Of Cartooning and Cartoonists

Willie Ito, Michael Maslin, Vonn Sumner, Charlie Daniel, Ed Steckley, Trina Robbins, Lee Mars, Jules Rivera, more

Long time animator (1954 – 1999) who frequently dabbled in other comic arts …

I also was involved with magazine cartoons (Car-Toons magazine in the 1950s), comic strips (four episodes of the annual Disney Christmas comic strip for King Features), comic books (the five Beany and Cecil comic books 1962-1963) and doing subcontract work for other production studios.

Willie Ito on his long career presented by Jim Korkis at Cartoon Research.

Norbert by Jerry DeFucchio and Willie Ito, a never-was comic strip © respective owners

Further reading: Lambiek Comiclopedia Willie Ito entry.

Michael Maslin has contributed “drawings” to The New Yorker since 1977 …

© Michael Maslin

One of the many things I’ve liked (alright, loved) about working for The New Yorker is the absence of pressure the magazine places on its cartoonists. The absence itself is purposeful: we (“we” being the cartoonists) are allowed complete freedom to pursue our work.

Michael describes his work habits regarding submitting cartoons to The New Yorker.

Second Nature is a curiously familiar solo exhibition of brand-new paintings on paper and canvas by artist Vonn Cummings Sumner. Familiar, that is, if you’re a follower of George Herriman’s influential comic strip character Krazy Kat and her unrequited love for brick-throwing Ignatz the Mouse.

© Vonn Cummings Sumner

Stephen Heller interviews artist Vonn Cummings Sumner for Print Mag.

That is a really interesting question. I think that has to do with the times—the difference between Modern and Postmodern, perhaps? But also it has to do with the medium: A cartoon strip has its history/language/conventions and a painting has its history/language/conventions. I hold humor very high in the hierarchy of artistic values.

It is fitting that his talents will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award during the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame ceremonies Friday, March 24, at The Foundry.

photo via the East Tennesee Writers Hall of Fame

The talent is Charlie Daniel, and prior to the honor his friend Sam Venable at Knoxville News Sentinel profiles and roasts Charlie with some rejection slips from magazines and newspapers.

Saturday Evening Post: “(Your work) is not quite suited to our needs.”

Growing up, Ed Steckley dreamed of contributing to MAD Magazine and being a part of “Saturday Night Live.” The 2018 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater graduate achieved both goals through a varied career that he attributes to a message on the campus bulletin board.

Illustrator/cartoonist/caricaturist Ed Steckley is named UW-Whitewater 2023 Distinguished Alumnus for Professional Achievement. Dave Fidlin, for UW-W, interviews Ed about the honor and his 30 year career.

Comics artist and historian Trina Robbins and cartoonist Lee Marrs were the BIG NAMES at the Cartoon Art Museum‘s Women’s Comics Marketplace earlier this month. Jules (Mark Trail) Rivera and a dozen other women cartoonists were also there.

Marrs, a Berkeley resident, created the comic book series, “The Further Fattening Adventures of Pudge, Girl Blimp,” which was nominated for an Eisner Award in 2017, the highest honor bestowed in the comic book world.

In 1972, Robbins, a San Francisco resident, wrote and drew a short story called “Sandy Comes Out,” starring the first lesbian comic-book character outside of pornography. Shifting gears, she began drawing for DC Comics in the 1980s, and since then has authored several books and continues to write and draw comics.

Janis Mara, Bay City News, attended and talked to the cartoonists.