Posts tagged ‘Cartoonist’

November 15, 2016

Steve Ditko

spiderman

steve ditko

Steve Ditko (b. 1927) is an American comic book artist and writer best known as the artist and co-creator, with Stan Lee, of ‘Spider-Man’ and ‘Doctor Strange.’ As of mid-2012, Ditko continues to work at a studio in Manhattan’s Midtown West neighborhood. He has refused to give interviews or make public appearances since the 1960s, explaining in 1969 that, ‘When I do a job, it’s not my personality that I’m offering the readers but my artwork. It’s not what I’m like that counts; it’s what I did and how well it was done…. I produce a product, a comic art story. Steve Ditko is the brand name.’ He has, however, contributed numerous essays to Robin Snyder’s fanzine ‘The Comics.’

Ditko studied under ‘Batman’ artist Jerry Robinson in Manhattan at the Cartoonist and Illustrators School (later the School of Visual Arts). He began his professional career in 1953, working in the studio of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, beginning as an inker and coming under the influence of artist Mort Meskin. During this time, he then began his long association with Charlton Comics, where he did work in the genres of science fiction, horror, and mystery. He also co-created the superhero ‘Captain Atom’ in 1960.

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February 27, 2014

Bill Watterson

bill watterson

Bill Watterson (b. 1958) is an American artist and the author of the comic strip ‘Calvin and Hobbes,’ which was syndicated from 1985 to 1995. Watterson stopped drawing the strip at the end of 1995 with a short statement to newspaper editors and his readers that he felt he had achieved all he could in the medium.

Watterson is known for his views on licensing (he refused to merchandise his creations on the grounds that displaying their images on commercially sold mugs, stickers and T-shirts would devalue the characters and their personalities) and his move back into private life after ‘Calvin and Hobbes.’

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April 9, 2013

Chris Ware

Acme Novelty Library

Franklin Christenson Ware (b. 1967), known professionally as Chris Ware, is an American comic book artist and cartoonist, notable for his ‘Acme Novelty Library’ series and the graphic novels ‘Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth,’ and ‘Building Stories.’ His works explore themes of social isolation, emotional torment and depression.

His works tend to use a vivid color palette and are full of realistic, meticulous detail. His lettering and images are often elaborate and sometimes evoke the ragtime era or another early 20th-century American design style. Ware often refers to himself in the publicity for his work in self-effacing, even withering tones. He is considered by some critics and fellow notable illustrators and writers, such as Dave Eggers, to be among the best currently working in the medium.

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March 18, 2013

Nina Paley

Nina Paley (b. 1968) is an American cartoonist, animator and free culture activist. She directed the animated feature film ‘Sita Sings the Blues.’ She was the artist and often the writer of comic strips ‘Nina’s Adventures’ and ‘Fluff,’ but most of her recent work has been in animation. Her early short films include ‘Fetch!,’ ‘The Stork,’ and ‘The Wit & Wisdom of Cancer.’ Paley was born in Urbana, Illinois, to Hiram and Jean Paley in an American Jewish family.

Her father was a mathematics professor at the University of Illinois and was mayor of Urbana, where they resided, for a term in the early 1970s. She attended local elementary and high schools, illustrating a ‘History of the North Pole’ comic in collaboration with University High School history teacher Chris Butler, and attended the University of Illinois, studying art for two years.

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November 30, 2012

David Rees

david rees

David Rees (b. 1972) is a cartoonist and humorist whose best-known work combines bland clip art with outrageous ‘trash talk’ to incongruous effect. The comic strips have achieved wide popularity and some controversy.

Rees grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and was an avid reader of ‘Rex Morgan, M.D.’ comics. He is a graduate of Oberlin College, and drew comics for the school’s newspaper. His office-cubicle humor is partly inspired by his experience working in a basement for Citicorp; he was later a part time fact-checker for ‘Maxim’ magazine and ‘Martha Stewart Weddings’ magazine, until he was laid off. Rees’s best-known and most controversial comic is ‘Get Your War On.’

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July 9, 2012

Charles Burns

Black Hole

Charles Burns (b. 1955) is an American cartoonist renowned for his meticulous, high-contrast and creepy artwork and stories. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, painter Susan Moore.

His earliest works include illustrations for the ‘Sub Pop’ fanzine, and ‘Another Room Magazine’ of Oakland, CA, but he came to prominence when his comics were published for the first time in early issues of ‘RAW,’ the avant-garde comics magazine founded in 1980 by Françoise Mouly and Art Spiegelman. In 1982, Burns did a die-cut cover for ‘RAW’ #4. Raw Books also published two books of Burns as ‘RAW One-Shot: Big Baby’ and ‘Hard-Boiled Defective Stories.’

July 9, 2012

Tony Millionaire

Drinky Crow

Maakies

Tony Millionaire (b. 1956) (real name Scott Richardson) is an American cartoonist, illustrator and author known for his syndicated comic strip ‘Maakies’ and the ‘Sock Monkey’ series of comics and picture books. The nautical settings of much of Millionaire’s work draw inspiration from his childhood memories of his grandparents’ artwork and seaside home in Massachusetts as well as the novels of Patrick O’Brian, of which he is an avid reader. He draws in a lush style that mingles naturalistic detail with strong doses of the fanciful and grotesque. His linework resembles that of Johnny Gruelle, whom he cites as one of his main sources of inspiration along with Ernest Shepard and ‘all those freaks from the twenties and thirties who did the newspaper strips’; many of Millionaire’s admirers adduce a similarity to the work of E. C. Segar in particular. He draws with a fountain pen.

When asked in interviews why he uses a pseudonym, Millionaire maintains that he does not, and that ‘Tony Millionaire’ is his real name: ‘It is my legal name, and it’s been around a lot longer than I’ve been a cartoonist.’ He has claimed that his unusual surname is an Old French word meaning ‘a person who owns a thousand serfs.’ Skeptics trace the origin of the name to a character in an episode of the ’60s TV series ‘I Dream of Jeannie.’ Millionaire has speculated that in the future he may publish some family-friendly works of his under a different moniker in order to dissociate them from his other, more ribald output.

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June 5, 2012

Jim Woodring

woodring

Jim Woodring (b. 1952) is an American cartoonist, fine artist, writer, and toy designer. He is best known for the dream-based comics he published in his magazine ‘Jim,’ and as the creator of the cartoon character Frank, a bipedal, bucktoothed animal of uncertain species with a short tail, described by Woodring as a ‘generic anthropomorph’ and ‘naive but not innocent,’ ‘capable of sinning by virtue of not knowing what he’s really about.’ The character design is reminiscent those of old American animated shorts from the 1920s and 1930s, such as from Fleischer Studios.

Since he was a child, Woodring has experienced hallucinatory ‘apparitions,’ which have inspired much of his surreal work. He keeps an ‘autojournal’ of his dreams, which have formed the basis of some of his comics. His most famous creation is fictional—the pantomime comics set in the universe he calls the Unifactor, usually featuring Frank.

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May 16, 2012

Martin Sharp

Ultramarine Boofhead by martin sharp

Martin Sharp (b. 1942) is an Australian artist, underground cartoonist, songwriter and film-maker. His famous psychedelic posters of Bob Dylan, Donovan, and others, rank as classics of the genre, alongside the work of Rick Griffin, Hapshash and the Coloured Coat, and Milton Glaser.

His covers, cartoons and illustrations were a central feature of ‘Oz’ magazine, both in Australia and in London. Martin co-wrote one of Cream’s most famous songs, ‘Tales of Brave Ulysses,’ created the cover art for Cream’s ‘Disraeli Gears’ and ‘Wheels of Fire’ albums, and in the 1970s, he became a champion of singer Tiny Tim, and of Sydney’s embattled Luna Park.

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May 1, 2012

James Jean

lotus war by james jean

James Jean is a Taiwanese-American visual artist, known for both his commercial and fine art gallery work. He is also known in the American comics industry as a cover artist for various books published by DC Comics, as well as for his work for Prada, ESPN, and Atlantic Records. His work, which has been collected in numerous volumes, has been compared to Maxfield Parrish (known for his distinctive saturated hues and idealized neo-classical imagery). Jean was born in Taiwan and was raised in Parsippany-Troy Hills, New Jersey. He illustrated covers for the comic book series ‘Fables’ and ‘The Umbrella Academy.’ In 2008, Jean retired from illustration and commercial projects to focus on painting.

In 2007, Jean created a mural for the Prada Epicenter stores in New York and Los Angeles. He also created a backdrop for Prada’s Spring/Summer 2008 show in Milan. Aspects of the Epicenter mural and the Milan wallpaper were transformed into clothing, handbags, shoes, and packaging. Prada undertook a global campaign that featured Jean’s work in advertising environments, animation, and special events. Jean developed an animated short based on the theme titled ‘Trembled Blossoms,’ taken from the poem ‘Ode to Psyche,’ by John Keats (one of his darker and more experimental odes). In 2010, Jean was commissioned by fashion designer Phillip Lim to paint a series of portraits featuring Los Angeles-based actors, musicians, and tastemakers, including Rachel Bilson, Selma Blair, and Devendra Banhart.

July 22, 2011

Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein (1930 – 1999), was an American poet, musician, cartoonist, and author of children’s books. He styled himself as Uncle Shelby in his children’s books.

Silverstein grew up in Chicago: ‘When I was a kid—12 to 14, around there—I would much rather have been a good baseball player or a hit with the girls, but I couldn’t play ball. I couldn’t dance. Luckily, the girls didn’t want me. Not much I could do about that. So I started to draw and to write. I was also lucky that I didn’t have anybody to copy, be impressed by. I had developed my own style; I was creating before I knew there was a Thurber, a Benchley, a Price and a Steinberg. I never saw their work till I was around 30. By the time I got to where I was attracting girls, I was already into work, and it was more important to me. Not that I wouldn’t rather make love, but the work has become a habit.’

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June 12, 2011

Al Hirschfeld

sinatra by al hirschfeld

al hirschfeld

Al Hirschfeld (1903 – 2003) was an American caricaturist best known for his simple black and white portraits of celebrities and Broadway stars. Hirschfeld’s art style is unique, and he is considered to be one of the most important figures in contemporary caricature, having influenced countless cartoonists. His caricatures are almost always drawings of pure line with simple black ink on white paper with little to no shading or crosshatching. His drawings always manage to capture a likeness using the minimum number of lines. Though his caricatures often exaggerate and distort the faces of his subjects, he is often described as being a fundamentally ‘nicer’ caricaturist than many of his contemporaries, and being drawn by Hirschfeld was considered an honor more than an insult. Nonetheless he did face some complaints from his editors over the years.

Hirschfeld is known for hiding the name of his daughter, Nina, in most of the drawings he produced since her birth in 1945. The name would appear in a sleeve, in a hairdo, or somewhere in the background. Sometimes ‘Nina’ would show up more than once and Hirschfeld would helpfully add a number next to his signature. From time to time Hirschfeld lamented that the gimmick had overshadowed his art and tried to discontinue the practice, but such attempts always generated harsh criticism. Nina herself was reportedly somewhat ambivalent about all the attention. The US Army used his cartoons to train bomber pilots. The soldiers were told to spot the Ninas, much as they would spot their targets. Hirschfeld found the idea repulsive, saying that he felt his cartoons were being used to help kill people.