Category Archives: Breaking into Comics

You get to read the article BUN TOON! YAY!

sunday logo

Is it JUST a coincidence that I’m ALSO a cartoon rabbit?

playboy to a man


I was travelling to a convention in Memphis when Hugh Hefner died, and didn’t get a chance to BUN TOON about it.

I’ve asked a number of people if they ALSO opened Playboys from the back, and have met only two people who said they did….and they were ALSO comic book artists.  The whole “front or back opening controversy” was clearly a test.

I’m pretty sure I passed.

When I was in my early twenties, the FIRST places I ever sent samples of my work to, was Playboy and Mad magazine.  I was rejected, and kept the rejection letters pinned over my desk for years.

I still have since worked for Mad Magazine a number of times, but never graced the pages of Playboy.

Something to shoot for.

Ty the Guy OUT!

For those of you not born a male cisgendered hetero cartoonist-in-training in the 60s, here’s what you missed:

alberto vargas 4

The fantastic pin-up art of Alberto Vargas.  Often MUCH better than the photo in the middle of the magazine.



B. Kliban- funniest cat cartoonist of an era.


The GORGEOUS paintings of Erich Sokol

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The journeyman: Buck Brown


The always funny John Dempsey

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The impossibly talented Doug Sneyd (it was hard to find one that was SFW, but you get the idea)


The casual skill of Phil Interlandi


The KING:  Gahan Wilson.

Playboy cartoon _Cole_ 1954o

The magnificent Jack Cole (creator of Plastic Man!)


Little Annie Fanny was created by Harvey Kurtzman and Will Elder, with occasional help from Frank Frazetta, Jack Davis, Russ Heath, and whatever illustration genius was in the building with a brush.


Hefner himself started life as a cartoonist, and had he been more successful at it, he might never have founded a magazine that went out of his way to support the best and brightest of the field.


Hefner published the MUCH better version of Mad Magazine (called TRUMP), with the original gang of idiots.  It was so good, it lasted a whole two issues.  I have ’em both, and you can open Trump from either the front or the back, it doesn’t matter, there are no naked ladies cluttering up the front of the magazine.


this is the earliest version of the Playboy Rabbit.  It can’t be a coincidence that I turned out to be a relative of some sort.

l_playboy rabbit


For last week’s BUN TOON, click here.



Valentine’s Day. A day for Spider-Man.

I drew these fifteen years ago for Marvel’s “Creative Services” department.  My first paid Spider-Man art.   I’ve had some good times with Spidey over the years, and even have some Spider-Man stuff coming out in the next month or so.   I’m never too far from the Web-head and it’s fun to consider where it started.

This was also the first time my wife and I ever worked together on something…I drew ’em, she coloured ’em, and we had a big stupid fight about it.  Now, fifteen years later, I ask her to colour everything I can, when she’s not overbooked with work (she’s one of the better colourists out there) and she learned not to smack me in the head when I act up. That’s Love.

To see more from the Spider-Man 90s Valentine’s collection, and to dig into my sordid, personal marriage business far more than you have a right to, click HERE.

Happy Love Bunnies Everyone.

Ty the Guy OUT!

Here now, your Spider-Man Valentine Moment of the Day:


Aw, who dat cute widdle baby Spider-Man? You is. Dat's's YOU!

Toronto Cartoonists Workshop. Holmes Inc. Issue #2


As some of you might recall, last year, the school I teach at (Toronto Cartoonists Workshop) put out their first issue of an all new adventure comic series “Holmes Inc.”  It was a wonderful experience for all concerned. lovely to read, well reviewed, and enjoyed by all who got a copy.  (I think there are still a few available…we’ll get to how to order one in a minute…)  Impossible as it was to believe, most of the work in the issue was from heretofore unpublished,  first time comic book artists and writers, ready to burst onto the scene and kick Joe Quesada and Jim Lee around the block a few times with their upstart-y enthusiasm and skills.

Anything with exploding aircraft and wheelchairs on the cover can’t be all bad, right?  And I THINK it had something to do with Sherlock Holmes and his descendants fighting world crime in the 21st Century.

Well, it’s starting up again…for issue #2.  In just a few short weeks, the gears start gearing and the submissions start submitting.  If you have graduated from any of the TCW classes (especially comic book bootcamp, storytelling or writing) and want to join in the fun for round #2 then head on over to the TCW homepage and let the king of TCW, Sean Menard, know that you want to play too.

TCW’s phone number is 647-328-1656 and the email is:

I hope to see some of the newer students head out this year, as well as welcoming back some of the creative studs and studdettes that helped make our first issue so good.

Oh, and if you can’t live another moment without your personal copy of issue #1, called “The Best Sherlock Holmes Comic Book Ever” (by my mother and some of my neighbours), then let Sean know your troubles when you contact him, and he’ll get one out to you.  A measly six bucks for 52 solid pages of tomorrow’s superstars is a pittance to pay.

Ty the Guy OUT

Here now, your Sherlock Holmes Comic Book Moment:

It’s…it’s…NOT Melvin!

Wanna be in comics?

In nine short days, it’s FanExpo Canada. Some of you will be heading out with portfolios in hand, or clutching a couple of scripts, or with a brain full of ideas you want to pitch. There are editors at the con, both DC Comics and Marvel Comics will have booths and the hall will be full of comic book professional whom you’re pretty sure would love to hear all your great ideas.

Ty’s up to his neck in deadlines, and getting ready for the con, as well, but luckily, someone else has oh-so-kindly published his advice for you to read. Before San Diego Comic Con, CB Cebulski wrote and tweeted his advice on submitting portfolios and getting editors to listen to your ideas. Given that CB Cebulski’s job at the time of writing all that advice was Talent Scout for Marvel, you have to figure that he knows what he’s talking about!

Here’s my advice:  read his column on professionalism first! And pay attention! He knows of what he speaks!

Tips & Tweets:  Professionalism

Tips & Tweets:  Advice for Artists, Part 1

Tips & Tweets:  Advice for Artists, Part 2

Tips & Tweets:  Advice for Writers, Part 1

Tips & Tweets:  Advice for Writers, Part 2

Tips & Tweets:  Breaking In

Tips & Tweets:  Art Advice

Various comic book creators and editors have also been known to give advice on Twitter…find a couple you’re interested in, and follow them to see what they say (Nathan Cosby of Marvel, had a lot to say recently).


(And here’s my vaguely maternal advice, from listening and overhearing a lot of ranting at cons:   Have a sense of who you are talking to. Know what their work is, who they work for–don’t ask someone whose work you don’t like.  Understand that most professionals like to “give back” to the fans, and like to be helpful.

And here’s my vaguely negative advice:  If you ask for advice, if you ask someone to look at your portfolio:  respect what they say to you! Comic creators and editors are not out to get you–they’re probably not out to get anyone. They’re not secretly jealous of how talented you are, nervous that you want their job, or unable to deal with what a revolutionary talent you are. If you don’t respect their answers/advice, you should not have asked them. Editors and creators are excited by new talent and new possibilities and most of them remember what it was like starting out and trying to get someone’s attention that first time.)