Ginger Meggs Reader Question: Why do some characters have two separate eyes and others have double-eyes like Sonic the Hedgehog?

Another reader question from Ginger Meggs fan @Dennis11 through GoComics:

Q: Why do some characters have two separate eyes and others have double-eyes like Sonic the Hedgehog?

Thanks for the question Dennis!
Well first off, the double-eyes thing hasn’t always been part of the character designs in Meggs. originally Ginger had two empty ovals with lines through them, which was a stylistic choice by the creator, James C Bancks back in the early 20th Century.

There were a few other instances of those lines being read as ‘eyes’ and there was certainly a lot of American strip influence back then. Australia was relatively new to the comic strip game compared to the US.

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When James Kemsley took over as 4th writer and artist on the strip, he did very gradually change the look of the characters to bring them in line with more modern cartoon characters. This was around the time of Dennis the Menace’s cartoon TV series and the rise in prominence of the Simpsons (back when Bart was the ‘main’ character, not Homer.)

As you can see above, james kept some of the features from the Ron Vivian and Lloyd Piper-era Meggs, but tidied up some of the lines, gave him modern sneakers, and gave him two solid pupils inside one double-wide eye.


Of course, not all of the characters have this design. Min, Mike, Tony and Benny still do, but Aggie, Dad, Mum, Coogan, Canehard, Penny, Rahul and everyone else all have separated eyes.

Slowly but surely, Ginger’s eyes have been moving closer and closer to their original separated eye design, but a change like that can’t be made abruptly in a strip this long-running. Do I intend to bring all the characters into line on the same separated eye design? Probably, yes. If for no other reason than they all look like they belong in the same universe. Having some characters look that different can be a little confusing when they’re in the same panels together.

Am I going to make it look like the Sonic the Hedgehog reboot? …uh. No.

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Appearances at San Diego Comic Con International 2019

Hey, friends! I’ll be back in San Diego for another huge Comic Con next week from Friday through Sunday. Come by the National Cartoonists Society booth #1307 (Over near the B1 entry). Come by and say hi, buy a cartoon, watch me draw on the Wacom Mobilestudio Pro, give me a high five. Whatever.

If you’re looking for some highlights, I’d recommend the New Yorker Cartoonists VS MAD Cartoonists panel on Friday at 7:30pm… that should be a ripper. Also, always take a look at Artists alley and visit our talented National Cartoonists Society members. Buy some of their art, follow them on social media, or just say hello. It all makes for a nice time at what can be a chaotic and hectic convention. You can find a new list of our members online at: https://www.nationalcartoonists.com/members/directory/

And a full list of SDCC exhibitors at: https://www.comic-con.org/cci/2019/exhibitors

Shop Talk: Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pens

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I’ve been using a pen this last year that I have to share with my fellow cartoonists and illustrators… the Soft and Hard Tip Fudenosuke Brush Pens for Calligraphy and Art Drawings. (The Amazon code is 62038.)

I always loved the idea of brush pens and had been using the Tombow N15 (black) for such a long time. The problem was twofold; they’re water-based and smudge under my palms, and they fray too quickly. Within an hour of drawing, that nice, firm tip becomes soft and begins to become shaggy, not to mention lose its deep black. The N35 (Process black) is a nice alternative, too for deep blacks… just don’t get them wet, or you’ll have a purple mess on your hands.

The Tombow Fudenosuke brush pen maintains that consistently firm brush tip, so if you’re working on several pages over time, you don’t have to worry about the line fattening out or trying to manage line-widths. It also seems to last a lot longer than other pocket brush pens like the double-tipped Kuretake pocket pens.

Oh, and yes! They are, mercifully, waterproof. I’ve been using them for New Yorker cartoons lately and they’ve been holding up nicely with a wash.

Give them a try and let me know what you think!

Talking MAD on NPR


Click above to listen to the interview on NPR on “AirTalk with Larry Mantle” from today, Monday July 8 2019.
I was interviewed along with Tom Richmond, Marty Dundics, Kit Lively and a slew of other artists, writers and call-ins.
Southern California Public Radio  (NPR Los Angeles)



The End of an Era

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The contributors of MAD received an email yesterday detailing the plan for the 67 year-old iconic MAD Magazine’s wind-down. After issue #10 (the numbers were set to 0 after the reboot in California) the magazine will no longer publish any new content from contributors. It will run old content with new covers, publish collections and special collections only.

I can’t say it was a big surprise, but it’s a devastating blow in a year that has already seen a morbid downturn in opportunities for cartoonists.

I’m still gathering my thoughts on this, so stay tuned. Dropping the news the day before July 4th seems like a very deliberate move on DC Entertainment’s part in a hope to bury the story.

I sincerely hope that is not the case.

Shop Talk: On Trying to Please the Crowd with Your Art

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One big lesson I learned as an artist in the past year is this:


Create for yourself. The people who like it will find you. Those who don’t will fall away. But, you’ll be left with a loyal core of people who like what you’re doing. 

Don’t curate your art to what gets likes. Curate it to what you like.