Wednesday, April 14, 2021

BOOK REVIEW! HOW TO DRAW AND SELL CARTOONS BY DAVE BREGER (Putnam, 1966)!

When I was but a mere adlo pubesprout I would take this 'un outta the local library, not necessarily to study the whys wherefores and whatnots of cartooning (like with music, studying about it really took the fun outta the enjoyment) but to read alla the cool comics that popped up in this neato effort written and produced by Dave Breger. Yeah, he's the same guy who did that World War II-era panel PRIVATE BREGER (sort of a second string Sad Sack) and later on MR. BREGER, a neat li'l hits-ya-straight gag comic akin to the should be infamous MR. TWEEDY that ran until Breger's demise sometime in the early-seventies.

I get the idea that HOW TO DRAW AND SELL CARTOONS was a pretty popular book with the budding cartoonists of a warped mentality, for the library copy I relied on was hacked to shreds and desecrated with the usual kiddie crudities and booger stains that seem to befall such cartoon oriented tomes as the Syd Hoff variation on the same theme, the 1971 BATMAN and SUPERMAN anthologies, and of course Les Daniels' COMIX. Because of this I never did get a good chance to really soak myself into this one, and if I did then maybe RATS REAGAN and FEEBLE FABLES would be just as much comic strip staples as alla those other cartoons people seem to read even this late in the game even if they tend to be about as funny as watching a thalidomide baby trying to wipe himself.

Got this old worn out copy for purely nostalgic purposes tho, again not necessarily to know the ins and outs of drawing and selling cartoons but for the various comics presented, perennially stuck in adolescence as I am. 'n you know what? I had forgotten just how good a comic MR. BREGER was, a snappy panel that cut out the gristle and, like NANCY, gave you the gag simply and direct without any extraneous message or convolution that one comes across in way too many modern offerings. 

Maybe it's because the bulk of these comics originated in the early sixties (primo suburban slob living days) that they resonate with me such as they do, but it's sure great seeing a seemingly simplistic drawing portray a humorous situation that, with the aid of a caption, makes me wanna crack up to no end. Unlike anything that is passing for humor or comedy these days which seems like nothing but a political tract being ranted by some maladjusted twat with big daddy problems and tattoos that are gonna look horrid once they fade out on her sagging fleshed out arms.

Serious cartoonists will undoubtedly find much of worth in these pages especially when it comes to things like shadow, pen tips, benday and dimensions but fleabrained fanablas like myself will obviously find it great seeing not only some of those old cartoons but a pile of information that's mostly outdated and show just how far we've changed (mostly for the worse but for the better when applicable) since the mid-sixties. I got a particularly strong charge outta the section on various taboos and the things that were just not permissible in cartoons during them days! After seeing the list it's obvious that NATIONAL LAMPOON got hold of this book and decided to break each and every one of the no-nos, and do it as tastelessly as possible!

Good text and a great way to read them old MR. BREGER comics that deserve the royal treatment in the here and now. And who knows how many successful cartoonists out there followed the advice given and made it big inna funny pages anyway! In fact, I kinda wonder who the previous owner of this book, a Mr. John Howard of San Bernardino California fared in the world of illustration. This book is filled with tons of his artwork, some he merely penciled in while others are professionally inked, and although I don't think the guy was of the caliber that woulda gotten him any big time deals (at least judging from these earlier efforts, he might gotten better!) but if ya really want my opinion he woulda been pretty good on the fanzine circuit. Sheesh, if Howard did indeed hit the big time I'll bet my book would be worth kabillions of bucks and I could comfortably retire after this gets put on the auction block at Bonhams! Oh pleeze, somebody out there tell me I got a verifiable goldmine on my hands now willya???

8 comments:

debs said...

lol :)

Alvin Bishop said...

Keep 'em comin', Chris!

Cheers!

Al Crap said...

John Howard? Yeah, his stuff is right up your alley, Stigs.

artofjohnhoward.com/home

Christopher Stigliano said...

Wow, if that John Howard is THEE John Howard boy am I in luck!!!

bob f. said...

Going to try to pick up a copy of this. I draws some panels w/charack ters spouting some existential dead-pan lines that seemed borrowed from a SEINFELD episode or four. Writing was courtesy of all my writers i had to axe during the pandemic (note: i might bring a couple back for next OTWW). My artwork has heavy black smears because i didn't let the Sharpie ink dry. I've been contacted by local psychedelic "artists" because they like the artwork.

debs said...

lol is john howard as "famous" as captain bee fart? lol :)

total retards here lol

:)

Senator Elizabeth Warren, PhD said...

Debs has it correct! The level of mental and social retardation here is systematic and pandemic.

I plan to introduce work with the House to forge a bill to shut down this so-called blog.

It is a disgrace!

PS: I should be president!

Mel Chin said...

Did he draw 'The Lighter Side of...' comics for Mad in the 1970s?