October 5, 2015
Lenard Thomas, Cartoonist, Artist, Musician

So You Think You Want to be a Cartoonist! was the topic of the evening.  Cartoonist, Lenard Thomas, aka Aloysius, entertained 35 members and guests in the churchís 2nd floor parlor with an interesting power point presentation followed by a demonstration.  Len was surprised to see so many people attending the meeting to hear about cartoons!  But, as he later explained ďthere is a gold mine here if you want to do itĒ

Len started drawing Army jeeps at age 2.  Then in the early '60's, while in Basic Training in New Jersey, he sold hundreds of sweatshirts with cartoons depicting the humorous side of Army life . . . the sergeant versus the enlisted man.  Later, he went on to be a freelance cartoonist for commercial/industrial markets.  Now his cartoons can be found twice a month in the Voice Magazine, a community paper in Geneva, Ohio.  He says his payment is a free ad in the paper for his band Whooz Playin that performs at local wineries and events . . . he plays the guitar and harmonica.  Plus, he is also an accomplished oil painter!

The boom time for cartoons started in the 1890ís in order to sell newspapers.  Len said the editorial cartoons were the most difficult, as the character must look like who you want to depict.  And gag strips can be the most bizarre, depicting super hero, story line and adventure cartoons.  Lenís idol is Gary Larson, whom he calls the Jimmy Hendrix of Cartooning.  When ranking cartoons, either they make you laugh out loud or you donít get it.  Per Len, the best of the best is Charles Schultz, current leader is Dilbert, animal cartoons are more popular now...i.e., Garfield by Jim Davis.

Len says that if you are creative, humorous, artistic, there can be a gold mine in cartooning.  Your best bet is to get into a newspaper.  There are still 1600 daily newspapers...used to be 5000.  Typical pay is $3.00/day/paper.  So, if you are in 100 papers for one year, you could make $109,500/yr...not bad for cartooning!

After the presentation, we were treated not tricked by three lovely Halloween Witches to delicious treats and a bizarre brew!  Thanks go to Helen Karpoff, Dorothy Geisert and Joan Milligan.