SpongeBob Comics: “Hiccup and Away”

Here's a SpongeBob comic book story which I wrote and drew  for Nickelodeon Magazine in 2002 -- during the break between the series' 3rd Season and the Movie: "Hiccup and Away!"

Click on any image to read the full-size comic page

Felix the Cat Hates His Job! Classic Comics by Otto Messmer

Felix hates his crummy job!
Some wonderfully cartoony Felix comics by Otto Messmer, 1953


Click any page to see the high-resolution, easy-to-read version!



There's a LOT more funny Felix comics by Otto Messmer here on the CartoonSnap blog!

Check out these previous posts for high-quality classic Felix the Cat comics scans :

Felix on the Unemployment Line

Felix the Cat Goes Cockfighting

Felix Pulls Through (a GREAT Magic-Carpet ride!)

Felix the Cat and the Haunted Tower

Book Review: “I Say, I Say…Son” Visual biography of the McKimson Brothers

One of the nicest things about the long Thanksgiving weekend was having the time to catch up on my reading. I had the pleasure of reading the new book about cartoonists Bob McKimson, Tom McKimson and Chuck McKimson. The book is called, "I Say, I Say . . . Son!" after the familiar favorite phrase of Looney Tunes star Foghorn Leghorn. The subtitle reads: "A Tribute to Legendary Animators Bob, Chuck, and Tom McKimson."

I Say Son Tom Bob Chuck McKimson Brothers Book Cover

I didn't know very much at all about the McKimsons before reading this "art-o-biography." Looney Tunes directors Bob Clampett and Chuck Jones have been profiled in depth many times, but I confess to being pretty clueless about McKimson's contributions...until now.

Bob McKimson reviewing a pencil test with his animation unit 1952

According to this book (which focuses primarily on Bob McKimson's work, less so on brothers Tom and Chuck), Bob McKimson was something of a solid guiding rock among the Looney Tunes crew. John K wrote the introduction, and he sums up Bob McKimson's contributions by stating,

"He was the strongest draftsman at Warner Bros. (and maybe even in the whole industry), played the part of teacher in the studio, and was the anchor of the animation department."

Porky Pig Animation drawing by Bob McKimson

There are a lot of memorable stories and anecdotes that really shed light on the behind-the-scenes world of WB animation -- I especially enjoyed reading about the early days of the animation business when the brothers (like many animators) played musical chairs with the different studios -- from Walt Disney Studio in 1929 to the mysterious Romer Gray Pictures, to Harman-Ising and then to Leon Schlesinger's Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies for Warner Brothers. In later years the brothers went on to work for Western Publishing's Dell comics (and Gold Key and Whitman) and Golden books, too!

Mel Blanc and Bob McKimson 1952

The stories include the lifetime consequences and wild effects of Bob McKimson's car crash in 1932, and the story of how a plumber in Pasadena unearthed some long-forgotten historical animation treasures.

Old Gray Hare Elmer Fudd Model Sheet drawn by Tom McKimson

Like many of the colorful Looney Tunes art books like "That's All Folks,", "I Say, I Say . . . Son!" is profusely illustrated with rare sketches, photographs and production art. Although most of the images are shot or scanned from vintage production artwork, there are also many modern "gallery-style" reproductions (the kind of fake animation cels they used to sell at the WB Store) mixed in. There are also a few low-resolution images included (with jaggy edges and JPEG-artifacts), but the author must have found them important enough to include them anyway. The great majority of the illustrations are excellent quality.

The main thing I enjoyed about the book was the opportunity to follow the cartooning careers of three Golden Age animation professionals from the art form’s infancy in the 1920’s to its demise in the late 1950’s to the TV-afterlife of the 1970’s and ‘80’s. Their life stories are about so much more than the glory years of animation...we get to see the excitement of the “anything goes” early years of the business, and also follow their lives after the movie biz turned its back on them -- to see how talented cartoonists continue to make a life after their livelihood has disappeared. For devoted fans of animation history, this book is a winner.

Link: "I Say, I Say . . . Son!" at

George Herriman’s Stumble Inn Dec 23 1922

Although he’s most famous for his animal characters (Krazy Kat, Ignatz Mouse and Offisa Pupp), George Herriman’s cartooning magic worked just as well when he’s working with a “hoomin” cast of Characters. Here’s a giant daily strip from his series “Stumble Inn.”

…and here’s the whole strip in mega-resolution below…
To find out more about “Stumble Inn,” check out this post:

The REAL Story Behind the SpongeBob Phenomenon

Cartoon historian Tom Heintjes is sharing the results of his wonderful new project; a comprehensive oral history of the SpongeBob SquarePants show. Tom interviewed many many key players who were with the show from the very beginning. The best part of this HUGE article is that the discussions dig down into the nitty gritty of the way the show was put together.
Stephen Hillenburg development sketches from SpongeBob Squarepants

Interviewees include Tom Kenny (voice of SpongeBob), Creative Director Derek Drymon, Supervising Director Alan Smart, Storyboard Artist/Writers Paul Tibbitt, Erik Wiese, Jay Lender, Mark O'Hare, Kent Osbourne, Sam Henderson, Kaz, myself, background designer Kenny Pittinger, and many other talented people where were part of the creative process that turned a silly little sponge into a timeless cartoon series and unexpected pop-culture phenomenon.

There are a bunch of rare visuals scattered throughout, including rare pre-production sketches and pics of in-the-trenches day-to-day life on the SpongeBob crew. Check it all out at:

The Year of Bill Plympton

The things I like most about Bill Plympton are his DIY work ethos and the very personal nature of his animation. I mean, his cartoons look like real drawings (because every frame of his films is made of his own real hand-drawn drawings) instead of a slick image that's been homogenized as it passed through dozens of hands.

It's been a huge year for Bill Plympton fans, with the release of two beautiful new books and brand new bio-pic documentary movie, "Adventures in Plymptoons."

The movie is mostly a collection of on-camera interviews with Plympton's colleagues and friends; Many of the interviews are "jokey" rather than informative (for example, we get to watch David Silverman playing a tuba, adult-film-star Ron Jeremy engaging in his favorite pastime, and Ed Begley Jr. feebly pretending be suffering from a case of mistaken identity.)
Unfortunately there's very little time devoted to watching Bill Plympton actually drawing or animating, so if you're interested in getting some new insight into Bill Plympton's working methods, you won't find it here. Short clips from his animated films are sprinkled throughout, giving the viewer a nice small taste of the Plympton filmography.

A much better find is his huge art-o-biography, "Independently Animated: Bill Plympton: The Life and Art of the King of Indie Animation," wherein Bill tells the story of his life and work among tons of beautiful images from his long career.

The stories he tells are extremely entertaining -- usually the text is the least compelling feature in a big art book like this, but Bill proves to be a natural storyteller in words as well as pictures. The selection od drawings, paintings, cartoons and illustrations in this book really presents a grand epic story of an unstaoppable talent!

Bill Plympton's newest book is a much more detailed look at the details surrounding the actual production and distribution of his independent animated films. In "Make Toons That Sell Without Selling Out," Bill Plympton gives away his secrets of animation creation and the less glamorous, but even more demanding work of publicity and distribution.

It's not a pretty process, but it sure is eye-opening…and most of all, it's very inspiring for anyone that wants to make a living through their own artistic creations.

Color Doodle: Psychedelic Faces Fiesta

Drawn with black marker on an index card. I took it into Photoshop, created a gradient background and turned the black layer into "Overlay" mode. Just to snazz it up :P

Joe Kubert’s Hollywood Confessions

Here’s an amazing golden-age comic story from 1949: “Love Came Second” by Joe Kubert. The full pages are posted down below, but before we get there, take a look at some of these terrific panels!
Kubert was having a lot of fun with the page layouts here – delighting in page-high panels like those above, and full-width panels like the ones below…
I love these expressionistic background montages!
Pretty wild stuff! Here’s the whole story below.

Click on the pages for a HIGH-resolution scan.

Scans courtesy of the Jim Vadeboncouer collection at