Q: How much is an original (cartoon) drawing?
A: Usually $75, but not always. The watercolors are all priced individually.
Q: Isn't $75 a little pricey?
A: Even though one “reads” a cartoon in seconds, each cartoon takes easily four to five hours of huddling over the drawing table to produce. This time includes grappling with a political issue, imagining a visual metaphor out of it, thinking through a workable design, visualizing it, sketching a bunch of drafts, drawing, redrawing, inking, and cursing. Assuming a reasonable rate of return on my labor of $25 an hour, I feel $75 for an original is not an unreasonable price tag. A few are $85 and higher, but the norm is $75.
Q: How much are copies -- and are they signed?
A: Copies of both the political and gag cartoons are $10 each -- and yes, they are signed -- signed in pencil. When applicable, colored prints, also signed in pencil, are available, usually for $45.
Q: Couldn't I just cut one out of the paper or download one from this site for nothing?
A: Yes, you could, but you're not supposed to as everything is copyrighted.
Q: What role do the cartoons play in your book, George W, The Son King?
A: The cartoons are the building-block references to the historical moment under consideration. As such they usually (I hope) zero in on the issue under discussion.
Q: Will you really write a volume 2?
A: I was reluctant to - it's a lot of work and a money-loser, but then it seemed a shame not to put out a companion piece to vol. 1, and try to tie up the loose ends of this dismal period as I saw it, and as we at
The New Hampshire Gazette saw it. So, yes I will, but it probably won't be available until late May or June, '09 - just in time for St. Swithin's Day. Maybe. My working title is The Son Also Sets, vol. 2, The Last Gasp Years. Wish me luck. I'll need it.
Q: What’s the difference between in a downloaded copy and a copy from you?
A: Not a hell of a lot, unless you simply want something personalized from the “starving artiste”™. There may be thousands of copies of a certain book printed, but that book signed by the author is both more valuable in the secondhand market and (usually) more highly treasured by the owner. That’s all. As for prints, both are mere pieces of paper, but one signed by the artist is a more personal piece of paper.
Q: Why would I want an original versus a good copy?
A: In art galleryspeak, the original is unique, meaning it’s the genuine article, a one-of-a-kind, the ur-drawing. The original also shows any and all warts -- the pencil under-drawing lines not completely erased, the Wite-Out™ areas to correct inking mistakes, erasures, notes, dates, etc., that might be on the perimeters of the draw or on the back. Some folks like seeing the “work” that went into the the draw, and holding the real McCoy in their hands.
Q: What are the dimensions of the actual cartoons?
A: 8.5” x 11” -- practically always. That’s the standard size of computer printer paper, and that’s the paper I prefer. At a penny per sheet, computer paper is a fabulous bargain, plus it is exceptionally ink-friendly.
Q: Where do your ideas come from?
A: For the political cartoons, mostly from the daily newspapers. I seldom watch the TV news for ideas because I hate TV news, and it usually isn’t news, anyway, it’s just mindless yawp. Friends and colleagues spoon feed me ideas occasionally, too, which can range from wonderful to perfectly dreadful. At other times ideas evolve and revolve and devolve in my head usually from some issue that infuriates me. Needless to say, with Bush at the helm the opportunities for anger, wrath, high dudgeon, and fury have been endless. So at least he’s been good for something.
Ideas for the gag cartoons just fall out of the sky -- but not nearly often enough.
Q: Why are the wartercolors more expensive?
A: (1) Because a hell of a lot more work goes into them, and (2) because there can't be any mistakes -- or if there are you -- or at least I -- have to live with them.
Q: Could you explain again briefly the difference between a watercolor and a watercolor drawing?
A: (1) A watercolor drawing is essentially a drawing in ink that is colored utilizing watercolor paint, often referred to in artspeak as "wash."
(2) A watercolor is more painting than drawing -- nothing but watercolor paint is used in its production. They are also much more difficult to pull off successfully.
Q: Couldn’t I steal your cartoon ideas pretty easily from you web site, and say they were mine?
A: No, you couldn’t. In the first place everything on the site is copyrighted. Secondly, I have Chicago connections who are surprisingly persuasive in convincing anyone harboring such ideas that this sort of undertaking can have considerably unhealthy consequences. Furthermore, they wear overcoats and fedoras in the summer time, and they never, ever, smile.
Q: Since Bush seems to get you pretty well cranked, if you could ask Bush one question, what would you ask him?
A: "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
Q: Fianally, without totally boring us all, could you include a brief bio?
A: I was born in 1935 which makes me old. I grew up for the most part in Stamford, Connecticut, and got as much as one semester of college completed before going into the Air Force -- the Korean War was still for real and so was the draft. Following my stint skiing at Sun Valley (I was based at Mountain Home AFB in Idaho), I returned to school, graduating from the University of Colorado in 1961. Parlaying my pilot training in the USAF, I spent the next 34 years flying as an airline pilot for several small airlines and finally gettingt into the big leagues flying both for Pan American World Airways (21 years), and, due to a fluke, retiring from United Airlines (10 years) in 1995. During my flying years I took painting, drawing and cartooning lessons here and there, freelancing when time permitted as a cartoonist, illustrator and political cartoonist, mostly acquiring heaps of rejections slips. My first gig as a political cartoonist was for the weekly Lakeville (CT) Journal in the late eighties and early nineties, and then after moving to the seacoast area of New Hampshire drawing for the fortnightly New Hampshire Gazette, from 1999 until the present, where I still, in pen-and-ink, vent my ire at the nutty world we live in.
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