CHARLIE CHAPLIN

Advertisements

GROUCHO MARX

HODG-MAN

A while back, my brother Eric and I pulled together a pitch for an animated weekly series – to be based
on true-life anecdotes and totally-made-up crap involving noted writer, raconteur and “Daily Show”
correspondent John Hodgman.

It didn’t pan out. But it was fun.

Each week (as we envisioned it), Hodgman’s character would embark on a fresh new intellectual journey
into the unknown.

Hodgman would be joined on his various quests by an impressive array of his very own friends, colleagues and musical collaborators – including the two Johns from They Might Be Giants:

In the plum role of Hodgman’s arch-rival, B-movie icon Bruce Campbell:

Hodgman’s faithful sidekick and personal troubadour, of course, would be none other than Jonathan Coulton:

Would there be big-name guest stars, you ask? Why, yes. To quote from our pictch, “… in a fond tribute to
(and blatant ripoff of) Mr. Peabody and Sherman, Hodgman might be joined by author and assassination buff
Sarah Vowell, with whom he would time-travel to the Garfield administration only to discover that, if they do not act to ensure that President Garfield is indeed felled by the bullets of a disappointed office seeker, the fabric of time will be ruptured and the very future of civilization endangered. There will also be hoboes.”

And, serving as Hodgman’s spiritual advisor in times of crisis – his “Obi-Wan Kenobi” – The Ghost of
George Plimpton:

JIM’S JOURNAL

Before co-founding The Onion, Wisconsin-based cartoonist Scott Dikkers created the anti-comic “Jim’s Journal,” which followed the excrutiatingly uneventful exploits of a human cipher named Jim. (Jim’s “exploits” involved a long string of bleak, emotionless inactivities, with a howling absence of conventional punchlines and no lessons to be learned.)

Many of Dikker’s comics were published in book form, under titles such as “I Went to College (and it was okay),”
“I Got a Job (and it wasn’t that bad)” and “I Made Some Brownies (and they were pretty good).”

During my college years (also in Wisconsin), I’d produced my own anti-comic, “The Blandies” – so, naturally, I was a big fan of Dikkers’ work. I vividly remember showing one of his compilations to my mother, who laughed until she cried, collapsing onto the couch in baffled delight, barely able to speak.

In Dikkers’ Twitter account, he hints that Jim may be making a comeback of some sort. Seeing this, I was inspired to create my own anti-animation of a classic moment from “Jim’s Journal”:

Check these links for more from Scott Dikkers:

Dikkers Cartoon Company

On Twitter:

@ScottDikkers

MICKEY RAT

Introduced to the world of “underground” publishing in the early ’70s by comic artist Robert Armstrong, Mickey Rat never clawed his way to the heights of Hollywood rodentry. (With his distinctive features, he easily could have become the Shemp Howard of animated cartoons.)

Here, in a nod to what might have been, I present my own modest animation of Mickey:

Check these links for more information about artist/musician Robert Armstrong:

Armstrong’s Art and Novelty Hut

R. Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenaders

THE BLANDIES

During my first year of college at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, I approached the editors of the weekly student paper, “The Spectator,” and convinced them that I should be their editorial cartoonist. Not long afterward, I also somehow persuaded them to publish my stripped-down anti-comic, “The Blandies” — using an appropriately nondescript pseudonym: Ray Bland.

“The Blandies” quickly became an established part of the paper — and, eventually, the campus bookstore even sold T-shirts and sweatshirts with an iron-on “Blandies” design.

It came as no surprise that the comic had some detractors; It was an anti-comic, after all. The real surprise, for me, was that it actually developed a devoted fan base.

Here are a few of the earliest examples of “The Blandies”:

REMEMBERING JOHN LENNON

With John Lennon showing up in so many 70th-birthday tributes, I was reminded of this comic of mine from 2008 — adapted from a taped conversation that I’d first heard on “The Lost Lennon Tapes” radio series:

Special thanks to Elliot Mintz and Yoko Ono

%d bloggers like this: