Monday, August 30, 2010

Jeff Danziger - Cartoonist Survey #160

photo credit: World Radio Switzerland


Political cartoonist Jeff Danziger was born in New York, NY in 1943. He served in the United States Army as an intelligence officer and linguist during the Vietnam War and was awarded the Bronze Star and Air Medal. He started his cartooning career in 1971 providing cartoons for a local Vermont newspaper for a dollar apiece. Since that time, Jeff’s work has appeared in hundreds of newspaper around the world. His editorial cartoons have been printed in the New York Daily News, Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, LeMonde, China Daily, The New Yorker, Newsweek, Forbes and many others. In addition to his editorial cartoons, he also created the comic strip 'McGonigle of the Chronicle', which ran from 1983 to 1985 in newspapers across the country, as well as the weekly series 'The Teeds: Tales of Agriculture for the Young and Old', that still runs in Vermont newspapers. Jeff’s cartoons have been collected into many anthologies. He is the recipient of numerous awards with some of the highlights including an Overseas Press Award, a Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast Prize. Stop by Jeff’s website where you can see hundreds of his cartoons, archived all the way back to 1998. You should also watch this video he has posted to YouTube which discusses political cartooning.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Bic Micro.

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

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

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Usually Dr. Martins.

What type of paper do you use?
Copy paper.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Nothing.

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

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
No.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Yes. Local jazz stations.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Pogo.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Some Robert Lawson books.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Various schools. Mostly for anatomy drawing.

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

Did either of your parents draw?
Both did. Graduates of Cooper Union.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Parents. Wife.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Sometimes.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Yes. Not greatly.

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

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Money.

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

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
It's a drawing area.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Piano.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Get regular work to bring in money.

Who is your favorite artist?
Heinrich Kley

Thank you Jeff.

Next time on David Wasting Paper is cartoonist Ed Stein.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Ed Piskor - Cartoonist Survey #159



Cartoonist Ed Piskor was born in July of 1982, in Homestead, Pennsylvania. As a kid, he saw a documentary featuring Harvey Pekar and instantly became interested in alternative comics. After high school he studied at the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art learning all he could about the business of drawing and selling comics. Ed has created dozens of his own independent comics and mini-comics including Deviant Funnies and the autobiographical, Isolation Chamber. He has also collaborated with some of the biggest names in the alternative comics world. In 2003 he worked with Jay Lynch (Cartoonist Survey #57) drawing strips for Jay’s planned book of autobiographical comic strips, Ink & Anguish. A year later Ed was illustrating stories for Harvey Pekar’s graphic novel, American Splendor: Our Movie Year. He worked with Harvey again when he illustrated the graphic novel Macedonia. Macedonia is based experiences of Heather Robinson, a student at the University of California, Berkeley, who traveled to the Republic of Macedonia to do research for her thesis. In 2009 the two got together once more producing the graphic book, The Beats: A Graphic History.

Ed’s self published Wizzywig strips began after he developed an interest in the history of Hacking and
Phone Phreaking. His Wizzywig strips have been collected into three volumes telling three quarters of the whole story. While working on the fourth volume, Ed decided that he wanted to refine the existing work by reediting, rewriting, and in some cases redrawing the strips. The “COMPLETE” story will be serialized on his Wizzywig Comics website that has two new pages going live each week. Ed lives and works in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Be sure to check out both his website and his blog.

What is your favorite pen to use?
I've been using the Hunt 102 for a long time and I confess to using it now simply out of habit. I haven't been happy with it much lately and have been experimenting with other nibs, brushes, microns, and markers. I keep going back to that stupid 102 though.

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

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
By computer. I don't know much about color so I steal color palettes from my favorite artists.

What type of paper do you use?
Mostly Strathmore Bristol board.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
I guess probably animals. I still can't draw people as good as I want and learning a whole new set of anatomical proportions kills me.

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

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
I usually wake up right before I start drawing.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
I'm a Howard Stern listener because the program is entertaining and keeps my butt in the chair for a reliable 5 hours each day. After that I listen to all sorts of music.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Sure, I've read comics forever. I was a Turtles fan as a kid and big into the X titles.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
All time fave? Dick Tracy. I am such a nerd for that strip and it's the only piece of work that I refuse to look at critically. It just entertains me so much.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
I used to sign out Comix by Les Daniels at the library every 2 weeks and I recently found a copy on Ebay for 3 bucks.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Went to the Kubert school for a year.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Too much of anything is bad but the 'net' is pretty important to me.

Did either of your parents draw?
My mom dabbles.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Well, my parents never broke my balls about it. I guess that's the best you can hope for.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yeah, but I don't sketch enough.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I have taught it and I liked it OK. I'd really like to teach some people who really want to learn though. The stuff I was doing was pretty much for people looking to try something different.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Both seem pretty important to me. Passion more probably. There are plenty of guys who know how to construct a figure but if you're passionate about your work that becomes imbued with what you do and adds an interesting personal flare. I'm still trying to accomplish that.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Comics, comics, comics.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
A geeky, lanky, nerd, with a big head, and Adams apple.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
A big loser. That still might happen if I become complacent too.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Claustrophobic as hell.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Nope.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Just keep working. Discipline yields a lot. I know many people way better than me who can't sit at the drawing board long enough to work consistently.

Who is your favorite artist?
So many. Robert Crumb is obvious. I guess I have too many artists I love to pick an absolute favorite.



Thanks again for your time Ed.

Political cartoonist Jeff Danziger is next.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Russell Stutler - Cartoonist/Artist Survey #158





Russell Stutler is an artist who was born in Japan, raised here in the U.S. and now lives in Tokyo. In the early 70’s he saw a television series on the life of Leonardo Da Vinci and it instilled in him a passion for sketching and drawing. He went to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and received an Associate’s Degree in Visual Communication. Russ worked as a graphic artist while earning his Bachelor's Degree in Christian Ministries from Malone College. In 1987 he went to Japan to learn Japanese and work as a missionary. Staying permanently in Japan, he has worked as a freelance illustrator who has illustrated many books and magazine articles. He runs a great website that showcases his love of sketching, watercolor painting and much, much more.

I stumbled upon Russ’s site a few years ago and have spent many hours reading through it all. He discusses the tools and techniques of sketching and watercolor painting, using step by step pictures of his own work. There is a whole section on his sketchbook pages; filled with drawings of buildings, storefronts, houses and people he’s seen in and around Tokyo. His website also features a wonderful
online book about sketching that he created and a Sketching Forum. The Sketching Forum is a great resource where people not only display their own sketches but also review the pens, paints and paper they used to create them. Be sure to set aside some time and check out Russ’s website and the Sketching Forum. Go here to buy some of Russ's drawings.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Brush pen.

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

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

What type of paper do you use?
All digital now, no paper.

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

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

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
No.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
No.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Batman

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Calvin and Hobbes

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
None.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Art Institute of Pittsburgh

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

Did either of your parents draw?
No.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Can't recall.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yes.

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?
Passion.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Nothing.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Don't know.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Anything I could find.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Drawing board.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Yes, guitar.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Consider a back up career and make art your hobby.

Who is your favorite artist?
Leonardo, Hokusai

Thanks again Russ.

Up next is alternative comics artist Ed Piskor.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Harley Schwadron - Cartoonist Survey #157



Harley Schwadron is a freelance cartoonist and illustrator based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is a graduate of Bowdoin College in Maine and also holds a Master's degree in journalism from the University of California at Berkeley. Starting out as a reporter for the Hartford Times he became a writer and law school alumni magazine editor at University of Michigan News & Information Services. In 1985, after 20 years as a writer and editor he became a full-time cartoonist. Harley was a cartoonist for England’s Punch magazine for 15 years. His freelance cartoons are regularly published in Reader’s Digest, Playboy, Harvard Business Review, Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, National Law Journal, Forbes and many others. His cartoons and illustrations have also appeared in newspapers such as USA Today, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Hartford Courant, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Christian Science Monitor and the New York Times.

Harley’s book illustration work includes, No Husband Should Be Without a Wife; The Money is the Gravy: Finding a Career That Nourishes You; Holy Hilarity; Ann Arbor Writes: A Community Memoir; 101 President Jokes; 101 Cat and Dog Jokes; as well as appearing in more than 25 Chicken Soup for the Soul books. He draws the daily syndicated business panel, "9 to 5", for
Tribune Media Services. Originally syndicated with Davey Associates in 1990 as BIG BIZ, Harley’s “9 to 5” cartoon is mainly a business satire, but it also “pokes fun at technology, relationships, dogs and cats, and life in general.” Visit Harley’s website to see more examples of his work. You can read “9 to 5” daily, here at GoComics.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Koh-i-noor # 3 and # 2 1/2

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

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

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Watercolors and brush.

What type of paper do you use?
Use typewriter paper. For color, use card stock or bristol board.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Too many to mention (i.e., Eiffel tower etc.)

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

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Yes, sitting down for several hours to come up with ideas. This is hardest part of cartooning for me.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Occasionally, usually classical or blues.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Francis the Talking Mule by Cliff Rogerson, editorial cartoonist at Newsday in Garden City, NY. I visited him many times and he taught me everything I needed to know about cartooning, such as materials, inks and paper.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Grin and Bear it by George Lichty.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Can't remember.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
No formal art training.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Both. Takes up a lot of time to scan cartoons, but cartoonist can send them out faster.

Did either of your parents draw?
Nope. Father was an accountant/lawyer in NYC. Mother was a public school teacher in Queens, NY.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
No one in particular. I'm still waiting for someone to step forward, particularly receptive editors.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
No.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Taught cartooning in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Found that students needed very basic guidance.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Don't know. What is needed most is endurance.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
I have a nice collection of rejection slips.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
I'm not a big fan of animation.

Are you a righty or lefty?
I draw lefty, throw righty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
I would be a newspaper reporter because this is what I actually did for 20 years before doing cartoons full time.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
I built a big room on my house as an art studio. It has lots of windows. Unfortunately, this means I need backup heat in winter.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I play the piano a little…

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Draw the kind of cartoons you like, try to find your niche, and pray a lot.

Who is your favorite artist?
George Lichty, Saul Steinberg, Joe Mirachi, Henry Martin.

Thanks again Harley.

The next set of answers are provided by artist and illustrator, Russell Stutler and come all the way from Tokyo, Japan.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Joseph Farris - Cartoonist Survey #156

photo © Anne Hall



Joseph Farris is a cartoonist, illustrator, painter and sculptor who grew up in Danbury, CT. He has been providing The New Yorker with both covers and single panel cartoons since 1971. In addition to The New Yorker, he has created covers for the ABA Journal, Barron's, Indiana Alumni, Harvard Magazine, Industry Week and many others. Joseph has had two syndicated features, FARRISWHEEL for the Chicago Tribune Syndicate and PHIPPS for United Features Syndicate. His cartoons were featured in Stern, a German weekly news magazine, for almost twenty years. Phobias and Therapies, A Cog in the Wheel, They're a Very Successful Family, and Money Inc. are just a few of his cartoon books that have been published. He has also illustrated many books such as, The Latin Riddle Book and Loose Leaf.

In 2007, Joseph had a very successful one-man show titled, ‘Two Sides of Joseph Farris’. The show was held at the
Karpeles Museum in Newburgh, NY and showcased seventy-five of his cartoons from The New Yorker and over seventy of his paintings. The Center for New Media & the Arts in Bethel, CT hosted a large one-man show of his cartoons, paintings and sculpture in 2009 and permanently named their gallery "The Joseph Farris Gallery.” In addition to being a talented artist, Joseph is also a writer, having recently completed his memoir, Elm Street, about his teenage years growing up in Danbury. He presently lives in Bethel, which is just a short drive from Danbury. See more of Joseph’s work here at his website.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Sharpie ultra-fine point.

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

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

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

What type of paper do you use?
Strathmore Charcoal sheets.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
None.

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

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Wake up.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Classical.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Did read - no favorite.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Aesop's Fables - don't own it any more.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Whitney School of Art, New Haven, CT

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

Did either of your parents draw?
No.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Richard Taylor and myself.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Usually, when traveling.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Taught drawing and art in general, not for pay. Yes, enjoyed it.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Both important but drive a necessity.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Knowledge.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Haven't a clue.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty

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

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Flat door size desk.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Harmonica, badly.

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 rejection but pursue anyway.

Who is your favorite artist?
Probably Degas.

Thank you very much Joseph.

Freelance cartoonist and illustrator Harley Schwadron shares his answers next.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Frank Roberson - Cartoonist Survey #155

Phot credit: Jessica Ruskin Click strips for full-size.

Frank Roberson has been drawing cartoons since he was a little kid and has always dreamed of producing a syndicated strip. He attended the Art Institute of Seattle from 1991-1993. He has worked in politics as a campaign manager and a congressional staffer. Frank has also been playing professional golf for many years. His strip Maximus is about the “adventures of an imaginative eight year old boy who lives through the superhero inside of all of us to overcome the loss of his mom and keep his father safe." A single dad, Frank lives in Sacramento, CA with his teenager and a bloodhound named Gracie. Read Maximus here and be sure to leave some feedback as Frank loves to hear from fans. There are also some great videos on YouTube that show the process he uses to create Maximus.

What is your favorite pen to use?
This is a good question; I typically use four different tools to produce Maximus. My favorite is my Windsor Newton Series 7 #2 round brush. I also use a Gillette 1290 nib draw lines, Hunt 513 EF for background line work and Speedball C-4 for the hand lettering.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I do draw in pencil first. I use the Prismacolor Color-Erase light blue pencil. It goes on the paper a little darker than non-photo blue but scans the same, invisible.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
I actually struggle to color my strip so I have a colorist that I send my Sunday strips to have colored. They do great work.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
When I do a personalized strip for someone, I use Prismacolor markers, including the colorless blender and add accent color and shading with Prismacolor color pencils.

What type of paper do you use?
I use Strathmore 300 series Bristol, size 19x24 since I draw my originals so large.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
I don’t hate drawing many things but trees and bushes are not my favorite. I am working on it though.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I used to buy my supplies for a mom & pop store in Reno when I lived there. When I moved to Sacramento I didn’t have that option so I get my supplies from Utrecht. However, I prefer to support a locally owned store, if only I knew of one.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
I sacrifice a bucket of Popeye’s spicy southern chicken. KIDDING! I loosen my hands up by drawing big circles, which is the main shape I use for all my characters) I draw some action lines to see how I am going to have Max and the gang move.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
I do listen to music. I love to draw with the tunes going. I don’t have a specific genre but love listening to Signature. Lately, Journey, George Strait and some Bochelli have been on a lot.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I read Born Loser, Dennis and Peanuts. Peanuts being my favorite when I was a kid.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Peanuts

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
My favorite book when I was a kid had to be Superfudge by Judy Blume. I wish I had a copy of it.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I went to the Art Institute of Seattle 1991-1993 and in 2007 went back to school to work on improving Maximus at the Academy of Art University.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
The Internet is a double edged sword. Weighing the pros & cons, I think it is a blessing for the most part. Without it we would all be struggling to find other areas to show our art. There are negatives in everything, but the benefits far outweigh the alternatives to not having the Internet.


Did either of your parents draw?
I grew up with my grandparents and my granddad was a great landscape and still life artist. My great Grandmother was even better and my inspiration.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My Great Grandmother, Stella was the most supportive of my art. She is the one that persuaded me to go to art school and do something with my abilities.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yes, I keep a sketchbook. I use it mostly when I am figuring out a new character, and tricky action pose and lay out issues. I love taking the sketchbook with me to the coffee shop and drawing.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I have helped some kids draw a little but nothing formal.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
I believe both are very important when doing comic strips. You must have passion to draw comics every day; you can’t do that if you don’t love it and have the passion. On the other side, you must have talent as a writer to make it in comics. You don’t have to be a talented artist. There are strips in newspapers across the country that are well written but the art is not great, but very few, if any strips where the art is fantastic and the writing is average.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
I collect a couple things. I collect original art and have a collection of original strips from Mike Peters (Mother Goose & Grimm), Ray Billingsley (Curtis), Brian Crane (Pickles), Bob Thaves (Frank & Ernest), Chuck Jones (Looney Tunes) and others. I also collect Bloodhound stuff.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Honestly, I created Maximus from my desire as a kid to be a superhero and save the world. I would have to say that if I had the opportunity to be an animated character it would be Maximus.

Are you a righty or lefty?
I am a righty.

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

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
I can sum up my drawing area in one well known statement that since I was a kid people have told me is not true. I don’t know who originally said this. “A messy desk is the sign of a genius”.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Nope. I played the fiddle when I was a kid but couldn’t play a lick now.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Don’t give up. This field is so subjective that it can crush your confidence in a single email from an editor. Persistency and consistency is critical. If you keep putting out consistently good work and accept constructive advice and critiques and use them as positives to improve, you will put yourself in the upper shelf of cartoonists.

Who is your favorite artist?
Chuck Jones

Thanks Frank!


New Yorker cartoonist, Joseph Farris is next.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Have You Ever Taught Cartooning/Drawing And If So Did You Enjoy The Experience? - Cartoonist Survey Answers Compiled

Here are the compiled answers to the question, Have You Ever Taught Cartooning/Drawing And If So Did You Enjoy The Experience?

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

Have You Ever Taught Cartooning/Drawing?

Yes - 71
No - 28
Didn't Answer - 1

Did You Enjoy The Experience?
Please note that this part of the question was not answered by all participants.

Yes - 45
No - 12

Friday, August 13, 2010

John Porcellino - Cartoonist Survey #154



John Porcellino was born in Chicago, in September of 1968, and has been writing and drawing comics, minicomics and graphic novels for close to 30 years. He began self-publishing comic books when he was only 14. In 1989 he started his mostly autobiographical King-Cat Comics, which is one of the longest-running minicomics. John draws his comics with simple black lines and no shading. Many of his comics have been collected in anthologies including, ‘King-Cat Collection’, ‘Diary of a Mosquito Abatement Man’, ‘Perfect Example’, ‘King-Cat Classix’ and ‘Map of My Heart’. They have been reprinted in French, Spanish, German, Italian, Swedish and Korean. ‘Diary of a Mosquito Abatement Man’ collected King-Cat stories about his experiences while in his 20’s as a pest control worker. It went on to win an Ignatz Award in 2005. Henry David Thoreau is one of John’s biggest inspirations so it is not a surprise that he created ‘Thoreau at Walden’, a 110 page graphic novel about his impression of Thoreau's time at the pond. Besides creating comics, he has played in indie rock bands and had his own music and comics distribution company, Spit and a Half, which he has started up again. John recently moved from Denver to Florida and will be touring the West Coast from mid-August to mid-September with King-Cat #71, his latest comic. Visit his King-Cat website and follow him on his blog. John also has a page at Drawn and Quarterly.

What is your favorite pen to use?
I use either Microns or Rapidographs merely out of the fact that I'm lazy and don't spend time experimenting with different pens. I also sometimes "ink" with black colored pencils or soft graphite pencils.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I use a standard non-repro blue pencil to draw with.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
By hand mainly as I don't know really know how to color on the computer, but occasionally I have friends digitally color stuff for me.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Colored pencils, watercolor, colored inks.

What type of paper do you use?
For years I used plain office-supply laser paper. I just started using the Strathmore Manga 11 x 17 sheets, cuz I can cut them down to four King-Cat sized pages each!

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
N/A

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Local art supply shops mostly, occasionally a chain craft-type store.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Before starting to ink I write out the alphabet.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
No. At first I always listened to music when I drew. Then I found it too distracting so I switched to instrumental-only music. Then I switched to instrumental-only music only when inking, and now I don't listen to music at all when making comics.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I read mostly newspaper funnies along with the occasional comic book off the newsstand. Of those, I read mainly monster/supernatural thriller types. In newspaper comics Ziggy was my favorite.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Gasoline Alley can't be beat. Runner up: Krazy Kat. I also love Alley Oop, and wish someone would start reprinting those!

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
The Hodgepodge Book by Duncan Emrich, with pictures by Ib Ohlsson. I finally found a used copy of it back in the 90's. When I was a kid I had this book perpetually checked out of the Chicago Public Library.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I studied art throughout my teen years and have a BFA in painting from Northern Illinois University.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
It's often a blessing and I don't know if it's ever bad enough to be a curse, but it sure can be a time waster if you're so inclined!

Did either of your parents draw?
Beyond doodles, no.

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

Do you keep a sketchbook?
I keep one but that doesn't mean I use it!

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

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
I think passion IS a talent.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Jack Kirby monster comics.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Woody Woodpecker (?!).

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty.

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

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Usually: A mess. With a little spot cleared out in the middle for drawing. Lately: Nice and simple (I'm on the road so I just have a little drawing area with a lamp, a globe, a notebook, a stack of blank pages, and a stack of drawn pages. And two pens, a pencil, and an eraser!)

Do you play any musical instruments?
I play guitar.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Find what's inside you and bring that out.

Who is your favorite artist?
Picking one is excruciatingly hard: Henri Matisse.



Thank you very much for your time John.

Up next is cartoonist Frank Roberson.

Don't forget the
Rhodia Webnotebook Giveaway ends this Sunday night at 9:00.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Michael Nobbs - Cartoonist/Artist Survey #153

Full-time artist Michael Nobbs was born in Surrey, England in 1967. He moved to the west coast of Wales when he was 24. Being diagnosed with ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) in 1995, he had to stop working and became bedridden. It took a few years, but Michael slowly regained his strength and enrolled in a drawing class. He started making small drawings and blogging about them which proved to be very therapeutic. In 2000 he started a more formal art training which resulted in earning a MA in Fine Art from the School of Art, Aberystwyth University. Michael is the author of The Beany, a regularly published illustrated journal of his life, as well as his 75 Ways to Draw More and Start to Draw Your Life booklets Both of the booklets are free to download and are available as free e-books. He regularly records AudioBoo micro-podcasts that cover things he’s learning about working as an artist online and sends out his a microMagazine, Getting Your Important Work Done, every couple of weeks. His latest book, 'Sustainable Creativity' is due out later this year. Checkout Michael’s website and his blog. Be sure and view his recent set of drawings up on Flickr.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Rotring Art Pen (though I also use a Lamy Safari a lot, and increasingly a very old Wacom tablet).

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

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

What type of paper do you use?
If I'm drawing on paper first, I usually use a Moleskine sketchbook and then scan the drawing. If I'm working on my computer I print out on heavyweight inkjet paper and often work more in ink on that.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
I only draw what I want to draw.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I used to spend a lot of money on pens and paper, and still love to wonder around stationers drooling over supplies, but these days I use very little as I mostly work on my computer. I tend to keep my pen buying habits in check by order what I need online.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Make a pot of tea.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
I like to listen to radio drama, mostly on BBC Radio 7.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I used to love a comic called Cheeky Weekly. I recently covered my studio floor with old copies I found in eBay. It looks great and brought back a lot of happy memories.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
I also loved DC comics, especially Wonder Woman and Superman.


What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
'Five Go on a Hike Together' - Yes.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I began drawing classes quite late in life in 2000, after being diagnosed with ME/CFS. I went on to study for an MA in Fine Art.

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

Did either of your parents draw?
No.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
A good friend in my first drawing class. Without her encouragement I probably wouldn't have persevered.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
No.

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

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Neither. Perseverance.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
No.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
As much as I dislike the Disney version, I'd probably be Winnie the Pooh.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Professional tea drinker.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
The everyday and ordinary.

Do you play any musical instruments?
No. I used to play the trombone and have often had a hankering to play the clarinet.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Pick up a pen and draw and keep drawing.

Who is your favorite artist?
I can't pick one. Danny Gregory and Dan Price had a big influence on my starting to draw. David Hockney always inspires me. Ronald Searle likewise. I love Keri Smith's work. I could go on (and on), but it's probably time for a cup of tea...

Thank you Michael.

Next time on David Wasting Paper is John Porcellino, creator of King-Cat Comics.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Rhodia Webnotebook Review and Giveaway

Congratulations to "stelter" whose comment was chosen by Random.org as the winner! Thank you to everyone who participated.

Stephanie at the Rhodia Drive blog asked me if I would like to write a review on their Rhodia Webnotebook, and she would also send me one to offer as a giveaway on my blog. I immediately agreed of course, as I’m always up for free stuff; and if I can share that free stuff with my blog followers, all the better. The notebooks were sent to me by Karen at Exaclair, Rhodia’s U.S. importer, and arrived last Friday.

The Rhodia Webnotebook (nicknamed the Webbie) is a 5.5″ X 8.25″ blank notebook that has 96 sheets of 90g Clairefontaine smooth vellum paper. The soft leather-like cover is black and has the Rhodia logo embossed on the front. There is an elastic band to keep the notebook closed, a ribbon bookmark and the inside back cover has an expandable pocket. The pages are a light cream color and with some coaxing will lay flat. The paper quality and size of the Webbie makes it work well as a sketchbook too. Overall the Rhodia Webnotebook would make a great addition to any creative person’s arsenal!




The Webbie




Various pens and pencils - Top to Bottom; Pentel Graphgear 1000 (.9 with HB), Prismacolor Non-Photo Blue, Prismacolor Col-Erase Blue, Pigma Micron 01, Pigma Micron 05, Faber Castell Pitt "S", Faber Castell Pitt "F", UniBall Grip, UniBall Vision Elite, UniBall Signo .5 Blue, Pilot Easy Touch PRO "M", Pilot Varsity Fountain Pen, Pentel Pocket Brush, Kuretake Brush Pen and a Rotring Art Pen "F'

The Webbie would make a great notebook for a musician to work out songs in...

...or to keep track of movies you’ve watched or that are on your “must see’ list.

If you’d like a chance to win a Webbie for yourself, leave a single, non-spam comment below telling me how you would use it. Make sure your email address is somewhere in your comment so that I can contact you if you win. Cutoff for entering is Sunday night (8/15/10) at 9:00 p.m. eastern. I will pick one lucky person using the random number generator over at random.org. Good Luck! (Please note that all comments need to be approved before publishing because ‘spammers’ like to visit every now and then.)

A big thank you goes out to Stephanie at
Rhodia Drive and Karen at Exaclair!


Monday, August 9, 2010

Graham Annable - Cartoonist Survey #152




Animator and cartoonist Graham Annable was born in June of 1970, in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada. He was classically trained as an animator at Toronto’s Sheridan College. After graduating from Sheridan in 1992 he started working for LucasArts doing both computer and traditional animation for computer games. Some of the titles he worked on at LucasArts include, Outlaws, Full Throttle, Afterlife, Curse of Monkey Island, Star Wars:Obi-wan and Star Wars: Episode 3. Graham stayed at LucasArts for ten years, eventually becoming a lead animator. In 1998 he was awarded animation's highest honor the ASIFA Annie Award for "Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Interactive Program". He has also done cartooning and illustration for numerous companies such as Chuck Jones, Nickelodeon, and Walt Disney Productions.

Graham is the creator of the short story comics, “Grickle”, which he originally self-published. “Grickle” was one of the nicknames that his father used for him when he was a kid. “Grickle” was selected for the 2008 edition of “Best American Comics” and was named one of Wizard's Top 25 “indie books everyone must read.” This March,
Dark Horse released “The Book of Grickle”, a hand-selected "best of" that features a number of the short stories originally published by Alternative Comics. His indie Grickle Channel on YouTube was a home page Featured Video, and has driven over 1 million views!

Graham is one of the co-founders and editor of the Hickee humor anthologies. These anthologies were the result of a group of friends hanging out in San Francisco coffee shops on Sunday afternoons drawing and creating stories. Hickee has introduced many up and coming cartoonists to the underground comics world. Graham’s works as a storyboard artist at his day job for
Laika Entertainment, an animation studio that specializes in feature films, commercials, music videos, broadcast graphics and short films. He worked on 2009’s stop motion animated feature adaption of Neil Gaiman’s novel, “Coraline.” Graham recently collaborated with Telltale Games to create the adventure puzzle game, “Nelson Tethers: Puzzle Agent.” He also provides Telltale Games with the weekly webcomic Dank, about the adventures of Dank the Caveman and his creator Dunk the cartoonist. Graham lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and their son. See more of his work at his Grickle.com website and his Gricklethings blog. Don’t forget to check out the Grickle Channel at YouTube and the Dank strip at Telltale Games.

What is your favorite pen to use?
These days I've been using mostly Pigma Micron pens. Usually the 005 or 01 size.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Sometimes. And when I do it really is about 50/50 between standard and mechanical. Whichever one is closest by. :)

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
On my animated shorts it's all colored on computer. For illustration and comic book work it's usually by hand.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Mostly Dr. Ph. Martin's colored inks.

What type of paper do you use?
Lately it's been Canson's watercolor paper.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Cars, buildings, inanimate objects in general. Hate is a strong word but I prefer just drawing characters.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I usually stop by Utrecht's in downtown NW Portland, OR.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Check the NHL channel on TV for vintage games, eat snacks, and just procrastinate in general.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
I listen to music usually when I'm at a finishing stage of something (inking, painting in tones). The genres I listen to are typically techno, jazz, classical, or movie soundtracks.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Yep. Spider-Man was probably my favorite. But I was really into Archie and Donald Duck (Carl Barks) as well.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
I'd have to say Peanuts. I love the old Segar Popeye strips as well.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
That's tough to say. I still have a copy of Ken Dryden's hockey bio book and that was a definite favorite.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Yes, I attended Sheridan College and graduated from their classical animation program back in 1992.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Overall I'd have to say it's a blessing. When else was it ever possible for me to create a home-made cartoon and have over a million people watch it without absolutely no distributor or middleman involved?

Did either of your parents draw?
No, not really. My Mom was pretty good at drawing cartoon dogs and ladies faces but her art career didn't really expand beyond that.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Well despite the fact that neither of them were artists I'd have to say my parents were my biggest supporters in everything, not just art.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yep. Hundreds of half-filled ones that clutter up my house.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Not really. I participated in an animation workshop for kids not too long ago and that was fun. I'd have to say that I did indeed enjoy it.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
No. I think talent and passion can be equally applied and equally rewarding in nearly all disciplines. At least I'd like to think so.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Mostly old hockey memorabilia. I can't say why really except that it makes me happy.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
I've been told I closely resemble Kermit the Frog. Although technically speaking I guess he's not an animated character.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Maybe be a writer? Or perhaps involved in the sciences.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Messy and eclectic. I try to keep it clean and organized but it always gets away from me.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I wish I did. I can strum a few chords on a guitar and do a single beat on a drum kit but I'm nowhere near being able to actually 'play' an instrument.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Just keep following the direction that inspires you. I think it's better to get good at something you enjoy doing than be successful with something that you despise.

Who is your favorite artist?
That's way too hard to just single down to one. But for the moment I'll say Harvey Kurtzman.



Thanks again Graham!

Welsh artist Michael Nobbs is up next.

AND...coming very soon, a David Wasting Paper giveaway!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mike Shapiro - Cartoonist Survey #151




Born in 1962, Mike Shapiro is a full-time freelance cartoonist and caricaturist. In 1987 he had his first cartoon published in The Saturday Evening Post. Since that time his cartoons have appeared in many publications including, Barron’s, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Reader’s Digest and Forbes. Mike has done work for animation studios, advertising agencies and has been published in numerous books and humor collections. His work has appeared in museum and gallery shows such as the International Museum Of Cartoon Art and a Wall Street Journal cartoon exhibition. Mike’s cartoons are also featured as part of a permanent collection at The Harvard Business School's Baker Library. As if all that wasn’t enough, he is also a talented caricaturist and frequently draws at live events. Mike lives in Washington, DC with his wife and their two children. Visit his website and blog.

What is your favorite pen to use?
For magazine cartooning I use a Pigma Micron 08. I use a Copic Sketch marker for live caricatures.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I pencil first with a mechanical pencil. 0.7 HB led.

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

What type of paper do you use?
I use 24 lb., 8 1/2 x 11, Laserjet for magazine cartooning. 11 x 17 65 lb. cover stock by Cougar for caricatures.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Nothing really comes to mind.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
When I'm organized I order online. More often than not I go to a chain. The one by me is Plaza Art.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Nope.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
I usually listen to something. I like a lot of different kinds of music. I also listen to sports talk, NPR, etc. If none of that's working for me I'll have the TV on in the background.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I read the strips, some comic books. MAD, etc. When I was a little older I got into The New Yorker.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
If I had to choose I'd say Calvin and Hobbes. I also love Doonesbury.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Nothing stands out. My parents made sure we had a house full of books including all the classic kid's books.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I studied animation at the Joe Kubert School.

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

Did either of your parents draw?
No, but my dad loved comic books and cartoons.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My parents were very supportive when I was growing up and my wife is very supportive now.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yes. I usually use a Pilot Precise V5 Rolling Ball Extra Fine when I'm drawing in it.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I taught a basic cartooning course class for kids a few years ago. I enjoyed it and would do it again.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
I've found that the best artists I know have worked the hardest at their craft. This is without exception in my experience. This seems to be the case in almost everything. The best musicians I know put in the most time practicing and thinking in a constructive way about music. This probably holds true for plumbers, auto mechanics, neurosurgeons, and homemakers. So, if passion leads putting in the necessary time, I'd go with passion.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
I don't collect stuff.

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

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty.

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

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
My work space is currently in our basement. It's a finished basement so in addition to my drawing and computer gear there's also a few couches , a stereo, and TV. It can be easy to goof off down there. Often late at night I'll just work at our dining room table.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I play drums. I'm better when I practice.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
The harder you work at your craft the better you'll become . . . and don't put a couch by your drawing table.

Who is your favorite artist?
Tough question. There are too many to name.

Thank you very much Mike!

Up next is cartoonist and animator, Graham Annable.