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The Cartoonist’s Cartoonists: Nate Creekmore
This week’s featured cartoonist is Nate Creekmore. Nate’s feature, Maintaining, launched last May by Universal Press. In 2005, he was named best college cartoonist by the Associated Collegiate Press and has the distinct honor of having been twice awarded the Charles M. Schulz award (Scripps Howard Foundation) in 2003 and 2004.
Arron Mcgruder- I first discovered The Boondocks on the pages of the Source magazine and I’ve been a fan ever since. My favorite comic strips prior to my discovery of The Boondocks had always been fairly abstract, but McGruder’s work was more tangible and recognizable. His characters were angry and relevant in a non-juvenile kind of way.
Frank Cho- Every panel in a Liberty Meadows comic strip is a work of art. The way he combines cartoon animals with classically rendered human characters immediately stands out. Frank Cho makes cartooning look easy.
Bill Watterson – He’s the Michael Jordan of cartooning. Charles Schulz is Dr. J, but Watterson is Mike (I guess that would make McGruder LeBron James). Everything about Calvin and Hobbes is genius.
Juanjo Guarnido – is my favorite artist. His work on the Blacksad books is phenomenal. Nobody can capture mood or expression as masterfully as Guarnido.
Keith Knight- I think K Chronicles is the funniest comic strip actively being published. I don’t know how he manages to get away with most of his material, but I’m glad he does. He has a loose, frantic way of drawing that matches perfectly with the informal, irreverent feel of his comic.
Charles Schulz – For me, the genius of Peanuts was in its ability to capture and depict the sublime melancholy in a way that left readers pensive instead of depressed. That’s a nearly impossible feat, but Schulz managed to do it every day for fifty years. If I can capture a fraction of what he had, I’ll be a’ight.
Al Hirschfeld – He’s not a necessarily a cartoonist, but I chase after his aesthetic more than anyone else when it comes to my cartooning work. Hirschfeld got more out of line than anyone before or since. His caricatures didn’t just look like the subject, they were often the definitive interpretation of the subject. While I’m not crazy about his questionable use of blackface, I love his work overall.
Winsor Mccay – His work on Little Nemo and Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend is impressive even after all these years. Again, I’m not crazy about his penchant for using blackface characters, but I think he ranks among the all-time greats.
Joe Madureira – is my favorite comic book artist. I mostly know him from his work on The Uncanny X-Men and Deadpool. I especially like the way he draws hands.
Wiley Miller – I get the feeling that Wiley Miller knows he’s one of the best. His writing is on an entirely different level and, visually, he uses perspective more effectively than any other newspaper cartoonist. I read Non Sequitur everyday, but I wish he’d revive Homer, the Reluctant Soul. That strip was genius.
Jules Feiffer – directly addressed the absurd with an approach that reminds me of James Thurber (and Keith Knight). I love his monologues and the way his speakers always seem to be right on the edge of insanity. Great writer.
Kadir Nelson – another non-cartoonist, but his illustrations have had a profound impact on me. He has a way of elongating and exaggerating his figures that is reminiscent of El Greco.