June 8, 2013


I had a fun event today at the Charles Schulz Museum, who had me in as their resident artist for June. A nice steady crowd of comic fans came through to hear about various projects. I brought fliers for my new spy novel (Miki Zero), upcoming graphic novel (Son of Monster), and my book Mort Walker Conversations, which I put together with Mort Walker for the University Press of Mississippi's comic artist series. The best part of the day was seeing cartoonist pals, especially some young artists who frequent the museum! My interview with the museum here. More info at my website here.  Mid-Century Modern exhibit at the Schulz Museum post here.

I have copies of Mort Walker Conversations for sale! Spy Vibers who are interested in learning more about the art, business, and history of cartoon art in America could have no better guide than Mort Walker (Beetle Bailey, Hi and Lois). Books are $25 plus shipping ($4.00 in the US). You can order a book directly from me by making payment as a Paypal donation (see link top left of this page) of $29.00 and adding your US address in the notes section on Paypal. You can also contact me at spyvibe[at]gmail.com for more info and for international sales. Let me know if you want me to sign your book. More about Mort Walker Conversations below. 

Direct from the editor, Mort Walker Conversations is a fascinating window into over 70 years of the art and business of Comic Strips in America. A must-read for fans of Beetle Bailey, Hi & Lois, Boner's Ark, and more! Filled with stories about Dik Browne (Hagar the Horrible), Charles Schulz (Peanuts) and other cartoon luminaries. 267 pages. Soft Cover. Published by the University Press of Mississippi as part of the Conversations With Comic Artists series. Written and edited by Jason Whiton and Mort Walker, the book includes interviews made especially for this volume as well as Walker's own archive of interviews and writings about cartoon art. If desired, purchased books will be signed/sketched by editor Whiton, creator of Spy Vibe, Miki Zero, and the upcoming Son of Monster. Buyer pays 4.00 shipping in the US.

When Mort Walker (b. 1923) was ten years old, he received an inscribed Moon Mullins cartoon from its creator Frank Willard that read, "Say Morton, those drawings you sent me were swell-I'll bet you'll be a big shot cartoonist some day." By the time he was fifteen, Walker was a comic strip artist for a daily metropolitan newspaper. By the time he was eighteen, he was chief editor of Hallmark Cards.

In 1950, King Features picked up his strip Beetle Bailey for syndication. Four years later, Walker created a spin-off of Beetle Bailey called Hi and Lois. Both strips continue to run daily, drawn and/or supervised by Walker, and Beetle Bailey is distributed to roughly 1,800 newspapers. Walker is one of the most widely read cartoonists in American history, and a legend in his own time.
Mort Walker: Conversations collects interviews and articles that span from 1938 to 2004. His engagement with the Museum of Cartoon Art- which he founded- is discussed in these pieces, along with the politics involved in working with cartoonists' unions, artistic communities, and syndications. In these conversations Walker shows how he has managed to keep his art and stories fresh for over seventy years of production. Photo below: your Spy Vibe creator, Jason Whiton at the Charles Schulz Museum. BELOW: a favorite Cold War-era cover of Beetle Bailey #38: Beetle Bailey in West Berlin, published by Dell.

I have a spy novel coming out. Get ready to meet MIKI ZERO, a Japanese fashion model and spy from 1965! Stay tuned and follow Spy Vibe by clicking the Follow link at top right of this page. More info at Jason Whiton's website here.

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