Saturday, January 29, 2011

It Just Gets Deeper, and You Can Shovel It....

Published 01/29/2011 in THE SALEM NEWS (MA)
A slight remark on the climate.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Art School Days: Montserrat Newsletter

This is from my time as a student at MONTSERRAT SCHOOL (nee; COLLEGE) of ART in BEVERLY;MA. I did this drawing of the faculty for a newsletter they published during my senior year there (1987). I must say, the old faculty were such good sports for letting me depict them as a bunch of deliquent Smurfs!

Saturday, January 22, 2011


During my Freshman year at Art School,(1983) I got a tip that a locally-produced (in SALEM, no less) magazine was looking for a feature cartoonist. That very afternoon, I made an appointment, skipped my afternoon classes, grabbed some samples, went right to the publisher's offices on Pickering Wharf, and got the job.
The magazine was called NAUTICA (The Magazine of the Sea for Young People) Nautica was geared to entertain and educate about such things as boating, fish, Sea legends, the whole gamut. Pretty appropriate given Salem and its coastal neighbors have a heavy seafaring history.
My job was to produce a regular comics feature. Given the tone of the magazine, They wanted something taking place on a ship, and a full crew. After a little research and a number of sketches, I came up with the cast:
CAPTAIN MOOR: Novice Captain.Rank beginner with good intentions.Owns the boat.
JIB: Crusty old sea veteran. Ship's First Mate. Basically the competent one.
MANDY: Moor's cute, spunky niece. Not bratty but still quite a handful.
HALYARD:The young navigator with the off-course mind. I based his eys on the late comedian Marty Feldman's.
LUBBS:The rather street-centic teen who could never quite adjust to sea life.(I still use him today as a side character in my FOR ART'S SAKE strips for COMIC BUYER'S GUIDE)
RIGGS: The old Newfoundlands fisherman who went around dressed in a thick FISHING NET and served as the Handyman/Rigger.
CLANCY: Riggs'all-purpose pet lobster.
They liked what I came up with, and I premiered in the second issue of NAUTICA.
My first two appearances were two pages per issue in black-and white. After that, it was one page in full color. (as well as logos and other illos) Either way, I was thrilled to be in print like that.
I was hoping that the feaure would become popular enough to warrant long adventures and graphic novel compliations, but sadly, the law of sale averages came into effect. One major reason was that the way the magazine LOOKED. Aside from MY cartooning, there was nothing that would necessarily attract attention to a young person. It looked MUCH too serious, like something out of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, than say, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC FOR KIDS, and the retailers would stick it in the boating section of the magazine racks.
My editor tried to fix the situation, but the ax pretty much fell before he could. He laid off the staff and tried to revive NAUTICA on his own, but to no avail. I final stopped hearing from him and found out he abandoned the offices without telling me-and taking whatever material was left WITH him, INCLUDING the last,UNPUBLISHED,original installment of my strip! I have no idea what became of him.
That was the only sour note in an otherwise good working relationship, but I learned: If it doesn't seem like they're going to USE it, KEEP IT!!
NAUTICA ran for six issues. I appeared in five, two in black and white, three in color. The episodes you see here are the color ones.
As for the Title..I didn't really come up with a decent title until the second color installment..I just figured, "What's the LEAST likely name you'd be sure to call a boat?"

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Salem News: Patriots Loss

Published in the SALEM (MA) News 01/19/2010.
A mild commentary on the recent NE Patriots playoffs loss..sounds very familiar, eh?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Persistance Is Not Necessarily A Virtue...

Published in THE SALEM NEWS (MA) 01/08/2011.
The Meth Clinic that already failed to get a foothold in Salem due to public demand TWICE in Salem is appealing for a THIRD time.. Some people just don't know when they're not wanted..

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My First Post Of The Year!!

Well, what did you expect?