Write ’em down, Draw ’em in, Roundup

Mark Fiore, David Fitzsimmons, AAEC Awards listing.

First stop is Mark Fiore, who is experimenting with AI.

For the most part I’ve been frustrated because I see an image in my head that I could draw the old-fashioned way, but I can’t make the robot do what I want it to do.


While I’m frustrated now, I already see the huge time-saving potential for fast turnaround animation like I do.

I think the easier lift is teaching AI to generate static backgrounds for my animation, it’s much harder to train it to create characters, let alone actual animated characters that look like my work.


The Association of American Editorial Cartoonists has released its annual Awards links and deadlines list.

Early 2024 deadlines (January and February) are for Awards from National Newspaper Awards, Overseas Press Club, The Herblock Prize, the National Cartoonists Society, The Pulitzer Prize, Sigma Delta Chi, Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, and the National Headliner Award. AAEC information, with links, here.


The Final Old Pueblo Holiday Radio Show. And David Fitzsimmons‘ Farewell to Public Life.

Fitz describes his last performance at the Rialto and provides a partial transcript of the show (and links to video of the entire production).

“As you know, this will be my last public appearance.” This somber utterance drew gentle protests from the audience.

“And the last performance of the Old Pueblo Holiday Radio show.” At this point the Cadillacs and Sly began to play an over-the-top tea jerker melody best suited to soap opera melodrama that made me laugh.

Before the curtain dropped Fitz was surprised by a Declaration by The City of Tucson:

And whereas Fitz is a Pulitzer Prize finalist, not to be confused with the Pulitzer Prize winner;

And whereas Fitz’ cartoons have been syndicated internationally, and they have been featured in the Washington Post, the New York Times, and are among the debris often cleaned up from Tucson homeless encampments

Read all about it at Fitz’s substack here.

feature image by Fitz

One thought on “Write ’em down, Draw ’em in, Roundup

  1. After ignoring most of the recent comic-book scene for the past few decades, I’ve become recomitted to reading them on a weekly basis again. Imagine my surprise to discover that most of the artists who became popular in the last forty years have almost disappeared from the major companies (probably to make better money doing commissions) to be replaced by new, fully acceptable artists, largely from Europe and South America. What strikes me about them is not their individual styles, their storytelling capabilities or their ability to portray American characters that don’t resemble their own places of origin, but their uncanny ability to render highly detailed cityscapes in perfect perspective. And then it struck me–this exquisite work, which is so highly detailed it would be unprofitable to do with a pencil, pen and ruler, is being handled by AI technology which must be commonly sourced by the comic art world since it’s now so ubiquitous. And yes, it’s individual enough that Metropolis doesn’t look like Gotham City. Sure, it’s not like this manufactured background work spoils my appreciation for the work itself, but it reminds me that when you saw it in the background of a SPIDER-MAN in the ’60s or ’70s, it was the work of a human (Tony Mortellero) and not a computer. Like the passing of hand-lettering (both copy and display) in comic books, we’re losing backgrounds too, since both are considered scut work, and I can’t help but wonder when some company doesn’t go fully artificial on the actual characters too, since it will be cheaper to simply have artists design the characters and leave the actual drawing to a machine which can reproduce their style better and faster than they can. Until the AI can do the design work itself, then the comics need never end with the death of the originator. Who knows–it could very well save comic books at the financial level.

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