Scouts and Symbols

July always takes me to camp, where this reflection begins. I am an old Scout. The Scouting movement has been my principal civic service ever since I was a boy. I am an Eagle Scout, a recipient of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, and I sit on the board of the National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America in Washington. Reading this far you’re forgiven for that eye roll, for thinking that I was about to comment on the news four days Continue reading →

The Illustrated Police News

  One of the best things about the internet is that musty, old, forgotten things can get a second chance at life. Take, for instance, The Illustrated Police News, a tawdry London tabloid that lasted from 1864 to 1938. Its stock-in-trade was printing gruesome, shamelessly sensational illustrations about notorious crimes — a reputation that was cemented in 1888 when a man known by the name Jack the Ripper began his killing spree. Now sensationalism was nothing new back then. Nor was illustrating the news for Continue reading →

Sharknado 4: Punctuation Attack

I’ve spoken about the killer comma (that wee thing created to drive both writer and editor crazy). I’ve even noticed some writers have gotten so mad at the darn thing that they have now turned to the semi-colon for help. As a writer I see it one way, as an editor I can see it another. But now that the comma has had its punishment, it’s time to speak about the tab key. The tab (like the comma) can come out of the blue and Continue reading →

Leonard Starr, and the Ultimate Cool

In the wake of the recent death of artist/writer Leonard Starr, my closest friend and longtime studio-mate during my illustrator-career, an unforgettable, eminently character-defining anecdote comes to mind. It happened when Leonard and his wife moved from Manhattan to suburban Westport, Connecticut. There, they had purchased a home which like so many others in that artist-colony town sat amid several hilly acres of woods. Woods so dense, and the terrain so uneven that, often, houses on adjoining properties were not visible. Such was the case Continue reading →