Friday, April 15, 2016

Back at Ohio State

Visited Ohio State yesterday to scan a bunch of City strips for upcoming reprint projects. The bulk of my originals are in the Derf Collection at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum. From 2000 on, I have complete digital files here at the Derfcity Studios HQ, but for the first decade of the strip, my files are mostly small xerox copies, because that's how I sent out the strips to client papers before the Electric Intertube became our lord & master. And those files are incomplete, to say the least, so a-scanning I went.

In honor of this task, I posted the photo at left, of yours truly just starting out. This is me in 1981, in my dorm "studio" in a noisy quad in Siebert Hall, working on an early political cartoon for The Lantern, the student newspaper where I was first published. Thirt =-five years ago. Is that right? Gad, that IS right. Can't quite make out the cartoon, alas. I usually wrote elsewhere, since my room was a gathering place for the entire floor (we had an Atari!), most often at a quiet booth at Bernie's Bagels on the High St. strip. Then I'd draw in my room, usually late at night when everyone else was snoring. It was a great room, and that year was the best of my life at that point, but the following year I got a single, mainly so I could draw in peace. I had just wormed my way into The Lantern in the photo above (after three tries.... and three rejections!) but by the next year, I was cranking out 5 or 6 cartoons a week!

The photo at right, 
in the Billy yesterday, re-creating the 1981 photo, was the idea of Caitlin McGurk, the museum's social media expert.