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Comics A.M. | Dave Thorne, ‘father of Hawaiian cartooning,’ dies

Dave Thorne

Passings | Dave Thorne, sometimes called the father of Hawaiian cartooning, has died at the age of 82. His most recent strip was Thorney’s Zoo, which ran in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Mark Evanier has a personal appreciation of Thorne and his love of Hawaii. [Honolulu Star-Advertiser]

Creators | Carl Barks once wrote, “Ninety-nine readers out of 100 think Walt Disney writes and draws all those movies and comic books between stints with his hammer and saw building Disneyland,” but for much of his career he was happy to remain anonymous and avoid the hassles that come with fame. Jim Korkis writes the fascinating story of how two fans got through the Disney wall of anonymity — and Barks’ own reticence — to figure out who Barks was and bring him into contact with his admirers. [USA Today]

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Françoise Mouly wants your art

Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly

The New Yorker art editor, Françoise Mouly has a Tumblr and it is awesome. In addition to cool miscellania like the ’80s photo above, Mouly also runs a weekly, “Theme of the Week” contest where artists can submit covers based on themes like this week’s “In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb.”

Mouly says that “this blog and contest are informal and not affiliated with The New Yorker magazine, but I’m always on the lookout for ideas. When I find them, I’ll get in touch with the artist, all on a case by case basis.” She also asks artists to “keep submissions confidential in case they are later selected for publication,” so it’s more than just for fun.

(via The Beat)

Too Much Coffee Man creator takes on art galleries

Cartoonist Shannon Wheeler isn’t one to rest on his laurels; heck, do you know how uncomfortable laurels can be on your backside? After making a name for himself with the alt-comic series Too Much Coffee Man, Wheeler branched out and in recent years began aiming to join an exclusive club: artists whose comics are published in The New Yorker. And after achieving that, he’s showing off the plethora of comics that were turned down, and the accepted ones, in a new art exhibit in his hometown of Portland, Oregon.

Titled “Shannon Wheeler’s One-One-One-One: One-Man Show of One-Hundred-and-One One-Panel Comics, “this exhibit at Portland’s Center for the Performing Arts opens Thursday, and continues through Dec. 1.The life of a New Yorker cartoonist is arduous; for every accepted strip there are countless ones that end up rejected. The latter are often more intriguing than those that made the cut, for the joke inside as well as the imagined reasons why the editor passed on them.

Quote of the day | Comics’ sexism-free zone?

Another thing which is never brought up or mentioned, but it’s very intriguing, forever going back to the old days of The New Yorker and through now, as far as women and men cartoonists are concerned, there is no problem. None of this bullshit that’s been plaguing almost every other endeavor or business, this war of the sexes. Not a trace of it in cartooning. It just isn’t there. It may be because we all have a sense of humor. I don’t know what it is, but it’s very interesting and it’s nice.

— Legendary cartoonist Gahan Wilson of Playboy, National Lampoon and The New Yorker fame, explaining to CBR’s Alex Dueben that things apparently aren’t as contentious over issues of sex and gender in Francoise Mouly’s shop as they are in other parts of the industry. (Cf. recent New Yorker roster addition Kate Beaton’s ongoing victory lap …)

What Are You Reading?

Hello and welcome to another edition of What Are You Reading? Today’s special guest is Shannon Wheeler, New Yorker cartoonist and creator of the Eisner Award-winning comic book Too Much Coffee Man, Oil & Water, the Eisner-nominated I Thought You Would Be Funnier and the upcoming Grandpa Won’t Wake Up.

To see what Shannon and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below …

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Broadway’s unfriendly neighborhood Spider-Man covers The New Yorker

With great power comes great insurance deductibles: At least I think that’s the message of artist Barry Blitt’s cover for this week’s issue of The New Yorker, which pokes fun at the injury-prone, delay-plagued, lead performer-shedding, Bono and the Edge-scored, Julie Taymor-directed, terribly reviewed, bafflingly titled audience magnet that is the Broadway production of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Somewhere out there, there’s an alternate Earth where Norman Osborn is calling Françoise Mouly to find out how much it would cost to buy the original art for this one.

(via Douglas Wolk)

Literal New Yorker cartoon captions

In the vein of literal videos, Garfield Minus Garfield, and Christ, What an Asshole comes The Monkeys You Ordered, a blog that takes the dry, clever, and/or inscrutable punchlines of New Yorker cartoons and makes them straightforward, and therefore somehow much more hilarious. Which stands to reason, when you think about it: Aren’t talking animals in bars, explosions in board rooms, pirates on analysts’ couches and so on weird enough as it is?

(Via Tom Ewing)

“This doesn’t exist, but I can make it happen”: Françoise Mouly explains it all

To paraphrase Mary McCarthy, every word in Françoise Mouly’s interview with CBR’s Alex Dueben is fascinating, including “and” and “the.” It’s a marvelously insightful look at nearly every aspect of the legendary RAW, New Yorker, and Toon Books editor’s multifaceted career: The status of Toon Books, the challenges of producing educational books for children that are also fun to look at and read, her personal history with comics, the importance and legacy of her and husband Art Spiegelman’s seminal alternative-comics magazine RAW‘s production values, the shift among underground/alternative cartoonists’ careers from character-focused (a la Zippy, Jimbo, and Adele Blanc-sec) to creator-focused, her duties and work style as The New Yorker‘s art editor, working with visual artists from across the comics and illustration spectrum, her dream of an increased presence of actual comics in the magazine, R. Crumb’s apparent New Yorker beef, Toon Books’ upcoming slate…pure gold from one of comics’ most influential figures.

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Gaga, ooh la la: More “Telephone”-inspired Lady Gaga/Beyoncé art

"Telephone" by Stan Chow

"Telephone" by Stan Chow

From deviantART to The New Yorker, artists and cartoonists keep dialing G for Gaga. In the wake of Jonas Åkerlund’s epic video for Gaga & Beyoncé’s duet “Telephone” a bumper crop of artistic tributes has blossomed. We’ve already rounded up a few early highlights; consider this the remix.

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New Yorker celebrates birthday with Ware, Tomine, Clowes, Brunetti

Yes, the New Yorker

Yes, the New Yorker

Heidi MacDonald and D&Q beat me to the punch, but just in case you missed the news, I thought I’d let you know that this week’s issue of The New Yorker magazine is sporting four swell covers by Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes, Adrian Tomine and Ivan Brunetti. Supposedly when you arrange the four covers together in a certain way, a super-secret picture forms. Alright, I’ll spoil it: It’s a picture of Eustace Tilly. It must be one of those “Magic Eye” type images though, because I’ve been staring at the bloody things for hours on end, and all I’m getting is a headache.

Michael Kupperman’s rejected New Yorker comics

a rejected New Yorker comic by Michael Kupperman

a rejected New Yorker comic by Michael Kupperman

Eustace Tilley’s loss is our gain! Michael Kupperman, writer/artist of Tales Designed to Thrizzle and Twitterer extraordinaire, has posted a slew of comics that didn’t quite make it into the pages of The New Yorker.

His submissions, which can be viewed on his Twitpic account, include a look at Microscopic Goings-On About Town, Pigeons in Film, Slightly Cursed Merchandise, Other Species’ Currency, and the eternal question seen here, How Much Do You Know About Your Mutual Fund Manager? And because he’s that kinda guy, Kupperman has even shared a pair of strips that actually wound up in the mag.

Kupperman’s trip down memory lane was prompted by a request from The New Yorker to pitch them some comics again. The problem there, he tweeted, was that “after years of working for them and other magazines like them, I am in the wrong income bracket to adopt their worldview/sense of humor.” Here’s hoping that at some point soon, the likes of Hendrik Hertzberg and David Denby will once again be guarded by McGritte the Surrealist Crime Dog.

Talking Comics with Tim: Shannon Wheeler

How to Be Happy

How to Be Happy

I recently caught up with seasoned industry veteran Shannon Wheeler for an email interview. This interview took place before Wheeler’s recent announcement that he was contemplating a project at ACT-I-VATE–I mention this only as an explanation as to why I ask no questions in that regard. As noted in this recent post, his work has frequently been picked up by The New Yorker as of late, while he continues his work on How to Be Happy. And, of course, we get in some discussion about his overall Too Much Coffee Man work. My thanks to Wheeler for his time.

Tim O’Shea: You are a creator with a long, proven track record, who covers a great many concepts in your work (judging by this tag cloud). This page offers me a wealth of topics to ask you about, but I’ll focus on one. In a down economy like this current one, does it make it easier (or even too easy) to tackle consumerism in the strip?

Shannon Wheeler: It makes it easier to criticize capitalism/materialism/consumerism when the economy is South in that you have specific things (like unemployment and poverty) to point at. Some of the humor becomes more poignant because the reality is more harsh. But that’s very external. To me it feels like the humor has stayed the same.

A lot of the cartoons are about my personal struggles. Consumerism is something I wrestle with. I love buying DVDs, collectibles, art. At the same time I think owning things, wanting things, is ridiculous.

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New Yorker holds yet another cartoon contest

One of the cartoon entries. I'll let you guess the punchline

One of the cartoon entries

In addition to that neat Chris Ware strip in this week’s New Yorker magazine (I should note he did the cover too), the venerable magazine is holding a do-it-yourself cartoon contest. Using the cartoon kit provided on the Web site (using art by Alex Gregory), simply create as many gags as you like and send them in by Nov. 22. The top five winners will be featured in a slide show. Yeah, I know, that’s not much of a prize, but still, it beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, as my father used to say. Oh, if you register the kit (which you have to do anyway to use it) you’ll enter a sweepstakes to win a trip to New York City. Now that’s more like it.

Your video of the day | Mouly and Clowes talk covers

Clowes' New Yorker cover

Clowes' New Yorker cover

Dan Clowes graces the cover of this week’s new Yorker, as seen above, and in the video below, he and New Yorker Art Editor Francoise Mouly, along with several other contributing artists, talk about how the image came to be. (found via D&Q)

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Bob Mankoff thinks big

Thinking Big With Robert Mankoff is a series of video interviews with the New Yorker Cartoon Editor in which he talks about the role and history of humor in society. In the one below he talks about how he became a cartoonist and what makes things funny. (found via Drawn)

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