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New Book on Screwball Comics Coming September 2018

My first book, Screwball! The Cartoonists Who Made the Funnies Funny is scheduled for publication in September 2018. The publisher will be The Library of American Comics/IDW. Eisner-Award winner Dean Mullany will design and edit the book, with Bruce Canwell and Lorraine Turner providing their expertise, as well. It will be a large, full-color hardcover art book offering around 275 pages resplendent with rare comics, art, photos and original research.

The story of screwball comics in America is a large topic, more sprawling than one book can reasonably encompass if one wishes to present satisfying chunks of reprints. Foo this reason, I decided, after much deliberation, to narrow the focus of this book on American newspaper comics up to about 1950.

This means the screwballists who primarily worked in comic books -- Jack Cole, Dick Briefer, Basil Wolverton, Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, Al Jaffee -- are saved for, hopefully, another volume. Even with this limitation, it was necessary to …
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Christmas Art: 2016

It's become a tradition in my home for me to create original art for the gift tags. Here's some of the ones I made in 2016:









Olive made this one:








"Anything that says New Orleans and chess"

Those were the instructions I received from New Orleans Chess Festival founder and organizer Michael Tisserand, who asked me to design the event's t-shirt. This annual event is free and attended by 250 kids -- a worthy cause, to be sure.

I met Michael because we share a common interest: old comics. Michael is a journalist, chess instructor, and book author. He's written notable books on Zydeco music and New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina. His latest project, years in the works, is a full-fledged, whole enchilada biography of Krazy Kat's creator, George Herriman.

Micheal has been kind enough to read drafts of my various professional writings on comics and offer helpful suggestions. He also kindly let me give him an early version of one of my lectures, via Skype.

So, when he contacted me to say the artist he had lined up to design his t-shirt wasn't going to be able to do it, and did I have any ideas, how could I say no?  I spent a few days thinking about it and the…

Minicomix with Steve Willis, Jim Gill, Frank M. Young, and Paul Tumey

The Floating Head of Humtulips (2012)  by Steve Willis, Jim Gill, Frank Young, and Paul Tumey

Above: Steve Willis

Above left: Jim Gill Above right: Paul Tumey

Above left: Frank Young Above right: Steve Willis

Above left: Jim Gill Above right: Paul Tumey

Above: Steve Willis
The Floating Head of Humtulips is a spontaneous, four-way collaboration minicomic by Steve Willis, Jim Gill, Frank Young, and me -- Paul Tumey. This was created in about 20 minutes in 2012 in the hometown of Steve Willis, McLeary, Washington. We were in a tiny public building that had a comical sign on its wall: "Building Occupency Maximum 75 People." This amused us for two reasons -- one was the misspelling, and two: getting 75 people in that tiny building, you'd really have to jam them in. Frank Young incorporated the sign into his page for the mini.



Isn't Steve's last page/back cover perfect?

All four of us comic book artists appear in the new documentary, Bezango, WA, by Louise Amandes and …

Backyard Jam Comics 2015

If you invite cartoonists over to the house, here's a tip -- get them to draw and then keep the art!  David Lasky brought the paper, magically folded into little blank books and funny drawings and narratives magically appeared on these pages.

I really like the looseness of the art in these pages -- it's sort of "pure" comics.

David very kindly gave the books to me -- thanks! It was suggested that I post the comics here, and so I am -- twist my ink-stained arm! The artists include Max Clotfelter, Kelly Froh, Seth Goodkind, Robyn Jordan, David Lasky, Rich Stevens, Tom Van Deusen, and me. If I left anyone out, or got anything wrong in the attributions, lemme know.

Thank you to everyone for this wonderful gift.

There were two books. David Lasky started the first one with a fine, funny cover - love that "P-Yow!"


And here is the superb work of Max Clotfelter (left) and Robyn Jordan (right)...
And then Seth Goodkind and Kelly Froh -- where else are you gonna see …

The Kitchen Notepad Cartoons of 2013

I sing now to you a tale of a family and their doodle-toons. A grubby, stained, mostly used small pad of paper sat by the phone in the kitchen. One day, I drew and colored a cartoon on it, like so:


If it looks like the man has his hand in his fly, that's my ineptitude at drawing hands, and is unintentional. Anyway, I found I liked the pad. So I drew a few more cartoons.



The little green figures you see in the lower right-hand corner are the vestiges of when the pad was first used by me to make a rudimentary animation flipbook. The next time I picked the kitchen notepad up, I saw that my wife, the artist Claire Mack had added a fantastical drawing:


I followed suit with a Groucho mushroom, of course:

Claire added a celestial scene:

One day, our teen-age daughter, Olivia, added some of her own cartoons:



To which, I responded with this very strange fellow, Lemon-Head:

The final three pages in the pad are by Claire,

Me,

And our teen son, Reid, who got the last word (as he usually does…