Two Ducks Walk Into A Bar and Other Tales

So yesterday I’m scrolling through Facebook when among the innumerable “suggested for you” posts comes a comic panel so I linger over it – the one below on the left.

While it wasn’t a high resolution scan the cartoonist’s name seemed to be blurred even more than the rest of the image. It is of course by Maria Scrivan, one of her more famous panels that has been converted to a greeting card with her signature plainly legible (in the middle above). Does obscuring the creator’s signature and not revealing the cartoonist’s name make it public domain on the internet?


New to me.

Coming to Comics Kingdom tomorrow.

© Tommy Devoid

Tommy Devoid, who specializes in skeleton cartoons, is bringing his Never Been Deader panel to Comics Kingdom.


New to me 2.

Leo Michael has a spot at Automotive News

Cartoonist Leo Michael does a weekly panel for Automotive News. Leo’s archive at AN goes back to February 2023.


GoCreator tie (or lapel) pin for selected GoComics cartoonists.

It’s a little over an inch wide and about a half-inch tall and is exclusive to GoComics creators who engage with fans or who comment on other GoComics comics. Teresa (Frog Applause) Burritt explains.


Speaking of engaging readers…

© The Times-Picayune/The Advocate/Walt Handelsman

With over 700 punchlines sent in, check out the WINNER and lots of finalists in Walt Handelsman’s latest Cartoon Caption Contest!

The New Orleans newspaper employs cartoonist Walt Handelsman to keep the readers actively absorbed.


Not the B.C. that crossed my mind when I read the headline.

B.C. comic collector loses 40-year collection to devastating wildfire


Book Reviews of Cartoonists’ Biographies

At the Wall Street Journal Michael Taube on Three Rocks. Or avoid the paywall via MSN.

Bill Griffith, a longtime cartoonist and the creator of Zippy the Pinhead, has brilliantly captured this important piece of comic-strip history in “Three Rocks: The Story of Ernie Bushmiller, the Man Who Created Nancy.” Mr. Griffith’s graphic-novel biography is a scintillating concoction of in-depth research, original art and storytelling, as well as, with a nod to Bushmiller’s greatest comic-strip creation, a bit o’ whimsy, petulance and charm.

Cartoonist Jeff Smith reviews Funny Things for The New York Times.

“Peanuts” was completely different. It showed how kids really felt. What we went through. Embarrassment, humiliation, pressure and anxiety. And it was hilarious. The interiority of these little drawings was magnetic. Like everyone else, I was hooked.

Fortunately (and this becomes clear in “Funny Things” almost immediately), “Peanuts” was all that to Debus and Matteuzzi, too. They don’t ape Schulz, they present Schulz. Debus maintains his own drawing style, and he and Matteuzzi depict the highs and lows, the frustrations and triumphs of their hero with a familiar cadence. They bring Sparky and the strip together as one.

A version of this article appears in print on Aug. 27, 2023, Page 22 of the Sunday Book Review.

Michael Cavna for The Washington Post also reviews Three Rocks. Also available via MSN.

“Unlike a justly venerated classic like ‘Peanuts,’ ‘Nancy’ doesn’t tell us much about what it’s like to be a kid. Instead, ‘Nancy’ tells us what it’s like to be a comic strip.”

Those words about the essence of “Nancy” echo throughout Griffith’s brilliant new graphic biography of Bushmiller. “Three Rocks: The Story of Ernie Bushmiller: The Man Who Created Nancy” is a warmhearted artistic exploration of the cartoonist’s life and mind, told entirely in comics form


More books.

Hollywood in Toto notes that Scott Adams has finally found a publisher for his twice cancelled book.

We note the publisher:

4 thoughts on “Two Ducks Walk Into A Bar and Other Tales

  1. Regarding the Maria Scrivan cartoon, her signature looks blurred because of heavy JPG artifacting. For whatever reason, this is especially noticeable if there’s a red background. So whatever is in front of a large pool of red gets artifacted to hell in low-resolution JPEG files.

    1. Nice. Back in the day (99/00) when I was studying “multimedia”, we were told jpegs were for photographs and pngs/gifs were for flat colour to reduce the artefacts you describe. Now Google is telling me I need to get my file sizes down, using the new image formats like WebP. I imagine that AI tools will be used to achieve even smaller file sizes.

  2. Please let us not forget Skippy by Percy Crosby. His strips often bordered on the profound.

  3. Back in the day, I listened to CROCODILE ROCK on my shirt-pocket radio whilst selling ‘underground’ papers and comix at the SW corner of Hollywood & Vine. ZAP COMIX sold well, and Gilbert Shelton’s FEDS & HEADS, and anything labeled ‘psychedelic’. One regular customer drove a gold metalflake Hemi-‘Cuda with his name scripted on the door: LAWRENCE WELK. Too bad I had no X-rated NANCY & SLUGGO mags for my pervo customers. 8-(

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