Things That I Love About This Country: American Comics

During the Fourth of July I try to recount some of the things that I love about this country. One of the things I love about this country are the great American cartoonists who have shaped this great art form.

I first became interested in art because of Charles Schulz’s comic strip Peanuts. I would drive my mom nuts because I used to draw Charlie Brown and Snoopy on any scrap of paper that I could find. Then I discovered old reprints of the old Stan Lee and Jack Kirby Fantastic Four comics and was mesmerized. In the 741.5 section of the library, I discovered collections of old reprints of comic strips like Terry and the Pirates, Pogo, Little Orphan Annie and was captivated.

There is a great tradition of American comic strips, comic books and editorial cartoons. Growing up, my big dream was to be a syndicated comic strip cartoonist. That dream fell by the wayside. But in doing editorial cartoons for the Philippine News Today, I feel like I’m living part of my dream. Though I don’t earn a living from those cartoons, I get published every week, I’ve met editorial cartoonists whose work I admire, and I have gotten a chance to meet courageous political cartoonists from other countries who are risking their lives criticizing totalitarian governments, military death squads and religious extremists.

Sadly in America, comic strips and editorial cartoons have declined in influence as newspapers have declined due to the internet. Cartoonists are trying to figure out a way to earn a living publishing their work in the internet, with mixed results. I think the next generation of cartoonists are probably going to go to graphic novels, which is such an exciting genre.

Here is a documentary about the history of the comic strip. It’s a great documentary that talks about the history of comic strips and the struggles of comic strips today.

About angelolopez

I’ve wanted to be an artist all my life. Since I was a child I’ve drawn on any scrap of paper I could get a hold of. When I went to San Jose State University, I became more exposed to the works of the great fine artists and illustrators. My college paintings were heavily influenced by the humorous illustrations of Peter De Seve, an illustrator for the New Yorker magazine. I also fell under the spell of the great muralists of the 1930s, especially Thomas Hart Benton and Diego Rivera. I graduated with a degree in Illustration. Angelo Lopez has had illustrations published in Tikkun Magazine, the Palo Alto Daily News and Z Magazine. From April 2008 to May 2011, Angelo's cartoons were regularly published in the Tri-City Voice, a weekly newspaper that covers the Fremont, Hayward, Milpitas, Neward, Sunol and Union City areas in California. He did a political webcomic starring his cartoon character Jasper for the progressive blogsite Everyday Citizen. Since December 2011, Angelo does a regular weekly political cartoon for the Philippine News Today, a Filipino American newspaper based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Angelo is a member of the Sunnyvale Art Club, and the Northern California chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. During the 1990s, he was a member of the part-timer workers SEIU unit in the city of Sunnyvale. Angelo won the 2013, 2015 and 2016 and 2018 Sigma Delta Chi award for editorial cartooning for newspapers with a circulation under 100,000. He has also won the 2016 RFK Book and Journalism Award for Editorial Cartoons. Angelo won first prize for the Best of the West contest in 2016 and third prize in 2017. Angelo is married to Lisa Reeber. They enjoy taking walks, watching movies and hanging out with their nieces.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s