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The Nose Glasses of Fate

January 20, 2013

The Nose Glasses of Fate

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a comic book artist in the worst way. I thrilled to the adventures of Spider-man, Superman and the rest. I had the treat of growing up during the silver age of comics (that’s the 1960s, for all you non-comic-book-geeks). Marvel Comics, spearheaded by he great Stan Lee, captured an entire generation of readers who laid down their 12 cents (then 15 cents and then 25 cents—as the decade wore on), to read adventures of super heroes with real problems. I drooled over the latest artwork by the likes of Jack Kirby, Wally Wood, Gil Kane, Jim Steranko and Neal Adams. I wanted to be a part of that pantheon of great artists, so I practiced drawing constantly, finding a particular character in a dynamic pose and duplicated it to the best of my abilities.

After college, I met a sixteen-year-old wonder kid (Kelley Jones, who would later draw most of the covers for the Batman books during the year-long story arc of “Knight Fall,” which is what the last Batman movie Dark Knight Rises was about…sort of). I quickly realized, the young whipper-snapper was better than I would ever be. It put things in instant perspective, and I decided I would become a syndicated cartoonist instead. I could cartoon just fine, and I thought I had a pretty good sense of humor. Besides, I stood a much better chance of becoming syndicated than breaking into the world of comic book illustration. At least, that’s what I thought.

Years later, after a number of rejection letters, I gave up on that idea too. I still cartooned for local papers, and even won an award and a little recognition for some editorial cartoons. A full-time job, marriage and children brought an end to that too. It was my fault. I didn’t want it badly enough. I once told a friend of mine, who is an artist, that I couldn’t draw anything unless I was under deadline pressure. He told me that I had let it become work. He was right.

I still draw. While I don’t enjoy it like I once did, I still get a bit of a charge from seeing a finished cartoon on my computer or iPad screen.

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2 Comments
  1. Robert Kalmbach permalink

    Mr. Ernesto
    I’m a big fan of yours and love the “Nose Glasses of Fate” keep the cartoons coming.

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