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Take a peek over Jim Borgman's shoulder

Jim Borgman has been the Enquirer's editorial cartoonist since 1976. Borgman has won every major award in his field, including the 1991 Pulitzer Prize, the National Cartoonists Society's Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year in 1993, and most recently, the Adamson Award in 2005 as International Cartoonist of the Year. His award-winning daily comic strip Zits, co-created with Jerry Scott, chronicles the life of 15-year-old Jeremy Duncan, his family and friends through the glories and challenges of the teenage years. Since debuting in July 1997, Zits has regularly finished #1 in reader comics polls across America and is syndicated in more than 1300 newspapers around the world.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Little Q&A

BorgFan posted a few questions awhile back:

Q. Jim, what are some of your favorite things to draw?

A. People. Big doughy ones, particularly, such as I grew up among in Price Hill. Disheveled homes with stacks of magazines on the end tables and kids banging on pianos. Teenagers in someone else's clothes. Big mammals. Waitresses at Big Boy. Dinosaurs and baseball players. People with their mouths wide open. Hectic family life. Big guys in tight spaces. Dogs posing as humans. Literary figures. Backs of heads. Kids jumping on each other. People carrying laundry baskets. Giant planets splitting in half. People disappearing into a time warp.

I hate drawing cats and trains and anything seriously architectural.

Q. Why do you tape your drawing paper to your board when you draw?

A. I like drawing into a stiff wind.

Q. Do you have assistants? What do they do for you?

A. Tons of assistants. Several stay busy just burning old roughs. Another's sole assignment is to contact the target of the next day's cartoon to be sure they have the proper sedatives on hand. One assistant had collagen injections just so she could bring the tip of my brushes to a perfect point. I hardly know what to do with all the help around here.


at 3/26/08, 4:44 PM Blogger Steve said...

I love the Q&A's. This one not so much due to the silliness of it. I more enjoy the informative ones.

I think the anonymous poster is really Bill Schorr.
(Jus' kidding. I love Schorr's work too.)

at 3/26/08, 5:25 PM Anonymous BorgFan said...

I was somewhat being serious.....I noticed in your video you had your drawing taped to your table. I think most cartoonists spin their drawings when they work on them.

And I figured between Zits and your editorial cartoons someone had to do all the filing and maybe do color work or something.

I do appreciate your humor, though I was worried you might have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

I for one will be glad when you go to the system that makes jerks like this Anonymous guy stop posting insults. How rude!

at 3/26/08, 6:48 PM Anonymous Paul B said...

Which state and local politicians do you enjoy drawing -- and which do you think you ought to draw more often?

at 3/26/08, 9:57 PM Blogger Jim Borgman said...

OK, I guess my whimsy didn't come across as intended -- sorry.

I've always either pinned or taped my drawing down. I guess behaviors you learn early stay with you sometimes. I'm not sure I understand why myself except that the drawing stays still that way.

There's no one at the newspaper who helps me as any sort of assistant. Newspapers are stripped down to bare bones these days and idle bodies are a thing of the past.

Some years ago I hired a friend to help me field phone calls and do some mailing, file copyrights and respond to requests so that I could maintain a train of thought during the day. Ruthie handles the phone from her home and comes to the office when I'm not there on weekends to do the mailing.

Your question is really very good, BorgFan, because it's an issue most of us face if we try to be interactive with our community and responsive to our readers. For some years I was so swamped with mail and phones and requests that my cartoons had to fight for my attention. Over time I've learned what Ruthie can do for me, what technology can do for me, and what simply isn't going to get done.

at 3/26/08, 10:01 PM Blogger Jim Borgman said...

I should have added that the answer to the first question was sincere, if also whimsical.

at 3/26/08, 11:20 PM Anonymous BorgFan said...

Thanks for the answers, Jim!
I laughed at your first whimsical comments. They caught me totally off-guard.

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