Monday, July 27, 2009

San Diego Comic Con 2009

Just back from the Con and there were several warm,
fuzzy events that I really enjoyed. On Saturday there
was a remembrance of El Cortez days when
the convention was all about comics, partying,
drinking and laughing, when everyone gathered
around the pool and drew pictures and leaped into
the pool, with or without clothes. Pros and fans of all ages hung out and had a great time getting to know each other. The panel consisted of Mike Friedrich, Jack Katz, George Clayton Johnson,
Sergio Aragones, Mark Evanier, Bill Stout and Mike Royer (right) and they each told about some hilarious events, shared some touching memories and recounted a lot of absurdities that just don't happen any more. The good old days of uninhibited mayhem and silliness.
Me and my trusty WITH MY OLD PAL sign at the 40-years of Comic Con party with (l to r) Mike Friedrich, Paul Levitz, Trina Robbins, Bud Plant, Jim Valentino, Lee Marrs, Jackie Estrada, Bob Beerbohm. The center photo is from the remembrance of El Cortez days panel and shows Jack Katz, George Clayton Johnson and Sergio Aragones. The Thursday night party celebrating 40 years of Comic Con included some people I hadn't seen in 30+ years. We've all gone through some physical changes, but we're all pretty much the same people we were 30 and 40 years ago, just older.

Saturday there was also an appreciation of the work of Harvey Kurtzman. Among the panel members was Kurtzman's daughter Nellie, publisher Charles Kochman, author and publisher Denis Kitchen, Kurtzman colleague Bill Stout, president of DC Comics Paul Levitz, and historian and moderator Mark Evanier.

Tales From The Box In The Closet


More stuff from the closet, 1974 and 1979.

Tales From The Box In The Closet


We all have stuff in the closet that never got printed or used. Boxes, bags, and piles of stuff. Here's some stuff from 1974 and 1979. Look out blog, here it comes!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stan Lee... Excelsior!

Standing behind Sergio Aragones and Stan Lee, ready to take their order.

On November 11, 2007 the Comic Art Professional Society honored Stan Lee at a banquet with 100 close friends and members of CAPS, and presented him with the prestigious Sergio Award for... well... for being Stan Lee. Actually, the award is in recognition of his tremendous contributions to the field of comic books for over 60 years. One of Stan's trademark exclamations is, "Excelsior!" When Stan says it, he means the second dictionary definition of the word: "Ever upward!" (the motto of New York State.) But the first dictionary definition is "Fine wood shavings, used for stuffing, packing, etc."

About a month before the banquet I was at a collector's show in Glendale, CA, and stumbled upon a huge seltzer bottle labeled EXCELSIOR, from the 1930s. I had to get it!

The night of the banquet, which was being video taped for a documentary on Stan, I approached him with a special presentation. On camera I asked him if he knew what excelsior was, and he did. "Fine wood shavings used for stuffing. packing, etc." I was impressed. "But I prefer the second definition of the word, which is 'Ever upward!'"

The first time I was impressed by Stan Lee was when I was doing The Evolution and History of Moosekind for Marvel's CRAZY magazine. It was 1974 and I was in New York for the big Comic Convention. I was visiting the Marvel offices and my editor, Marv Wolfman, introduced me to Stan and I liked The Man right away. We spent about 20 minutes in his office and I knew he had actually read the stuff I was doing for CRAZY because he talked about a lot of the silliest details of the feature. If you've ever met Stan Lee, you gotta admit, he's an easily likable guy. And 33 years later, he's living out in California and here we are having dinner together (with 100 other cartoonists, spouses and friends.)

So I whip out the mystery package, present him with the EXCELSIOR seltzer bottle and everybody gets a big laugh out of it. None more than Stan.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Leni Riefenstahl

When I was a film student we watched a lot of movies. Chaplin, Keaton, Kurosawa, Welles, Hitchcock, Ford, Lang, Wilder, Kubrick, Lean, Hawks, Stevens, Berkeley, Fellini, De Sica, Rosselini, Antonioni, Cocteau, Bergman, Marnau, Curtiz, Eisenstein, to begin with. Sometimes we'd see 4-5 movies a day. There were two inexpensive classic movie theaters a short walk from Chouinard Art School in Los Angeles, and a handful of us took full advantage. I don't know if we absorbed everything, but we all absorbed enough to have careers in the film industry. Some of us went into animation, others went into live action. We had great instructors and they instilled in us an appreciation for the film form, imagery, storytelling and the impact it can have on an audience.

The first time I saw Triumph of the Will at a tiny little theater in West Hollywood in the early sixties, I was stunned by the huge, powerful imagery of one of the most influential propaganda films ever made. The art of the movie was what impressed me most. Incredible black and white compositions, dramatic lighting, an amazing documentary. Setting aside the politics and motivation for the film, when studied strictly as a piece of film-making, this is an important film.

While living in Denmark in 1993 I met people from all over Europe. It was then that I learned that Leni Riefenstahl was still alive and still working as a film maker. Riefenstahl was born in 1902, began her movie career as an actress in 1924, directed her first movie in 1932, and directed Triumph of the Will in 1934.

After WWII she went to Africa to begin a film project that never materialized. But her time there gave rise to an interest in Africa. In the 1960s she took up photography and documented the lives of the Nuba Tribe in Sudan. In 1974 she published The Last of the Nuba, and in 1976 The People of Kau.

In 1974 she took up underwater photography and published two books on the subject. On August 22, 2002, on her 100th birthday, she released a documentary film called Underwater Impressions.

Leni Riefenstahl died in 2003 in her sleep a few weeks after her 101st birthday.

There are numerous DVDs and books available. The best biography is probably Leni Riefenstahl by Leni Riefenstahl.

When I learned she was still alive and living in Munich, a friend of mine there put me in touch with her. I wanted to have her sign my copies of The Last of the Nuba and The People of Kau. She said she would love to but was leaving very shortly to shoot some underwater documentary footage in The Caribbean and would be happy to sign the books when she got back. Meanwhile, she sent along the photocards below.

By the time she returned to Munich I had relocated back to The States and all my books were in storage.

I can't think of anyone who lived through more historically interesting times and had such unbelievable life experiences as this woman did.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Steinbeck Connection

Basic Training, Ft. Ord, California, 1966. I had just turned 23, pretty old for a guy to get drafted. I'd managed to stay in art school long enough to get my BA in Film, but then they got me. After this I was assigned to the Signal Corps Training School at Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey where I spent the next two years writing and directing short educational films about radar, electronics and other exciting stuff. Training classes were located all over the base and some training films were viewed via closed circuit TV. I worked in the TV station. The art department there consisted of four military artists: me, a fine artist named Dave Ligare (who went on to an incredible career as a fine artist, teaching in Italy and now residing in Salinas), Don Henry (who went on to a career in advertising in Houston, Texas), and Steve Stiles (who went on to a career in comics). There were a couple of civilian artists there, too. I don't recall their names, but one guy was a master sign painter. He would whip out posters, signs and anything that required hand lettering, and it was a true joy to watch him work. He used to paint signs on windows and his control and manipulation of a brush was amazing. A lost art.

Anyway, there are two arrows in this photo. The one on the left points to me. The one on the right points to Thom Steinbeck. Guess who his dad was. John Steinbeck came to visit Thom once, but I never got to meet him. After Basic Training, Thom and I went to visit his Aunt in Pacific Grove. Her name was Mrs. Ainsworth and we spent an incredible afternoon at her wonderful home as she talked about the early days in nearby Cannery Row and her brother John's books. I remember we had tea and cookies and I think afterwards Thom and I stopped on the way back to base for some burgers and beer.

Thom was in the bunk next to mine for the 12 weeks of training and we got along pretty well. After Basic Training he went to Viet Nam as a combat photographer, and made it back okay. After the army he wrote documentaries and screeplays, and has written a book entitled Down to the Soundless Sea (2002).

Our drill instructor was a bulldog of a sergeant named William Vibbard. If you met him you'd think of Frank Sutton, the tough sergeant from Gomer Pyle. He had served a couple of tours of duty in Viet Nam, broke the filters off his Camels, ran circles around our platoon as we ran the seven miles out to the firing range, kicked ass, and scared the hell out of everyone. He's retired now, living in Seaside last time I knew, and about 10 years ago I looked him up so I could let him know what I thought of him. When he met me at the door to his modest home above Monterey Bay, he looked exactly the same. We chatted for awhile, he remembered Steinbeck, we had a beer and then I began to leave. But before I left, I thanked him for being so tough, for kicking ass, for being such a mean S.O.B. because his training probably kept a lot of guys from getting killed in Viet Nam.

The last thing I said to him was, "You're a good man." I don't think anybody ever told him that.

Monday, July 20, 2009

CRAZY Filler - The Last Supper

I wrote and illustrated The Evolution and History of Moosekind for Marvel's CRAZY Magazine, issues 1-16 (1973 - 1976). Marv Wolfman was the editor and occasionally asked for some filler material to use whenever there was an extra page or two to fill. Since I was doing a history oriented thing, he suggested a history update, based on real events in history as if they happened today. He might have even said, "Something like the Last Supper, for example." So I thought about it and realized that if it did happen today, they might go to Sambo's coffee shop, might have a tough time getting a table for such a large group, might have a problem ordering and divvying up the bill. I got 16 people to agree to do a fumetti-style photo shoot in Studio City, California, on Ventura Blvd., one of the busiest streets in the San Fernando Valley. We all assembled on a Saturday at a small Animation studio about three blocks away, put on period costumes and walked the three blocks to Sambo's. I gotta hand it to these guys for having the courage to make that walk. Being in a group helped, but I think most people passed it off as just another day in Los Angeles. The opening shot was a real "grab and run" thing. We were in and out of there in about three minutes, heading back to the studio to do the rest of the shoot indoors.

Click on the image to enlarge. In the first panel of Page 1, from left to right, the participants included Willie Ito, Mark Kausler, and Bill Spicer (all standing), Tim Walker (kneeling in front of them), Drew Gentle (kneeling), Milt Gray (standing), Jim Childs (kneeling), Dave Alexander (behind Childs), Phil Phillipson (half kneeling), Terry Stroud, Bob Randles and Bill Stout, on the rock. Hidden behind Drew Gentle is Don Glut.

A lot of us were working at Hanna-Barbera at the time. Mark Kausler was one of the best independent animators during this period, Bill Spicer was publishing Graphic Story Magazine and was one of the premier comic book letterers, Dave Alexander and Terry Stroud were partners in a comic shop, Bob Randles was a music editor for live action films, Bill Stout was doing underground comix.

In the second panel, the same cast but with the addition of Greg Crosby as the Maitre de. A writer in Disney Publishing at the time, he later became Vice President, Disney Publishing.

In Page 2, Linda Glut, Don's wife, enters as the waitress.

In Page 3, Carol Svendsen, wife of Disney story man Julius Svendsen, enters as Bill Stout's mother. The final panel shows Mark Kausler, Phil Phillipson, Drew Gentle, Bill Spicer, Bob Randles, Willie Ito, Tim Walker, Terry Stroud, Dave Alexander, Jim Childs, Milt Gray and Don Glut all going for the leftovers.

A piece of real trivia: The lettering for this filler was done by Alex Toth.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cartoonist Get Together

Used to be time when a small group of cartoonists in the Los Angeles area would get together about four times a year for dinner. I don't know how I managed to be included in this group but I was. Maybe because I used to call everyone and pick a time and restaurant to do it in. This particular dinner was attended by such luminaries as Floyd Norman, Don Dougherty, Jerry Eisenberg, Sergio Aragones, Leo Sullivan, Marty Murphy, Jack Mendelsohn, Fred Lucky and, I believe, Dale Hale. There might have been a couple more but I don't have photos. And this was long before digital cameras, so the pictures are dark and grainy and there's not too much I can do about it.
Floyd, Don, Jerry, Sergio and Leo after a great meal, lots of laughs and plenty of stories. We were all a little fuzzy.

I met Marty Murphy (left) when he was doing character designs for Wait Until Your Father Gets Home at Hanna-Barbera (1972-1974). Marty has done a vast number of brilliant cartoons for Playboy over the years. People often refer to his rendition of sexy, innocent-looking women as "Marty Murphy Girls" and everyone in the business knows what that means. Jack Mendelsohn (right) is probably best known for creating the comic strip Jacky's Diary (1959 - 1961). He also wrote for Mad, Panic and numerous TV series. Please check out this great interview with Jack Mendelsohn in Hogan's Alley conducted by John Province. Here's the link:

Fred Lucky was a storyboard artist on Disney's The Rescuers went on to be a story illustrator on Rocky II, The Black Hole, Rambo First Blood, Cobra, No Way Out, Joe Versus the Volcano, Newsies, The Fugitive, Free Willy, Home Alone, Jack Frost, among many others not listed here. In 1975 Fred created the comic strip The Dumplings. Here's a link to a detailed article about Fred, written by Floyd Norman for Jim Hill Media.
I think the out of focus guy in the background is Dale Hale, former assistant to Charles Schulz and at the time of this photo was doing a comic strip called Figments, which ran from 1970 - 1985.

I'm waiting to hear some verification on the date of this dinner and will update this post when I get it. All I know for sure is this was more than ten years ago.

Other dinners like this often included Mell Lazarus, Willie Ito, Frank Ridgeway, Scott Shaw, and the occasional out-of-towner.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Arroyo Mourning

This is a painting I did in July and August 2002. The location is under the 134 Freeway looking south toward the Colorado Blvd. Bridge as it passes over the Arroyo in Pasadena, California. It's a ridiculously hot time of the year here, especially down in the Arroyo, and I tried to convey that with the contrasting sun baked colors in the background against the cool shade of the foreground. It's oil on canvas and measures 16" x 20". The owner is a highly regarded Pasadena resident.

Klondike Bob

My first trip to Alaska in 1991 included a stop in Skagway where I had to get the obligatory tourist photo of me as a gambler or some such legendary cliche.

Disney Comics Core Group 1989

October 27, 1989.

Someone had the idea to snap this photo soon after the team had been selected to put together the Disney Comics line after the company decided to publish the comics itself. We all squeezed into an office and someone grabbed the shot for posterity.

In front, squatting: My old pal- Michael Lynton, Executive Editor.

Standing behind him, left to right: My old pal Len Wein, Editor-in-Chief/Comics; Sally Prendergast, Marketing Manager; Randy Achee, Publisher; Bob Foster, Managing Editor, Editor, Disney Comics; My old pal David Seidman, Editor, Disney Comics. Len is holding two Gladstone comics, Sally is holding a Gladstone Album in her right hand and in her left hand is one of a handful of mock-ups (ashcans) of Disney Digest, which is what the publication originally was to be called. Soon after, Michael thought Disney Adventures would be a stronger title, and that's what it became. Disney Adventures ran for 17 years and has now ceased publication. Randy is holding a Gladstone comic and what appears to be a European digest, perhaps from Italy. I'm holding a Gladstone Donald Duck Adventures and David is holding a copy of Italy's Topolino.

Michael became President of Disney Publishing soon after this and in 1994 headed up Disney's Hollywood Pictures. From there he went on to become Chairman of Penguin Books in New York, then left to become President of America Online International and now is CEO of Sony Pictures.

Where was that WITH MY OLD PAL SIGN when I really needed it?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Berkeley Con Vol. 1 #1, April 1973

Just in time for Comic Convention season I found these in a box in storage yesterday. This is at the first Berkeley Con April 20, 21, 22, 1973. Lots of Underground cartoonists there, but I didn't get shots of most of them. Still, it's fun to see what some of us used to look like back in the day.

Left to right, top row: Bob Sidebottom, Milt Gray, Jim Vadeboncoeur, Bob Beerbohm, Tom Knowles.
Middle row: Bud Plant, Glen Bray, Terry Stroud and Dave Alexander, Fred Patten, Bruce Hamilton.
Bottom row: Richard Kyle, Bill Stout, Dave Gibbons, my old pal Mike Royer.

Resurrection of Doom - Part 3

I couldn't squeeze a "Rosebud" reference into this but the inspiration for Von Rotten Manor was the opening sequence from Citizen Kane.

The idea of an old Multiplane camera substituting for the operating table that rises into the dark and stormy night in Frankenstein was just too good to throw away. I had to use it here. I'd never have a chance like this again. The Racketa, Racketa, Racketa is a very subtle homage to the sound effects lettering in Harvey Kurtzman's Two Fisted Tales story entitled Hill 203, illustrated by Jack Davis.

Okay, now we're getting into some Don Martin sound effects. But can't you just hear the low, electric hum of the WOOJIE, WOOJIE, WOOJIE? I know I can.

And so, Doom is back and mayhem ensues. That's enough of that for now. Gotta move on to other stuff.

And finally - This material is presented here for historical and educational purposes. All material is Copyright Walt Disney and Amblin Entertainment, Inc, All rights reserved. Originally published by Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc., in 1989.

Resurrection of Doom - Part 2

Ron Dias did a beautiful background painting for this cover, then added the characters on an acetate cell which he inked and painted and positioned on top of the background. This is a wrap-around cover with the background scenery wrapping around to the back of the magazine. Elegant!

I sure admire how Dan Spiegle can interpret my sloppy roughs and come up with something so good.

We all know real character model sheets don't look like that, but most readers wouldn't notice. Looks like Disney pegs on that model sheet in panel 1.

Todd Kurosawa and Bill Langley jump back in with great, whacky toon stuff and an incredible ink-and-paint lady. Scholars and historians will catch the reference to Aurel Thompson's Ink and Paint Service in panel 7.

Next: Homage to Citizen Kane and Frankenstein.

Oh, and remember - This material is presented here for historical and educational purposes only. All material is Copyright Walt Disney and Amblin Entertainment, Inc, All rights reserved. Originally published by Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc., in 1989.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Resurrection of Doom - Part 1

Okay, fans and scholars, here's an interesting morsel I just found in my files. It's the graphic novel sequel to the story in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? In the movie, Roger's nemesis was an evil toon named Doom, who dies in the end. After the success of the movie and its graphic novel adaptation, I felt there was a need for a follow-up. I pitched my idea for The Resurrection of Doom, and was given the go ahead to do it. I wrote the story, and did the breakdowns and layouts. Final art was done by Dan Spiegle (Illustrative style), pencils by Todd Kurosawa (Toon art) and inked by William Langley (Toon art). Lettering by Carrie Spiegle, coloring by Jo Meugniot.

On the left is my original script/breakdown/layout. On the right, the final, printed page. This is how I write comics. I'm not a big advocate of scripts from a typewriter or computer printer. I know most writers work that way, but I just can't see doing it any other way than with sketches like this.

The artists who worked on this were the perfect choice for the team collaboration. Dan Spiegle is one of the best illustrative story artists in the world and he's been doing it for 50+ years. Todd Kurosawa draws beautifully and his animation style is just right. Bill Langley draws extremely well and has one of the most elegant ink lines I've ever seen. Dan's daughter, Carrie Spiegle, is a terrific letterer and Jo Meugniot is a superb colorist. All of these people played key roles in the early days of Disney Comics (1990 - 93).

I'd forgotten that certain things were changed for legal reasons, and I think they were sound decisions. As funny as some of the characters depicted might be to fans with a knowledge of Disney characters, the generic alternatives work just as well. For example, the photo of Walt Disney's original studio in Kansas City was changed to a photo of my father standing next a friend's new car, back in the 20s. Even the narration was changed to fit the new image. The new character names are just as funny.

Much as I like the idea that Doom was a character actor who played various Disney character roles, the switch to non-Disney characters was maybe funnier. (Although, the idea of Doom running around town in his Queen of Hearts costume long after Alice in Wonderland was done makes me chuckle. Sort of a Sunset Boulevard thing.)

I'll post more pages next time, along with the cover, featuring great art by Ron Dias. Until then...

This material is presented here for historical and educational purposes. All material is Copyright Walt Disney and Amblin Entertainment, Inc, All rights reserved. Originally published by Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc., in 1989.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Grandpa at Grand Coulee Dam

I've become the archivist for the family's old photographs, which is fine with me. I love old photographs. Especially those with a good story attached. Or some historical significance.

A couple of years ago I finally visited Grand Coulee Dam in Washington State. If you go to the archives for this blog, go back to November 24, 2006 to see the pictures I took of that trip.

During the Depression my Grandfather left his wife and kids in Eastern Canada and rode the rails west to Vancouver to find a job. He sneaked across the border and stayed in Seattle briefly then headed east to Grand Coulee, Washington, where he found work as a cook for construction workers who had come from everywhere in the country looking for a job on the dam. The rule for getting work on the dam was you had to be an experienced construction worker and you had to be citizen of The United States. A lot of workers falsified their applications and listed their names as "Smith." In this photo from 1933, he's the one in the middle standing next to the pole.

It's not a crisp photo to begin with and it only measures 3" x 5", but between a good scanner and a good computer, you can get something pretty cool. Maybe these guys were all cooks, returning from a day of fishing. Notice that slope-shouldered working man stance?

Here he is in Memphis, Tennessee in 1951 where he lived with one of his daughters (I blew up the image and read the date on the license plate). I didn't know it snowed in Memphis. He still had that slope-shouldered working man stance that he wore like an old suit. He was born in 1882, worked hard all his life and died in 1955 at the age of 73. And he worked on the Grand Coulee Dam!

Monday, July 13, 2009

With My Old Pal Jean Giraud

If you're at all interested in unique photographic portraits of cartoonists, there's a great book available called The Artist Within by Greg Preston. Greg has an eye for capturing the unpretentious essence of many famous cartoonists around the world in a series of riveting black and white photographs often taken in their studios. Others show the artists in places away from their studios, and even then Greg manages to use those settings to tell us something about the artist. In my opinion, one of the best in the book shows Jean Giraud, aka Moebius, standing on the beach in Santa Monica, California with his back to the ocean, facing the beach. It's a wonderful portrait of Giraud, a gentle man and an amazing artist. The fact that Greg depicted him not facing the ocean, as might be typical in a snapshot or travel image, makes for an interesting, maybe even introspective portrait. Greg began taking photos of cartoonist more than fifteen years ago and many of those included in the 216-page book have since passed away. This book was published in 2007 and I understand a second volume is due out sometime this year. Great stuff!

Eat your heart out, Greg Preston! Is this a great photograph or what?
I first met Jean Giraud in 1981 when he was at Disney Studios in Burbank, California, working on Tron. When I heard that he was on the lot I made a point of meeting him. We had lunch a few times and got along wonderfully. His English was far better than my French but we managed to communicate quite well. This photograph was taken ten years later at the San Diego Comic Con. He remembered me and by then I had the stupid WITH MY OLD PAL sign which brought a smile to his face.


I posted this last night and thought the title said it all. But in case some of you were wondering if there's a backstory to this, there isn't. It's a post card I bought off of Ebay last year and was so struck by the elegance of the image, the shape of the head and hat, the subtle hand tinting, the beauty of the girl's face, that I had to bid on it. I cleaned it up a little in Photoshop, eliminating all the blotches and scratches on the surface. I did a little research after the posting and dated it to somewhere around 1917 - 1923, according to the stamp on the back. I'd guess the girl is about 20, give or take, which means she'd be at least 100 years old today. The signature on the back looks like Kater. That's about all I can tell you about her.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Humboldt Trail

After a few years of pastel paintings I finally switched over to oils. I took a few seminars, went to a lot of gallery shows, absorbed a lot of fine art, joined the California Art Club, and began to sell paintings. The learning curve was very steep and I had a lot of fun painting on canvas with brushes and gooby swaths of wet paint. I felt like an artist again. And I got work in animation again.

This was a location somewhere in Northern California, near the Redwoods. I have a habit of exploring roads that aren't on maps, then looking at a map later to see where I'd been. This was done in October 2001 and measures 30" x 15". I'm happy to say it's in a private collection.

Painting on locations like this is very invigorating and energizing. I recommend it to anyone who wants to paint.

Topanga Hillside Pastel

I lived in Denmark for two years, 1993 - 1994, and when I returned to Los Angeles in 1995 I couldn't find work in animation for a year. In the two years I'd been gone from the States I'd lost all studio contacts and pretty much had to start over again. In all fairness, when I moved to Europe I had no intention of coming back, but things didn't work out and I did. That's another story. Meanwhile, I wondered where I'd gone wrong and what had steered me into the art and animation field in the first place. I decided to take a look at myself as an artist and at what inspired me in art school. I took a pastel painting class at Santa Monica College and rediscovered pastels.

One of the first places I went out painting with some friends was in Topanga Canyon. One of those friends, whom I will talk about more in the future, kept bugging me to try oil paints. As much as I love pastels, once I tried oils it was hard to go back. This painting was done with Schmincke soft pastels on sanded paper. I think it was about 12" x 16".

Adventures of Crusader Sneak and Raggs Maggee

November 1954. This is the first comic book I ever did. I had just turned 11. I'm not saying that what I do today is any better than this stuff, but I do wonder how anyone who started off like this wound up working for Disney. There's hope for everyone.

The obvious influence here was Crusader Rabbit and Rags the Tiger although it's hard to see. Most of my stuff looked like this up until, oh, about a year ago.

Another gripping yarn in the tradition of Jack London.