Tools and Stuff
Jim: Do you use the Micron pens on the editoons, or only on the ZITS stuff? Have you ever tried using a ball-point pen? I'm told by Locher that MacNelly, before going digital, used a ball-point pen for lots of cross-hatching--at which point I serious reevaluated my need to only use "proper" art tools on a job.
Jeff MacNelly was one of those guys who could draw with a stick in the mud and win a Pulitzer Prize. Though I have a large altar full of cartooning saints, I don't think I ever saw a more natural cartoonist than MacNelly.
I own one of Jeff's ballpoint cartoons and it's lush and beautiful. Unfortunately, it probably won't outlive me because the ink isn't permanent and has already begun to change color. Eventually it will fade and wash out. There's a lot to be said for paying attention to the materials we use.
MacNelly had a what-the-hell aspect to his personality that was part of his genius. I happen to have been present the first time he saw a Wacom tablet (I want to say late-'80s) and he picked up the stylus and drew Shoe standing on the wing of a B-52. The cartoonists around him stood with our jaws scraping the floor. As the group of us talked about where these technological developments might lead in our work, I asked him, "Wouldn't you miss drawing the strip by hand?"
"Hell, no," he said. "It would just give me more time to draw other stuff."
When Jeff transitioned to doing his editorial cartoons digitally, I don't think they looked any different than his hand-drawn stuff. The man was a force of nature.
Check out his drawing of an elephant from the website www.jeff-macnelly.com
Oh yeah, the Microns. I use them in everything I do along with good old Dr. Ph. Martin's Black Star ink. They're both permanent inks and I haven't detected any changes in the lines over the years I've been using them.