The Comiclopedia: An Online Archive of 14,000 Comic Artists, From Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, to Mœbius and Hergé

Nobody inter­est­ed in comics can pass through Ams­ter­dam with­out vis­it­ing Lam­biek. Hav­ing opened in 1968 as the third com­ic-book shop in human his­to­ry, it now sur­vives as the old­est one still in exis­tence. But even those with­out a trip to the Nether­lands lined up can eas­i­ly mar­vel at one of Lam­biek’s major claims to fame: the Comi­clo­pe­dia, “an illus­trat­ed com­pendi­um of over 14,000 com­ic artists from around the world.” Dis­play­ing the same kind of pre­science that inspired him to open his store ahead of the com­ic-indus­try boom, Lam­biek’s founder Kees Kouse­mak­er launched this online ency­clo­pe­dia in 1999, more than a year before Wikipedia first went live.

The video above offers a brief illus­trat­ed his­to­ry of the Comi­clo­pe­dia, but the pro­jec­t’s ambi­tion comes across just as clear­ly in alpha­bet­i­cal­ly orga­nized index pages. Amer­i­can com­ic-book icons like Stan Lee and Jack Kir­by get exten­sive entries, of course, but so do news­pa­per com­ic-strip cre­ators from George Her­ri­man and Win­sor McCay (fea­tured on this page) to Charles Schulz and Bill Wat­ter­son (whose entry fea­tures not just Calvin and Hobbes but such ear­ly work as a pan­el pub­lished in his col­lege news­pa­per). There are even fig­ures not known pri­mar­i­ly as com­ic artists: the late Char­lie Watts, for instance, whose art­work includ­ed the back cov­er of Between the But­tons, or David Lynch, who for nine years “drew” The Angri­est Dog in the World.

For 23 years now, the Comi­clo­pe­dia has main­tained its com­mit­ment to both includ­ing deep cuts of that kind as well as con­stant­ly widen­ing its inter­na­tion­al per­spec­tive. You’d expect its robust entries on Jean Giraud, bet­ter known as Mœbius, and Georges Remi, bet­ter known as Hergé, but you’ll also find intro­duc­tions to the likes of Ser­afín Rojo Caa­maño, cre­ator of a host of char­ac­ters beloved in twen­ti­eth-cen­tu­ry Spain (includ­ing the per­pet­u­al­ly drunk­en mar­chioness­es), and Kim Seong-hwan, whose unflap­pable old man Gob­au bore wit­ness to half a cen­tu­ry of tumul­tuous South Kore­an his­to­ry.

Nor have Lam­biek or the Comi­clo­pe­dia ignored the comics of its home­land. “Kouse­mak­er and his entourage wrote var­i­ous essays, arti­cles and books about comics,” says the page on the store’s own sto­ry, and with­out their work “much of the Nether­lands’ comics his­to­ry might oth­er­wise have remained unex­plored.” Batavo­phones can enjoy a thor­ough overview of the his­to­ry of Dutch comics here; oth­ers can read a more con­densed Eng­lish ver­sion here, or set the Comi­clo­pe­di­a’s coun­try fil­ter to the Nether­lands and sam­ple the work of the 1,045-and-counting artists cur­rent­ly in the data­base. If you do make it out to Ams­ter­dam, after all, you’re going to want to know Tom Poes from Eric de Noor­man from Kapitein Rob before­hand.

via Metafil­ter

Relat­ed con­tent:

Explore a Big Archive of Vin­tage Ear­ly Comics: 1700–1929

Read The Very First Com­ic Book: The Adven­tures of Oba­di­ah Old­buck (1837)

How to Make Comics: A Four-Part Series from the Muse­um of Mod­ern Art

Free: Down­load 15,000+ Free Gold­en Age Comics from the Dig­i­tal Com­ic Muse­um

The Ency­clo­pe­dia of Sci­ence Fic­tion: 17,500 Entries on All Things Sci-Fi Are Now Free Online

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

1950s Pulp Comic Adaptations of Ray Bradbury Stories Getting Republished

Grow­ing up, there was always a spe­cial trans­gres­sive thrill in read­ing EC Comics, espe­cial­ly titles like Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Hor­ror, and The Haunt of Fear. That must have been even truer when they were first pub­lished in the nine­teen-fifties than it was when they were reprint­ed in the nine­teen-nineties, the peri­od in which I myself thrilled to their dis­tinc­tive mix­ture of grotes­querie, sug­ges­tive­ness, moral­ism, and dark humor. By no means above indulging in either shock or schlock val­ue, the pub­lish­ers EC Comics also knew lit­er­ary val­ue when they saw it: in the work of Ray Brad­bury, for exam­ple, to which they paid the ulti­mate trib­ute by swip­ing.

“EC Comics writer-edi­tor Al Feld­stein com­bined two sci­ence-fic­tion sto­ries he’d read into a sin­gle tale, adapt­ed it into the comics form, and assigned it to artist Wal­ly Wood,” writes J. L. Bell at Oz and Ends, appar­ent­ly “work­ing on the belief that steal­ing from two sto­ries at once wasn’t pla­gia­rism but research.”

Brad­bury’s response came swift­ly: “You have not as of yet sent on the check for $50.00 to cov­er the use of sec­ondary rights on my two sto­ries THE ROCKET MAN and KALEIDOSCOPE which appeared in your WEIRD-FANTASY May-June ’52, #13, with the cov­er-all title of HOME TO STAY,” he wrote to EC. “I feel this was prob­a­bly over­looked in the gen­er­al con­fu­sion of office-work, and look for­ward to your pay­ment in the near future.”

Brad­bury’s “reminder” result­ed in not just pay­ment but a series of legit­i­mate adap­ta­tions there­after. His oth­er sto­ries to get the EC treat­ment include “A Sound of Thun­der,” “Mars Is Heav­en,” and the clas­sic “There Will Come Soft Rains…” All of these sto­ries are includ­ed in Fan­ta­graph­ics’ new sin­gle-vol­ume Home to Stay!: The Com­plete Ray Brad­bury EC Sto­ries, which you can see reviewed in this video. The book includes not just the 35 orig­i­nal com­ic-book sto­ries (one of which you can read free here), but also “essays by lead­ing schol­ars, EC experts, some big-name fans,” says the review­er, whose chan­nel EC Fan-Addict reveals him to be no casu­al enthu­si­ast him­self. Gen­er­a­tions of kids have found in EC comics a gate­way to “high­er” read­ing mate­r­i­al, Brad­bury and much else besides, but those who get the taste for EC’s light­heart­ed grim­ness and earnest irony nev­er real­ly lose it.

You can pick up a copy of Home to Stay!: The Com­plete Ray Brad­bury EC Sto­ries here. It will be offi­cial­ly released on Octo­ber 18.

via Boing­Bo­ing

Relat­ed con­tent:

The Essen­tial Brad­bury: The 25 Finest Sto­ries by the Beloved Writer

Sovi­et Ani­ma­tions of Ray Brad­bury Sto­ries: ‘Here There Be Tygers’ & ‘There Will Come Soft Rain’

Hear Ray Bradbury’s Beloved Sci-Fi Sto­ries as Clas­sic Radio Dra­mas

Down­load Issues of Weird Tales (1923–1954): The Pio­neer­ing Pulp Hor­ror Mag­a­zine Fea­tures Orig­i­nal Sto­ries by Love­craft, Brad­bury & Many More

Dis­cov­er the First Hor­ror & Fan­ta­sy Mag­a­zine, Der Orchideen­garten, and Its Bizarre Art­work (1919–1921)

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

“When We All Have Pocket Telephones”: A 1920s Comic Accurately Predicts Our Cellphone-Dominated Lives

Much has been said late­ly about jokes that “haven’t aged well.” Some­times it has do to with shift­ing pub­lic sen­si­bil­i­ties, and some­times with a gag’s exag­ger­a­tion hav­ing been sur­passed by the facts of life. As a Twit­ter user named Max Salt­man post­ed not long ago, “I love find­ing New York­er car­toons so dat­ed that the joke is lost entire­ly and the car­toons become just descrip­tions of peo­ple doing nor­mal things.” The exam­ples includ­ed a par­ty­go­er admit­ting that “I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve down­loaded it from the inter­net,” and a teacher admon­ish­ing her stu­dents to “keep your eyes on your own screen.”

All of those New York­er car­toons appear to date from the nine­teen-nineties. Even more pre­scient yet much old­er is the Dai­ly Mir­ror car­toon at the top of the post, drawn by artist W. K. Haselden at some point between 1919 and 1923. It envi­sions a time “when we all have pock­et tele­phones,” liable to ring at the most incon­ve­nient times: “when run­ning for a train,” “when your hands are full,” “at a con­cert,” even “when you are being mar­ried.” Such a com­ic strip could nev­er, as they say, be pub­lished today — not because of its poten­tial to offend mod­ern sen­si­tiv­i­ties, but because of its sheer mun­dan­i­ty.

For here in the twen­ty-twen­ties, we all, indeed, have pock­et tele­phones. Not only that, we’ve grown so accus­tomed to them that Haselden’s car­toon feels rem­i­nis­cent of the turn of the mil­len­ni­um, when the nov­el­ty and pres­tige of cell­phones (to say noth­ing of their grat­ing­ly sim­ple ring­tones) made them feel more intru­sive in day-to-day-life. Now, increas­ing­ly, cell­phones are day-to-day life. Far from the lit­er­al “pock­et tele­phones” envi­sioned a cen­tu­ry ago, they’ve worked their way into near­ly every aspect of human exis­tence, includ­ing those Haselden could nev­er have con­sid­ered.

Yet this was­n’t the first time any­one had imag­ined such a thing. “Rumors of a ‘pock­et phone’ had been ring­ing around the world since 1906,” writes Laugh­ing Squid’s Lori Dorn. “A man named Charles E. Alden claimed to have cre­at­ed a device that could eas­i­ly fit inside a vest pock­et and used a ‘wire­less bat­tery.’ ” In the event, it would take near­ly eight decades for the first cell­phone to arrive on the mar­ket, and three more on top of that for them to become indis­pens­able in the West. Now the “pock­et tele­phone” has become the defin­ing device of our era all over the world, though the social norms around its use do remain a work in progress.

via Laugh­ing Squid

Relat­ed con­tent:

The First Cell­phone: Dis­cov­er Motorola’s DynaT­AC 8000X, a 2‑Pound Brick Priced at $3,995 (1984)

Lyn­da Bar­ry on How the Smart­phone Is Endan­ger­ing Three Ingre­di­ents of Cre­ativ­i­ty: Lone­li­ness, Uncer­tain­ty & Bore­dom

Film­mak­er Wim Wen­ders Explains How Mobile Phones Have Killed Pho­tog­ra­phy

A 1947 French Film Accu­rate­ly Pre­dict­ed Our 21st-Cen­tu­ry Addic­tion to Smart­phones

The World’s First Mobile Phone Shown in 1922 Vin­tage Film

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall, on Face­book, or on Insta­gram.

Enter the Franz Kafka Caption Contest for a Chance to Win a New Book of the Author’s Drawings (Until June 13)

Imag­ine if Franz Kaf­ka were charged with pick­ing the win­ning entries in The New York­er’s week­ly car­toon cap­tion con­test.

The punch­lines might become a lit­tle more obscure.

If that idea fills you with per­verse plea­sure, per­haps you should tod­dle over to Yale Uni­ver­si­ty Press’s Insta­gram to con­tribute some pos­si­ble cap­tions for eight of the inky draw­ings the tor­tured author made in a black note­book between 1901 and 1907.

The intend­ed mean­ing of these images, includ­ed in the new book, Franz Kaf­ka: The Draw­ings, are as up for grabs as any uncap­tioned car­toon on the back page of The New York­er.

In Con­ver­sa­tions with Kaf­ka, author Gus­tav Janouch recalled how their sig­nif­i­cance proved elu­sive even to their cre­ator, and also the frus­tra­tion his friend expressed regard­ing his artis­tic abil­i­ties:

I should so like to be able to draw. As a mat­ter of fact, I am always try­ing to. But noth­ing comes of it. My draw­ings are pure­ly per­son­al pic­ture writ­ing, whose mean­ing even I can­not dis­cov­er after a time.

Kaf­ka seems to have gone eas­i­er on him­self in a 1913 let­ter to fiancée Felice Bauer:

I was once a great drafts­man, you know… These draw­ings gave me greater sat­is­fac­tion in those days—it’s years ago—than any­thing else.

Artist Philip Har­ti­gan, who ref­er­enced the draw­ings in a jour­nal and sketch­book class for writ­ing stu­dents nails it when he describes how Kafka’s “quick min­i­mum move­ments … con­vey the typ­i­cal despair­ing mood of his fic­tion in just a few lines.”

You have until June 13 to make explic­it what Kaf­ka did not by leav­ing your pro­posed cap­tion for each draw­ing as a com­ment on Yale Uni­ver­si­ty Press’s Insta­gram, along the hash­tag #Kafka­Cap­tion­Con­test.

Win­ners will receive a copy of  Franz Kaf­ka: The Draw­ings. Entries will be judged by edi­tor Andreas Kilch­er of and the­o­rist Judith But­ler, who con­tributed an essay that you might con­sid­er min­ing for mate­r­i­al:

Was it a muf­fled death? Or per­haps it was no death at all, just a tum­bling of inter­course, a sex­u­al flur­ry?

Yes, that might go nice­ly with Kafka’s draw­ing of a seat­ed fig­ure col­lapsed over a table, below.

https://images.app.goo.gl/mGfZzLcpRXuyqqU68

Some alter­nate pro­pos­als from con­test hope­fuls:

I need­ed to bathe my bat­tered knuck­les with my tears.

He stud­ied his new­ly acquired rare stamp with a pow­er­ful loupe.

How can I make sure that all my let­ters and papers will be destroyed after my death? I know — I’ll ask my clos­est friend to take care of it!

This last is a ref­er­ence to Kafka’s lit­er­ary execu­tor, Max Brod, who defied Kafka’s explic­it wish that all of his work be burned upon his death, save The Meta­mor­pho­sis, and five short sto­ries: The Judg­ment, The Stok­er, In the Penal Colony, A Coun­try Doc­tor and A Hunger Artist.

Brod cut Kafka’s draw­ing of the stand­ing fig­ure, above, from his sketch­book and kept in an enve­lope with a few oth­ers. Some of the cur­rent cap­tion sug­ges­tions for this haunt­ing, nev­er before seen image:

my face is an umbrel­la to my tears

I could­n’t face myself.

I am the Wal­rus goo goo g’joob

https://images.app.goo.gl/e6v8xbuRin3qWcS56

Of the eight draw­ings in the cap­tion con­test, Drinker, may offer the most nar­ra­tive pos­si­bil­i­ties. A rep­re­sen­ta­tive sam­pling of the inven­tive­ness that’s come over the tran­som thus­far:

I, peri­od

Angered by the impu­dence of the caber­net, i had only the courage to berate its shad­ow

Wait­er! There’s a roach in my wine.

Enter Yale Uni­ver­si­ty Press’ Kaf­ka Cap­tion Con­test (or get a feel for the com­pe­ti­tion) here. Entries will be accept­ed through June 13. Full con­test rules are here. Good luck!

Explore the draw­ings and oth­er con­tents of Franz Kafka’s black note­book here.

Pur­chase Franz Kaf­ka: The Draw­ings, the first book to pub­lish the entire­ty of the author’s graph­ic out­put, here.

- Ayun Hal­l­i­day is the Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine and author, most recent­ly, of Cre­ative, Not Famous: The Small Pota­to Man­i­festo.  Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

On Art Speigelman’s Maus: Should Comics Expose Kids to the World’s Horrors? Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #122

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In light of its being recent­ly banned in some set­tings, we dis­cuss Art Spiegel­man’s Maus (1980–91), which con­veys his father’s account of liv­ing through the Holo­caust. We also con­sid­er oth­er war-relat­ed graph­ic nov­els like Mar­jane Satrapi’s Perse­po­lis (2000) and George Takei’s They Called Us Ene­my (2019).

Your host Mark Lin­sen­may­er is joined by comics schol­ar Vi Burlew, comics blerd/act­ing coach Antho­ny LeBlanc, and come­di­an/graph­ic nov­el­ist Daniel Lobell.

Are comics par­tic­u­lar­ly effec­tive in chang­ing hearts and minds when they dis­play peo­ple’s hard­ships? Should kids be exposed to the hor­rors of the world in this way? What about the com­plex­i­ties of social jus­tice and gen­der iden­ti­ty? We also touch on Gilbert Got­tfried and the rela­tion­ship between humor and tragedy, learn­ing his­to­ry vs. read­ing one per­son­’s expe­ri­ence, the ages at which became polit­i­cal, and how comics may have aid­ed that.

Read Vi’s Wash­ing­ton Post edi­to­r­i­al about cen­sor­ship that inspired this episode.

Oth­er rel­e­vant sources include:

If you enjoyed this dis­cus­sion, try our episodes fea­tur­ing Vi talk­ing about the trope of the hero­ine’s jour­ney in film, Antho­ny talk­ing about blerds, i.e. black nerds, and Daniel talk­ing about the com­ic Peanuts.

Fol­low us @ViolaBurlew, @anthonyleblanc, @DanielLobel, and @MarkLinsenmayer.

Hear more Pret­ty Much Pop. Sup­port the show at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by choos­ing a paid sub­scrip­tion through Apple Pod­casts. This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work.

Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts.

Explore a Big Archive of Vintage Early Comics: 1700–1929

The pop­u­lar­i­ty of graph­ic nov­els (and more than a few extreme­ly lucra­tive super­hero movie fran­chis­es) have con­ferred respectabil­i­ty on comics.

Hand­some reis­sues of such stun­ning ear­ly works as Win­sor McKay’s Lit­tle Nemo in Slum­ber­land, George Herriman’s Krazy Kat, and Frank King’s Walt and Skeez­ix sug­gest that read­ers’ appetite for vin­tage comics extends deep­er and fur­ther back than mere nos­tal­gia for the Sun­day fun­nies of their youth.

Artist Andy Bleck’s Andy’s Ear­ly Comics Archive is an excel­lent resource for those seek­ing to dis­cov­er ear­ly exam­ples of the form that have yet to be reis­sued in a col­lect­ed edi­tion. (Fair warn­ing: reflect­ing the atti­tudes of the time, the col­lec­tion does inevitably con­tains some racist imagery. Such imagery won’t be on dis­play in this post.)

Bleck, the cre­ator of Konky Kru, a beau­ti­ful­ly sim­ple, word­less series, as well as sev­er­al self-pub­lished mini comics, takes a historian’s inter­est in his sub­ject, begin­ning with the William Hog­a­rth engrav­ings A Harlot’s Progress from 1730:

The famous ‘pro­gres­sions’ by Hog­a­rth were not actu­al­ly comics. The images don’t lead into and don’t inter­act with each oth­er. Each shows a dis­tinct, sep­a­rate stage of a longer sto­ry. How­ev­er, because of their great pop­u­lar­i­ty, they estab­lished the very notion of telling enter­tain­ing sto­ries with a series of pic­tures and so became a high­ly influ­en­tial step­ping stone for future devel­op­ments.

He also cites the influ­ence of British polit­i­cal car­toons, Chi­nese wood­cuts, illus­trat­ed fairy tales and nurs­ery rhymes, and Hein­rich Hoff­man­n’s Struwwelpeter, a book that ter­ri­fied chil­dren into behav­ing by depict­ing the mon­strous con­se­quences befalling those who failed to do so.

Iron­i­cal­ly, Franz Joseph Goez’s Lenar­do und Blan­dine, an actu­al graph­ic nov­el­ette from 1783, “prob­a­bly had lit­tle influ­ence:”

 It was too ahead of its time as far as the com­ic struc­ture is con­cerned. In con­tent, it was delight­ful­ly very much of its time, full of out­ra­geous melo­dra­ma.

Things con­tin­ued to evolve in the sec­ond half of the 19th-cen­tu­ry, with pic­ture broad­sheets for chil­dren, such as the ones star­ring Wil­helm Busch’s wild­ly pop­u­lar Max and Moritz. (See an Eng­lish trans­la­tion here.)

Bleck traces the birth of mod­ern comics, whose sto­ry­telling vocab­u­lary con­tin­ues today, to the begin­ning of the 20th cen­tu­ry, with Amer­i­can news­pa­per strips and par­tic­u­lar­ly, the Sun­day fun­nies:

The news­pa­per for­mat was much larg­er and cheap­er, pro­vid­ing a lot more emp­ty space to fill. The audi­ence was less sophis­ti­cat­ed, but (pos­si­bly because of this) more open to a par­tic­u­lar type of exper­i­men­ta­tion, despite the dumb and low­brow humor… these Amer­i­can Sun­day pages became the breed­ing ground for some­thing new. Weird­er, rougher, slap­dashier. Also eas­i­er, for chil­dren, but not child­ish. More pop­u­lar. More … some­thingi­er.

Maybe it was that new type of human being, the urban immi­grant, who was most pre­pared and eager to pay for all this new visu­al goings on.

Andy’s Ear­ly Comics Archive can be searched chrono­log­i­cal­ly, or alpha­bet­i­cal­ly by artist’s name. Enter here.

Relat­ed Con­tent 

Read The Very First Com­ic Book: The Adven­tures of Oba­di­ah Old­buck (1837)

Down­load Over 22,000 Gold­en & Sil­ver Age Com­ic Books from the Com­ic Book Plus Archive

Down­load 15,000+ Free Gold­en Age Comics from the Dig­i­tal Com­ic Muse­um

- Ayun Hal­l­i­day is the Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine and author, most recent­ly, of Cre­ative, Not Famous: The Small Pota­to Man­i­festo.  Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

 

Draw Along with Beloved Cartoonist & Educator Lynda Barry: Free Drawing Exercises Online

How do you res­cue a day that’s gone pear shaped?

Stop­ping to drink a glass of water is one of our long­time go tos.

If there’s a box of match­es handy, we might per­form Yoko Ono’s Light­ning Piece.

Most recent­ly, we’ve tak­en to grab­bing some paper and a trusty black felt tip to spend a few min­utes doing one of beloved car­toon­ist and edu­ca­tor Lyn­da Bar­ry’s all-ages draw-alongs.

Bar­ry began upload­ing these videos ear­ly in the pan­dem­ic, for “friends at home who are about to turn four or five or six or sev­en or any age real­ly.”

Each demon­stra­tion begins with an oval. There’s no pro­logue. Just dive on in and copy the motions of Barry’s slow mov­ing, refresh­ing­ly unman­i­cured hands, cap­tured in a DIY god shot.

Less than four min­utes lat­er, voila! A smil­ing croc­o­dile! (It’s mag­i­cal how a facial expres­sion can be changed with one sim­ple line.)

The sound­tracks to these lit­tle nar­ra­tion-free exer­cis­es are an extra treat. We’ve always admired Barry’s musi­cal taste. It’s a real mood boost­er to cov­er a chee­tah in spots to the tune of a marim­ba orches­tra.

Barry’s also a big cumbia fan, con­jur­ing a kit­ty to Lito Bar­ri­en­tos’ Cumbia En Do Menor, a lion to Los Mir­los’ Cumbia de los Pajar­i­tos, and a Stegosaurus to Romu­lo Caicedo’s Cumbia Cavela.

Now that you’ve got a chee­tah under your belt, you’re ready to progress to a Scor­pi­onLeop­ard, one of Draw Along with Lyn­da B’s “strange ani­mals.”

Bar­ry does offer some com­men­tary as these cryp­tids take shape.

We sus­pect her pio­neer­ing work with a group of four-year-olds in the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wisconsin’s Draw Bridge pro­gram leads her to antic­i­pate the sorts of burn­ing ques­tions a pre-school­er might have with regard to these beasts. Her class­room expe­ri­ence is evi­dent. Where­as oth­ers might think a steady stream of bright chat­ter is nec­es­sary to keep very young par­tic­i­pants engaged, Bar­ry’s thought­ful words devel­op in real time along with her draw­ing:

This is a tough ani­mal. It has a big stinger on the back. This is a rough ani­mal… angry.  Put the eye­brows like this. It makes them look angry. What kind of teeth do you think this ani­mal has? I don’t think they have lit­tle bit­ty teeth. I think they have big fangs.

Oth­ers in the “strange ani­mal” fam­i­ly: a Cat­DogSeal­Fish, an octo­phant, and a cat­ter­fly (fea­tur­ing a cameo by Barry’s inquis­i­tive pooch’s snout.)

Draw along with Lyn­da Bar­ry on this YouTube playlist.

Relat­ed Con­tent 

Lyn­da Bar­ry on How the Smart­phone Is Endan­ger­ing Three Ingre­di­ents of Cre­ativ­i­ty: Lone­li­ness, Uncer­tain­ty & Bore­dom

Watch Car­toon­ist Lyn­da Barry’s Two-Hour Draw­ing Work­shop

Lyn­da Barry’s Won­der­ful­ly Illus­trat­ed Syl­labus & Home­work Assign­ments from Her UW-Madi­son Class, “The Unthink­able Mind”

- Ayun Hal­l­i­day is the Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine and author, most recent­ly, of Cre­ative, Not Famous: The Small Pota­to Man­i­festo.  Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

The Enduring Appeal of Schulz’s Peanuts — Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #116

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Animator/musician David Heat­ley, come­di­an Daniel Lobell, and academic/3anuts author Daniel Leonard join your Pret­ty Much Pop host Mark Lin­sen­may­er to dis­cuss Char­lie Brown and his author Charles Schulz from Peanuts’ 1950 incep­tion through the clas­sic TV spe­cials through to the var­i­ous post-mortem prod­ucts still emerg­ing.

What’s the endur­ing appeal, and is it strict­ly for kids? We talk about the chal­lenges of the strip for­mat, the char­ac­ters as arche­types, Schulz as depressed exis­ten­tial­ist, reli­gion in Peanuts, and whether the strip is actu­al­ly sup­posed to be fun­ny.

Some arti­cles we used for the dis­cus­sion include:

Also, RIP Peter Rob­bins (the day before we record­ed this). Here’s the 1982 Rerun com­ic Daniel Leonard reads us near the begin­ning. The biog­ra­phy that we keep refer­ring to is David Michaelis’ Schulz and Peanuts: A Biog­ra­phy. Yes, Don­di was a real (bad) com­ic strip.

Check out David’s new album and oth­er projects at davidheatley.com. Fol­low him @heatleycomics on Twit­ter and @davidheatley on Inst­gram.

Get Daniel Lobel­l’s Fair Enough com­ic at fairenoughcomic.com and read about the rest of his activ­i­ties at dannylobell.com. Fol­low him @DanielLobell on Twit­ter and @daniellobell on Insta­gram.

Read Daniel Leonard’s 3anuts, and buy Peanuts and Phi­los­o­phy, which con­tains one of his essays. Fol­low on Twit­ter @3anuts.

Here’s a 3eanuts exam­ple. Leav­ing off the last pan­el leaves us in despair!

This episode includes bonus dis­cus­sion you can access by sup­port­ing the pod­cast at patreon.com/prettymuchpop or by choos­ing a paid sub­scrip­tion through Apple Pod­casts. This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work.

Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.