No, not like in the car commercial...like in I've been working like crazy to get this week off. Tim has the week off ( he always schedules one of his holiday weeks around the Memorial Day weekend in case I go to the Reubens...which unfortunately this year, I did not ) and I wanted to have the time off to work with him on our backyard and front garden.
Anyway, my week off started Wednesday afternoon and will end Monday morning. How many days are in YOUR week?
Here's a shout out for some of my cartooning buddies, the gals who do the "Six Chix" comic. (Six women each draw a comic for their own individual day of the week) They now have their own blog...take a look:
It's quite an innovative site and it was designed and put together by the talented Mr. John Martz. John is also the mastermind behind the wildly popular site Drawn!, the Illustrating and Cartooning Blog.
Check out Six Chix and Johnny and I'll be back after I finish my digging and planting and stuff.
"I'm not going to vacuum 'til Sears makes one you can ride on."
Side note: We just bought a new vacuum . . . one of those Dysons. It was pricey but Wow. . . it's one amazing machine. I can't believe how much STUFF that thing is sucking up. Or maybe I should say I can't believe how much stuff our old machine WASN'T. . .
This weekend is the National Cartoonists Society Reuben Awards Weekend. It's the equivalent of the Oscars for pen-pushers. Every year, the weekend is held in a different city, always at a gorgeous 5 diamond hotel. The festivities consist of cocktail parties, cartoon-related (of course) seminars, a gala black-tie dinner and awards ceremony. . . and lots and lots of socializing with cartoonist friends that we don't normally have the opportunity to spend time with.
This weekend, the Reubens are being held in New Orleans and unfortunately, I won't be there. *Sigh* I'll miss connecting with my buddies this time around, but they have assured me they will have a drink or two on my behalf.
(*This year, the NCS cartoonists are pitching in to help build a home with Habitat for Humanity on the day prior to the Reuben festivities)
One of my friends that I'll miss seeing is Kieran Meehan. He's winging over from Scotland with his brothers. Last year they all wore their kilts to the black-tie dinner and believe me, they were a sight to behold. By the way, Kieran is unveiling his web site today. It comes complete with lots of cartoons, background info, his extraordinary paintings and a BLOG. Give it a look-see!
Kieran is the cartoonist behind the panel, "Meehan", which appears in the Evening Times, Scotland as well as the cartoon strip, "Pros and Cons", syndicated by King Features.
A belated thank you to all those who posted in my "Who are you?" thread. I got more than a few chuckles reading those comments. And I found it interesting. Anyone who wants to add on to that thread is welcome to do so . . . I'm watching!
Jean asked about some strips about Susan being asked to work overtime. I'm putting them up here.
These strips include a fairly new character, "Carson." Every once in a while, I'll try out a new character. Sometimes they work, sometimes they just don't "catch" and they sort of ride off into the sunset. Actually, they don't ride anywhere. I just stop drawing them.
I kinda like Carson though. I think he's going to be a keeper.
Anyway, Jean, here is the series you were asking about.
OMG. Two blog posts in one day. I can't help it. I'm just so happy today. Or maybe a better word is relieved.
Let me BRIEFLY back up for one moment.
When I was first syndicated, Tim was nervous as H - E - Double hockey-sticks. He was always afraid that I was going to run of ideas for my strip. I was never concerned about this. Not for one nano-second.
Back to the present. . . this last month has been tough for writing. I was actually getting a little concerned. I even went so far as to tell (maybe whine is a better word) Tim that I can't do this anymore . . . that I'm going to have to get a job as a Wal-mart greeter. For weeks, I've been staring into space from Monday to Friday . . . not a single train of thought on the horizon. Then, by Saturday or Sunday morning . . . PANIC . . .the great motivator kicks in and forces me to produce.
I'm not saying I'm unhappy with the work I've done in the past month . . . I'm just saying it's been a struggle and I hate that.
Well, finally . . . the dry spell has lifted. I've had a great writing week. I've outlined two weeks of dailies, have a train of thought for a third week, have two Sundays written and have come up with two more Sunday ideas since I got up this morning. And it's stuff that I'm laughing at while I'm writing it. It's fun again.
And I think I'm even going to have the weekend off.
So what lifted the fog? I think it's because I've done some different things this month. As I posted earlier, I spent a few days in Toronto with my family, I went to Toronto last week for the Canadian Newspaper Association convention, (it was only for one morning but Tim told me to go the day before and I had a hotel room to myself . . .what a treat!) and it's always fun to spend some time with my Torstar syndicate people, I've been to the movies to see Iron Man, I was out with the girls for our bi-monthly dinner and I ORDERED TWO MARTINIS . . .WITH EXTRA OLIVES I MIGHT ADD.
The short of it is that I got out of the house, away from my studio and had some fun. And now it's paying me dividends. Two ideas before 9:00 in the morning AND I had the presence of mind to write them down . . . I mean, HEY! I'm cookin' baby.
So, my secret is not that I was in a writing slump, it's that we all need a change of pace once in a while. You probably knew that, right? Well, it's no surprise to me either but I still forget it every so often.
Anyway, I'm off to work and looking forward to it.
I am very proud to tell you that I have mastered a new skill.
Although my hand / eye co-ordination stinks when it comes to "Guitar Hero" . . . I am vindicated by my new-found ability to re-connect the teeny-tiny loop in the elastic on my son's braces to the teeny-tiny little metal catch of the steel thing part of the brace. (You know what I mean, don't you?) I did it with a toothpick. What I would have given for a crochet hook. (And no, I didn't bend the wire)
Now if I could just master the art of . . . you know . . . what do you call it? . . . English expression . . .
This is the strip I did for Mother's Day. You'll note it does not have a Mother's Day theme. That is because when I drew this strip, it didn't click in my mind that it would appear on Mother's Day. However, I think it is still appropriate in a hedonistic kind of Mother's Day way.
I thought I might write some insightful Mother's Day musings here for today but I don't have the patience or the time to do that right now. That is probably insightful enough for most moms.
I'm just happy I still get to celebrate with my mom. I don't see her often enough. We are going to Montreal together in a few weeks to visit my grandmother's niece. Just the two of us. I'm looking forward to it. More about that later.
Happy Mother's Day to you all. (at least to you that are of the feminine gender) Don't cook, don't clean. Have a pedicure. I know you can't do that today because the spas will be closed...so do it next week. In fact, take the whole week off. Go to Jamaica or maybe New York or Toronto for a few days. Shop. Dine. Do the theatre. Don't count carbs or calories or points. Drink Margaritas and Martinis. Sleep in till noon.
Or at least order a pizza tonight and watch Absolutely Fabulous repeats.
I am passing this along for my American artist friends:
FROM THE ILLUSTRATORS’ PARTNERSHIP
Backers of the Orphan Works bill are circulating their Talking Points:
“Neither the House nor the Senate drafts of the bill contain the word “registries,” [they write] but rather they require users to search non-governmental databases of copyrighted works. The purpose of any database is not meant to take the place of copyright registration, but to have a way to search for visual images. Any participation in such a database would be voluntary.”
But this doesn’t mean what it appears to say. Take it point by point:
Talking Point #1: “Neither the House nor the Senate drafts of the bill contain the word ‘registries.’” Response: Correct. They contain the word “databases,” a synonym:
Registry: register: an official written record of names or events or transactions http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn
Database: A database is a structured collection of records or data http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Database
Q: Why a synonym? A: Because international copyright law forbids member countries to impose registries as a condition of protecting copyrights: Berne/Article 5(2) ”The enjoyment and the exercise of these rights shall not be subject to any formality.” http://www.law.cornell.edu/treaties/berne/5.html
In other words, if they used the word “registries” in the bills, it would be a red flag to other countries that the US is flirting with non-compliance with international treaties.
Talking Point #2: “...rather they [the bills] require users to search non-governmental databases of copyrighted works.” Response: Non-governmental databases” means databases maintained in the private sector. For users to find your work in these commercial databases, your work would first have to be in the database. Work not in the database would be orphaned.
Talking Point #3: “Any participation in such a database would be voluntary.” Response: Congress cannot pass a bill making registration mandatory because that would violate Berne/Article 5(2). And that would state explicitly to other countries that the US no longer intends to honor its international agreements. There are red flags all over these talking points.
Summing up: The Orphan Work bills would mandate the creation of registries by commercial interests. You would not be legally forced to place your work with these for-profit registries. But failure to do so would orphan your work.
The deceptive talking points accompanying this bill are another red flag.
— Brad Holland and Cynthia Turner, for the Board of the Illustrators’ Partnership
Take Action/ Write Congress http://capwiz.com/illustratorspartnership/home/
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Good morning. :)
It's 9:05 here. I've packed the kids' lunches and got them out the door to school. I've petted the dog and given him a cookie. I've had my breakfast and a cup of coffee and read the Welland Tribune, my local paper. Now I'm on my second cup, have read several cartoonist chat boards/cartoonist news blogs and cartoonist personal blogs. Now I am catching up with my own blog and then I'm off to get a Sunday finished and zipped off to Reed Brennan. After that, I'll work on whatever else is pressing work-wise. This is typical of my mornings and my work days.
What I'm wondering about is who you are.
I'm assuming a lot you are cartoonists or people interested in cartooning. I also think that a number of you work in some kind of office environment and do pretty much what I've just described before you get down to your job. . . namely grab your coffee and check your favourite digital check-points. I would have thought that most readers of this blog would be women but according to comments and private e-mails, I don't really think that's the case.
I'm very curious. Would you mind telling me? You don't have to give your name . . .I just think it would be interesting to see the gender of my readers and an indication of your status. If you want to give me an outline of your morning or daily routine, I'd love to see that too. And if you have a web site or blog, make sure to include that link as well.
For example . . . male / work in an government office or - female / universtity student or cartoonist hopeful or magazine freelance writer or teacher or . . . whatever.
Hopefully a couple of you will post and not leave me twisting in the wind here. I have about 1ooo weekly visitors . . . surely SOMEONE will post, won't you?
Btw...go to this link and read what Piers Baker's day was like yesterday. (cartoonist of the strip, "Ollie and Quentin".) I hate him. (in the friendliest kind of hating way)
This is another birthday card I designed (inspired by the talented Mr. Bil Keane of Family Circus fame) . . . this one was, obviously, for my daughter. I've done a few of these sleep-over parties . . . one time we had ten girls stay the night. The next time, I insisted she cut down her list. Now these mega-sleep-over things are history. She's too old for these all-nighters.
She meaning ME.
My daughter, my husband and I went to see Iron Man last night.
BEST SUPER HERO MOVIE EVER.
I loved the Spider Man movies but Iron Man has got them beat. Okay, okay...I will admit that Robert Downey Jr. might be influencing my opinion...after all, the man is HOT. But even so, I have to say, he was an excellent choice for Tony Stark. He's charismatic, funny and he's as believeable as any Super Hero on the big screen that I've ever seen.
The Iron Man costume(s) were in a word, AMAZING.
Jeff Bridges was fantastic as Obadiah Stane, Tony Stark's confidant and business partner. He was evil personified. I didn't even recognize him with his beard and bald head until Tim mentioned to me who it was.
The only cast member I didn't like was Gwyneth Paltrow. Somehow, she just didn't seem right as Tony Stark's assistant. The scene where they dance together and begin to show romantic interest in each other just didn't ring true. No chemistry. I will give her kudos for running full tilt in 5 inch heels though.
Best scene (for me) was Tony Stark (Iron Man) flying over to Afghanistan to kick butt. Won't say any more than that.
Rating: Gonna see it again!!! (Tim says to wait for the dvd but I can't wait that long) I'm already waiting for Iron Man 2!
The National Cartoonists Society Foundation (NCSF) announced the winner of the first annual Jay Kennedy Memorial Scholarship, Juana Medina, a sophomore at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Medina edged out almost two hundred applicants for the award, which includes a $5,000.00 scholarship and a trip to the National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award convention. She was chosen by a jury of ten of the nation's top cartoonists.
Juana Medina was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. She completed high school in 1998 then moved to the U.S.A. where she has lived since. For two years, she studied at the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, D.C. and is now majoring in Graphic Design at RISD. She is a regular contributor to the College Hill Independent, a weekly magazine produced by students at Brown University and RISD. Her work has appeared in publications in South America and has been part of collective exhibitions in Colombia and Mexico.
In her application for the award, Medina wrote: "Š I grew up in a country where war has been a constant since long before I was born. Our voices have been quieted by terrorist acts and constant threats from both governmental and clandestine groups, up to a point where the smell of gunpowder and the countless bomb threats became a part of our daily life ... I found situations where there is little I can do to change reality Š but I have found in cartooning a voice that strongly reflects my feelings and intentions. I have found a way to raise consciousness without scolding, fuming or losing my stomach to an ulcer."
Medina will receive her award and meet the professional cartoonists who selected her at the National Cartoonists Society's Annual Reuben Awards banquet in New Orleans on May 24th.
The National Cartoonists Society Foundation is the non-profit charitable arm of the National Cartoonists Society, the premier organization of cartoonists in America. The Scholarship was created in honor of Jay Kennedy, the beloved, long time comics editor from King Feature Syndicate. For more information, contact John Kovaleski, NCSF Education Committee Chairman at (717) 334-5926. High-resolution images of Juana Media's artwork and her photograph are available to download at: http://cagle.msnbc.com/news/blog/medina.asp
...and all attendees of the Canadian Newspaper Association / Canadian Community Newspapers Association convention in Toronto next week.
I will be hanging out at the Torstar Syndication Services exhibit on Thursday, May 8 from 7:30 am to 9:00 am. ( the Torstar people invited me to be there btw . . . I'm not gate-crashing or anything ) If you have a chance to swing by, it would be great to meet you and say hello.
...and I'll be doodling my "Between Friends" characters for anyone who would like to take home a sketch.
Hope to see you there!