Popeye in Microbe Battle by Bud Sagendorf - Golden Age Comic Book Scans plus Fun Links!

Popeye in Microbe Battle by Bud Sagendorf
Popeye in Microbe Battle by Bud Sagendorf
comic book scans from Dell Four-Color #168 October 1947

CLICK on any thumbnail to see a BIG comic book scan!
Popeye Four_Color__0168_Popeye - Page 04  Popeye Four_Color__0168_Popeye - Page 05 Popeye Four_Color__0168_Popeye - Page 06 Popeye Four_Color__0168_Popeye - Page 07 Popeye Four_Color__0168_Popeye - Page 08 Popeye Four_Color__0168_Popeye - Page 09 Popeye Four_Color__0168_Popeye - Page 10 Popeye Four_Color__0168_Popeye - Page 11 Popeye Four_Color__0168_Popeye - Page 12 Popeye Four_Color__0168_Popeye - Page 13 Popeye Four_Color__0168_Popeye - Page 14 Popeye Four_Color__0168_Popeye - Page 15 Popeye Four_Color__0168_Popeye - Page 16 Popeye Four_Color__0168_Popeye - Page 17 Popeye Four_Color__0168_Popeye - Page 18

In the early 1930's Bud Sagendorf was a teenage assistant to original Popeye cartoonist E.C. Segar on his Thimble Theatre and Sappo comic strips. After Segar's death in 1938, Sagendorf illustrated marketing materials for King Features, eventually moving on to creating Popeye comic books starting in 1945.

Bud Sagendorf also wrote and illustrated (anonymously) much of the material in the Famous Artists Cartooning Course , especially Lesson 15 on Props and Backgrounds (See above sample)

The Cartoon IS The Message

An incredibly inspiring and insightful look
at the magic and wonderfulness of cartoons.

Highly recommended little post to read:

Stop Coyotes with Ray-O-Vac Batteries!

Leading Comics 031 0043

Stop Coyotes with Ray-O-Vac Batteries!

Yet another great comic story ad from Leading Comics #31 1948

Also in this series of comic book ads featuring the miraculous attributes of everyday kid consumables:

Stop Bank Robbers with Bubble Gum

Stop Bullets with Chocolate

ArtRage Studio 3 is Released! Celebrate with ArtRage 2.5 Video Tutorials

ArtRage video 01 brushes and paint digital painting application
ArtRage time!

In Celebration of the release of the new ArtRage Studio 3,
I'm bringing back the video tutorials for a return engagement!

ArtRage video 01 brush paint tube palette knife

I use ArtRage every time I paint a cover for Nickelodeon Magazine. ArtRage is a digital painting program that imitates the look of real paint, as well as other natural media like pencils and pastels etc. etc. The thing that makes ArtRage such a wonderful program is that it's ridiculously easy to use -- you can just jump right in and play!

SpongeBob paint Artrage digital art tutorial video

And it's not like I knew how to paint before I used this program. ArtRage is so easy and so fun to use that I just gradually picked up the techniques by playing around with the program. I've never even read the manual! Okay -- every once in a while I'll look something up in one of the tutorials... but 97% of all the tools and features are totally intuitive.

SpongeBob Hat Artrage digital Painting tutorial video

But it isn't just for play... I've been using this program for professional jobs for the last three years, and I don't need to look any further for a digital art program that gives me exactly the tools I need and the results I want.

Artrage digital Painting rough tutorial videoSpongeBob and Patrick Nick Magazine Digital Cover art by Sherm Cohen Bubble Gum
work-in-progress version and finished cover

(By the way, if this is your first visit, I've been posting video tutorials that show how I drew, inked and painted this recent SpongeBob and Patrick cover for Nick Magazine. The list of
Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop tutorial videos is HERE, and the original post with the full-sized artwork is HERE.)

Here's the weird part -- for some bizarre reason, this amazing ArtRage Studio application only costs $40 (or $80 for the Pro version, or only $20 for version 2.5, which is the version I used for all my paintings). The "other" famous digital painting program costs $400, and it's so freaking complicated that I always end up tearing my hair out before I can actually get any work done.

ArtRage Studio is the bargain of the century. I strongly encourage you to download this application and try it out. And ArtRage runs on both Mac and Windows!

They have a bunch of great tutorials and very helpful forums on the ArtRage website, too.

Since this is the first video in the series, it's primarily dealing with setup and tools. And I'm going to show you the exact settings that I use every time I fire up ArtRage.

ArtRage video 01 brush settings pressure thinners loading
How to import a PSD file into ArtRage
#1 When you import a layered Photoshop PSD file into ArtRage, it has to be in RGB mode, not in CMYK mode. You can change the mode in Photoshop before you bring it in to ArtRage.
#2 When you import your drawing, ArtRage will put it on the lowest layer and give it an opaque paper background......To be able to see through your linework to the color paint below, DO THIS: On your imported Drawing layer, go to "Edit Paper Settings" and near the bottom of the options dial the "paper opacity" (NOT the layer opacity) to 0%

More ArtRage Tutorial Videos:

Note: These tutorials were all done with ArtRage 2.5, but new users of ArtRage Studio 3 will not have any problem following along. The new interface is basically the same as the one shown here, but the new version has more features and more fun options!

Storyboarding Process – How Clean is “Clean?” – Thumbnails, Roughs and Storyboard Clean-up Examples

SpongeBob reaches into his face to pull out his eyeballs

One of the questions I’m often asked by storyboarding students is “How clean does a cleaned-up storyboard have to be?”

 SpongeBob_Storyboard_Rough SpongeBob reaches into his face to pull out his eyeballs
The two drawings above show the difference between the cleaned-up storyboard drawing (drawn with 3B pencil on standard copy-grade storyboard paper) and the rough drawing (done in ball-point pen on a Post-It note). It’s usually fine to let some of the construction lines show through on the finals. You can’t quite see it with these scans, but there are faint sketch lines visible on all the clean-up drawings shown here.
SpongeBob pulls out his eyeballs SpongeBob_Storyboard_Rough
(These storyboard drawings are from a Burger King commercial in 2005. BK was giving out SpongeBob watches, and this was the commercial promoting them.)
  SpongeBob pulls out his eyeballs SpongeBob_Storyboard_Clean_Eyeballs-detail02
For the examples above, the rough was drawn with a Pitt brush-marker on Post-It note, then finished with 3B pencil.
SpongeBob shows Patrick his new watch
Here’s a tiny Post-it thumbnail (above) followed by marker rough, followed by the final storyboard drawing.
 SpongeBob shows Patrick his new watch SpongeBob_Storyboard_Rough_01
SpongeBob shows Patrick his new watch
As usual, the drawing with the most life is the rough. It’s hard to keep that energy when you clean it up, but that’s the eternal challenge!
The clean-ups shown here are actually cleaner than we usually draw for storyboards. Since these were done for an advertising campaign, I had to make sure that they looked as close to “finished art” as possible because they were being looked at by non-animation people. I wanted to show them here to demonstrate the extremes of roughs to clean-ups.
  Krabby Patties and drinks and food fall on SpongeBob
This is a good example of not drawing lots of detail until you know that the shot works. There’s no way I’m going to waste my time drawing all those falling Krabby Patties until the final drawing (below).
Krabby Patties and drinks and food fall on SpongeBob
Click on any of these drawings to see a BIG full-sized scan!
 SpongeBob pulls out his eyeballs SpongeBob_Storyboard_Rough
SpongeBob_Storyboard_Clean SpongeBob pulls out his eyeballs
     SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs in the Krusty Krab storyboard rough drawing
If you click on the drawing below (to see the larger version) you’ll be able to see lots of construction lines on the characters and perspective lines going through the background. These are totally acceptable in any storyboard clean-up! This is as clean as I have ever drawn (except for the SpongeBob Movie because we had so much time on that project to make the drawings perfect).
SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs in the Krusty Krab storyboard clean drawing

If you’re
interested in learning how to storyboard, check out my two-hour long DVD workshop called “Storyboard Elements”

click on the DVD
for a free preview
and to
find out more!

Next time I’ll post the entire storyboard for the commercial in thumbnails, roughs and cleanups for comparison. See you then!

Stop Bank Robbers with Bubble Gum!

Leading Comics 031 0020
Stop Bank Robbers with Bubble Gum!
scan from Leading Comics #31 1948

This is the second in a series of comic book advertisements I'll be posting over the next bunch of days. Each ad extolls the amazing powers of the most mundane objects...all in the eternal quest to separate kids from their money!

Did you miss the first one? I call it, "Stop Bullets with Chocolate," and it's at

How I Got Started as a Professional Cartoonist

(NOTE: This post is a response to many questions I get about getting started in a professional illustration and/or cartooning career. I specifically want to thank artist *LazyAsHell at for asking the specific questions that led to this response. She asked me how I got started and If I ever had trouble finding steady work. I wrote such a long answer that I figured I might as well share it! Hope this is helpful. Like it or not, it's the real story.)
I had quite a long journey before I was able to work full-time as an artist/illustrator/cartoonist. Although I always knew I wanted to draw cartoons, when I enrolled in college as an art major I found out right away that I had no desire to be an “arteest.” I learned the difference between “fine art” and commercial art, and finally understood why I didn’t feel like I belonged in the artsy-fartsy crowd.

After dropping out of my first year of college, I went to a trade school in New Jersey called the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art. Kubert School was an unbelievable boot-camp experience where old-school comic book guys from the 40's thru the 70's taught you everything they know about drawing comics and the real world of work. I imagine any art school that focuses on practical illustration and/or animation would be fine. It's really up to the students to make the most of their education.

When I got out of Kubert school in 1985, I applied directly to the Hanna Barbera animation studio. I had spent months creating an entire storyboard from scratch and I was sure it would get me a job. Unfortunately, it was not nearly as good as the work of many other experienced artists, so I was turned down for that job. The bad part is that I got discouraged from that experience and pretty much gave up on drawing for the next couple years!

Two years later, since I was completely miserable working at my job ( I was working as an aide at a psychiatric hospital) I got back into drawing and started creating the kind of funny animal comic book stories that I wanted to see. Later that year, I took my work to the San Diego Comic Book Convention (it was a lot smaller in 1988 than it is now) and I went from publisher to publisher to look for work. Amazingly, I was able to get a freelance assignment out of that convention: I drew two issues of the California Raisins comic book for a very small publisher. I was getting $40 a page for that work and I thought that was the greatest thing in the world. Unfortunately, that company had a habit of not paying its artists, and after two issues the job was over.

I also got an inking assignment for $20 a page. All this time I was working at a bookstore, which would be my day-job for the next six years. From 1991-1993 while I continued to search all over for jobs, I went back to college. I was also doing cartoons for my college newspaper, and through that visibility, one of my classmates had a friend who worked for a small local magazine. Through that lead, I was able to do a number of illustrations and gag cartoons for various magazines. Those drawings were often done for about $10 each.

The point I'd like to stress here is that it is not easy to get hired as a staffer in a particular studio or publisher. You may have to gradually build up your portfolio, contacts, experience and exposure by looking for any opportunity to get your work out there underneath peoples eyeballs so they can see it and get to know you and your work.

Working for peanuts is all very fine...
In 1993 I started a full comic book based on some of the comic strips that were published in the small local magazine. This was a semi-self-published endeavor, and I was making absolutely NO money from doing this, nor did I really expect to make money from it. I was drawing these comics because I had to...we often get ideas and concepts that we as artists just HAVE to create or else we'll explode. I also was hoping that the comics I was creating would help me get other comic book-related work in the future.

In the summer of 1994, I rented a table at the San Diego ComicCon, and set up a booth to sell my comics. I was hoping to make enough money to pay for the food and lodging, and maybe meet some people that could give me some leads on more work. I was extremely blessed that Bill Wray, a director on the Ren and Stimpy Show, was there at the con and interested in my comics. He asked me if I had ever thought about drawing storyboards. Of COURSE I was interested...I asked him everything I could about the work. He said I could call him later when we were both back in Los Angeles.

Bill was very gracious and generous with his time. He gave me some material to look at, and asked me to come back to see him in a couple weeks with some storyboard samples. Even though I was working in the bookstore full-time, I put in tons of hours to prepare the samples. When I showed him the work I had done, he was not impressed. I asked him for feedback and I told him I'll try again. This scenario happened two more times, but I was not going to give up.

My First Full-Time Cartooning Job
After a few rounds and many weeks of creating storyboard samples, Bill finally thought the work was good enough to show the staff at Ren and Stimpy. They decided to hire me as a trainee, and I was able to work with some very helpful and talented artists for the next six months until the show was cancelled in 1995.

During that time, Bob Camp was teaching informal classes in the mornings before work hours. Layout supervisor Tom Owens took the time to tell me why my drawings were terrible and how to make them better. We went to the conference room and freeze-framed cartoons to sketch and analyze all the cool things the classic cartoonists were doing. Bob encouraged the artists to learn storytelling and acting and staging techniques from silent films, Three Stooges comedies and classic movies. One day I turned in some drawings -- simple little props -- and the director sent them back to me saying, "You can do better than this." He was right. I did them again. Made them better. Everything matters.

Fortunately I had done enough good work in that time to help me get a job on another Nickelodeon show, "Hey Arnold." Over the next three years, I worked as hard as I could and asked lots of questions...always trying to improve. I moved up to full storyboard artist and then director by 1998. Then those old comic books I had drawn for nothing came back to help me again...

One of my friends at Nickelodeon was Derek Drymon. Derek was a storyboard artist on Rocko's Modern Life, a show that was produced upstairs from the place where we were making Hey Arnold. Derek and I got to know each other because we had both put out our own black-and-white self-published comic books. Stephen Hillenburg was good friends with Derek, and one day Steve saw one of my comics in the back seat of Derek's car. He really liked it, and a couple years later when Steve created SpongeBob, he remembered that comic book and called me up to ask me to work on the SpongeBob SquarePants show. This was in 1998 before anybody had ever heard of SpongeBob because the show didn't even exist yet (except for the 7 minute pilot episode done by Steve and Derek).

If any of this sounds like "luck", remember that all these things happened because of three very important factors:
  • I was creating a lot of comics work, in spite of not being paid.
  • I was getting my work "out there" where people could see it.
  • I was gradually getting to know people who would eventually become coworkers

I think it's helpful to prepare artists by letting them know that it's up to them to make their career. You can't wait for someone to hand it to you. People will always show up to help you, but you need to put yourself out there in order to make those connections.

Enter SpongeBob

Working on SpongeBob for the next seven years gave me the opportunity to start writing the cartoons that I was drawing. I was not very confident of my writing abilities, but Steve Hillenburg (who hired me because of the comics I had written and drawn) had faith in me, so I decided I would try it. Of course that turned out to be the experience of a lifetime, and I will always be thankful for the chance to work and learn with such a talented crew.

I've continued to build on those experiences when I moved to Disney. I have been a writer, storyboard artist and director in the two-and-a-half years that I've worked at Disney, and I'm still learning new skills all the time. I am always learning new techniques, new software, trying new approaches. I've not even touched on the opportunity I had to concurrently create comic book stories for Nickelodeon Magazine -- fulfilling my earliest dreams of being a comic-book artist. My regret is that I have not been creating my own personal work during the last 15 years, so I am now doing more personal drawing and starting to draw just for the fun of it again.

I want to make clear that I didn't have a specific plan to do all this stuff. The main thing is to aim toward something you want, do the work, get it out there, and be willing to quickly shift direction when events change.

You've got to love what you're doing and continue to do it whether you're paid or not. With webcomics and online video sites, cartoonists and animators can now publish and broadcast their work at absolutely no cost at all! Are you guaranteed to "make it big?" Of course not...but if you constantly improve, get your work out there to be seen and critiqued, and make a lot of contacts with other artists and readers, you stand a much better chance of becoming a full-time professional artist.

Oh, nice to people. Don't be a jerk. It matters more than you can imagine.

Hope that's helpful to you! Best of luck in your journey...


"Wot A Night" 1931 Tom and Jerry (NOT the cat and mouse)

Wot A Night - a 1931 Tom and Jerry funfest from Van Beuren - check out this new DVD...I've been watching it all week!

These Van Beuren cartoons are ALL visual humor (almost no dialog) but they're driven by amazing old-timey jazz scores. I could just listen to the music alone and have a great time. You gotta see 'em!

Two Faced Guy on Storyboard Paper

two faced dancer ArtRage digital painting cartoon

Painting fun in ArtRage (and a little in Sketchbook Pro). I took a doodle I had made on storyboard paper, scanned it, made the white paper background disappear in Photoshop. Then imported to ArtRage for all the painting. Then colored the lines in Sketchbook Pro.

I was trying out all the tools and settings to get that scrumbly Golden Books kind of texture to my paint. Fun!

After so many years of being hung up on making things look "just right," I'm not at ALL concerned about "painting inside the lines." It feels quite liberating !

Thanksgiving Thoughts from Ralph Bakshi

Last year I read this interview with animation legend Ralph Bakshi (Wizards, Heavy Traffic, Mighty Mouse). I love the last paragraph the most –- a wonderful look at being thankful for the the life of a cartoonist -- so I’ll share it here:
How would you like to be remembered as an artist?

Ralph Bakshi: You do something because you love it, and you do it with everything you’ve got. And then you die. What you leave behind doesn’t matter. How much money you make doesn’t matter. What people think of you doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is how you spend every fucking day of your life, how you feel about yourself—and not in the narcissistic, egotistical way. It doesn’t matter how I’m remembered, because I’ll remember everything myself. I’ve drawn every day of my life since high school and that’s a pure victory. I’m able to eat. I have hot dogs and I’m not starving. I live in a decent home on top of a mountain. I give my thanks, and I’m not angry anymore. The only person I’m angry with is Robert Crumb. He’s been on my back for too long. Tell him to get off it.
You can read the whole interview at:

Bakshi's Book:
Ralph Bakshi

And more wisdom from Ralph Bakshi:

My Last Cover for the Last Issue of Nickelodeon Magazine :(

SpongeBob Holiday Cover Nickelodeon Magazine Patrick Squidward Gary Christmas Card sweaters mistletoe candy cane presents Santa hat

The last cover for the last issue of Nickelodeon Magazine. Very very sad to see the magazine close its doors, but I'm happy that I got the chance to work with so many great people at Nick Mag for the last 13 years. Proper eulogy will follow when I can properly gather the right words. I am very honored to have the opportunity to paint this final cover, capping a thirteen-year relationship with the coolest magazine on the planet.

SpongeBob Holiday Cover Nickelodeon Magazine Patrick Squidward Gary Christmas Card sweaters mistletoe candy cane presents Santa hat

Here’s the version of the painting that I sent in to the magazine, before all the text overlays and color adjustments.

I tried something new on this one...I used Photoshop to put a knit-sweater texture on all the sweaters. I never knew how to do it before, but all I had to do was import a texture that I found online, then cut it to shape, adjust the angle and make the layer mode into Overlay. It worked!

Original drawing in marker on printer paper. Inked in Illustrator CS3. Painted in ArtRage 2.5 "Knit sweater" Texture applied in Photoshop CS3.

I’ll run a “making of” process feature as soon as I have time to put it together. In the meantime, head to your newsstand to pick up this historic final issue.