In this new blog series, the Cartoon Museum would like to offer a space for our active volunteers to share a bit about themselves. Our volunteers help us run the museum on a day to day basis. They make sure that we present our best side to the public. They are friendly, knowledgable, and artistic and they are always ready to help our visitors navigate the museum. So let’s get to know them a little bit better, shall we? For our first installment we shall meet Stefan Alexander, comic artist and illustrator.
The Scottish cartoonist responsible for presenting adults with a revolutionary science fiction comic strip in the form of Jeff Hawke is Sydney Jordan. It was through this art form that he was able to inject fantasy into the mundane lives that most adults lead. Born and bred in Dundee, Scotland, Sydney Jordan grew up in a city where the publishing house D.C. Thomson released a plethora of comic books every week. Jordan’s fondest memories of his childhood are the times he spent reading those comic books and the joyful and spirited conversations he had with his father about them. Jordan familiarized himself more with comic book illustrations by working in a studio that was run by former employees at the Thomson publishing house. He claimed this experience allowed him to learn from experts in the field. A couple of years later, Jordan acquired an interest in space and planes, around the time of the Second World War, after joining the Miles Aeronautical Technical School for aviation designers. After struggling to find a job in aviation, Jordan took his passion and used it to work in the comic strip industry. He started out as the artist, Len Fullerton’s helping hand. Continue reading “Jeff Hawke: A Revolutionary Science Fiction Comic Strip”
It was the 21st of May, 1921, when the pages of the Daily Sketch were brightened by the first daily strip aimed at a mature audience. Originally the title was meant to be Reggie Breaks it Gently, which was a characterization of a man who was soon to be married, but that changed rather quickly when it became evident that the real star of the strip was Pop, the head of the family. The strip itself ended up having his name. Continue reading “Pop: The First British Daily Strip for Adults!”
In 1963 one of the most enduring characters of British cartoon strips came to life by the hand of writer Peter O’Donnell and artist Jim Holdaway. The name, Modesty Blaise. The profession, fearless and incredibly smart adventurer.
The road to publication was not an easy one for this suave and cynical character. In 1962, Bill Aitken, the editor of the strip cartoon for the Daily Express contacted O’Donnell to commission a strip for his newspaper. In response to the question, “what kind?” O’Donnell received the dreamed answer, “The kind of strip you want to write.” O’Donnell requested artist Jim Holdaway to join the project and Aitken agreed. Everything was set, but the creative juices had to be stirred before the central character came to life. Continue reading “Modesty Blaise at the Cartoon Museum”
Daily Funnies or the Art of the Strip Cartoon is the title of the current exhibition at the Cartoon Museum. Cartoon strips occupy a special place in the world of cartoon and comic art. Appearing as they do every day or every week in newspapers and magazines, they reach a public who might not consider themselves cartoon fans. Readers become so attached to their favourite strip that when it ends they feel as though they have lost and old friend. Some strips outlive their creators: Fred Basset, Dick Tracy and Oor Wullie are just a few examples. Others, such as Peanuts, are so closely bound to their original artists that no one else can replace them. There is a rhythm or pulse to the art of the comic strip, like a limerick or a haiku or a joke well told. To be able to tell a small story or raise a smile in the space of a few panels is a skill few people master. Continue reading “The Daily Funnies: An Exhibition of Strip Cartoon”
By Emmba K. Shibley
If you’ve ever sat at a desk with a piece of paper in front of you, chances are you’ve spent a moment (…or two) doodling in the margins. After all, it can be great fun to caricature an annoying colleague or doodle out a daydream, and doing so is in our DNA: humans have been documenting true events through visual art for 17000 years, dating all the way back to scenes of hunting triumphs painted on cave walls (Duncan et al 2016).
But what if making cartoons based on your own life was your profession?
For some comic artists, it is. Autobiographical comics, nicknamed autobios by the genre’s creators and fans, can range from daily or even hourly journal-like cartoons to hefty tomes of graphic memoir that tell the story of an entire lifetime. Continue reading “Stranger than Fiction: Comics and Cartoons About Real Life”