Black Friday Free-For-All

Ed Subitzky, Walt Handelsman, David Sipress, Roger Kastel, Ron Turner, Denis Kitchen, and more.

Speaking of leftovers – here’s some stuff that was sitting in the queue.

The Ed Subitzky Anti-Interview

© Ed Subitzky

A full house turned out for the book launch of cartoonist, writer and sometimes television celebrity Ed Subitzky’s long-awaited first anthology of work at Rizzoli Bookstore in New York City on October 13. The collection, Poor Helpless Comics! The Cartoons (and More) of Ed Subitzky (New York Review Comics, 2023), gathers many of the best comics and text pieces Subitzky contributed to the National Lampoon over the lifetime of that magazine (1970-98).

The following article is not strictly a transcript of the Rizzoli Bookstore event. Rather, it combines questions by Newgarden and Kline—and questions from the audience—with several questions of my own, both asked at the event and later, inserted where relevant to the topic.

John Kelly, for The Comics Journal, combines various sources into an Ed Subitzky interview.


Walt Handelsman cartoon draws readers to newspaper.

© The Times-Picayune/The Advocate/Walt Handelsman

Wow! We received a record-breaking 1,084 entries in this week’s Cartoon Caption Contest!  There were so many great punchlines that it was hard to narrow the field down to just this special group. Fantastic job, everyone!

Walt Handelsman cartoon contest consistently draws readers to The New Orleans Times-Picayune and The Advocate. His latest caption contest proves the worth of cartooning to attract an audience to newspapers.


David Sipress Event

“The New Yorker” staff cartoonist David Sipress will discuss the central role that humor played in his memoir [What’s So Funny?] and how humor—and creativity in general—has helped him to navigate difficult life challenges. He hopes to shed light on the art of writing a memoir, including the challenge of memory (what’s true and what might not be entirely true). He hopes to also discuss his creative process as a cartoonist.

In a November 27 Zoom event David Sipress will talk about writing a memoir and cartooning.


Roger Karl Kastel June 11,1931 – November 8, 2023

Famed illustrator Roger Kastel has passed away. Most famous for his cover to the paperback edition of Peter Benchley’s Jaws being used for the movie poster, he drew many other movie posters – notably for The Empire Strikes Back. His career included thousands of paperback book and men’s sweat magazine covers.

The Screen Crush obituary. The New York Times obituary. The Art of The Movies obituary.

Roger’s connection to comics include the cover of a Doc Savage comic book and drawing Reddy Kilowatt and a “full-sized comic book designed to teach industrial workers how to perform their trade better.”

After high school, Kastel served in the Navy during the Korean War. Upon his return home he resumed his studies at the Art Students League. He started out with very humble jobs to pay his tuition; he swept floors and made deliveries at NYC studios. Later Kastel did black and white newspaper ads for Reddy Kilowatt advertising company. Next freelancing for NY advertising agencies, he was making story boards by day and still taking classes at the League by night. He studied with Edwin Dickinson, Sidney E. Dickinson and Robert Hale. The greater part of his education is attributed to Frank J. Reilly. While still a student, Kastel created a book cover for a contest: this piece became his first published work for Simon & Schuster Pocket Books.


In the beginning

Underground comix publishers Ron Turner and Denis Kitchen are interviewed.

From ICv2:

Our history of the Direct Market continues with a conversation with two publishers of underground comix, Ron Turner, founder of Last Gasp, and Denis Kitchen, founder of Kitchen Sink Press.  Both Ron and Denis were distributors as well as publishers, and both started their businesses in 1970.  Part 1 of this interview focuses on the Golden Age of underground comix, the early 1970s.  In Part 2, we discuss the evolution of the underground comix market as well as Denis’s shift toward non-underground comics at Kitchen Sink.  And in Part 3, we talk about the very early days of manga publishing in America and the drift toward the book channel.


Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Comic Artists, Part Two

Five years ago Mike looked at the dismal pay for most cartoonists. So how are things going?

We’ve written here many times over the years about how hard it is to make a living making comics, and, specifically, how page rates for basic comic book labor have not increased in the last 20 years or so.

Heidi MacDonald at The Beat investigates current comic book pay with links to many creator discussions.


What’s Black Friday without a couple bargains.

Hogan’s Alley, the preeminent comics history magazine, is offering free shipping for today only.

Speaking of Black Friday, we decided to get into the spirit of things by offering free shipping today on all orders of Hogan’s Alley…fill in your collection, begin your collection, get a jump on holiday gift-giving, etc. But this offer is good TODAY ONLY, so don’t delay! Just head to:

Amazon is offering a deal on the paperback version of The Complete Calvin and Hobbes, which is a “four-volume collection of every comic strip from the comic strip’s eleven year history (1985 to1996).”

Well every strip except for this one:

© Bill Watterson

By the way, nearly a quarter (twelve) of the top 50 amazon comic strip books , as of this writing, are Calvin and Hobbes collections, with the above bargain listed at #1.