Comic Riffs: The Riffs

Posted at 04:10 AM ET, 10/21/2011

MARY BLAIR DOODLE: Google celebrates Disney artist with tribute art

Google celebrates the 100th birthday of Mary Blair who contributed films, such as “Alice in Wonderland,” “Cinderella” and “Peter Pan.”

By Michael S. Cavna  |  04:10 AM ET, 10/21/2011 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 07:00 PM ET, 08/25/2010

RIP, Satoshi Kon: Will 'Inception' director speak now for 'PAPRIKA's' dreamy magic?

I am hoping that now, the high-riding Christopher Nolan will help give the great Satoshi Kon an even larger due. Kon's many, many fans, of course, don't need Nolan's validation to affirm the anime filmmaker's mastery and gift and...

By Michael Cavna  |  07:00 PM ET, 08/25/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:45 AM ET, 07/28/2010

From Pekar to Callahan: Why a town's 'favorite son' cartoonist is good for the civic soul

"From my seat in a medium-sized newspaper, I can only advise cartoonists to focus their work on their communities as newspapers focus more and more on the local." That was the advice of the Cincinnati Enquirer's longtime cartooning legend,...

By Michael Cavna  |  11:45 AM ET, 07/28/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:00 PM ET, 06/29/2010

THE RIFF: Is 'SNL' talent blazing a trail for the future of newspaper comics?

Just how far will fans of comics and comedy go to bask in a sense of nostalgia? Michael Arndt, screenwriter of the record-setting "Toy Story 3," recently told Comic Riffs that his film's toy characters -- like the recently...

By Michael Cavna  |  01:00 PM ET, 06/29/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:50 AM ET, 05/21/2010

THE RIFF: A day after 'Draw Muhammad,' the political cartoon gets a powerful reminder

The power of the cartoon remains. The ability of a single sketched image to provoke, prompt, incite, summon or inflame -- a virility and virality sometimes questioned in a new-media age -- is intact. Whether deemed to have been...

By Michael Cavna  |  10:50 AM ET, 05/21/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:15 PM ET, 01/13/2010

How would you change the comics? A veteran editor opens a window

It's my favorite quote about newspaper cartooning that I've seen in many moons, and I think the reason is because some of the ideas are so practical, they can ring as radical. The quote comes from Dave Astor, whose...

By Michael Cavna  |  02:15 PM ET, 01/13/2010 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:05 AM ET, 12/29/2009

2009: From Tiger to terrorist, the Year of the Overexposed Underpants

Only a few things are so professionally compelling that they will induce a cartoonist to cut short a vacation. One is a once-in-a-lifetime news event. Second is a call from the Pulitzer committee. And a third, I submit, is...

By Michael Cavna  |  09:05 AM ET, 12/29/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 10:05 AM ET, 12/14/2009

The death of Editor & Publisher: A cartoonist mourns

For years, upon being syndicated, a cartoonist could experience three things that made the dream feel real. Two of those, of course, were seeing one's cartoon in the newspaper and receiving your first check from the syndicate. The third...

By Michael Cavna  |  10:05 AM ET, 12/14/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 09:35 AM ET, 10/20/2009

'Riffs Picks: From iPhone art to the 'Addams Family' obit, today's eye-catching images

THE RIFF: Taking care of cartooning's breakout hits... In comics, the '80s are remembered by many with a halycyon glow, thanks especially to a trio of beacons: the brilliant creative lights who launched the masterworks "Calvin and Hobbes," "Bloom County"...

By Michael Cavna  |  09:35 AM ET, 10/20/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 05/08/2009

Swine Flu? Forearmed Is Forewarned

"Dilbert" creator Scott Adams (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) Time for Friday's Reading List, when we catch up with fave items of the week... 1. Swine flu hygiene has inspired Scott Adams to muse about safer forms of salutation on...

By Michael Cavna  |  11:30 AM ET, 05/08/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 02:15 PM ET, 02/19/2009

'Stimulus Chimp': Political Cartooning's Larger Powderkeg

For political cartoonists, it was the powderkeg that was bound to blow. Sooner or later, an editorial cartoon published during the Obama administration was going to be viewed by many as incontrovertibly racist. As both cartoonist and critic, I'm half-surprised...

By Michael Cavna  |  02:15 PM ET, 02/19/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 01/07/2009

The Riff: 'Best of' Lists Can Bring Out the Worst of Instincts

"Top Ten Editorial Cartoons." "Best Editorial Cartoons of '08." "Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year." This time of year, the swarm of alleged "best" lists gets so thick as to leave one feeling utterly, well, listless. How many such cartoon...

By Michael Cavna  |  11:00 AM ET, 01/07/2009 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 11/25/2008

The Riff: Cartoonists Need Post-Palin Rehab

To the nation's topical cartoonists, this was the most soothing of balms. Whenever the all-too-painful symptoms of elusive news-cycles, too-complex issues or plain ol' gag-writers' block flared up, this was the cure-all -- a one-stop fix for all that ails...

By Michael Cavna  |  11:00 AM ET, 11/25/2008 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 11/13/2008

Requiem for the Staff Political Cartoonist (2009)

The dire headlines come so fast and infuriating these days, it's rather like watching those sepia-toned, World War II-era newsreels -- the ones with the bold, fly-by headlines and clipped voiceover narration. We can imagine: "Newspaper Cartoonists on the March...

By Michael Cavna  |  11:00 AM ET, 11/13/2008 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 10/09/2008

The Riff: Time to Vote, My Friends: Who Should Be Character-in-Chief?

Now, nation, as we as all know, presidential politics have provided some of America's greatest slogans: "Tippecanoe and Tyler, too!" "I Like Ike!" "You could do worse ... and always have!" That last one -- still our personal fave --...

By Michael Cavna  |  11:00 AM ET, 10/09/2008 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 09/10/2008

The Riff: Take This Quiz and Become a Famous Cartoonist!

Every now and again, an aspiring artist accosts us with a portfolio the size of a small watercraft and asks: "Do I have what it takes to make it as a professional cartoonist?" To which we reply: "Absolutely not."...

By Michael Cavna  |  11:30 AM ET, 09/10/2008 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 08/20/2008

The Riff: From Harvey Pekar, the Power of Honest Comics

Harvey Pekar and Joyce Brabner tell their tale in the film "American Splendor." (John Clifford/Courtesy of HBO/Fine Line) Comics are often tagged as pure escapism, but that limiting a label does some of them a disservice. Emotionally true comics...

By Michael Cavna  |  11:00 AM ET, 08/20/2008 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)