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Chron features Jeff Millar, Bill Hinds

The Houston Chronicle has a nice write up about Tank McNamara co-creators Jeff Millar and Bill Hinds. Both cartoonists live in the Houston area, but as the article notes, they rarely see each other.

Millar e-mails the dialogue, with whatever description he thinks is needed. For the first panel he’ll write: “1.” For the second panel, “2.”

“I suppose I could describe what (everything) looks like,” he says, “but I don’t. This encourages Bill to fill in the details with his own imagination, and that has some very interesting effects.

“He will sometimes change the gender or ethnicity of a character for some reason I didn’t think of. Or he may come up with something so wonderful, like our mad-scientist character. I simply typed out `a mad scientist type.’ He drew this character that was so funny that I immediately started using him again.”

Because it’s essential that a satirical sports strip stays topical, the writing and drawing are often done at the last minute. When there were recent protests of the Olympic torch journey, Tank McNamara was parodying it while the torch was still hot in the headlines.

Millar doesn’t see the illustrations until it’s too late to change them.

Correction: The Chron story linked above is about Bill, not Jeff.

Community Comments

#1 Bill Hinds
May/5/2008
@ 1:08 pm

If you scroll down the page there’s an animated cartoon I did of Tank interviewing me (Bill Hinds). It’s very strange.

The main article is actually about my career (Tank, Buzz Beamer and Cleats) and the animation I’m doing at sikids.com.

I guess people will link me to Jeff in everything I do. No wonder he has a bad back.

#2 Louis B. Parks
May/5/2008
@ 2:13 pm

Hi Dear Daily Cartoonist readers. I’m the writer of the story in the Chronicle mentioned above.

I just want to point out that the story is on cartoonist Bill Hinds, not Jeff and Bill. I did quote Jeff, of course, because this team has worked together on Tank McNamara so long. They also did the unique strip Second Chances together. Jeff does all the writing for those, but the illustrations are all Bill’s and they are a big part of the humor, as Jeff points out in the sidebar.

And Bill on his own has written and drawn Buzz Beamer for two decades, including the online animated version at http://www.sikids.com/buzzbeamer, and also does the daily strip Cleats. And ya know what, he’s even funnier in person.

Thanks, Louis Parks

#3 Alan Gardner
May/5/2008
@ 2:16 pm

Thanks Louis, others, I have posted a correction to the bottom of the story saying as much.

Apologies to Bill for inserting Jeff into your article.

#4 Clyde Kerlew
June/25/2008
@ 2:21 pm

The Robert Redford representation in the last couple of strips looks more like a rendering of Don Imus.

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