Friday, February 25, 2011

Interview in StayTooned! Magazine

I received an email from StayTooned! Magazine editor & publisher, John Read, that Issue 6 of his wonderful cartooning publication is currently at the printer and copies should be available next week.

This issue is being dedicated as an "All-Mikes" and I'm honoured to have been interviewed alongside such a talented selection of fellow professional cartoonists named Mike.

From the StayTooned! Magazine website ...

Issue 6 (available beginning March 3rd and until it inevitably sells out) features a multitude of Mikes: new profiles (that's interviews and art galleries) of Mike Arnold, Mike Cope, Mike Edholm, Michael Jantze, Mike Lynch, Michael Maslin and Michael Ramirez; Cartoonist Surveys conducted by David Paccia with Mike Marland and Mike Shapiro; a "True-Life Adventure" told by Mike Mignola. Photo reports share John Read's "One Fine Sunday in the Funny Pages" travels to Disney ToonFest and Omaha, Nebraska, and his visit to the Cartoon Library at Ohio State University for the Sunday Funnies stamps First-Day-of-Issue ceremony. AND: articles/columns contributed by Tom Richmond, R.C. Harvey, Jim Ivey, Rich & Neil Diesslin and John Hambrock!
John's email mentioned that he'll be mailing us copies very soon, but since mine will need to travel from Madison, Mississippi to Canada, it may be a week or so before I can share any photo previews. Nevertheless, if you're a professional or aspiring cartoonist, or a dedicated fan of cartoon art, I highly recommend that you consider subscribing -- It's worth every drop of ink!!

- Mike Cope

About StayTooned! Magazine:
StayTooned! is
the magazine for working cartoonists, aspiring cartoonists and fans of the art of cartooning. Each issue features profiles (interviews and art) of professional artists who draw comic strips, comic books, editorial cartoons, caricatures, greeting cards, advertising illustrations, children's books, magazine cartoons, web comics, and/or who work in the fields of animation and gaming. Rounding out the interviews are articles and columns pertaining to the art and business of cartooning in America. Each jam-packed issue is loaded with drawings, photos and information that is sure to enlighten and entertain the aspiring cartoonist, as well as the seasoned practitioner. With his unabashed "paean to professional cartoonists," publisher/editor John Read "endeavors to advance the knowledge of the craft of cartooning...and in so doing, increase appreciation for the value and relevance [of cartoonists] to our society."


2010 Cartoonist of the Year Nominees Announced

The following news comes from the National Cartoonists Society (NCS). For more information about the NCS Awards, visit

The official ballots have been issued to all professional members of the National Cartoonists Society, and the nominees for the Reuben Award for “Cartoonist of the Year” are:

Glen Keane
Stephan Pastis
Richard Thompson

Glen Keane is an animator, author, illustrator and director who’s credits include The Little Mermaid (Ariel), Aladdin (Aladdin), Beauty and the Beast (Beast), Tarzan (Tarzan) and most recently Tangled (Rapunzel) for Walt Disney Studios. He has recieved the received the 1992 Annie Award for character animation, the 2007 Winsor McCay Award for lifetime contribution to the field of animation, and the NCS Division award for “Best Feature Animation” in 1991. This is Glen’s first nomination.

Stephan Pastis is the artist/writer/creator of the daily comic strip “Pearls Before Swine”, syndicated by United Feature Syndicate. He won the NCS divisional award for “Best Comic Strip” in 2003 and 2006. This is Stephan’s third nomination.

Richard Thompson is the artist/writer/creator of the daily comic strip “Cul de Sac” syndicated by Universal Press Syndicate, as well as an illustrator and cartoonist on other features. He is the creator of the weekly cartoon series “Poor Richard’s Almanac” which runs in the Washington Post, and his illustrations have appeared in numerous publications including U.S. News and World Report, National Geographic and The New Yorker. He has won NCS divisional awards for Magazine and Book Illustration in 1995 and Newspaper Illustration also in 1995. He won a Gold and a Silver Funny Bone Award in 1989 from the Society of Illustrators for humorous illustration. This is Richard’s second nomination.

The winner of the 2010 “Cartoonist of the Year” will be announced on May 28th at the annual NCS Reuben Awards dinner in Boston, MA.

Congrats on the nominations!


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Exploring the Montréal Biodôme in WebVoyagers Comic - Published in The Canadian Reader (Feb. 2011)

Cover: The Canadian Reader, Published by LesPlan Educational ServicesThe February 2011 edition of The Canadian Reader is now available for use in elementary school classrooms across Canada.

This month, the kids explore the diversity of life at the Montréal Biodôme in our WebVoyagers comic (Written by Vivien Bowers, Illustrated by Mike Cope). Special thanks to my editor, Janet Wieczorek, at LesPlan Educational Services Ltd.

Drawing the various animals and environments for this comic was very fun. Students and teachers will travel from the antarctic to the tropical rainforest, meeting penguins, capybaras, a Canadian lynx, two-toed sloth, caiman, and my personal favourite ... a Poison Arrow Frog!

WebVoyagers Comic Panel: Poison Arrow Frog at Montreal Biodome (The Canadian Reader, Feb. 2011)

Here's a small preview of the finished comic pages ...

WebVoyagers Comic - Montréal Biodôme - The Canadian Reader (Feb. 2011) - Page 1

WebVoyagers Comic - Montréal Biodôme - The Canadian Reader (Feb. 2011) - Page 2

WebVoyagers Comic - Montréal Biodôme - The Canadian Reader (Feb. 2011) - Page 3
Comic: "WebVoyagers in Under the Dome" - Written by Vivien Bowers, Illustrated by Mike Cope. Published in The Canadian Reader (Feb. 2011).

About The Canadian Reader:
The Canadian Reader / Nos Nouvelles (formerly Pleins Feux sur le Canada) is a classroom-ready current events resource for students in grades 3 to 5. This publication, available in English and in French, combines current Canadian events and issues with geography to expand students' knowledge of Canada while enhancing their ability to read and understand informational text.
Published eight times during the school year, each issue focuses on one of six key reading comprehension strategies – making connections, questioning, visualizing, inferring, summarizing, and synthesizing/transforming.

For more details please visit

Stay TOONed!

- Mike Cope

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Daily Cartoonist Articles and A Brilliant Comic Strip Cartooning Process

Last Friday, Alan Gardner posted on his professional cartooning news blog, The Daily Cartoonist, an article titled "Video: Mike Cope drawing on Strathmore Bristol Board." Since then, I've received some very kind feedback from fellow cartoonists regarding my Sweet Valentine cartoon's inking demonstration that can be watched via YouTube.

My sincere thanks to all of my cartooning friends and colleagues for their online comments and emails. A special thanks also goes out to Anne Hambrock for mentioning my video on the behind the scenes blog belonging to her husband's, John Hambrock, syndicated comic strip, The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee.

As Anne mentions, a recent critique by MAD Magazine cartoonist, Tom Richmond, regarding the quality of Strathmore Board inspired a very informative discussion on the Daily Cartoonist revolving around the tools of our trade -- from brands of drawing inks and paper to dip pen nibs. If you're an aspiring cartoonist, you'll not only love reading about that stuff, but you're also sure to enjoy reading Anne's detailed post about John Hambrock's cartooning process for Edison Lee ...

John Hambrock's Cartooning Process for Edison Lee
John Hambrock's Cartooning Process for Edison Lee Comic Strips.

Back in October, I had the honour of meeting John and Anne (along with their son) at Ohio State University's 2010 Festival of Cartoon Art. The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee is distributed by King Features Syndicate and was nominated for the "Best Comic Strip" division award at the 2009 National Cartoonists Society Reuben Awards. Reading the strip, it doesn't take too long to find evidence supporting the hypothesis that when you mix John's wonderful writing and drawings with Anne's beautiful colour work, the results are a brilliant comic strip!

Book Cover: The Edison Files (First Comic Strip Collection)
Book Cover: The Edison Files (First Comic Strip Collection).

While you're visiting, be sure to check out The Edison Store where you can find the first collection for the strip. I was lucky enough to come home from Ohio with a signed copy and can vouch on the coolness of this book. And if you're a cartoonist considering self-publishing, be sure to check out John's articles on how the Hambrocks designed and published the entire book on their own.

Stay TOONed!

- Mike Cope

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

YouTube Video: "Sweet Valentine" Gag Cartoon in Reader's Digest Canada Magazine (Feb. 2011)

Reader's Digest Canada Magazine - February 2011 CoverThe February 2011 edition of Reader's Digest Canada Magazine is now available at bookstores and newsstands.

This month, one of my gag cartoons is published in the As Kids See It department on Page 117 -- Virtual chocolates and long-stem roses to the editors at Reader's Digest Canada!

I've titled this particular cartoon "Sweet Valentine" and as a special Valentine's Day treat for you, I've prepared the following YouTube video. Here you'll get a behind-the-scenes look at this very cartoon being drawn ... I hope you enjoy it!

YouTube: "Sweet Valentine" - Inking a Reader's Digest Gag Cartoon by Mike Cope (Feb. 2011).

For those who are interested in a cartoonist's tools of the trade, here's a bit about my style and process ...

Each gag cartoon begin as a very light rough pencil sketch drawn on a piece of smooth-surfaced Strathmore Bristol board using a regular 2H pencil. I ink directly over my pencil work with Winsor & Newton Black Indian Ink using a pair of dip pens and brush. The pen nibs demonstrated in this video include a Hunt 512 and a Speedball 513EF in a Koh-I-Noor Penholder (No. 127N). I favour the 513EF for 99% of all my cartooning.

The original cartoon art measures 11" x 14" and is then scanned into Adobe Photoshop, where it is coloured in CMYK format. The finished cartoon is then emailed to the editors at Reader's Digest Canada for consideration.

Of course, I can't stand working in a quiet studio, so I always has a movie, cartooning podcast, or music playing in the background. One of my favourite musicians to listen too, especially when I'm inking, is the wonderful and legendary, Glenn Miller. There's something about those old-time, big band tunes that help inspire my own toons.

Click here to see the finished cartoon.

Happy Valentine's ... and Stay TOONed!

- Mike Cope