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The Cartoonist’s Cartoonists: Sandra Bell-Lundy

This week’s featured cartoonist is Sandra Bell-Lundy. Sandra’s feature, Between Friends, launched in 1994 and is loosely based on friendships with her close friends. It is now in over 130 papers. She recently wrote a series of blog posts about her road to syndication. Here is Sandra’s list of cartoonists that have inspired her or whose work she admires.

Marjane Satrapi: Her artwork is very simple and bold and fluid and makes for extremely powerful images. She is a skilled story teller and has made me both laugh and cry while reading her graphic novels. I particularly love her book, “Embroideries” about a group of Iranian women who share intimate life stories during an afternoon of tea. Aside from the cultural aspect of the content, it’s the kind of stuff I would love to try to write for the characters in my strip. (but couldn’t get away with in a newspaper) I love the gritty, honesty of her writing. I can’t wait to see the animated version of Persepolis. Extremely talented cartoonist.

Walt Kelly: I read his strip every day in the mid to late sixties as a kid and loved it without even understanding it. Couldn’t help being attracted to it for the gorgeous art, intricate backgrounds and even loved staring at the elaborate lettering. I’m looking forward to collecting the Fantagraphics volumes.

Lynn Johnston: I was very motivated by the fact that Lynn was a woman cartoonist and also that she was Canadian. I sent her some of my work years ago and she wrote in the margin of one strip, “Wha’ happened then?!” …and told me the “type” of strip I was writing was the kind where people wanted to know about the characters’ lives. I had already developed a set of characters but had no idea I writing a “character-driven strip”. It became much easier for me to write after that. Lynn is another very talented story teller, very honest in her writing and a wonderful artist.

Johnny Hart: Another cartoonist I read in the paper every night as a kid. I loved the way he had the clams and the ants communicating in B.C. I tried to copy this in a school project in grade six…I drew cartoon ants talking to each other about some historical event. Didn’t go over with the teacher. I loved the world Johnny Hart created and how individualistic the characters were.

Bill Watterson: His work is funny and original and his art is energetic. He makes it look so easy. I learned how to draw trees by looking at how Bill drew them.

Charles Schulz: I love how he exposed the human experience with such simplicity. The first time I noticed a sequential story line was in a little Peanuts paperback collection…about Linus talking about his teacher, Miss Othmar who was about to be married. When the series finished, I skimmed through the rest of the book looking for more of the story before I read any further. In hindsight, it shows how powerful a story line can be and how strongly a reader can connect to it.

Kim Warp: Kim’s cartoons are just so funny and her art is so quirky and fits her humour. I think she is my absolute favourite.

Kieran Meehan: I have come to be a huge fan of Kieran’s work. I can get a laugh just by looking at his art. He is extremely witty.

Sergio Aragones: His little pantomime cartoons in the margins of Mad Magazine were always the first ones I looked at when I was a kid. Sergio’s art is so expressive and funny.

Ben Wicks: Another Canadian cartoonist who drew a political cartoon called “Wicks”. He had a very loose, minimalist style. In fact, it was so loose and minimalist that you’d think he couldn’t draw at all…except for the fact that you knew exactly which political figure he was rendering. I especially loved the way he drew Pierre Trudeau with his long hair and prominent front teeth. His work was exceptionally unique.

Community Comments

#1 Clay Jones
@ 8:08 pm

Is there any cartoonist who doesn’t claim Sergio Aragones as an influence?
If there’s just one cartoonist I could sit down and talk with it’d be that guy.

#2 Malc McGookin
@ 8:36 pm

At last! A mention of Kieran Meehan. Surely one of the most underrated cartoonists working today.

#3 Alan Gardner
@ 9:36 pm

I’ve got to second Malc’s admiration of Kieran Meehan. I’ve been a fan of A Lawyer, A Doctor & A Cop for about a year now. I’m hoping a collection will be printed someday so I can give it to my humor-challenged father.

#4 Mark Tatulli
@ 9:51 pm

Actually, Kieran’s panel “Meehan” was nominated this year for a Reuben divional award, comic panel category, so I wouldn’t call him underated…maybe just undermentioned.

#5 Malc McGookin
@ 10:14 pm

My first mention of Meehan was on the Wisenheimer, Jul 10th, 2004 nearly three and a half years ago, and I don’t believe I heard a single mention of him before that, not by man nor beast nor NCS committee member.
I then mentioned him again on the Wisen in October 2004, and in May 2005
“Once again I take the opportunity to introduce yez all to Kieran Meehan’s “Meehan Streak” (though at one stage I believe he changed the name to “Tribal”) His ha ha hit rate is as high as anyone’s.”

King Features then launched Meehan’s “Doctor, Lawyer, Cop” in Sept 2005, and the the NCS posted him as a Reuben nominee in March 2007.

I remain a fan. Of Meehan’s that is.

#6 Mark Tatulli
@ 10:27 pm

I love how he draws people’s heads and faces.

#7 Richard Thompson
@ 12:43 am

Yeah, and the naturalness of the gestures is great, too. I wish I could draw clothes like that.

Nice mention of Ben Wicks! What a lively, big-hearted man he was!

#8 Norm Feuti
@ 6:37 am

I’ve been a big fan of A Doctor, A Lawyer & A Cop since it launched. I’ve mentioned it here and on my blog before. It’s a great strip.

#9 Chris H.
@ 9:06 pm

Yes, his panel “Meehan” was nominated for the NCS award for best comic panel, but keep in mind that it runs in only one newspaper. And that newspaper is Scotland. So maybe it doesn’t quite get the big exposure that it deserves. I’m a fan of “A Lawyer, A Doctor, and a Cop” too.

#10 Mark Tatulli
@ 12:34 am

The fact that “Meehan” appears in one newspaper in Scottland and still got nominated for the Reuben category award is testament to his talent…and no simple accomplishment. And to be honored by ones peers is the ultimate in acceptance to a cartoonist. So I say kudos to him!

#11 Alex Hallatt
@ 2:15 am

Oh boy, Kieran’s ears must be burning.

Of the cartoons I read on Daily Ink, his are the ones most liable to result in an out loud laugh.

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