Comical Strip News



Bruce Tinsley Likes Comic Strip on Opinion Page

Mallard Fillmore cartoonist responds to a local controversy:

I do the Mallard Fillmore comic strip that’s always getting into trouble in your paper and across the country. Thanks to readers like Terry Ebaugh for sticking up for my sometimes controversial ideas and to this newspaper for having the guts to publish them.

I actually think the move to the Insight page is a good one; a lot of Mallard’s content is better suited to that page than the comics.

Bruce’s letter to the Cedar Rapids Gazette editor.



Lifelong Cartoonists and Friends

Alternative comic strip creators Lynda Barry (Ernie Pook’s Comeek) and Matt Groening (Life in Hell) celebrated their eternal friendship with a joint appearance at Maltz Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, April 16.

Groening also shared a question a college professor asked him: “You do what you do adequately well, is it worth doing?” Groening admitted he grapples with this question daily.

This is a critical question to consider, especially as college students. Is our degree worth the work we are adequately doing?

On a less cynically philosophical note, Barry encourages us to keep drawing, even if we are “bad” at it. “When four-year-olds are afraid to draw, we are worried, but we dismiss it when forty-year-olds are,” she said. Barry worries we are stomping out creative expression.

Yvonne Pan, of the Cleveland Observer, reports on the presentation.



Mort Walker’s Final Beetle Bailey Drawing

Mort Walker’s last illustrations of his famed creation Beetle Bailey were drawn inside Stamford Hospital as a thank you to staff, days before the prolific illustrator died in his Stamford home in early 2018.

On Friday, those drawings were presented to Walker’s family during a short ceremony at the hospital.

Brian Walker, Greg Walker, Margie Walker Hauer, and Bill Janocha were there representing Mort Walker.

One of the drawings depicts the titular character of Mort’s most famous comic strip with the words, “Three cheers to the nurses who made my hospital stay such a great experience!”

Other pages include drawings of Sarge Snorkel, his dog Otto, and another image of Bailey. One image depicts a screaming Snorkel with exclamation points and other marks beside his head.

Ignacio Laguarda, for the Stamford Advocate, records the presentation in words and pictures.



La Cucaracha Creator Advises Mid and High Schoolers

Lalo Alcaraz, of La Cucaracha (and so much more) fame, gave an inspirational talk.

Cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz had a singular piece of advice for the 500 sixth- through 12-graders gathered Friday at Santa Rosa Junior College: Learn to write well.

“The importance of not only drawing, but writing, got me all of my gigs,” Alcaraz told the crowd at an annual youth conference staged by M.E.Ch.A., short for Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanista de Aztlán, a Mexican-American student organization.

And the gigs are plentiful for the artist behind “La Cucaracha,” a controversial, nationally syndicated comic strip first published in 1992 that boldly depicts Latino culture in the United States and themes of immigration, politics and race.

Susan Minichiello at the Santa Rosa Press Democrat has the details.



Since we’re in Santa Rosa and at the Press Democrat let’s throw this in the mix:

Darius Anderson, owner and founder of Kenwood Investments, LLC, today announced that The Press Democrat, the North Bay’s leading daily news source and 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper, and affiliated publications are free of all debt and have returned all capital to investors.

Anderson began his rollup of media properties in 2012 with the purchase of the Sonoma Index-Tribune and Sonoma magazine to strengthen local journalism in his hometown community. At a time when media publications were shrinking, Anderson sought to expand.

Following Anderson’s purchase of the Sonoma Index-Tribune and Sonoma Magazine, he assembled a group of local investors to establish Sonoma Media Investments to acquire The Press Democrat and affiliated publications from Halifax Media of Daytona, Florida. The deal was finalized on November 9, 2012.

One of those investors was Jeannie Schulz, widow of Charles Schulz.

PRNewswire carries the press release.



The Phantom is Huge in Papua New Guinea

When you think of places a comic book hero might turn up, the tribal war shields of the Papua New Guinea highlands are probably not what springs to mind.

But PNG’s love for The Phantom, also known as “the ghost that walks” or “the man who cannot die”, runs deep.

During a renewed period of tribal fighting in the 1980s, warriors even carried The Phantom into battle.

The worldwide popularity of The Phantom has been noted here before.

The Australia Broadcasting Corporation carries another such example.



Dilbert Disputed

Dilbert received praise for his stance on nuclear power in a Washington Post letter to the editor.
Urban/commercial district revitalization and transportation/mobility advocate and consultant
Richard Layman disagrees with the position.



Zits in Mishawaka

Zits mentions a town and gets local coverage.

The city of Mishawaka made the comic page Monday.

It’s in the comic strip “Zits,” which is written by cartoonist Jerry Scott and illustrated by Jim Borgman. The strip is about the life of high school student Jeremy Duncan and his friends and family.

In Monday’s strip, the teen characters are attending a college fair.

A college recruiter attempts to entice them with the line: “We offer rigorous academic programs, exceptional student services and stimulating entertainment options in nearby Mishawaka.”

Scott knows about Mishawaka because he grew up in the South Bend area.

The South Bend Tribune reports on local boy made good.



Another Local Boy Making Good?

Down to just one job for the first time in decades, Erie native Dave Blazek finally has time to take a deep breath and reflect on how a kid from Holy Rosary Parish ended up creating an internationally known daily comic strip nominated four times for one of newspaper cartooning’s highest honors.

Some of those reflections will be shared when “Loose Parts” creator Blazek return[ed] to his hometown.

Dave Blazek gets a love embrace when he returns home.

Origin of ‘Loose Parts’

As he became known to his Philadelphia co-workers as both creative and a stand-up comedian, it was only natural that the editor in charge of selecting comics would seek out Blazek’s opinion. His responses were consistently and constructively critical, eventually prompting the editor to challenge Blazek to do better.

So that’s what Blazek did.

He was confident that he had the material to pull it off, but the drawing — not so much. So he recruited friend and co-worker John Gilpin to handle that end of the daily comic panel titled “Loose Parts.”

Gilpin got sick and had to stop drawing. Blazek, who had no experience cartooning, talked the syndicate into letting him take on that part of the effort. He had about six weeks before his first drawn “Loose Parts” had to be in. With his creative background and collaboration with Gilpin, “I had some sense” of what was required, Blazek said. “I just sat down and gutted it out,” with input from his wife, who to this day paints as a hobby.

From the Erie Times News is Pat Bywater’s profile of Dave.




Thanks to PDX Retro for Li’l Abner strip above.

Hat tip to Whirled of Kelly for top Pogo panels.