Sunday, March 30, 2008

"Left, Right, & Wrong" Political Cartoon Exhibit EXTENDED, due to popular demand!! - 3/08

CNW and the Art Institute of Seattle proudly present, "Left, Right, & Wrong: Celebrating the Art of Editorial Cartooning" at the Art Institute's, Burnley Gallery. This show opened February 29 and has now been extended to April 15 due to popular demand!

This exhibition celebrates the artistry of political and editorial cartooning, and features some of the Northwest’s most notable cartoonists, including David Horsey, Pat Moriarity, Andy Wahl, Peter Bagge, Donna Barr, Lew Andrus, Dan McConnell, and George Jartos. Additionally, the exhibit will feature the work of CNW members, as well as faculty and alumni of The Art Institute.

The gallery is located in the South Campus building at 2323 Elliott Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121. Gallery hours are Mon. through Thurs. 7 AM – 10 PM; Fri. 7 AM – 5 PM; and Sat. 9 AM – 2 PM. Closed Sundays.

The show is presented by Cartoonists Northwest (CNW) and The Art Institute of Seattle.

For more information, or to schedule an interview with one of the artists or Art Institute staff, please contact the Department of Communications at, or call (206) 239.2562.

Doing Dilbert - from Doodle to Domination - 2/08

Dilbert cartoons reside on every cubical wall in every office in the country, if not the world, and Jeanette Smith is the one responsible for putting them there!

This February Jeanette, formerly of United Media/United Feature Syndicate, will be at CNW to discuss how she took Dilbert out from under the radar and transformed the strip into a global mega brand. Jeanette now runs a consulting firm in Seattle which specializes in licensing for creative cartoonists and artists, with clients such as John McPherson creator of Close to Home and Tom Wilson, Ziggy cartoonist.

Jeanette will also discuss how to think beyond the box of traditional cartoon venues and explore new avenues for your work. She will explore the principles of branding, marketing, and licensing, as they apply to cartoons. You can take these proven techniques and leveraging tactics and apply then to your own projects. Jeanette is animated, engaging, knowledgeable and chock-full of exactly the kind of experience (and unquie stories) that makes this meeting THE one that you won't want to miss!

The meeting will be at the Art Institute of Seattle's north campus, in room 503. Be sure to enter through the doors at main entrance, on the corner of Alaskan Way and Vine. Things will get started at 6PM and street parking is free at that time. See you there and bring something to jot down some notes, it's going to be GOOD!

Field Trip to the Art Institute - 9/07


CNW member, Roby Gilbert is the Director of Animation at the Art Institute of Seattle. Recently, Roby approached me about exploring opportunities for CNW and the AI Animation department to work together. As a first step, Roby has offered to give CNW a tour of the AI facility downtown. The place is fully loaded with 2D and 3D animation studios, figure drawing sessions, as well as a myriad of other amenities for teaching and practicing artistic talent.

After the tour we’ll settle into one of the classrooms onsite, where Roby will tell us a bit about his background as the animator who, among other things, brought the beloved children’s character, “Ranger Rick” to life. He will also discuss the AI Animation program, at present, and the direction that he intends for it to grow in the future. We’ll throw around some ideas for collaboration and have a great time in the process.

IMPORTANT: The tour will begin at the AI South Campus at 4:00PM. The campus is 5 minutes from our normal meeting spot, at SVC. If you would like to drive together, I will be at SVC at 3:30PM, leaving at 3:45PM, and can take 4 additional people in my car. If you need a ride PLEASE call me to confirm so I know who and how many to look for.

If you are driving, there is ample parking along Alaskan Way or on the other surrounding streets.

The address and phone number is:

2323 Elliott Avenue Seattle, WA 98121-1642 | 1-206-448-6600 | 1-800-275-2471

(Go to this web address to see complete directions.)

Hope to see you there!

Disney revealed! - 8/07

The August meeting was fantastic! John Lustig and Jeff Hamill unloaded a ton of info about writing for Disney comics! They touched on everything from writing for established characters to the processes and intricacies of working for a major corporation/brand.

They took told us about the evolution of the characters over time; when Mickey was a darker mouse and how Scrooge McDuck became one of the most dynamic characters to write for. A highlight was when they took us through one of the touchstone stories where Donald, Daisy, and the boys go through the town of Omlet. Both where able to give unique insights into the story structure, reasons why certain plot points existed; real behind the scenes stuff!

What’s more, John and Jeff complimented each other well as a tag team and together gave a really compelling and interesting presentation. Thanks so much guys, it was great!

Huh? Web Metrics & Cartoons? - 6/07

Well the CNW meeting for June was 1 part school, 1 part business, and all the rest was just fun!

Our own Georgia Ball was good enough to navigate us through Google Analytics. This is a FREE web metrics tool which can report all kinds of information to be used for bragging rights, gauging the success of your online toon, and even qualifying your website to investors or advertisers.

It was a very informative meeting and maybe if we’re lucky, an audio recording of it may magically appear online, for those of you who missed it to enjoy!

Ahhh, the Toonie Awards! - 5/07

May, 2007 -Ahhh, the Toonie Awards!

We had a blast this year! Our distinguished guest speaker, Paul Chadwick graced the podium with highlights from his dazzling career as well as some poignant advice.chadwick

The CNW Quest for Answers was also a hit, as attendees had to draw random lots- some pulled questions, some answers- and they where then forced to mingle in order to be entered into the grand prize drawing! 4 winners were chosen, at random, and each received a fine piece of original, Paul Chadwick artwork and an autographed book from his heralded Concrete series.

We also raffled off tons of swag and enjoyed delicious meals with lake front views. The CNW Charity coloring book was unveiled, many awards were given and much acclaim and ego-stroking ensued. Mark Monlux swept the clay contest…again, and long time member, Sherry Flenniken , was awarded the coveted Golden Toonie.

The night even included a debut appearance by the Amazing Martin Brothers, a group of well groomed young lads whose claim to fame rested entirely on their skewed, 60's folk-rock covers.

All in all a blow out night! Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to produce this truly fantastic event! this truly fantastic event!

CNW booth was a BIG success at Emerald City - 4/1/07

CNW made a HUGE splash at the Emerald City Comic Con !

Our theme was Community of Creativity

To hit home the idea of community we arranged a prize-laden scavenger hunt to seek out the CNW members and affiliates who were dispersed through out the con, lots of Merch and Swag for sale, as well as a place to sit down during the con, grab a drink of water, and catch up on the latest from your favorite group of good looking, talented, CNW cartoonists!

March meeting and leprechauns! - 3/07

March, 2007 - Our March/St Paddy’s day meeting went really well also!

Given that it was St Paddy’s, we had all of the non-green wearing attendees draw lots and Chris Routly emerged as our unlucky leprechaun! Chris was forced to illustrate at our every whim and some “interesting” sketches were the result! This ran rampant while we touched on all the club business and such.

The rest of the meeting was spent in peer review groups critiquing each other’s work. It was the biggest peer review that the club has seen in a while and a major stride towards reinforcing the club’s community and spirit of collaboration!

CNW Booth at Emerald City! - 3/07

March, 2007- CNW will be at the Emerald City Comic Con this weekend. Our theme is Community of Creativity So swing by booth #803 for a place to sit, catch your breath, grab a drink of water, and catch up on the latest from your favorite group of Good looking, talented, CNW cartoonists

07 Toonies to be held at Rocksalt Restaurant! - 3/07

March, 2007- The annual Toonie Awards (April 28) at the Rocksalt Restaurant on lovely Lake Union! .

Round Table on Con Prep - 2/07

February, 2007 - February's meeting was great! Our round table on con prep stemmed lots of good discussion and information. See the Forum for notes!

We concocted mad libs - CNW style! The "Fairly Fantastic Four" emerged as the victors; elegantly recounting the story of the Sasquatch engineer who saved a box of puppies from a falling planet, using his trusty shrink ray and Hummer!

We also talked about the upcoming Emerald City Comic Con and CNW's fantastic booth there! The whole thing was followed up by the traditional Hurricane run. All in all, a great meeting! Hope to see you at the next March meeting.

Tacoma's First and Only Holistic Cartoonist For Hire! - 8/8/06

Tacoma's First and Only Holistic Cartoonist For Hire!
by Dick Rogers
August 8, 2006

Richard Ryan Anderson gave a presentation to those attending the July 15th meeting of Cartoonists Northwest which will not be soon forgotten.

Ryan brought his laptop and ran an entertaining PowerPoint presentation of his life story, tips about website construction and marketing yourself. Richie Bush

Young aspiring artist Anderson's first break came when his Mom sent a strip he'd created to Odyssey magazine. They were impressed with then-thirteen-year-old Ryan's work and asked him to produce a feature for their back page. It was a thrill, at first, then Ryan came to find it "a major drag" staying inside to produce the cartoon while his friends were playing outside.

Later came animation classes in college. These were hand-drawn, frame-by-frame projects. Ryan ran a few slideshows of the work.

Soon the fascination with the internet became a major outlet for his work.

"I like websites," says Ryan, "because you can do anything, and it's seen all around the world."

And so it was on the web that his concept of a fictitious company and its equally fabricated founder & owner were born:

"An interesting website has consistent branding," Ryan notes. "It has rich and interesting content. It has good functionality, too."

A good website self-promotes, this can be helped along by making it easy for search spiders to go through your code.

"Validate your code," advises Ryan. "Avoid JavaScript and tables which confuse some spiders, use html tags instead. Create back-links, build rich and interesting content."

"Using 'plosives'," he suggests, "Words that begin with BL or PL —is subliminal and exciting, and visitors will remember it. Using meta keywords is the old way to attract browsers, instead use meta description for better results. Have a blog to inform visitors of updates. Get your site listed everywhere you can: Google pages, Stranger web classifieds (they're free), The Comics Journal Forum, Flickr,, our friend's website can link to you and vice versa."

Don't know how to do any of this? Newbies can find everything to teach themselves on the internet easily, and Ryan is a prime example. and are open sources for web design. John (Ren & Stimpy) Krikfalusi's is one another.

You can make a great website from as simple a program as NotePad, BBEdit lite which are both free, or you can buy something like DreamWeaver which has powerful creative tools.

Ryan is currently doing some cartoons, banners and logos for Alaska Brewing. His cartooning has become more than a hobby—now it's a career.

Contact: Dick Rogers

Show Your Moxie: Fine Comix Delights Members with a Live Reading - 7/2/06

Show Your Moxie: Fine Comix Delights Members with a Live Reading
by Georgia Ball
July 2, 2006

CNW members who attended the June 17 meeting got a special treat from our presenters: a live performance. The group of artists who make up Fine Comix set their comics to music and read their various onscreen parts with gusto, bringing to life two of the stories from their recent publication, Moxie, My Sweet. Live performances are a quirky method the group uses to promote their work, and just as in their appearances at local coffee shops, the audience laughed along with the over-the-top vocalizations and gestures of the actors as each panel was projected. Members first followed the story of a girl daydreaming of a medieval fantasy world and a handsome suitor to the tune of Led Zeppelin, drawn by CNW regular and indie comics mainstay David Lasky. Even more color and sound effects accompanied the next story, "The Crow Passes," a Pogo-inspired Southern funeral for a jazz-playing crow done in by drink. Both stories were written by Mark Campos, the talent behind all of the stories in their first publication illustrated by various artists.

Fine Comix began as a Yahoo Group in 2001, a place where Seattle creators could come together and enjoy each others' work called "Comics as Fine Art." It was eventually reorganized as Fine Comix, and became a collaborative way the artists could publish. As an anthology, their work faces special challenges finding a market. Speaker Scott Faulkner described their various efforts to get their book in the hands of the public, including distribution through Last Gasp in San Francisco, Amazon and Diamond. Their next book, tentatively set for release in 2007, will be entitled Paperback Moxie, a compilation of stories in the sci-fi and horror genre.

Contact: Georgia Ball

Georgia Ball is a freelance Flash designer and the script writer for the cartoon strip Scooter and Ferret

Emerald City ComiCon Report - 4/4/06

Emerald City ComiCon Report
by Scott Alan
April 4, 2006

Emerald City ComiCon 4 has now been and gone. Once again CNW had a presence at the show and it was a good one. In fact, the good people running the show (Jim Demonakos and crew) were very accommodating to us as always and set the official CNW table alongside many of the members tables. We really had the run of one row at artists alley and that was way cool! Think of that. One entire row of artists alley filled up with CNW members. It was so much fun to be there next to all our members having fun and sharing the convention experience together as a group. A special shout of gratitude must go out to Luke Martin and Stephen Prescott who helped CNW greatly by manning the official club table all weekend and also to our own Elizabeth Pankey who once again graciously provided the trappings and trimmings for the club table making it a truly impressive and professional looking display indeed. You're all great and we greatly appreciate your help!

Many of our members were there representing themselves as well as CNW. John Aquino and Scott Alan were set up with their new collaborative effort Cahoots Comics and new booth bunny display which got some fine attention. Next to them were Bill Morse with his popular Rhapsodies series. Georgia & Scott Ball were on hand promoting Scooter & Ferret with books, buttons, and great new shirts which seemed to get a lot of attention (as well it should). Liriel McMahon brought Bad Blood back to the show for all to admire or run in terror of depending on who was at the table. Outside of artists alley you'd find some rather impressive booth displays from our members including Dawn Kravanga and her very decorative Cattle Capers display. Kieth Curtis was on hand with his great Crater on the Moon comics and dressed for show as his space marine character which was a great site to see. Rounding the bend you saw the ever popular Last Kiss booth run by the one and only John Lustig who seemed to be very happy to be there. You go John. Joining John at the booth was the ever lovin' Kevin Boze who spent time entertaining the crowd with personal experiences written into Comics Biography Theatre. I'm sure there's a lot of great stuff to see there.

Some of the show highlights were the attendees in costume who had some great designs to show. Friends of CNW were at the show in all of their glory including Randy Emberland, James Dean Smith, our new friends Jonah and Jeremy Gregory with Random Pirate Comics, and the ever popular Phil Foglio. The convention boasted many great guest stars including Tim Sale who was at the end of the CNW row gathering a lot of attention from the very excited crowd and Tycho & Gabe from Penny Arcade who gave a very entertaining panel about web comics and their own experiences with them. I can say it was a real pleasure meeting them both and that meeting MAY lead to an exciting event for CNW... but more on that later.

As for the show itself it was grand as always. There was plenty of space for us all and accommodations were well provided. This year the only complaint I heard as I had time to wander around was that there wasn't a lot of traffic at the show this year and things seemed a little slow. I don't know about that as far as actual numbers go, but I know it did seem light. That didn't stop the crowd that was there from having a good time though and the atmosphere of the attendees was fun and jovial so it all seems to have worked out well in the end.

It was a fine time for us all and I had a lot of fun. With Emerald 5 already slated for next April it's a good guess that we'll be planning for the next show as well. For now it's time for sleep and post con recoup. Too much excitement pocky and pixy sticks can really spaz you out and you just need that middle of the day nap time to recover from the grand weekend. That's what I'm gonna do now.

Contact: Scott Alan, President

Not just toons, ScotttoonS! Visit to see the work of Scott Alan, performer and freelance cartoonist.

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund - 3/1/06

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
by Dick Rogers
March 1, 2006

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit organization protecting the First Amendment rights of the comics community. Founded in 1986 by legendary underground cartoonist and publisher, Denis Kitchen, the CBLDF's guiding principle is that comics deserve the same Comic Book Legal Defense Fundfreedom of expression accorded film, literature, and other media. Thanks to generous support from comics fans and professionals alike, the CBLDF has coordinated and funded the legal defense of more than a dozen First Amendment cases.

Comic Book Legal Defense Fund volunteer Ray Feighery talked to CNW about censorship and the legal battles over mature-themed comics. The packed meeting room learned how the Fund has assisted comic store owners and employees as well as publishers and distributors.

"Comics are an easy target for overzealous District Attorneys building up their careers," said Ray. "They are not always able to put together a strong case, so they prolong the legal process in an attempt to force defendants to buckle under the growing legal fees. People have lost their homes and businesses in some instances."

To date, the Fund has spent over $220,000 fighting the Gordon Lee case. Lee was working in a comic book store on Halloween, giving away comic books to costumed youngsters in Rome, Georgia. Erroneously packed in the "freebie bin" was a copy of Alternative Comics #2 (a leftover from that year's Free Comic Book Day) which Lee handed to a nine-year-old boy. The comic contained, among others, a story by Nick Bertozzi about Pablo Picasso in which the painter is portrayed in the nude—not in a sexual manner—in his studio.

Lee was charged with "distributing material depicting nudity [and] distributing obscene material to a minor." The Fund felt he had simply made a mistake as a retailer, and was able to Comic Book Legal Defense Fundget the felonies dismissed and the prosecution settled for a single misdemeanor charge.

Ray explained the facts of the Jesus Castillo case as another example. Castillo, a comic shop employee, was arrested and charged with two counts of obscenity for selling adult-themed comic books to adults.

The Fund fought the charges with lawyers and expert testimony. The State Prosecutor did not offer any contradictory evidence... however, his closing argument included the statement, "I don't care what type of evidence or what type of testimony is out there, use your rationality; use your common sense. Comic books, traditionally what we think of, are for kids. We're here to get this off the shelf." Castillo was found guilty, sentenced to 180 days in jail, a year probation and a $4,000 fine. The verdict was appealed all the way to the Supreme Court, which denied his petition.

"Unfortunately, fighting the right battles is not a guarantee of winning," Fund Director Charles Brownstein said.

Recently the Fund won a victory against US Customs when Top Shelf Comics had a pallet of comics from Europe detained. After a three week delay, Top Shelf received a formal letter accusing two comic books in the lot of being "piratical works."

The accused stories were Richie Bush, a parody of Richie Richie Bush Rich which satirizes the Bush administration and another parody featuring Snoopy and Woodstock. But they are obviously instances of parody and fair use, which are protected by the First Amendment. So the Fund hired a local attorney and in the end Customs released the books and refunded the $250 fee Top Shelf paid to Customs to challenge the seizure.

Ray was a great speaker who inspired a number of CNW members to join CBLDF on the spot.

Contact: Dick Rogers

Elections and Events for a New Year - 1/31/06

Elections and Events for a New Year
by Georgia Ball
January 31, 2005

The first order of business was the annual Cartoonists Northwest elections. Scott Alan was re-elected president, and he retained his former officers Scott Ball as vice-president and Liriel McMahon as Treasurer.

Upcoming club events began with an announcement of the summer camping trip. A date has been finalized for September 8-10 at Sequim Bay. To hold the site we need at least 20 commitments, but as many as 60 campers can be accommodated. If you would like to bring an RV, please contact Scott Ball.

Submissions are being taken for King Country Library System display cases. Space is offered to members first come-first served to promote the club. We're calling now for volunteers to set up displays at their local library. Contact Luke Martin for more information.

The 25th Annual Toonies Awards Banquet is almost here! Submissions for the Art Auction are being taken now and are due February 18th. Contact Scott Ball for details.

Emerald City Con is coming up fast! There will be a CNW Members table as there was last year and volunteers are needed to man the booth. To sell your items at the table contact Scott Alan - a %15 commission of all sales will go to CNW.

Contact: Georgia Ball

Georgia Ball is a freelance Flash designer and the script writer for the cartoon strip Scooter and Ferret.

Show and Tell in September - 10/2/05

Show and Tell in September
by Scott Alan
October 2, 2005

Show and tell time at CNW is always a treat. It's nice to get together with your fellow cartoonists and share where you've been and what's new. We had a good turn out and some great stuff was shown. Here's a summary:

Liriel announced some new merchandise for Bad Blood which can be found at

John Lustig had some great merchandise to show off as well all
gloriously featured at his site

Scott Alan was there to share his latest successes including the start of an all new online comic called "Oh Brother!" which can be seen at He also showed off his latest endeavor called "Frontispace" where he draws cartoons to compliment articles written by a scientist in Greece. These can be found at

There were other great art projects passed about by Bill Morse, John Brower, Morgan Sandys, John Aquino and more. We even had some new people show up to the meeting and thank them for being a part of this great evening.

I know that a lot of details and artists were overlooked but I was asked to keep this article brief. Sorry about that. I think all of you did great and was very pleased with the amount of great work shown. It was a great time, a great meeting, and all thanks to the many great artists who came in to strut their stuff!

Contact: Scott Alan, President

Not just toons, ScotttoonS! Visit to see the work of Scott Alan, performer and freelance cartoonist.

Cartooning on the Other Side of the Mountains - 7/6/05

Cartooning on the Other Side of the Mountains
by Georgia Ball
July 6, 2005

On July 16th, CNW welcomed cartoonist Dan McConnell from Eastern Washington. Members were gratified to be introduced to a Cashmere apple farmer who had turned his love for orchards into a cartoon series about rural humor; his ongoing comic Apple Andy appears regularly in the Cashmere Valley Record.

Apples are only one aspect of Dan’s varied career. He’s also a skilled mainstream comics inker. Promotional comics and characters for Marvel were passed around, including the X-Men on a box of Nerds and a premium comic for Tony’s Pizza. Dan had also recently been certified as a scientific illustrator, and brought samples of fish drawings soon to be published in River of Memory by University Press. This certification was the reward for driving twice a week to the University of Washington to study botany and muscle articulation so nature can be accurately rendered in colored pencils. His latest project is a series of trading cards for church youth groups called “Bible Cards.”

But many CNW members know Dan McConnell best as the spokesman for CWAC, the Eastern Washington spin-off of Cartoonists Northwest. Pronounced “Quack,” CWAC began three years ago when fellow members of an artists’ workshop decided to band together and meet regularly to discuss their passion for cartooning. Regular Penstuff readers may be familiar with Dan’s reports on their art show at the Wenatchee Museum.

Dan’s advice for other freelance artists is to solidify contracts with first and second publication rights and get approval on the roughs before finishing. Make sure the client is aware that changes made after that point would cost more. Have it in writing or they won’t pay the max, he warns, while humorously acknowledging that he feels he is not in the fast lane to success. “I’m more in the snail’s lane,” he jokes. Even so, Dan McConnell’s experience in so many different avenues of cartooning left the audience pleasantly overwhelmed with work to admire.

Contact: Georgia Ball

Georgia Ball is a freelance Flash designer and the script writer for the cartoon strip Scooter and Ferret.

Uptown Stroll—A Festival of Art in Action - 7/22/05

Uptown Stroll—A Festival of Art in Action
by Kathy Biever
July 22, 2005

Saturday, August 27, 2005
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Professional and amateur artists of all ages invited to participate in the Uptown Stroll.

Guidelines/Conditions for Artist Participation:

At this “Festival of Art in Action” it is expected that artists will actively produce art during the festival. Although prizes will be awarded based primarily on the piece the artist is working on at the time the jurors appear, artists are invited to have on display and for sale other completed works.

Choose one of these categories:

  1. Juried (prizes will be awarded to winners)
  2. Non-juried (no prizes)

Choose one of these divisions:

  1. Adult
  2. Youth (ages 8-17)

Artist will be assigned a work area in front of or inside sponsoring shops in Uptown all within two blocks from the intersection of Queen Anne Avenue and Mercer Street.

Artist will be assigned for the day a Stroll Ambassador to be at his/her beck and call for every need: accompany artist to his/her location, help set up and dismantle, bring sustenance to artist, watch station so artist can take a break. Whatever Artist wants, Artist gets.

Artist will bring all supplies needed for the day, eg. easel, chair, table, display racks, potter’s wheel, etc.

Artist is encouraged to display for sale his/her art during Uptown Stroll. No commission for sales will be taken by the Uptown Stroll.

Additional opportunities:

Artist is encouraged to submit one work of art for display in Bank of America at 100 W. Mercer during the month of September. No commission will be taken by Uptown Stroll. As sales are strictly between buyer and seller, artist must provide contact information to be displayed with art work. Please check appropriate box on Registration form if you wish to do this. Details re drop off, pick up, etc. to be provided at a later date.

The Uptown Stroll would like permission to use artist’s artwork on its website and for postcards to be sold by Uptown as a fund raiser. Artist credit and contact information will accompany the art work. Please indicate your wishes by checking appropriate box on Registration form.

We look forward to your participation.

Kathy and Keith Biever
Uptown Stroll Artists Recruitment
521 Fifth Avenue West, Suite 404
Seattle, WA 98119

Link to Form in the Cartoonists Northwest Forum

Rapid-Fire Drawing with Kevin Boze - 7/6/05

Rapid-Fire Drawing with Kevin Boze
by Georgia Ball
July 6, 2005

Last year during Bumbershoot, Kevin was one of 16 artists who took part in Comic Biography Theatre—an event in which cartoonists had to draw an unusual true event submitted by people in the crowd. This year he was the guest speaker for Cartoonists Northwest on June 18th, and he brought along his pencil and put us to work.

Kevin studied art under Ken Anderson and completed a degree in Digital Arts with a focus in animation from Henry Cogswell Role Call by Kevin BozeCollege. During the day he commutes from Seattle to Arlington and works as a design engineer for Bay Liner, but he spends his evenings creating his online comic, Role Call. Centered around role-playing, his strip is a feature of ShadowRaven, an online interactive gaming website. Role Call has been running on ShadowRaven for two years, is written and drawn by Kevin and is colored and published by Julie Albert.

Some of Kevin's previous strips included Corp. Kev, which was published in the European edition of Stars and Stripes for three years, and Camille, a cat-focused spin-off of Corp, Kev. When Kevin had finished giving us some of his background he called on his audience to break out pencil and paper for a quick lesson in gesture drawing. His model moved from one action pose to another while Kevin timed the participants, and page after page of sweeping gesturals were cast aside as the next pose began. Each session was between 5-15 seconds, encouraging the artists to focus on the essence of the action

Speaker Review: LiftPort - 6/6/05

Speaker Review: LiftPort
by Georgia Ball
June 6, 2005

LiftPort representative Tom Nyugent presented for Cartoonists Northwest in May to a packed room. The audience was eager to learn about LiftPort’s vision for the future, mass transportation systems that will open up access to the solar system. At the center of this vision is the Space Elevator, a revolutionary transportation service that will make expensive and dangerous rocket liftoffs a less significant part of getting into space.

The Space Elevator is essentially a ribbon extending from Earth beyond geosynchronous orbit, the point at which an orbiting object is going at the same speed as the Earth’s rotation. The bottom of the ribbon would be attached to a base in the ocean that can be adjusted to avoid lightning storms and other hazards that might damage its construction. Outward centripetal acceleration and the competing forces of gravity keeps the ribbon under tension, and once it is in a stationaryLifPort Space Elevator position, it can be ascended mechanically to orbit. The initial Space Elevator would be a thin ribbon made of carbon nanotubes, strong enough to lift objects along its length, and eventually an even stronger, thicker version would be built to carry passengers. For more information about how the Space Elevator would be built, how it would function, and what effects it would have on the environment, visit LiftPort’s FAQ.

We were also treated with a showing of the concept work by LiftPort artist, Nyein Aung. Nyein is an accomplished watercolorist and industrial designer who will be participating in Spawns alongside the members. A full gallery of his work can be seen here.

LiftPort is the proud sponsor of this year’s Cartoonists Northwest Spawns of Insomnia. They will be giving out cash prizes to participants who complete their 24 page comic book stories and a special prize for best story. To participate fully in the race for prizes, contestants must include a science fiction theme in their comic and mention the exciting Space Elevator. Spawns of Insomnia will be held September 1-4 at the Sea-Tac Hilton and will be hosted by Cascadia Con, the Northwest’s most exhaustive science fiction convention.

Movie Review: Madagascar - 6/1/05

Movie Review: Madagascar
by Scott Alan
June 1, 2005

A review of an animated movie from the point of view of a cartoonist? What a concept! I had the opportunity to check out this film on opening weekend, something rare for me, and thought you'd all like a peek at the film before going to see it. It's all just my opinion so you can take it for what it's worth.

he next big thing out of the box (or the cage) from the good people at Dreamworks this year is Madagascar. An animated tale (spelled that way on purpose) about four animal friends living in the Central Park Zoo who end uMadagascar posterp going wild.

Alex = Ben Stiller
Marty = Chris Rock
Melman = David Schwimmer
Gloria = Jada Pinkett Smith
Julien = Sacha Baron Cohen
Maurice = Cedric the Entertainer
Mort = Andy Richter

In a nutshell: Marty the zebra has visions of a bigger world outside the captivity he knows in the Central Park Zoo. He meets up with four penguins hell-bent on tunneling out and heading to Antarctica. Soon, his own escape plan is hatched. Marty's best pals (Alex the lion - Gloria, the hippo - & Melman, a hypochondriac giraffe) seem content with their surroundings, but when Marty decides to hop a train and visit the "wilds" of Connecticut, his buddies stage a furry intervention. The authorities intervene, and the quartet is packed away on a ship, ostensibly bound for another zoo. Instead, their crates wash up on the lush island of Madagascar. There they meet the resident population of lemurs who adopt their new friends, especially the lion, as protectors of their tribe.

The wild is all about survival, and although Madagascar makes the struggle for survival funny, it doesn't make it any less bleak. The four animals, having been raised in captivity, are confronted by a world in which everybody seems to be eating each other, and it's appalling. One of the best things was the demise of the little duckie. The regular meals that made it possible for the lion and the zebra to be best buddies are no longer being carted in by human handlers, and so new tensions develop leading the lion to see his pal the zebra as food (literally) rather than seeing him as a friend. The rest of the film is really all about a choice for Alex the lion between food and friendship.

What was good: Dreamworks produced their usual fantastic animation technique again which was fun and eye catching. Especially the photo-realistic New York sequences. The Madagascar charactersanimation is visually stunning, and the animals' stylized rendering and friendly look is in keeping with the energetic mood of the movie. Somewhat more "cartoony" then Dreamworks other recent works, but that's okay by me. The voice work is uniformly solid. The jokes and general humor were spot on and kept you laughing at the right times. The penguins. The Penguins sold it. Really.

What was bad: The thin story, which sometimes feels like a series of one-liners strung together, though this is wisely kept short. Once the pack of zoo animals get acclimated to life on Madagascar and win over the restless lemurs, the story seems to stall and lack some direction. It's frustrating to see this wonderful-looking, and quite funny survival tale fall short of its potential. While motivations and situations were clear-cut and energetically rendered back in the urban jungle, the script, falls apart in the real jungle, especially in its attempt to deal with those darker impulses.

Bottom line: After an extremely promising start, this inspired computer-animated comedy gets lost in the wild. Zoo animals bolting their confined quarters doesn't sound like a promising scenario for an animated movie. But in Madagascar, the concept works largely on the strength of the comedic actors who voice the key animal characters. I feel that most people will find "Madagascar" not as "award winning" as the Shrek movies, but an improvement over Shark Tale which did poorly in most peoples opinions and critical reviews. Thanks to the ad-libbed lines of the talented cast, however, parents won't feel held captive during the experience and even with the faults they see in the film they should find this a good comedy, a fine animation, and time well spent. I did.

Contact: Scott Alan

Not just toons, ScotttoonS! Visit to see the work of Scott Alan, performer and freelance cartoonist.

The National Caricaturist Network Convention 2005 II - 5/17/05

The National Caricaturist Network Convention 2005 II
by Elizabeth Pankey
May 17, 2005

Part Two of Two

Here I am again writing about the National Caricaturist Network. It has been awhile. Are you still curious about the celebrity who visited the working caricaturists at the Palace Station in Vegas? He is part of a magical duo. He doesn't speak during his performances. No, they don't work with lions, Elizabeth Pankey by Rhoda Grossmantigers or bears. His partner is taller with black hair and glasses. I spoke with this charming man as he walked into our large workroom. He says he chats a lot off stage. Yes, it was Teller of Penn & Teller.

Want to learn about exaggerating features from the masters of caricature? Want to learn about marketing yourself as a caricaturist/entertainer? Want to learn new ways of expressing yourself as an artist? Then come to the next NCN convention. The seminars offered are filled with tips and techniques in everything from basic caricature to extreme abstraction, from studio illustration to being the life of the party scene. The learning and sharing continues through the likeness and the newly revamped speed competitions. It is Terry by Perryall about drawing, painting, or constructing caricatures of each other. I like watching the airbrush artists, but the fumes bother me. My time at this year's convention was spent experimenting with different techniques as I explored new faces and familiar faces. I tried to balance my choices between men and women.

The number of caricaturing styles increases with the NCN convention attendance each year. Though we can only show grayscale in the printed newsletter, I'm hoping our CNW website can show some of my photos of the varied styles in color. These photos are only to illustrate this article. The artists still own their copyrights. Please respect that when looking at this artwork. Thank you.

I'm also including a photo of Rhoda Grossman's "stylish" shoes worn at the NCN Banquet. Many caricaturists like to be Rhoda Grossman stylish shoesflamboyant at the awards dinner. So if you come to next year's convention, bring a formal fashion to wear. It's all about STYLE and creating a memorable impression. Tom Richmond casually showed off his muscular body by wearing tight jeans and a form fitting T-shirt. Tom and Chris Rommel can bare their biceps anytime. Woo! Back to reality. Yes, I enjoy window-shopping.

"Butt Faces" by Lar de Souza

"Butt Faces" by Lar de Souza

"The Many Faces of Teresa Farrington"

"The Many Faces of Teresa Farrington"

P.S.: Thank you to everyone who has written to me about part one. Your positive feedback only serves to encourage me.

contact: Elizabeth Pankey

Speaker: James Taylor of Rorshach Entertainment - 5/9/05

Speaker: James Taylor of Rorshach Entertainment
by Georgia Ball
May 9, 2005

On April 16 Cartoonists Northwest welcomed comics publisher James Taylor as their April speaker. James focused on giving CNW members further insight into the process of getting a book published, distributed and sold nationally.

James Taylor began his career as a comic book inker in 1997. He founded Rorshach Entertainment in 2000 to help other Spreckentalented comic artists overlooked by major pusblishers get their work distributed. At the end of 2003, Rorshach published its first comic Sprecken, a science-fiction cop story by local Lynnwood artist Brian Meredith. Their second book was published in 2004, and their most recent and best-selling book is the crime caper Grave Digger, formerly a webcomic.

Once material is ready to be made into a published comic, the book is sent to a distributor such as Diamond. The book has to be accepted by Diamond first, and recently they have become more choosy concerning accepted material. Once accepted, James recommends promoting the book until the Diamond catalog comes out six months later. The independent section of the catalog is competitive to Marvel and D.C.

Retailers then have to be convinced to order the comic through Diamond. Local shops do tend to support local artists, but a good way to get national attention is to advertise in the catalog. A color column generally costs around $750, and Diamond also charges for Retailers Lists. Another option is to send postcards via Diamond directly to the comic shops. You can also send out free copies for review to retailers. When Diamond has received their orders for the comic, the material is sent off to be printed. There are a number of inexpensive Gravediggerand reputable printers that specialize in comics, and many artists recommend printers in Canada for a lower price. After printing the books, the merchandise is shipped back to Diamond for distribution. Some other possible distributors include Cold Cut, Last Gasp, and Hobbies Hawaii.

James advises attending conventions to advertise your comic, an excellent avenue for spreading the word about your book to potential buyers, retailers and other creators. It's essential to be sociable, because you aren't just selling your book, you're selling yourself. Pick your conventions carefully he admonishes, since some are too far or too costly to be profitable for a published artist. San Diego Con, while the largest convention of the year and a sure way to get exposure, is also the most expensive to attend or have a booth at, and Dallas McCoyfirst time exhibitors typically receive the worst placement. Some viable options are conventions are APE in San Francisco and Wizard World Chicago Con, but Emerald City Con is particularly beneficial as a local event.

Sending out press releases is another important tool for the aspiring seller. Rorshach sends free copies of their books to reviewers for publicity purposes, some of which are online. Possible venues for review include Comic Book Resources by Steven Grant, by Andreas Speed and Sequential Tart.

Most of all, its essential to get your book in the hands of as many people as possible. That's more important in the long run than how much money the book makes in the short term.

New Yorker's Cartoon Editor Visits Tuesday, April 19 at Seattle's Town Hall - 4/7/05

Foolproof's American Voices Series Presents
The Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker with Robert Mankoff

by Jen Bergman
April 7, 2005

New Yorker's Cartoon Editor Visits Tuesday, April 19 at Seattle's Town Hall, 7:30PM

Seattle, WA-Foolproof's American Voices speaker series presents the distinctly American voice of Robert Mankoff, New Yorker cartoon editor for a night of comedy, learning (something along these lines). Considered a national treasure, the cartoons of The New Yorker are beloved, iconic images that have made us laugh at the social issues of the day and have defined a markedly American sensibility. Mr. Mankoff will direct a presentation on this admired collection on Tuesday, April 19th at Town Hall in Seattle (1119 8th Ave).

"Over the years, I had developed a passionate interest in The New Yorker cartoon as a great cultural heritage that had to be preserved and passed on to yet another new generation of artists," says Mankoff.

Last fall, all 68,647 The New Yorker cartoons were published together for the first time in The Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker, edited by Mankoff. Organized by decade and introduced by some of the magazine's most esteemed writers - including Roger Angell, Nancy Franklin, Lillian Ross, John New Yorker cartoonUpdike, Ian Frazier, Calvin Trillin, Mark Singer, Nancy Franklin and Rebecca Mead, the book showcases the talented cartoonists who have contributed to the magazine over the years.

Mankoff- who in '91 created the The Cartoon Bank (The New Yorker's virtual storehouse for these images)- tackled the enormous task of selecting the cartoons included in the print version. What he discovered in the process was that various themes emerged from each decade, such as:

  • sex and nudity in the 1940s
  • the burgeoning space program in the 1960s
  • the high tech explosion in the 1990s

Mankoff notes that by picking cartoons that were most representative of the modes of thought, desires, and conventions that spawned them, it was possible to create a history of The New Yorker cartoon and a cultural history rolled into one. Reading through the volume, then, is a history lesson framed by laughter, a look at what was occupying the headlines, and perhaps even the American psyche, at each particular moment in time.

Mankoff recounts the selection process in the book's Introduction: "From the start of the process we were relentless, unsparing, obsessive, compulsive, possessed-and even paranoid in our efforts. We examined every single page of The New Yorker published since 1925, to ensure that not a single cartoon was missed. In the end, after examining over 400,000 pages, we found 68,647 cartoons. That's one for each resident of Springfield, Ohio, according to the 2000 census, with enough left over for quite a few of their pets."

The American Voices series is presented by Foolproof, a non-profit corporation presenting entertaining exchanges of ideas balanced with critical thought in an effort to raise social consciousness. They seek to inspire citizens to seek truths through free speech, thought and action. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Foolproof at 206-325-3554 or

contact: Jen Bergman

Layers and Channels and Curves - Oh, My! - 4/2/05

Layers and Channels and Curves - Oh, My!
by Dick Rogers
April 2, 2005

It was a dark but pleasant night in The City That Winter Forgot, when Cartoonists Northwest met at the School of Visual Concepts for what may have been its last Friday evening meeting. Guest speaker Georgia Ball put on an informative and enjoyable Photoshop primer.

Using Scooter and Ferret as examples, Georgia explained she scans the original art hubby Scott produces at 300dpi in grayscale. She does this primarily to eliminate the blue pencil Scott uses, because if she scanned in colors the blue would be a stand alone color but in grays it's just a shade she can eliminate easily.

The original art is larger than the limits of her flatbed scanner, so she scans each daily comic strip in two pieces (each gets its own layer in PhotoShop). She lays out guide lines to help her align the parts and makes one layer partially transparent to help her align art elements, then rotates or distorts to get it all straight to her guides. Finally she flattens the separate layers.

Georgia uses levels to adjust some things, helping remove stray pencil lines or roughed in lettering which she will typeset later on. She likes the free comic style fonts to be found at, in particular the Anime Ace font. Georgia always centers text in word balloons.

Then she uses color range to delete the white, leaving black linework on a transparent background. This makes coloring simpler and is less work than selecting white areas one by one. An elegant, global method. Next she adds a white background layer.

Now she adds crisp borders on the comic strip, eliminating Scott's hand-drawn borders. She does this with the rectangle marquee tool. "If I need to make lines ... I never, ever use the PhotoShop line tool," says Georgia. She can draw the shape she needs and fill it with black, or swipe a border from a previous comic strip and adapt it to the new one.

"After I get my (200dpi) print version ready, I save another version for the web (72dpi)." She also reduces the image size and doesn't get any ugly rasterization because she started with a high-quality image file. Her web dimensions are 700 pixels long by 246 pixels tall.

Finally, she adds the title (she left room for that with the 246 pixel height) and it's ready for uploading to the website!

Georgia colors her strips on a layer between the black linework and the white background. This keeps the color behind the linework, maintaining crispness in the linework, reduces the chances of spoiling the linework by mistake. She colors in RGB, doesn't merge the layers and final output is a JPEG in 32 colors mode to keep her files small.

Georgia showed how she uses the actions palette on work she does over and over in every strip. For example she uses Actions for how she takes an area of color and expands it to go partially behind the black linework to avoid white showthrough. She uses paint behind so she doesn't paint over something she's already done.

Finally, Georgia showed us examples of the photo retouching work she does. She put a modern face into a historic photograph. Using mode color for the brush, sampling skin colors and textures, understanding the qualities of old photography, all allows her to make changes to old photos that are almost impossible to spot without knowing something was done.

contact: Dick Rogers

The National Caricaturist Network Convention 2005 - 4/1/05

The National Caricaturist Network Convention 2005 I
by Elizabeth Pankey
April 1, 2005

Part One of Two

The National Caricaturist Network should be renamed the International Caricaturist Network. Why? The NCN membership includes artists from Japan, Korea, Spain, Germany, EnglElizabeth Pankey's  Op de Beekand, Belgium, Canada, Puerto Rico and the United States. Attending this year’s convention in Las Vegas at the Palace Station Hotel was like a goodwill ambassador tour of these nations. We all have the common bond of caricaturing in its many forms from almost straight portraiture to totally abstract and all phases (or should I say “faces”) in between.

Sunday, February 20th we had Airport Express Shuttle service pick us up at home and whisk us down to the airport in the morning. One of our past CNW presidents is a driver for this company, but he wasn’t our driver this time. With electronic check in, there was no hassle at all checking our luggage and heading out to our gate. Our flight to Las Vegas was full. I’ve renamed all full flights the Sardine Express. A very good reason for me to shed 50 pounds so the seats will seem larger. Our plane taxied out to the runway, then returned with a broken gauge. After an hour’s delay with all of us still buckled TIGHT into our seats, the plane finally took off for Vegas. When flying these days, take your own bottle of water and choice of snack because short flights serve only beverages and may take a while to get that little cup of liquid.

Our landing in Vegas was choppy due to some wind and increasing cloudiness. Yes, we left Seattle’s beautiful sunny weather and arrived to clouds and rain in Las Vegas. Whoopee! Roger took his golf clubs thinking he could play golf while I was busy in seminars and working on caricatures. No such luck. Sunday through Thursday, 20th – 24th, was rain, rain and more rain.

We made our way to the hotel shuttle bus just in time and the fun began right away. Eve Myles, Ellen Forney’s aunt, was on the bus with us. At the hotel we proceeded to check in at the hotel desk and see more of our NCN friends milling around the lobby.

After taking our luggage up to our room we went back to find out the location of the NCN check-in. We had to weave through the casino labyrinth to the 2nd floor escalator. Are all gamblers smokers? Or do people who gamble like to also gamble on their lives by smoking? I was coughing up blood laced “stuff” by the second day due to my sensitivity to smoke. I love the NCN conventions, but can’t tolerate old Vegas casinos. After that bad “breathing” experience, we found an alternate route outdoors across the parking lot…even in the rain.

NCN Check-in was outside one of the hotel banquet rooms. Seeing familiar faces (Jan Op De Beek from Belgium came as a member this year) and welcoming many newbies (many Japanese, Brits and Yanks) kept us busy for a little while before going back to our room to get ready for the opening night reception at six. The hotel staff set up a wonderful spread of food for the reception. After a plate full of good grub and grog, we all started sketching whoever was sitting at our table. I met Gary Javier, a new NCN member from Puerto Rico, who turned out to be a favorite subject at the convention. That means many artists did their interpretations of his handsome dark features, receding hairline and long dreadlocks. The room’s lights were soon turned up to full brightness and the room full of over 100 people cheered. Then we all laughed.

Day Two: After a long day before, the first full day began with a delicious buffet breakfast and sketching friends around the table. There was a quick welcome from the NCN board members with announcements of the week’s events. Most of us experienced attendees brought our art supplies for the day and set up our portfolios in a display room. Most caricaturists will be creating images (2-D or 3-D) of each other throughout the next three days. The fourth day is for judging, clean-up of work space and the final Awards Banquet in the evening.

The first two seminars were “Caricature 001” and “Exaggerating with a Likeness” lead by Dion Socia and Joe Bluhm respectively. Dion gave a great presentation that helped me understand even more about proportions is scaling a caricature. One of the most talented young artists in NCN, Joe really knows what he is talking about when demonstrating his techniques. All of us in the room were able to see clearly due to a very technically savvy caricaturist who set up camera equipment and laptop computers to facilitate projecting everything up on a large screen in front. These enlarged images play an important roll later on in another seminar.

Okay, I’ll tell you about that right away. Tuesday morning was Jan Op de Beek's Elizabeth PankeyJan OpDeBeeck’s official seminar “Drawing with Jan.” He had taken digital photos of many of us who had attended the NCN con in Orlando, Florida two years ago. Much to our surprise, many were victimized for this year’s seminar. Teresa Farrington, Okie artist, is a favorite of many artists due to her front teeth with a wide center space. So it was no big surprise that he chose to exaggerate her features. There were other prominent members feeling Jan’s magic pencil. So it was a surprise to see my photo then his caricature of me up on that BIG screen. I was honored because Jan is greatly respected for his masterful skills. For this article I’ve attached both Jan’s caricature of me and my caricature of him. I rendered his from photos I took at this year’s convention.

Was it prophetic that Ted Tucker led a seminar on “Quicksketch Watercoloring” on Tuesday? Or was it just the constant downpours in Vegas that caused the roof to leak over one end of the main workroom? Roger noted there was a large rusty water tank above the area that was leaking. Several of us helped move worktables, chairs and some artwork mounted on adjacent walls. It started with one plastic trashcan underneath to catch the drip and quickly led to 16 plastic containers and a swamped floor under the waterfall. More and more hotel employees showed up to access the problem. It was funny.

Much more to write about for next month: great seminars, the art, the magic, and the celebrity visitor.

contact: Elizabeth Pankey

Cartoonists honor Seattle artist Rick Hoberg - 3/19/05

Cartoonists honor Seattle artist Rick Hoberg
by John Lustig
March 19, 2005

The Northwest's best cartoonists were honored March 19 with Seattle artist Rick Hoberg receiving a Golden Toonie and the induction of legendary cartoonists Carl Barks and Gary Larson into a Hall of Fame.Hoberg Illustration

Honorees were selected by members of Cartoonists Northwest during its annual Toonie Award Banquet.

Hoberg received Cartoonists Northwest's highest yearly honor, the Golden Toonie, for a wide-ranging career that's included comic books (Batman, Green Arrow, Roger Rabbit); animation (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles); merchandising-licensing & comic strips (Star Wars); and video games (Microsoft.)

This is the 14th year that a Golden Toonie has been awarded. Past winners include some of the Northwest's finest and most celebrated artists: Brian Basset, Berkeley Breathed, Steve Greenberg, Dave Horsey, Lynn Johnston, John Lustig, Roberta Gregory and Jim Woodring.

This is the first year that Hall of Fame honors have been awarded. The late Carl Barks was honored for a career that stretched back to the early years of Disney animation when he wrote and storyboarded Donald Duck cartoons.

Barks is best known, though, for his decades of work as writer/artist of Donald Duck comic books and as the creator of Donald's fabulously rich Uncle Scrooge McDuck. Barks, who Hoberg's Darth Maulwas born in Merrill, Oregon in 1901, died in Grants Pass, Oregon in 2000 at the age of 99.

The other Hall of Fame honoree, Gary Larson, is the creator of THE FAR SIDE--one of the most famous and successful newspaper cartoons of all time. Larson, a Tacoma native, began his comics career selling cartoons to Northwest publications and in 1979 launched a weekly single-panel cartoon series, called "Nature's Way", in The Seattle Times. Soon after, the series was picked up for syndication and rechristened, "The Far Side." Before he retired in 1995, Larson's series was syndicated in 1,900 newspapers.

During the Toonies, awards were also presented to Northwest cartoonists Georgia & Scott Ball for best online comic strip Hoberg on Roger Rabbit(SCOOTER AND FERRET); Phil & Kaja Foglio for best comic book series (GIRL GENIUS); and Mark Monlux for best illustration (THE COMIC CRITIC).

Cartoonists Northwest is a group of local cartoonists which has been meeting every month in Seattle for over 20 years. In 2003, the group received the National Joseph Werner American Spirit Award.

Contact: John Lustig