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Quick Hits – Comic Strips

1966 – What’s Not So Funny About The Funnies

As noted here it was fifty years ago that Franklin, a young African-American, was introduced into Peanuts. While not a first, it was rare for a non-stereotypical black person to found in the mainstream (read white) comic strips of the day, especially as a regular (or semi-regular) cast member.

“What would happen if Mr. & Mrs. America turned to the comics one Sunday morning and found a Negro detective working with Dick Tracy, a Negro intern on the staff of Rex Morgan or some Negroes living next door to Blondie? The shock could be fatal. On the other hand it could be the best thing that ever happened to comicdom.”

The 1961 introduction of Philmore cost Leonard Starr four newspapers.

In 1966 Ebony took a look at the reprehensible portrayal of blacks in comic strips and the barely perceptible change at the time.



A Better 205 Live

The WWE‘s Live 205 “is a professional wrestling web television program produced by WWE, which features the promotion’s cruiserweight division, wherein all participants are billed at a maximum weight of 205 lbs.” according to Wikipedia. Here’s Wrestle Talk on YouTube arguing that Live 205 deserves better treatment from the WWE.

Live 205 championship contender Drew Gulak has produced a comic about the dangers of some stunts.

Comic Book Resources says the strip is written and drawn by Elaine Le Febvre and Kitty Bell



A Forgotten Interview With The Real ‘Nancy’

Stephen Roth has dug up an old interview with Nancy Carbonaro, who claims to be the inspiration for Nancy.

LCD: How did you meet Ernie Bushmiller?
NANCY: He had an interest in my older sister. He was soft on her. She was quite attractive but not interested in him. She thought he was silly.

LCD: So he would come over the house? Did he ask her out?
NANCY: Oh no, no. Back then you didn’t ask a girl out. You courted her and always in the presence of a parent or chaperone. The furthest he ever got in my house was the foyer. My father refused to have him inside.

LCD: Why was that?
NANCY: He didn’t think that anyone who drew cartoons as a living could ever support himself, never mind a wife and family. He didn’t want to encourage anything between my sister and Mr. Bushmiller.



Funny Ladies

Charmaine Rice attended the panel discussion kicking off the Society of Illustrators‘ exhibit Funny Ladies at The New Yorker: Cartoonists Then and Now.

Veteran New Yorker cartoonists Roz Chast, Liana Finck, Carolita Johnson and cartoon editor Emma Allen joined Liza Donnelly, the exhibit’s curator, to talk about what it’s like being a cartoonist at The New Yorker, the creative process behind their cartoons, and why they love being a cartoonist.

Charmaine reports on the panel discussion for Our Town.



Meet Roy Richardson of Artcats Studio

Late last year Roy Richardson‘s name was dropped from the credit box of the Mary Worth comic strip. I thought he had other obligations, but as I read this recent interview he is still engaged with the Mary Worth artwork.

We currently illustrate the nationally-syndicated comic strip “Mary Worth.”

Our company, Artcats Studio, has two employees, my wife and myself. When I get extra work, I use an assistant, a former student, to help with backgrounds. For the “Mary Worth” comic strip, we produce the entire art package, with my wife providing the pencil drawings, and myself doing the inking, lettering and coloring.

For Artcats, we hope to do the “Mary Worth” strip for years to come. As a soap opera strip, it’s not the most exciting thing to illustrate, but it is steady, reliable income, very important in the unpredictable world of the freelancer.



Jackie Zelda Ormes – First African-American Woman Cartoonist

Here’s a nice article about Jackie Ormes, creator of Torchy Brown.

Recommended for those interested in the pioneering cartoonists of color is Tim Jackson‘s Pioneering Cartoonists of Color, covering the cartoonists (and their creations) who appeared in the black press of America.



Star Hawks by Gil Kane

For those interested in science fiction comic strips IDW is releasing Star Hawks Volume 3 1979 – 1981. The final edition of their hardcover collection of the Gil Kane comic strip.

Got the first two and will get this volume, but I really wish they had got syndicate proofs from which to reproduce the Gil Kane art.

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