My Blackberry Is Not Working

John sent me this today to lighten my photoshop burden :-) Enjoy!

I Think I Got My Colors Back!

Regular readers will know that I (Anne) do all the color - Dailies and Sundays - for Edison. I have written before about how that works but, the short version is that, while I work in 256 colors, that number gets knocked down to 32 by the company that preps the strip for web and print. Primarily this is because of the low resolution needed for newspaper websites - high resolution images gobble up too much bandwidth.

This means that my work gets distorted on a daily basis. When I got my ipad, one of the first things I did was to check out an online version of Edison and see what happened to the image if it was blown up really large - the way you can zoom in with your fingers.

Of course, because the resolution was so low, the image was more terrible and fuzzy the more I zoomed in.

But, while much of what I do winds up being smaller than a dime, I have always envisioned a world in which, eventually, Edison would be available online in its full 256 color, high resolution glory. The second thing I did after I purchased my ipad, was to buy the Bizarro and Marvel Comics apps. This, while I am a fan of both comics, was primarily to check out the resolution on these apps and see if it was going to be truly different from what existed digitally already.

Both Bizarro and Marvel exceeded my wildest expectations and gave me great hope that King Features would eventually offer all their comics in this form.

Well, that day is here! I downloaded the dailyink app today and the difference is startling and well worth paying for.

The resolution has been restored and you can now really zoom in. Thank goodness I was ready for that!

The other good thing about my attention to detail all these years is that, when the full archive of Edison becomes available in this high res format online, I won't have to go in and retouch anything!

So head on over to the app store and get dailyink for your digital device today!!!!

(Great Christmas present for the comic lover in your life - hint, hint!)

Get Edison On Your iphone!!

The new dailyink iphone app is here!!!

go to and sign up now!

And be sure to include Edison on your list of comics.

(I can't get it yet, as I am iphone free :-( --- BUT I have an ipad and can't wait to see how the app works on that. Supposedly it is coming soon.)

A Big Thank You

Thank you so much to everyone who braved the awful weather and ventured out to buy signed copies of "The Edison Files: Notes From The Lab"!

It was a great day. John sold lots and lots of books and I sold lots and lots of truffles!

There is still time to buy a book as a Christmas Gift - (hint, hint) visit the Edison Store to order your copy today! We need to receive your order by December 17 to be sure of delivery by Christmas.

On a separate note: for those of you that enjoyed reading about the travails of my produce drawer of death, I have a follow up (warning: graphic photos of decayed produce - may not be appropriate for more sensitive readers) posted over on the overbooked blog.

The Saga Continues...

When I left you on Friday, it was with a story about our leaking shower. 

Which is really only the tip of the iceburg.

The plumbing in our master bath, along with what it's doing to our living room ceiling are the stuff of nightmares.

To read the rest of the story click here.

My Crappy Morning

A morning that began well  - shiny little blog post about some of my favorite comics. It went downhill after that. You can read about it here.


I just realized it's been a while since I shouted out the strips that get me in the morning. Here are a few that got me to laugh out loud today:

I'd also like to take a minute to give a shout out to Rip Haywire. This strip doesn't usually make me actually laugh out loud in a gag a day kind of way because it's kind of a parody on adventure strips while  also being a for real adventure strip. And the humor - while terrific - is very subtle. This is the kind of strip that takes hold of you and you read it as much for the ongoing storyline as the jokes.

Mark Your Calendar - Book Signing

On Saturday, December 11 from 12:00-3:00 pm, John will be signing copies of his new book "The Edison Files: Notes From the Lab" at Andreas Gifts, 2401 60th Street, Kenosha, WI.

Note: as a bonus - the shop will also be selling my homemade truffles - get there early, they go quick!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope this Thanksgiving finds you celebrating with friends or family or both over a lovely home cooked meal.

And, if so, please consider all the folks who will be unable to celebrate in kind, but will be dependent on the local food pantry for their holiday meal. I know there are many, many food drives at this time of year - I hope you have been able to donate. If not, there's still time.

Here's a piece I wrote giving last year - I don't know if I'll be in a position to give as many bags this year - times are tough everywhere - but we're still going to give it a shot.

Like I've Been Sayin'........

If you visit here often, you know how much I love my ipad and what I think it will mean for the future of publishing. (If you're new here and you're curious you can check out the category "ipad" for my previous posts on the subject.)

Well, Rupert Murdoch is now getting in on the action : "Rupert Murdoch creates "inewspaper"

We already get the Wall Street Journal on our ipad and I'm considering adding the Washington Post and the New Yorker.

I don't know what this is going to mean for the future of comics but I'm still optimistic.

What I Love About Cartoonists

Cartooning is a tough business. It's competitive - there are not very many spots available on comics pages in newspapers. And, with the trouble the publishing industry is in, that number is shrinking steadily. The odds of getting syndicated are about 5000 to 2 against every year and the failure rate for strips that do get launched is over 40% or some other outrageous number.

So you'd think that, with things as tight as they are, cartoonists as a group would not be very collegial.

But that doesn't seem to be the case. Every cartoonist John and I have met has been welcoming and supportive. A great group of people.

But don't just take my word for it - here are two examples of generosity that hit papers recently. The first is Cul de Sac by Richard Thompson giving a shout our to our good friend (and most excellent cartoonist) Norm Feuti who does Retail, and the second is Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis giving props to the aforementioned cartoonist extraordinaire Richard Thompson.

And both Richard and Stephan also write terrific blogs that you can find here and here.

And, on a side note - I mentioned before about cartoonists visiting the troops with the USO - you can read about some of the mayhem and madness of that visit on both Pastis and Tom Richmond's blogs.

Today's Strip 11/15/10

Apparently Comics Kingdom is glitching out today so here is today's strip.

Thanks to Piers Baker for the heads up about the technical difficulties.

John and Boat Building

Back in the days before the comic strip, John would spend his spare time making ship models. When we got married he was about 20% done with a Tea Clipper he had started from scratch - no kit, no plans. She took over 15 years to complete. (not surprising, considering we started a family and John began his pursuit of syndication)

She currently resides in our living room inside an enormous (6 feet high, almost 7 feet long) oak and plexiglass case designed and built by John and my stepfather in law, Bob.

Below are some close ups - everything is hand carved or made out of things like paper clips (the winch) and the copper bottom is covered in lord knows how many tiny pieces of copper foiling tape, cut to scale and applied individually.

To read more about John's boat building exploits, go to his Cartoonist Studio page here and click on his blog. (Unfortunately I can't link directly to the blog page for some reason.)

Cartooning for the Troops

For the past 3 years or so, groups of cartoonists have been traveling overseas with the USO to visit our troops. To the best of my knowledge, Tom Richmond (MAD Magazine) has been on every single trip. I have had the good fortune now to attend two of his presentations on the experience - what it means to the troops, and what it means to the cartoonists who go.

To read more about Tom's current trip, visit his blog here.

To read stories from a previous trip which included Stephan Pastis of Pearls Before Swine, visit his archives here.

I imagine that all Tom's previous trips are also available in his archives if you care to poke around but, be forewarned, there are a lot of entries due to the number of times he's gone :-)

And, if you ever get the opportunity to attend a presentation on these trips, I strongly suggest you make it a point to go. You will see a lot of great photos and hear some funny stories  - not surprising that cartoonists wind up with a lot of funny stories from their get-togethers - but you will also get a strong sense of just who our current troops are and what life is like for them right now. You will also see incredibly chilling photos of the remnants of Saddam's enormous cruelty. Whatever your politics, it is impossible to walk away with any impression of Saddam other than sadistic madman.

My Politics

A little word on politics here and here (and, of course, in the strip above)

BTW, I really enjoyed coloring this one.

Go Vote!!!!!

Believe it or not, I still hear people say their vote doesn't matter - don't be like this guy, get out and vote!!!

Happy Halloween!

I have to say, I absolutely love today's Edison - things are going to be pretty interesting come Wednesday.

Festival of Cartoon Art 2010 - Saturday's Presentations

Here, finally, are some pics and thoughts from Saturday's presentations at the OSU Festival of Cartoon Art.

In reviewing the pics I shot at the festival, I have discovered that, while I attended every presentation, I forgot to take pictures during many of them. Perhaps I was too engrossed :-) I also find that I did not take a single picture of cartoonists randomly hanging out together. I may have been either too inebriated or too hung over - a lot of the hanging out time is kind of fuzzy.

First up Saturday was Steve Breen with "Editorial Cartooning: Humanity's Last Hope". Steve was very informative and entertaining, showing slides from his childhood and a number of examples of his work. In the following series of photographs, there are two versions of each cartoon - showing the changes Steve made after roughs, to increase the editorial impact of the image.

This cartoon ran 9/12/2001 and quickly went viral.
It spawned t-shirts, flags and a million other things, including this gentleman's tattoo

This cartoon got a huge laugh from the audience.

And that cartoon brings to mind my favorite moment from the presentation. Steve stated that, while politically he thinks of himself as a moderate with conservative tendencies, he sees his job as one that requires that he skewer absurdity wherever it raises its head. This resonated strongly with me because Edison hits on political and editorial themes frequently and John works very hard to stay non partisan and go after whoever seems to deserve it at the time. This approach has irritated some readers of the strip who feel that they can't get a bead on his politics. They don't seem to get that - editorial cartooning, even when in strip form, is a form of journalism. As such, it is important to take jabs at all idiocy, even if the idiot in question is someone you voted for. Interestingly, I have only found this criticism of John's work in conservative quarters.

Steve closed with some Q & A and this sketch of Obama.

The next presentation, "So Far, So Good" was by Jan Eliot of Stone Soup and must have been completely engrossing to me because I forgot to take a single photo. It was a terrific talk, Jan ran down her origins in the world of advertising illustration and how she evolved some of that work into a career in cartooning that led to syndication. A lot gets made of the contributions that Cathy Guisewite and Lynn Johnston made to the expansion of women's topics on the comics page. And a lot should be made of them - Cathy's depiction of single women's angst and Lynn's depiction of true to life family scenarios - but, as far as I know, no comic on the page has spoken so bluntly from the point of view of the single mother. And the authenticity of Jan's voice is unquestionable, as single motherhood is a track she has lived and knows only too well.

I especially enjoyed the details she offered on a series of cameos she did in her strip a while back. Several other female comic characters arrived at a baby shower - Cathy, Connie from Zits, Alice from Dilbert, among others.

Jan was followed by a panel dedicated to the memory of King Features comics editor Jay Kennedy. The panel consisted of Brendan Burford (Jay's successor), Patrick McDonnell (Mutts), Bill Griffith (Zippy the Pinhead), and Matt Groening (The Simpsons, Life in Hell). Jay was a giant in the comics business and almost every cartoonist I have met so far has a story of their interaction with him - whether they signed with King features or not. It was clear that, while each of the panel members had different connections to Jay - some through his work at King, some through his interest in underground comics - they all considered him not only a respected colleague but a true friend. Jay's family was also in attendance, making the presentation even more meaningful. Often the panelists spoke directly to the family about the influence Jay had on their lives.

The Panel with a photo of Jay

From left to right: Matt Groening, Bill Griffith, Patrick McDonnell, Brendan Burford

Matt Groening tells how Jay told him to stop drawing rabbits and start drawing humans. Good advice - otherwise, no Simpsons.

We then broke for lunch over at the Union, affording us a great chance to see John Read's latest incarnation of "One Fine Sunday in the Funny Pages".

Baby Blues, Zits, and Agnes among others.

Tundra, Funky Winkerbean, Prince Valiant, Gasoline Alley, Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee

Look closely and you'll see Retail, Crankshaft, The Flying McCoys, Cleats and Tank McNamara.

Next came a presentation by Gene Luen Yang "American Born Chinese". This was another event I forgot to photograph but it was fascinating. Gene detailed how growing up with a foot in two cultures led to his graphic novel. He showed several slides from traditional chinese folklore and also told several stories from his own childhood. Wonderful work - definitely worth checking out.

Gene was followed by New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast who's talk was titled "Theories of Everything, and Much, Much More". I've been reading Ms. Chast's work in the New Yorker for just about as long as I can remember. She talked a little about her childhood and influences the chief of which seems to have been a legacy of worrying. Worrying about fatal illnesses, freak accidents, and general bad karma. One of my favorite lines came from a cartoon where one voice says something like,"He was sitting on the sofa, and BOOM! he dropped dead." I have to paraphrase because all I remember is the "Boom!" part. And this would be from all the folks in my childhood that were fond of recounting unexpected disasters, all of which were punctuated by that "Boom!".

Ms. Chast describing her worry filled youth. In this shot, she reminds me a little of Woody Allen. Come to think of it, if Woody Allen had ever done cartoons, they would probably have been a lot like Roz Chast's.

A classic Chast cartoon.

After dinner came the "Big Event". I hesitate to call it that because, in my opinion every speaker of the weekend was a "Big Event". But this was the one event open to the public and definitely was given top billing for the weekend and that was the "Evening With Matt Groening".

It was conducted largely as an interview between Matt and Tom Gammill (read more about Tom here) and consisted primarily of the history of the Simpsons and some stories from Matt's family. We learned that his real parents names are Homer and Marge and his siblings are Lisa and Maggie. He also showed a number of great Simpsons clips, including one that featured a multitude of references to comics, and then showed some of the arguments that go on at his house between his two sons. This I found particularly funny as much of the dialogue seems to have come from my own two sons. I have often said that I feel as though I'm living in a continual Monty Python sketch, populated by one pointless, tit for tat, argument after another. Generally about things such as whether or not a hedgehog could build a rocket ship given the right set of variables.

We were also treated to a sneak peak at the upcoming Treehouse of Horror episode. We were sworn to secrecy about the contents. Sorry.

After the presentation, there was an opportunity for Q & A with Matt. This was probably the most disappointing part of the weekend for me. All the previous sessions had featured some really nice questions - this session quickly devolved into - "I've watched the Simpsons all my life, can you please sign my (insert item here). When we got to the point where a fan asked if he could pull on Matt's beard for good luck, it got pretty uncomfortable. Ultimately, I think Matt was whisked out of the theater through a subterranean passage or something - kind of reminiscent of Elvis or The Beatles.

"Sorry, I can't sign anything tonight."

Anyway, it was nice to see him - he attended all the other presentations for the weekend and seemed to be a really nice guy.

All in all, it was a great weekend. There were terrific speakers, John got to sell some Edison books, and we got to see some good friends and hang out together without all the pomp and awards pressure of the Reubens. The next festival will be in 2013 - I highly recommend you put it on your calendar now.