News Briefs Briefly Noted

Bone creator Jeff Smith recovering from heart attack

© Jeff Smith

To our friends and fans: Jeff Smith is recuperating from a cardiac arrest, which he suffered on Sunday [August 13]. There will be a long road to recovery, so regrettably we must cancel the remainder of his book tour this year. Our apologies to his fans who were coming to see him at: Rob Con (VA), CXC (OH), Bedrock Comic Con (TX) and NYCC (NY). We hope this is just a bump in the road and that Jeff will see you all next year. Thank you for your support and understanding at this time.

The Wrap has more and reaction from the comics community.

I guess this means Jeff Smith won’t be at the Reuben Awards this year – he is a nominee for Cartoonist of the Year.


Richard Caté Receives Inkpot Award

© Richard Caté

Cartoonist Ricardo Caté couldn’t figure out why a man dressed as Doctor Strange was hanging around his booth at this summer’s Comic-Con International conference in San Diego.

The costumed stranger reached under his cloak to pull something out, as if to offer some sort of gift to the creator of the comic strip Without Reservations, which runs six times a week in The New Mexican.

Was it a prize of some kind?

Nope, just a beer, which Caté said he happily accepted. The two talked for awhile, before another visitor appeared. This one did have an award to present: news that the Santo Domingo Pueblo member was being awarded the International Inkpot Award by Comic-Con International for his commitment to excellence.

The Sante Fe New Mexican reports on Richard Caté receiving an Inkpot Award at the 2023 San Diego Comic-Con.


Ding Darling Celebration

Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling, a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist who worked at The Sioux City Journal at the turn of the 20th century and later became a powerful figure in the conservation movement, will be celebrated next month during the Federal Duck Stamp Contest at Drake University. 

Darling, who grew up partly in Sioux City, developed his craft and career at The Journal and is buried here at Logan Park Cemetery (albeit without a headstone), will be celebrated during the two-day artwork contest with a film screening, art exhibits, a luncheon and an online auction, where a rare paintbrush used by Darling will be sold. 

The Sioux City Journal profiles Ding Darling and reports on the celebratory activities. Also see Flashfeed.

“He was very much a whimsical personality,” said Sam Koltinsky, chair of the Drake University Federal Duck Stamp Contest 2023 and one of the premier experts on Darling.


Liza Donnelly and Cartooning

© Liza Donnelly

I sort of remember when I first saw a line drawing. I was drawing as a really young child, but when I discovered that there were others who did it too in books and newspapers, I was transfixed. I am not alone! Every line drawing I saw from then on was “mine,” meaning I felt it was done for me. I felt connected to that artist.

Cartoonist Liza Donnelly puts her Medium Day keynote and live drawing on her Substack.


Craig Schulz on Charles M. Schulz

What kind of responsibility is it to keep all of this going, and going in the way that your dad would certainly approve?

Well, it’s tremendous. And I look back on how he took the responsibility. His comic strip created hundreds of thousands of jobs, and he felt very responsible to those people that were doing all that work. So people might ask how he could do a comic strip for 50 years. Well, a lot of it was because he felt responsible to all those people. But the other thing was that was his love of his life. There was nothing he liked more than sitting at the drawing table and drawing those comic strips and literally living with that gang of kids.

The one thing I like about animation that I haven’t really mentioned to anybody else is that [with] the comic strip and what my dad did, he felt really kind of disrespected. Because when you draw a comic strip, they’re like 8×8-inch drawings, and then they go in the newspapers and they get shrunk down to 1×1-inch. They get put on the lowest grade paper you can ever imagine and then they’re in the newspaper for a day and then they get thrown away. There’s nothing more disrespectful to an artist than doing that. You couldn’t imagine Picasso having his drawings shrunk down to 1×1.

Parade interviews Craig Schulz about the new Peanuts TV show and his father the creator of Peanuts.


Digging Up a Treasure Chest of Comics

© Catholic University of America or respective copyright owner

From 1946 to 1972, children in Catholic schools around the country eagerly awaited their next issue of Treasure Chest of Fun & Facts. They looked forward to opening these “treasure chests” of illustrated stories of the Catholic faith and historic American heroes and saints — and following continuing original adventure stories that carried a Christian moral, working on the puzzles, and being excited over so many other colorful features and projects.

Then came 1972, when the Treasure Chests were buried.

The National Catholic Register reports on republishing the complete Treasure Chest of Fun & Facts.


Defenders of the Earth Merch

© King Features Syndicate

Monogram International has made available for pre order a Defenders of the Earth themed set of 2 inch 3D foam key chains. The distributor Entertainment Earth has them available for pre order on their website in packs of either 6 for $34.99US ($55Au, 32Eu, 2,900INR and 375sek/nok) or a pack of 24 for $143.99US ($220Au, 132Eu, 12,000INR and 1600 sek/nok).

The Chronicle Chamber reveals newly licensed merchandise for The Phantom and other King Features characters.

2 thoughts on “News Briefs Briefly Noted

  1. I voted for Jeff Smith in the Reubens. He’s a terrific cartoonist with an amazing resume. I hope that he recovers quickly.

    The new PEANUTS specials look wonderful. I just wish they could be viewed on a platform that was a bit more accessible. There’s nothing I want to see on Apple+ except the Peanuts films and Wolf Walkers.

  2. Bone is my favorite comic book series. I’m hoping Jeff recovers better then ever.

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