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Syndicated cartoonist and artist Tony Cochrane was born in Dayton, Ohio. He has been drawing since he was old enough to hold a pencil. He graduated from Carroll High School in 1972 and then studied at Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio earning a degree in Fine Art. He started out as a fine artist and his paintings were exhibited at various local art galleries in Ohio and also at the Columbus Museum of Art. Unfortunately fine art didn’t pay the bills so he spent 15 years working as an auto-body repairman. One day while drawing in his sketchbook he created Agnes, the character that would become the star of his comic strip.
Tony’s strip Agnes was launched on March 8, 1999 and has now been running for over 12 years. Syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Agnes follows the adventures of an elementary school-aged girl who lives with her grandmother in an Ohio trailer park. Even though she is poor and not the most attractive girl, she is still optimistic and dreams of better things. Unfortunately for Agnes, her best friend Trout and her grandmother constantly bring her back down to Earth by pointing out the harsh realities of life. There have been two collections of Agnes strips, "Agnes: I'm Far Too Young to Look This Hot" and "I Have Tampered With the Divine Plan".
Tony has been a celebrity guest on NPR's "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me," and has also been a guest speaker at the Erma Bombeck Conference on American Humor. He is a strong supporter of community projects including those working with the physically and mentally challenged, literacy development, and pet rescue. Tony is a member of the National Cartoonists Society and lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife Vickie. Read Agnes daily at GoComics.com.
What is your favorite pen to use?
Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Mechanical (cheap throwaway).
Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
What type of paper do you use?
2 ply Bristol.
What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
That part between the nose and the upper lip.
Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Pour cup of coffee.
Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Sugar and Spike.
What is or was your favorite comic strip?
What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
"A Wrinkle in Time".
Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Columbus College of Art and Design.
Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Did either of your parents draw?
Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Do you keep a sketchbook?
Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Do you collect anything and if so what?
I build crazy electric guitars. The ones that don't sell, I collect :)
If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Are you a righty or lefty?
If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
I have a big drawing board in a sparse yet unkempt three room office. The rest of the space has stuff I think I need but don't.
Do you play any musical instruments?
If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Thanks again Tony!