Friday, July 31, 2015

UPDATED Cartoonist Ted Rall Fired by Los Angeles Times Speaks Out

Background: An investigation has been requested into the firing of Ted Rall, whether the LA Times and LAPD obtained the tape of his jaywalking stop illegally and whether the publisher (who is reportedly running for LA mayor) and LA police chief Beck colluded in any illegal activity leading to the ouster.

Ted Rall: LAPD Convinced LA Times To Fire Me After I Criticized Cops [exclusive]

UPDATE 8:44am: A New Domain files this story:

Ted Rall-LAPD-LATimes Battle: New Tape Proves Cops Lied [exclusive]

There is also a petition to reinstate Ted Rall at the LA Times where you can sign your name. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Home for Puff

It was late winter when I left some food out for a wild cat darting around our woods. Within a month of me leaving the food out, she was purring and letting me pet her and generally hanging out on the porch, washing herself. She wasn't wild, she was just a stray. She was a pretty thing, and someone had obviously loved her before she became homeless.

And then one day she appeared at the door with two tiny kittens. Two little powder puffs.

I was horrified.

Within a week, one of them had permanently disappeared. And a couple weeks after that, the mother cat, who had been a very good mom  -- inexplicably -- rejected her remaining kitten. It was terrible. She would hiss and growl at him and not let him near her. Maybe the little guy was getting bigger and she saw him as a rival for her food. Maybe she was sick. I just don't know. She then left.

We became the little kitten's new parents and he bonded with us and wanted to play and be let in the house. Such a cutie.

But we already have 4 indoor cats in the house and four is plenty. I know. They told me with their eyes.

So, yesterday, I took the kitten, which we nicknamed "Puff," to the vet. It was the first time he was ever inside anywhere!

He was very good at the vet, but a little scared. At one point he crawled on my shoulder to the back of my neck and gave me a bath, purring away. He is a sweetie, what can I say?

He got a clean bill of health. The vet was also able to tell me that he was a he. I didn't know for sure. Puff is very fluffy down there, you see.

And then we drove Puff to the far side of Manchester to meet the woman who had written that she "would love to have a kitten" on her Craigslist ad.

We gave her Puff and the vet paperwork and Puff's little brush and away they went last night. Puff will be safe and loved and not have to be afraid of thunder, fast cars or foxes.

It was bittersweet.

The mama cat has come back. She needs to be trapped and have that TNR thing done.

We will miss Puff very much.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Lost Recording: James Swinnerton Interview


 1932 photo of Swinnerton at his desk from the fotosdecomics blog. 

James Swinnerton (1875-1974) was one of the early giants of American cartooning. Four years before THE YELLOW KID, Swinnerton was drawing a little bear on the San Francisco Examiner every day. The bear cub became a hit and the Examiner's owner, William Randolph Hearst, asked "Swin" to move to New York to join his New York World bullpen, which included Tad Dorgan, George McManus, George Herriman and others.

Swinnerton created a lot of characters and was an early experimenter in comic strip narrative technique. An early success was THE LITTLE TIGERS. The naughty Mr. Jack became his breakout character, and the strip was later renamed for him. His longest running comic was LITTLE JIMMY (1904-1958).

Around 1905, this successful cartoonist was diagnosed with life-threatening tuberculosis. He was told he had a short time to live, and he should move out to the desert, where the air would be better for him. Swinnerton did this -- but he also defied the doctors by living for another 69 years, healthy and productive, continuing cartooning and painting his desert environs.

Below is the background on the 1963 interview and the audio itself. The video has a lot of rare art and certainly begs to be watched full screen:
"In 1963, Milt Kagen arranged for Master Sergeant Percy Brown, Jr. to interview legendary cartoonist Jimmy Swinnerton for a program that was broadcast by shortwave to troops overseas.

"A lifelong comics fan, Mr. Kagen carefully preserved the tapes of that interview and is now making the program available to the public."

OSU site
Coconino County page
Spectatorship and Framing in the Strips
Animation Resources
Illustration Art

-- Edited from a April 12, 2012 blog entry.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Editorial Cartoonist Mike Keefe on Leaving the Denver Post

From 2011, Mike Keefe talks about winning the Pulitzer and accepting a buyout from the Denver Post, a newspaper that he worked on for 35 years.

"Nobody is replacing anybody" when it comes to editorial cartoonists, so says Mr. Keefe.

Monday, July 27, 2015

British Movietone Short Film: Cartoonist Rowland Emett "Lunar Cycle"

Cartoonist and inventor extraordinary, Rowland Emett, enters the space race with a new method of moon transport. The "Lunacycle" may not get into orbit, but for sheer invention it matches your Apollos and Sputniks.

Related: British Pathé Short Film: Cartoonist Rowland Emett at Home (1963)

Friday, July 24, 2015

Aaron Fine Travel Posters

A while ago I posted about Aaron Fine, who wrote and illustrated a 1955 children's book PETER PLANTS A POCKETFUL. Mr. Fine's graphic style blew me away and I bought the used book at a Maine thrift store as soon as I saw it. Here's the cover page:

Rodrigo Baeza posted a comment about Mr. Fine on the above link:

Thanks for posting this, Mike. I found some additional info about Aaron Fine: it seems he's better known for his posters for Pan American airlines (some of these can be found on Tumblr and/or Pinterest), that he was a friend of Andy Warhol, and that he died of cancer in 1962.

Thanks, Rodrigo! Here are some of his posters:

Just stunning work!