Friday, December 31, 2010


One of the many inspiring views I'm privileged to see every day here at sprawling Cartoonboy Manor is the one below:

The detail on the right became my DOOR MAN WITH MONICLE blog post back on August 15, 2010:

And today, the detail on the left becomes MR. LAUNDRY BAG:

Where others might see only mundane crap, I see mundane BLOG crap.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


After making fun (on several occasions) of my Fusco Brothers colorist at for coloring beverages blue, I find that I did it myself. Blue water!


Monday, December 27, 2010


My friend Teresa Burritt, who does the comic strip Frog Applause on, sent me this e-mail:

Later in the day the strip was suddenly colorized:

I guess my colorist sobered up. (Lawyers, take note: I'm kidding!)

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Once upon a time in the none-too-distant pastime, say a century and a half ago or something, a very strange and wonderful yuletype season came to pass in the swinging town of London way before it swung, where everybody already spoke to each other in a kind of English accent they'd developed over the years.

Everything was jake as usual, or "jyke," as they pronounced it, unless you happened to be without funds that year, or even broke. The rickets were doing big business in those days, along with all the other pestilence groups of the time, including scurvy, mainly because a lot of people were short of cash and food and were often forced to offer lamely in restaurants, "I seem to have left me wallet in me other suit, matie," and things like that. Then they'd end up in debtors' prison, stuck for a solution.

Things were bad in general then, except for merchants and slave drivers and whatnot, and a family man like Bob Crutch, for instance, was glad to get a few measly bob a week working like crazy for old Ebenezer Scourge, a local skinflint who would gladly sell his mother swampland, and did.

Things were very tight indeed for Bob and his family, what what with eight little Crutches running around the hovel, except of course for the youngest, Tiny Crutch, who was unable to walk properly ever since having his kneecaps broken for hustling pool. He mainly sat around bringing the others down. It would break his father's heart (and trigger hist dust allergy) when Tiny would hop across the dirt floor on his stick, singing yuleish carols, even in summer, because Bob knew that if he only had some money he could get his son fixed up by a Viennese specialist or somebody, and then the kid could go and sing outside for a change. But the family kept up a happy homefront, especially at Christmas, laughing, joking around, festively festooning their Christmas broom and exchanging gifts. Bob gave his wife the kitchen chair, which she'd given him the year before.

Bob Crutch was feeling especially cheery by the time Christmas Eve rolled around. He spent the day whistling and humming over his paperwork at Scourge & Barley, much to the dismay of Mr. Scourge, who wasn't really a big Christmas fan in the first place, and would yell things like "Bah!" and "Humbug!" at Crutch when he appeared to be enjoying himself too much. But Bob would just chuckle privately at the old codger, being himself a big believer in good will toward men and all that, and doubting that Scourge was really the lousy, stinking, foulmouthed, cheap bastard he convincingly pretended to be for the last 12 years. "He'll come around," thought Bob, and burst into another chorus of "Deck the Halls."

"Bah! Knock it off, Crutch, and get back to work! I don't pay you good money to sit there singing. Old man Barley used to put up with that crap, but not me."

"Yes, Mr. Barley always loved a carol at yuletide, Mr. Scourge. He was such a nice old gentleman. You must miss him."

"That idiot? Humbug! Always fast and loose with the money, him and his stinking charities and such. Then he leaves me a funeral bill!" Scourge was drooling at this point.

"I suppose you'll be wanting the entire day off tomorrow, Crutch."

"If it's not too much trouble, Mr. Scourge. The wife is roasting a pigeon for us."

"Only if you come in Sunday to make up for the lost time. When I pay for an 18-hour day, well, humbug!, I expect 18 hours of honest work."

Scourge put on his coat and hat, heading for the door. "You can stay an extra half hour tonight to make up for all the singing and chatting and whistling, Crutch, and don't forget to lock up."

"I won't forget, Mr. Scourge, and thank you," said Bob, smiling inwardly at at the old man's lovable gruffness. "And a very merry Christmas to you, Sir, with best wishes for the new year!"


Ebenezer Scourge slammed the door behind him as Bob Crutch picked up the song where he'd left off, which was somewhere around the "Fa la la la la" part.

On the way home Scourge passed a blind beggar in the snow with pencils and a cup, and told him to get a job like everybody else. "Goddamn leach," he muttered as he opened his front door. He greeted his housekeeper, Mrs. Kindly, with a couple of gratuitous bahs and humbugs. After she left for the night, cursing under her breath, he fixed himself a bowl of gruel and watched the unlit fireplace.

When he finished his unexciting dinner he went upstairs to his cold, dark and gloomy bedroom and slid under the freezing covers, waiting to warm up. It seemed to take a long time tonight, longer than usual, but finally the old cheapskate fell asleep.

He was awakened shortly thereafter (or longly; he couldn't say which) by a creepy figure with a see-through outfit and matching body, clanking a bunch of chains and moaning. Scourge let out a large "Gaw, blimey!" and asked, teeth chattering, with whom he had the pleasure. The old ghost said that he used to be his partner, Jacob Barley, and these were the lousy chains he forged in life, only literally now. He added that figuratively is better. Scourge tried to talk his way out of it, but but Barley made him go with him out the window, saying that lately he was known as The Ghost of Christmas Past. "Catchy," said Scourge, and they flew across the night sky in the direction of very fast, stopping here and there to visit Ebenezer's old places and faces: his old employer, Mr. Fuzzywuz, always full of laughs and cash bonuses ("What a nice guy," said Scrourge, getting into the swing of things); his former fiancee, Bernoose, whom he gave up for a shot at the big bucks ("Get a load of those knockers," he said, kicking himself); and a flashback of young Scourge yucking it up at his sister's house before he turned into a well-known drag ("Gee, I was a regular Ozzie Nelson back then," he said reflectively.). Before he knew what was happening, old Barley had him back in his wretched present tense, and Ebenezer Scourge dozed back into oblivion. "No more gruel at beddy..." he mumbled.

He got up again, though, when this cheerful, Kris Kringley type came in through the window, all smiling and diaphanous and calling himself the Ghost of Christmas Present. The portly gent took Scourge around the city, focusing, he noticed, on a lot of poor people and squalor situations. "Wow, this is depressing," said Scourge, so they went to Bob Crutch's house for what Ebenezer hoped would be some comic relief. Sure enough, they were all whooping it up, carving the pigeon and everything, and Scourge remarked to the spectre that he couldn't see what they were so happy about, what with that pathetic pigeon and Tiny Crutch's kneecaps and all, but the ghost wouldn't explain it. Ebenezer just didn't get the drift, so they went back and Scourge hit the sheets immediately. "What a night," he said to no one in particular, he hoped.

Then a while later the last and creepiest of them all showed up claiming to be the Ghost of Christmas Future. He was silent, translucent, skeletal and scary. He looked like a young Jack Palance. He was wearing the kind of hooded robe that never really caught on as a fashion statement among the general public, and he gave the old man the willies. Scourge begged to skip this part, and even tried bribing the boney guy, but it was no go. Soon the two were traveling around London town, and a lot of people were saying things like "The late Mr. Scourge," and "Now that the old miser's dead" and things on that order. The old man didn't really take the hint right away, until he saw the tombstone which read, "Ebenezer Scourge, Rest in Pieces, You Wretch." He put two and two together and felt a little queazy, and he began blubbering and squealing and pleading for a second chance. You could tell the ghost was really sick of him by now, but he took him to the Crutch household again anyway for one last stop. They were all sitting around quietly, and Bob was wearing his shabby clothes at half mast as a kind of memorial tribute to the dead penny pincher. Scourge wondered where Tiny Crutch was. Right on cue, Bob told his wife, "I stopped by Tiny's unmarked grave in Potter's Field today, my Dear. I decorated it with the prettiest twigs I could find."

"Spirit," said Ebenezer, misty-eyed, "are these the shadows of things that might be, or the shadows of things that will be, or what? Talk to me already."

Normally not very talkative, the Ghost of Christmas Future replied, "That's for me to know and you to find out."


They flew back to Scourge's house, and before the old man knew it he was back in his bed asleep.

When he awoke again it was morning, and the first thing he noticed was that he was still alive and kicking. He checked the room for strangers, peeking out over the covers, then hopped out of bed and began doing the Hokey Pokey, laughing and singing his own impromptu compositions. He ran out of the room and asked a surprised Mrs. Kindly what day it was, and she said, "Why it's Christmas, of course, Mr. Scourge." He made up a song for her on the spot called "Mrs. Kindly, You've Got a Lovely Dustpan," which was quite catchy, and he gave her two kisses, one on each knee. She threatened to call the police, but didn't, because it was the most action she'd seen since the First Anglo-Burmese War, in which she served with distinction on the Burmese side. He taught her the Hokey Pokey, which she got the hang of fairly quickly.

He went to the window and threw a bunch of shillings and farthings and things down to a passing street urchin of about 13, and told him to go to the goose store and have the biggest bird in the shop sent to the Crutch house, with a card reading, "Merry Christmas from You'll Never Guess Who!" The boy scooped up the coins and went directly to the nearest pub, making a rude gesture with his hand. Undaunted, the old man laughed it off, and after six or seven more tries he finally managed to find an honest kid and the deed was done.

Later that day Scourge went over to the Crutches' shack and promptly raised Bob's hopes and salary in one swoop. They all had a great time that night, singing, laughing, dancing and stuffing themselves sick.

Tiny Crutch went on to have kneecap replacement surgey, and lived. He and "Unca Scourge" became very close over the years and the old man became like a second banana to the boy. Later in life, Tiny became a gay chorus boy, dancing professionally in West End musicals.

Scourge looked up his sister and they were a family again.

He sent his ex-fiancee and her husband a hot water bottle as an icebreaking joke, and it helped smooth over the old wounds and they became good friends.

Ebenezer married Mrs. Kindly as an afterthought, and they lived happily ever after, doing the Hokey Pokey for the rest of their unnatural lives. He had no further intercourse with Spirits, but he had plenty of intercourse with the former Mrs. Kindly, and ever afterwards it was said of him that he did Christmas like nobody's business.

And so, as Tiny Crutch would say, God bless us, every one. One, two, three, KICK!

Friday, December 24, 2010


Due to another groundswell of indifference, I'm posting this heartwarming poem for the third year in a row, still hoping that it will eventually grow into an enduring holiday classic, if only in the privacy of my delusional mind.


Twas the night before Xmas, when all through my pad

Naught was rhyming with Xmas, and this made me mad;

The TV was tuned to the Home Shopping Place

In hopes that St. Nicholas would not show his face;

To celebrate Xmas all over the globe

I opened a brewski from Ye Old Latrobe;

At length I tuned in to the Playboy Channel

And put on my PJ's, the ones in red flannel;

I sat on the couch like a russet potato

"Anna Nicole Smith was sure one hot tomato!"

I poured a martini, to warm me within

Eschewing dumb eggnog in favor of gin;

Then just when my loins were beginning to stir

I heard in the sky an incredible whir;

I zipped up and ran to my highrise balcony

The place where I practice my hobby of falconry;

And what to my bloodshot eyes should appear

But a huge flying saucer with a silver veneer;

Eight tiny green creatures climbed down on a ladder

And I became so frightened I emptied my bladder;

"What is it you want, if I'm not being nosy?"

I asked as they circled me, ring-around-the-rosy;

"We'd like to examine your brain's frontal lobe

And also the classic, the old anal probe."

"But I am no leader, no Martin Van Buren;

I'm just some poor schmuck standing in his own urine!"

I could not dissuade them, or bribe them with money

I offered them beer; they just thought that was funny;

They made me lie down on the dining room table

And did things involving a fiber optic cable;

A half hour later they boarded their craft

Was it all just a dream? Was I crazy, or daft?

Then I heard them exclaim, ere they drove out of sight

"Happy Xmas to all, and to all a good night!"

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


MAD #507 is on the stands, and it was a pleasure seeing my cartoon on page 6.

Although, somehow, in the printing process, the grass in the background of the drawing turned yellow.

Is my colorist from GoComics moonlighting at MAD?

Yellow grass beats yellow snow, I guess.


Thursday, December 9, 2010


In yesterday's blog post I showed how I predicted (in a cartoon) interbreeding among polar bears and grizzly bears outside of zoos well before National Geographic reported on it.

This reminded me of the time, many years ago, when I also predicted (in a greeting card) the issuing of an Elvis stamp by the Post Office well before that happened.

My point is that I'm pretty much the Nostradamus of cartoonists.

(Okay, so nude Yahtzee tournaments on the White House lawn never materialized… not yet, anyway.)

(Okay, so I also misspelled "Yahtzee.")

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


May 11, 2006—DNA analysis has confirmed that a bear shot in the Canadian Arctic last month is a half-polar bear, half-grizzly hybrid. While the two bear species have interbred in zoos, this is the first evidence of a wild polar bear-grizzly offspring.
-- National Geographic News

National Geographic failed to mention that this interbreeding has gone on in bars since as early as 1998, as evidenced in this old New Yorker cartoon of mine:

Monday, December 6, 2010


What do you think the solution is to this Wheel of Fortune puzzle?

If your answer is "EYES IN THE BACK OF MY HEAD," you're sane.

However, if your answer is "EWES IN THE BACK OF MY HERD," you're officially nuts.