Everyone Knows Its Wednesday

Its Whatnot Wednesday starring Bob Eckstein, a comic strip book sale, Barbara Brandon-Croft, Maine cartoonists, Liza Donnelly, and the health benefits of comics.

Bob Eckstein is “an award-winning writer, illustrator, New Yorker cartoonist and world’s leading snowman expert” and a compiler of cartoon books.

And now you can read his monthly The Bob newsletter on Substack, where such departments as the newly installed Snort of the Month features Bob’s favorite recent gag cartoon, plus Questions and Answers, cartooning background with Shop Talk, news of what he is working on The Drawing Board, a section of whatever pops into his mind with Writer’s Block, and a Cartoon Corner highlighting a cartoon by Bob.

hat tip to Michael Maslin for the head’s up.

Walla Walla chapter of the American Association of University Women comic book sale.

Well, there’s some exciting news for pannapictagraphists or, in the more contemporary vernacular, comics geeks.

About 50 boxes — count ‘em — jammed with early- and mid-20th-century books describing the art and history of “funny pages” and books with collections of comics will be available at the AAUW February book sale.

Annie Charnley Eveland, of The Union-Bulletin, reports with a good portion of comic strip comic book sale.

One box is dedicated to adventure comics such as Steve Roper, Brick Bradford, Secret Agent X-9, Red Barry, Modesty Blaise, Joe Palooka, Scorchy Smith, Beyond Mars, Brave Coward Zach, Jungle Jim, Jim Hardy and Flying Jenny.

Gus Mager’s classic spoof of the Sherlock Holmes stories from 1910-1912 stars the great Sherlock and sidekick Dr. Watso in “Sherlock The Monk.” Other early comics are “Happy Hooligan, 1904-1905, and “A. Mutt,” 1907-1908.

There are also many books about such comic artists as Milton Caniff (Terry and the Pirates and Steve Canyon), Carl Barks (Disney comics, creator of Scrooge McDuck and writer-artist of the first Donald Duck stories) and Sidney Smith (whose The Gumps ran for 42 years in newspapers until Oct. 17, 1959).

The 58th annual AAUW Book Sale is Feb. 24-26 at The Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center, 6 W. Rose St. Hours are 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

If ever there was a time to be a Walla Walla resident.

Across the country in another Washington is another comic book sale – this time with the author, cartoonist Barbara Brandon-Croft, present.

Few Black cartoonists have entered national syndication, and before Barbara Brandon-Croft, none of them were women. From 1989 to 2005, she brought Black women’s perspectives to an international audience with her trailblazing comic strip Where I’m Coming From.

Loyalty is delighted to welcome Barbara Brandon-Croft and Sharon Pendana for an IN-PERSON event celebrating Where I’m Coming From! Join us at Loyalty’s Petworth store at 7 PM on Wednesday, February 15th for a discussion, followed by a meet + greet & book signing! 

Loyalty Bookstores has the details.

When cartooning is not your day job, but the ambition still burns.

The artists’ reasons are many: ‘To improve. For therapy. To scratch an itch. To avoid doing other things sometimes. For most of us, there’s nothing else we’d rather be doing.’ 

© Ernie Anderson

Like so many of the other Maine artists, [Ernie] Anderson hasn’t yet transformed his singular art into a full-time gig. Most of the artists I talked to for this piece are balancing art with daily jobs and domestic responsibilities. One is a carpenter, another a town clerk. There’s a case manager for adults with disabilities and a co-parent of an 8-month-old baby. Most of these artists have little by way of free time, but day after day, they get out their sketch pads and pencils and get to work because one doesn’t pursue a dream with idle hands. 

An artist, Anderson tells me, continues to create no matter what.

Mark LaFlamme, for the Sun Journal, writes about and interviews cartoonists who aren’t yet full time cartoonists.

All of the artists we interviewed maintain some kind of web presence to get their artwork out into the world. Some have come quite close to turning it into a full-time gig, others are just starting out. How hard is it to make a living in this highly competitive field? 

Liza Donnelly has a Substack too!

© The New Yorker/Liza Donnelly

And recently she pontificated on drawing political cartoons for a weekly publication.

Drawing political for a weekly publication is tricky, you have to find a way into the subject that is somewhat timely and that will last. Hopefully it can last more than a day, and become an “evergreen.” That often means looking at the big picture, not just about that day or that moment.

From The Fort Worth Star Telegram of September 6, 1925:

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