Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Comic Art Professional Society

For nearly 20 years the Comic Art Professional Society (CAPS) held their meetings upstairs at the Burbank Board of Realtors Hall on Magnolia Blvd. in Burbank. Last Thursday night they moved their monthly get-togethers to the meeting hall upstairs at The Animation Guild in Burbank ...

Why? Well, a lot of CAPS members are also members of the Animation Guild, it's a much better location with several good restaurants nearby, there's an elevator for handicapped access, there's ample parking, there are windows, good lighting, and a good sound system on its way. New tables should arrive soon. And it's getting to be a great meeting place for industry professionals.

Thursday night's meeting began with the usual introduction of guests, the welcoming of new members, followed by news and announcements from members. I sat at the door gathering membership renewal dues and greeting guests, including Guild President Kevin Koch, Vice President Earl Kress (who applied for membership based on years of writing comic book stories) and Guild Executive Board member Steve Zupkas, all of whom came to see that no one spilled drinks on the new carpet. About 50 members and guests were in attendance.

The program for the evening featured a new documentary on Mort Drucker, humor illustrator for MAD Magazine whose career includes advertising art, movie posters, comic books, comic strips, magazine covers and album covers. According to Stephen Silver, Producer/Director of the documentary, this is the first and only time Drucker has ever been filmed at work in his studio. Two lengthy clips in the video show Drucker creating a piece of finished art from beginning to end, from pencil to ink to color.

As Stephen writes on his blog:

Mort Drucker, world famous caricaturist and humorous illustrator best known for his work in MAD magazine has made an exclusive, never before seen tutorial film about his process and life experiences. Presented and interviewed by Stephen Silver. To watch the 2 hour and 15 minute film go to and click on "The Masters Series" banner located on the bottom. The film will debut starting January 2oth 2010.

The Mort Drucker video is one in the Master Series produced by Silver. Other videos focus on John Reiner (The Lockhorns) and Stan Goldberg (Archie comics.) There are more videos coming soon but we can't talk about them yet. Each video takes you inside the artist's studio, we learn about them and their work process, and we actually watch them draw and create images on camera.

How many great cartoonists were never filmed or recorded over the years? We'll never even know what they sounded like, much less what they had to say and how they did their work. Silver hopes to change all that by producing documentaries on many contemporary masters while he can.

It was a privilege to see this amazing video on Mort Drucker. Thanks to Stephen Silver for sharing it with CAPS.

And thanks to The Animation Guild for the cool new hangout.

- Bob Foster.


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