8 white paintings

I’ve been engaged in a protracted push, pull, leading, following, yielding, gouging, scraping, sanding, layering since the last post and now these 8 panels are done. All are 24 by 38 inches acrylic on masonite.


Neil Draws More Bad Comics

These are all very delightful. I guess this is why I keep my Tag Surfer. Every once in a while something this charming and wonderful shows up.

Neil Draws More Bad Comics.


From today’s Freeps:

Top of animation world

Film: James Robertson, a graduate of the Bealart program, was involved in the making of Pixar’s Toy Story 3

By GEOFF TURNER The London Free Press

Last Updated: July 2, 2010 5:48pm

This summer while you’re munching popcorn and taking in Toy Story 3, you can thank a London talent for some of the magic unfolding before your eyes.

Pixar storyboard artist James Robertson was born and raised in London and it was here that he first learned his craft.

It’s been quite the journey for the Bealart graduate who, at just 30, is working at the pinnacle of his field with San Francisco-based animation giant, Pixar.

James blog is at: www.theironscythe.blogspot.com

More quiet fame

I’m not really very involved with the day to day comics scene in London so I was surprised to find this CBC story of a young man named Marc Bell winning the Doug Wright award.  I have seen some work somewhere, mistaking it for Kim Moodie. Apparently Kim Moodie, Greg Curnoe and Elsie Segar are influences in Marc’s work. Any photo’s of Marc Bell seem to be of the back of his head which is suitable for London really, where it is possible to live and work and be completely anonymous, to exhibit in Montreal and New York, and be entirely unknown in The Creative City where bears get shot and chickens can’t come home to roost.

Extensive articles and interviews at Drawn And Quarterly.

A Compare and Contrast between Bell and Curnoe at Steel Bananas.

Comics on comics on social commentary

Here’s a brilliant bit of relief for those Londoners suffering from pathetic comics.

Pearls Before Swine is available online.

Doesn’t this sound like London!

Today’s Cul de Sac by Richard Thompson


Cul de Sac online

Kate Beaton

Courtesy of Comics Curmudgeon, Nova Scotian, Kate Beaton. I am happy to be on the same planet with her.

An excellent cartoon!

an excellent cartoon swiped from http://bgtroll.wordpress.com/2008/06/03/wellcome/

God’s location

Very funny twist on those “You are here” cartoon clichés.
You resonate at 7 mhz so does the earth
Google maps London Ontario
Self and Brain

Mad eccentrics or exceptional cartoonists?

David Apatoff does some fine posts, and really likes great pictures. I must direct any visitors here to THE MAD ECCENTRICS. 

In the course of just 100 intense years, comics have displayed the personalities of some deeply odd people …Why is this? Perhaps the medium combines the privacy for artists to sit alone at their drawing board– a little incubation chamber for their neuroses and quirks– with a wide daily audience for the resulting work product. Or, maybe the pressure of putting out a daily strip for decades simply drove them nuts. 

Kenya’s bus stop cartoonist

From the BBC news; Kenya’s bus stop cartoonist. Humphrey Barasa has made a local bus stop shelter his canvas for his cartoons on the news and politics of the day.

“It’s very, very excellent work. It always gives me inspiration and that’s why I pass here every day,” said one of his fans. 

For other people, the lessons and positive messages he communicates through his cartoons have made their mark.”I’m usually inspired by his work, mostly the political cartoons and the ones that deal with HIV/Aids. He has also been encouraging people to register as voters for the upcoming elections,” said another fan.

Mr Barasa dreams of getting his big break and securing a job as a cartoonist for one of the country’s leading dailies, for now he is content to have a stage where he can express himself. 

How the system actually works

From Comics I don’t understandLucy mails a submission

Bean Counters:1, Cartoonists:0

From Chicago Reader, Hot Type column, The Old Sack and Brag;

In his eight years at the Herald [Scott] Nychay won … awards from the AP and the Illinois Press Association, along with several other honors. … But at strapped newspapers, talent and public-spiritedness aren’t job guarantees, least of all for editorial cartoonists, an endangered species.         

Nychay was laid off by the paper, yet the paper continued an TV advertisement featuring his cartoons. Marketing mistake apparently – not laying off the cartoonist. That was a bean counter mistake. The Free Press didn’t replace Merle Tingley except with the occasional freelancer. When doing a bit of web research on that post I found; 

Two articles in The Ryerson Review of Journalism, Spring 1990, and Summer 1999 mention [Ting] in context of the politics and the workplace of the time.    

The two articles mention:

To the distress of old-fashioned journalists everywhere, editorial cartoonists are being wiped out. According to the National Journal, which surveyed the business on the eve of the annual convention of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists earlier this month, the number of full-time cartoonists at American dailies has dropped from about 200 to 80 in the past two decades.     

There is no possible way to source syndicated cartoons on local issues – only a local freelancer can manage that, inasmuch as I lament the delay in a weekly publication that precludes up to the minute topicality.

Some Ting Things

TingCoverI picked up this booklet at City Lights some very long time ago, and recovered it from basement obscurity just last year. There is no publication date, no copyright notice, no ISBN, but I can only assume it was published at the end of 1957, as per this reference at the McMaster Library archives. The last dated cartoon in the book is June 12, 1957. It would have been the first of the cartoon collections. Merle “Ting” Tingley has a brief reference in the Canadian Encyclopedia article on Cartoons, Political; the Tingley collection at University of Western Ontario library archives houses a large collection of his work; a few entries in books – Best Canadian Political Cartoons 1984 and various National Cartoonists Society albums – collected at Michigan State University Libraries Comic Art Collection – as do I, incredibly. Two articles in The Ryerson Review of Journalism, Spring 1990, and Summer 1999 mention him in context of the politics and the workplace of the time. From a piece by Bill Brady in the May 19th Free Press;

It all started in Montreal as Ting began to draw in school, then there was an art course and, with no jobs in commercial art, he got work as a draftsman. But he soon grew bored and, in 1943, joined the army, where he found his true love — cartooning. While serving in Germany, Ting met someone who would become a lifelong friend, Jim Bowes of London, Ont. Bowes introduced Ting to the army weekly paper Khaki, and it was here that his real career began. At war’s end, without a job and no desire to return to the drafting table, Ting compiled a list of newspapers that did not have editorial cartoonists. Then, on his ancient motorcycle, he crossed Canada, visiting those papers, but headed back east with no prospects. He decided to drop in on his old army pal Bowes, who was working at The London Free Press. Bowes suggested that the paper really needed a cartoonist, but didn’t think they’d go for it and encouraged Ting to “get his foot in the door” and take any job available at the paper.”It sure wasn’t what I had in mind, and a long way from drawing cartoons, but I took the job anyway,” said Ting, who started at the paper washing prints in the basement darkroom, deep in the bowels of the newspaper building on Richmond Street. When George Wenige became mayor, an editor thought a political cartoon might be in order. Ting was summoned from his subterranean post, picked up his pencil and drew “King George” in a crown — Ting’s first Free Press cartoon.

If the ‘Common Man’ were to draw cartoons, that would be Ting. He wasn’t Duncan MacPherson. He wasn’t Aislin. Where they had sabres, Ting had table knives.

Ting newsboy cartoon

For forty years he showed up for work and drew cartoons, gentle, funny cartoons about our city and the province and the world. Even if we kids didn’t understand the issue, every day we would scour the cartoon for a glimpse of Luke Worm. Not only was I a cub scout on tour one day – no doubt Mr. Tingley would never recall the meeting, nor the example he set – but I was also a Free Press delivery boy. I loved those papers under 30 pages. That four-fold was easy to hurl from a big black Raleigh rolling down the sidewalk.

Ting future car

 Retro future stuff has always been fun. Some of these things have come true… (sure). The phonograph is an iPod… the TV, a DVD player… that parking radar – think GPS, or internet connection to Google maps – that would be useful – and that is a Smart car in the trunk isn’t it?Parking downtown has always been the issue we all scream about. There was never enough enough of it. Never will be.

Ting Ghost town

And look at this from 1954. From a retro-glimpse to the future, to a retro-glimpse of the past. As businesses move to city outskirts … downtown London may become a ghost town. Over 50 years ago. The issue hasn’t changed, and hasn’t been resolved.

Another old fogey story

Prompted by a post at altLondon, triggered by a post at Toronto Sun Family I reminisced:

I was a cub scout on tour. We were there in our uniforms and caps being led around the Free Press offices. I remember the huge presses and the typesetting room – by this time they were typing at linotype machines and casting large metal plates to print from. We also went into Merle Tingley’s office.

Now those press guys seemed heroic. I would have been happy to have been a press guy when I grew up. But seeing Ting actually sitting there and drawing a real cartoon, “Man,” I said to myself, “I’m getting his job when I grow up.”

From Newspapers are killing cartoons on CJR Daily, the Columbia Journalism Review:

It’s been fifty years since The Saturday Review declared American editorial cartooning a moribund art. In the three-page autopsy, the magazine’s staff coroner of all things cultural, Jerome Beatty, argued that the cartoonist’s lifeblood had been quieted by taboo-conscious editors who bent “over backwards” to avoid offending readers, publishers, and advertisers. …

For instance, David Wallis, editor of Killed Cartoons, a new collection of 100 nixed panels from the past century, argues that cartoonists have been silenced by “fearful editors” who avoid race, religion, corporate power, and other subjects that might offend. …

A full accounting of what is lost with the dwindling number of staff cartoonists is difficult to measure. Cartoons excite readers in ways that editorial essays can’t. Their simple strokes allow complex ideas to bypass the mind and kaboom through the nervous system, offering instantaneous understanding, and depending on one’s personal politics, an unalloyed dose of pleasure or pain. …

I am lucky to do what I want to do.