Susanna McLeod, News from the Sketch Board

March 3, 2006

   It’s time to catch up on news in the busy world of cartoon and comics happenings. There has been a lot going on, from a special Archie Comics anniversary, job changes for cartoonist Justin Thompson and editorial cartoonist Nick Anderson, a new blog by the fascinating Jim Borgman, an upcoming Museum reopening, to sad news of the passing of beloved long-time cartoonist, Bud Blake.

   Hearty Congratulations to…

   Justin Thompson, creator of the marvelous Mythtickle. Justin has earned the coveted position of artist for the Unfit comic strip. After answering a public call for a cartoonist to take over the artwork, Justin’s polished submission was chosen out of dozens of entries for the job by Unfit creator Mike Belkin with help from Scott Adams of Dilbert fame. (Unfit is syndicated through United Media Syndicate.) Justin will be working with Mike Belkin to refine the art and give the comic strip a new look.

   Bulletin - May 28, 2006 - The Unfit comic has been cancelled.
Creator of the strip, Mike Belkin, decided to discontinue the strip and leave cartooning. Sad news for Justin Thompson, who was chosen as the new Unfit artist, but maybe his own strip, Mythtickle will be able to soar instead.

   More Congratulations to…

   The creators and editors of Archie Comic Publications. The comic book editors are celebrating 65 years of successful publication of the perpetually-17-year-old Archie Andrews along with his friend Jughead and his sweethearts Betty and Veronica. Archie made his debut in December 1941 as small part of a Pep Comics superhero comic book.

   The creative hands of Louis Silberkleit and publisher John Goldwater began the tradition of the simple, good clean Archie humour that continues to grow in popularity still today. Sons Michael Silberkleit and Richard Goldberg are taking Archie into the future – but he still can’t make a decision.
How can he choose between Veronica and Betty?

News f1

   Best Wishes to…

    The Cartoon Museum. Formerly the International Museum of Cartoon Art in Florida, the museum is opening in exciting new digs in the Empire State Building in April, 2007. Stumbling through tough times and funding miseries, the Cartoon Museum is coming back strong and healthy in New York City and will be the home of “one of the largest and most important cartoon collections in the world”. Original work by Hirschfeld, Disney, Eisner, Pfeiffer and Schulz, Keane, MacNelly, Browne and so many more – the National Cartoon Museum will be a treasure.

    Read about and view the new design:

   Best Wishes also to…

    Editorial cartoonist and Pulitzer Prize winner Nick Anderson at his new workplace. In a puzzling move, Nick switched his drawing board from the Louisville Courier-Journal in Kentucky to the Houston Chronicle in the big city of Houston Texas. In an article about the move he cited several reasons to go: change is good, a different editorial approach and “the interesting subjects for cartoon commentary”. He stated that he wasn’t looking for change, but when the Chronicle called, they were eventually able to convince him to move. (Link broken.)

   Thanks for giving us…

    An interesting inside view at the thoughts of a multi-prize-winning, prolific, professional cartoonist. Jim Borgman, editorial cartoonist, co-creator of Zits and all-round talented guy, has designed Borgblog, a fascinating peek into the cartoonist’s work. “Look here for notes, doodles and rough pencil sketches as he [Jim] draws throughout the day,” is the statement from the site. Though not updated daily, it is still an intriguing page.

   It's neat to see how this cartoonist creates his magic. Have a look at:

Borgman mood swings

“Mood Swings” by Jim Borgman,
Published by Penguin Young Readers Group, 2001

   Better luck next year to…

Aspiring cartoonists who were ready to enter this year’s Finetoon Fellowship. The Washington Post Writers Group has cancelled the contest for 2006. Let’s hope it is up and running again next year. The Finetoon Fellowship helped launch and syndicate the gigglingly funny Bo Nanas and Out of the Gene Pool.

    If you have a comic you are just itching to submit, the Washington Post Writers Group is still accepting regular comics submission for their examination.  Here’s the link:

   And, sadly, belated and most sincere sympathies to…

    The family of Bud Blake. "Bud" Julius Blake died in a Portland Maine hospital at age 87 on December 26, 2005. In 1965, the masterful cartoonist created Tiger, a delightful classic comic featuring innocent little kids and childhood wonder. The comic strip will continue to run in repeats under the King Features Syndicate. Bud Blake won the prestigious Reuben Award for Best Comic Strip in 1970, 1978 and again in 2000. Tiger is one of my favorite strips, taking me back to a time of carefree joy and lighthearted fun.
I'm sorry the era of Bud Blake has ended.

Bud Blake tiger

   For more cartoon news…

   Check one of the best sources I have found - The Comics Reporter by Tom Spurgeon:

© Susanna McLeod 2006