Saturday, September 04, 2004

My Cartooning Bible

And if your fascination is with the single-panel cartoon, which is what I've drawn for most of my career, then you'll need to clear a space on your shelf for Mort Gerberg's Cartooning: The Art and the Business.

Better yet, it deserves a shelf of its own.

It was 1983 or so. I was working part-time at a bookstore, while working full-time at a cabinet factory. Dusting the shelves, stocking stray books. And one day I found Gerberg's book wedged into the crafts section.

It was unlike any other how-to book on cartooning. It was funny, it was serious, it was frank. And it was written for an adult.

I was 23.

Close enough.

It's no longer in print, but it's out there, and if you're a beginning cartoonist, it's waiting for you. The best cartooning book I've ever read.

Drawing Cartoons

It's no longer in print, but it's still around, for less than the cost of a mass market paperback. I wrote this book for those who would like to draw, but suspect they can't.

Cartooning forgives many faults.

My career is the proof.

Sit Down to This Table of Contents

If you can sit down to this book's table of contents -- provided at the Amazon site -- and not find yourself hungry for the full course, then you've never entertained the idea of becoming syndicated.

Your Career In The Comics

If you imagine yourself as a comic strip artist someday, take a look at this book. Amazon offers several sample pages, beginning with the index, which gives you the feeling of looking backstage and discovering how the magician pulled a rabbit from his hat (the secret: the hat's bigger than it looks, and so is the business of comic strips.)

Worth Their Weight in Bronze


One Reason Why Spot Never Gets a Call-back When He Auditions

In counterpoint to the frog band, here's a reminder of what less-talented frogs sound like, courtesy of Frogwatch USA and the National Wildlife Federation.

It's a bit distressing. If I'm cornered, I'll answer that Spot is a bullfrog (of sorts, in the way that Snoopy is a beagle.) But when I listen to the actual song of the bullfrog, it's like watching a Godzilla movie, where the actors have new voices.


Here are some frogs who are definitely not burping.

This link courtesy of Frogs: You don't have to kiss 'em to love 'em.

New spot for Spot

Christmas Comes Early

I recently finished a series of holiday strips that will launch November 29 and run through Christmas. This holiday series will run independently of the regular dailies, and is offered to newspapers as a one-time feature. I'm not sure if the holiday material will be available online but I'll investigate and report back.