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


  1. What a great post Mike! It's a real treat to see how you work and the video with the music made it seem very nostalgic.

  2. Thanks so much, David! Glad to hear you enjoyed it. Nostalgia is my taste :)