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!!!