The Time Machine: Hagar the Horrible by Richard Arthur Browne

Time Machine Icon for the History of Comic Strips Posts

I’ve been reading Hagar the Horrible strip for a very long time. In fact, when I had first chanced upon Hagar’s not-so-horrible-and-a-bit-loveable character, I would barely understand half of what transpired in the Hagar the Horrible cartoons.

Last night when I got into the time-machine, I set the dial to arrive in the year 1975, which was a couple of years after Hagar the Horrible went into circulation.

Here’s a quick biographical sketch of Hagar’s dad/creator, Dik Browne (or Richard Arthur Browne).

About Dik Browne

Browne was born on August 19, 1917 and his first comic strip was Jinny Jeep, which he created for the engineering unit of the US Army. Until the mid-fifties, he worked worked as an illustrator for magazines and advertising agencies, but in 1954, he got together with Mort Walker (Yes, Mort Walker of the Beatle Bailey fame,) to create Hi and Lois. The Browne and the Walker family still work together on that strip. (It never ceases to amaze me how the sons of these famous cartoonists are able to carry on their fathers’ legacies…especially as these particular legacies require exceptional drawing/writing skills. As I always say, genes are important…very very important!)

Any way, as it always happens with any smart and intelligent cartoonist, Browne too began to feel some spiritual unrest. He wanted to create his own strip. One that would be built around his ideas. So in 1973, Hagar the Horrible was born with a shaggy beard, a beaten horned helmet, a shield and a spear, and the comic strip was syndicated by King Features Syndicate in newspapers and magazines world-wide.

Dik Browne died on 6th Jun 1989. His two sons, Chris Browne and Chance Browne now write and illustrate Hagar the Horrible.

About Hagar the Horrible and Other Characters in the Strip

Hagar the Horrible is syndicated to 1900 newspapers (including The Times of India) in 58 countries and is also translated in 13 languages.

Some of the important characters in this comic strip are:

Hagar the Horrible

Hagar the Horrible is a Viking warrior who induces fear in the hearts of his enemies, but at the same time, he loves his family and his dog. Hagar is fat and had a slovenly appearance (he doesn’t like baths and avoids them.) At times he’s smart (for instance, he knows how to flatter his wife when she’s angry with him,) but more often he’s not.

Lucky Eddie – friend

Hagar has a friend – a thin, reed-like unlucky (!) character who’s called Lucky Eddie. Eddie is educated but he doesn’t appear to possess common-sense and hence his character is that of a gangly, awkward, unvikinglike viking.

Helga – wife

Hagar’s wife Helga is a huge woman, who is the matron of Hagar’s household. Helga is fussy about hygiene and is always found nagging Hagar for his not-so-clean ways. Helga wants her daughter Honi to grow up with traditional values, but quite like the modern day teenager, Honi has a mind of her own.

Honi – daughter

Honi, Hagar’s daughter doesn’t consider feminity a virtue. She’s tomboyish and prefers to wield a spear and not a ladle. This of course is not appreciated by Helga and so Helga and Honi are often shown having mother-daughter disagreements. Honi wears a winged helmet and she can be quite intimidating when she wants to.

Hamlet – Son

Hamlet loves to read. He is quiet and studious and unlike his sister, completely disinterested in being what he was born to become, a Viking. Hagar wants the boy to become a Viking, and he feels ashamed that his son should not want to follow the Viking order.

Snert – dog

This “v”oofing dog wears a tiny Viking helmet, does nothing, and lazes around. Hagar loves him and is seen trying to make the dog obey is commands.

 

What is the Secret behind the Popularity of Hagar the Horrible?

(The Caricaturist’s Opinion – Don’t use it for submitting Assignments, and if you do, be warned that I shall accept no responsibility for your getting a D…or even an F!)

I think that this comic strip appeals to a lot of people because of the following three reasons:

1. Hagar’s family is enveloped in a sense of timelessness, and the fact that everyday family humor is presented through a family that lived in another age, adds to its timelessness.

2. The characters in Hagar are the kind of people that you find in the real world, yet their characteristics have been exaggerated at times to build the contrast. Compare the character of Honi with Hamlet’s, and that of Hagar with Lucky Eddie’s.

3. The humor is simple. It doesn’t make you think. For every person who loves doing crosswords, there are perhaps 10 who have neither the time nor the inclination to tire out their gray cells…

🙂

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Caricature/Cartoon – Nelson Mandela – The Phoenix who rose from the ashes and became the President of South Africa!

Here’s the man who despite all odds, remained the Master of his fate and the Captain of his soul, and who rose to become the first African President of a nation plagued with Apartheid. With respect and awe, I present this caricature of Nelson Mandela.

The caricature, cartoon, sketch, portrait of Nelson Mandela, the first African President of South Africa who fought a long battle against Apartheid.

I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.

Nelson Mandela’s Biography by the Quirky Caricaturist

Nelson Mandela was born Rolihlahla Mandela the son of the Tembu Tribe’s Chief, on July 18, 1918. He completed his B.A. and then joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1944.He completed his study of Law, but that was later, perhaps while he was in prison. At ANC, he worked towards the Apartheid policies of the ruling party. He was tried for treason in the latter half of the 1950’s but was acquitted in 1961. However, this didn’t dissuade Nelson Mandela from following his ideals, and he was once again charged with the attempt to overthrow the Government. Following his trial, he was sentenced to life-imprisonment, and he was jailed for 27 years, from 1964 to 1990. In 1990, he was released. It was in 1994 that South Africa held its first multi-racial elections, in which ANC (Mandela’s Party) won and came into power.

Nelson Mandela and Non-violence

Initially Mandela favored the non-violent protests against apartheid, but then he felt that there was a need for an armed rebellion. To this effect, he established and led the armed wing of the ANC, but all their plans were designed to ensure that there was no loss of life (only of property.)

In fact, the US wouldn’t allow Mandela and ANC party members to enter the US as they were designated terrorists in their earlier days.

Mandela’s Role in the Lockerbie Trial

In 1991, Two Libyans were accused of sabotaging a PanAm flight leading to the death of 270 people. US and Britain were facing problems in reaching an agreement with Muammar Gaddafi as to how the trial should be done. Mandela offered that the trial be held in South Africa, and it eventually did.

Mandela’s Marriages

Though Mandela married thrice, his most famous wife is Winnie Mandela, who was a social worker and became his second wife. At the age of 80, he married for the third time. While he has six children from his first two marriages, there are none from the third. (Okay…I understand.)

Awards/Honors

Perhaps the Nobel Peace Prize that Mandela won in 1993 tops his long list of honors, but among other awards, he’s also received the Bharat Ratna award from Government of India. Bharat Ratna translates to “The Gem of India” and it makes me wonder – but then he also received Nishan-e-Pakistan “Symbol of Pakistan?” award! See, there are things on which India and Pakistan agree:)

Invictus – The Movie

I have to tell you about the movie Invictus in which Morgan Freeman has played the part of Nelson Mandela. It’s a beautiful movie that focuses on the South African Rugby team and Mandela’s inspirational politics. The movie draws its name from a poem by William Ernest Henley, which has the same title. The word “Invictus” means “someone who cannot be defeated.”

According to Mandela, this is the poem that helped him stay strong those 27 years when he was in jail.

Invictus – The Poem

Here’s the poem that inspired Mandela during his incarceration:

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

– William Ernest Henley

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This post has ended. Stop Reading Now!
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The Caricaturist turns Philosophical – Ouch!

Though the caricaturist seldom turns philosophical on this blog, she has to say this.

We live in a world of thoughts that we build in our mind. When we look around us, we look through windows of the mind, and the panes of these windows reflect our thoughts. If we fill our mind with positive thoughts, the troubles of the real world become simpler to manage; but if we do the opposite and allow negativity to darken our thoughts, no matter how beautiful and easy things might be, we’d end up making a mess of not only our lives but also the lives of those who love us and care for us.

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If you’ve read it…don’t mull over it…if you mull over it…don’t blame me because I had warned you.
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Caricature/Cartoon of Galileo Galilei – The Scientist who was Persecuted for Speaking the Truth.

Does the earth go around the sun or does the sun go around the earth?

You know the answer and I know it – but 500 years ago, neither of us would’ve known it, and even if we did, we wouldn’t have the nerve to say it; and if at all we had the conviction and the nerve, we would be Galileo Galilei!

The caricaturist humbly presents the caricature of one of the most important men in astronomy and science.

The Caricture, Sketch, or Portrait of Galileo Galilie, the Genius who invented the telescope, discovered the moons of Jupiter and other planets, got on the wrong side of the Church for speaking the truth about the Earth revolving around the Sun...and so on.

Galileo in Heaven: So, where are those who had imprisoned me? Never mind - I'm just glad they aren't here!

So who was this man? And what did he do to go down in history as the man who defied the authority of the Roman Catholic Church?

Here’s Galileo’s tiniest biography on the web.

Biography of Galileo Galilei

Galileo was born in Pisa on February 15, 1564. His dad was a musician who decided that his son Galileo must become a Doctor (possibly as Doctors are never out of work, the way musicians are – and because even then they earned rather well.) As it happens with most sons, Galileo didn’t want to a Doctor, so despite his dad sending him to the University of Pisa to study medicine, he became a Professor of Mathematics.

Galileo’s first important invention was the telescope, which made faraway objects appear closer…and Galileo got hooked into using it to spy on the moon. To the chagrin of lovers world-wide, Galileo discovered and made it known that the surface of the moon was pimply, wrinkly, and not at all smooth and beautiful – thus, he robbed many romantic relationships of their lunar poetry.

He also discovered a myriad other things, but what literally made his world go round n round, was the discovery that Earth indeed revolved around the Sun. This obviously didn’t go down well with the church who’d been preaching otherwise for hundreds of years. So Galileo was accused of being a heretic (a non-believer in the teachings of the Church,) but Galileo managed to get himself cleared of the charges. Yet, he was barred from stating the truth, because the Church didn’t want to be proved wrong in front of the whole world!

Galileo however became more and more convinced of the fact, and then he published a book “Dialogues concerning the Two Great World Systems” that re-affirmed the Copernican Heliocentric Theory. The Church could take his blatant disregard for their authority anymore and they incarcerated him in his own house. He stayed imprisoned for 9 years, until he died in 1642, at the age of 88.

Galileo’s “Pardon”

In 1992, Galileo was finally “pardoned” by the Roman Catholic Church. Unbelievable but true. After taking away 9 years of a man’s life for their own error, they “pardon” him! I would think that an organization that committed such a mistake should seek a pardon instead. (I really can’t comprehend it – but then I am not the smartest person in this world – there must be some reason why the entire world accepts this…and I bow to the opinion of the majority.)

What else did Galileo do?

Among other things, he discovered that there are other planets that have their personal moons, and that gravity isn’t partial to heavier objects.

I know that this is merely tip of the iceberg of Galileo’s accomplishments, so click here to read more.

Caricature/Cartoon – Remembering the Great Indian Cartoonist Mario Miranda

There was a time when cartoons were made of squigglies put together…squigglies that won’t have meaning unless they were supported by oodles of text in form of captions. Then in 1926, a child was born in Goa and he was given the task of banishing the ugly squigglies from the world of publishing. This child was Mario Miranda, who didn’t need to go to an illustration school to master the art of creating riveting characters that spoke to you without words. The words merely embellished his already rich creations further.

With a heavy heart but with tons of gratitude, I present the caricature of Mario Miranda, one of the very few Indian artists who have left behind characters that will always remind us of him.

Mario Miranda (1926 - 2011) with his characters.

In this caricature, most of his fans will be able to identify B.C. Bundaldass, M.C. Moonswami (Bundaldass’s handyman or “side-kick” as Mario used to call him) (I wonder what the B.C. and the M.C. stood for? – Scatological…eh?!) Ms. Rajini Nimbupani (the voluptuous actress,) Ms. Fonseca (the polka-dots-dress-clad secretary with an hour-glass figure,) the loveable little dog.

I made a post about Mario Miranda on June 14th, 2011.  In this post, I also mention that the other Indian cartoonist who makes me feel like becoming a cartoonist, is Ajit Ninan.

The Times of India today carried Ajit Ninan’s tribute to Mario Miranda.

Quoting Ajit Ninan from TOI – Page 10 – December 13, 2011.

“Mario’s work touched the heart. His characterisation of people, particularly the weakness of the male of the species, was superb. He brought home to you the foibles of man through gloriously detailed illustrations of life in the office, on the streets and above all at parties.
In a nutshell, just as Bollywood brought India to the world, Mario brought Bombay to India. His mastery of architecture and of fashion trends was one of the keys to this. Mario’s ornate illustrations of the colonial structures of Mumbai wouldn’t have been possible for anyone with a less sound grasp of architecture.”

and

“He (Mario) was among the few who could use both black and white in roughly equal proportions in an illustration to create what is best described as a harmony of clutter.”

I am convinced that as I write this, Mario Miranda is busy attending parties in heaven, and that his illustrations will shortly be published in the Illustrated Weekly of Heaven.

The Time Machine: Asterix the Gaul by Albert Uderzo and Rene Goscinny

Time Machine Icon for the History of Comic Strips Posts

Introductory Gibberish – Skip it!

Last night when I got into my Time Machine for my umpteenth trip into the past, I forgot to check the fuel-meter. Only when the machine stopped whirring and began coughing and spluttering, did I realize what sort of idiot I had been! Thankfully, the machine stopped in the year 1955, and gasoline had already been discovered. I shudder to imagine what might’ve happened had the gas lasted up to the Neolithic or even the Paleolithic era.

However, the point that I am dying to make is that I turned lucky as the Time Machine materialized in the backyard of a house in France. I stepped out of the machine and looked around. There was snow all around me – and in fact, there was a snowman too. I did a double take when I looked at the snowman. Believe it or not, the snowman looked exactly like Asterix! I shuffled my memories…trying to get the timeline straight. In 1955, Asterix didn’t exist. The world (okay, France) first met Asterix the Gaul in 1959! Something just wasn’t right.

And then I saw a young man wearing earmuffs, a fur jacket, and a pair of snow-boots (No. He wasn’t dressed like Obelix, I assure you.) He was sitting on a log with an A3 Sketchbook on his knees. He was sitting there, drawing people with gigantic noses! That’s how I recognized him. His noses are the biggest in the world of cartooning – and if you tell me otherwise, you must not have read Asterix comics.

I asked the young man about the snowman, and he told me that the snow-guy was a figment of his imagination. Obviously I asked him for his name, and he told me that he was Albert Uderzo.

So, that’s how I ended up writing about Asterix.

Introductory Gibberish Ends 🙂

The Theme of Asterix Comics:

Asterix the Gaul lives in a little Gaulish village that remains unconquered despite rest of the Gaul having been captured by Julius Caesar. The secret of their invincibility lies in a magic potion that Druid Getafix fixes for them. After the villagers tank up on the magic potion, they bash up the Romans and pack them off.

The Characters in Asterix Comics:

While Asterix is the main protagonist, there are a lot of other important characters too, and each of them has his own distinct personality. The second most visible character is Obelix. Obelix is huge and dumb while Asterix is small and smart. Obelix has a cute little dog (a terrier, I believe) who is called Dogmatix (who was called Idefix in French). Then there are the others. There’s Chief VitalstatistixBard CacofonixDruid Getafix, the fish monger Unhygienix, and so on.

The main and the constant opponent is Julius Caesar who is unable to accept the fact that this little Gaulish village makes minced meat out of his able troops.

The Stories/Adventures of Asterix:

Each Asterix book tells a story. The stories are usually set in an around the Gaulish countryside, but sometimes Asterix, Obelix, and Dogmatix travel to distant lands.

The Unique Selling Proposition of Asterix Comics:

Why am I, the forever cynic, sold on Asterix comics?
Honestly, it’s because they are simply awesome. The characters, the action-lines that make the scenes come alive, the strength and the smoothness of the drawings, the composition of the scenes, the details of the clothes, buildings, and places – and the dialogs too!

The Creators of Asterix:

Perhaps every Asterix-lover knows that Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo created this little giant who’s loved the world over (perhaps not so much in America, though I wonder why not.)

Rene Goscinny did most of the writing while Albert Uderzo did most of the drawing…but both could draw extremely well. Unfortunately Goscinny died rather young – at the age of 51. In 1977, he suffered a heart attack while he was taking a stress test. This happened while Goscinny and Uderzo was working on Asterix in Belgium. This book was later completed by Uderzo.

After Goscinny’s death Uderzo continued as the sole-creator of Asterix comics. Thus, Adventures 25 to 34 were created by Uderzo alone.

And

A few other things…

for instance,

  • The Gauls are scared of the sky falling on their heads. (So are the Democrats!)
  • Obelix’s favorite war-cry is “These Romans are crazy!” (What’s not noted in the books is that Obelix’s concern was well-founded. Most of those Romans were tattooed and pierced in all the right and some wrong places.)
  • Dogmatix loves trees and he hates it when anyone attempts to harm the trees. (Obviously, because trees are important for dogs.)
  • Bard Cacofonix is often found tied up to a tree while the whole village feasts. (Apparently, this is to stop him from singing. Where were all those human rights people back then?)
  • Chief Vitalstatistix loves to gorge himself all the time, while his shield-bearers use every opportunity to topple him from the shield. (Thankfully there were no unions in the little Gaulish village.)
  • Obelix is invincible because when he was little, he fell into a cauldron of magic potion (Ewww…the potion has cooled down, I hope.)

I could go on and on…but I’d recommend that you read the real thing instead:)

Caricature/Cartoon of a Musician – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart!

Mozart, they say, was a musical prodigy. Even before he was five, he could play the keyboard and the violin, and he performed in front of the Royalty. Obviously such performances today will lead to protests by various organizations that safeguard the interest of children…so it was good that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in 1756 and not in 2006. With that little detail out of my way…
I present the caricature of the wigged musical genius, Mozart.

A Caricatured Portrait or a Cartoon sketch of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - The 18th Century Musician and Composer who was a child prodigy.

Mozart’s Biographical Sketch by the Caricaturist (Obviously exaggerated):

Mozart was born on a cold wintry morning in the January of 1756, in a place called Salzburg. Mozart was born with the musical gene riding his y chromosome, which he got from his dad. Incidentally his dad also had the right connections (he himself was in the court orchestra,) and a teacher of music. With the right genes, the right guidance, and the right push, it wasn’t long before Mozart and his sister made their first court appearance as child-prodigies.

It wasn’t that Mozart’s childhood was a bed of roses. I can imagine a three-year old being tutored by his dad, and a six-year-old being made to perform in front of the royalty – it sends a shiver down my spine! I am glad I wasn’t his sister, who went through a similar ordeal.

In 1773, when Mozart was 17, he got the job of the court musician at Salzburg. Unfortunately, job-satisfaction evaded him. He also thought that he wasn’t paid well. Obviously then, he did what anyone would do in his position, he floated his resume in the market. In 1777, Mozart had enough of Salzburg. He resigned and moved to Paris. Unfortunately, nothing worked out for him and he fell into debt. His dad however was one of the sweetest dads ever (quite like the Bollywood Star Amitabh Bachhan, who did everything to establish his son in Bollywood,) and he found a job for his son,…once again in Salzburg – the place Mozart didn’t want to come back to. But he did – and then gradually the wheel of fortune began to turn for him.

Mozart’s Love Life:

  1. Mozart’s first love was a singer called Aloysia, who lost interest in him while he was struggling all over Europe. (Women – bah!)
  2. After Mozart had established himself in Vienna (1781), he took up accommodation with a certain Weber family. One thing led to another and it wasn’t long before Mozart and Constanze (one of the daughters of the Weber family) became an item.

As it happens with most artists, Mozart too suffered a lot many ups and downs in his career.

Other Stuff about Mozart:

  • There’ve been rumors that Mozart suffered from Tourette Syndrome.
  • Mozart loved to play practical jokes on people. As Mozart preferred off-color humor (called scatological humor – be careful while clicking the link…it’s got some off-color stuff), people who were the butt of his jokes weren’t too pleased with him.
  • He also played Billiards and kept pets.
  • Mozart did become a Freemason sometime in the 1780s.
  • Mozart loved to dress-up (check out the frill in front of his coat, and that neat little bow on his wig.)

If you are the musical kind, you may want to check out Mozart’s Music here 🙂

Toony Pretzels – Understanding Theory: To Save or to Practice – That is the Question!

Theory

The term “Theory” is defined as:  Fundamental or abstract principles underlying a science or an art.

Toony Pretzels Cartoon of a doctor operating upon a patient while a nurse looks on - Theory vs. Practice

It’s time for a reality check. We need to know whether the doctor who’d be cutting us open, studied in a medical school with a lab and got some practice…or whether he got that degree online…or did he just buy it off the shelf?


The Caricaturist belly-lands…Crash, boink, boink, boink, scrreeeeeech…ooof!

Dear Readers of Every-kind,

I am back from the past. Here’s what’s been happening since my return.

The Caricaturist’s Hit List Leaked – Causes Bad-blood!

Tom Cruise, and Leonardo DiCaprio weren’t there at the Time-Portal to welcome me home. In fact, I also didn’t see Demi Moore, Penelope Cruz, and Madonna among those who had gathered to welcome me to this timeline. I don’t blame them. I know that your love for me might make you angry at all these actors, I’d request you to exercise restraint. They have a valid reason to feel unhappy about my return – they have found out that they are on the Caricaturist’s Hit-list.

Before you ask my why I didn’t contract Pricewaterhouse-Coopers to keep the list secure, I must remind you that this Caricaturist is the first of The 4 Types of Artists, and that PwC’s price-tag was a tad higher than I was willing to shell out. Nevertheless, I am not concerned. Other than these four, everyone else who’s anyone was there with bouquets of roses (thorns included), boxes of candies, and of course with requests that I shouldn’t caricature them, if possible.

Anonymous Reader and Commentator Makes my Day with a Minus 5 Rating!

… with an Ultra-Caustic review of my Free eBook at Barnes and Noble’s Nook.
Phew! Never thought that I’d get a 2 Star on a book that 4 NON-anonymous readers gave me 5 Stars for! But then I understand that just the way some people who like to donate anonymously, some like to comment anonymously. I appreciate the witticism in the comment, which goes as follows:

“Forgot 5th type of artist…Really bad self-published ones. Don’t waste your time. -5* – By Anonymous”

Hey! Does it say “-5*”?!! *Minus 5 Star”??!!! Oh Boy! I hope that the book didn’t cause any sort of fatal injury to the reader. I mean how terrible the experience must have been! I wish my Zeta reader tons of luck for recuperation. Now, if you are strong enough to stomach the contents of my awful, awful, awful book, check it out here.

If you disagree with my sweet anonymous commentator, will you please make another comment with your persona identified?

I must also mention that this anonymous commentator had the distinction of being the first of his (or her) kind, and so I mention the comment here. All other anonymous comments shall be royally ignored as I tap into the last drops of royal blood in my veins.

On smashwords however this book along with its sister book “The 5Ps of Creativity”, appears on the first page of the highest rated Free books in the Entertainment category. Don’t believe it? Well, here’s the link:
http://www.smashwords.com/books/category/87/highlyrated/0/free/any

Thank you, dear readers, for putting it there.

In the meantime, I invite my blog-readers to share their experiences with anonymous comments. They say that happiness grows when shared…or was it that sorrow reduces…

And finally, I bring you…

The Toony Pretzels – Cartoons with a funny aftertaste!

Well…well! The cat’s out of the bag, the mouse is out of the trap, and the mystery of those missing blogging hours is solved!

I’ve re-discovered my lost love for cartooning, thanks to the Great Ajit Ninan. There’s a lot I need to learn…but then quite like any other artist, I can’t wait to post my cartoons…so don’t go away…I’ll be back after a short break 🙂

Caricature/Cartoon Mark Twain -The man who crafted the adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.

“Mark Twain” was born on February 3, 1863 – in Virginia city, when he first signed his name as Mark Twain, instead of Samuel Langhorne Clemens the name he was given upon his birth on November 30, 1835.

I am happy to present the caricature of Mark Twain, the man who is often called the father of American literature. Perhaps he’s best known for his work “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”

The caricature, cartoon, drawing, sketch, portrait of mark twain the famous american writer known for writing adventures of tom sawyer and adventures of huckleberry finn.

Kept them guessing about that autobiography for 100 years! It should sell well. Nothing fuels the sale of a book better than a tiny bit of curiosity arousal.

A Short Account of Mark Twain’s Life (A biography?)

Twain was born the seventh child of a merchant in Missouri. In those times, about a 150 years ago, it was common that many children didn’t survive their childhoods – four of Mark Twain’s siblings didn’t.

While going through Twain’s biography, I was shocked to discover how chequered his career was and how he was unsuccessful at most of the things that he tried to do – except of course, writing – and the fact that he didn’t write professionally for a very long time.

Twain began working when he was 18 and his first job was that of a typesetter for a newspaper called the Hannibal Journal. As it often happened in those days too, family ties helped when it came to finding a job. This newspaper was owned by Twain’s brother Orion. For the next four years, Twain educated himself through the public libraries.

For reasons that I can’t fathom, Twain returned to Missouri and became a riverboat pilot. Why? If I were to make an intelligent guess, it could’ve been because the pay was good, or even because the job was just right for the adventurer. I don’t know. Perhaps he’s left a clue in his autobiography.

Twain must’ve realized that as a writer it would be difficult for him to get paid for his work. Well, I guess Twain must’ve also felt indebted to his elder brother who gave him the typesetter’s job, so he thought that he should do the same for his younger brother (one act of nepotism begets another) and so he convinced his younger brother to become a steamboat pilot too. Unfortunately, the younger brother died in a steamboat explosion – Twain thus, lived with regret the remainder of his life.

Anyway, Twain continued working as a Steamboat pilot until 1861 – but he couldn’t stop writing. However, he first won national acclaim in 1965, when his humorous short story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” was published in a New York weekly. (I guess one needs to be proficient in English to understand the story – because I couldn’t.)    

Twain married at the age of 33 and remained married for 34 years to the same lady (Olivia) until her death. (Those were the good old days.)

Mark Twain’s Autobiography

Twain wrote his autobiography (part fiction and part facts) and then didn’t allow it to be published for a 100 years. It was eventually published in 2010 – a 100 years after his death. Read a review of his autobiography and the story of its publication.

Mark Twain’s Premonitions

Twain was an extremely intuitive man. As the paranormalists would tell us, the artistic kinds are extremely vulnerable to stuff like “looking into the future”, “talking to the dead”, and other things tagged spiritual. So Twain foresaw his younger brother’s death a month, and his own, a year in advance. I wish he had said something about the Apocalypse too, but I guess he didn’t or Hollywood had made a movie about it.

In 1909, Twain said,
“I came in with Halley’s Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don’t go out with Halley’s Comet. The Almighty has said, no doubt: ‘Now here are these two unaccountable freaks; they came in together, they must go out together.”

Mark Twain’s Writings

Twain’s most famous books were written during his later years. Some of these are:

You can find the complete list of his books here and also here.

Twain’s Undoing

Mark Twain would’ve been a billionaire had he not been squandering away his fortune in the pursuit of science. The gentleman with the mustaches was in love with technology – and he always thought that technology would make him rich. He invented a few things, he made friends with Tesla (Remember that arcane thing called electromagnetism?) hoping to pick up a few things from him. Twain even invented a typesetting machine – but it all came to a naught. Rather, it robbed him of his earnings from writing and he went bankrupt!

Twain’s Whims

Mark Twain left instructions that his autobiography shouldn’t be published until 100 years after his death. Read about this whim of his in this News-story here.

Twain’s Affairs

Well…it’s said that he had become “extremely” close to Isabel Van Kleek Lyon, who had become his secretary after his wife’s Olivia’s death (check out some interesting facts here.) However, in his final years he had begun to feel that Ms. Lyon was a “slut” and that she was after his money. (Now anyone with even an iota of common sense would know that a young woman – okay middle-aged even, would be attracted to a seventy-year old man only if he had money. Ever heard of a rich young heiress falling in love with a seventy-year old beggar?! )

Caricature/Cartoon – John F. Kennedy – The 35th President of the United States.

I am writing this post from the past. It’s the year 1962 and John F. Kennedy is still alive and making merry with Marilyn Monroe. America is completed bowled over by this boyishly handsome young President and his pretty, petite, and stylish wife Jacqueline Kennedy. They love the couple – ( the men secretly admire John F. Kennedy’s exploits while the women sympathize with the First Lady?) In other words, everything appears to be in order, and exactly as this caricaturist would like it to be – happy, romantic, mushy, and adulterous!

Here’s the caricature of this tragedy-stricken, handsome child of destiny. Presenting John Fitzgerald “Jack” Kennedy the 35th President of the United States.

The Caricature, Cartoon, Sketch, Drawing, Portrait of John F. Kennedy, the Handsome 35th President of the United States who was assassinated by  Harvey Oswald in the third year of his presidency.

Tradition demands that I share JFK’s short and cute biography here. So here I go.

John F. Kennedy – A Quick Biographical Sketch

JFK or John F. Kennedy or “Jack” Kennedy was born in a politically active family on May 29, 1917. John suffered from various health issues from a very early age. The effect of his health on his attitude was compounded by his elder brother Joe’s achievements overshadowing his own. All this (and possibly more) made John something of a rebel when he was at school. After school he spent a mysterious month at the London School of Economics, later returning to study at Princeton University. (Note that the well-to-do, rich and connected Americans of those times, preferred to educate their kids abroad! There’s some glamor to this education abroad thing – isn’t there?) Anyway, JFK was a good student and he ended up at Harvard, where he completed his thesis as the age of 23, published it as a book, which quickly became a best seller.

After completing his education, JFK wanted to join the Army but couldn’t because he had some serious issues with his lower-back. Instead, he ended up joining the US Navy. (Wikipedia says that the “influence” (also called push or jugaad) of a senior Military guy was used to get him in the Navy – but then the ends are always more important than the means – and I am sure that Nixon’s election intelligence team must’ve gone into the nitty-grity of this whole affair and everything must’ve been found in order…so, I’ll not dig deeper into it. John married Jacqueline in 1952. The next few years were fraught with back problems and he had to undergo a few surgeries to have them corrected. It was in 1957 that he received the Pulitzer prize for a collection of biographies that he wrote and published about those US senators who risked their careers for their personal believes.

Anyway, one thing led to another, and JFK’s bravery made him save quite a few lives despite his back problems. Lives saved leads to medals earned (at least in the US they do.) (When I open my third eye (the one that belongs to the caricaturist in me) I see the entire Kennedy family moving in the living room to make room for his medals.) All this and more, including his brother’s untimely death, steered him towards the president-ship, and he became the 35th President of the US in 1961.

JFK finds an ally in Television:

In 1960 he stood for the Presidential elections again Richard Nixon, the Republican candidate (who later became the 37th President of the US). Theirs was the first presidential debate to have every been televised and, it is said that had it not been televised, history would’ve been different. People who hadn’t yet bought the idiot-box were happily listening to the debate on radio, and they favored Nixon, but those who watched the tv telecast of the debates found Kennedy a lot more charming and confident. (Who says looks don’t matter?)

Read more about the post-election politics here.

The Assassination of John F. Kennedy:

JFK’s assassination is possibly the most widely remembered event of his presidency. Three years into his term JFK was on a political trip to Texas, when a man called Lee Harvey Oswald shot him in the neck and the back. Oswald was killed by Ruby two days after the assassination. The crime remains unsolved to date.

John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe:

It is said the JFK was quite keen on the Hollywood Glamor Queen, the inimitable skirt-swirling, drug-doing Marilyn Monroe. However, his close friends, confidantes, and others at the White House chose to stay quiet about his affairs (possibly to spare the pain such knowledge would cause his wife and to avoid the damage that it could do to his image in public…and of course, they didn’t want to scare away the future Presidents – notably Bill Clinton.)

John F. Kennedy Quotes:

  • Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names
  • The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.
  • We must use time as a tool, not as a crutch.
  • For in the final analysis, our most basic common link, is that we all inhabit this small planet, we all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children’s futures, and we are all mortal.Find more JFK quotes at Brainy Quotes.

At his inaugural address on 20th January, 1961, Kennedy challenged the people of the United States with the statement: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but rather what you can do for your country.” Guess it’s time for everyone around the world to be asking the same question…isn’t it?

Definition of Art…The Practical Standpoint!

Long ago I wrote a post in which I attempted to define art, purely from a theoretical and also idealistic viewpoint. You can read “Definition of art – A Theoretical Standpoint” here. In that post I had promised that one-day I would write its sequel, which would present the practical viewpoint. This is that post.

Warning:

  • If you are a budding artist, full of hope and brimming with confidence that you’d follow in Hussain’s or Raza’s footsteps, step back now. Don’t read this post. You can come back to read it after you’ve spent at least a decade trying to figure out whatever the heck didn’t work for you. It isn’t for you.
  • If painting is your only skill, and if you’ve got some surety that you’ll have someone to support your artistic pursuits all your life, without of course, expecting success in return (you know about Van Gogh, I presume) still this post isn’t for you. You might yet become what you aspire to be.
  • And finally, if you are indeed someone who comes from a well-connected family, even if you don’t draw, I’d recommend that you paint a few canvasses. The exhibitions, the fame, and even the sale of your paintings; they’ll all happen without your ever discovering why.

However, if you aren’t among the three types listed above, instead you are the more common type (the stereotypical struggling, starving artist who has crossed into his thirties and has a wife and a child to fend for,) you might want to print this post and tack it to your soft-board…or in the more realistic scenario of your not being able to afford a soft-board, you must fold the printout and put it in the only pocket of your trousers that still doesn’t have holes.

Here’s the practical definition of Art.

Art – A Practical Definition:

Art is what sells at the famous art galleries for sky-high prices.

Practically speaking art is nothing more than this.

How you get to sell your art in those famed galleries could be a matter of:

  1. Luck
  2. Slog
  3. Both
  4. The X-factor

Let me explain the above four points in greater detail.

Art Element 1: Luck

You’ve got this fabulous collection of innovative work, and you are wondering how to exhibit it. You get a call from someone who’s seen your work, admired it; and who knows someone who is somebody in the artistic circles. This person comes to your studio, checks out your work, swoons, and decides to exhibit your work in a prominent gallery. Voila! Lady Luck has short-listed you. Now your chances are bright that you’d indeed get lucky.

I’d put your chances that you’d turn lucky at about 1 in 10,000

Art Element 2: Slog (Euphemistically known as Hard Work.)

You’ve got this fabulous collection of artwork, and you lug it around to every gallery, famous, not famous, and infamous; show your work to every body from the doorkeeper to the owner, and you get the boot.  Then one gallery decides to give you a group-show. You don’t sell anything. Then the next year you lug your work around to every gallery – finally, you get a group show, and you sell one painting. Every year the number grows. After 10 years, you get your first solo, and you sell one painting. You go on doing solos. The number of paintings sold grows. Then when you turn 75, you’ve got a 50% sellout! Wow! You are an artist!

You can now tell your family that finally it’s your turn to take care of the expenses. You can now also tell your elder brother that he needn’t send you that Dole-the-Family-Artist check every month.

Art Element 3: The Combination of Slog and Luck

Now if you work hard and you get your solo in a year and a sellout in 10 years; you are a lucky slogger. Chances that you become a “real” artist who earns his bread, butter, mayonnaise…and then later his house and car, in this way – Better than pure luck, worse than only slog. Somewhere in the middle, if you ask me.

But if you’ve got that magical x-factor, then…before I kill the surprise, let me tell you about the x-factor.

Art Element 4: The X-Factor!

The x-factor is a publicly unknown factor, which is seldom made known to the general public by the artist, but which can be discovered if only the public had a keen eye.
The x-factor may include one or more of the following:

  1. High-society connections
  2. Money, money, money
  3. Empowered (and empowering) relatives
  4. The unmentionables (couches?)

I really don’t think that one post is sufficient to cover all these components. I might tell you some stories with the names changed to help you understand why these factors are so effective. I mean you really have work hard not to succeed, if at all you had the x-factor!

Chances of your becoming a famous artist if you have the x-factor: 9,997 out of 10,000!  (I keeping the 3 out of 10, 000 chance as my Get-out-of-Jail-Free card.)

Before I end this post, I’d like to publicly apologize to all the successful artists including the dot-dabber, the horse-rider, the box-maker, the shit-sprayer, the bone-master, and the can-caner!

But…you want to say something. Say it.
Okay. I’ll say it for you. You wanted to say that there are so many of those artists that don’t really appear to have the x-factor…

Observe and Identify…the x-factor.

Really?

  • Figure out whether the lady in question is the wife or the daughter of a diplomat,
  • find out whether her mom is a famous writer and how she was born in a mansion that’s right there in the heart of the city,
  • figure out how an Indian woman born a 100 years ago could get her nude pictures shot by her brother and not get shot in turn, only because she was born a princess;
  • decide why though you can draw and paint almost as well or better than a South Indian king, but you end up in a two-room apartment with a broken, discolored center-table in your drawing room (just in case you are wondering whether I am talking about the table in my drawing room I should tell you that I am talking about another, perhaps a lot more talented gentleman who is about 15 years my senior.)

Begin joining the dots my friend, and turn wise BEFORE you turn old. If you are young, I’d recommend that you try your best to attract a useful spouse who comes in either with connections or with money. If you fail at that, then the best thing that you can do is – join an advertising agency and build the right contacts.

Don’t bet your life on that one random event, which has a 1 in 10,000 chance of coming true (the chance could be even lower for all I know – I just picked a reasonable sounding figure…) If you can draw, first find a job with an ad-agency, an animation company, or a publishing house – and then try to win that lottery.
Or…
Check out one of those reincarnation schemes that assure your rebirth in a family of your choice. What? There aren’t any reincarnation schemes in the market?!! That’s too bad – isn’t it?

A Special Note for the Cynical Reader:

I am not biased against the fine art of selling the fine art. I have also written a moderate, optimistic, theoretical definition of art, which you can read at: “Definition of art – A Theoretical Standpoint”. I hope it will establish me a rational, left-brained, right-handed, useful, non-sinister member of the world community.

Caricature/Cartoon of Ajit Ninan – The Great Indian Cartoonist.

Presenting Ajit Ninan, the Indian Cartoonist who breaks all established standards of quality in cartooning.

Caricature, Cartoon, Portrait, Sketch, or Drawing of Ajit Ninan, the Great Indian Cartoonist (Times of India.)

I foraged the web to ferret out some information on Ajit Ninan, but returned empty-handed. I don’t know when he celebrates his birthday, I don’t really know a lot about his early life, and except for a few details, I know nothing about his professional life.

So what does the Caricaturist do when faced with a blank page?

She closes her eyes and lets her thoughts travel into the past, where she sees a young boy with a dimpled smile, who would become the Ajit Ninan whose drawings tell her that there are people who refuse to kill their skill – come what may.

Here’s the story of this little boy, who became one of the two Indian Cartoonists who’ve made me experience both pride and joy in equal measures.

The Caricaturist concocts a story:

Leave the Roses and Embrace the Thorns

He loved the afternoons. Hyderabadi afternoons were scathingly hot during this time of the year but the heat didn’t deter him from enjoying them. He’d walk back from school with his friends, feeling under the hot glare of the Sun on his brow, his arms, and his spindly legs only half covered by the shorts of his school uniform; but he always looked forward to the afternoons. They were his to do whatever his heart desired. Deep inside he felt that whatever he might end up doing all his life – these afternoons would remain etched in his memories forever.

This was one of those unforgettable afternoons. Ajit had returned from school, and after a quick snack of Idiyappam that his mother had made for him, he was now lying on his stomach, with his feet up in the air – letting the coolness of the marble floor seep into his body. His sketchbook lay open in front of him and propped upon his left elbow, he drew in it feverishly. He had wanted to finish the drawing of that toy car before his father arrived home from work. He looked over his shoulder to check the clock in the living room. It was past four already!

He returned to his drawing, and then drew away to look at the whole picture. What should he do with wheel? Should it be a little bigger? Would it look funnier if he made it bigger…a lot bigger than the other one?

Thoughts swirled about in his mind, blocking everything else…reducing the sounds around him to an unrecognizable medley – the slight hum of his mother’s voice in the kitchen, the distant din of the vendors in the street, even the creaking sound of the door opening…

So when he heard his name being called in his father’s loud but stern voice, Ajit almost jumped out of his skin. The drawing pencil shot out of his hand and landed under his table that was set near the window, and his sketchbook lay open on the floor – the proof of his being a wayward son.

“What are you doing?”
“Nothing, Father.”
“Doesn’t look like nothing to me,” his father took a step forward. Ajit shrunk away. He wished he had listened to his intuition, but then his father never came home early. What was different today? And then it clicked. His parents had to attend a wedding today! While Ajit’s revved-up mind was busy figuring out all this, his father had picked up the sketchbook.

Ajit held the edge of the table to steady himself. This was going to be one of those days.

“You made all these?” His father asked.
Isn’t it obvious? It’s my sketchbook, isn’t it? Ajit thought.
“Yes, Father,” he said.
“You think that these scribblings would get you a job?”
“…
“You think that I am spending on your education, so that you could become a painter?”
“…
“How many marks did you get in Math last year?”
“…
“How many? I am asking you a question. Answer it.”
“45,” quaked Ajit.
“45. 45 out of 100! How you’ll ever make it into Engineering is beyond me.”

“Tell me. How will you ever become an engineer, if you go on neglecting Math for these…these…” his father struggled to find the right word.
“Drawings?” Ajit couldn’t stop himself from supplying the word, but regretting it immediately after.
“Drawings. Yes. You are good at making these – and this skill will help you a lot when you study engineering. These tractors, these jeeps, these pumps…” he continued as he flipped through Ajit’s sketchbook, while Ajit waited for the tirade to end.

It ended, as always, when his mother intervened. Oh, how he loved her. She was the only one in the whole family, who truly supported his love for drawing – but even she fretted about his future. If only he could prove them wrong.

Later that evening, as Ajit sat at his table near the window, absently trying to resolve those improper fractions into proper fractions, random pieces of conversation floated in from his parents’ bedroom.

“He takes after you…all these feminine habits.”
“He takes after both of us.”
“I never got 45 in Math.”
“But he’s as stubborn as you are.”
“I am telling you…he’s got this stupid thing for drawing! I am telling you, I don’t want him writing letters to the black sheep of our family.”
“I don’t think he writes to him.”
“I don’t know. Who knows anything about what that boy does? You have to ask him.”

Ajit turned his attention to his notebook. Those fractions kept changing into cartoon characters. Why? Didn’t 2 look almost like a serpent and the number 8…he found himself doodling two meshing gears into the 8! The “black sheep” of the family. That had to be his uncle Abu Abraham. He worked for this American Publication called the Guardian, but he was shortly returning to India. Abu’s atheism and the way he thumbed his nose at traditions had ensured his symbolic ouster from the family.

His whole body tensed up in anticipation as he waited for them to leave. Ajit’s parents were going out for a Punjabi wedding, which meant that they’d not return until late in night. He could now look forward to many hours of unadulterated drawing pleasure.

Ajit Ninan’s Nonexistent Biography

I couldn’t find his biography, so I tried to glean whatever information I could from a variety of sources, especially from this post by Abhijit Bhaduri.

Here’s the sum total of my learning.

Ajit Ninan was born in Hyderabad in 1955. His parents were from Kerala though. Ajit studied at Hyderabad Public School where he manipulated his way into the library, so that he could go through the Cartoons in magazines. When he was young, he prefered to draw mechanical drawings, which I presume, must’ve made his father believe that his son wanted to become and engineer when he grew up. Fortunately Ninan wasn’t good at Math (I say fortunately, because had he been good at it, he’d have ended up becoming an engineer; which would mean that India would’ve lost one of its few great cartoonists,)so he studied political science, and became a political cartoonist.

Ninan published in first cartoon in Shankar’s Weekly, a magazine that his equally illustrious uncle Abu Abraham also drew for.

Ninan’s Inspirations include Mario Miranda, James Thurber, and Arnold Roth (he used to spend his precious out-of-class-in-the-library hours poring over the drawings of JT and AR.) Ajit Ninan worked with India Today as a Cartoonist and an Illustrator. He then moved to The Indian Express. He currently works with The Times of India as their Group Art Consultant.

Here are some interesting links for you to follow.

What this caricaturist has in common with the Great Ninan?

Believe it or not, I have the exact same lamp on my table that Ninan has on his. I had bought it 15 years ago. I wanted to buy another of the same kind, but failed 😦

Caricature/Cartoon Napoleon Bonaparte – The Genius French Emperor who fired his Fashion Designer!

Napoleon Bonaparte could’ve changed the destiny of India had he seized Egypt. Indians could be speaking French instead of English, and Delhi would’ve been a replica of Paris! Doesn’t sound all that bad to the Caricaturist. What difference would it have made – our ancestors would’ve died fighting for freedom anyways – my Grandmother would’ve gone to jail during the freedom struggle, anyways… but we’d be a more artistic lot.

But let me not get started on the Indian Freedom Struggle and show you this caricature of the Great Napoleon Bonaparte.

The Caricature, Cartoon, Portrait of the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, looking unhappy in his bicorne hat and his tights.

Where’s that idiot who designed this uniform? The hat keeps falling over my eyes, the jacket is too stiff, and the trousers appear to be made of plastic! But hold on…plastic hasn’t been invented yet – right?

Napoleon’s Napoleonic Biography

Napoleon was born on 15 August 1769 (Note the connection with India’s Independence Day.) and he died on 5 May 1821, when he was barely 53! He spent his short life fighting battles that impoverished France and killed about 3 million people in Europe. Despite this (or because of this) he is considered the greatest military leader ever.

From 1799 to 1812, almost all of Napoleon’s military quests ended in victory and they helped him establish France as a military power to reckon with; but his good fortune ended in 1812, when he invaded Russia. He hadn’t expected the climate to be so unbelievably hostile and that was his undoing. Next he was defeated by the Sixth Coalition and was kept in exile from which he escaped and resumed power. Unfortunately his army was defeated in the Battle of Waterloo, he was captured by the British and he died in captivity – either of arsenic poisoning or of cancer.

But Napoleon isn’t known only for his battles. He’s known for more.

Napoleon’s Intellectual Legacy

Napoleon was responsible for a lot of other reforms in France. Here are a few of them.

The Napoleon Complex

They (the psychologists, who else) say that Napoleon was power-hungry because he wanted to compensate for lack of height. This assumption led them to coin the term “Napoleon Complex” They (the historians of course) incorrectly assumed that this historical giant was five feet two inches in height, while he actually was five feet seven inches – quite tall for his period! The confusion, they say (the mathematicians, who else) happened because Napoleon has instituted a different unit system in France!

Napoleon’s Love Life

What’s life without a little love?
It is said that Napoleon found his love in Josephine who was a widow and also a mistress of one of his associates. Napoleon married Josephine but as he was hardly ever around, Josephine found a lover. This obviously didn’t go down well with Napoleon, who decided that two could play at the game of infidelity. So it all went on and on, until Napoleon divorced Josephine citing the medieval reason – he needed a successor. He then married Marie Louise who gave him a son, who later ruled as Napoleon II for a couple of weeks and then succumbed to TB.

Napoleon Bonaparte Quotes

  • A leader is a dealer in hope…(only.)
  • A picture is worth a thousand words.(Not on the Internet!)
  • A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon…(a fact gladly exploited by the politicians.)
  • All religions have been made by men. (I am glad that there’s been one other person who realized this.)
  • An army marches on its stomach. (Of course…everyone else too.)

Anna Hazare’s Pen-and-Ink Portrait: A Tribute to the Survival of Honesty in an Ocean of Corruption – Whose Lokpal is it anyway?

Anna Hazare is a name that most of the urban Indians can recognize with ease today. Yet ask them and most won’t be able to tell you his full name, nor tell you much about his past. But this unassuming Gandhian has made the Indian Government sit up and think about an extremely emotional and very delicate issue, which every Indian talks about, almost every day of his life. CORRUPTION!

Here’s my tribute to his honesty and his untiring effort towards eradication of corruption.

A Portrait of Anna Hazare, the Indian who became famous for the anti-corruption movement and the Lokpal Bill, done as a Pen and Ink Drawing - poster format.

Anshan Karenge, Jail Jayenge; Ek Majboot Lokpal Payenge!

IMPORTANT NOTE:

I have been receiving a lot of emails about using this portrait of Mr. Anna Hazare in the campaign against corruption. I must tell you that I have no objection to your using the drawing under the following conditions:

1. You don’t change the picture in any way. You can’t strip away the copyright information from the drawing if you want to use it online or otherwise. (Refer to Copyright/Permissions.)

2. You don’t use the picture of any “commercial purpose”. Which means you can print it on t-shirts that you’d sell to the protestors. You want to print it out and pin it to your own t-shirt, you’ll make me happy and proud to be an Indian.

3. You can use the picture as-is (without stripping away the copyright information on the three edges) on your blogs/web-sites – without seeking specific permission for doing so.

Why a Portrait and not a Caricature?

I do a lot of caricatures. Usually the personalities I caricature fall in the following categories:

  • Globally Famous
  • Globally Infamous

Once in a while I create a caricature of a not-so-famous celebrity, who made me respond at an emotional level – either through a character that he played or through his work otherwise.

But I don’t do a lot of portraits, despite starting my art-journey as a portrait artist. The reason had been rather simple. Portraits are made of a lot of serious thought – and I, as an artist had to feel something beyond awe, recognition, or a weak emotion; if I wanted to create a portrait.

I experienced that feeling, which I’d call respect, for Mahatma Gandhi – because he, a lone man, through his charisma had hard work managed to create a free India, not-with-standing the division, which was an extremely unfortunate fallout – and which primarily happened because people decided to move on the basis of religion.

And lately, I’ve been feeling a similar respect for Anna Hazare. I know that we might not eventually end up seeing a strong anti-corruption act, but I also realize that to take this fight against corruption out in the open; and to have no skeletons in his own cupboard that either the media or the governmental agencies could find, is a feat only a handful of people could perform. True that there are honest people, but they are busy trying to fight off hunger – others, are all engaged in some measure of corruption. It may not be completely out of choice, but ask an Indian (who lives in India – not someone who lives in another country but retains the Indian passport) whether he has never bribed anyone in his life, ever? I don’t think you’ll get a confident NEVER, as an answer.

And then there are those others.

We saw Ramdev’s copycat fast, and we saw how he changed his tone completely when his own accounts of Crores came under the scanner – we are actually used to seeing people change tracks oh-so-completely-and-smoothly…that when a man like Hazare comes on the scene, we can’t believe that he could be real.

Anna Hazare’s Biography – The Caricaturist’s Way.

There was once a young boy called Kisan, who lived in a tiny village called Bhinger, somewhere in Maharashtra. Kisan was among the seven children born to an unskilled laborer called Baburao Hazare and his wife. (Though Kisan’s mom had to go through the painful process of childbirth 7 times, her name escapes my research.) Kisan’s Grandfather was in the Army (in those days, Army equaled the British Indian Army) and he stayed with the family. When Kisan was 7, his Grandfather died. After a few years, his father decided to move to Ralegan Siddhi, a village that would later become prominent as a milestone in Hazare’s career.

When his father moved to this other village, his aunt (couldn’t find her name either) took him to Mumbai, looked after him, and sent him to school , but Kisan had to drop school because his half-a-dozen siblings needed financial support. He became a flower-vendor in Mumbai. As it always happens in India, when one in the village reaches the city, he first brings his family, then his extended family, and then his village to the city – so did Hazare, but he stopped after bringing only his two brothers and didn’t get his entire village over. Perhaps his stopping at bringing only two of his brothers and not the others to Mumbai has something to do with his enlisting in the Army. He enlisted in the Indian Army in 1962 and worked there as a driver, until he retired at the age of 38.

It was during the war, at the age of 26, that he had his first brush with death as he lost all his peers when the Pakistani Army blew up their convoy. It was then that he realized that his life was spared as he was destined for greater things. He continued working for the Army, but decided to stay clear of the burden of a family, and so he never married.

In 1972, when he returned to his village, he began working towards the economic and social progress of his village. The changes that he brought about in his village included tackling issues such as lack of education – especially for girls, farming issues, alcoholism, irrigation issues, and dowry, he also worked towards eradication of untouchability in the right way  (and not by demanding reservation in Government Jobs and Educational Institutions.)

It was his work in his village that he was awarded Padma Bhushan by the Government of India.

Later, Hazare worked towards forcing the Maharashtra government a stronger RTI act, and also towards a more transparent transfer system in Government. (Anyone who watches enough Bollywood movies knows that honest officers, who don’t toe the line and get on the wrong side of the politicians, are often transferred to other “miserable” stations.)

Anna Hazare’s Future Plan of Action:

Though Government appears to have contained the Lokpal fever and administered prophylactic treatment, but a relapse is a distinct possibility. Though another Ramlila Ground stunt might be difficult to pull off, yet you can’t discount the fact that our politicians are some of the smartest and brightest people that India has produced. With corruption gone – many politicians would have lost their prime motivator to be in politics…and so, we can expect to see some sort of politico-legal magic…as we march towards August 15, 2011 our Independence Day, aptly chosen by Hazare and his team, to resume their fast and anti-corruption movement.

The Time Machine: Exploration Mission 2 :: The History of the Popular Comic Strip – Beetle Bailey.

Time Machine Icon for the History of Comic Strips PostsBeetle Bailey – a comic strip that begun on September 4, 1950, about sixty years ago, and which is still drawn by its creator Mort Walker, has been one of the most popular comic strips that this world has ever seen.

The Protagonist: Private Beetle Bailey

Once upon a time, Beetle was a college student, but after only about six months of the strip’s beginning, he left college to enlist in the US Army, and became their most famous and longest serving Private ever. Ever since he joined the army, Beetle Bailey has remained there – never growing, neither in position nor in age. Private Beetle Bailey is the laziest man at Camp Swampy, and for this reason his boss Sergeant Snorkel is never pleased with him. Beetle isn’t just lazy, he also suffers from bouts of insubordination. You can’t ever see Beetle’s eyes because they are always hidden under his cap or hat, whichever the case may be.

He’s been dreaming of getting out of the army for the last sixty years, but he has been unsuccessful so far.

Seargent Snorkel:

Remember the paunchy sergeant (Sarge) who wears a very wrinkled Garrison Hat, and who generally just can’t stand Beetel Bailey, but once in a while, exhibits maudlin behavior towards him. He loves his dog Otto, and he loves the army. Obviously he fails to establish an emotional connect with Beetle who dreams of leaving the army.

Other Important Characters in the Beetle Bailey Comic Strip:

1. Otto – Snorkel’s army uniform clad bull-dog, who walks on his hinds (well, he does! When he was introduced he walked the four-legged walk, but then he decided to be upright in all matters, including his posture.) He wears the army uniform (thus, looks like a miniature of Sarge) and he too doesn’t like Beetle.
2. General Halftrack – The old, mustached, alcoholic camp commander, who can often be seen with a golf-stick. Halftrack tracks only half the things (for instance, Miss Buxley) and leaves the other half untracked (for instance, his wife Martha).
3. Miss Buxley – The name tells you what she must look like. Yes. She’s the buxom beauty who is Halftracks Personal Assistant…and half the population of Camp Swampy is swamped by her charms.
4.Private Blips (not Bips, my dear Indian readers,) – Well…she’s Halftrack’s military secretary, who obviously doesn’t like the looks of Miss Buxley (Blips’ antithesis). While Buxley is pretty and voluptuous, Blips is thin and…well you know what; while Buxley can’t do anything right, Blips is downright accurate and efficient! To make a long story short, they are like oil and water…and they don’t mix.

New Tech-tech Characters in Mort Walker’s Beetle Bailey Comics:

Gizmo: The guy who helps the Commander with all the techy stuff. His name was selected after a contest (from 84, 725 entries – WOW!)

Read about all the characters in the Beetle Bailey comic strip here.

The Creator of Beetle Bailey – Mort Walker:

Mort Walker’s Biography

Here’s a quick Biographical sketch of this prolific cartoonist.
(Source: http://beetle.king-online.com/morts-bio/)

Mort Walker was born in 1923, in Kansas. He published his first comic when he was 11! (Whew!) By the time he was 18, he had become the Chief Editorial Designer for Hallmark Cards. He spent his early twenties in the army and returned  to graduate from the University of Missouri.He then tried for a job of a Cartoonist in NY but he got his break only after facing the rejection of about 200 cartoons (whew…again!) Then he found Beetle Bailey…and rest as they say is history.

Mort Walker’s family corporation Comicana owns Beetle Bailey, Hi and Lois and 7 other comic strips.

“Beetle Bailey” is syndicated to 1,800 newspapers, in more than 50 countries, with a readership of more than 200 Million. Read more about Beetle Bailey and Mort Walker here.

Indian Cartoonists/Caricaturists – The Great Mario Miranda

Updated: 12:45 PM, December 11, 2011

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Just heard the news…The Great Cartoonist Mario Miranda passed away today.
He will remain an inspiration to many generations of Indian cartoonists and illustrators.
May he rest in peace.
(A Commemorative Caricature of Mario Miranda)
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In this caricaturist’s list, there are two Indian cartoonists of note and one of these two is also a caricaturist. These two, and only these two artists make me look like a glazed-eye zombie when I look at their work. Only these two remind me that not everyone is willing to let go of the skill of drawing after finding a job. I have obviously not seen every Indian newspaper published in every Indian language, so there might be random lights of talent shining elsewhere too. But of whatever I have seen, these two have made me, the jaded and faded caricaturist, experience a strong need to write a couple of posts in their honor.

You already know that the first name on this short list, is Mario Miranda…the second is Ajit Ninan.

In this post, let me introduce you to the astonishing work of Mario Miranda.

Mario Miranda’s Cartoons and Illustrations:

Wait a minute. Let me find my artistic aptitude. It was lying at the edge of my table when I last saw it…it must be here somewhere. Oh…it’s here – on the floor! It must’ve somersaulted off the desk to avoid commenting on Mario’s work. I mean, how do you comment on a Master’s drawings?

I will keep my promise and tell you what I feel about those highly detailed, cleanly drawn, stylized cartoons – but before I do that, I’d like you to look at his work at the following links.

I first saw Mario’s cartoons in the Illustrated Weekly of India (In retrospect, I am glad that my dad loved that magazine or I’d have grown up an art-duffer.) I remember looking at his drawings again and again, because every time I looked at them, I’d see something new. If I were to list the top five things that I like in his drawings, they would be as follows:

  • Details (He draws crowds…literally. Most of his drawings would have people of all sorts thronging to get their share of limelight, and he draws those crowds as collections of individuals – everyone in his crowds has a personality and a story. You can see connections running between people, you just have to look long enough to find them.)
  • Confidence (His lines are so confident and steady – he can bend them to his will like no one else can. I don’t know if he does rough drafts, he probably does for the crowds – but something tells me that he doesn’t do an intermediary. He just leaps into drawing the final illustration. If I ever get an opportunity, I’ll ask him if I am right.)
  • Style (Mario has a style of his own. A cartoonist whose work you can recognize while standing 10 feet away from his illustration, is a rarity – not just in India, but in the world. His lines are usually curves, and his lines always end in a strong black dot.
  • Perfection (Mario Miranda’s work exemplifies perfection. You can’t find stuff that would make you think that there was no need for it to be there. You don’t look at his drawing and think, “Oh, that line’s going where it shouldn’t.)
  • Life (Mario Miranda is one cartoonist whose cartoons come alive through their interactions with one another. Even when they don’t talk, they communicate. There are always so many of them that you’ll always find someone to party with.)

And…how can I forget those unforgettable characters – Bundaldas – the Politician, Moonswami his toady, and Ms. Fonseca the buxom secretary. (I remember asking my father whether Ms. Fonseca’s dress was a uniform for secretaries!)

Mario Miranda’s Concise Biography:

Mario Joao Carlos do Rosario de Britto Miranda (yes – we are talking about just one man!) lives in Goa and in the hearts of all those people who’ve enjoyed his art. Miranda’s work was first noticed by his mom (naturally,) on the walls of their house (naturally, again.)

He drew a lot of whatever he saw around himself including dogs (a dog-lover? another reason for me to like him); but then as it happens with almost every young man in our country, he too was swayed by the Ambassador Car with the red revolving lights, and tried to become an IAS officer – but thankfully his inner calling screamed at him and pulled him away from that mundane pursuit. He ended up working in an ad-agency. I can realize how painful the ad-agency stint must’ve been for him, but then his inner calling was all tuned up and in fantastic shape, so it screamed at him again, and he found himself working for the Illustrated Weekly of India. The Times of India, which had not selected him earlier, rebounded to him after they saw his work in the Weekly, and soon he was working for them too.

(If you are wondering whether a screaming inner calling is grammatically and linguistically correct, I can’t help you. Instead, I’d advise that you read on…there’s a lot of good stuff coming up about Mario Miranda’s rise to the Cartooning Stardom.)

Mario Miranda spent about 5 years of his life in Europe. His stint in Europe helped his work find international recognition. His cartoons featured even in the MAD magazine. (Sigh! Those mad guys (Oops! I stand corrected – those MAD guys) don’t accept email submissions…gotta get my portfolio sent to them by snail-mail…and they say that due to the population problem, it could be months before they’d get to lay their eyes upon my caricatures. Their loss…right?)

Then of course, he returned to India – back to The Times of India and to another Indian legend of Cartooning,  R.K. Laxman, who he respected a lot.

In 1988 he was awarded a well-deserved Padma Shri and then again in 2002 a Padma Bhushan. Miranda’s solos have been organized in 22 countries! Wow! He still draws, but now he’s settled in Goa (the same house where he grew up…it must be a dream come true.)
(Sources: Wikipedia here.)
Read Mario Miranda’s interview by Romola Butalia here.
Also check out “Cartooning Not Funny: Mario Miranda” here.

The Time Machine: Exploration Mission 1 :: The History of the Popular Comic Strip – Dennis the Menace.

June 01, 2001, almost 10 years ago, Henry (Hank) Ketcham the creator of Dennis the Menace comic strip, died at the age of 81.

In his memory, here’s the story of Dennis’s birth…as imagined and told by the Caricaturist.

Dennis the Menace – The Beginnings:

Sometime in 1950-51, somewhere in Carmel, California…

Henry sat in his studio with his head in his hands. It was impossible to visualize any damn thing with all those noises that floated in from the attic. He expected Alice to come barging in, shouting how his son was the messiah of destruction, and how he took after his father…He knew the sequence of events by heart. Unfortunately, he didn’t know it when he had decided to work as a freelance cartoonist.

Well. He was right. The thoughts that I described above had barely crossed his mind when the door flew open and Alice came in huffing and panting.

“His room is in a mess again – and I had straightened it out just this morning!”

Henry knew that the safest course would be to stay quiet and nod, so he did just that.

“Don’t sit there and nod. Dennis is your responsibility too.”

He nodded again.

“Hank! You are impossible, and your son is too.”

“No, we are not!”

“Hank…your son is a menace!”

“Dennis? A Menace?”

And that’s how the idea of Dennis the Menace was born. So you see, Ketcham modeled Dennis, Alice, and Henry on the Dennis, Alice, and Henry of his own family! And if you look at Ketcham’s picture from his younger days, you’ll realize that he does look like his cartoon self, Henry.

Life and Times of Dennis the Menace

Ketcham used to work as an illustrator and an animator. (He also worked with Disney for a while.) In 1951, when he first published Dennis the Menace, it was syndicated in 16 newspapers in the US. Within two years about 200 newspapers in the US were carrying the strip.

For the next 32 years, Ketcham drew all those panels himself – but in 1983, he announced that one day he’d like to retire from drawing Dennis. During this time Ketcham got divorced from Alice (Dennis’s mom) and Dennis grew up away from his dad. Ketcham moved from one marriage to another (a total of four, I think) until his death in 2001.

Anyway, in 1993 when Ketcham announced that he’d like to retire, Marcus Hamilton approached him and said that he’d like to draw Dennis. For the last 17 years Hamilton has been drawing the daily panel for Dennis the Menace. Read about Marcus Hamilton and his drawing process.

The Sunday Page Cartoonist Ron Ferdinand was born in the same year as Dennis. He too joined Ketcham in the early 1980s and he’s been drawing Dennis since. Read about Ron Ferdinand and his drawing process.

Caricature of Matt Mullenweg – The Founding Developer of WordPress – The Caricaturist Strikes Again!

Of course, you know Matt Mullenweg.

He is the founding developer of WordPress, the blog service without which I wouldn’t be blogging. He is 27, unlucky in cards (wonder if it matters to him?), loves to play music, and he has made it to the Caricaturist’s hit list!

Yesterday I received this email from Jane Wells, which said that I should try out the new improved WordPress dashboard, and make a post…and well…that there might be a teeny-weeny chance of my blog appearing you know where.

The problem however was, the contest (if I may call it that) is for the writers. So I, the humble caricaturist had to think logically. If you’ve known Van Gogh and Modigliani, you must know that an artist never counts logic among his strong points.

After a lot of deliberation, I finally concluded that I should draw Matt Mullenweg’s caricature. Before you read the rest of this post, here it is.

Caricature Cartoon of Matt Mullenweg pulling out WordPress from his Cowboy hat

...anddd....here's WordPress!

Why did I draw Matt Mullenweg?

Well. Here are some of my reasons.

  • He looks rather cute in his cowboy attire – not at all like a future programmer!
  • He is the reason I am blogging and dreaming about getting Freshly Pressed (though the dream faces the risk of going stale soon.)
  • He has recently received another one of those zillion awards that he really doesn’t know what to do with.
  • He has a blog (powered by…WordPress. What were you thinking?) And so who knows he might be busy writing a post using the new avatar of WordPress’s text editor, hoping that his blog might feature on Freshly Pressed!
  • Who knows…Matt might be passing by Jane’s desk (do they live and work in the same city?) and he might see her reviewing my blog-post, and he just might think that it’s a good idea to get a printout for his grass-board!

I could go on and on with the reasons, but they won’t help, because Jane Wells will fall asleep half-way through my rant, and I’ll lose my golden opportunity.

So…Adios!
See you later…in the Nineteenth Century Transylvania!

Caricature/Cartoon – Osama Bin Laden Killed by US Military in Pakistan – Justice has been Done!

Osama bin Laden, the dreaded Al-Qaeda terrorist carrying a reward of US $25 Million on his turbaned head, a close cousin of Achmed the dead terrorist, but infinitely more difficult to kill, is finally dead! He was shot by the US Military in Abbottabad Pakistan on May 1, 2011.

In the past, whenever I thought of caricaturing Bin Laden, I had set the task aside for that historical day when I would hear the news of his capture or death. Today, an hour ago, when President Obama announced Osama’s death, I sprung into action, and drew this caricature. I believe that this is my fastest caricature ever…and I also think that it has captured the essence of my thoughts.

The Caricature, Cartoon, Sketch, Drawing of Osama Bin Laden, the Dreaded Terrorist of Al Qaeda - shot dead by the US Military.

They “kill” me!

Feel free to use the above picture on your blog/website (FREE for as-is non-commercial use.)

Here’s a Short Biography of Osama Bin Laden

Osama Bin Laden was born in a rich Saudi Family on March 10, 1957. Osama was the only son of his father’s 10th(?) wife. Osama possibly enrolled for an engineering degree in Saudi Arabia, but he didn’t complete it. However, he was extremely devoted to Islam and spent time in interpreting Quran and Jihad. Osama married four times and fathered 2 dozen children. (Note that he denounced the Americans as people who indulged in “fornication,” among other things!)

Well…one thing must’ve led to another, and Osama ended up becoming a Jihadi. His family connections and wealth helped him gain importance and start the organization that we now know as Al-Qaeda.

What used to go on in Osama’s Mind?

  • Nobody knows as he spoke little. But his actions told us that he was anti-democracy, anti-socialism and pro-taliban, pro-jihad!
  • He believed that it was okay to target women and children for the purpose of Jihad.
  • He was against music (on religious grounds!!!)

Osama is known to have spawned Al-Qaeda, the terrorist group responsible for the September 11 attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.

(Read more about Bin Laden at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osama_bin_Laden)

After the attack on the twin towers, USA declared war on Al-Qaeda. One of the important missions of this war was to “capture or kill” Bin Laden. Bin Laden was earlier working from Afghanistan, but then there were reports that he had moved to Pakistan. Pakistan however continued to deny it.

How the US Military killed Osama Bin Laden?

The American Intelligence discovered that Osama bin Laden was staying in a mansion at Abbottabad, which is 60 miles from the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. The compound around the mansion was almost 8-times the size of the compounds around the neighboring houses. Abbottabad is a town where many retired government and military officials live. The compound where Osama bin Laden was found and shot dead, is situated quite close to the Pakistani military academy.

The attack was carried out by American Assault Team consisting of special forces including the US Navy Seals. It was a 40-minute operation, which involved fire-fighting, which lead of the deaths of three men (Osama included) and one woman. The reason why the woman got killed was because she was being used as a human shield by Osama and his associates. One of the helicopters crashed due to a mechanical failure, but all the American personnel involved in the operation are safe.

His body/remains are now with the US.

Read the details at the Los Angeles Times website here.

All this of course raises a lot of questions. Especially as Pakistan has always been in denial that Osama was staying there (leave alone the fact that he was living there in “style” and “comfort” unlike Saddam Hussein who was imitating a mouse.) That Osama was staying in such close proximity of the military academy and in such a posh area, is something that makes you wonder how deep the roots of Al-Qaeda go?

Guest Post by Barbara G. Tarn, Creator of the Silvery Earth, Fantasy Fiction Writer and Artist.

Barbara G. Tarn or Barb is a writer, an artist, a cartoonist, and above all, a world creator – all neatly bundled up in one smart package. I’ve known Barb for more than an year now, and her consistent efforts towards achieving her dreams coupled with her infectious optimism have made me a loyal follower of her blog. I am currently reading her new offering, “Air – Books of the Immortals” and despite not being a regular reader of fantasy fiction whenever I click open her book on my iPad (find it on Smashwords here,) I cross over into the beautiful mystical world of Silvery Earth:) I think I may have discovered a new genre:)
I should now move away and give the stage to Barbara G. Tarn:)

The Life of a Self-proclaimed Artist

by Barbara G.Tarn – Author

I grew up with Franco-Belgian and Disney comics, and I always loved illustrated stories. If you really wanted to know the evolution of this specific artist here, you’d learn that her first comic (co-written and co-drawn with her classmate Sara) dates from 1976-1977 when she was about 10.

When I finished high school, I looked for an alternative to boring university courses (and trust me, Italian universities DO NOT prepare you for your future working life, it’s all theory and no practice, hence a waste of time AND money). I found an Illustration course which, on the program, mentioned also comics and thought “That’s it!”.

Except I didn’t come from an artistic school and my talent is more in writing than drawing. My anatomy sucks, but I’m very good at tracing pictures! 😉 So I spent two years learning to use pencils first (which was OK), then brushes – I ain’t no painter at all. Watercolors? I’m hopeless. And I didn’t even get to oil paintings because I didn’t pass the second year (of three). So, waste of money, even if I learned a couple of techniques (pencils and ink with rapidographs – and I can use the name, as I was using Rotring products -, that was the 1980, computers were still for few elected artists). And no comics whatsoever, by the way.

By the mid 1990s, I started to go to Italian comicons, and doing my own zines. Photocopied, black&white comics, or graphic novels as they are now called, because they’re not infinite series with dozens of reboots like Marvel and DC comics.

So I kept drawing (in spite of failing my illustration course) and some 1500 pages later I guess I found my style. I learned (on my own) Photoshop coloring, so my latest works (available on Lulu) are in full color. My anatomy still sucks, but as long as I get my message through, well… we’re not all divine artists, are we?

I’m not Colleen Doran nor Terry Moore (my graphic novelists heroes), but I’m doing better than most, I think – maybe not commercially, but I do keep producing stuff. Perseverance and passion, they say.

When I finish my current graphic novel SKYBAND, I’ll start a new one which will be set in the same fantasy world but many centuries earlier, when the southern kingdoms are still powerful. I’ll have to learn to draw Indian clothes and Persian palaces, but I don’t mind – throw a blond gay barbarian in that midst, and I’m all set. I thought Shafali’s blog was the perfect place to give this sneak preview on my graphic novel projects because she’s Indian and she’s reading about those southern kingdoms in my novel Air right now! 🙂

I also wanted to say that after more than fifteen years I tend to use always the same faces in my graphic novels. Often the model is easily recognizable (my Brad Pitt, Leo DiCaprio and Keanu Reeves interpretations should be famous by now, under different names! ;-)), sometimes it’s a mix (like Ylenia of SKYBAND who is a mix of Connie Nielsen and Blas Elias). I wish I were as cute as I draw myself (see either Lady Ice or Axelle of SKYBAND), but well… blame it on my not so great drawing skills! 😀

Anyway, I wanted to thank the Wonderful Caricaturist for having me here today and letting me ramble on art… Drawings, illustrations, caricatures – aren’t they all great?

 Barbara G.Tarn is a writer, sometimes an artist, mostly a world-creator and story-teller. She’s been building her world of Silvery Earth for a number of years – stories comprise shorts, novels and graphic novels. An indie published author, she blogs at http://creativebarbwire.wordpress.com

The Caricaturist adds:
Remember happiness is many things…

Happiness also is…

Happiness is...Cartoon series by Barb.

"Happiness is..." is a Visual Series by Barb. Click the picture to visit Barb's blog for more Cartoons in this series.