Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 Best Pieces Of Advice To Someone Who Wants To Pursue Drawing As A Career

Here are what I feel are some of the best answers of 2010 to my question; If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?

Visit the participating cartoonist's sites by clicking on their name and read all their answers to the Cartoonist Survey by clicking the link beneath their name.

Greg Ruth
Cartoonist Survey #45



"Go full bore or not at all. It's too hard to make a living out of it if you're just playing at it. You have to make sure you do everything you can to make it happen and if it doesn't anyway, then you've at least tried your damndest and can blame the rest on fate. And never take on work that you're not interested in. Make sure you love what you're doing while your doing it and remember to notice that -- otherwise it's all just drudgery. And there's enough of that to go around already.

Also never ever never miss your deadlines. Don't do it. You can make a career off of this alone -- and you can ruin a genius career by doing it’s opposite."


Brian Anderson
Cartoonist Survey#81



"Never give up, but always be honest with yourself. You need to have a tiny Simon Cowell in your head."

Tom Richmond
Cartoonist Survey #89



"Be happy with your skill level today, but don't be happy if you have the same skill level tomorrow. Never stop working to improve and aim high in your work."

Scott Hilburn
Cartoonist Survey #103



"Really, this advice applies to anyone and any career: Only do so if you love it. Do it because it's your passion. Do it because you couldn't imagine doing anything else. If you aren't doing it for those reasons, you'd be better off doing something else."

Brian Fies
Cartoonist Survey #113



"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*."

Sherm Cohen
Cartoonist Survey #120



"Aside from the usual advice to draw all the time, I would encourage anyone who's serious about making a living in art (or more specifically, cartooning) to find a way to get their work in print as soon as possible, and as frequently as possible. The cost of self-publishing comics these days is low enough for just about anyone to afford. You don't need a big distributor like diamond to get your comics into comic shops... you just have to go through the work of visiting those shops, talking to the owners, building a relationship, and getting your work out there. My first comics were self-published, and I hustled them all over the place -- including renting a table at the San Diego comic con. It was because of those comics and because of being at that convention that I got my first opportunity to be a storyboard artist. You gotta get your work OUT THERE where it can be seen by people that will help further your career."

Ray Alma
Cartoonist Survey #124



"Be able to take criticism. Sometimes you will suck."

Richard Thompson
Cartoonist Survey #125



"Draw and draw and put it out there where people can see it and don't dawdle. I dawdled around for a while and regret (some) of it. And don't worry about "style"; that'll come when you need it."

Colleen Coover
Cartoonist Survey #134



"You need to have a fundamental compulsion to draw. If I weren’t getting paid assignments, I would still be making comics on my own. I can’t help it! The best way—the only way, in my view—to get professional work is to show that you are motivated from within."

Drew Brophy
Cartoonist Survey #141



"Don’t give yourself a plan B. Without a Plan B, you’ll be forced to make your plan to be an artist work. And get yourself educated on business. It’s as important as the art itself."

Jeff Corriveau
Cartoonist Survey #142



"Whenever I take on a goal in life, I always approach it like the Vikings who used to burn their ships behind them when they went into battle, so they couldn’t retreat. I have to be the best at whatever it is I do. And it’s helped me attain most of what I’ve accomplished in my professional journeys. If you truly want to do this, you have to approach it like a serious life choice. You have to be all in. You must tell yourself, “I’m going to be the best comic book illustrator. Or greeting card cartoonist. Or oil painter.” And then do that very thing. And if you need training or other areas of help to achieve that, do it. I mentioned a vampire analogy before, and it’s true. You have to have a bloodthirst for this stuff. And I don’t necessarily mean financial success. You have to be the very best at your vocation. No excuses. Anything less is called fry cook."

Richard Sala
Cartoonist Survey #168



"Only do it if you really, really love it and are really interested in it. If it bores you even a little or seems tedious or too much work -- it's either not for you or you are approaching it wrong. Find the part of it that you most enjoy and concentrate on that."

Fintan Taite
Cartoonist Survey #176



"Stick to what you believe in and never work for less than you're worth. As my Dad used to say, you'll always be busy if you work for free!"

Scott Chantler
Cartoonist Survey #180



"Too many artists, especially new ones, undervalue their work because they feel like they're just lucky be doing it at all. And it's true; this is something you do for love, not money. But that's no excuse for not treating it like a business, being a professional, knowing your rights, and trying to make it as profitable as you can."

Phil Yeh
Cartoonist Survey #183



"My standard answer is two words for all aspiring artists and musicians -- "Marry well."

A more serious answer would be -- learn to draw everything and then find the best way to make a living at what you love. When you start your career DRAW for everyone. Make signs for the local shop with bad signs, redesign ads for all the businesses that have truly awful ads, make t-shirt designs and really just use your art in every way that you can to make this a more interesting and creative world. Do birthday and holiday cards for people and give the world something that is unique and original!!! With all the artists on this planet, one would think that we would see great art everywhere. Instead, we in the United States see mostly corporate box stores and ugly urban architecture and terrible signs. There is very, very little good art on anything mainstream from the Internet to the TV to our print ads. Big soulless companies do not understand what good art is 99% of the time. Precious few American magazines even run cartoons and even fewer use illustrators. There is lots of room for excellent art."




David Wasting Paper wishes you a safe, happy and prosperous New Year!

Monday, December 27, 2010

What Did You Get For Christmas?

I'm taking a short break from shoveling out from the "blizzard" that hit us yesterday into today and I thought I'd show you some of the cool cartooning and comic related gifts I received for Christmas.


First is a Lamy Safari Extra Fine Nib Fountain Pen.


This is an ink converter for the pen that will allow me to use...

... Noodler's Black Waterproof Ink

This is a limited edition large Peanuts Moleskine notebook.


Krazy Kat: The Comic Art of George Herriman

A nifty box of Vintage DC Comics postcards.

This one will take me a while to read through. It is over 1000 pages of Writings & Drawings of James Thurber.

Next is Capacity by Theo Ellsworth. There are some pretty wild drawings in this book.


This book isn't cartoon or comic related but goes along with my other love, the classic Universal Studio Monsters.

All in all a pretty darn good take if you ask me.

So, what did you get? Leave a comment and let me know what cartoon and comic related gifts you received.



Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from David Wasting Paper

I hope you all have a happy and safe Christmas.


This is an old one I did in watercolor.

Speaking of an old one...here's yours truly circa 1967.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

An Homage To Herriman


Here is a fairly recent "toon" I drew using a Pigma Micron pen and cheap Winsor & Newton watercolors in a small Moleskine watercolor notebook. Apologies to any Hello Kitty fans out there.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Terry Moore - Cartoonist Survey #200

As 2010 draws to a close, now is a great time to reflect on the past year. One year ago my goal was to survey some professional cartoonists in hopes of getting some great advice on how a “newbie” to the industry, like me, might get started in the world of cartooning. The outcome of my venture was a bevy of surveys flooding in from world renowned cartoonists and illustrators resulting in this, my 200th Cartoonist Survey post.

This has been a very rewarding, fun and informative journey, and I’ve formed some great friendships along the way. With working a demanding full-time “white collar” job and spending much of my free time on the survey blog, I have yet to begin my trek into the professional cartooning realm. With that being said, I’ll be taking a respite from the regular survey posts to focus on that original goal of becoming a cartoonist myself. I’m now armed with all the tips and advice needed to begin that next step, and I hope you all have enjoyed and benefited from the ride as well. This is by no means the end of the surveys, so please be sure to check back periodically for future updates on your fellow cartoonists…one day which will hopefully include the noted cartoonist David Paccia.

And now Cartoonist Survey #200 Terry Moore...









Terry Moore is an award winning comic book creator, author and artist. While trying to break into the syndicated comic strip market, he came up with the idea for his comic book series, Strangers In Paradise. After Terry observed the influx of small press publishers in early the 1990’s, he began researching the comic book industry and started drawing the first issue of Strangers In Paradise. He submitted his work to multiple publishers and signed with Antarctic Press to do a three issue mini-series. Antarctic Press published the first issue of Strangers In Paradise (SIP) in November of 1993. By the next year Terry was self-publishing SIP under his own Abstract Studio imprint. SIP won an Eisner Award for Best Serialized Story in 1996 and in 2003 it won the award for Best Comic Book category from the National Cartoonists Society. Ending a 14 year run in 2007, SIP has been collected in trade paperbacks, been translated into 14 languages and even spawned a series of trading cards produced by Comic Images.

Terry’s latest comic book series ECHO, came out in March of 2008. It is the story of Julie Martin, a young female nature photographer who witnesses an explosion in the desert sky that results in her getting rained on by a radioactive atomic alloy. The metal sticks to her skin and forms a solid metal breastplate that reacts in different ways based on her thoughts. ECHO won a Harvey Award in 2009 for Best New Series. In addition to his own comic book series, Terry has written for Marvel Comics’ Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, Runaways and has also made contributions to many other publishers including Dark Horse and DC. To see more of Terry’s work visit the official
Abstract Studio Comics website. Purchase individual issues of ECHO here and buy lots of Strangers In Paradise merchandise here. Follow Terry here on his blog and his Facebook page.

What is your favorite pen to use?
A Hunt 102 pen point. That's my go to pen for page art.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Yes, I pencil first. I use a .05 Faber-Castell mechanical pencil I bought at Senneliers in Paris in 1998. I've used it to draw every comic since. It's inexpensive but it fits my hand perfectly. They don't sell them here, so if I lost it I would have to go back to Paris and get another one.

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

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Watercolors. I would love to use inks but they're expensive!

What type of paper do you use?
Strathmore 400 smooth. I buy the 15 sheet pads and cut it down.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Architecture. Feet. 2 people talking for 5 pages.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Most everything I can buy at a big art store nearby, but I have to buy my Raphael brushes online.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
"Piddle around" the studio, as my wife calls it. Like a dog circling the place it will sit, I tend to take make sure that once I sit down I don't have to get up for hours.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Yes. I have ear damage from years of headphones. I usually listen to the genre that fits my page or scene. Metal for angry scenes, love songs for sad scenes. Oddly enough, I find I don't listen to The Beatles anymore because you have to pay attention to them, and I have to stay focused on my work, not theirs.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I read Superboy (hated Superman because he was an old dork), Batman, Spider-Man and random other things. I liked Hal Jordan when he was a test pilot because I wanted to be a jet pilot when I grew up.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Peanuts. Nothing has influenced me more.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
The Mallory Towers series by Enid Blyton. It was like Harry Potter without the magic. I still have them.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Not really. I took a 13 week cartooning course by an old Disney alum, but nothing formal.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
It's both. I love looking for info and reference pics. I hate forums.

Did either of your parents draw?
My dad painted a little. My mother's brother could draw cartoons.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My mother always encouraged me.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yes. I have many on my shelf.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Just the one-off classes I've done at conventions. It was fun but I never draw well under those conditions.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Talent is more important in drawing. Passion is more important in painting. I've seen Adam Hughes and Alex Ross draw a sketch to die for and they were not the least bit emotionally involved with it. I couldn't manage that with all the passion in world.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Not really. I spent a year tracking down all the Tintin books. Does that count?

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Kenny from South Park.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Right.

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

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Small. Great windows.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Yes. Been playing guitar since 13.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Spend more time drawing than anything else. The more you draw, the faster you get to your own look.

Who is your favorite artist?
Adam Hughes.



Thanks again for your time Terry.

A big thank you goes out to everyone who has participated and stopped by for a visit. Also a special thank you goes out to my wife Patti who has suffered through proof-reading 200 biographies.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Shaun Tan - Cartoonist/Artist Survey #199


Photo Source: New Zealand International Arts Festival




Shaun Tan is an illustrator and author who was born in Fremantle, Western Australia in 1974. He had his first illustration published in the Australian science fiction magazine, Aurealis, in 1990 when he was only 16. He graduated from the University of Western Australia in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts. After graduating he earned his living as a freelance artist working on everything from commercial work to cartoons. He is now an author and illustrator of award-winning picture books including, “The Rabbits”, “The Lost Thing”, “The Red Tree” and his most recent, “Tales from Outer Suburbia”. Shaun’s wordless graphic novel, “The Arrival” was released in 2007 and has been translated into many languages around the world. It is the story of a man who leaves his family and travels to a far away land to try and find a better life for them. “The Arrival” has won the "Book of the Year" prize from the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards, the Children's Book Council of Australia’s "Picture Book of the Year" award and the “Prize for Best Album” at the Angoul√™me International Comics Festival.

Shaun has also worked as a theatre designer and was a concept artist on the films ‘Horton Hears a Who’ and ‘WALL-E’. This past September he was awarded a Hugo Award for the category “Best Professional Artist”. Since 2002 he has been working with a small team animating an adaption of his “The Lost Thing”. It was completed in April of this year and has received many awards. You can see a trailer of this film over on the
official “The Lost Thing” website. A DVD of “The Lost Thing” was released in October of this year by Australian independent home entertainment company, Madman and is available for purchase here. Stop by Shaun’s website where you can see much more of his work.

What is your favorite pen to use?
A very cheap BIC classic fine point or similar ballpoint pen.

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

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
A bit of both, but mostly (95%) by hand.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Acrylics, pastel crayons, oils and coloured pencils.

What type of paper do you use?
Either a 150gsm cartridge or a 300gsm watercolour paper (for painting).

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Hands from a very fore-shortened angle, feet and cars.

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

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Not really, besides clearing out a bit of horizontal space.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Yes, and pretty broad ranging. Sometimes I also listen to audio-books.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
No, didn't really read comics as a kid, although I really liked Gary Larson's Far Side.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Calvin & Hobbes.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
An encyclopedia of Dinosaurs I bought when I was seven, and yes, I still have it.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Mainly high school in Western Australia. I later studied art theory at university.

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

Did either of your parents draw?
Yes, both can draw well, but don't practice it much.

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

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yes.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Yes, to young children, which was an enjoyable experience.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Passion. Talent just really helps to stimulate that.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Mainly just books, but also lots of small interesting objects.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
I am actually an animated cartoon character in my own short film, 'The Lost Thing', so I'll stick with that. Otherwise, possibly the springy dog in Toy Story.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
An historian, critic or gardener.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
A mess.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Alas no.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Learn to draw extremely well: practice, practice, and then when quite sick of it, practice some more.

Who is your favorite artist?
Too many to name - no singular favourites!



Thanks again Shaun.

It's hard to believe that up next is my 200th Cartoonist Survey...and what better artist for this milestone than the creator of the Strangers In Paradise and Echo comic book series, Terry Moore.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fred Hembeck - Cartoonist Survey #198




Cartoonist Fred Hembeck was born in New York in January of 1953. He spent two years studying Advertising Art and Design at The State University of New York, Farmingdale and then two more years studying Communications Design at the SUNY campus in Buffalo. After graduating he submitted traditional adventure style comic book work but didn’t have much success. He had been using a cartoony, “bigfoot” style caricature of himself to illustrate letters to his college friends, complete with beard and hair parted down the middle. He created some one page strips using this character doing comedic interviews with Flash and Spider-Man and sent them to the leading fan publication of the day, "The Buyer's Guide for Comic Fandom" (currently known as the "Comics Buyers Guide"). These submissions were published and Fred’s strips, titled Dateline @!!?# , became very popular and would go on to be collected in the book “Hembeck: The Best of Dateline: @!!?#”.

Fred’s characters are instantly recognizable with curlicues at the knees and elbows. Over the years he has drawn innumerable parodies of Marvel and DC superhero comics. From 1979 to 1981 he drew a strip for the Daily Planet page in DC comic books, and in the 1980’s his strips regularly ran in the Marvel Comics information magazine, Marvel Age. In addition to Marvel and DC, his work has been published by Topps Comics, Two Morrows Publications, Archie Comics, First Comics, Fantagraphics Books, Krause Publications and many more. Fred lives in Upstate New York with his wife Lynn. He has a
wonderful website where you can find out a lot more about him and read tons of his comics. Some of my favorite works he has done are his “Classic Cover Redos” that you can see here. He updates his Fred Sez page quite regularly so it is definitely worth bookmarking. If you are a big fan of Fred like I am, you should definitely pick up the massive 900-page The Near Complete Essential Hembeck Archives Omnibus. Click here to purchase original Hembeck artwork.

What is your favorite pen to use?
I use a set of Koh-I-Noor Rapidographs, mixing and matching the various line widths.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I draw fairly roughly in pencil first. I used a mechanical pencil for decades until one rolled off my table at a convention about a year back and busted the tip. I've been relying on the old fashioned kind ever since.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
What little coloring I do, I do by hand.

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

What type of paper do you use?
2 ply plate bristol, Canson brand for commissions, the slicker and thinner Borden &Riley for strips that I'm keeping the originals of.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
ANIMALS! Funny and otherwise--horses are the worst (especially the way I draw 'em!).

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I order stuff via the internet from ASW.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
You mean beside fretting? No.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
A fairly wide range--rock from the sixties, swing from the forties. Beatles, Beach Boys, The Who, and Abba are top faves.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Um, yeah, as a matter of fact I did. Sixties era Marvel Comics (with Lee & Ditko's Spider-Man uppermost), Mort Weisinger's Superman family titles, Little Lulu, Dennis The Menace, Little Archie being the ones I was weaned on.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Mary Perkins, On Stage (dramatic), Beetle Bailey (humorous) are still my top faves.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, and yeah, I still have my original copy. (No, I didn't read many real books as a kid--too many comics to absorb.)

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
2 years of Advertising Art and Design at SUNY Farmigdale, followed by 2 years of Communications Design at SUNY Buffalo. I graduated college the year the Kubert School opened--bad timing on my part...

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
I'm leaning towards blessing (thank you, Ebay!!).

Did either of your parents draw?
Just paychecks.

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

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Not currently. I have at times over the years, but find I really don't have time for extracurricular drawing.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I was the guest teacher twice at a high school class Herb Trimpe taught a couple years back. It was fun to do on a limited basis but I wouldn't want to make a habit of it.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Cop out answer--you need both. Talent is fine, but if you're lacking the passion to utilize it, what's the point? Conversely, it's great if you have the passion, but unless there's at least a smidgen of talent to go along with it, go away buddy--we DON'T wanna see!

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Comic books (though I'm pretty much full up--no need for very many more), Beatles stuff, SpongeBob Squarepants merchandise (again, we've mostly reached our limit...)

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
SPONGEBOB!!

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty (though not politically).

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Be a musician or a comedian--though I'd have to overcome my stage fright first.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
An old drawing board I've had since high school surrounded by piles of comics, with my tools on a table to the side.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Nope. I tried in the 4th grade--saxophone--but no facility (or patience for practicing).

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
If your passion is true, don't give up. Otherwise, move on--hey, at least you have a fun hobby!

Who is your favorite artist?
Steve Ditko.



Thank you very much Fred!

Hugo award winning illustrator and author Shaun Tan is up next.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

David Petersen - Cartoonist Survey #197



David Petersen is a comic book creator and illustrator who was born in Michigan in July of 1977. He studied at Mott Community College in Flint, Michigan and Eastern Michigan University earning a degree in Fine Arts. He is the writer and illustrator of the comic book series Mouse Guard that is published by Archaia Entertainment. Mouse Guard tells the story of a few brave mice who are committed to protecting their fellow mice from all kinds of dangers and predators. David has always loved cartoons, comics and drawing and came up with the basic premise for Mouse Guard back in high school, and reworked it while in college. He won the Manning Award for Most Promising Newcomer in 2007 and in 2008 won two Eisners, one for Best Publication for Kids and another for Best Graphic Album Reprint. The Mouse Guard series is popular world-wide, has gone through multiple printings and has been translated into French, German, Spanish and Portuguese. There is even a Mouse Guard Role Playing Game that came out in 2009. David lives and works in Michigan with his wife Julie and their dog Autumn. Visit David’s website and his blog to see more of his work. To learn more about the Mouse Guard series, check out the official Mouse Guard website.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Uniball Vision.

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

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
Computer color, though I think my hand watercolor work informs my digital technique.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
I still do watercolors from time to time.

What type of paper do you use?
Strathmore bristol board.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Technology and attractive women...because I draw them booth poorly and wish I drew them better.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Sometimes I go to my local Utrecht (though that is a chain) and sometimes I place orders online when I'm low on lots of things and need to restock the studio.

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?
Yes. I listen to music including: Beatles, Cake, Simon & Garfunkel, Barenaked Ladies, and movie soundtracks. I also listen to audio books and old time radio.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I read Classic X-Men, Eastman & Laird's Ninja Turtles, and some Archie comics of my sisters.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Growing up it was Calvin and Hobbes. Now it's a webstrip called the Abominable Charles Christopher.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
As a little kid it was 'The Monster at the End of this Book'. And yes, I still own a copy.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Yes, I have a degree in Fine Art. I started at Mott Community College in Flint, MI and finished at Eastern Michigan University.

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

Did either of your parents draw?
My dad was a draftsman who did technical drawing and did some sculpture. My Mother did a lot of sewing and pattern making. But neither of them drew things freehand.

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

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Not that I draw in for fun...but as a place to work out panels and pages for my comic.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I have done a few guest lecture appearances, but never a full class.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Talent...but only by a sliver of a percent.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Original artwork from artists I respect and admire.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
I'm part Roger Rabbit, Donald Duck, and Wakko Warner.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Puppet Builder or Furniture maker.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
A finished basement area flanked by a computer table, a lightbox table, and a drawing table. Off to the side I have flat files filled with artwork, and book cases with reference books and favorite comics.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Not really. I play around with recorders every now and then and can figure out melodies to songs...but not very well.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Marketing can be just as important to getting work as how well you draw, but you never want to sacrifice doing your best work in favor of marketing yourself.

Who is your favorite artist?
Jeremy Bastian.



Thanks again David.

Up next is one of my favorite cartoonists, Fred Hembeck.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Jeff Bacon - Cartoonist Survey #196





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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Did either of your parents draw?
No.

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

Do you keep a sketchbook?
No.

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?
Talent is huge, but it's no good without passion.

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

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

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty.

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

Friday, December 3, 2010

Nick Abadzis - Cartoonist Survey #195




Cartoonist, writer and illustrator Nick Abadzis was born in Sweden in 1965. Raised in Sweden and England, he studied at the Chelsea School of Art in London. In 1987 he started working at Marvel Comics’ UK publishing branch as an editor. He left Marvel at the end of 1988 and became a fulltime freelancer once he started having success with his work in the UK comics and music magazine Deadline. While producing work for Deadline he created two of his most well-know characters, Hugo Tate and Mr. Pleebus. The Hugo Tate strips ran in Deadline for 6 years and some of the series was collected into the UK Comic Art Award winning graphic novel, “Hugo Tate: O’ America”. Mr. Pleebus went on to star in his own series of “Pleebus Planet” children’s books. The mid-90’s saw the decline in the UK comics market so Nick did a lot of work for children's publishers, worked for the BBC co-creating comics-based educational websites and did a lot of editorial work. He also worked for Eaglemoss Publishing and helped launch The Classic Marvel Figurine Collection and DC Comics Superhero Collection. These collections are magazines that come with hand-painted lead figurines of the Marvel and DC characters. Nick still writes the historical copy for the magazines and also does cover illustrations.

His 2007 graphic novel, “Laika” is the story of the dog the Soviet Union sent into orbit inside the Sputnik II satellite in 1957. As a child Nick was fascinated with the space program. His unanswered questions about this cosmodog’s one-way trip into space and the release of new information about the program in 2002 was the spark for this graphic novel. Nick spent a lot of time researching this book, traveling to Moscow and even visiting the home of the founder of the Soviet space program, Sergei Korolev. “Laika” was nominated for a Harvey Award for Best Original Graphic Album in 2008 and won an Eisner Award for Best Teen Graphic Novel in the same year. Other than writing, drawing and editing, Nick also teaches and travels doing lectures. He recently moved from England to Brooklyn, NY with his wife and daughter. Learn more about "Laika" here and visit
Nick’s website and blog.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Pentel brush pen, Chinese calligraphy brushes, Mistubishi Uni-Ball Eyes.

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?
Both - depends what the work demands.

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

What type of paper do you use?
Anything with a bit of tooth to it. I like Fabriano Tiziano, any kind of.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Not much.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Both. I'm fond of New York Central Art Supply in Manhattan - I like to browse.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Breakfast or sometimes I cycle around the park and do a bit of yoga.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Yes - I write as well as draw so it tends to be soundtracks, classical, jazz mostly. I love all kinds of music but tend not to be able to listen to anything with a human voice in it while working, so it's mostly textural stuff, mood music. If I'm inking I'll listen to audio plays, BBC Radio 4, DVD commentaries, that sort of thing.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Yes. I'm not sure I had any one favorite, but Tintin, Asterix, Peanuts and The Dandy were perennials.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Peanuts, closely followed by Calvin & Hobbes.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Tove Jansson - Moominpappa at Sea and yes, I still have the same copy I had as a child.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Yes - Chelsea School of Art, London.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
The Internet is a loaded question.

Did either of your parents draw?
Yes, my mother.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My mother, my family, The Bentleys. Certain good friends. I'm fortunate these days to have good fans, too.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
I keep several at any one time.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Yes, I teach fairly regularly, sometimes at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. I also travel and do lectures at various universities and literature festivals. I love teaching.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Neither - perseverance is where it's at. Doggedness, determination, is the most important quality a working artist should develop in support of either (or both) of those qualities. That said, there's nothing more common than the talented person who is not passionate enough to turn their talent to some good use.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Books, I guess, and Daleks. I like robot toys of any kind.

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

Are you a righty or lefty?
I'm ambidextrous.

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

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Two tables and a window for light.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Not anymore.

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

Who is your favorite artist?
Edmond Baudoin heads up the list pretty often, but it's ever-changing.



Thank you very much Nick.

Broadside cartoonist Jeff Bacon is up next.