Our Plane to Spain…

…will fly mainly in the rain (according to the local weather predictors). Actually, it’ll be our plane to Philadeplphia getting rained on, most likely. Who knows what weather our connecting flight to Spain will encounter as it traverses the Atlantic tomorrow!

Anyway, this is the last blog entry I’ll manage to scrape together before leaving, so brace yourself for a catchall melange of this-and-thats that have been accumulating lately. Like, f’rinstance…

Partying with Joe Staton in Pittsfield

And a special bonus pleasure is getting a glimpse of Sergio Aragones, creator of Groo the Wanderer and a million cartoons you grew up seeing in the margins of Mad magazine, standing in the background. Sergio is not only one of the most talented cartoonists in the world, he’s one of the nicest ones. You always brighten any room you enter, Sergio.

Still Not Ready for Prime Time

So Eddie sez to me the other day, "Are you aware that hunks of stray HTML code have started showing up at the beginning of your blog entries?"

Well, no such thing was happening when I viewed my blog on my Safari browser — or my Firefox browser, for that measure. But it was a different story with the Internet Explorer browser on Eddie’s Dell computer at the other end of our house, as you can see from the screen capture below that Eddie sent me, which I’ve juxtaposed with the identical blog entry as seen on my iMac.

Nobody loves digital technology more than I do when it behaves itself and does what it’s instructed to do by we humans who are supposed to be its masters. But when it goes off on odd tangents as a result of secret strategy sessions between software, hardware, and browsers that dorks like me aren’t invited to participate in, I want to run screaming back to the age of cave paintings!

Ken, I learned last week, was one of those who politely listened to my words of wisdom on the night in question. Since then he has made an impressive name for himself with his Dancing Bug series and is now on the roster of the same syndicate that distributes Doonesbury and For Better or For Worse — which clearly demonstrates that the way to achieve cartooning success is to heed the words of Howard Cruse….or maybe just to spend your youth hanging out in Manhattan bars.

Nicky on YouTube

Looky looky! It’s a video showing my friend Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson Brown at this year’s Eisner Award Ceremony where an Will Eisner Hall of Fame Award was given posthumously to her grandfather, the illustrious Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, founder of DC Comics.

So what’s going on? Don’t ask me! Such mysteries of the Web might as well be ghostly appearances by the Virgin Mary as far as non-geeks like me are concerned, since we of the digital-doofus class can’t tell the difference between HTML code and Latin aphorisms and are therefore totally dependent on web-authoring software to make anything happen on the Web.

Keen deductive reasoning tells me that my recent decision to switch from the now-orphaned Adobe GoLive (with which I’ve been operating comfortably for years) to its heir-apparent Adobe Dreamweaver as my tool for composing these blog entries has had unintended consequences. Dreamweaver, for whatever reason, seems not to be playing as well with either WordPress or Internet Explorer as one would like.

Is a puzzlement! For now I’m fleeing back to GoLive until somebody tells me why my so-called WYSIWYG (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get) software is throwing me curves.

Cruse-‘Toons-on-Walls News

The original art for all seven pages of Purchaser’s Clearing House, my 1986 illustrated song lyric spoofing a certain magazine-hawking, Prize-Patrol-dispatching sweepstakes operation that for all I know may have made one of you a millionaire by now, will be on the walls of the Eclipse Mill Gallery on Union Street here in North Adams. It’s my contribution to the What’s So Funny group show that’s scheduled to run from September 5-October 5. If the gods of technology smile we’ll also have a DVD player running my Flash-generated video version of the song on site continuously.

Scooby Doo! Batman! E-Man! Name the comic strip character and chances are Joe Staton has drawn him (or her). Well, maybe that’s slightly overstating his roster of credits (he’s never drawn Wendel, for example), but this cartoonist has definitely been all over the comics field during the last 37 years. And if you were at the right place at the right time last week (that being the Storefront Artist Project at 124 Fenn Street in Pittsfield, MA), you could watch him sketching away at the opening reception for the Art of Joe Staton show currently on the gallery’s walls.

And if you attend the right parties, as I sometimes do, you may find yourself getting to chat unxpectedly with cool cartoonists like Ruben Bolling (creator of Tom the Dancing Bug) — as I did.

It turn out that Bolling (whose secret identity is Ken Fisher) and I met years ago in a dark bar. No, not that kind of bar! I was invited a decade or two ago to speak and show some of my drawings to a bunch of up-and-coming young cartoonists who gathered frequently in a Manhattan tavern.

The opening party will be from 6 until 8 on Friday, September 5, so stop by and say hi if you’re in the neighborhood.

Newsletter News

Hey, the tenth issue of my Cruse Art Newsletter came out a couple of weeks ago, at a time when I was too busy to celebrate with any bloggish fanfare. So here’s a belated plug for the benefit of any of you who might like shopping in my original-art bargain basement.

NOTE: Because of our trip to Spain, I’ll won’t be able to process art purchases or to be added to the newsletter’s subscription list until our August 25 return, so don’t feel neglected if you don’t hear back from me before then. Any inquiries awaiting me on the 25th will be acted on in the order in which they arrived in my email inbox.
Above: Ruben Bolling, who frequents well-lit art galleries these days.

About Howard

I'm a cartoonist and writer, best known for my graphic novel, Stuck Rubber Baby, and my comic strip from the 1980s, Wendel.
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