A Splash of Cartooning News for Fall 2010

October 30, 2010

A new comic strip, a couple of anniversary collections of comic strips, the end of an era for a long-running and popular cartoon, a link to an interesting interview with a "bizarre" and a cartoon-related Caribbean cruise - there has been a lot of activity in the cartooning world just this fall.    

John Kovaleski is a great cartoonist. Bo Nanas is proof enough of that. Skilled in both art and humour, Kovaleski has the essential talents required for a long-running career in the difficult comics field. Along with being a proud new parent with his wife of their new baby son, born in July this year, Kovaleski's new comics creation is "Infant Fred." A funny comic about the world from a baby's perspective, the situations Fred gets himself into are quite out of the ordinary and produce big smiles.

"Infant Fred" will be published three times a week, and will be an app for mobile devices soon. Visit the "Infant Fred" site for a peek and updates, and if you're a "Bo Nanas" fan like me, the comic is in reruns on the Universal GoComics site.

Bo Nanas by John Kovaleski
Bill Amend's "Best of FoxTrot"

"FoxTrot" creator Bill Amend and his publisher Andrews McMeel have a new anthology of his delightful, homey, yet irreverent strip. "The Best of FoxTrot" will be available for purchase on November 23, 2010, and can be placed on pre-order at online bookstores. Featuring the Fox family, the two-book collection contains 1,600 strips of Amend's favourites from the past 20 years.

An unusual background for a cartoonist, Amend has a degree in Physics. Amend won the coveted Reuben in 2007 for "Most Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year." Visit the "FoxTrot" home site for the strip, Amends' Blog and news. Amend's "FoxTrot" books have already enjoyed sales of 3.5 million - and cheers for many more with "The Best of Foxtrot"!


How did it happen? Forty years has gone by since Garry Trudeau's famous, and some times infamous, "Doonesbury" was created. Political, satirical and always direct, there is no other comic strip like "Doonesbury."

Published in October 2010 by Andrews McMeel,, "40: A Doonesbury Retrospective" is nearly 700 pages of thought-provoking and laugh-producing strips. Since its debut on October 26, 1970, there are over 14,000 installments of the comic strip. Zonker and Joanie are virtually household names to devoted readers, and Trudeau has brought home life, the gruesomeness of war and crassness of business under a new, sometimes glaring light.

And we're glad he still doing it.

Visit "Doonesbury."

"40: A Doonesbury Retrospective:  

This fall, fans bid a sad adieu to "Cathy," the long-running favourite of millions of women and a lot of men, too. Creator Cathy Guisewite used her own life as the basis for the endearing main character, sharing her own ups and downs as a young woman in business. A rarity in 1977 when "Cathy" debuted, the independent businesswoman lead the way for many new cartoonists. (And whle she matured, she never looked old.)

The storylines moved away from Guisewite's own life, but still captured the hearts of fans as "Cathy" shared her feelings over food, clothing, weight gain and loss, puppy love, and later, marriage. (The marriage came several years after the cartoonist herself got married and had a daughter.) Near the top in popularity, "Cathy" appeared in over 1,400 newspapers.

"Cathy" by creator Cathy Guisewite

Now 60 years old and 34 years after the "Cathy" comic strip debut, Guisewite is ready to branch out creatively, spend time with her aging parents, and with her own familly. You may continue to read "Cathy" Classics on Go Comics.

Best wishes, Cathy Guisewite!

Another one of those pretty girls that never ages is hosting an adult cruise next year. The "Betty Boop Fan Cruise" sponsored by King Features Sydicate leaves port at Fort Lauderdale, Florida on February 6, cruising to the Grand Cayman and Jamaica, returning on February 12, 2011. No doubt a good time to be had for all, there are photos of the 2008 "Betty Boop" Cruise on the King Features site.

Created by Max Fleischer, the adorable, coy and coquettish "Betty Boop" made her debut on August 9, 1930. If only the rest of us could look so good when we turn 80! Visit the "Betty Boop Fan Cruise" for more information and prices.

"Betty Boop", Copyright Hearst
Piraro 3 And last for today, but certainly not least... Bizarre is one of the words to describe the comic strip of Dan Piraro. And perhaps that's why he titled his colourful work "Bizarro"! Quirky and captivating, Piraro's sense of humour doesn't suit everyone, but does tickle the funny bone of a huge fan base. In an insightful interview on the Comics Journal on November 3, 2010, Piraro discusses his love of art and surprises within, and how, while he loves being a cartoonist, would like to switch to fine art that doesn't require his attention 365 days a year. Informative and inspiring, check out Mark Librescu's Conversation with Bizarro cartoonist Dan Piraro. It's a good read.  
© Susanna McLeod 2010