Story and "art" by Lisa Kay Tate
The following is taken from an interview I did in February 2016 with Marc Methot, who recently brought back the long out-of-print CARtoons Magazine. You can read my full interview on GeekMom:
Timing is an amazing thing.
Out of the blue, I started thinking about one of my favorite pastimes as a teenager; following “How to Draw” guides in my brother’s CARtoons Magazine.
These were pretty basic, albeit, but they still inspired me to learn about perspective, shading and structure. Plus I was able to create some dream cars I would never in a billion years be able to recreate in real life. At least not on my current budget.
I got the itch to try some of these out again, but sadly, I hadn’t seen a CARtoons in a store since my junior year in high school. As it turns out, CARtoons Magazine, a labor of love created by Pete Millar and Carl Kohler in 1959, went bye-bye in 1991 after had a pretty good run for more than 30 years.
Well, thanks be to Google, I was able to pull up some old images of these “How to Draw” pages when I ran across something that made me giggle out loud.
CARtoons is back in print!
The magazine is available again in both print and digital versions, as the inspired dream of Marc Methot. Methot, who refers to himself as the “reestablisher” of the magazine, ran across information on a broker website the CARtoons trademark expired four months ago. He successfully filed for it, despite the fact he had no finances, nor experience in publication. In this short span of time, Methot gave himself some hands-on experience on publishing, including scheduling the more than 50 artists from around the world currently contributing to the magazine.
Artists include some original CARtoons talent such as Joe Borer, George Trosley, Fred Boatman, Jeff Slemons, Bob Hardin, Nelson Dewey, John Deaton and Jon Pogorelskin, as well as new CARtoons teammates Ben “Drag Daddy” Mitchell, Larry Williams, Jeff Norwell, Mike Yapps and Scott Fisk.
I remember Trosley the most, when I used to take my old issues to high school once and a while. My geekier friends and I would sit around, read them out loud and crack ourselves up, even though I was likely the only one into old school hot rods of any type. The rest of my friends, however, still enjoyed the comic element and a good laugh.
There's just something about these little "How to Draws" that bring me back to my childhood. Image: Lisa Tate
That’s what made this magazine so awesome to me. There were posters and other pull-outs, recurring characters, and my first encounter with having a female comic artist to look up to, Shawn Kerri. She was an incredible artist who was also known for designing merchandise for punk bands like the Circle Jerks and The Germs. Kerri, who passed away in the early 1990s, proved to me and many others not only could women draw and write stories about cars, and car-related cartoons, but they could be awesome at it. CARtoons did have a couple of other women artists, but Kerri is the one who I remember.
There were also CYCLEtoons, which introduced geeky bike enthusiasts to the characters like Hogg Ryder, a “modern” biker on constantly foiled by the old school “Ol’ Poop” riding around on his vintage Indian Scout. You always knew the Ol’ Poop was coming with the telltale sound, “pocketa-pocketa-pocketa (a sound, I think is an obscure reference to James Thurber’s Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and a fictional revolver called a Webley-Vickers 50.80). If I spelled that incorrectly, I apologize, as I’m reaching deep into my childhood stash of recently dug up memories. My last memory I had of Hogg Ryder and the Ol’ Poop was actually in a CARtoons issue because CYCLEtoons only lasted until the mid-1970s.
Mostly importantly, for me however, is the return of the “How to Draw,” now called “Trosley’s Sketchbook.”
Methot hopes to see this magazine appeal to all comic lovers, regardless of their interest in cars.
From a comic book fan who spent a lot of time in her daddy’s garage reading yellowed CARtoons issues, trying use a “How To Draw” lead sled tutorial to create a custom Batmobile, I can’t tell you how happy this makes me.
Now, if we could only get some new “Shawn Kerris,” on board that would be swell but all in the timing, right boys?
I’m just elated to be hitting the road with them, once more.