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Behind the Books – Book 5

posted on July 15, 2021

By 1979, Tempo was starting to wind down their licensed cartoon books, but there was still time for them to bring out the one and only John Darling book. John Darling had been an anchor and reporter in Funky before I spun him off into his own strip and made him a talk show host.  The book is a nice cross section of the early Darling strips, and it showcases the terrific artwork of Tom Armstrong. Tom’s spot-on-caricatures allowed me to take the work wherever celebs and media stars gathered, and we did. You can see some of Tom’s artwork in the posts on my blog on this site tagged John Darling.

Tom put more into his artwork than anyone, as evidenced by this cover where the floor director has six fingers on the hand pointing to John. High marks certainly for enthusiasm… somewhat lower ones for accuracy.

 

Binge Worthy

posted on July 5, 2021

Seasons 25, 26 and 27 of Funky Winkerbean have dropped. Seasons 1 through 24 are still available for binging as well. Simply go to the Books section on this site where you’ll find them all waiting for you.

Behind the Books – Book 4

posted on July 1, 2021

Okay, so the big #3 up in the corner tells us that this is the third Funky collection from Tempo Books. One immediately noticeable thing is that the cover is no longer hand colored with markers. Taking a step up the ol’ professionalism ladder, I came into possession of a Pantone color guide and made my first use of it with this cover. With the Pantone color guide, you would hand color the art on either a copy or an overlay. Then you would find the color you wanted on the color guide and then write the corresponding number on your overlay. This allowed for color consistency to be established between you and the printer who would simply match the same numbers from his Pantone chart. I’ve probably described something akin to blacksmithing here, but it’s pretty much like color picking off of the color swatches in Photoshop.

Tempo was licensing a lot of cartoon properties at this point and kind of just throwing them out there with no real marketing or promotion. So whenever I was in a place where these books were sold, usually on racks in a drugstore, I would go through the rack, find my books, and move them all to the front of the rack. This was based on the God helps those who help themselves theory of marketing.

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