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Comics A.M. | Farm News fires cartoonist Rick Friday amidst comic strip controversy

The cartoon Rick Friday claims got him fired from Farm News

The cartoon Rick Friday claims got him fired from Farm News

Political Cartoons | Farm News has ended Rick Friday’s gig as its editorial cartoonist, and Friday says he was fired because an advertiser complained about one of his cartoons. In the cartoon, a farmer comments that “In year 2015, the CEOs of Monsanto, DuPont Pioneer, and John Deere combined made more money than 2129 Iowa farmers.” The publisher and editor of Farm News declined to comment on why they let Friday go, and spokespeople from DuPont and Monsanto said they were not aware of the cartoon. But on his Facebook page, Friday wrote, “Apparently a large company affiliated with one of the corporations mentioned in the cartoon was insulted and cancelled their advertisement with the paper, thus, resulting in the reprimand of my editor and cancellation of It’s Friday cartoons after 21 years of service and over 1090 published cartoons to over 24,000 households per week in 33 counties of Iowa.” [Des Moines Register]

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It’s hard out here for a cartoonist: Help two members of our Sinister Six!

art by Hans Rickheit and Tom Neely

Back around Halloween ’09, I whipped up a little list of “six deeply creepy alt-horror cartoonists,” a list of modern masters of the macabre that included The Blot‘s Tom Neely and Ectopiary‘s Hans Rickheit. Now both artists are dealing with something even scarier than their comics: the economy. And both are looking for financial help to keep their projects going.

First up is Hans Rickheit, whose latest graphic novel The Squirrel Machine was published by Fantagraphics, and whose webcomic Ectopiary has had its praises sung by my colleague Brigid Alverson (among many others). Rickheit announced the other day that the business where he worked has closed down, leaving him without a job or income and forcing him to suspend production of Ectopiary indefinitely. “If you’ve ever considered buying any artwork or books,” he writes, “this would really be a very helpful time to do so.” You can buy pages from his Xeric-winning erotic-horror graphic novel Chloe here, pages from his steampunk-by-way-of-David-Cronenberg book The Squirrel Machine here, many of his comics direct from Rickheit himself here, or simply donate what you will here.

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Crack that whip!: Johnny Ryan’s “Mark + Gary Forever”

How’s this for a Valentine’s Day treat? In the slash-eriffic vein of Tom Neely and Igloo Tornado’s Henry & Glenn Forever — the surprise-hit minicomic that reimagined musclebound hardcore-punk progenitors Henry Rollins (Black Flag) and Glenn Danzig (The Misfits) as a happily cohabitating couple — comes Prison Pit troublemaker Johnny Ryan’s latest strip for Vice magazine, “Mark + Gary Forever.” For the New Wave-impaired, that’s Devo frontman Mark Mothersbaugh and synthpop icon Gary Numan, united by their shared sense of futuristic weirdness — and now, in Ryan’s comic, L-O-V-E. In a story drawing heavily from their biggest hits, “Whip It” and “Cars” respectively, Mark and Gary have a lovers’ quarrel over Gary’s profligate spending. Will they patch things up? Are they not men? Are “friends” electric? The answers to these questions and more await you at the link — and at the big Henry & Glenn Gang-Bang group art show and book signing at Los Angeles’ La Luz de Jesus Gallery this coming Friday, featuring contributions (some old, some new!) by the whole Igloo Tornado gang, plus Ryan, Jordan Crane, COOP, Kaz, Steven Weissman, Bald Eagles and many more. It’s the only way to live!

Henry & Glenn (i.e. Rollins & Danzig) wish you a merry Anti-Christmas

Move over, Rudolph and Charlie Brown: There’s a new Christmas cartoon classic in town. Exploding from the pages of Henry & Glenn Forever — the very very funny romance/gag-strip comic chronicling the eternal love between musclebound, black-clad hardcore progenitors Henry Rollins and Glenn Danzig — comes the Henry & Glenn Forever X-Mas Special, an animated short by cartoonist and animator Tom Neely. Neely, who co-created Henry & Glenn Forever with fellow Igloo Tornado art-collective members Gin Stevens, Scot Nobles, and Dino Fucker, serves up a heartwarming tale reminiscent of O. Henry’s “Gift of the Magi” — if, that is, “Gift of the Magi” included a visit from Black Santa and Krampus, a jam session with notorious Satanists Darryl Hall and John Oates, and an exchange of thong underwear and a book about Nazi werewolves, all in honor of the birthday of H.P. Lovecraft. It’s the perfect reminder that the Henry & Glenn Forever comic makes a great fishnet-stocking stuffer. Season’s greetings, you goddamn son of a bitch!


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