Blog Newsletter Syndicate

The Norman Conquests

Here’s my buddy, Randy Enos writing about his designs for a Broadway play! -Daryl

“The Neil Simon of England,” Alan Ayckbourn, wrote a play called The Norman Conquests, or rather he wrote three plays, “Living Together,” “Round and Round the Garden,” and “Table Manners;” he called the whole thing, “The Norman Conquests.” It was all the SAME play seen from three different aspects: from the sitting room, the garden and the dining room of an English country home on one particular weekend.

An audience member can see all the plays if they wish and in any order they wish on alternate nights. The theater might perform the first play on Tuesday, the second on Wednesday and the third play on Thursday and on Friday, back to the first play again. It’s all the same plot seen from different locations. For instance, when you’re watching the play that takes place in the sitting room, you can hear action and dialogue in the background from the dining room. When you see the “Table Manners” play, you can see what was going on in that dining room that you only heard at a distance in the other play and so forth. It was a very clever idea. It didn’t matter if you saw just one of the plays or all three, you still got the whole story and the SAME story.

In 2009, I got the job of creating a poster for the show when Kevin Spacey decided to bring it and the cast from the Old Vic in London to Broadway, New York. It played at Circle in the Square, a nice theater-in-the-round on Broadway. I got the job because the art director knew that I often did linocut lettering and she had the idea of doing the whole poster (title and all the credits) in free-hand lettering instead of using type, like most posters did. She told me that if I wanted to put a tiny figure of the hero standing on the lettering, really small, that would be alright too.

I did a bunch of sketches and in a couple, I did a little cartoon of “Norman” standing on the lettering. On one poster, I tried a rather larger figure of Norman standing beside the lettering. The client loved the cartoon of Norman and so the whole concept of the lettering dominating the poster changed. They also decided that this cartoon caricature of Norman should run through all the promotions, web-site, theater program and décor at the theater itself.

I didn’t have very good reference material except a small photo of the actor from England who had a little beard. they couldn’t tell me whether he would be wearing the beard or even that it was a certainty that it would be the same actor. I was flying blind. I decided to make him faceless and I went with the beard.

Norman was in and out of bed with three women during the play, so I thought he would wear pajamas. Why not red and white stripes? That would be lively and bright. They liked it. I said, “Is he wearing pajamas at any point in the play?” They didn’t know, but the art director said it doesn’t matter and I should go with it. As a matter of fact, they utilized the red pajama stripes throughout the whole campaign.

It turned out to be a great job for me financially because as time went on, they kept asking for more and more drawings for the program: for theater décor, for New York Times ads, and for products. I hadn’t been to a Broadway show for some time and didn’t realize that they sold a lot of products with the logos and poster art on them, like mugs, hats, key fobs and shirts of all types. Ours had normal tee shirts featuring my poster design and they also sold fancy, sequined women’s shirts.

My wife and I ended up seeing all three plays at a special Saturday showing. We saw one play just before noon, had lunch, then saw a second play and then the third in the evening. I saw Spacey and other famous actors in the lobby at the performances, but what knocked me out was seeing my crude linocuts blown up to amazing dimensions. My sloppy hand lettering paraded across the wall over the ticket booths. A giant poster on cloth was hung in their big front window that you could see from inside and outside of the theater.

Inside the lobby were big cut outs of Norman in various poses all over the walls.

I had mentioned to the art director that maybe they should suggest to the producers that they use striped red and white pajamas in the play (if there are any pajamas in the play) to be in keeping with the poster, website, etc. –I don’t know if that was ever accomplished so, as the play progressed I waited to see if they ever appeared. He never wore any pajamas in the play, but, at one point, some pajamas are presented to him in a store box. I waited breathlessly as the box was opened and the pajamas were removed.

They were just plain ol’ bluish pajamas.

Email Randy Enos

Read many more of Randy’s cartooning memories:

Man’s Achievements in an Ever Expanding Universe

How to Murder Your Wife

I Yam What I Yam

The Smallest Cartoon Characters in the World

Chicken Gutz

Brought to You in Living Black and White

The Hooker and the Rabbit

Art School Days in the Whorehouse

The Card Trick that Caused a Divorce

The Mysterious Mr. Quist

Monty Python Comes to Town

Riding the Rails

The Pyramid of Success

The Day I Chased the Bus

The Other Ol’ Blue Eyes

8th Grade and Harold von Schmidt

Rembrandt of the Skies

The Funniest Man I’ve Ever Known

Read “I’m Your Bunny, Wanda –Part One”

Read “I’m Your Bunny, Wanda –Part Two”

Famous Artists Visit the Famous Artists School

Randy Remembers Tomi Ungerer

Randy’s Overnight Parade

The Bullpen

Famous Artists Schools

Dik Browne: Hot Golfer

Randy and the National Lampoon

Randy’s Only Great Idea

A Brief Visit to Outer Space

Enos, Love and Westport

Randy Remembers the National Cartoonists Society

Blog Newsletter Syndicate

Bruising Brexit

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May has been battered by Parliament as the Brexit deadline looms.

Stars are the universal cartoon symbol for pain. Star swirling around the head symbolize headache and dizziness. The European Union flag is great for pain and dizziness and is something that most cartoonists have drawn. Here are some of mine. The first one is then-president Chirac of France from back in 2005 –I don’t quite remember why he had an EU headache back then, but the EU has been causing headaches for many years.

This bull with an EU headache went with some euro-stock-market troubles some time ago.

Here’s Germany’s Angela Merkel having a Greek, euro-economic headache …

Here’s one from brilliant Canadian cartoonist, Dale Cummings …

These two are from Martin “Shooty” Sutovec, my pal from Slovakia …

These two are from my Bulgarian cartoonist buddy, Christo Komarnitsky.

This one is by Kap from Barcelona, Spain …

Somehow I don’t think this EU headache will be ending anytime soon.

It may just get much worse.






Blog Syndicate

Trump as King Henry VIII

Here’s my King Trump …

King Henry the Eighth by Hans Holbein the Younger.

This is Donald Trump as King Henry VIII, from the famous portrait by Hans Holbein the Younger, shown in the image at the right. That Henry was quite the dresser. Notice that Trump, and Henry VIII have tiny hands and a little purse. I may do a series with more famous king portraits as Trump.

One thing that I have to keep in mind as a newspaper cartoonist, is how the color cartoons look when printed in the papers – the cartoons darken up, with heavy details filling in and cyan (or blue) coming in heavy; this is why I lighten and warm up the colors, which is especially apparent in Trump’s brown, furry vest. I also feel I need to make the flesh tones lighter and I’m always getting mail about how I should make Trump look more “orange.” I added a little white feather on Trump’s cap, which wasn’t in the painting – surely this was an oversight by Holbein the Younger as the feather seems to be necessary!

This isn’t the first time for me with Holbein the Younger and Henry VIII. Ten years ago I did a similar take on George W. Bush as Henry VIII in the 2006 cartoon below. I see that I took even more liberties with the king’s outfit in this earlier, cartoonier version.

There are always a lot of cartoons depicting presidents, and presidential candidates as kings (or queens). During the Obama years the few conservative cartoonists enjoyed drawing Obama as a king as their vision of Obama was vain, self-absorbed and autocratic.

At the beginning of the last campaign there were lots of cartoons with Hillary and presumed GOP frontrunner Jeb Bush as dynastic royalty, including this one I did below …

We saw lots of “Trump Card” cartoons, but Trump was always the Joker in those cartoons, not the King.




Scotland’s Independence Referendum and So Many Butts

I did three, charming variations on the same cartoon today for Scotland’s big referendum on independence. The first one is is the most baroque, with a Scotland guy farting in UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s face. What a joy it is to be an editorial cartoonist on a day like today.

Notice that I cleaned this cartoon up a bit by making the fart a clean, white color; even so, I think most editors will shy away from farts. I made an alternative version for timid editors who turn their noses up at farts.

I colored these separately in Photoshop and I see that I forgot the green stripe in the tartan on the next cartoons – oh!  That annoys me. Too late to fix now. In any event, the fartless, mooning Scotsman below should make editors breathe easier.

Both of these “under the kilt” cartoons are drawn in advance of the vote, for editors to run if Scotland chooses to secede. I drew another, nicer version, for editors to run if Scotland votes to stay in the UK, with a big, wet, thank-you-kiss.

There are some more graphic variations that come to mind, but I should save those for another day.

See more cartoons about Scotland’s big vote on!



Stand Your Ground, Baby King, Nuclear Option and Soooo Hot

Here’s my weekly batch of new cartoons.  The first one is my “Stand Your Ground” cartoon.  Any cartoon about guns gets a lot of crazy response – as this one did.  People are such nuts.  Here is the rough pencil sketch.

SketchStandGround600wide Stand Your Ground, Baby King, Nuclear Option and Soooo Hot cartoons


Next I did the finished line art. I dragged three different speech balloons into position in a layer in Photoshop, rather than actually drawing all the speech balloons.

134920 600 Stand Your Ground, Baby King, Nuclear Option and Soooo Hot cartoons

I had mixed feelings about whether to leave it as line art for the black and white version. There is something elegant about line art with no tone – but I couldn’t make up my mind, so I did a gray version, and I made both versions available to the syndication customers. Interestingly, half of the editors downloaded the line version, and half went for the gray version. Go figure.134921 600 Stand Your Ground, Baby King, Nuclear Option and Soooo Hot cartoons

Here it is in color.  I added some subtle texture to the ground.134922 600 Stand Your Ground, Baby King, Nuclear Option and Soooo Hot cartoons

Here is how it looked the next day in my local newspaper, the Santa Barbara News-Press.

NewPressStand600 Stand Your Ground, Baby King, Nuclear Option and Soooo Hot cartoons

Lots of cartoonists were drawing cartoons that were critical of the media attention paid to the new baby future king of England. I thought I would go with cute rather than critical. I don’t have any angry feelings about this subject. Cute is fine with me. Here is the line art that most people will see in the newspaper.

134962 600 Stand Your Ground, Baby King, Nuclear Option and Soooo Hot cartoons

And here’s the color.  I’m trying to do more color that looks like I’m using a sponge, as I used to do back in the days when i painted with gouache.

134967 600 Stand Your Ground, Baby King, Nuclear Option and Soooo Hot cartoons

We almost saw the “Nuclear Option” happen in the Senate, when Senator Harry Reid threatened to get rid of the filibuster rules that Republicans were using to block Obama nominees.  There was a compromise, but I suspect we’ll see this Nuclear Option thing happen again soon.  Here’s the gray version, with sponge texture (the line art was too spare on this one, it needed gray tone).

135011 600 Stand Your Ground, Baby King, Nuclear Option and Soooo Hot cartoons

Yes, that’s a very Herblockian “Mr. A-Bomb.”  Gotta love Herblock.  Here’s the color version, with spongy texture.

135021 600 Stand Your Ground, Baby King, Nuclear Option and Soooo Hot cartoons


Most of the country had a crazy heat wave last week, which is always a good excuse for a trite, Global Warming cartoon.  This one was fun to draw, and I went with the line art – no gray tone for the black and white version of this one.

134866 600 Stand Your Ground, Baby King, Nuclear Option and Soooo Hot cartoons

And here’s the color version …

134879 600 Stand Your Ground, Baby King, Nuclear Option and Soooo Hot cartoons

That’s it!  I think I’ll draw Detroit tomorrow.



Baby Future King

134967 600 Baby Future King cartoons


Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee cartoons

God save the Queen! The eyes of the world are on England today as Queen Elizabeth begins the fourth day of celebrations marking her 60 years on the throne.

As an American, it’s weird to watch all the pomp and circumstance being devoted to members of a monarchy. Maybe that’s why not many U.S. cartoonists have drawn about The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Here are a handful of cartoons drawn about Elizabeth and her heir apparent, Prince Charles.

Taylor Jones / (click to view more cartoons by Jones)
Paul Zanetti / Australia, (click to view more cartoons by Zanetti)
Aislin / Montreal Gazette (click to view more cartoons by Aislin)
Aislin / Montreal Gazette (click to view more cartoons by Aislin)
Dave Granlund / (click to view more cartoons by Granlund)
Mike Lane / (click to view more cartoons by Lane)