Monday, August 31, 2009

Cat Nightmare

Another title for this might be Death Cab for Kittie.  Or another title might be The Mouse that Roared. In any event, this piece might have been too nightmarish to publish in Cat Fancy or I am like one of those people that try out for American Idol that has absolutely no talent whatsoever, but truly believes that they can carry a tune that millions of people would love. What if that is true and no one cared enough to straighten me out? Here I am wasting my time publishing these cartoons that editors across America have weighed in on as not worth it. Can't I take a hint? Apparently not.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Man in the Mountain

Here is a four-panel cartoon that was fun. It was drawn way before this cliff on Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire collapsed. I remember that the state was considering rebuilding the Profile, but I don't remember if they went through with it.  Even though it is an icon of New Hampshire, it seems odd to rebuild something that nature created in the first place. The Profile appears on the New Hampshire quarter.  Oh well, nothing lasts forever and all things must pass, and I have run out of cliches. What a shame. This particular cartoon had the honor of being rejected by Yankee Magazine. 

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Disposable Income

Of course, this one was done during better economic times. But it never made my economic times any better because it never sold. It is one those ideas that spring from terminology. Why would anybody dispose their income? These types of inane observations are the bread and butter of cartoonists. It is probably a contributing factor of why cartoonists are battered around by society at times. Or perhaps it is why certain cartoons are not bought by publications. Or maybe it is only why this particular cartoon was not bought by a publication. Or maybe I should just end this pointless drivel right here.

Snow Goose

I am not sure why this goose appears to headed down a waterfall. The drawing was straight when I scanned it. But, I actually like this slanted bird. It seems oblivious to its fate. It is another old drawing, and it is probably from a professional photographer's collection appearing in some book. Is it illegal to draw from a photo which you did not actually take? Anyway, I think I intended this drawing to appear in a series of notecards that was sold at our now-defunct contemporary crafts gallery. Way back in the early 1980s, I had the patience (and time) to sit and draw involved pieces like this. I can't imagine myself drawing something like this now. That is unfortunate, because I remember enjoying such detail, but I think that I might just go bonkers if I tried this now. Maybe I should try it, just to see what would happen. I used to do pointillistic pieces also, which is now hard to imagine, but some of them might pop up in this blog. Those pieces have a different feel than this one which incorporates several techniques instead of one.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Men at Lunch

Here is a multi-panel cartoon with no gag line. I like this one, but magazines where I sent this one for publication, did not. And so it goes. It probably could have been done better, and if anybody has a suggestion....keep it to yourself! I can't go around changing every little thing just because the world is full of critics who all believe they can do it better! Just kidding. I actually only sent this around to 2 magazines. I am also lazy, forgot to mention that...

Puppet and the Puppeteer

This one definately started as a little doodle with nothing at all in mind. This one has not sold, but I never was sure where to send it. I like it and I don't like it. It might be a bit too simple. The implications are interesting, but it just kind of sits there. I guess it is good for a small "ha." But that just about is all I get from it these days. It was rejected by the Alabama Literary Review back in 1992. I have no idea why I sent it to the Alabama Literary Review.

Atomic Age

This one falls under the
category of illustration or maybe political cartoon. It is different than what I usually draw or drew. This one dates back to 1985 and actually sold twice! The original sale was to Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, and then the reprint sold to Artist's Market 1986. It started as a kind of doodle and then morphed into the final piece. So, it wasn't created to fit a publication, but I found a publication where it would fit. That is the story for the very few pieces I have sold - they are stuff just out of my imagination and then finding a place to sell it. Whenever, I try to create a piece purposely to fit a publication, it never works out. I forget this lesson time and time again. Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.

He's a strange duck.

OK, I know it's not a cartoon. It's a merganser, which in some people's opinions, is a cartoon of a duck. I guess for all of you folks who prefer technical labels, this is more of an illustration. Yes, it does not have a joke attached to it. I mean it's a strange duck, so it has a cartoon quality, but like many cartoons in this blog, it did not sell, so it is brethren of the typical Ken cartoon.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Extreme Chess

I am finding that, over time, these cartoons tend to pile up. I guess I could have thrown them away and been more discerning about the ones I keep. In a sense, I guess I am doing that to some extent because I am not including all that I have in this blog. Unfortunately, I am somewhat of a pack rat. However, some of them I just don't like anymore. I object to them based on the art, or the theme, or both, or my perspective has changed over time. Some might claim that the whole kit-and-kaboodle should be scrapped, and I should start all over again. That thought occurred to me, and I know that 99% of these drawings have no future whatsoever, but here they are nonetheless. It's that pack rat in me coming out. I guess I relate to the drawings differently than anyone else because, even though most of these cartoons are very old, I can remember some details of drawing them. Many times, for me, the process of drawing was more meaningful than the actual product. Many of you may be saying, "I sure hope the process was meaningful, because the product is junk!" In any event, this particular cartoon was targeted at publication in the "Bulletin of Atomic Scientists," because they had once purchased another cartoon, which may appear sometime in this blog. Rarely has such a targeted idea paid off for me. I should try to include some newer drawings here, and I will, but a pack rat is forever doomed to be backlogged.

Help Desk at the Bookstore

It suddenly dawns on me that I don't quite know what I am doing, but "Foreward March!" anyway. Remember, dear readers (if any), that the overwhelming majority of these cartoons were sent out into the marketplace and not sold. I am told that this is quite common. It is also very possible that I am not that good at cartooning. Nothing is quite so dangerous as a little bit of talent. It can be a major source of frustration. For example, this particular cartoon was drawn circa 1992 and was rejected by over a dozen publications. It is not that good, but I have done worse. I have also done better. There exists among observers a subjective and objective reaction toward cartoon humor. There probably are a few cartoons that are universally considered good cartoons. So, from an objective standpoint, those few cartoons are funny and probably well-drawn. There are also subjective reactions where one observer finds a cartoon good while another observer does not. My feeling is that the latter is much more common than the universally accepted opinion of a cartoon. I have published several cartoons. Were they my best cartoons? From my subjective standpoint, I would say no. Does the perspective and taste of an editor come into play? I would say yes. Perhaps, at some point, this blog should sponsor a poll to vote on favorite cartoons if anybody ever sees this stuff.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Last Chance Art Center

This cartoon actually did sell (1992). However, I consider it a "pity sale." Here is the story: I had submitted it to Artist's Magazine, and I did not hear from them for quite a while, so I wrote a letter and asked for some sort of status report, something like: "So, what's going on?" Then there was a long time that I heard not a peep about it. I may have tried one more time to find out about the fate of the submittal, but for a long time, there was no word. I figured at that point that the editor hated the cartoon, and hated me for bothering them about its status. So, I just tried to forget about it and move on. One day, I received a check from Artist's Magazine for sale of a cartoon, but no tearsheet. The tearsheet would show the cartoon laid out on the page that it appeared on in the magazine. I decided not to pursue the mystery, but rather, take the money and run. My assumption was that the cartoon was lost, since I never was sent back the original, which is the usual practice after publication. So, that is why I call it a "pity sale." If anybody knows if this cartoon appeared in Artist's Magazine, please let me know. I have some photocopies of it, and maybe someday I will redraw it. I remember that it did not take long to draw. The idea of the cartoon was probably based on the popular "Art for Art's Sake" mantra of many art organizations which hoped to raise the importance of art in the eyes of society. The basic theme was that there is some intrinsic value of art for parts of a society. However, art can vanish, and this is regardless of its value.

Turkey Nightmare

This cartoon dates back to around 1986, and I always liked it. It never sold. I probably should resubmit it somewhere before Thanksgiving. I suppose the drawing is saying that animals have feelings, too. I do believe that, although their feelings are probably not like human feelings, animals have a range of emotions. If animals were as developed as us, each generation of turkeys could pass down to the next generation of turkeys, the story of Thanksgiving. They would probably refer to it as "Dark November," or something like that. Anyway, if they knew what was going to happen, they wouldn't be blissfully wolfing down their feed on November 10th. I am a vegetarian, and maybe that influenced somewhat this portrayal of avian life. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss. Imagine the state of mind for a turkey who knows what is coming in November. Surely, if the turkeys knew what we had in mind for them, they would never be so compliant to our demands - from the barnyard to the barbecue. They just connect us with the bringers of mega quantities of yummy feed. The irony of the situation is weighty.