Category Archives: cartoons

Hidden Kingdom – Chapter 2

Here is the start of Chapter 2 of my graphic novel, Hidden Kingdom.

Here is the link to Chapter One :https://catchafallingstarbook.net/2018/11/24/hidden-kingdom-chapter-1-complete/

Leave a comment

Filed under cartoons, comic book heroes, comic strips, fairies, Hidden Kingdom, humor, Paffooney

Winsor McCay

One work of comic strip art stands alone as having earned the artist, Winsor McCay, a full-fledged exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  Little Nemo in Slumberland is a one-of-a-kind achievement in fantasy art.

Winsor McCay lived from his birth in Michigan in 1869 to his finale in Brooklyn in 1934.  In that time he created volumes full of his fine-art pages of full-page color newspaper cartoons, most in the four-color process.  

The New Year’s page 1909

As a boy, he pursued art from very early on, before he was twenty creating paintings turned into advertising and circus posters.  He spent his early manhood doing amazingly detailed half-page political cartoons built around the editorials of Arthur Brisbane,  He then became a staff artist for the Cincinnati Times Star Newspaper, illustrating fires, accidents, meetings, and notable events.  He worked in the newspaper business with American artists like Winslow Homer and Frederick Remington who also developed their art skills through newspaper illustration.  He moved into newspaper comics with numerous series strips that included Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend and Little Nemo in Slumberland.  And he followed that massive amount of work up by becoming the “Father of the Animated Cartoon” with Gertie the Dinosaur, with whom he toured the US giving public performances as illustrated in the silent film below; 

The truly amazing thing about his great volume of work was the intricate detail of every single panel and page.  It represents a fantastic amount of work hours poured into the creation of art with an intense love of drawing.  You can see in the many pages of Little Nemo how great he was as a draftsman, doing architectural renderings that rivaled any gifted architect.  His fantasy artwork rendered the totally unbelievable and the creatively absurd in ways that made them completely believable.

I bought my copy of Nostalgia Press’s Little Nemo collection in the middle 70’s and have studied it more than the Bible in the intervening years.  Winsor McCay taught me many art tricks and design flourishes that I still copy and steal to this very day.

No amount of negative criticism could ever change my faith in the talents of McCay.  But since I have never seen a harsh word written against him, I have to think that problem will never come up.

My only regret is that the wonders of Winsor McCay, being over a hundred years old, will not be appreciated by a more modern generation to whom these glorious cartoon artworks are not generally available. 

2 Comments

Filed under art my Grandpa loved, artists I admire, artwork, book review, cartoon review, cartoons, comic strips, commentary

Dump the Trumpy Grump

This is the best Trump cartoon I have done of him so far, so I will use it multiple times.

The current President of the United States initially seemed to me to be a gift from the gods of comedy.  I figured it would be easy to make humorous blog posts about a clown who wears orange face paint, wears super-long red ties, and is more cartoonish behavior-wise than Yogi Bear.

But the Grumpy Trump leadership style is more depressing than even that of Rodeo Clown in Chief, George W. Bush, though Trump has managed to be accused of fewer war crimes by international tribunals.  He is so relentlessly inhuman in his every deed that you can’t use exaggeration humor against him.  The reality is too far over the top for that.  And you can’t rely on insult humor, because he does it so much more often himself than any comedian can,  and he really MEANS it.  He doesn’t tell or comprehend jokes unless it makes a good excuse to claim he was only joking.

One of the things he does that bothers me the most is the use of criminals in his cabinet and departments that do all the dirty work.

Sleepy McBoing-Boing, the HUD secretary seems to be in his job to screw things up for poor people who were barely hanging on and turn them into homeless people while he commits crimes to put an expensive dining table in the HUD office for his personal use.  “Let ’em eat cake,” right, Ben?

Scott Pruitt and Ryan Zinke, heads of the EPA and Department of the Interior are so busy spending Federal budget monies on personal uses that their departments are falling apart, and so the air we breath and the water we drink are now more at risk than they were under Obama, where it was a very real crisis having very real effects.

I think I am through posting criticisms about Trump.  Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, and Seth Meyers do so much better at skewering the pumpkinhead than I ever could, so look to them for actual political humor of the thoughtful kind.

The only thing I want from Trump now… Now that his tax cut has cost me extra money and his healthcare meddling has made the price of insulin out of my reach… Is for the whole thing to end.  He won’t resign.  You can’t expect Ebola Fever or brain tumors will go away on their own.  But it is so obvious that he has committed impeachable crimes that, for the good of us all, the Congress needs to get rid of him.  The Dark Lord with White Hair, Mike Pence, though deeply evil, would be better.

Leave a comment

Filed under angry rant, cartoons, commentary, humor, lying, Paffooney, politics

Ghostly Reflections

HauntingI do not believe in ghosts.

So, I am probably the last stupid goomer who should be writing this post.  But I do have a lot to say on the subject that will more than fill a 500-word essay.

Snow Babies 2

At my age and level of poor health, I think about ghosts a lot because I may soon be one.  In fact, my 2014 novel, Snow Babies has ghosts in it.  And some of the characters in it freeze to death and become snow ghosts.  But it doesn’t work like that in real-world science.  My ghosts are all basically metaphorical and really are more about people and people’s perception of life, love, and each other.

Ghosts really only live in the mind.  They are merely memories, un-expectedly recalled people, pains, and moments of pandemonium.

I have recently been watching the new Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House.  It creeps me out because it latches on to the idea that ghosts haunt us through the revisitation in our minds of old trauma, old mistakes, old regrets… We are never truly safe from ghosts, no matter how far under the covers we go in our beds, deep in the dark and haunted night. Ghosts are always right there with us because they only live inside us.

I am haunted by ghosts of my own.  Besides the ghost dog that mysteriously wanders about our house at night and is seen only out of the corners of our eyes, there is the ghost of the sexual assault I endured at the age of ten by a fifteen-year-old neighbor.  That ghost haunts me still, though my attacker has died.  I still can’t name him.  Not because I fear he can rise up out of the grave to hurt me again, but because of what revealing what he did and how it would injure his innocent family members who are still alive and still known to my family.  That is a ghost who will never go away.  And he infects my fiction to the point that he is the secret villain of the novel I am now working on.

But my ghost stories are not horror stories.

I write humorous stories that use ghosts as metaphors, to represent ideas, not to scare the reader.  In a true horror story, there has to be that lurking feeling of foreboding, that sense that, no matter what you do, or what the main character you identify with does, things probably won’t turn out all right.   Steven King is a master of that.  H.P. Lovecraft is even better.

DSCN5216

But as for me, I firmly believe in the power of laughter, and that love can settle all old ghosts back in their graves.  I have forgiven the man who sexually tortured me and nearly destroyed me as a child.  And I have vowed never to reveal his name to protect those he loved as well as those I love.  If he hurt anyone else, they have remained silent for a lifetime too.  And I have never been afraid of the ghost dog in our house.  He has made me jump in the night more than once, but I don’t fear him.  If he were real, he would be the ghost of a beloved pet and a former protector of the house.  And besides, he is probably all in my stupid old head thanks to nearly blind eyes when I do not have my glasses on.

I don’t believe in ghosts.

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under cartoons, commentary, ghost stories, goofy thoughts, humor, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Driving in Texas

alcar1

Yes, this cartoon illustration shows how we drive in Texas.  Of course, it all moves much faster than this in real life.  I hope to get my car out of the shop this weekend so I can start outrunning high-speed alligators on Texas roads once again.

Leave a comment

Filed under cartoons, cartoony Paffooney, humor, Paffooney

Hidden Kingdom (Through Page 6)

flute cover 4a

HK1x

H21x

HK41

HK31

Hk51

HK61

Leave a comment

Filed under artwork, cartoons, comic book heroes, comic strips, fairies, Hidden Kingdom, Paffooney

The Hidden Kingdom (scanned anew)

I have finally found a way to create clean, bright copies of my pages of the graphic novel Hidden Kingdom.  I managed to scan it in portions and then piece it together with a photoshopping program.

Now I will post my re-scanned and puzzled-together masterwork.  It will become my regular Saturday feature.

Here now is my first installment;

flute cover 4a

HK1x.jpg

H21x

And so I will continue to work on and add pages of artwork each week.

Leave a comment

Filed under art editing, artwork, cartoons, comic strips, Hidden Kingdom, humor, Paffooney, pen and ink