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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: cartooning, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 235
1. Comics Illustrator of the Week :: Ben Caldwell





















Ben Caldwell dazzles us this week with his eye-popping cover art for Catwoman’s Teen Titans GO! variant. In addition to comics, Caldwell has worked as a toy designer, on various animation/video-game projects, and childrens book illustration. He also writes and draws a popular series of “how to” books called Action! Cartooning. It’s nice to see more and more artists like Caldwell bringing their “animation-style” to comics. It makes perfect sense since there’s so much crossover nowadays between comics & the TV/movie industry.

Ben Caldwell is also known for The Dare Detectives! series of graphic novels, The Wizard of Oz All-Action Classics adaptation, and Star Wars Clone War Adventures comics.

Caldwell graduated from the Parsons School of Design for Illustration and currently lives in New York with his family.

You can see the latest sketches and project updates by following Mr. Caldwell on his twitter page here.

For more comics related art, you can follow me on my website comicstavern.com – Andy Yates

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2. Summer Vacation – lllustration by Bob Ostrom Studio

summer vacation, beach, sun tan, illustration, bob ostromSummer Vacation!

Hope everyone is having a great summer! Last week I headed down to the beach here in North Carolina for a short little summer vacation. Unfortunately it rained harder than I’ve ever seen it rain. It was one of those rains where you think it can’t possibly rain any harder but then it does….all day. Just as we checked into the hotel it started let up. The sun popped out for about an hour and half so the kids and I grabbed our boogie boards and headed down to the ocean. Right about the time we decided to to get out of the water the rain came back. And so it went the following day. Two hours of sun at the beach in the morning (with the darkest storm cloud I’ve ever seen on the horizon) followed by a torrential down pour. Since we don’t live too far we decided enough was enough, jumped in the car and headed back home. All in all everyone had a pretty great time. I think maybe we’ll head down another time before the summer is done and see if we can’t get a little better weather.

The post Summer Vacation – lllustration by Bob Ostrom Studio appeared first on Illustration.

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3. This time sans guns and smokes

In the early 2000s, upon learning that I was a cartoonist as well as writer, my Scholastic editor Virginia Dooley proposed an update to a 1960s book that used cartoons to teach vocabulary. She (postal) mailed me samples from the book. The cartoons used pistols, cigarettes, and other elements you would not see in a typical children’s book today.

The book may not have been aimed at young people.

In any case, the idea was to create 180 cartoons, one for every day of the school year—new words, new gags. It seemed like a fun challenge.

Vocabulary Cartoon of the Day (grades 4-6) came out in 2005.

A keynoter at a SCBWI conference I’d attended sometime before then said that in 1945, the average schoolchild’s vocabulary consisted of 10,000 words…and now, only 2,500. 

At professional development seminars where I spoke, I would tell the audience that, if nothing else, this book would help increase that number to 2,680.

After repeated requests at those professional development seminars, we did a second one for a younger age range (illustrated by the total pro Mike Moran). It came out in 2010.

In late 2013, I went looking for those cartoons Virginia sent me more than a decade ago. I didn’t remember that they were not sent digitally. But when I didn’t find them either on my computer or in my file, I asked Virginia. She also could not find or remember the source but did not think it was Scholastic.

So I took to Google. But it turns out my searches for books with “vocabulary” and “cartoon” in the title were for naught.

The title of the book, I believe, was Word-a-Day, by Mickey Bach. It came out in 1964, and it does appear that it was indeed published by Scholastic (or at least one edition was).

Apparently, Mickey Bach (1909-1994) churned out these illustrated vocab builders (they were not called vocabulary cartoons) from the 1940s to the mid-1980s.

Here are a few demonstrating why the plan was redo rather than reissue:





Heaps of thanks to the kind and resourceful Rebecca Knab of Loganberry Books for solving this mystery, especially with so little to go on.

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4. Johnny Appleseed Childrens Book Illustration

johnny-appleseed-ostromJohnny Appleseed Childrens Book Illustration.

This one was from a recent series of books I worked on last year. I’ve tried this look before once or twice using traditional art and a scanner but it was always a tedious process to get the lines bold enough. The Cintiq has helped make creating bold pencil lines very easy. My next goal is to start working on a more natural watercolor look.

The post Johnny Appleseed Childrens Book Illustration appeared first on Illustration.

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5. The Blue Sky Folder

childrens book illustration, blue sky folder, ostrom, mouse, bicycle, crass, illustration, photoshop, illustrator

The Blue Sky Folder

Deep in the archives of my computer there is a small beacon of light that shines brightly through the darkness. It’s called the Blue Sky Folder. Inside is a collection of sketches, experiments, new styles, new techniques, story concepts and a bunch of projects in various stages of completion. This folder is basically a resting place for all the ideas that rattle around inside my head long enough for me to get them down on paper or into various stages of digital completion. Like many other artists I’m always restless to try new things and this is my outlet. 

This is a Blue Sky piece I began almost 3 years ago. I wasn’t quite sure where I was headed with it at the time so I put it in hold to work on other things. I had totally forgotten about it until I was leafing through the the folder recently and it caught my eye. One of the main reasons I had put this one on hold was that the techniques I’d used to create it were very time consuming and a bit unrefined. Looking at the piece again I realized that the solution was sitting right in front of me. I didn’t have my Cintiq tablet when I started so any digital freehand drawing was pretty much out of the question? As I popped the file up on my screen I realized that was no longer an obstacle. It only took me a few hours to finish the piece and I’m psyched because now I finally have a great way to save time and paint right on the computer.

The post The Blue Sky Folder appeared first on Illustration.

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6. Drawing Super Heroes – Wonder Woman


ostrom-wonderwomanFrom the Blue Sky Folder – Wonder Woman in Adobe Illustrator CC 2014 by Bob Ostrom Studio

The post Drawing Super Heroes – Wonder Woman appeared first on Illustration.

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7. Batman is not the lead

Jerry Robinson, one of the first (and best) ghost artists on Batman, who passed away in 2011, was a member of the National Cartoonists Society.

For a time, so was I.

And so I was given a copy of the NCS membership album (50th anniversary edition, no less). 

Robinson had a long, renowned career—so long and renowned that he did not mention Batman till halfway through his NCS bio! 

Imagine having a string of accomplishments so impressive that you don’t lead with the fact that you drew the first Joker story…

We all miss you, Jerry. You were truly the goldest of the Golden Age.

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8. National Cartoonists Society

In 1999, the way I partied like it was, well, that year was by joining the National Cartoonists Society.

This entitled me to a copy of the NCS membership album from 1996—the 50th anniversary edition. 

It also entitled me to an entry in the next edition. Rather than copy and submit my high school yearbook entry, I cobbled together something new:

That site is defunct but the cartoons live on.

Happy National Cartoonists Day. You are convincing in your act that you did not already know it was today.

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9. The Dinobunnies dominate

On 3/8/11, I spoke at Pleasant Ridge Elementary in Overland Park, KS, notable for being the first school in which I sat in a bathtub in the library. (Also notable for being a great school.)

More than a year later, the school shared some flattering news about its Battle of the Books competition. A group of 4th graders who had lost the previous year changed their team name and tried again as 5th graders. In 5/11, they won. The team name?

The Dinobunnies.

 posted with permission (two stuffed animals were harmed in the making of that mascot)

During my presentations, after polling the audience, I sketch a couple of characters. Invariably, one ends up being a dinobunny (sometimes dino-bunny, sometimes rabbitosaurus).

(not taken at Pleasant Ridge but he always looks the same)

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10. Cartoons for "Publishers Weekly"

BookExpo America opens today. 

At BEA eleven years ago, my cartoons appeared in the Publishers Weekly Show Daily.

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11. Harts Pass No. 193

I started thinking about hibernating bears... and this is the result. Enjoy :)

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12. Learn character design from concept to completion with Character Mentor

You’ve researched your character extensively, tailored her to your audience, sketched hundreds of versions, and now you lean back content as you gaze at your final character model sheet. But now what? Whether you want to use her in an animated film, television show, video game, web comic, or children’s book, you’re going to have to make her perform. How a character looks and is costumed starts to tell her story, but her body language reveals even more. Character Mentor shows you how to pose your character, create emotion through facial expressions, and stage your character to create drama. Author Tom Bancroft addresses each topic with clear, concise prose, and then shows you what he really means through commenting on and redrawing artwork from a variety of student “apprentices.” His assignments allow you to join in and bring your drawing to the next level with concrete techniques, as well as more theoretical analysis. Character Mentor is an apprenticeship in a book.

Professional artists from a variety of media offer their experience through additional commentary. These include Marcus Hamilton (Dennis the Menace), Terry Dodson (X-Men), Bobby Rubio (Pixar), Sean “Cheeks” Galloway (Spiderman animated), and more. With a foreword by comicbook artist Adam Hughes, who has produced work for DC, Marvel Comics, Lucasfilm, Warner Bros. Pictures, and other companies.

Grab this book Character Mentor: Learn by Example to Use Expressions, Poses, and Staging to Bring Your Characters to Life on Amazon.

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 1 edition (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240820711

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13. Cartoon Illustration – Bob Ostrom Studio

Illustration Work in Progress

Every once and a while it’s fun to post a little illustration work in progress. Here’s quick sneak peak at my latest:

cartoon, bob ostromtyping, cartoon, business, ostrombusiness cartoon, bob ostrombusiness cartoon, ostrom


The post Cartoon Illustration – Bob Ostrom Studio appeared first on Illustration.

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14. What is the SATs looked like this?

cartoon, doctor, bob ostrom,

Doctor Cartoon  – By Bob Ostrom Studio

I was just thinking… What the fill in the blank questions on the SATs looked like this?
(Feel free to answer in the comments section. You will receive your test scores in the mail in about 3 weeks)

The post What is the SATs looked like this? appeared first on Illustration.

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15. Can you spot the two dots in this Mick Stevens cartoon that...

Can you spot the two dots in this Mick Stevens cartoon that threaten the New Yorker from being banned from Facebook?

(via Nipplegate: Why the New Yorker Cartoon Department Is About to Be Banned from Facebook : The New Yorker)

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16. Oh jeez, just look at this poster by Joe Lambert for Cartoon...

Oh jeez, just look at this poster by Joe Lambert for Cartoon College, the documentary about the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont.

0 Comments on Oh jeez, just look at this poster by Joe Lambert for Cartoon... as of 9/21/2012 6:24:00 PM
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17. Where my cartoons appeared

From 1998 to 2002, I regularly submitted single-panel (gag) cartoons to dozens of magazines and other publications in the United States, the United Kingdom, and occasionally elsewhere; since 2002, I submit more sporadically, and also take on various cartooning projects that come to me.

Here are the logos of most of the magazines to which I licensed cartoons around the turn of the century (many of which no longer exist):

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18. Favorites from "Vocabulary Cartoon of the Day" (grades 2-3), round 1

Here's a cheeky nod to two other books I've written:

Here's a friendly jab at digital diehards:

0 Comments on Favorites from "Vocabulary Cartoon of the Day" (grades 2-3), round 1 as of 10/4/2012 9:12:00 AM
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19. radiomaru: A nice person teaching at CalArts did an anatomy...


A nice person teaching at CalArts did an anatomy lesson and included examples from me and Meredith Gran and others.

See, I … I know what i’m… i’m … doing….


We are in a golden age of comics and cartoonists being embraced by smart people in academia. To those learning comics now as young people, enjoy this privilege that no other generation before yours has enjoyed! 

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20. Favorites from "Vocabulary Cartoon of the Day" (grades 2-3), round 2

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21. Favorites from "Vocabulary Cartoon of the Day" (grades 2-3), round 3

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22. johnmartz: For the third consecutive year I designed the poster...


For the third consecutive year I designed the poster for the National Cartoonist Society Foundation’s Jay Kennedy Scholarship for Cartooning.

The deadline is fast approaching — applications must be postmarked by December 15th, 2012. Any North American student who will be in their junior or senior year of college or university during the 2013-2014 academic year is eligible. You do not have to be an art major. More information at www.cartoonistfoundation.org

This is a great opportunity for any student who draws comics, does animation, or dabbles in any sort of cartooning. Only a few days left to get your application in the mail!

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23. Preview: Comics About Cartoonists: The World’s Oddest Profession

Tweet Before “meta” was physical, before Modernism became Posted, before Art Popped, cartoonists drew stories about cartoonists and cartooning! Some of it was autobiographical (or possibly semi-auto… I doubt Milt Gross almost became Batman!), some of it was pure fantasy.  (The pygmalian dream of a drawing come to life is represented twice in this volume, [...]

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24. MTN Cartoons 1999-2013

On 11/3/99, I launched my first website.

MTN Cartoons (mtncartoons.com) was devoted mostly to my single panel cartoons (AKA gag cartoons); the page listing the books I had written did only that—list my books. No descriptions, reviews, background. It was almost an aside.

Around 2007, I set out to overhaul the site to reflect that writing had become the primary focus of my career. I bought the (pricy) design software. I bought the Dummies guide. I mapped out what I wanted.

But then in 2008, I launched this blog.

It soon began to serve my objectives in having an online presence and I decided that, at least for the time being, I didn’t need another site.

I let MTN Cartoons linger only because my primary email was through that URL. But eventually my gmail became more convenient.

So on 1/31/13, I canceled my hosting for MTN Cartoons. In a matter of days, the site was down. One of those depressing “placeholder” sites of useless links was up.

I remember being proud that I was one of the first people (let alone first cartoonists) I knew to have a site. And I’m proud that it lasted as long as it did, though I had not updated it since 2005.

I remember asking someone with web design experience about “framing” the cartoons with the blue border I ultimately used along the left side. He said it’s not the way the web works; because screen resolutions differ from computer to computer, you create a site that flows down (vertical) rather than one hindered by horizontal aesthetics.

I remember being happy with the way I showcased my cartoons, though even then it was not the most functional approach. (Of the hundreds of cartoons I’d done, I included only 30, and there was no thumbnail gallery or “view by category.” You simply clicked from one to the random next, though I did think I presented a clever way to skip ahead—three choices of “1-10,” “11-20,” and “21-30.” Ah, simpler, un-savvy days.)

I will continue to sprinkle cartoons throughout this blog, and there are plenty elsewhere online for the googling.

Here are screenshots of most of the pages, a nostalgic romp through.memorial to my contribution to Web 1.0.


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25. Ink Clouds

Two pages left to ink in Maddy, the last pages are pretty tough but I've learned how to ink a tough page in two or three days instead of five. 

2 Comments on Ink Clouds, last added: 3/9/2013
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