Press Association's Better Newspaper Contest. In 1997 he moved to Hawaii where he worked at the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. A year later he moved to Fredericksburg, VA to work for the Free Lance-Star, where he still works today. His editorial cartoons are distributed by Creators Syndicate and have been seen on CNN and in numerous publications including, The Washington Post, The Chicago Sun-Times, The New York Times, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, Time and Newsweek magazine. A collection of his cartoons was published in 1997 titled, “Knee-Deep In Mississippi.” Clay’s cartoons are also regularly included in Pelican Publishing’s “Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year” book series. Clay presently lives in Fredericksburg where he plays guitar for the band Corporate T-Shirt. Follow his daily ‘Toon Talk’ feature here at the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Micron Pigmas, Bic ball point and Sharpies.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Standard No. 2.

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

What type of paper do you use?
4-ply bristol board.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Anything mechanical and buildings.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
My newspaper orders everything. The paper comes straight to me, pens, white out, glue sticks I raid from a supply closet.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Procrastinate. Surf the web for news. Gossip at the coffee machine.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Yes and it's rock, alternative, punk, loud, etc.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Mad Magazine was the closest I got to comics.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Snoopy was my first, then Garfield then I graduated up to Bloom County.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
'To Kill A Mockingbird' and I still have a copy.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Some art classes but they didn't teach me anything.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
It's a blessing that curses me with surveys.

Did either of your parents draw?
Not that I know of.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My 9th grade art teacher who felt I was best left alone. Everyone else told me to stop.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yes and it's empty.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I tried. You can't teach cartooning but I had fun trying.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Passion. Drawing is probably the least important skill.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Guitars.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Bugs Bunny because I'm a stinker.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty.

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

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Messy and cluttered and sometimes the ceiling is leaky. There's a huge stain in the ceiling that looks like Kenny from South Park.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Guitar.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Remain determined and know your market.

Who is your favorite artist?
Sergio Aragones.



Thanks again Clay.

Next time at David Wasting Paper are answers from California cartoonist Scott Metzger.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tim Whyatt - Cartoonist Survey #110



Tim Whyatt is an Australian cartoonist who was born in August of 1967. His cartoons have appeared in many publications and have been translated into German, Spanish and Norwegian. They currently appear in Mexico’s Reader’s Digest, Norway’s ‘Vi Menn’ magazine, DFW.com (Dallas, Fort Worth) magazine and are on hundreds of greeting cards around the world. Tim’s very funny cards are distributed by NobleWorks Cards and are available in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and the US. Here in the US his cards are available in thousands of stores including Wal -Mart, Carlton Cards, Rite Aid, CVS, Spencer's and K-Mart. In Canada they are carried in Wal-Mart, Spencer's and Carlton Card stores. In the UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, Whyatt greeting cards are known as the ‘Traces of Nuts’ line. If you don’t feel like going to the store to purchase his cards you can order them online here at NobleWorks. There are all kinds of Whyatt goodies available for purchase here on Tim’s CafePress store. Go to Tim’s website to see more of his work and then signup for his free newsletter.

What is your favorite pen to use?
I use a Unipin Fine Line 0.1.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Yes, I always draw in pencil first. I use a mechanical one only because I can't be bothered sharpening.

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

All of my coloring is done in PhotoShop.

What type of paper do you use?
I use HP Colour Laser 120g because it seems to prevent the ink from bleeding.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Mouths... so I usually just leave them out altogether.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Anywhere that's got the above-mentioned pens and paper on sale.

Are there any rituals that you do before you begin cartooning?
Yes, I have a strict daily pre-cartooning ritual that goes something like this...
6:30 - Wake up and head for the office.
6:31 - Arrive at the office (it's down the hallway).
6:32 - Read my e-mails while drinking industrial strength coffee.
7:30 - Think to myself, "I really should come up with some cartoon ideas."
7:31 - Decide to check out what's on YouTube instead.
11:30 - Look at my watch and realise I've been watching YouTube for nearly four hours.
11:31 - Think to myself, "I really should come up with some cartoon ideas."
11:32 - Decide to go downstairs and play pool instead.
1:30 - Look at my watch and realise I've been playing pool for nearly two hours.
1:31 - Decide to go to the library and see if I can come up with any funny ideas there.
1:45 - Arrive at the library and read a few golf magazines.
4:37 - Look at my watch and realise I've been reading golf magazines for nearly three hours.
4:38 - Decide to go back home, get out of my pajamas and have a shower.
5:00 - Think to myself, "I really should come up with some cartoon ideas."
5:01 - Decide to check out what's on cable TV instead.
9:59 - Look at my watch and realise I've been watching cable TV for nearly five hours.
10:00 - Go to bed and read 'How to Stop Procrastinating'.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Yes, I grew up on Mad Magazine. Every month, my old primary school buddy, Martin Palm, would bring the latest issue to class and I was completely mesmerised by it. The artwork was amazing and the ideas were seriously funny. I've been a cartoon junkie ever since.

What is or was your favorite cartoon?
The Far Side. It's easily the finest collection of cartoons ever created. Gary Larson is to cartooning what The Beatles are to music.

What was your favorite book as a child?
The White Pages. It came in handy whenever I had a burning desire to ask a random stranger if their fridge was running.

Did you have any formal art training?
No.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
It's a bit of both really. On the one hand, it's a curse because copyright infringement is rife. On the other hand, it's a blessing because it provides artists with an instant worldwide audience. If it wasn't for the Internet, my work probably wouldn't be known outside of Australia.

Did either of your parents draw?
Yes. Dad used to be a graphic artist. My brother can draw. All of my uncles and aunties can draw. It definitely runs in the family.

Who in your life has been the most supportive of your art?
Allison Curnow. She was a manager at the greeting card company that first signed me up. She has always had 100% belief in my work and she is largely responsible for getting my work published throughout the world. She is still my mentor today.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yes, I've got a bunch of sketchbooks full of all the cartoons that I'm either too embarrassed or too ashamed to submit.

Have you ever taught cartooning and if so did you enjoy the experience?
No, I wouldn't feel qualified. I'm still trying to teach myself.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in cartooning?
Definitely passion. To be honest, you don't need much drawing talent to be a successful cartoonist. It's all about coming up with ideas, which involves a lot of blood, sweat, tears and discipline. That's where passion comes in handy.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Gray hairs. I get a new one every time a deadline approaches and I haven't come up with an idea.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Spongebob Squarepants because I'm an eternal optimist and I have a friend called Patrick.

Are you a righty or lefty?
I'm a righty for all things except brushing my teeth, in which case I'm a lefty (for no apparent reason).

If you weren't a cartoonist what would you want to do for work?
I'd like to be one of those people who gets paid to sit in the gallery on Judge Judy.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
My drawing area is a lumpy gray mass of neurons located somewhere between my auditory canals.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I play the guitar badly and the piano even worse.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue cartooning as a career what would it be?
Cartooning is 90% writing and 10% drawing. If you have ten days to create a cartoon, spend nine days on the idea and only one day on the drawing.

Who is your favorite cartoonist?
The short answer is Gary Larson... The long answer is Gary Larson, Charles Addams, B Kliban, Nicholas Gurewitch, Matthew Diffee, David Griffith, Tom Cheney, Dan Collins, Clay Bennett, John Dempsey, Jim Unger, Norman Thelwell and many, many more.

Thanks a lot Tim!

Editorial cartoonist Clay Jones is up next.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ken Fallin - Cartoonist Survey #109


Obama working his "magic."

One of my sport's heroes, Teddy Baseball (Ted Williams).

Ken Fallin
is an illustrator and caricaturist who was born November 11, 1948 in Jacksonville, Florida. After graduating from Robert E. Lee High School he went to Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts and graduated in 1974. Ken wanted to become an actor, so he moved to New York City. While in New York, he studied drawing under the legendary cartoonist Mort Gerberg at the Parsons School of Design.

Ken approached Gerard Alessandrini, who was the writer of the Off-Broadway satirical review, "Forbidden Broadway", about some ideas he had for the show. In 1983 Gerard gave him his first big break by having him create the posters and advertising for "Forbidden Broadway." Because the show was such a hit Ken’s artwork was seen all over the world and by 1985 he was an internationally known illustrator and caricaturist. The Boston Herald hired him to do a weekly celebrity caricature for the Sunday theatre section in 1987. In 1990 he accepted a job from American Express to draw all of the company's vice presidents. As a result of this, American Express commissioned him for several nationwide print ad campaigns including one that was a salute to famous restaurants and chefs. Ken began doing illustrations of sports figures for the Wall Street Journal in 1994, which included drawings of that year’s Winter Olympics. Soon he was doing caricatures for their lifestyle, business and obituary section for famous people.


His work still appears regularly in the Wall Street Journal and to this date he has drawn over 500 illustrations of notable people for them. In addition to the Wall Street Journal, his work is consistently published in The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The Hollywood Reporter and In Style magazine. Just a few of his other clients include, Tommy Bahamas Clothing, Belvedere Vodka, Walt Disney Productions, HBO and Showtime cable television, BMG records and CNBC. Last year he completed work on the third London revival of "Forbidden Broadway", as well as doing the illustrations for a new book on the lyrics from the show. He also is doing weekly caricatures for BroadwayWorld.com. Ken’s style is immediately recognizable with his major influence being Al Hirschfeld. He lives in New York City with his three hound dogs. Stop by his website to see more of his work.

This is Ken sitting at Al Hirschfeld's desk.

What is your favorite pen to use?
I use an old-fashioned quill pen, Hunt point # 104, which I dip into a bottle of Higgin's India Ink # 4415.


Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I use a Venus B pencil.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
Everything by hand. I'm an old dinosaur.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
I paint with gouache paint and Prismacolor pencils.

What type of paper do you use?
9"x12" Strathmore Bristol Vellum paper and cold press, 15"x20", double thick illustration board.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Nature. I'm a city boy.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I love art supply stores, and we have some great ones in NYC, Pearl Paint, Lees, and Friedmans. However, I do most of my buying from websites to save time.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
I print out reference photos from the Internet.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
When I'm creating a drawing I need silence. When I'm inking or painting, I like to listen to various vocalists singing the songs from the 40's & 50's. I also like jazz and Broadway Show tunes.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
MAD magazine was my bible. I copied every style of illustration in that amazing publication. Don Martin was a particular favorite, as well as Mort Drucker.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Jiggs, Dick Tracy, and Popeye.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
I do not remember.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I studied at The Boston Institute of Art and Parsons, NYC.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
The Internet has made my life so much easier with scanning and amazing photo references. I am able to meet tighter deadlines and take assignments from all over the World. I've even done illustration jobs on a cruise ship in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. However, the Internet is also responsible for the gradual death of newspapers and magazines, which are the main users of my illustrations. I've done jobs for the Internet, but the money is not nearly as good as publications.

Did either of your parents draw?
No.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My partner, Stanley Steinberg.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
No.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I once gave private caricature lessons to one student. Since 1999, I have been lecturing on caricature for Crystal Cruises. One of my lectures is a drawing class, where I teach people how to draw a caricature in forty five minutes. It's all in fun, and I do enjoy it.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Talent. I find that I can do assignments and feel little or no passion for the subject. Commercial illustration requires talent and skill. Passion is for non-paying jobs. However, I really do love my work, so, I guess that would be a form of passion.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
I collect books on caricature.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Prince Charming combined with Fred Flintstone.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Right handed with a far LEFT political bent.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
I wanted to be an actor/playwright.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
My "studio" was once the dining room in my apartment. It is cluttered, messy, unorganized, and wonderful. I have an antique drawing table, surrounded by many bookshelves, plastic containers, and two old tables. There is not one clear surface to be found.

Do you play any musical instruments?
No.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Be prepared for the adventure of never knowing what each new day will bring, as far as work assignments. Freelance is not for the faint of heart, but it sure is exciting!

Who is your favorite artist?
AL HIRSCHFELD. When I saw my first Hirschfeld caricature drawing, I was transfixed. I began my career mimicking his unique style, and have since tried to grow and make it on my own. To be as good as Hirschfeld is the constant challenge.

Thank you for your time Ken.

Up next is Australian cartoonist, Tim Whyatt.